Annual Report: April 2016 – March 2017

A message from the Board Chair

“On behalf of Artists in Healthcare Manitoba, I am pleased to provide you with our Annual Report for 2016/2017

In the past year, we were delighted to see the work we have done at Selkirk Mental Health Centre culminate in a Sarasvati production held at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. The production also toured Manitoba high schools, doing important work to open communication addressing the stigma and marginalization associated with mental illness.

The Art in Hospitals program was introduced to the community with hundreds of pieces of Indigenous Woodlands art being donated to Winnipeg hospitals and Selkirk Mental Health Centre. This program invites donors to gift art works to the facilities of their choice, to be used by the hospitals as they deem fit. Details will be provided further on in this report. As in past years, we continue to see the profound effects and outcomes live music and visual


arts bring to the communities of healthcare, and our ongoing vision is to one day, see our programs in every hospital in the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba.”

Click on the link below to read the report:

2017 AR PDF

Art Donation Program



Please join us on November 28 at 10:30 am

in the Grace Hospital Cafeteria for a launch event and refreshments.

Artists in Healthcare Manitoba today announced the launch of a program that will see artwork collected for display in various health care facilities across the province.

“The Art Donation Project for Healthcare Facilities will help transform spaces where clinical care is provided,” said Shirley Grierson, Executive Director of Artists in Healthcare Manitoba.  “The therapeutic benefits of art are well established, and this program will help enhance not just the patient experience, but also the experience for visitors and staff.”

Artist Leland Bell. Was Sa Gallery

The program is straightforward.  Artists in Healthcare Manitoba seeks out and collects donations of art.  Donors receive a charitable tax receipt and if they wish, can specify a health care facility for their donation.  Artists in Healthcare Manitoba assures that the art is properly appraised, that the subject matter is appropriate and that the art is suitably framed and behind glass.

Once that art is received by a health care facility, they are free to display it, or can even sell it at a charitable event or via consignment.  The art is provided to the facilities free of any encumbrances.  Participating facilities include; Concordia Foundation, Deer Lodge Centre Foundation, Grace Hospital Foundation, Misericordia Health Centre Foundation, Pan Am Clinic Foundation, Riverview Health Centre Foundation, Selkirk Mental Health Centre, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, Victoria General Hospital Foundation and A Port in the Storm (a residence that provides accommodations for people coming to the city for health care).

The program was created by Gary Scherbain, the long-time owner of the Wah-Sa Gallery, in collaboration with Artists in Healthcare Manitoba.

“There are many beautiful collections of art in Manitoba,” Mr. Scherbain said.  “As collectors get older and begin to downsize, they often seek opportunities to either sell or donate.  This program provides the perfect vehicle for them.”

Artists in Healthcare Manitoba is a not for profit group that offers many services, including bringing art and music to the bedside in most health care facilities in Winnipeg.

Please join us on November 28 at 10:30 am in the Grace Hospital Cafeteria for a launch event and refreshments.

For more information please contact Jon Einarson at 204-837-0488.

Canada Summer Jobs 2015


May 20, 2015

Today, Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan – St. Paul, announced an investment of $194,032 through the Canada Summer Jobs Program for student jobs in Kildonan – St. Paul. In total, 20 organizations will be able to hire 43 students for the summer.

Canada Summer Jobs helps students gain the skills and experience they need to be successful, now and in the future, while earning money for the upcoming school year. In 2015, the Canada Summer Jobs program is expected to create approximately 35,000 jobs, while helping employers address skills shortages.

CSJ Announcement

Our sincere thanks to the Government of Canada for funding through Canada Summer Jobs. On May 20, 2014, Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan – St. Paul, announced an investment of $194,032 through the Canada Summer Jobs Program. In total, 20 organizations will be able to hire 43 students for the summer. Artists in Healthcare Manitoba (AHM) received $5,034 in Canada Summer Jobs funding to support a summer student position.

“Artists in Healthcare are delighted to have received another student placement from the Canada Summer Jobs program this summer. Our placements are used to hire student musicians who spend their summers playing for patients and residents in hospitals and long term care. The students provide support, playing music which reduces stress and anxiety. Live music offers unique support to seniors living with Alzheimer’s and dementia – the students have close relationships with them and skills such as empathy and compassion are developed. Many thanks for supporting this fine program once again!”
– Shirley Grierson, Executive Director, Artists in Healthcare MB

An Odd Choir

“Yesterday at Boundary Trails Health Center I had an exceptional time singing with 3 people of varying seniority. One was a woman in her late eighties, one in her mid seventies and one was a gentleman who’s age I couldn’t tell in the thin yellow pj’s provided. We sat around in a hall that joins the palliative and medical wards. Mrs. 80’s told us a story of the soldiers from one of the world wars – how they used the Eatons building for all their essential activities; dancing, sleeping, eating, inviting women to New Zealand. “It’s a good thing she didn’t go, it would have been maybe two days and then she’d have been left high and dried.” She told this story about 8 times. Mrs. mid seventies requested “Pack up your troubles in your old suit bag” and sang it in a high quaver after tearing up and telling us of the love story that was hers and her husbands. The gentleman sang ‘Leaning on the everlasting arms” with gusto and informed me of the death of a man we’d visited and sang with a few weeks back. This was real life. Life at the end of life. Life with flourescent lights, tubes, walkers, running shoe squeaks and smells of sickness where people spend slow min, hours, weeks and more. We were a queer choir. I love my job!”

Juice Reimer


Mental Health Week May 2015

“I am pleased to attach the Province of Manitoba’s proclamation of Mental Health Week 2015 signed by Minister Crothers.  Please post as you see fit.

For those of you undertaking specific events in honor of this week, I wish you all the best!”

Donna Kadeshuk
Mental Health & Spiritual Health Care

Manitoba Health, Healthy Living & Seniors
Room 1071 – 300 Carlton Street
Winnipeg MB  R3B 3M9
Phone: (204) 788-6659 Fax: (204) 942-0793
Email Address:

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Bringing Music to Patients at HSC

“Art encompasses the breadth of human experience; it takes our joys and burdens and sorrows and transforms them into something beautiful,” says Dr. Ann Loewen. “Healing, medicine, and the arts all work together to contribute to the wellness of the whole person.”

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Arts and Global Health Conference, April 2015

Arts and Global Health Conference
6th annual Arts in Healthcare Conference at Lesley University
Friday & Saturday, April 17-18, 2015  ~  9:00am – 5:00pm
Washburn Commons, Brattle Campus
(10 Phillips Place, Cambridge, MA)
**12 LMHC CEUs available (six each day)**
In the global society in which we live, the arts open pathways to understanding and communication between peoples. In addition, the arts are channels for creativity and celebration, mitigate the effects of stress and trauma, and are known to facilitate innovative spaces for emotional release. The arts can provide people a tangible result for their efforts in a relative short time, actions that can take place through individual or collective effort. This conference will feature arts based approaches initiated by Lesley University faculty and other international experts. Join us to circumnavigate the globe using the arts as our compass for exploration!
For full workshop descriptions and presenter biographies, please visit the CONFERENCE WEBSITE.
  • Keynote Address: “Art as Force of Nature” by Lesley University Professor, Shaun McNiff   
    • Artistic response by Stan Strickland
  • Panel with afternoon workshop presenters John Burt, Angelica Pinna-Perez, Kelvin Ramirez, Abraham Sussman, Halima Sussman and Marian Brown
  • Choice of Workshops:
    • “The Arts Transform Post-Conflict Societies: A Case Study of Cultural Revival in Cambodia” with John Burt
    • “The Progressive Therapeutic Paradox: Struggling with Internalized Narratives of Race when Working Internationally” with Angelica Pinna-Perez and Kelvin Ramirez
    • “Dances of Universal Peace: An Example of Activist International Peacemaking Through the Arts” with Abraham Sussman and Halima Sussman
    • “7 Dresses 4 Health: An Arts and Health Advocacy Campaign” with Marian Brown
  • Keynote Address:  “Cambodia, 40 Years Out: Cultural and Artistic Resilience Then and Now” by Co-Founders of Cambodian Living Art, Arn Chorn-Pond and John Burt
  • Panel:  
    • David Alan Harris, Director of Global Wellbeing, counselor and dance/movement therapist
    • Louise Pascale, Founder and Director of Children’s Afghan Songbook Project and Professor in Lesley’s Integrated Teaching through the Arts Program
    • Michael Kemeh, Coordinator of Lesley’s Creative Arts in Learning in Early Childhood and Elementary Programs, specializing in integrating drama into the classroom
    • Yousef AlAjarma, Program Director in MSPP’s Expressive Arts Therapy Counseling Program, specializing in trauma and resilience in Palestine
  • Choice of Workshops:
    • “Buffering Suffering: Integrating the Arts in Building Resilience in Regional and Global Contexts” with Vivien Marcow Speiser and Phillip Speiser
    • “Peace Train Journey in South Africa” with Sharon Katz
    • “Healthy Tomorrow and African Dance” with Wyoma
    • “Rwanda: A New Age of Learning Creating and Sharing” with Alan O’Hare and others
  • Also featuring Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges and Cambodian poet and artist Piersath Chath
**Early Bird Registration discounts between now and March 27th ~ Late Registration prices after March 27th**
To register for this conference, please download the registration form at the bottom of theCONFERENCE WEBSITE and submit to Beth Chambers according to the directions on the form.  You may also register by phone if paying by credit card by calling Beth Chambers at 617.349.8833. 
Early Bird Discount Costs (until March 27th):
  • General Public:  $195  (single day: $125)
  • Lesley Alumni, Faculty and Sponsors:  $165  (single day: $95)
  • Students:  $45  (single day: $25)
Lesley University’s Institute for Arts and Health, Creativity Commons and Global Center; IEATA (International Expressive Arts Therapy Association); and Cambodian Living Arts
Any questions, please contact Beth Chambers at

