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Arts Canopy Project Update

Arts Canopy

Since October of 2016, Arts Canopy has been providing arts based programming in music, visual arts, dance/movement, and poetry for people with dementia. It addresses the mental wellbeing of this growing population by providing meaningful ways for them to remain active, to retain their dignity, to encourage social engagement, to discover other ways of remembering, along with offering opportunities for creative expression. A team of professional artists and therapeutic artists from the local area facilitate Arts Canopy programming and offer creative spaces to enjoy the moment with others. Programs run once a week for ten weeks.

Arts Canopy is funded through a Positive Aging grant from NS Department of Seniors, the RK Foundation and a private donation. In the fall, another set of programs will begin. Location and registration details will be made available through the website.

Research Assistant – Job Posting

 St FX


AHA! Logo Colour

 Arts Health Antigonish!

Research Assistant

St. Francis Xavier University, in partnership with Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) is seeking a Research Assistant to support a project exploring the relationship between community-based arts and health initiatives and the social determinants of health (SDH). This position is for 35 hours/week for 5 weeks during June through August. Distribution of hours during that time -period is flexible.

Position Summary

The primary responsibilities of the Research Assistant are to:

  • Complete a literature review of research exploring the relationship of community-based arts programming to social determinants of health
  • Liaise with project partners to establish scope of review
  • Compile values mapping data and existing evaluation findings from AHA! to identify the nature of data available to use for mapping
  • Map known outcomes onto the Public Health Agency of Canada Health Equity Tool.
  • Assist project team in identifying research gaps and opportunities
  • Compile summary report


The position requires the following skills and experience:

  • Minimum of an undergraduate degree
  • Research experience related to evaluation of community health initiatives
  • Understanding of the value of arts to health and well-being
  • Familiarity with the social determinants of health
  • Experience completing literature reviews
  • Ability to work independently and be accountable for project tasks and meeting deadlines
  • Strong organization and oral and written communication skills
  • Creative and innovative thinker

Applicants should include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae and the names and contact information of three references to:

Ann Fox, ( Department of Human Nutrition St. Francis Xavier University

Review of applications will begin on June 12 and will continue until the position is filled.

Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.  StFX respects diversity and welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities and members of a sexual minority group.

Nova Scotia Centre on Aging – Creative Aging

Nova Scotia Centre on Aging – Creative Aging

25th Anniversary
Our Future is Aging: Community Outreach Series

Creative Aging

Speakers: AHA! Artists

Discussion about the various ways the arts can support positive aging

Thursday, May 25.  7 – 8:30PM
Antigonish Town and County Library, The People’s Place

All welcome. Free. Light refreshments provided.

NS Centre on Aging

AHA! Celebrates 2016!


Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) enjoyed another remarkable year of exploring the arts-health relationship through projects, workshops, guest speakers and performances. In 2016, we employed 12 artists in part time work and for the third year in a row, brought close to $100,000 in funding to the local arts community.

See the full report at

Project Sandbox December Podcast

“Hello Hello! We return to outer-space for this 8th and final episode of Project Sandbox. Within the Galaxy there are billions of stars, and living on each and every one of those stars are Beings which exist only to gather information from across the universe and share it with other interstellar beings like them and also planetary life. Information is good for its own sake (it literally nourishes these Star Beings), but it can also re-direct a civilization’s trajectory in moments of crisis, so long as there are individuals who are tuned into the Star-Being’s frequency. Check this out!”

Project Sandbox was a youth podcast series from June – December 2016. Two monthly recording sessions were conducted with youth participants usually between the ages of 13 and 14 at the People’s Place Public Library in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.  Brendan Ahearn conducted the sessions of Project Sandbox.

Click here to see more about Project Sandbox

NS Flag CCH LogoArts Health Antigonish (AHA!) recognizes the support of the Province of Nova Scotia.We are pleased to work in partnership with the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

Jill Sonke Arts and Health and Dance for Life

St. Francis Xavier University and Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) are pleased to host guest lecturer Jill Sonke, Director of the Center for Arts in Medicine, University of Florida, on November 17 and 18, for a series of presentations and dialogue on campus and in the community.  Jill is an internationally recognized scholar and dynamic presenter, as well as a professional dancer. We would like to welcome the Antigonish community to two art-filled events.

