As a creative engagement facilitator, Katarina Thorsen uses restorative art-based practices to create safe a space in which inquiry can flourish and connections can deepen. 

Within restorative art-based practice, safe and inclusive space is an act of collaboration– between the facilitators and the participants. We co-create the space by how the space set up, how well the facilitators read the room dynamics, by starting in circle, setting intentions, utilizing a flexible and dynamic framework and by coming back to circle for reflection and closing.

Katarina facilitates the use of mind mapping and gentle art instruction to engage the whole-brain of the participants in order to:

• increase engagement and collaboration

• capture dialogue,

• gather data and

• to create art and have fun

The process allows for all voices in the room to be heard and we discover together.  

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 9.50.24 AM



MISSION: to facilitate dialogue and creative expression through arts-based engagement





Katarina (Kat) Thorsen, is an artist, a creative engagement facilitator and a craftivist passionate in her belief that art can heal and build connections. Kat specializes in arts-based programming for all ages, in particular engaging vulnerable populations.  The heart of her work is visual storytelling, whole brain engagement and facilitation. Her interactive art events and street art encourages participants to become part of the creative process. Kat’s own artwork can be found in private collections in North America and Europe.  She published her first book, Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Artin 2013. Her next book is a true crime analysis in the form of a graphic novel.  Kat resides in Vancouver, Canada.

Katarina Thorsen Curriculum Vitae PDF: available upon request


Woman of Worth Award 2014: Humanitarian of the Year

City of North Vancouver 2010 Civic Youth Award: Outstanding Supporter of Youth.


“Sarah, I think of you.” In memory of Sarah de Vries.  Donated to Coquitlam RCMP detachment, 2002

Kat’s greatest joy is being mom to Anna and Julian.


Creative Engagement and Therapeutic Art Clients and Collaborators include:

School districts: North Vancouver, Burnaby, Vancouver, Coquitlam, Sunshine Coast

Schools: Mountainside Secondary, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary, Alpha Secondary, Byrne Creek Secondary, Strathcona Elementary, West Pointe Grey Academy, Roberts Creek Elementary, Elphinstone Secondary, Kwayhquitlum Middle School, Small Talk Preschool for Language Disorders, Bayview Community, SelfDesign Home Schooling, Rhodes Wellness College, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia

Youth Programs: HELP Street Youth, Granville Youth Health Clinic, Inner City Youth, Intensive Youth Outreach Services, Hollyburn Family Services, Frames Film Project, Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society, Burnaby Neighborhood House, Burnaby Youth Custody Centre, Pacific Community Resource Society, Passion to Lead, Strathcona Community Centre, YouthCO

Restorative Justice Programs: North Shore Restorative Justice, Punky Lake Wilderness Society, Shaking the Movers, Centre for Restorative Justice, Circles of Support and Accountability

As well as: City of Surrey, City of Vancouver, viaSPORT, NGU Consultants, Spruce Harbour Marina, Canucks Autism Network, Tapestry Retirement Living, Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities, Hawthorne Memory Care, Evergreen Extended Care, Concert Properties, Leisure Care Canada, Vancouver Coastal Health, Bayshore Home Health Care, Beauty Night Society, Friends for Life, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Operation Sock Monkey, DIVERSEcity, Place des Arts


 You can connect with Katarina at the following sites:

Kat with her daughter, Anna Thorsen, and Tobey.

ART BLOG: katthorsen.com

CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT: katthorsen.com and cultureofcare.ca

LINKEDIN: Katarina Thorsen

TWITTER: KatThorsen

FACEBOOK: Kat Thorsen

INSTAGRAM: poststreet

TUMBLR: Kat Thorsen

ETSY SHOP: etsy.com/shop/katarinathorsen




Katarina Thorsen, BSc (1984, University of British Columbia) is not a board-certified art therapist.  
Katarina has over 25+ years of frontline experience with special needs populations,  facilitating artistic expression in one-on-one and group settings.


  1. Hejsan Katarina!
    Härligt att se att du är aktiv inom konstformen!

    Nu när OS startat så råkade jag se Anders med sin fru och sökte på dig och fann denna site. Jag blev så glad av att hitta spår av dig! Hör av dig så vi får uppdatera varandra.
    Kram Maj-Lis 🙂

  2. Hej gumman,

    Tänker så ofta på dig men kom på igår att jag måste söka dig på nätet och det är klart att du var lätt att hitta. Hur mår ni? Bor ni kvar i Seachelt? (stavning???)

    Tänkte på dig lite för att din dotter ju fyllde igår med mig och att jag vill gratta henne även om hon säkert inte minns mig. Sen har vi ju dina tavlor uppe och får ofta komplimanger och frågor….

    Kul att du jobbar med barn med annorlunda talanger. Jag läste till specialpedagog för några år sedan och jobbar också med elever med adhd, dyslexi etc. Underbart. Jag har verkligen hittat det jag vill göra.

    Vore så kul att höra lite från dig. Jag finns på facebook men hittade inte dig…

    Jättekram och många tankar


  3. Your work with teenagers should be the lead story of every newspaper! I am a Recreation Therapist on a Level IV prison located in Los Angeles County and a lot of these guys could have warded off the boredom and anger of being a teenager by making art,
    Thank you for changing lives-
    you are an inspiration!

  4. Katarina! Your art STILL inspires me. I remember as a kid staring up at your pieces, not quite understanding and yet being blown away by their power. The painting of the woman having just given birth will always be my favourite. I am so glad to see you are still up to it and using your gift to help others.

  5. Kat, love the sock puppet therapy. I have a “craftavist” in my house and she’s nine. I am currently sitting on what I think is fantastic first installment to a graphic novel script and am trying to find someone who sees my vision for the art. Any ideas? I love your art and sketches and what you’ve put together for “Molly”. Just a Canadian, in Kansas, doin’ my PTA thing and writing stories…

    1. Brandi- would love to hear more about your graphic novel idea! Are you looking for an artist? I’m sure there are some incredible artists out there hungry to offer their services! Say hello to your CRAFTAVIST! Much love Katarina

  6. Thank you so much Katarina for sharing your time, talent and resources with us (THRD1117) at Stenberg today. Wish your stay could have been longer than half a day. I personally was very inspired by your works, past and present, and would like to follow your footsteps in changing lives! More power to you and regards. – Andrea-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s