Ontario Initiatives

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a public teaching hospital located in Whitby, Ontario providing a range of specialized assessment and treatment services to those living with complex and serious mental illness. In 2008 Ontario Shores launched the Art Gallery  to bring people together that share an interest in art.

Background:  North Bay Regional Medical Center implemented photoVOICE to exemplify its recent adoption of the recovery philosophy of care. As the founder of the methodology, Carole Wang, espouses "What experts think is important may not be what people at the grassroots think is important." photoVOICE is a timely innovation to capture the patient's voice on camera. The photographs uniquely describe the patient's perspective on mental illness and recovery.  As the audience witnesses the person behind the pictures, stigma begins to dissolve.

RE-create is an open arts studio in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, where street-involved youth can begin to reconnect to themselves, others, and their community through the creative arts while gaining valuable life and work skills. From painting to poetry, performance art, photography and other multimedia projects, RE-create offers an opportunity for street-involved youth to try a variety of art forms under the guidance of local established artists and members of the wider arts community.

Launched in 2007 in partnership with Toronto General Hospital, the Toronto International Film Festival’s Reel Comfort programme brings the festival experience to inpatient psychiatric units and community health and wellness centers in and around Toronto. Activities include film screenings and discussions, special guest visits, and hands-on workshops in which participants learn about different facets of filmmaking—stop-motion animation, screenwriting, special effects make-up, Foley and more.

Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival is a signature event of Workman Arts, produced annually in Toronto since 1993.

ACT II STUDIO has been at the cutting edge of research-based theatre since 1995 creating plays that deal with a variety of health and social issues. Included among these are shows which have been performed before health practitioners, teaching hospitals, associations and conferences, support groups and community audiences across Canada and the US.