In 2014, the Province of Ontario through its Museum Technology Fund provided WHAM with funding to turn photographs from the museum’s collection into short films. WHAM was fortunate to collaborate with Waterford based, Rainey Media, on this project.
The concept was a simple one: Three photos were chosen by WHAM’s production team for their content, their ability to tell a compelling and engaging story. Stories that are unique to Waterford but have broad reaching appeal. Each film opens with an original black and white photograph from WHAM’s collection. Sets were accurately re-created from the pictures and local actors dressed in exactly the same costumes come to life to tell the story found within.
The first film tells the story of Hellyer Ginseng. In Ontario, the ginseng industry achieved its large-scale, commercial beginning through the efforts of the Hellyer family, near Waterford, in the 1890s. Two brothers, Clarence and Albert, began to grow North American ginseng in Ontario, with seed cultivated from wild root.
A second film is based on a photo of a seventy foot observation tower that was erected on Messecar Hill at the north end of Waterford. It was actually erected in 1908 by the Federal Government to survey the Dominion of Canada.
The third and final film depicts a 30 hour radio-a-thon that took place in 1966 to raise money for the Tricenturena which was a collaborative Centennial project between the Town of Waterford, Townsend Township and Windham Township.
The Waterford Photo Life Exhibition Project is just one more way that WHAM continues to produce a lasting legacy for generations to come.