Stay-at-home order puts local photographer's charity mission on ice

When freelance photographer Raymond Léveillé found himself with extra time on his hands during the pandemic, he decided to take on a project to help kids get involved in sports.

Léveillé decided to photograph families on their own outdoor rinks, with proceeds from the photo shoots going to Jumpstart, an organization that gives kids the opportunity to access sport and play. Jumpstart funds a variety of different sports and activities with the goal of giving all kids the chance to get involved in sports. 

Léveillé says, “To get into basketball, hockey, any sports, you need the equipment and a lot of people are less fortunate so this is a way to give back. The more kids with a passion for sport, the more may end up in front of my lens one day!”

In just a few weeks, Léveillé raised nearly $3,000 dollars. 

However, Léveillé’s work is considered non-essential and, under the new provincial stay-at-home order, he will be forced to put his project on hold. He says he understands, but he hopes to resume the shoots when it is safe and he is given the green light to do so. 

Despite the pause in picture-taking, this doesn’t have to stop people from donating to Jumpstart or using their outdoor rinks, Léveillé says.

“There is nothing more Canadian than an outdoor rink. That is what sports is all about, bringing the family together. We all miss it; it is all about bringing it back to our community.” 

The Fleming family took part, donating to the cause. Mom Heather Ray says, “Not all kids have the same opportunity as our kids, so we thought it was a great opportunity. We are all home due to COVID. We love our rink, so we thought this was a great way to showcase it.” 

Léveillé’s goal is to raise $5,000. 

People who still want to donate to Jumpstart and to Léveillé’s project can do so by visiting his fundraising page.