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heARTful Expressions - National Advance Care Planning Day April 16, 2014

 "Creative outlets of expression allow complex and strong feelings to be rendered in tangible forms that have the power to express things that words alone cannot" (Center for Hospice Care, Southeast Connecticut)


Paintings by - L'Arche Comox Valley


National Advance Care Planning Day Wednesday April 16, 2014 saw the Comox Valley Advance Care Planning Committee celebrate heARTful Expressions at an evening public exhibition, open house and reception held at Berwick Retirement Community in Comox.

heARTful Expressions emerged from the committee's recognition of people’s individual creativity as a beneficial avenue for communication and one way to possibly start the conversation about advance care planning. As the Comox Valley is a unique region that is well known for its rich array of artistry and creativity including artists who work in many mediums, the committee established heARTful Expressions to encourage creative ways of ‘having the talk’ about advance care planning. Throughout 2013 community members with an interest in creativity and the arts were invited to take part in this project encouraging conversations about the issues, ideas, and concerns that may arise when people express their own personal wishes about advance care planning, life and death wishes and bereavement.

Nearly 200 individuals enjoyed viewing and listening to the unique sharings that formed our heARTful Expressions exhibit and open house. We gratefully acknowledge the participating artists and their unique gifts of inspiration as a variety of art mediums were celebrated including: theatre, written verse & creative writing, painting, photography, rock art, paverpol, glass jewelry and creations, stained glass, dance, songwriting, music and doll making.

Participants created original works of art that encouraged people to have the conversation about advance care planning at the open house and with their loved ones. Having one’s voice and personal wishes spoken from the heART was a common theme throughout the submitted pieces.

 Our sincere thanks to our heARTful Expressions Artists!


♥ Angela Termarsch     Paverpol - ‘Teacup’, ‘Clown’ and ‘Angel’

♥ April Dyck                 Paintings - ‘Joy’ and ‘Army of Angels’

♥ Barbara Simonson     Painted Craft Coffin - ‘Out of the Box’

♥ Cheryl Moore             Ala Prima Painting Series -  ‘Laughter is Good for the Soul’

♥ Cleo Agar                  Contemporary Dance -  ‘Where is my Mind’

♥ Christina Nienaber-Roberts  Photography & Creative Writing -  ‘The Things That Are Important To Me’

Dandelion                  ‘Are you Listening to Me? A Whimsical fantasy of the final journey from here to there’ (Theatre production)

♥ E. Ann Behrens           Creative Writing - ‘Come The Day’

♥ Jane Gilchrist              Puppetry Video - ‘Is There An Elephant in the Room?’

♥ Janet Shaw                  Pianist - ‘Piano Selections’

♥ Julia Campbell            Guitar & Song - ‘Dance to the end of Love’

♥ Kath Street                 Copper Sculpture - ‘Tunnel of Love’ & Creative Writing              

♥ L’ARCHE Comox Valley Outreach Centre                   Watercolour Paintings

Brandy Jensen                                               ‘Happy Hearts’

Gary Scavarda                                                ‘Love’

Joe Lacourse                                                 ‘Overflowing with Hearts’

Mildred Johnson                                            ‘Red Heart’

Rachel Scott                                                  ‘Sparkling Hearts’

Robert Cronk                                                 ‘Pastel Heart’

Shelley Blake-Knox                                        ‘From the Heart’

Suzanne Davis                                               ‘Fruit of the Heart’

♥ L’ARCHE Group Art Piece 1:                          ‘A COMMUNITY OF HEARTS ‘

By Brandy, Chrissy, Gary, Jennifer, Joe, Judith, Millie, Rachel, Robert, Shelley, Suzanne

♥ L’ARCHE Group Art Piece 2:                          ‘BUTTON HEART ‘

By Shelley and Claire

♥ Lynn Black                       Painting - ‘My Loving Family and Friends’

♥ Marla Thirsk                    Painting - ‘Eat, Love, Play’, Art Dolls, Paperclay Sculptures  

♥ Martha Ponting              4 Paintings - ‘I Hope You Danced’; ‘Shelter & Grace’ ; ‘Where Serenity & Grace Prevail’ ; ‘The Desiderata’ 

 ♥ Martin Kaspers               Nature Photography- ‘Trio of Landscapes’ 

 ♥ Mikeoula                        Sound Practitioner - ‘Healing Sounds’

 ♥ Monique Thompson       Photography - ’07:25 am & 4:53 pm ‘The Same Day’

Patti Wilson                   Stained Glass- ‘Stained Glass Selections’

♥ Ron Simmons                 Woodworking Birdhouses - ‘Trio of Birdhouses’

♥ Sabine Arends                Fireworx Glass - 'Glass Selections’

♥ Sharon Bearpark             Photography & Creative Writing - ‘My Voice’

 Sue Pyper                       Painting & Pointillism - ‘Did Someone Say Treats?’,   ‘Daisies’       & ‘Going With The Flow -The Wishing Stone’

 Voices Three  -               'The Last Rhapsody' - Helen Austin, Sue Pyper, Judy Wing 

 Wendy Lynn East            Rock Art - ‘Rock Art Collection’

 The Ice Cream Ladies - 'Eat, Play, Love'

 "I created this series because every painting I saw was of a young beautiful woman, especially if she was in a bathing suit. Just because we grow old doesn't mean we are not beautiful anymore. It's not the years in your life, it's the life in your years." - Marla Thirsk


The Artist, Creativity and ‘Having the Conversation‘

How heARTful Expressions was inspired …


Adapted from 'Eternal Echoes' by John O'Donohue, Author of Anam Cara


The artist trains him or herself while animated by a unique longing.

There are no outer ready-made maps for what the artist wants to create as one’s heart pushes out to the edge in the creation of something original.

The artist is called not so much from the outside as from the unknown depths within, and the invitation to create comes from elsewhere.

Artists coax the invisible towards a form where it becomes faintly visible, or silence moves towards voice. Out of the flow something new begins to emerge.

The artist is fiercely called to truth.

Despite all of the personal limitation and uncertainty, the artist has to express what he or she finds.

The artist is always faithful to longing first. This willingness to follow the longing “wherever it leads” enables all kinds of new possibilities of creation.

The Artist is a permanent pilgrim finding their voice in their chosen medium.

Art leads to another way of ‘having the conversation’ about important life issues, beliefs, values and wishes.  Art and creativity may be one’s chosen route to advance care planning and heARTful Expressions emerged from this creative source.


 Think Outside The Box



Artist - Barb Simonson 










The heART of advance care planning                                             

 h ave the conversation

 xpress your wishes

 A llow your voice to be heard

 eveal what is important to you 

 ell those you love


On behalf of the Comox Valley Advance Care Planning Committee we would like to acknowledge the following Sponsors and Draw Prize Contributors for their support of the 2014 National Advance Care Planning Day events

Ambassador Shuttle
Berwick Comox Valley
Comox Valley Hospice Society
Courtenay Little Theatre
L’Arche Comox Valley
Locals Restaurant at The Old House
Majestic Bed & Breakfast & Kayaking, Ucluelet
Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem
St. Joseph’s General Hospital 
Vigneti Zanatta Winery, Cowichan Valley

  And a special note of thanks to our Presenters and Performers

Cleo Agar
Janet Shaw
Julia Campbell
Lynn Brandon
Ted Hicks
Voices Three – Judy Wing, Sue Pyper and Helen Austin

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