My Nationality?

What is my nationality? First and foremost, I am a Quebecer. And I say first and foremost because this is where I was born and spent 19 years of my life. I grew up in a French environment, and French is my first language. I didn’t know a word of English until I was 10. I did all my early studies in French right up to my university classes. My Dad’s side of the family came from the Hudson Area, Choisy to be exact. At grandmoman’s (my father’s mother) we spoke only French. French is in my blood, and I revert to that language when counting or when hurt. The French culture as been, and will always be an integral part of who I am.

But I am also a Canadian. Proud and blessed to be a Canadian. My mother’s side of the family spoke mostly English. Most of my career’s work has been in English. MY husband is English, and many of my friends are English. Our children speak multiple languages but English is their first one. I am proud to be Canadian – to want all our provinces to be together, and our country to continue to be a GREAT PLACE TO BE. My country spans from the Atlantic to the Pacific and crosses mountains, plains, cities, wilderness, villages and thousands of bodies of water. My country is an integral part of me, of my culture and my memories.

Today, I celebrate Saint Jean Baptiste Day, the National Holiday for all Quebecers. Sunday I will celebrate Canada Day. Both celebrations are equally important to me. This has nothing to do with politics – this only has to do with pride, gratitude and thankfulness.

Gratitude through photographs

It’s been more than one year since I came back from my journey on the Camino in Spain. Two of the biggest lessons I took back from that trip was to always be grateful, each and every day, and that everyone has a story.

Those two elements have led me to the creation of a facebook page titled “People, Faces and Places of Ottawa” This page is a celebration of all that is Ottawa – – its people, its faces and its places.

I have been blessed living in Ottawa – In my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. Ottawa offers so many things to do, to discover and to enjoy. Being our Nation’s Capital, Ottawa is home to many museums, parks, the Canal and so much more.

Meeting people is one of my favorite things to do, and taking pictures offers me many opportunities to do so. I enjoy talking to people, getting to know a bit more about them, about what they do, what they like and of their words of wisdom.

Finding people to photograph is so easy – a simple “Hi, How are you” goes a long way. Very few refuse to be photograph, and some even seek me when they learn I’ve photographed their friends or family member, and they ask to have their picture taken as well. I’ve learned so much from these brief encounters, yet each one leaves me more aware of our diversity and our alikeness.

I am also, in my simple little way, introducing people around the world about Ottawa. I’ve joined a group of photographers who have pages titled “Humans of THEIR CITY”. The first who started this movement is a gentlemen from New York with his facebook and web page called “Humans of New York”. He is a very active and talented photographer; many other photographers have followed. Humans of Paris, Florida, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Denver, Kingston ON, Rome and many other pages share their peoples. In fact, searching for “humans of” in Facebook will lead you to many pages.

I’ve been living in Ottawa for over 32 years and I’m feeling as if I am rediscovering this beautiful city through my photography. My aim is to showcase Ottawa not only for all its beautiful places, but most of all, for all its amazing individuals.

It took a 500 km walking trek to make me realize there is beauty in almost everything – – and I project many years of rediscovery!