The Creative Well-Being Program

The Creative Well-Being Initiative began in 2022 with the goal of improving the mental well-being of PEI’s artists and creative sector workers. During the first iteration of the project we made connections within art and mental health communities and began discussing ways in which we could achieve our goal. The current phase of the project has resulted in the development of a free therapy service for artists, as well as a peer support program. The project has been made possible thanks to funding from The PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being.

Event Calendar

PROGRAMMING

The Island Artist’s Way

A weekly online group for Island artists and creators working in any medium at any stage

  • Begins on March 5th – Now full!
  • Spaces for the Winter/Spring cohort are now full – if you’d like to be on the list for a future cohort, please contact monica@creativepei.ca or lokki@creativepei.ca
  • Every Tuesday from 7-8:30pm for 12 weeks
  • on Zoom with two in-person meetups (dates TBD)

Each week, participants will gather virtually to delve into the principles of Julia Cameron’s acclaimed book, The Artist’s Way, following the 12-week structure of the book. We will engage in lively discussions, reflective exercises, and practical applications designed to unlock creative potential and overcome artistic barriers.

Facilitated by peer support workers Lokki Ma and Monica Lacey, this group offers a safe and nurturing environment for artists of all backgrounds to connect, share, and grow. Through shared experiences and mutual encouragement, members can discover new insights, confront limiting beliefs, and embrace their innate creativity.

Participants do not need to have already read the book, however they will need to acquire a copy in order to get the most from this program. The Artist’s Way is widely available from PEI libraries as well as local booksellers. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is required and participants are asked to do their best to commit to the full 12 weeks.

To join, fill out the form here:  https://forms.gle/sf2JFrWanPQJQfgK7

Please contact lokki@creativepei.ca or monica@creativepei.ca with any questions.

Free Therapy Program

Creative PEI has contracted Our Landing Place to develop a free therapy program specifically tailored to the needs of artists and culture workers. For more information on program eligibility and to apply please visit ourlandingplace.com/creative-wellbeing

Artist Peer Support Program

Creative PEI has two Peer Support Workers on staff. The goal of peer support is to create a safe space for creatives to gather to discuss the intricacies of working in the industry (i.e. burnout, creative blocks, instability of work, etc.) There are currently two groups that meet bi-monthly, one in Charlottetown and one in Summerside.

Summerside Artists and Creators Peer Support Group

Who is it for?

Artists and creators who sell their work.

Is there a cost?

It is free to attend.

When is it?

The first Wednesday of every month from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

Where is it held?

At the Summerside Rotary Library on 57 Central St. in the Key Room on the second floor.

What can I expect?

  • A large table in the centre of the room with chairs placed around the table.
  • Brown kraft paper on the table. Pastels, colouring pencils, markers and collage-making supplies.
  • Hot water, tea and hot chocolate with compostable cups are provided.
  • A confidential, welcoming and casual environment.
  • Folks can stay for the entire session or leave when they need.
  • A wide-ranging conversation about life and work as a creative.
  • There is no expectation to share but everyone will have an opportunity to share.

What do I bring?

Folks are welcome to bring an existing project or sketchbook -anything that helps you feel comfortable and a mug or reusable cup for a hot beverage if you have one.

Contact the group’s facilitator:

If you have additional questions or would like to be added to the group email, please do not hesitate to contact Lokki Ma – lokki@creativepei.ca.

Our Peer Support Workers

Monica Lacey

Monica Lacey is a Canadian/Italian multidisciplinary visual artist, writer, curator, educator, and community-builder. She is driven by curiosity, service, and the pursuit of beauty in all its forms, prioritizing connection and communication in her life and work.

Monica has taught Yoga, literacy, and art to students of all ages for charitable organizations and for the public. With a lifelong love of dance, a Qi Gong and Gong Fu practice, and a daily Kundalini Yoga practice now spanning nearly 20 years, Monica is passionate about the power of movement and meditation to heal and uplift. She has developed many programs and opportunities for the visual art community in PEI through her former role as Executive Director for this town is small inc. and currently through independent curatorial projects including the Fitzroy St. Tiny Art Gallery. Monica looks forward to supporting the well-being of island artists in her new role as a Peer Support Worker for Creative PEI.

She lives with her family on unceded Mi’kmaq territory and enjoys outdoor roller skating and swimming in the ocean in her free time.

Lokki Ma

Lokki grew up in PEI and worked in professional theatre for over 15 years in Toronto before moving home in 2021.

Lokki has provided 1:1 support and facilitated peer support groups with the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network in Ontario and co-facilitated compassionate care workshops through Sunnybrook Hospital to help healthcare professionals improve the care of bereaved families.

She is looking forward to meeting artists across the Island and working to improve our collective mental health!

Field Trip Group

Have you ever wanted to attend a workshop, exhibit or activity, but going by yourself has felt daunting? “Field Trip” is a new group for artists and makers to experience creative offerings across the Island together!

Facilitated by peer support worker Lokki Ma, participants will meet at a predetermined spot and attend the event together.

The “Field Trip” group will attend a mixture of free and priced activities. This group will provide you with an opportunity to build community, nourish your creativity, and perhaps even learn something new! There will also be time afterwards to debrief about the experience in relation to your creative practice, but this is optional.

Field Trip will be attending events on July 11, 13, 18 and 24:

  • July 11 – Collagraph Print Making – Blank Canvas – Charlottetown 11 – 4 pm, pre-registration is recommended. $8 fee
  • July 13 – 2 Spirit Drag – Carriage House – New London – 7pm
  • July 18 – As the Crow Flies Exhibit – Eptek Centre – Summerside – 11am
  • July 24 – Summerside Arts Fest – Wyatt Heritage Properties – 11am

Sign up and find out more by filling out this Google form.

The End Goal

We want the arts sector to thrive on Prince Edward Island and we know that it is not fully possible without supporting artists and creatives. We are aiming to improve the mental well-being of arts workers who often struggle with the emotional strains of making creative work, difficult working conditions, and precarious employment. We hope that by supporting artists in this way, we will also be able to identify ways that artists can support the community at large  through the use of art as a means of promoting mental well-being.

Contact

For more information contact the Project Coordinator JoAnna Howlett at joanna@creativepei.ca.

Accessibility – Summerside Library

Video Tour – Parts 1 and 2

Images