Learning to Carve

Every year, the Canadian Stone Carving Festival raises funds for Innercity Arts. Many young people from the program help out at the festival, including Larissa, who has volunteered her time the past two years. Whether it is shoveling stones, sweeping up dust, or making sure the carvers have enough water – she is always eager […]

Pancakes and Paintbrushes

They get up early… something that’s not in their nature or character; mornings just aren’t their thing. Brushing the experiences of the previous night off their faces, putting on possibly the only set of clothing they own; making their way to a place of love and acceptance for who they are. The Innercity Freedom Group […]

A Glimpse into Mental Illness

Damon was downtown one afternoon, when he began to sense the ever too familiar feelings of anxiety and depression taking over: quickening heart beat, pain in stomach, and the overwhelming feeling of dread and despair. Negative thoughts started to race through his mind. He had a few hours before art group and worried these feelings […]

The Four Stages

The monarch butterfly is a glorious creature to behold. If you’ve ever witnessed it’s beauty, watching it in flight is a vision you don’t forget.   However, to get to that point in its life there’s a journey and a fight requiring strength and determination.   There are 4 stages in the life cycle of […]

Unicorns & Dragons

  Do you believe in unicorns, jackalopes, fairies, protective dragons, leprechauns at the end of rainbows, singing frogs and baby pigs that dance the jig?   Until 4 years ago my eyes were glued wide shut; to be fixed only on the narrow views seen straight in front with no peripheral options. Thinking there was […]

Mandala Workshop

“Mandalas are an ancient artistic technique used in many cultures around the world as an aid to understanding who we are as individuals and as part of the universe around us. The inside of the circle represents our inner world and the outside represents the outer world.”  This was the perspective that local artist Claudia […]

Resilient Heroes

Resiliency is the ability to recovery readily after being bent or stretched from adversity. I have about 50 heroes in my life; all of which come from the Ottawa Innercity Arts program. A hero is a person noted for courageous acts and that’s exactly what the street-engaged youth at our art program are. These young […]

10 Years of Innercity Arts

As we near the 10th anniversary of Innercity Arts, I wanted to look back on how the program came about. I recently spoke with Jason Pino, the Youth Outreach Worker who started the program 10 years ago. Jason told me that back in 2009 he was doing regular street outreach – engaging with youth on […]

Behold, Real Art

Out of pure curiosity I browsed around on Google yesterday checking out the value of the top 10 paintings at The National Art Gallery here in Ottawa. I encourage you to explore the same in your spare time; some of it is definitely interesting. Most of the paintings and art work exhibited there cannot be […]