PhotoSensitive

Aging

In Canada’s open society, aging is still an uncomfortable topic for mainstream media—but PhotoSensitive has decided to tackle it and shine light onto the lives of older adults with black and white photography. Canada's photographers are turning their collective lens to reexamine what it means to age.

Meet Gwilly—he’s only 95!Gwilly emigrated to Canada from Italy in 1954 with his young wife, Maria, and their baby daughter. During his working years, Gwilly was employed in factories, construction, house painting and any and everything that would provide food and shelter for his family.Now, in his retirement years, he has reinvented himself as a winemaker, backyard farmer, volunteer at a seniors’ home, sous chef to Maria, amateur opera singer and a devotee of Pavarotti and Bocelli.After all these years, Gwilly still carries his most cherished material possession in his wallet: a tattered and faded St. Anthony prayer card given to him by two nuns as he boarded a troop ship to serve in the King’s Army (the good guys) in the Second World War. He credits this blessing with saving his life, as the enemy decimated most of his comrades.Never one to relax, even for a moment, Gwilly joyfully dons his suit and signature beret to celebrate anything worth celebrating—most recently, his and Maria’s 66th wedding anniversary and, of course, his 95th birthday party. Sadly, one of Gwilly’s many friends recently passed away. His name was Frizzi. He was a squirrel. With a humorous twinkle in his eye, Gwilly recounts his many good times with Frizzi, He’d visit most summer days to sit on Gwilly’s knee and be fed a few peanuts.“Gwilly’s life has been colourful, fortunate and eclectic. And he greets each day with purpose and a smile,” says photographer Larry Frank. “I want to be like Gwilly when I grow up. Don’t you?”

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