Tag Archive for youth

Spellbound by Nature Program Facilitator

Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) is hiring!
Spellbound by Nature Program Facilitator

AHA! is seeking an enthusiastic artist who loves the outdoors, to facilitate ½ day nature-based ‘playshops’ with youth. Taking place at various Antigonish outdoor locations, this position will support 12-18 hours weekly during the summer, with the possibility of more hours later in the summer and into the fall. Based on ‘The Lost Words’, AHA! hopes to foster a love of nature through encouraging keen observation and descriptive reflection to ‘conjure’ the natural world.

This position is supported by AHA! in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.


  • Prepare and facilitate about 13-15 ‘playshops’ over the summer of 2019, for youth of all ages and groups of varying sizes
  • Evaluate the playshops, making adjustments as necessary throughout the summer; coordinate evaluations from participants, parents, volunteers, support staff
  • Report regularly to AHA!
  • Coordinate with AHA! a celebration of the artwork created
  • Available Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings throughout the summer, last Tuesday in July and first Tuesday in August. Preparation and evaluation hours will be required and compensated, but can be at applicant’s convenience.
  • Prepare a final report with best practices learned from this pilot project


  • Experience working with groups of children from diverse backgrounds, having unique individual needs
  • Must have Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check; documentation required
  • Artist of any genre is preferred for this position
  • Experience in outdoor education, nature knowledge, biomimicry, indigenous knowledge of the land, other related fields, will be considered assets
  • Demonstrated oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to maintain accurate reflections of practice and to submit records in a timely manner
  • Able to work independently and with a team
  • Responsibility and accountability for actions and decisions
  • Access to reliable transportation

Email letter of interest, resume and contact information for one reference to: artshealthantigonish@gmail.com by noon on Friday, June 28th.




AHA! Celebrates November Arts Health Month

AHA! invites you to celebrate Arts Health Month….

November Global Arts & Health Month

November Global Arts & Health Month  Image by Fenn Martin

Arts Health Antigonish
invites you to celebrate Arts Health Month at……

AHA! Tuesdays!

Tuesdays in November, 7-9 pm.  Adult workshops.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Storytelling: Compassionate Listening, Compassionate Sharing with Maureen St. Clair
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13 – Songwriting: Word Power in Song with Kim Wempe
  • Tuesday, Nov. 20 – Dancing and Dreaming with Fingerpaints with Nancy Turniawan
  • Tuesday, Nov. 27 – Laughter is the Best Medicine! with Laura Teasdale

REGISTRATION is required as spaces are limited. https://www.artshealthantigonish.org/2018/10/aha-tuesdays-november-2018

NOTE – If you have already registered and need to cancel please contact artshealthantigonish@gmail.com as spaces are limited and some may be on a waiting list.

AHA! Mondays for Youth

REGISTRATION is required as spaces are limited: https://www.artshealthantigonish.org/2018/11/aha-mondays-for-kids/

  • Monday, November 19: 6 – 8PM.  Songwriting:Word Power in Song (for Youth grades 7-12) with Kim Wempe
  • Monday, November 26: 6-7:30 pm. Comedy Improv for Youth! ( all ages!) with Laura Teasdale

AHA! Mondays for Youth

AHA! Mondays for Youth

AHA! Logo Colour

Please preregister for participatory workshops on the form below.

There is no participation fee; donations to help cover costs will be welcome at the door.

The workshops will be held at the locations noted next to the workshop:

  • Clare Marie Gathering Place, Martha Place, St. Martha’s Hospital, Antigonish
  • CACL Lunchroom – CACL / Legion on St. Ninian St., Antigonish

Monday, November 19: 6-8 pm
Songwriting: Word Power in Song (for Youth grades 7-12)
Kim Wempe

Join Kim in collaborative songwriting to know the power of words through song. Participants will use ‘free writing’ and collaborate in groups to create songs and share the experience. If you play an instrument, please bring it! However, you don’t need to play an instrument to attend this workshop. Hope to see you there!

Kim Wempe uses her past experience as a touring musician and her current experience as a nursing student at St.FX to combine art and health through songwriting as an outlet workshops that address mental wellness, coping, and social inclusion. Kim has worked with youth and music in a variety of school settings since February 2016 thanks to the support and funding from Arts Health Antigonish and SchoolsPlus-Antigonish. She also teaches private voice and guitar lessons, as well as continues to play shows as a singer-songwriter. Currently, Kim is completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a final clinical in Youth Health Centres.


Monday, November 26th: 6-7:30 pm
Comedy Improv for Youth! ( all ages!)
Laura Teasdale

We will learn basic comedy improvisation skills to help kids engage with other kids, stay focused, learn to think on their feet, boost confidence and have FUN!

In improvisation, we are always making stuff up, and there are no mistakes.  It is a great time to let kids be kids without anxiety and fear of failure.  If we’re laughing…we’re succeeding!

Laura Teasdale is an actor, singer, playwright and teacher.  She spent twenty four years living in Quebec, but recently returned home to her beloved Antigonish.  She hasn’t regretted it for a minute. You may have seen her this summer at Festival Antigonish in Lunenberg, Burnin’ Love or in her own show Being Hank & Patsy.  She was probably laughing when you saw her. Laura has always been very active and dedicated to community groups.  Most of her plays involve local history. As part of her Performing Arts degree, Laura learned all about comedy, from the ancient Greeks on down to clowns and British Farces.  She is a long time member of a comedy improv troupe and a clown troupe.  She studied with the great Canadian Laughologist, Albert Nerenberg.  But she also learned that the funniest moments are the ones we share among family and friends.


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.

