How does West End AC member ANNE FRAZER go from working 25 years in the NUCLEAR BUSINESS to becoming a talented Photographer and Powerlifter?

If you happen to see someone toting around a big camera and snapping shots at West End AC, chances are you’ve just met Anne! Anne has been lifting weights for over 15 years and since 2018, Anne has been an enthusiastic part of the WEAC community.

Anne, tell us about yourself! Whats your background?

I’m semi-retired. I was 25 years in the nuclear business, so that was my main thing. I was working for the company that designed the CANDU Nuclear Reactors, and after that I had too much time on my hands and started working at a gym part-time so I could be around people! While I was at the gym, I started picking up the camera and doing the photography stuff.

Wait, tell us more about this photography stuff”.

Well, normally I’d be shooting weddings or other large events but they’ve all either been downsized or canceled – which I’m okay with! It’s the volunteer work that’s more rewarding anyway. Normally, I shoot for the Etobicoke Humane Society’s adoption program but during COVID the facility has been closed as they’ve all been at foster homes during the pandemic. I’ve only had a few chances to shoot them. I miss them like crazy!

I also shoot for a military museum, the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Museum at Casa Loma. I get to shoot a lot of the artifacts that are donated to the museum as part of their online museum gallery catalogue. Not many people know there’s a museum on the 3rd floor! I actually got to photograph the Remembrance Day Event at the cenotaph the other day. I’ve been mainly doing outdoor photography right now, where it’s safe for everyone involved.

Also, I’m working with restaurants to help them out with food photography during COVID. They have no budget for food photography right now, they’re all hurting so much. Restaurants will send me food or meal kits they want to promote, and I’ll shoot the food in my kitchen! It’s basically a barter system because I get to keep the food (which is delicious).

Youre a busy woman! Do you also shoot for West End AC?

Of course! I noticed some pictures on Instagram of WEAC and was in awe! I messaged the owners and asked if I could take some pictures sometime – and they said yes. When I walked in there, my camera started to cry. It was like the pictures just took themselves. I’d never seen a facility like that. It was just so well designed and so clean and spacious, it really made me want to be there. The first time I went in I ended up taking pictures, and they used a bunch for stock photos and pictures of the gym and now I do special events for them and train there too!

Okay so you train there too. Tell us about your background in fitness.

I had been lifting for around 15 years before slowly started to focus more on powerlifting which I really enjoy. I was hoping to do my first power lifting meet in September and of course that didn’t happen (thanks COVID). It’s never too late to try or do new things, right?

Will you try to register for next year then?

Yeah, I hope so, but obviously powerlifting stuff takes specialized equipment. It’s not something you can do in your living room or on a zoom call, so it doesn’t really lend itself to COVID lockdown. You need a real gym for that and I’m in a condo. Hopefully it’s still something I want to do in the future. For now, I’m training at WEAC and hope to try a boxing class someday soon! My goal is actually to get my daughter Grace into a boxing class. We can go together and motivate each other! We’ll push each other to get started.

What are your favourite things about training at WEAC?

How fabulous their equipment is! They’ve really thought of everything. Also, how well kept it is. There’s a lot of gyms where there are out of service signs all the time on things and broken, I’ve never seen anything that’s not functioning there. It’s very clean, it’s spacious, I love that.

And finally, how awesome the people are. Everyone is always very welcoming and friendly so not intimidated at all.

Plans for the near-ish future?

Mostly just trying to be outside every minute until the winter hits. You know, outdoor cycling and kayaking and long walks and just doing as much outside as I can for now. But it’s not the same as being at West End!