October 2013 | Issue 6
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Approximately a month ago a group of some 200 people from across Canada gathered in Ottawa for the Power of the Arts National Forum, co-hosted by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and Carleton University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Sharing two days with like-minded individuals, who share my passion for the arts and for individual and community wellbeing was deeply inspiring. I was also encouraged by the number of individuals and organizations in attendance.

While the transformative power of the arts is far from a new idea, and throughout recorded history people have used creative modes of expression as healing rituals, there seems to be renewed public interest in this topic. Daily, we see a new story in one of the mainstream media outlets on the healing and health benefits of the arts.

As I witness this gradual movement of arts, health and social change into the mainstream, I question how the Network can promote increased engagement and participation in arts and health, while at the same time ensure that the movement is not decontextualized and commodified?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. To help continue this conversation, I will start a discussion on our LinkedIn group. But I also encourage you to send us your thoughts via email

Before I wrap up, for those of you interested in arts and health research, I want to bring your attention to a new Arts Health Network Canada group page that we have started on Mendeley, which is a free reference manager and academic social network. We are using this system to upload, store, and tag academic literature on arts and health. If you have any questions about this database, feel free to email our Knowledge Translation Coordinator Kira.

In the spirit of creativity and wellness,
Nicki Kahnamoui
Executive Director, Arts Health Network Canada BC
Acting Executive Director, Arts Health Network Canada
Even the Marginalised can Benefit from Art

Dance Appears to Help Parkinson’s Patients.

'Music of Your Life' Program Helps Seniors Relive Their Youth

'Au Contraire' Film Festival puts Mental Illness in Perspective

How Art Aided Andrew Marr's Recovery

Alain de Botton Brings Art as Therapy to AGO

The Art World Takes on Parkinson's

Read More News Items>>
Arts and Health Champions

Victoria Maxwell

In celebration of Mental Health Awareness week October 6 to 12th, for this month’s Snapshot feature we had the privilege to sit down and chat with the multi-talented Victoria Maxwell, a mental health educator/ speaker/ blogger/ performer/ actor/ writer.

Victoria has been sharing her personal experiences with bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis in her tremendously endearing, hilarious, and thought-provoking, one-woman plays for healthcare professionals, mental health communities and the public-at-large for nearly 14 years. Her company, Crazy for Life Co., produces four performances: “That’s Just Crazy Talk”, “Funny You Don’t Look Crazy”, “Crazy for Life”, and “Head Over Heels”



A 98 Year Old Man Spends the Last 13 Years Creating Brilliant & Detailed Art with Computer Software

Creating elaborate paintings, pixel by pixel in MS Paint, 98 year old Hal Lasko would often spend up to 10 hours a day on his craft. 

Read More>>


November 2, 2013
Pain BC's 2013 Interdisciplinary Pain Conference - 'Pain and the Brain'
Burnaby, BC

November 9, 2013
Music Care Conference
Toronto, ON

November 9, 2013
Edmonton Timeraiser
Edmonton, AB

November 21-23, 2013
Cities fit for Children Conference
Surrey, BC

November 23, 2013
British Columbia Art Therapy Association 35 Years Celebration
Vancouver, BC

November 23, 2013
Ottawa Timeraiser
Ottawa, ON

Check Out Our Website for a Full Listing of Upcoming Events>>

The Arts and Individual Well-Being in Canada

The Life Examined Journal

The Strength of Bone

Participatory Arts Practices in Healthcare Contexts - Guidelines for Good Practice

More Resources>>


November 4, 2013
Online Graduate Certificate in Arts in Medicine
November 9, 2013
Employment Opportunity–Assistant Professor in Medical Humanities, California State University, Los Angeles

Check Out Our Website for a Full Listing of Upcoming Opportunities>>
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