(AHA!) is hiring…… AHA! Youth Project Coordinator

AHA! Logo Colour

Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) is hiring……

POSITION TITLE: AHA! Youth Project Coordinator

Term and hours: approximately 8 hours weekly for 6 months, with an option to both increase hours and continue beyond 6 months if further funding is secured

Supervised by the AHA! Leadership Team


The AHA! Youth Project Coordinator will coordinate and grow all AHA! youth projects and represent AHA! at local and provincial youth tables, between June 1, 2016 and November 30, 2106.

AHA! currently funds 4 artists part time in the community and has the potential to be part of at least three new youth projects in the coming months. The AHA! Youth Coordinator will support existing youth programming – including ensuring timely evaluation and reporting to funders, liaise with other groups offering art-health programming to youth, explore further funding for youth arts-health projects, represent AHA! at local and provincial tables concerned about youth health and engage in visioning for further support for arts-based programming for local youth.


– Liaise with those working in youth health and education in the community

– Support artists currently working with youth, including ensuring adequate training and timely evaluation of projects

– Represent AHA! as requested at youth health tables locally and provincially

– Explore and apply for further funding for youth arts health projects

– Support reporting to funders and employers, both verbal and written, regarding youth programming and its outcomes

– Liaise with others in the community, province and country interested in arts based youth programming

– Engage, with employer, in visioning of next steps in youth arts-based programming


Understanding of the value of the arts to youth wellbeing

Experience working with youth

Experience as an arts practitioner, in education and/or in health care will be considered assets

Effective oral and written communication skills, excellent interpersonal skills

An ability to work independently and be accountable for all actions and decisions, with a high degree of initiative

Creative and innovative thinking, adaptable

Team building, leadership and/or organizational skills

Project management skills and experience overseeing staff are assets

Please send a letter of interest, your resume and contact information for two references to: artshealthantigonish@gmail.com  by 5 pm, Friday, May 20, 2016.

Many thanks for your interest in AHA!



Mon. April 18th – 6-8 pm

St. Andrew Junior School Library, Antigonish


Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!)

invites everyone

to explore how the arts contribute to youth wellbeing

with Ryan Veltmeyer

 Youth Art Connection, Halifax

Full Circle: An Interview with Jeremy Holmes on Youth, Arts, and Mental Health

Full Circle AHA! Interviews

Full Circle AHA! Interviews

by Anne Simpson






AS: Jeremy, tell me a bit about yourself, about your passion for music.

Jeremy Holmes

Jeremy Holmes

JH: I grew up in British Columbia, and when I was around age ten we moved to Nova Scotia, where my mother held down two jobs. There are six kids in my family, four of whom are adopted. We were a wily (to say the least) bunch, a single home melting pot. When I was thirteen, I got a job on a farm in Yarmouth. The owners of the farm were a kind, older couple from Massachusetts. They knew we didn’t have much in the way of extras around home, what with my mother being the only breadwinner at that time, so one day when I was fifteen, they told me to “go upstairs to the attic and get that box up there.” I did, and in the box was an acoustic guitar. They gave it to me, and that was when I began to teach myself about music. I had no idea then what an enormous part of my life music would become.

AS: How did you get connected with Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!)?

JH: Jen Leuschner, a Public Health Manager and Co-Chair of AHA! had me come and play at her daughter’s birthday party. I kept the kids entertained… and contained, I hope. I met Jen prior to that party through my wife, but I think she knew about me because of my children’s band and our ECMA win.

AS: Tell me about that award.

JH: It was the ECMA Children’s Recording of the Year Award for 2014. I didn’t expect to win, or even be nominated, so it was great.

AS: So you got involved with AHA! and then what happened?

JH: Jen introduced me to Michelle Thompson, School Health Nurse Liaison, and Tara Hassin, Schools Plus Community Outreach Worker, both of whom work for the Strait Regional School Board. Michelle and Tara got me involved with the Schools Plus program, which helps identify kids in schools who might do well with extra support.

AS: And what were some of the highlights when you were doing that work?

JH: There are so, so many. I worked with one little boy, creating little tunes and exploring instruments, specifically, a djembe and my ukulele. Here, you can listen to an audio file on my phone—he’s singing a lullaby he was making up. He doesn’t have a father figure at home. His song is about a child being put to sleep, and the parents telling the child they love him. There, can you hear it?

AS: It’s beautiful—he’s got such a sweet voice.

JH: Music can be such a lifeline.

AS: Can you tell me more about that?

JH: Well, it’s one of the ways we develop avenues for ourselves in youth—as adults, we don’t want to box anyone in. It is one of the greatest roles we have as adults, to help provide and nurture development tools for the youth around us. Music, the arts—they’re such accessible forms of this. A guitar, a sketchbook, a barn to crank out noise with your friends.

AS: So on the one hand you’re giving kids strategies for how to deal with things and on the other hand you’re letting them fool around and play music. What other plans do you have?

JH: I hope to be able to keep this work going with kids. One of the things I’m doing is a program at the library. Sheila Sears, the Director of Public Health, asked if I would approach the kids who spend many of their afternoons there. I started spending time with them, listening to them, just being an ear sometimes. It’s been great, and it’s made me think about what kids need and don’t have here. They’d like a skateboard park, so that’s my next project. We’ve talked to the owner of the mall and she really likes our proposal, so we’re taking the next steps.

AS: You see all kinds of ways you can work for the community, don’t you?

JH: Well, I mean, some of this started with AHA! Everyone at AHA! made me feel part of the community. There was overwhelming support there for me to do what I wanted to do.

AS: And your dream is to continue to do this work with kids, the kind of work you did with Schools Plus?

JH: Yes. It’s so important for kids to have access to the arts. It’s one of the building blocks of community, and it’s certainly one of the building blocks of an individual’s mental health. It’s just so important.

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