Skip to main content

Banfield Pavilion Carnival brings VCH community together


Above photo: Carnival sign hand-painted by residents at Banfield Pavilion.

One little idea from the Facilities Maintenance & Operations (FMO) team and staff at Banfield Pavilion has quickly evolved into a dynamic project spread across multiple programs and departments at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). 

The carnival at Banfield Pavilion began as a small in-house event to bring happiness to residents and their families. Now involving participation from clients in acute care and long-term care alike, it has already brought joy to the lives of patients from all walks of life.

“We reached out to other VCH programs because I think there's an opportunity to involve more people in the process, and to help patients and residents heal through positivity and empowerment,” says Cheryl Friesner, FMO process improvement manager.

With 12 carnival games in the warehouse ready to be painted, FMO staff felt that was a great time to get other programs and volunteers involved. “We wanted to shine a light on our VCH community and involve them in something inter-departmental and fun.”

“I wanted it colourful”

TB unit patients show the inspirations for their design with recreation therapist Courtney Knight.

After seeing the restoration of a dining room table in her unit by FMO staff, Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Tuberculosis (TB) unit recreation therapist Courtney Knight was eager to get involved. With the help of three participants, the Spinning Wheel game was painted with a Kenyan theme - as suggested by one of the patients.

“Projects like this are nice,” says Courtney. “It gives them a sense of accomplishment, something to occupy their mind.” For TB patients, finding things to do during their treatment can often prove challenging, she explains.

The importance of having adult-based art projects like painting the games is huge, she says. “It’s supposed to be purposeful, and to help them cope while they’re here.”

“Add to it and make it more beautiful”

Patrizia Casciano, activity coordinator; Willow Pavilion patients paint the Tilt-A-Ball game during Art with Mike.

For the inpatient tertiary mental health clients at Willow Pavilion, painting the games was a welcome project.

Art with Mike, a low-barrier art therapy program held once a week at VGH, took on the task of painting the Tilt-A-Ball game. Art direction was left unstructured - the clients were told they could layer the paint and allow others to add to it.

Activity coordinator Patrizia Casciano explains that the benefits of this program are multi-faceted. Art is an outlet for clients to complement their day-to-day activities. “It promotes leisure parts of their life that give them a reason to live,” she says. 

Not only does it allow them to focus on one thing for set periods of time, she explains, but they are completing something that will be integrated back into the community.

“I’m excited to see the clients being excited about it,” says Patrizia.

“I was having so much fun I forgot that I was in pain the whole day!”

Cheryl Friesner, FMO process improvement manager and  Sara Cruz, senior administrative secretary at Banfield Pavilion; Banfield residents engaged in painting carnival wayfinding signs and posters.

Gathering in the lobby, residents at Banfield Pavilion have spent the last couple of weeks adding their mark to the wayfinding signs to be displayed at the carnival. 

Sara Cruz, senior administrative secretary at Banfield, has already seen an uplift in spirits of residents and family members. She mentions one resident was so happy they'd made the effort to leave their room because they temporarily forgot they were in pain.

Even those with physical disabilities are still able to participate in painting the carnival signs – an activity supported by the recreational team at Banfield. “This is why it’s so special - the fact that they can do it themselves,” says Sara.

“It generated a lot of excitement here because people think that coming to a residential care home is a sad thing,” she says. “So this type of event is going to put a smile on not just the residents', but the family’s faces.”" 

“The passion and the heart are very important”

High school volunteers in the FMO warehouse; Bust-A-Balloon finger-painted by the children at Kids in General. 

Most of the 12 games were painted through community involvement, including the Bust-A-Balloon game finger-painted by the children at Kids in General Day Care program. Jeff Smith, FMO lead carpenter, also rallied student volunteers (including his daughter) to contribute.

The long-term goal of the event is to establish a travelling carnival for residents living in residential care homes across VCH.

This story is the second of a three-part series. Stay tuned for the final Banfield Pavilion Carnival article!

Read the series

‘Our team was inspired to do more for residents’: Creating a carnival for Banfield Pavilion!

SOURCE: Banfield Pavilion Carnival brings VCH community together ( )
Page printed:

Copyright © Vancouver Coastal Health. All Rights Reserved.