Sarnia, Ontario - After a successful first year, the planning committee for ART THERAPY is pleased to announce a second annual fundraising event. ART THERAPY 2.0 will be hosted at theStory on Friday, December 6 from 6pm to 10pm. This year’s First Friday event is raising funds for ACCESS Open Minds. The Mike Weir Foundation’s Community matching campaign will double all the funds raised. This event is in partnership with Bluewater Health (BWH), the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and St. Clair Child and Youth Services (SCCY). Funds are being raised to open this new resource centre in Sarnia-Lambton. Access Open Minds is an integrated youth mental health and addictions treatment site for community members (ages 11-25).
This year, the event space for ART THERAPY 2.0 is being sponsored by Future Pastimes and will be expanded to include both store-front spaces at theStory. The south side (179 Christina St N) will feature a beautiful gallery wall, with items to be won by raffle, donated by talented local artists. There will also be an artisan station featuring pottery and other hand-made creations, to be won. The evening will feature local entertainment including musical performances and live art. Talented youth from our community will also be highlighted throughout the night, as well as a prize table full of items donated by local businesses for raffle throughout the evening. Guests may also enjoy a cash bar and delicious pizza donated by Giresi’s Pizza if they wish.
The north side of theStory (181 Christina St N) will feature a “Full ACCESS Zone” which is youth focused. This is an opportunity for people to learn about the resources ACCESS Open Minds will bring to the community including mental health and addictions education, assessments, counselling and treatment for residents aged 11-25. The centre will work closely with community partners to offer collaborative care planning and delivery of services. Partnering agencies BWH, CMHA, SCCY will also be on site to educate the public and encourage the attending youth to share their thoughts on what the design of the new space should be. The Sarnia Potter’s Guild will also be on site selling tiles which guests can create. These tiles, once combined, will create a beautiful wall-hang which will be donated to the new ACCESS Open Minds Centre as a reminder of how our community joined together to support them.
“More than 75 percent of mental health issues develop before a person turns 25 and yet many traditional services aren’t equipped to address the unique barriers that young people face when trying to access mental health support,” says Paula Reaume-Zimmer, Integrated Vice President, Mental Health & Addiction Services, Bluewater Health and CMHA Lambton-Kent. “The ACCESS Open Minds Sarnia site will address this critical gap, by providing tailored and holistic mental health and addiction treatment services to youth. The site will be designed not just for youth in our community, but with them, to ensure their needs are met and voices are heard.”
ART THERAPY is a local fundraising event, brought to inception by Shar Stock and supported through the planning committee, including Laura Kreviazuk and Billie Jo Gage. Last year’s inaugural event raised over $6,000 for Sarnia Speaks and was overwhelmingly embraced by the local arts community. Shar’s journey into the art world began after the unexpected loss of two very special people in her life. In March 2017, her boyfriend died suddenly and she was left trying to put the pieces of her life back together. A short 10 months later, she lost her 19 year old cousin to suicide. The impact of his death on her family, and his home community (Hanover, Ontario) heightened her awareness of the importance of local resources to help people find mental wellness, and deal with grief and loss. ART THERAPY hopes to increase awareness of the therapeutic benefits of artistic practices, while also raising funds that remain local and make a tangible impact on our community.
“Funds are raised in the name of those who we have loved and lost, ensuring that their memory lives on through those who are able to access supports and find days that are worth living for,” says Shar.
For further information:
Communications Business Partner, Bluewater Health