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Edmonton is a hub of arts & health programs that benefit individual and community health and healthcare. To acknowledge this, Mayor Don Iveson has declared November Arts & Health Month.

The Friends of University Hospitals hosted a launch November 1 at 9:30 in the McMullen Art Gallery at the University of Alberta Hospital.

The proclamation reads:

For more information on Friends’ Arts in Healthcare Programs Click below:

Whereas Arts and healthcare programs and creative arts therapies are increasingly being recognized as integral and valuable parts of patient care;

And Whereas, the arts help to cultivate community and promote the development of safe, supportive environments where patients and families can focus on healing;

And Whereas, creative and artistic activities provide a therapeutic outlet for patients and caregivers, leading to reduced stress, increased treatment compliance, and better overall health outcomes;

And Whereas, Edmonton is Proud to be home to a thriving community of Arts institutions that work together to support the health of our residents and our community as a whole,


We asked many of the groups who engage people through the city to be a part of this month and the proclamation. The request for the mayor to proclaim arts and health month, came from a desire to place emphasis on the ways that art and artists contribute to thriving communities, and a sense of wellness in the city. More information about each organization is listed on this page. Scroll to the bottom for events listings.


The Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine program in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta which trains medical students engenders a balance of science and the humanities to foster the development of well-rounded health professionals who are skilled, caring, reflexive and compassionate practitioners. It draws visiting medical students from across the continent.

Contact: Pamela Brett-MacLean, Director, 780-492-0445,

Visit their site

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iHuman Youth Society, founded in 1997, engages Edmonton’s traumatized youth who exhibit high-risk lifestyles. iHuman uses arts-based programming to re-integrate youth into the community by developing skills, self-esteem and a sense of worth and ability. It has won local, national and international awards.

Contact: 780-421-8811,

Visit their site

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The Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts facilitates art creation by artists with developmental disabilities. What began as a collective of one has grown to include almost 200 members, whose work has been shown throughout Canada and the world. It also displays and sells their work.

Contact: Wendy Hollo, Executive Director or Paul Freeman, Artistic Director, 780-474-7611,

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GeriActors, an internationally known and Edmonton-based non-profit company creating and promoting seniors’ and intergenerational theatre. They believe that seniors’ engagement in the arts at a level of comparative mastery leads to significant health benefits, an overall sense of well-being and a marked increase in social and civic engagement.

Contact: David Barnet, Director, 780-248-1556,

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The Canadian Mental Health Association – Edmonton Region builds healthy and resilient communities by providing mental health services. These include drop-in writing programs, creative arts and music.

Contact: Ione Challborn, Executive Director, 780-414-6300,

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CRIPSiE, the Collaborative Radically Integrated Performers Society in Edmonton, is a charitable arts organization run by artists who experience disability or other forms of oppression, and by their artistic and political allies. They are committed to fostering high quality, creative, anti-oppressive and inclusive art practices and performances.

Contact: Co-Artistic Directors: Lindsay Eales and Kelsie Acton, 780-455-5224,

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Wellspring Edmonton is a community-based support centre offering non-medical supportive programs and services that meet the emotional, social, practical and restorative needs of people living with cancer and their caretakers.

Contact: Marilyn Hundleby, Program Director, 780-758-4433,

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St. Stephen’s College offers accredited specialized art therapy training in its Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality Degree program as well as a Post-Master’s Art Therapy Certificate program designed for those who have previously completed a Master’s or Doctoral degree in a related field.

Contact: Micheala Slipp, Associate Chair, Department of Psychotherapy and Spirituality, Art Therapy, 780-439-7311,

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The World Arts Organization, headquartered in Edmonton, trains professionals in the work of integrating the arts into various fields including therapy, education, and conflict transformation. World Arts provides one to three year certificate programs and is affiliated with the European Graduate School.

Contact: Markus Alexander, Founder and Director,   780-717-1743,

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The Art Mentorship Society of Alberta is a non-profit art wellness organization that provides crucial access points for artists in Edmonton, Alberta. They offer assistance and resources for art opportunities that seek to promote and empower participants to create and develop professionally, connecting them with their community through art. Above all, they believe that artistic expression is a critical element in creating a healthy society.

Contact: Robyn O’Brien, (780) 705-7760,

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Mile Zero Dance Society has been offering dance education to schools and community groups in and around Edmonton since 1985, touching over 150,000 students through dance. In their education outreach programs, participants learn to use their bodies intelligently and consciously in a positive, non-competitive environment, building an awareness of the structure, content and composition that makes dance into art while building physical awareness, strength and self-esteem.

Contact: Gerry Morita, Artistic Director, (780) 424-1573,

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On this month at the hospital and around the city: