Calista Jasmine Fleming: November 14 1991 to May 17, 2012. Just over 20 years of love.
Calista, my daughter and only child, died suddenly in the early morning hours of May 17, 2012. After nearly a year of investigation, the BC Coroner's Office determined that she died of Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome (SADS), also known as Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Her death has left deep scars on many people; Roni and I will likely never be quite the same again.
When you lose someone you cannot live without, you have to make a conscious choice to survive despite your grief. A person has to decide to transcend that loss and battle on. Transcendance of death means that the grieving survivors try to make something good come out of the loss, something that will allow their lost loved ones to make a lasting difference in this world despite their abreviated time on earth.
To that end, Roni and I established:
The Calista Fleming Memorial Scholarship at North Island College, Courtenay BC
Roni and I have set up a scholarship program over at North Island College, in Courtenay BC in her memory. Hopefully, someday, her scholarship will help some aspiring young photographer fulfill the potential she demonstrated every time she took a picture.
North Island College Foundation
2300 Ryan Road, Courtenay BC, V9N 8N6
in support of the Calista Fleming Memorial Scholarship Fund.
tax receipts will be issued by the Foundation each year, so all donations are tax-deductible.
Jack Cowin was a well known Wildlife Artist and resident of Regina, Saskatchewan. Jack was a mentor and friend to Calista when she was just developing her passion for photography. Much of Calista's talent for composition and attention to detail can be credited to Jack and his dedication to her education over her last two years in Regina.
Jack's donations are all Artist's Proofs of well known etchings. Unframed, Jack estimates the etchings to be each worth $600 in a retail setting. We are asking $550 for each etching, including shipping within North America. Purchases can be made by a certified cheque to "North Island College Foundation" with a notation that it is to support the Calista Fleming Memorial Scholarship. Contact us at Powell River Veterinary Hospital before sending the cheque to confirm your selection is available (first come basis). Send the cheque to Powell River Veterinary Hospital and the selected piece will be shipped out by the safest route possible. The cheque will not be deposited until receipt of the etching is confirmed by the buyer.
If this becomes a worthwhile effort, Roni and I will slowly release limited copies of Calista's best works printed on canvas. No more than five copies of any image will ever be made commercially available and each will be numbered. Prices will reflect the relative rarity and quality of her work.
The Book: "Losing Calista: Across the Wide Blue Straights"
During the dreadful ten months following Calista's death, I wrote a memoir detailing both the experience of losing a child and my recollections of my daughter as she grew into the lovely young woman she became. While a terribly sad story, there are many moments of humor simply because Calista was such a unique, fun character. I self-published a limited number of these books, printed on high quality paper and bound in a large format coil binding. The books are quite expensive, but to buffer the cost to the consumer I have chosen to sell them at the cost of production plus shipping. I also will accept payment in the form of checks made out to the North Island College Foundation, thus providing some tax-relief to the purchasers. Thus interested parties get to make a valuable donation to a worthy fund and get a valuable, limited edition book in return. Contact us through the website e-mail for more details.
Finding Calista Coins
In keeping with my idea of creating a lasting legacy for Calista, I personally sponsor a photography contest called " The Finding Calista Photography Contest" (www.findingcalista.com) back in her hometown of Regina Saskatchewan. The contest is for high-school students who aspire to become professional photographers; I offer over $5000 in prizes each year to the top three entries.
The photography contest has gotten off to a rocky start due to my insistance on spending all our available funds on prizes rather than advertising. Finally, I thought I would try something a little more global, so I created the "Finding Calista Coins". These are all minted coins sporting Calista's name and image and the website address www.findingcalista.com. I am passing the coins out to travellers destined for anywhere in the world, near or far, where they will pass the coins onto people they may meet during their visit. Each time the coins change hands, the pair of new friends will take a photo of the exchange ("a selfie") and send the photo via e-mail to either our website or to our Facebook page. They should include where the photo was taken and the unique number of the coin they traded to the new "coin-bearer". In this way everyone can meet my daughter, learn about her life and tragic death, and perhaps get interested in promoting my photography contest. While I do not expect (and cannot really accept) donations, we are always hoping for more support in the way of willing judges and perhaps willing corporate support. Contact us through the website e-mail for more information.