BIZ IN THE BAY – Life collages document seniors’ stories

Cristina Closs has started a business to record seniors’ life stories.

Cristina Closs has started a business to record seniors’ life stories.

In her role as a social worker, Christina Closs sits down with clients for about an hour and a half  to discuss their needs and listen to their stories.

“That’s the part I really enjoy and it seems many clients enjoy telling about their lives,” she says.

In the past few years Closs has also been interviewing her grandmother about her life growing up in England during the Second World War.

The two experiences have inspired Closs to start a business, The Importance of Being You, recording seniors’ life stories.

Starting with “icebreaker” recollections, say 10 favourite memories, Closs guides storytellers through major life markers, such as military experience or just memories from around the kitchen table.

She aims to spend a few hours a week for five weeks with clients, recording and transcribing sessions, scanning photos and then presenting both in a binder as a collage of their life. If desired, clients can also have the story bound in a hardcover book, such as she did for Maltwood Gallery curator Martin Segger as a gift for him from colleagues when he retired from the University of Victoria.

It’s important seniors record their stories, Closs says. “Often (they) don’t see themselves as being as important as they should.”

– The Importance of Being You,, 778-678-5246.

Village Butcher on the move

If you get an idea it’s important to move on it, says Mike Windle, co-owner of The Village Butcher.

After more than seven years operating in Oak Bay Village by Monterey Avenue, the shop is moving up the road to a space vacated by Kadalima’s Cafe at 2032 Oak Bay Ave.

“We’re moving from just under 1,000 square feet to 2,500 sq. ft.,” Windle says. He and partner Rebecca Teskey are waiting for final permit approvals before calling in the movers.

Although the customer area will be about the same size at the new shop as the old, staff will have five times more prep area. He will share one-fourth of the area with Corey Pelan’s charcuterie shop, The Whole Beast.

Windle also owns and runs a Metchosin abattoir where he slaughters lamb, sheep, goat and rabbit. He’s hoping to soon get approval for pigs. That would mean lower prices for customers looking to buy locally raised pork, he says. “And hopefully more consistent availability of local product.”

Pigs raised in Metchosin are currently shipped to Duncan for slaughter, then transported back to Victoria for sale.

– Village Butcher, 2032 Oak Bay Ave.,  250-598-1115.