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Canada Tour 2022February 13, 2022
We wanted to give you some good news, after what has been such a tough couple of years for so many. On a personal note, I don’t know how I would have got through the pandemic without the love of my life, little Jet Jackson by my side.
Let’s hope 2022 gives us the opportunity to address the inequities that the pandemic has so clearly shown us, to help the voiceless in society and to love and celebrate at every opportunity the best thing that ever existed - dogs - cheers to that!
A pandemic silver lining for me is that the lockdowns have afforded me more time to invest in both my dog photography and the Don’t You Want Me project which brings me swiftly to the very reason for this blog - DOGGY DATES TORONTO IS GOING ON TOUR BABY!
Thanks to the generous support of Pet Valu, I will be exhibiting the Don’t You Want Me project at their various stores across Canada, and whilst I’m in each city I’ll also going to have the opportunity to offer my dog photography.
I will be offering my outdoor doggo sunrise photo shoot sessions in the following cities:-
Bradford, Ontario - 12-13th March
Vancouver - 29th March - 4th April
Winnipeg - 14th -19th April
Halifax - 11th-16th May
Calgary - 2nd - 7th June
For any of my followers across Canada, NOW is the time to book your doggo photoshoot session! I will only be in each city for a week, so spots are limited. Any session deposits made will be refunded if there are any covid related cancellations. Please note, this does not apply to non emergency related cancellations.
MORE GOOD NEWS THANKS TO YOU!
A big thank you to all who have supported, championed and nominated both Doggy Dates Toronto and the Don’t You Want Me Project for our work this year - I feel so lucky to be able to do work that I love. It took me over 2O years to find my passion and I’m committed to learning more and being the best I can be as both an artist and a person. Finally the biggest thank you goes out to the bravery and vulnerability of the queer and trans community and their rescue dogs who have shared their stories for the Don’t You Want Me Project that will be exhibited across Canada!
Collaboration with Pet ValuOctober 25, 2021
Exciting things have been happening on the Don’t You Want Me photography project that we sponsor! Recently Jack was approached by Pet Valu after they saw the Toronto star article to ask how they could support the project!!
With Pride just around the corner we decided to amplify our existing stories from the project through video. Pet Valu immediately got to work hiring the best of the best for the job. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found out that Westside Studio’s Angie Bird was to direct the videos. For anyone that doesn’t know Birdie, she’s a hugely respected award-winning director, part of the LGBTQ community and has a rescue dog! Check out one of her award winning groundbreaking videos here.
Fast forward a week and the participants for the videos had been chosen, Birdie had held zoom interviews with all of them, the outfits had been decided upon, and even the dogs had all had a little makeover and manicure!. Everyone was getting excited for the big day. I’ve never actually been to a proper film set but it was seriously impressive.
Pet Valu had provided a dog handler, a craft table just for the dogs (obviously), all the refreshments we needed and Birdie had the washroom signs changed to gender-neutral. Everything was done to make our participants (both doggo and human) feel as comfortable as possible. I got a really heartwarming text from one of the project’s participants at the end of the day saying it was the first time in a long while that they had not felt ‘othered’ be that through race, sexuality or gender. I distinctly remember the first time when I was in a group of people and just blended in (it was at an awesome dog photography workshop!). I wasn’t ‘other’ and I wasn’t visibly queer and I felt a calmness that I’d never felt in a group setting before. Let’s hope as a society, we reach a place where visible minorities no longer carry with them such underlying fear and anxiety.
We couldn’t have been happier with the final videos, the one below having received well over 2 million hits to date. Yes you heard that correctly!
Huge thanks To Pet Valu, Angie Bird and her team and of course all of the Don’t You Want Me participants and their dogs, without whom we wouldn’t have this project. If only these once abandoned unwanted dogs knew how instrumental they had been in changing the course of our lives.
How can you help?
If you believe in the power of storytelling and dogs as much as we do please share this blog on your social media. The project is looking for more people to sit for photography sessions. To be eligible to be part of the project you must identify as LGBTQ, have a rescue dog and have a story of transformation that you are willing to share. This could be anything from the arrival of your dog being the catalyst for a major life change, to your dog dramatically transforming your mental health or to an exciting new adventure instigated by the arrival of your rescue dog.