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is finally here!!! Artists in Healthcare have published a campaign to raise funds for music at Health Sciences Centre.

Please visit Canada Helps or our website and donate, so we can build a major program at HSC. Every $30 donation brings an hour of live music to a patient.

HSC has participated in the Service Canada Student jobs program since 2005. The student musicians playing in the summer program have had incredible experiences there. One staff asked the musician if he would come and play for a bone marrow transplant, so Danny Kroeker did.

The procedure was about 45 minutes and he played and sang the entire time. When it was over everyone told him that having him play had made an uncomfortable process so much easier … the patient had something positive to focus on, as did the family and the staff thanked him for helping out …

HSC is a very big hospital. At the present moment we have one physician donation which gives Kris Ulrich 50 hours a year. HSC could probably use 40 hours a week of live music, just to try to cover all the different programs.

We’ve applied for funding to Foundations and participated in other campaigns and we’re simply not giving up.

There ‘s a lovely quote by Robert Browning that speaks to the importance of music .. everywhere but uniquely in healthcare: “Who hears music feels his solitude Peopled at once.”

We can make a difference 🙂

CKX Summit, November 20, 2014

Toronto, Ontario.


#CultureShock Debate: Hard Facts VS. Proverbial Truths – The Impact of Arts and Culture on Canadian Citizens and Communities 

How can we assess and understand the value and consequent impact of arts and cultural participation on citizens and communities of all sizes across Canada?

Are the intrinsic and intangible benefits and impacts on the human spirit, creativity, education and other socio-cultural factors the most important to understand? How do we best capture, frame and share these benefits and impacts?

Or, are the benefits and impacts best served by a deeper understanding of the economic and data-driven metrics of a thriving arts and cultural sector?

Presented by CAPACOA and Culture Days, this provocative Oxford-style debate will be moderated by Simon Brault, Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts, and pit Alain Dubuc, award winning economic journalist from La Presse up against Shawn van Sluys, Executive Director of the Musagetes Foundation.

The debate will generate profound insights and ignite discussion on how we understand and assess the value and consequent impact of arts and cultural participation on citizens and communities of all sizes across Canada.

Myron Kurjewicz. Accordion Master

“I had finished playing @ Rehab and was on my way to the General Centre when I came in contact with a group of children what appeared to be from day-care.

There were probably 6-7 walking all in a row, holding a rope, guided by their supervisors. They stopped when they saw me walking with my accordion, and

we started to chat about my “big piano” that I was carrying, asking how it worked and if I could play them a song. Well, you don’t think that another 6-7

youngsters, same as the first batch, came on the scene. Again, asking questions, and wanting me to play something. I made them a deal, that I would play

only if they all agreed to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.  They got ready, I got ready, and we did it! If you can imagine 12-14 kids, belting out Twinkle Twinkle

Little Star near the elevators at a busy intersection at the hospital. People/patients/staff  stopping,  taking pictures with their phones, smiling, filming, laughing, and clapping.

That was certainly a memorable “Kodak” moment for us all.”


A Virtuoso of the accordion, Myron has been featured at the Winnipeg New Music Festival, twice, and has been volunteering at the Health Sciences Centre for three years, and spreads joy through the halls!

“All in all things are good playing at  HSC. As you may recall, I started playing at 2nd floor and 5th floor at the rehab. That has expanded

now to the 6th floor as well at the rehab, and also to the 5th floor and the 7th floor @ the General Centre. Sometimes feel like I need

running shoes, extra vitamins, and Gypsy blood, because I have to move quickly to see all of the patients. The stories and experiences

are wonderful, and as much as people seemingly enjoy the music, I share with them that those warm words and feelings work both ways.

There certainly is a huge sense of self satisfaction and gratitude for me in many respects, and for that, I am truly grateful.

That’s about it for now…have to go practice.

Be well. TakeCare”