North Bay Regional Health Centre
ArtsHealth North Residency is truly a unique program for northeastern Ontario. This project is spearheaded by the Art Committee and the Public Relations Department of the new North Bay Regional Health Centre and funded through the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)’s Artists in Residence Pilot Program, which connects wellness and creativity by supporting artist residencies within health care settings. ArtsHealth North is open to receiving applications from artists based in Canada and abroad to work on their art at the new facility. Visiting artists work in diverse mediums, including visual arts, textiles and video and interact with the health centre patients and staff in many different ways.
The new health centre opened for patient care on January 30, 2011. “This is truly a unique opportunity for the partner hospitals to work with the members of the community and enhance our new environment with the healing aspects of art,” stated Pat Stephens, Manager, Public Relations.
Dermot Wilson, curator, WKP Kennedy Gallery and active Art Committee member, was instrumental in applying to the Ontario Arts Council for the ArtsHealth North Residency program. “The importance of art in healing has been documented throughout the world. The opening of this new facility in North bay is a golden opportunity to collaborate with the two hospitals and create more art related experiences for our community,” explained Wilson.
The first resident artist, Arlie Hoffman, a realist painter from North Bay, has shown his work across the province and curated several shows in the region. Hoffman worked with hospital staff to prepare the new studio and occupied the space from November 2010 to January 2011. He also worked on documenting his experiences and helped create a Policies and Procedures Manual for future resident artists.
The second resident artist, Beth Jackson, a textile artist from the North Bay area, recently began her residency and will be with the Centre from February through April.
Bushra Junaid, Outreach and Development Manager for the OAC, notes ArtsHealth North reflects the OAC’s mandate to support the arts for the benefits of Ontarians. Junaid explains, “OAC is committed to finding ways for the arts to be a part of our everyday lives as well as our public spaces.”
The Art Committee is busy preparing a Permanent Art Collection to be installed in the new building. This task, all completed by community volunteers, includes the renovation and re-framing of many existing works from the two organizations. A special ‘Art Open House’ is being planned and is tentatively scheduled for May 17, 2011.
The Public Relations Department was also recently successful with an application to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation for an internship grant for an Art Studio Technician. This one-year, full time intern will be the liaison between the Art Committee and the hospitals and assist the Art Committee with relocating the artworks, documenting the collection, setting up a website for the ArtsHealth North Residency and assisting resident artists over the course of the next 12 months.
In order to organize and clarify the roles of our volunteer organizing committee a comprehensive statement that will constitute our Articles of Agreement between the Art Committee and the two partner hospitals was recently developed. This document outlines our mandate and how the North Bay Regional Health Centre Art Committee will function as an arms-length support and advocacy group that oversees the management of the ArtsHealth North Residency Program and the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s Permanent Art Collection.
Call for Submission
The Residency Sub-committee recently put out its third Call for Submissions for ArtsHealth North Residency. The deadline is April 1, 2011 for a May 1, 2011 start. ArtsHealth North Residency is a member of ResArtis, the worldwide artist’s residency organization. More information about the residency is available on the ResArtis website, as well on our Akimbo and Facebook pages.
For further information on the new North Bay Regional Health Centre or about this initiative, visit the health centre’s website at www.nbrhc.on.ca or contact the Art Studio Technician at 705-474-8600, ext.3164. Visit the Ontario Arts Council for more information about the arts in Ontario.