Article from the Calgary Herald

“Art is healing,” says Paula Timm as she describes how a canvas and a palette of paint helped her cope with chronic illness and overcome a dependency on painkillers after a traumatic surgery left her temporarily clinically dead.

The corporate fleet-truck-manager-turned-full-time-artist shares her story to a group of Calgary police officers and a group from Fresh Start, an addiction recovery centre for men.  She not only inspires them, but co-facilitates a project they are about to embark on.

They are all there to paint mysterious 19-centimetre by 19 centimetre squares of canvas that will be part of the largest collaborative art canvas in the city.

“I just feel like we are all creative individuals,” says Timm. “Creative expression can be writing, art, music — it can be the way you get dressed in the morning. But when you stifle that, something else gets stifled. When we’re numb, we can’t feel the full expression of any emotion.”

Created by Prospect Human Services for Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM), the DEAMcanvas project was launched to help promote awareness and break down stereotypes and barriers between people with disabilities and employers through the medium of art.

Throughout the month of October, the DEAMcanvas brought together 12 disability-and-diversity-friendly employers, employees with a range of disabilities and art facilitators at Prospect’s Studio C in the historic Burns Building.

Read full article here –