“I moved to Sunnyside in 2008 into a little apartment on 6 st. & 2nd Ave. Before then I used to live up in Hidden Valley and I would put over 1500km a month driving everywhere. Once I moved to Sunnyside, I drove a lot less, I’m lucky if I hit 50km a month now. I’ve moved around the neighbourhood to various apartments and condos, but I can’t leave, this place is home.
I started this 365 photo project as a way to kick my portfolio into gear after my computer crashed. I wanted to keep the inspiration and motivation that I had when I finished university at Royal Roads in April of 2015, and I also felt that it would be critical for me to have some sort of artistic credibility for the courses that I teach at SAIT. But it was the desire to learn more about Sunnyside and Hillhurst that really drove me forward.
Throughout the year however, I’ve come to discover so many other reasons to keep pushing through, even when my brain was screaming at me to give up. The need to persevere has guided me, despite a nearly life-ending depression that I’ve experienced this last year. Even when I personally felt like I couldn’t stand to live another day. In those times, I put my brain on autopilot and let my heart guide me through to next photograph.
There’s so many amazing stories in this community that I’d need to shoot and post 100 photos a day for year. So many incredible stories of perseverance, inspiration, sadness, hope, frustration, support, encouragement. However, the most common word that I heard was “community” and the generosity of the people who reside and visit here.
There’s some amazing history in this neighbourhood, but what I think is the most fascinating thing is the future that lies waiting for this little place. This little village in the centre of the city, this community of friends and families.
I am, in it’s sincerest form, grateful.” Ara Shimoon, Sunnyside365
*For the curious, I shot this photo using a remote trigger for my camera.