Kootenay woman's legacy of wildlife rescues captured through documentary | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Kootenay woman's legacy of wildlife rescues captured through documentary

Helen Jameson spent 50 years caring for wildlife in the Kootenay community of Blewett.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Corey Woods

A Kootenay woman who devoted more than 50 years to rescuing injured and orphaned wildlife is being showcased in a documentary.

Helen Jameson, 88, worked tirelessly to bring countless animals of all kinds to health on her farm property in the community of Blewett, before returning them to the wild. Her incredible story is captured in a documentary film released this past summer.

“It was magical interviewing her, she is a very special woman,” said director and producer Corey Woods. “This movie is about her legacy.”

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Woods, a Vancouver based producer, also has a passion for wildlife and after reaching out to Jameson for a story in 2020, she knew she was onto something special.

“Years ago I was fueling up in Salmo in the Kootenays and in the gas station there was a donation box to help Helen take care of wildlife and I took a photo of it," she said. “A few years later I was looking through photos for a documentary idea and there it was.”

Helen Jameson spent 50 years caring for wildlife in the Kootenay community of Blewett.
Helen Jameson spent 50 years caring for wildlife in the Kootenay community of Blewett.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Corey Woods

Woods put a trailer together to pitch her story to get funding. She and another producer went to Jameson’s farm.

“She had stopped caring for animals by then, she was in her 80s, but there were still cages and pens on the property,” she said. “She still had dogs and cats running around. I interviewed her and she opened up about some real tragedies in her life and how her love for animals has helped her keep going.”

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The movie pitch was accepted and the funding came through.

Stay Wild was filmed in 2021.

Jameson has retired and is currently living at a home in Trail.

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Woods held a screening for her at the home this summer and all Jameson’s friends came to watch with her.

“She was entranced,” Woods said. “She would see her dogs on the screen and it would bring back memories. At the end she gave a speech about how important it is for us to protect our wildlife.

“She is still very passionate about that message.”

Over the decades, Jameson cared for bears, cougars and ungulates, and birds, lizards and mice.

“It would be an awful boring place if there were no birds or animals,” she said in the documentary. “I was the bird lady, the bear lady, I was all these names for miles and miles around.”

The project was funded through Telus Optic T.V. and aired on Aug. 17. You can watch the video online.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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