This is our life. No dress rehearsal.

Stephen: Pristine and chaos all in one

Stephen Wild is a photographer extraordinaire in Kingston, Ontario. Stephen is always happy to entertain you with a smile while teaching the hordes of photography students.

My Canada Project

Duleepa Wijayawardhana

April 7, 2017

Stephen Wild is a photographer extraordinaire in Kingston, Ontario. You can check out Stephen’s portfolio at http://www.stephenwildphotography.com. Stephen is always happy to entertain you with a smile while teaching the hordes of photography students.

Q. Tell me bit about yourself and your life in Canada?

My parents and I arrived in Canada when I was 5. It was the Mid-60s, and it was a brave new world for us. Life in the UK was not the best for a young family offering my parents limited growth. In Canada, “new jobs on every corner” my uncle stated. He arrived first and told my dad of the great potential in the new country.

I grew up in a rural community of less than 1000 households and life was pretty simple. Doors were never locked and everyone knew, well, everyone. We walked to school on our own from grade 1 to grade 8. We were shoved outside all four seasons to play and breathe the fresh air. The only time we were inside was to eat and sleep. When the street lights came on we all headed home. I remember my parents loved to throw the occasional Christmas party. To this day, I have fond memories of going to bed listening to the chatter and laughter emanating from the basement of that house. And there was always the sound of “Hockey Night in Canada” playing on the television in the living room so anyone interested in the game could sneak away from the party and see the score.

At age 13 we moved to the country life with even more space and… a horse. And yes, training began to join the equestrian world. Suddenly there were open fields to ride and new friends to be made, horse shows and cleaning stalls, bailing hay and driving farm equipment. What a lifestyle for the next four years!

Aviation was my next calling … That didn’t pan out but hey I learned how to fly … sort of :)

Then came Photography. And this is what gave me the real wings. I travelled this country for a year from coast to coast, sometimes twice. Canada is at once immense and neighbourly, crowded and empty, pristine and chaos.

I witnessed the wealth that we had of the natural wonders. From shores to mountain peaks, inland waterways and crowded cities to blue azure skies that take your breath away. Hot summers and cold winters rolled by with the beauty of the changing seasons and all were to be captured through the my roving lens.

Q. When you think about being Canadian what does it mean for you?

My parents and I became Canadian citizens when I turned 14. It was a big event! I raised my right hand and stated to a judge this oath:

I swear (or affirm) That I will be faithful And bear true allegiance To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second Queen of Canada Her Heirs and Successors. And that I will faithfully observe The laws of Canada. And fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

I think everyone should do this landed or not. It really makes you aware of where you are in this world and what you have to be proud of.

Q. What makes you happy about Canada? Where do you feel the happiest in Canada?

Coming home after being on a trip outside our country. It’s fun to travel, but there truly is no place like home!

Q. What frustrates you about Canada?

That we don’t have a place in the south that is “Canadian” to go to when the weather turns cold!

Q. Where would you like Canada to be in 25 years when we celebrate 175?

Still strong and free; That we continue to make our own choices and not be dictated to comply; That we are leaders in the human family and driving towards an equality of life for us all.

I hope that we find a way to finally have native Canadians feel they belong and are not pushed aside as if to a “third-world Canada”.

Q. If you have one piece of advice to give someone being born in Canada today, what would it be?

Understand what it’s like to not be born in Canada. And in so doing understand that those who are not are are just as much Canadian as those who are born here. So many of us non-Native Canadians are likely to have an ancestor from another continent.

Springer Market Square, Kingston, © Stephen Wild

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