Bernard Weil

Fourteen-month-old Jesse Arrigo and his mother, Kristin, lie quietly in a hyperbaric chamber at the Ontario Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Centre in Toronto. “Jesse survived a near-drowning in a backyard garden pond,” says photographer Bernard Weil. “In just minutes, life changed for so many—it wasn’t just the accident itself but the time after, as Jesse recovered from his injury.” From what the family has learned, they are looking at not months, but years of therapies that are not covered by OHIP. Friends, family and the community have rallied behind Jesse’s struggle, helping to raise funds for the many therapies required.

Born in Toronto, Bernard Weil has been a staff photographer at the Toronto Star since 1986, covering events ranging from four Olympics and the war in Afghanistan, to fashion shows in Milan, London and Paris. Given a Kodak Instamatic by his parents, Bernard discovered a passion for photography at four years of age. Bernard is a graduate of Sheridan College’s applied photography program and was named 1986 Photographer of the Year by the Ontario News Photographers Association. His photograph of Donovan Bailey winning the Olympic 100 metre gold earned three nominations and won him the National Newspaper Award in 1996. He has won eight CP Photo of the Month awards and numerous NPAC POY multimedia awards, as well as being recognized by the Society for News Design and CAPIC.