Sea Panda Productions connects and preserves family history in Powell River

Legacy videos capture memories

Hearing his maternal grandfather’s voice on 78 RPM records gave Peter Harvey, owner of Sea Panda Productions, an appreciation for the choirmaster who died before he was born.

“That was a connection I never would have had,” said Harvey. “I didn’t know the sound of his laugh or how he looked when he smiled, but hearing his voice meant so much to me.”

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To provide memories that preserve some aspects of a person’s life, Harvey uses his video training to offer a service he calls Legacy Videos. He has worked with a few Powell River residents and wants to expand his client list.

The process begins with a meeting to determine what the client wants to include.

“I ask them to give an overview in one or two sentences that helps us both to focus on a direction,” said Harvey.

Next is setting a filming time and location, which may involve more than one of each, depending on the desired outcome.

Photographs, old papers and other memorabilia are gathered for Harvey to scan and edit.

“Even if the photos are faded or creased, I can work with them.”

Costs depend on the time spent filming, preparing photos and editing footage which includes music.

“Everyone is different, some videos are quite long and others are shorter,” Harvey said. “I can tailor each one to the telling individual stories, featuring the important elements of their life they want people to know.”

Once completed, the videos are provided on whatever format is requested; an electronic file is most popular.

Sea Panda Productions produced some of the vignettes of athletes for Powell River’s first-ever Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony and banquet at Hap Parker Arena last summer.

Other video clients include television stations CTV and Global, Canadian Armed Forces, School District 47, Powell River Educational Services Society, Sunshine Coast Health Centre, Pacific Point Market, International Choral Kathaumixw, Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy and Powell River Festival of the Performing Arts.

Harvey moved to Powell River with his parents Gerry and Gerd and started grade one here. After graduating from Max Cameron Secondary School, he attended university for a year “but that wasn’t for me” and moved to Calgary.

He worked at a variety of different jobs and eventually went back to school at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, where he received a diploma in the two-year broadcasting program. He then went to work for CBC in Calgary and Saskatoon. Returning to Calgary he worked for Calgary General Hospital, where he handled its audiovisual requirements, including doctor presentations, psychiatric intake interviews and various other projects. 

“I then fell into computer programming and became a systems analyst and then a business analyst working for a software company out of Toronto,” said Harvey. “That led to travelling all over North America.”

When he became “fed up with moving around so much,” he again returned to Calgary where he produced video production for employees of a large trucking company.

In 2012 he made the decision to return to Powell River and was able to work remotely for clients and develop local video production.

“Legacy videos are a new way to expand my business here,” explained Harvey. “I want to provide the same connection for people I felt when I heard my deceased grandfather’s voice while they are still vital and vibrant. Everyone has a story and it deserves to be told.”

Sea Panda Productions and Harvey can be reached by calling 604.223.3173.

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