Canon: Restory – From the ACT Responsible Awards 2022

In July 2021, Belgium experienced the most destructive floods in its history. The damage caused by the deluge was enormous: over 220.000 houses were destroyed (on a population of 11 million) but also tens of thousands of photos were ruined.

Although these ruined photos do not represent a lot of financial value, their emotional value and the memories linked to these photos are priceless.

Briefing: How could Canon deliver a relevant and valuable contribution in the emotional recovery of the flood-affected area, that aligns with its purpose.

Solution: As it was a tragedy at the heart of what is Canon’s core business: photographs, Canon decided to initiate a heartwarming initiative, ReStory. A project designed to restore all flood damaged photos – free of charge.

A call for flood damaged photos was launched within the flood affected area. The call was done via a press release, a documentary, a local outdoor campaign, press ads and flyering in the most affected villages. People could fill in a form at

A ReStory-team would then pass by, pick up the damaged photos and return them after 4 to 5 week – free of charge. Tens of thousands of flood damaged photos were entered. The flood damaged photographs are restored to their original state as far as possible (at about 30% are too damaged to be able to restore, meaning that 70% of them CAN be restored!), using a drying and smoothing process, carefully cleaned with cotton swabs and then scanned and digitally processed.

In total, so far, over a thousand pictures have been restored. And returned. Currently, and for the next few months, the restauration will continue to go strong. It’s fair to say that the Canon ReStory project truly touched the entire Belgian nation.

All national media covered the initiative, spreading a great deal of praise towards such a heartwarming and generous initiative to help Belgium emotionally recover from the toll taken by the devastating floods.

Watch this amazing initiative here:

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