Recently we shared a new video entitled ’Supporting Dads in the North End’ and we wanted to share a bit about why we made the film and how the process went. It was one of our most time consuming video shoots to date, but it was also one of the most rewarding and impactful as well, as it told an important story that resonated with a lot of people in the community.
The idea for the film came up organically, which I think is one of the best things about it. Some of the men in the Mount Carmel Clinic men’s group had asked the facilitators and coordinator if they could record their stories somehow, as they had an interest in sharing their learnings with other men who might be struggling or looking for support. When the Supports for Dads coordinator approached me about the possibility of helping making a video, it was an easy ‘yes’ since the project already had a camera and had made videos in the past, so it would be an easy thing to do.
Then it occurred to us – why not take it a step further? There were lots of other men who would likely want to contribute as well – why not share the whole story of this prototype? We decided that we would interview at least one participant from each of the three men’s groups, as well as the facilitators of each group, in order to capture a well-rounded sampling of the group’s experience throughout the 3-month program. We also interviewed the coordinator of the Supports for Dads prototype, and the project director of The Winnipeg Boldness Project, in order to provide background and context to the story.
We shot the video and edited it all together over the course of about 4 months. It was one of the most extensive shoots, as we filmed 11 separate interviews and lots of other footage, at 6 different locations (we also had some extra footage from past events in the North End that was included as well). While it was hard work, we were very motivated by the stories that the men were sharing. Hearing outcomes such as families being reunited and men feeling connected to one another really made us inspired to get the word out there about the impact that this type of work was having on the community.
Overall, the goal of this film was to not only share the men’s stories, but to also share the ripple effect that programs like this have on a person’s family and most importantly, their children. There is huge potential to have a significant impact on families and children in the North End by listening to the community and identifying gaps in resources like this one. Ultimately, we want to show policy-makers that there is a better way to do things, and that it starts with the child-centred model – putting the child at the centre of all decisions that are made regarding families, and looking at their eco-system from a wholistic perspective, rather than trying to silo resources and programming. As we learned from the video, healing work has to be done as a family unit and in a wholistic way in order for it to be effective and lasting. Therefore, parenting and family resources should always involve the whole family, and be flexible to include whomever might be a part of each individual family unit, not just the nuclear family.
We’re very grateful to have been a part of supporting these men and helping them to tell their stories. A big thank you to everyone who helped to make this video possible, including the Government of Canada, Andrews Street Family Centre, Mount Carmel Clinic, North Point Douglas Women’s Centre, Mitch Bourbonniere’s team, the facilitators, coordinator, evaluators, and of course, the men themselves!
If you haven’t seen the video yet and you want to watch it, you can find it on YouTube here or watch below. Don’t forget to share it, like it, and subscribe to our channel in order to receive updates on any future videos as well.