We only have one chance to record history in the making, and three intrepid members of the local Estonian community are making sure we don’t lose a single moment of how the new International Estonian Centre (IEC) will take shape.
Tarmo Remmel, Sean Hooper and Taavi Tamtik put their imaginations and technical know-how to work and have devised a clever plan to record the construction of the IEC through time-lapse photography of its downtown Toronto site. All three are donating their time and equipment to bring the project to life.
“The centre will welcome Estonians from all over the world and this project allows everyone with access to the Internet to follow along with this project, providing a truly international scope to the construction of the IEC, “ said Tarmo, project manager.
“We will video record and live stream the whole process in HD and then produce time-lapse videos as weekly updates that allow progress to be observed in short video clips. A time-lapse of the entire construction is also being planned,” he explained.
Tarmo is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University. He is also a self-confessed “technophile” who often mounts a small camera onto his ski helmet so he can record his descent down the hills.
“I love tinkering with technology,” he confesses.
The idea for the project took shape when Tarmo and Sean started chatting about how valuable it would be to record construction of the new centre. Sean owns an audio-visual services business and has staged major arts and music productions for events such as Toronto’s Luminato festival. He is donating use of the special camera that the team mounted onto the roof of Tartu College and that will record construction progress.
Sean and his wife Taimi are active members of the Estonian community. Taimi has been involved with the Kungla Folk Dancing troupe for a number of years and is currently a board member and instructor.
“I’m proud to be part of this project, and to lend expertise and equipment to make it happen,” Sean said. “We’re looking forward to presenting the footage we capture in some innovative ways.”
Taavi is building manager at Tartu College and is also responsible for technical support to Eesti Elu, Toronto’s Estonian newspaper and VEMU, Estonian Canadian Museum and Archives. He is the point person for the camera’s home base.
“This project is a friendly collaboration between Tartu College and IEC and gives an interesting way to present the progress of the project to the whole world,” Taavi said. “Since technology will be an important part of the new centre, it fits nicely with that mandate as well.”
To launch “operation time-lapse”, the trio scaled the roof of Tartu College, which is located immediately adjacent to the site of the new centre, and hooked up the camera during a mammoth 4.5 hour installation process. It will stay in place for the duration of the construction which is expected to begin in early 2021.
“The roof of Tartu College provides a great vantage point – it’s a tall building and the camera captures the building site perfectly,” Tarmo said.
The camera operates 24/7 and feeds images into a computer that is monitored by the team at their respective home bases. The sturdy camera is heated and can withstand Toronto’s varying cold and hot temperatures.
“It’s a very exciting time in our community’s history,” Tarmo said. “My daughter Kalli is five, and she’ll be able to look at these images when she’s an adult and feel pride in and connection to her roots. This is for our future generations, and builds on the incredible foresight our grandparents had in keeping the Estonian spirit alive.”
Check back to www.estoniancentre.ca for access to live-streaming and time-lapse video content once construction begins.
International Estonian Centre Survey: Your opinion is important!
We look forward to breaking ground for the International Estonian Centre in 2021! We invite you to participate in a survey to provide insight for the Communications Committee. Our new home will be a beautiful reflection of our heritage, our present and our future.
Don’t forget to include your email and name at the end of the survey for a chance to win one of two $50 Visa cards! (Survey will close on January 12, 2021.) To access the survey (available in English), go to:
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