Eve Hamilton Photographs
Eve Hamilton was born in 1949 and has spent her working life helping people. Starting as a secretary at Vancouver’s MPA (Mental Patients Association) in the spring of 1973, Eve realized that she loved working directly with people and had a talent for it. She remained at MPA until 1986, serving as house coordinator and in the Phoenix Apartment program. After her time at MPA Eve was an employment counselor and facilitator with workers who had been injured or made redundent and people with disabilities (including mental health) at programs run through Douglas College and Horizon College in Vancouver. She then worked for a decade as a vocational rehabilitation consultant at Worksafe BC, followed by five years as a disability employment counselor through WorkBC. Eve is now employed as a rehab worker in a mental health facility.
This collection of seven black and white images were taken by Eve shortly after she began working at MPA. One iconic photo shows early members of Canada’s first peer-led mental health organization meeting in the basement of their first location in a house at 10th Avenue and Trutch in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. The remaining photographs were shot at the group’s 31st March 1973 protest at BC’s Riverview Hospital, where a conference on “dangerous patients” was underway. Dubbed a “historic moment” by Vancouver Sun columnist and MPA supporter Bob Hunter, this was the first time in North America that a group of psychiatric patients had publicly protested against the psychiatric system. Eve captured on film a small group of protesters, the waiting media, and a lone administrator.