Funded by the Eldercare Foundation and supported by Island Health, this unique program provides art instruction to extended care residents at Aberdeen Hospital, a complex care facility in Victoria.
Participants say the recreation therapy program gives them purpose, makes them feel alive. As one resident said: “It’s very easy to get depressed here, because you are stuck here. Having the classes to look forward to, and the exhibition, it’s just so important. It’s very life affirming for me.”
The annual art exhibition is the culmination of all their work throughout the year, says recreation therapist Johanne Hemond, the driving force behind the program.
“I love the expression on the faces of my clients when they first step into the gallery where all their work has been framed and curated,” Hemond says. “They become speechless and so proud of their accomplishments. It is very gratifying for me.”
Annual Art Exhibition Embrace Aging through the Arts & Community
March 17, 2016, 1:30 to 4 p.m.
Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria Art Gallery
Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Road
Part of March’s Embrace Aging Month celebrations, the third annual art exhibition will showcase a variety of works. All money raised goes back into the program to benefit residents.
“When they are engaged in creating, there is a sense of stillness,” Hemond says. “They forget about their condition, pain and troubles. They are in the present moment creating a work of art.”
Special thanks also to the Saanich Arts Centre for the rental of its art studio, the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria for the rental of the Art Gallery, Opus Art Supplies for in-kind contributions, and to the art instructor from Ground Zero Printmakers Society who worked closely with the clients.
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