Vancouver, BC – The Art Studios, a unique Vancouver art program dedicated to mental health recovery, has a new lease on life thanks to the selection of Lookout Housing and Health Society as the long-term operator for the program.
Located in East Vancouver, The Art Studios offers classes that include drawing, mixed media, painting, pottery and print making for clients with mental health and substance use challenges. The classes help clients gain confidence, direction and a sense of self-worth from participating, and many go on to become teachers and mentors in the program.
The Art Studios is such a valued resource that VCH has been providing support and funding to it for more than 15 years. The current operational structure — with donor funding from the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation — is in place until March 31, 2021. To ensure program continuity, VCH issued a request for proposals last September for a community-based non-profit organization to take over management of the program.
VCH is happy to announce Lookout Housing and Health Society as the selected provider for the program.
“The Art Studios offers more than art classes,” said Andy Day, director, Vancouver Central and Primary Care, Vancouver Community, VCH. “It’s a unique, program that helps clients in their recovery, so it was important to find a long-term solution to ensure its future. After a thorough RFP process we’re delighted that such a well-respected non-profit will be taking over its management and operation.”
Lookout Housing and Health Society has provided a range of housing and health services to marginalized community members across Vancouver and throughout B.C. since 1971, some in partnership with VCH. VCH and the Foundation will work with Lookout to ensure a smooth transition for both clients and staff.
“Lookout is excited to further our mission with The Art Studios, a successful art program that enhances our Mood Disorders Association of British Columbia mental health services and wellness programs,” said Lookout Society’s CEO Shayne Williams. “The creative process is extremely healing for individuals living with mental health, substance use, trauma, and extreme poverty. Art provides an opportunity for individuals to explore their own story, opening a path to improved self-esteem and wellness. Operated with Lookout’s MDABC, we know The Art Studios will be a valuable community resource in providing multi-faceted mental health services.”
"Donor funding has enabled VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to support this important program as it transitions to a provider best suited to support the needs of its clients," says Angela Chapman, President and CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. "We are proud to continue to partner with Vancouver Coastal Health to support programs in our hospitals, health care centres and throughout our communities."
Vancouver Coastal Health is responsible for the delivery of $3.6 billion in community, hospital and long-term care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola. VCH also provides specialized care and services for people throughout BC, and is the province’s hub of health care education and research.
Vancouver Coastal Health