We Live Up Here is back.
The cultural phenomenon that swept the city in the summer of 2012 is only getting bigger and better as it moves into its sophomore season.
Last summer, two innovative minds who love Sudbury, despite its quirks, decided to put their passion into pictures, inviting everyone who shares an affection for the city to get involved.
Andrew Knapp and Christian Pelletier began, quite modestly, what would grow into the most talked-about project in recent history, bringing together flocks of people who are proud to call Sudbury home.
Anyone with a camera and a Greater Sudbury address was tasked with regular “missions,” where they were encouraged to capture certain aspects of life in Sudbury.
They were also invited to submit their “awfully awesome” images that depict the city we all know and love — dirt and flaws and all. Buttons with “Sudburyisms” printed on them became a must-have accessory, being seen on just about every carrier bag and jacket collar downtown.
Now, Knapp and Pelletier are at it again.
“We're launching culture all over the place, in a very messy way,” Knapp said.
Once again, a printed book will serve as “the heartbeat” of the project.
Mission-like assignments are about to start coming out in the coming weeks, engaging everyone with a picture-taking device. Exhibitions and events are slated to take place throughout the coming months, all over the city.
“(They will) be popping up in the most unlikely places, because Sudbury is an unlikely place,” Knapp said.
A celebration of the project is also planned for summertime.
“We want to do the book again, but bigger and better and more beautiful,” Knapp said.
While the return of the book is undoubtedly good news, Knapp is just as excited about the launch of sudburians.com. The website, which works in conjunction with We Live Up Here, profiles some notable names and faces through video.
“This is really connecting things,” Knapp said.
So far, three Sudburians have been profiled, with many more planned. Knapp said he has already been flooded with nominations.
“We're giving you another venue to legitimately people-watch,” Knapp said.
Local videographer Rob Roy has joined the team to produce the pieces.
“This project brings the focus to the people that make the communities, the heart behind the community, and working on this project with Rob and Christian and all these amazing people is really a dream,” Knapp said.
And they're all based around a place we choose to stay.
Much like the original book, Knapp said the film portion of the project has no big plans as of yet.
“Maybe we'll do something with it,” he said. “We don't like to put a label on anything.”
For now, the videos are simply an extension of the photos — a way to capture the essence of Sudbury.
“Absolutely everyone has an amazing story,” he said. “They're all interesting and they're all beautiful stories.”
“(Sudbury) makes us who we are,” Knapp said. “Sudbury is hard to love in a lot of ways and if you're able to learn to love it, it's a rock-hard love.”
To get involved in what's coming up, check out weliveuphere.com and sudburians.com.