Working with DesignStamp I helped secure a YMCA innovation fund grant with the YMCA Vancouver Heritage Club to capture the history of their organization. We co-wrote the proposal with a local volunteer, Tiffany Hamilton, before planning this shoot with May Brown. In addition to learning about the history of the YMCA I was humbled to meet Vancouverites who helped shape the city. May is one of those exceptional people. 


May Brown

Our first step was to assemble a chronology of past and current YMCA Vancouver members. In our research May's name came up and I remembered her from a project I'd done early in my career with the Liberal Party of Canada. We quickly booked her for a preliminary interview and I was once again humbled by her quick-wit and candour. May shared amazing stories from her 93 years of adventure, but ultimately we agreed to capture the story of building Camp Deka in the BC interior with her husband Lorne. 


Lorne Brown breaking ground on Camp Deka.

May provided us with a thorough history of Camp Deka and truthfully, it could be a feature-length film. I was taken by how well she could recount vivid details; driving into the wilderness with her husband and a station wagon full of camping gear, discovering a beautiful waterfront property, and tirelessly trekking building supplies to the campsite.



Moments from Camp Deka.

We premiered the final film at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club to a packed room of YMCA Heritage Club members. The project was so well received that YMCA Vancouver has already begun compiling a list of other members and we look forward to telling their stories.



Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor



Producer, Researcher - Gagan Diesh
Editor, Camera Operator, Colour Artist, Sound Recorder, Audio Composer - Kim Oxlund



Cathryn France
Tiffany Hamilton