Saint Columba House will host a vernissage and art auction on October 24th, from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM to raise money for its Hand-in-Hand Program for intellectually challenged adults. Art therapy is one of the components of the program. An art exhibit will feature the work of several Montreal-area professional artists along with paintings of members of Maison Saint Columba House’s Hand-In-Hand program. Five artworks by prominent Montreal artists will be auctioned throughout the evening to benefit the community organization with deep roots in Pointe Saint Charles.
Saint Columba House fundraiser
“I am amazed at the support of the artists who both offer their artwork to this cause as well as mentor to our participants many of whom live alone with little or no family assistance, ” says Executive Director, Lisa Byer de-Wever. “Our Hand-In-Hand art class means a lot, since many of these students are limited physically or struggle with expressing themselves verbally. Several live alone with little or no family support or contact.” Art Director Melissa Chamberlain says her student artists learn how to work with different mediums and art techniques. “Their efforts foster self-expression, creativity and an exploration of emotions. The result is often a beautiful work of art that brings deep satisfaction and pride to the budding artist.”
Saint Columba House is located in the working-class district of Pointe Saint Charles and is part of the outreach ministry of the United Church of Canada. The multi-service community center receives roughly 20% of its funding from the church and depends on donations from individuals and groups to make up the rest. For almost 102 years, this local “go-to” organization has worked with at risk children, youth, and adults in the southwest borough of Montreal to foster literacy and provide support, food security, and a variety of services to break social isolation.
The center offers 26 programs to more than 100 people who come through its doors every day. Hand-in-Hand reaches out to the aging population and the intellectually challenged, many of whom are undergoing difficult life transitions such as losing parents or moving to foster care living. In some cases, individuals may also be experiencing the loss of physical abilities making their lives doubly difficult. Hand-in-Hand not only provides art training but focuses on helping participants to develop and maintain skills that enable them to live as autonomously as possible. The weekly art class has become a favorite activity of this group. This kind of program has existed for 25 years in the region of Montreal. However, Saint Columba House is one of the only providers of this service in English. All funds raised go directly to the Hand-In-Hand program.