British Columbia Initiatives

Umbellus offers self-development retreats for artists and cultural workers. Umbellus is a Canadian chartered non-profit organization with two types of residency for artists.  Purpose: To provide a self-development stay for artists and cultural workers, so as to optimize or maintain their well-being and creativity.  Participants: Participants are of all age groups, from anywhere in B.C.

The Society for the Arts in Dementia Care was started in Vancouver in 2005 by Dr. Dalia Gottlieb-Tanaka, a faculty member in the School of Psychology at UBC. The Society provides an interdisciplinary forum, with workshops and conferences, bringing together academic research and practical knowledge through collaboration between the medical profession and the creative arts. The Society now has an affiliate society in Australia. In 2008, Dr.

Grief and loss workshops for seniors, facilitated songs and stories.  Purpose: It is a way to encourage people to connect with each other, as well as to provide a safe space to discuss death and loss.  Participants: Ages 65-95, of any health condition; 20-30 people per group.  Outcomes: That participants feel comfortable listening to positive stories and songs about loss, which in turn creates safety for them to express their own stories and feelings.

Voice Works and Vocal/Body Works were created by Bisia Belina, a registered massage therapist and performer in Victoria. Her Compassion Burnout Workshops offer stress management strategies designed for professional and informal caregivers using sound, rhythm, movement and breath. She also offers vocal, body and improvisational movement  workshops as "tools in maintaining one's well-being, sense of balance, and sense of inspiration."

Three leading Vancouver artists and the feisty community of South Hill, have combined art and neighbours to create INSIDE STORIES, a surprising and intriguing interactive experience on the web. South Hill is made up of people from around the world. Some are First Nations, most have immigrated from cities and towns far away. Documentary filmmaker Nettie Wild, web designer Jeremy Mendes, and photographer Shannon Mendes, spent seven months recording and shaping extraordinary and moving tales of leaving, of arriving, and of that momentous decision to stay.

Stand Up For Mental Health teaches stand-up comedy to people with mental health diagnoses.  Purpose: To build confidence and fight public stigma.  Participants: 18-80 years old with depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, bipolar, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective.  Outcomes: Increased self-esteem, social support, and raising awareness around mental health issues for thousands of people through our shows.