Semiahmoo Arts featured Bruna Sbranchella in its Human Library Project on Oct. 1. (Facebook photo)

Semiahmoo Arts featured Bruna Sbranchella in its Human Library Project on Oct. 1. (Facebook photo)

Peninsula seniors sought for ‘human library’ project

Semiahmoo Arts aims to create a resource of life experience

Semiahmoo Arts is seeking senior volunteers – particularly those involved in the arts – who would be willing to share their stories and experiences for its Human Library Project.

“The purpose of this project is to give valuable life experience from people with a lot of it, in order to pass that knowledge to the next generation,” said project manager and Semiahmoo Arts board member Bill Noy.

He added he welcomes the opportunity to outreach to seniors and explain the project to them or to the management of local retirement homes.

“As our mandate is ‘arts for everyone,’ we would like to represent artists of all kinds,” he said.

The ultimate aim is to have local people 55 and over interviewed by others – also 55 and over – either on camera or remotely in a Zoom-recorded video conference, he noted.

“Hopefully we will soon be using a new simplified Zoom-type app being developed,” he added, noting that – as the pandemic has proved – current platforms can be confusing and intimidating for anyone.

Participants must be mindful that it’s a project that needs to be handled sensitively, he said, “as the participants’ story will be available on our YouTube channel.”

“The essential starting question is, ‘tell me, in a nutshell the story of your life,’” he said.

Questions might include asking seniors how they managed their transition from working to retirement life; what activities helped; how they overcame the inevitable grief and loss that comes with aging and whether they encountered challenges that subsequently turned into opportunities, he said.

“The goal is to help create more inclusive and cohesive communities across cultural, social and ethnic differences,” Noy said.

For more information, visit