Jill Sonke

Jill Sonke

The Arts and Health

Jill Sonke, Public  lecture

Thursday, Nov. 17, 7:00 p.m.
Schwartz Auditorium, StFX.

Jill Sonke’s talk will recount stories of the pioneering program at University of Florida. Now 20 years old, the Center for Arts in Medicine boasts a staff of 19 professional Artists-in-Residence, 3 arts therapists, along with 120 volunteer artists, who respond to clinical referrals and run daily programs in the visual, literary, and performance arts for patients, visitors, and caregivers at two hospitals, numerous clinics, and in community settings.

Dance for Life

Dance for Life

 Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

 Immaculata Auditorium, StFX

Dance for Life will showcase the multi-cultural Antigonish Dance Community and will unfold as a dialogue on the healing power of dance. Performers will include First Nations, Antigonish Creative Dance Association, Maureen Fraser Dance Studio, L’Arche, Ecstatic Dance Community, Scotia Highland Dancers, and  StFX/Coady students and community participants representing  Ukraine, India, Pakistan, and Egypt as well as Celtic, American and Acadian cultures. After each brief dance number, the performers will speak to how dance contributes to health and well-being. Jill herself will demonstrate a dance class for people living with Parkinson’s. The evening will culminate with a One World Dance, led by Sally Clark when we will invite the audience to partner with our featured dancers.

Arts Canopy Project

Living with dementia? You’re invited to join us in Arts Canopy!

Arts Canopy will offer creative spaces to enjoy the moment and socialize with others. No arts, music or writing experience necessary! Small groups will gather with trained arts facilitators to explore music, poetry or visual arts. Caregivers are welcome to join in the fun!

Programs are beginning the week of
October 3, 2016
Registration is ongoing.
For more information on Arts Canopy and to register,

Mary Partridge, Arts Canopy
(902) 863-2578 (ext 266)

Arts Canopy Project

Arts Canopy Project

Arts Canopy Project

Arts Canopy Project

Arts Canopy Project - Brochure inside

Arts Canopy Project – Brochure inside

Music Care Certificate Program

The Music Care Certificate Program is a three level training program that prepares caregivers to use music in their care practice with increased confidence and theoretical understanding. The program is suitable for allied health care providers, family and volunteer caregivers, musicians, teachers and any other community stakeholders who would like to increase their knowledge and practical applications of music in care.


Please download the brochure for details.  music-care-certificate-program-description

There are still a few spots available in Antigonish for the full day sessions on Friday and Saturday September 16-17, 2016.

For information or to book an exclusive training for your staff, contact Deb at or call 905-852-2499.

Arts Health Antigonish Artist Registry

AHA! Logo Colour
Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) recognizes and fosters the interplay between creativity and wellness. It promotes education through the arts as a way to healthier living. AHA! projects are ongoing and we’re always looking for new ideas If you feel like this is something you believe in please take the time to become a member of our Arts Health Antigonish Artist Registry. All information is kept confidential.

Please fill out the attached form:

Arts Health Antigonish – Artist Registry

Please submit the completed form by email to

The Story of the Eldertree Project—The Road Home

In 2015, the story of the Eldertree Project was made into a film called The Road Home. It is a vivid documentary film about elders and their stories by Antigonish filmmaker Corinne Dunphy. It reveals how the stories and songs of elders were conveyed to the community through the talents of a younger generation by way of drama.

In the summer of 2014, two writers – Anne Simpson and Stacy Doiron – spent months gathering the stories and songs of elders at Highland-Crest Home and the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in an initiative funded by the Department of Seniors and by the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Brought to life in a series of December 2014 performances by Mary Beth Carty, Stacy Doiron, Donald MacLennan, Noella Murphy and Rebecca Wild, the stories were enthusiastically embraced by the community. Combining story and song, this dramatic production gave a glimpse of the life of a forester in New Brunswick, one who heard ghostly tales of the Dungarvon Whooper. It delved into the life of a child who grew up riding the rails in northern Ontario. It gave a picture of life in rural Nova Scotia, revealing what it was like to grow up, raise families, work, and relax with music and square dancing. And this is only a small part of the wealth of stories in The Road Home.

AHA! is committed to continuing the work begun with The Eldertree Project, and plans to offer artist-directed projects under the Eldertree Ensemble (a group of local artists) in care facilities, such as Highland-Crest Home and the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home.

Anne Simpson


The Eldertree Project 1

More about Eldertree