Katarina (Kat) Thorsen, is an artist, writer, creative engagement facilitator and craftivist, passionate in her belief that art can heal and build connections. She specializes in arts-based programming for all ages, focusing in particular on engaging diverse and vulnerable populations. She is currently the Program Director at Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society, an associate of the Centre for Restorative Justice at Simon Fraser University and co-founder of Empower YOUth Production Coop.
The heart of Katarina’s work is visual storytelling, restorative practices, whole brain engagement and facilitation. Her interactive art events and street art encourage participants to become part of the creative process. Katarina’s own artwork can be found in private collections in North America and Europe. A writer, illustrator and researcher, she published her first book, Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Artin 2013. Her current passion project is a true crime analysis in the form of a graphic novel and a television series.
Born in Sweden, Katarina is deeply grateful to live, work and play on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Woman of Worth Award 2014: Humanitarian of the Year
City of North Vancouver 2010 Civic Youth Award: Outstanding Supporter of Youth



Creative Engagement and Therapeutic Art Clients and Collaborators include (but are not limited to):

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

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, Minnekhada Middle School. L’Ecole Maillard Middle School, Hillcrest Middle School, L’Ecole Moody Middle School of the Arts, Small Talk Preschool for Language Disorders, Bayview Community School, SelfDesign Home Schooling, Rhodes Wellness College, Stenberg College,  Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia

Youth Programs: Canucks Autism Network, HELP Street Youth, The Foundry, Intensive Youth Outreach Services, Hollyburn Family Services, Frames Film Project, Drive Youth Employment Services, 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 ProgramsNorth Shore Restorative Justice, Punky Lake Wilderness Society, Shaking the Movers, Centre for Restorative Justice, Circles of Support and Accountability

As well asCity of Surrey, City of Vancouver, viaSPORT, NGU Consultants, Spruce Harbour Marina, 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, Tri-Cities Overdose Community Action Team, Solid State Community Industries






Katarina Thorsen, BSc (1984, University of British Columbia) is not a board-certified art therapist but a creative engagement facilitator.  
Katarina has over 30+ years of frontline experience with vulnerable 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-

  7. I have a original Joe Average painting from 1987 that might make you laugh, not many people have ever seen it. I would be happy to email you a picture.
    I also have this outstanding giant schnauzer pup that would like to nibble on your charcoal.

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