Vancouver People Project Volume 4 – Jay Catterson


Many times a day, the people you see crossing the street or meet in your travels make you smile and wonder, “What is their life like? What is their story?” A photographer is compelled to capture these individuals’ image to communicate their unique stories—to take a portrait that reflects their personality and the world they live in. For me (@tallulahphoto), this evolved into a passion to photograph these everyday people, whose unique souls reflect not only the zeitgeist but the joy and colour that comes from living on the West Coast. Portraits from the Vancouver People Project will be featured in Vancouver Is Awesome as a precursor to a future photographic exhibit featuring the wonderful characters who contribute to the fabric of Vancouver.

Jay Catterson 

Age: June 22

Born: Lucena City, Philippines

How long have you lived in Vancouver? Pretty much all my life, minus a few years in Papua New Guinea, Australia and Japan. My mom wanted me and my sisters to be born in the Philippines to have a connection with our culture, but we’ve been Canadian since childhood.

Occupations: I have taught English in Japan with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program. In Vancouver, I have been a facilitator at Science World and a research analyst at BC Women’s Hospital. Since 2009 I have worked as a biology instructor at Langara College and as a blogger and social media strategist.

Passions and Interests: I love playing the piano, singing, teaching, putting together a dapper outfit, tying a mean bow tie and whipping off a witty tweet with matching hashtag in record time.

What do people know you for?  My bow ties, my style, singing and my love for social media and pop culture. I have sung with the Vancouver Men’s Choir since 2010 as a baritone and have been part of the dance ensemble for several shows as well.

Thoughts on Vancouver? Vancouver means home. It always has been, and always will be. No matter where I end up in the world, I’m always drawn back. Vancouver is where I belong. Even though I’ve grown up here, I still have moments when I am truly blown away by how beautiful this city is, especially on warm sunny days.

Tallulah’s Musings

Jay caught my eye at a film event, I loved what he was wearing and he did have a very lovely smile. I decided that the portrait of Jay should be in a very elegant location. We decided to meet for a cocktail at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, where I would do a guerrilla style portrait. For me, Jay evoked images of the heyday at The Algonquin Hotel in New York City, where the ever-quotable Dorothy Parker and other literary giants traded witticisms and waxed poetic about culture and politics in the 1920s.