Q: What if you were living in a City shelter and you were so depressed you couldn’t ask for what you needed? And what if you couldn’t figure out what you needed?
Fred Victor’s creative programs give people a way to express themselves when words are hard to find. Arts and creative activities are gateways to learning, trust, self-esteem and belonging. Arts are also a source of income when artists sell their photos and paintings.
Once a week, the Arts Program gives voice to community artists. An expressive arts instructor runs the visual arts group. Fred Victor’s creative programs include painting and collage, gardening and writing.
Each year Fred Victor's art program showcases photos, paintings and collage at an Art Show. Proceeds from the sale of the art benefits individual artists and art programs.
Art, Soul and the Scent of Coffee
It was a lovely, spring evening and The Redline Coffee and Espresso Bar near the corner of Queen and Parliament streets was buzzing. Redline was the cozy, coffee-scented host to Fred Victor’s Annual Little Art Show. Artists had been working for weeks, sometimes months to produce their best work and choose which pieces they would hang on the walls of the café. All the pieces at the show were for sale, so artists received the acknowledgment and benefit that artists deserve.
The Redline is owned and operated by a generous, community-spirited woman named Julie Van Der Lugt. Julie donated the space to Fred Victor for the exhibit because she understood how important creativity is to people both from the point of view of the person making art as well as the person viewing it. She offered the walls of her café for Fred Victor artists because as a local business she liked connecting with her community and saw Fred Victor as her neighbour.
Brenda Coombs was the peer art assistant for the program. Her role was to support Art Instructor and to encourage other artists who used the program. Brenda began as a program participant several years ago and found the program remarkable in its ability to help her recover her health: “This place gives everyone self-worth. The power of art is very real — there is no judging here. Those who attend the Art Program look forward to it as the highlight of their week.”
Click here to DONATE to Fred Victor’s art and community programs.
The Garden Group plants, maintains and harvests a garden plot in the Moss Park Community Garden. Every year, the group works on a special project, such as creating and publishing a garden book with gardening-related stories. In 2012, the Garden Group created a beautiful video of the garden and what it means to be part of a gardening program. Click this link to see it.
In the Beyond the Horizon Newsletter Open House participants write stories and poems about their lives and the issues that affect homeless and low-income people.