Art program for vulnerable Kamloops residents gets funding boost at a crucial time | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Art program for vulnerable Kamloops residents gets funding boost at a crucial time

Crossing Bridges works with those with brain injuries, the Phoenix Centre, the Boys and Girls Club, and recovery groups like the Mustard Seed.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Terri Hadwin
October 20, 2020 - 6:30 PM

A program that helps Kamloops residents heal through art has gotten a much needed funding boost at a crucial time.

The Crossing Bridges outreach program is offered through the Kamloops Art Council, and it helps connect vulnerable people with the creativity they need. 

"Artists conduct workshops with various different social work partners," Kamloops Art Council Executive Director Terri Hadwin said. "They work with individuals that maybe wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford art programming workshops."

Crossing Bridges works with those with brain injuries, the Phoenix Centre, the Boys and Girls Club, and recovery groups like the Mustard Seed.
Crossing Bridges works with those with brain injuries, the Phoenix Centre, the Boys and Girls Club, and recovery groups like the Mustard Seed.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Terri Hadwin

People who benefit from the program include seniors, those with brain injuries, at-risk youth and those accessing services at recovery shelters like the Mustard Seed and The Phoenix Centre. 

"It inspires people to heal through art," she said.

Crossing Bridges works with those with brain injuries, the Phoenix Centre, the Boys and Girls Club, and recovery groups like the Mustard Seed.
Crossing Bridges works with those with brain injuries, the Phoenix Centre, the Boys and Girls Club, and recovery groups like the Mustard Seed.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Terri Hadwin

The program will receive $25,000 from the B.C. Arts Council and $25,000 from the Leon and Thea Koerner Legacy Fund. The funding comes in the midst of the pandemic, when the program is more important than ever.

"During this time when absolutely everybody is going through extra stress, anxiety, dealing with depression, this programming is more important than ever," Hadwin said. "One of the great things about creating art is sometimes you don’t have to think at all, you just sit down and let the creativity take over. That’s what helps you to deal with emotions."

Crossing Bridges works with those with brain injuries, the Phoenix Centre, the Boys and Girls Club, and recovery groups like the Mustard Seed.
Crossing Bridges works with those with brain injuries, the Phoenix Centre, the Boys and Girls Club, and recovery groups like the Mustard Seed.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Terri Hadwin

The pandemic has made running Crossing Bridges a challenge, as the intimate in-person workshops are no longer possible in many cases. The new funding will facilitate some adaptations to the program.

"We’re hoping to adapt some of our programming to a digital way of offering this healing through the arts," she said.

This could take the form of Zoom conference calls, YouTube tutorials and one-on-one digital workshops.

Artists have been unable to run programs in seniors homes due to the pandemic, so creating digital content is a way to bring art to seniors once again.

Crossing Bridges began in 2013, and thanks to the funding boost, the program is set to continue for the next two years. 


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