Wow. I had to take a few minutes to compose myself after watching that. . . . It's a powerful piece. Congratulations.
Blair Crawford, Reporter, Ottawa Citizen
I attended the premiere of Blue Roses today and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for this wonderful work. Please know how much I value what you and your colleagues have achieved with this project.
David Kenneth Wright, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa
'Knowledge Translation’ can take many forms and local Ottawa documentary filmmakers Ed Kucerak and Danielle Rolfe have taken their craft to the next level with the recent world premiere of Blue Roses – an often difficult but endearing look at end-of-life care …
Christopher K. Klinger.
Research Associate & Palliative Care Instructor
University of Toronto
Blue Roses is an inspiring documentary about frontline workers who provide care to Ottawa’s inner city rooming house residents who experience poverty, addiction and mental illness, and in the process, they challenge our conventional understanding of palliative (end of life) care.
Radamis Hany Zaky
Radamis Hany Zaky
Sound Editor & Music Design
End Credits Music
Singer-songwriter: Matt Houlubowski
Copyright: Avenue Éditorial
Record Label: Audiogram
From CD: Old Man
Produced by Kublacom Pictures
, "Blue Roses Documentary Shines Light on Ottawa Rooming Houses", Blair Crawford, Reporter
. "Readers should run to attend the screening of this powerful film", Tony Wohfarth, Film reviewer
Andrew, Dave and Amal of Live 88.5FM's The Morning Start Up Program interview frontline community worker Bob Jamison and filmmaker Ed Kucerak about their documentary film "Blue Roses".
CKCU-FM 93.1's Chris White, host of Friday Special Blend talks with community out reach nurse Joanna Binch & filmmaker Danielle Rolfe about their documentary "Blue Roses".
CKCU FM 93.1's Monique Fuller speaks to Ottawa filmmaker Ed Kucerak and One World Film Festival Programmer Gerald Schmitz about the documentary "Blue Roses".
CBC Ottawa Morning's Hallie Cotnam interviews Ottawa filmmaker Danielle Rolfe and frontline community worker Bob Jamison about the "Blue Roses", "a gritty documentary about living & dying in rooming houses".
Host a Screening
If you are interested in hosting a screening of Blue Roses at your community, organization or church, please with the following information: Name, Contact Information (email address and phone number), Name of Organization and a Brief Description of Intended Screening (possible Dates, location etc.).
Blue Roses, a 55-minute documentary film, is available for screenings in various digital formats along with promotional support materials.
Blue Roses is an inspiring documentary about Bob Jamison, Joanna Binch and Kathy Morgan provide care to people in Ottawa's inner-city rooming house community who face issues of poverty, addiction and mental illness that often lead to premature death. In the process of providing this care, they challenge our conventional definition of palliative (end of life) care, which is typically provided in hospitals and hospices to people with terminal illness during their last year of life.
Death and dying are daily realities in Bob’s Somerset West neighbourhood that is densely populated with rooming houses that provide basic shelter to people living in poverty and often battling addiction and mental illness. Rooming house residents are often invisible to care providers and fall through the crack between stable housing and homeless shelters where palliative care can be provided.
"In my neighbourhood I kind of wanted to re-define the definition of palliative care because watching people suffer along with no support , living in poverty, living in places that weren't conducive to healing what I saw were people dying for less things like little infections and a broken leg could caused someone to die in this neighbourhood", says Bob.
Although rooming houses play an important and often overlooked role in providing affordable housing in communities, conditions are not ideal to provide palliative care. Houses seldom have phones, doorbells and are sometimes without running water. Residents also regularly deal with bed bugs, cockroaches, mice, rats, safety and health issues, but fear eviction if they complain.
For Bob, offering support and dignity for people dying in his neighbourhood is critical to his own recovery from addiction as he chooses to face rather than ignore the daily suffering that he is witness to. As a community leader, harm reduction worker, activist, listener, and peacekeeper, we witness Bob bring food to rooming house tenants battling cancer, move tenants away from drug houses and arrange memorials for those that have passed in his community.
"For me the only way that I was going to be successful at my own recovery was to do something, was to get involved right. Not just ignore everything that was going on in the neighbourhood", says Bob as he drops off provisions to a rooming house resident.
The film also introduces us to outreach nurses Joanna and Kathy, who provide healthcare to rooming house tenants as well community workers Matt and Irene who, with support from Bob, start support groups for their community.
Blue Roses shares Bob’s painful past and describes how his experiences have led him to better understand how we all are connected, despite our apparent differences. As Bob throws himself into a job that draws upon his lived experience of poverty, addiction and mental illness to support his peers, we witness the toll that the immense needs of his community take on him
Blue Roses provides a fascinating and poignant look at life in rooming houses and the difficulties in providing palliative care to this invisible community. It captures the compelling, and often heart breaking, challenges that Bob and others with lived experience face in bringing a voice to their community.
Film's Main Subjects (in order of appearance)
* Robert (Bob) Jamison, Community Outreach Worker
* Matt St. Jean, Community Outreach Worker
* Joanna Binch, Public Health Practitioner
* Wendy Muckle, Executive Director, Ottawa Inner City Health
* Dr. Andrew Douglas, Physician, Ottawa Mission
* Irene Gyurscak, Community Outreach Worker
* Cathy Morgan, Community Nurse
* And the many clients, staff and volunteers of the Somerset West Community Health Centre and the Centretown Community Health Centre,
who agreed to be appear in the documentary.
* Heart House Hospice Community Screening, Mississauga ON, February 12, 2020
* First United Church Community Screening, Ottawa, ON, January 29, 2020
* Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa, ON, December 7, 2019
* Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Conference & Panel Discussion,
Ottawa, ON, September 2019
* Regina International Film Festiuval & Awards, Regina, SK, August 14, 2019
* Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa, ON, June 2019
* St. Luke’s Anglican Church Community Screening, Ottawa, ON,
* One World Film Festival, Ottawa, ON, September 22, 2018