Over the years, many of you have come to know Louise Nye as the “Cinema Picture Lady”. Armed with her camera, Nye has been spotted all over the island – especially at the Saturday market – shooting pictures of the local colour. However, she and her camera were not always part of Salt Spring’s scenery. Born in Toronto as the second of four girls, Nye was brought up in the country and attended Brampton district high school. It was not until Expo ’86, which brought her out to the west coast, that she fell in love with the island.
After buying a house on Salt Spring in 1989, Louise and her sisters spotted a “For Sale” sign in front of the local cinema and they decided to purchase the building. For years after, her shots of island life graced the screens before every film that played. It was during her time at the cinema that Nye became acquainted with Fritz the cinema cat, the inspiration for her first book.
Before Fritz, Nye had never attempted professional writing. Reading had come easy to her at age 4 or 5 – the words had simply came together and made sense. The first library book she read was Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, and from there on she dove into historical novels.
These days Nye acts as a sort of family historian, scouring the internet for archives and finding long lost cousins in England and Australia. She is currently writing a Canadian novel about her grandfather being brought up in Indian during the 1850s and 60s. “It would make a fantastic movie,” she says, so “I’m also working on a screenplay”.
After a life lived in over fifty different places and occupied by over forty different jobs, Nye says “I’ve realized that it’s this life that’s the most important thing… I don’t have any regrets. I used to, but not anymore.”