Interior Health puts call out to artists

Artists within Interior Health can submit proposals to have work shown in new Kelowna health centre

Interior Health is calling out to regional artists to submit proposals for art to enrich Kelowna’s new Community Health and Services Centre. - Image submitted.

Interior Health is looking to the public for quality original art to help create an enriched experience for individuals visiting the new Community Health and Services Centre (CHSC), located in downtown Kelowna.

“Healing isn’t just mending broken bones – it’s also emotional and spiritual care, and art can help facilitate that,” said Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “People needing health care services are probably already having a bad day. Original art can bring some joy and beauty – and therapeutic benefits – to their experience.”

There has been a lot of thought put into the design theme of the new CHSC building, which emphasizes nature, natural beauty and water to inspire tranquil and calm feelings and emotions. Vibrant hues of blue, yellow and green are used selectively throughout the building, resembling lakes.

“I encourage people to contribute their artistic creations to the Community Health & Services Centre,” said Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission. “Enjoying a piece of art can help someone get through a tough time and also add to the overall ambience of any environment.”

“The Community Health & Services Centre sees an average of 1,000 people a day and this is a great opportunity for our local artists to showcase their works and have them be part of a setting that helps others heal,” said Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick.

White Rock artist Diana Robles and her husband and art manager Frazer Cole have donated art to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital for support they’ve received in helping Robles recover from near fatal collapses due to health concerns.

“The addition of art into the houses of healing help to bring a positive energy and reminder that we must care for ourselves and another,” said Cole.

While the CHSC is located in Kelowna, there are staff that work in program areas that support residents across Interior Health, including Vernon.

“It’s important that the art in the building reflects the diverse area that Interior Health serves,” said art committee chair Givonna DeBruin. “The art committee came together primarily so we could create an opportunity to showcase artists’ work from all over our coverage area – for our clients, staff and visitors to enjoy and appreciate.”

Ideal art pieces should reflect community, connection and belonging, as well as being durable and suitable for public viewing and display ready. Contributions representing regional heritage, or featuring the artistic communities across Interior Health are especially welcome. A plaque will be placed beside each displayed piece with information about the artist and their artwork.

There has been significant research done about the therapeutic effects of creating and viewing art.

“Artistic expression can often serve as both an escape and a refuge from the intense emotions associated with various types of illness, including for those individuals dealing with mental health issues,” said mental health and substance use team leader Grant Heidl. “Aside from relieving stress and providing a distraction from worrisome thoughts, artistic expression also allows the individual to enter a meditative-like state of focus which can temporarily push aside an individual’s worries.”

The call for art or expression of interest will run from March through to the end of May.

Photos and descriptions of art pieces can be emailed to Givonna DeBruin at or mailed to CHSC Art Selection Committee, c/o Givonna DeBruin at Interior Health, 505 Doyle Ave. Kelowna, B.C., V1Y 6V8

All expressions of interest will be reviewed by the art committee for suitability. Art pieces cannot be accepted without prior review by the Committee.

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