Behind-the-Scenes with Olivia Chow

Check out some photos from the making of a Reader’s Digest cover story with Olivia Chow. In the interview for our magazine, Chow talks to us about her life with Jack Layton and her life after his death.  Read on for a preview of the exclusive Reader’s Digest January 2012 story.

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Olivia Chow welcomed our photography crew to her Ottawa condo by making a pot of coffee. "She was warm and inviting," says photo editor Patrice Larose, far right. "She even complimented my tattoo."

 

Photo: Chantal Levesque

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Not one to shirk from expressing strong political views, Chow has called for a national child care program, improved public transit, stricter climate change accountability and better protection for the rights of migrant workers.

 

Photo: Chantal Levesque

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"A serious make-up artist is trying to rescue my face for a photo in Reader's Digest. Good luck to her," Chow posted on Twitter as Laurie Deraps groomed her. She later turned her thoughts to the grooming of her fellow MPs and mused about convincing Stephen Harper to sport a "Movember" moustache.

 

Photo: Chantal Levesque

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Photographer Jocelyn Michel found Chow to be grounded yet positive, the same qualities that many of her political supporters admire in her.

 

Photo: Chantal Levesque

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Chow's solemn face became a symbol of grief and dignity when she was widowed by cancer at the age of 54. A cancer survivor herself, Chow battled a thyroid tumour in 2004. She has said that during her hospital stay, Jack Layton would aim a light beam into her room's window. In turn, she saw him through his illness until the end.

 

Photo: Chantal Levesque