Artists on the Wards

Our popular Artists on the Wards program is a free service that caters to adult patients in the University of Alberta Hospital and Mazankowski Heart Institute, but is also appreciated by their visitors and staff.  The AOW team of five professional artists, supported by skilled volunteers, work one-on-one at the bedside or in small groups. Musical programming also extends to uplift the hospital atmosphere.

In an environment that is steeped in stress and boredom, Artists on the Wards help to positively refocus patients, their families and staff by providing therapeutic literary, musical and visual arts programming. Recent research has shown that participation in creative activities such as painting, writing, and listening to music can decrease heart rates and lower cortisol levels. Patients also report significant reductions in pain during these types of interactions, and speak of an increased sense of well-being, self-confidence, and improved spirits.


Prescribe an Artist!

Anyone can request an artist (staff, patient, family member), to come work with a patient right in their room! (some restrictions apply) To request  a musician, literary or visual artist, use the following form, or  phone the Friends of University Hospitals at: 780 407 8428.

It was the first time I had seen mom paint for the last 40 years. I have never seen her so happy. It was a connecting moment between mom and I to complete the art work. I think I will paint more with mom from now on
— Son of a Patient
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