The Mulberry @ParcLiving Fox Panels

Without art we do not die.  But without art we do not live. 

Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society participant, 2012

I have the pleasure of working with an extraordinary group of individuals at Mulberry PARC doing art projects that range from drawing, interactive art, sock animals and group painting/quilt!

Our latest session involved drawing the fox and creating two panels for tomorrow’s art show!

Fox animal symbolism takes a turn of intelligence in the Celtic realm, as the Celts believed the fox to be a guide, and was honored for its wisdom. The Celts understood the fox knows the woods intimately, and they would rely upon the fox as their guide in the spirit world.

At tomorrow’s art show ART IN THE PARC we will be showing our Fox panels… 



… our owls/bunnies/hummingbird/ladybugs embellished panels…

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 10.12.57 AM

… and our sock owls!

See also:

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 6.30.29 PM

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 6.31.55 PM


The 100 Herons Art Project: Session 1! And pre-sale!

I am deep in the process of a very personal art project– the 100 Herons Art Project– to answer the call to create art born out of my deep desire to capture the magic of the herons in my neighborhood…

“The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard

… and to help support my ability to provide free arts programming for a local program that supports refugee youth ages 16-24.

Session 1 was yesterday!

I hopped on transit yesterday afternoon and spent a couple hours on the Skytrain and the bus headed to a Lower Mainland youth program that supports refugee youth.

This program is extraordinary- “a collaborative, case-managed service model for the delivery of comprehensive, holistic and client-centred programming.”  It provides youth with support services across the board, helping them navigate their new environment, learn life skills, build community and connection.

Today was Session 1 of the initial intro to the free arts programming that I will be providing this for the group this summer.  We spent an hour and a half together in a cramped room that filled with lots of laughter and smiles as I instructed in English (and Swedish as one young woman who is multi-fluent exclaimed that she knows Swedish) while the program coordinators translated.  It was quite wonderful hearing art instruction in multiple languages all at the same time!  I did my usual intro lesson using newsprint and china markers drawing OWLS and 3-D eyes to build trust, introduce my style and to create safe space.

Photo 2017-07-13, 4 48 36 PM copy

Photo 2017-07-13, 4 48 29 PM

Many of the participants grabbed a china marker on their way out at the end of the session.  YES!  That is what it’s all about!

Sitting on the two hour ride home, my mind wanted to go to: What are you doing?  How can you sustain this?  But my heart was full.   I feel so honored to spend time with this wonderful group.

Art creates joy.  If only in the moment.  And that is all we have.

Check the panels at:

Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 2.25.06 PM

I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!


The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 10.01.22 AM






The Heron Feathers: 100 Herons Art Project

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 8.22.06 AM


I am creating of twelve 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons [between June 14 to July 31, 2017].  

For every $25 raised I will draw a heron!

THE SPONSORED ART will allow me to develop and provide much-needed FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program in July and August.



I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer  I can provide receipts.

Check the panels at:

Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 2.25.06 PM

I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!


The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 10.01.22 AM


The art is drawn in my signature style–



– then collaged onto 20″ x 30″ foam board panels–

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 10.45.18 AM

– and embroidered with additions of discarded nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads, and sponsor names.

Photo 2017-06-11, 4 51 46 PM

Photo 2017-06-12, 12 50 16 PM

Yesterday, I took a walk to the heron nests with my friend Darcy to look for some feathers in the grass for collaging…

Usually I find one or two heron feathers.  Well, we came across a LARGE pile of scattered heron feathers– obviously from a heron who lost its life to a predator.  A teen heron perhaps?  Of course I had to gather as many as I could– thanking and honoring the heron’s life by incorporating the feathers into the art.

A feather from a heron symbolizes patience, grace and confidence…

I took the feathers home, soaked them in gentle detergent to clean and disinfect, and laid them out on newsprint to dry them.  I then categorized them and collected them into mason jars.

Photo 2017-06-14, 6 23 06 PM

Photo 2017-06-14, 5 44 34 PM

Photo 2017-06-14, 5 45 11 PM

Photo 2017-06-14, 5 51 33 PM

Photo 2017-06-14, 6 24 56 PM (2)





Photo 2017-06-14, 6 50 31 PM


100 HERONS Art Project


I am creating of twelve 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons between June 14 to July 31, 2017.  

For every $25 raised I will draw a heron!

THE SPONSORED ART will allow me to develop and provide FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program.




I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer  I can provide receipts.

Check the panels at:

Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 2.25.06 PM

I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!


The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 10.01.22 AM


The art will be drawn in my signature style– collaged onto 20″ x 30″ foam board panels and embroidered with additions of discarded nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads, and sponsor names.

Photo 2017-06-12, 12 52 01 PM
Sample drawing showing chinamarker on newsprint, embroidered, with additions of discarded heron nest stick, found heron and seagull feathers, recycled beads


I have been asked if I can provide art lessons to a group in Surrey, BC, that provides support services for youth ages 16-24 who have experienced extreme trauma and life disruption.  The youth comprise of refugees from war-torn countries.

These particularly vulnerable youth face challenges and barriers that may include: lack of employment, experience of violence / trauma, lack of education /interrupted education, cultural shock, family size / issues, little or no English, social isolation, mental health/chronic health issues, lack of financial means, criminal justice issues, housing issues, alcohol/drug addiction, lack of support…

The group meets twice a week and the youth have expressed a strong desire arts-based programming.  

ART and creative expression breaks down the barriers, builds connection and resiliency, and strengthens the participants’ abilities in making healthy decisions about their futures.  Participation in therapeutic art programming provides participants with the opportunity for developing healthy relationship skills, learn stress and anger management, and build the confidence to be the best possible versions of themselves.  Art connects us beyond language.  We connect with the heart, within a safe space.  We express together and move towards healing.

The program staff, who I met during an inclusion focus group, are incredible and dedicated.  They provide extraordinary services on an extremely tight budget.  I have been asked me about my services and fees.  I am so honoured to be asked.  Creating art and helping others express themselves creatively is what I am on this planet to do.  This is EXACTLY the type of work that makes my heart sing!  But there is no way I could/would/should charge a fee for my services and supplies to this group.  


Unfortunately, I am between contracts and currently not in a financial position to be able to volunteer my time to develop and facilitate the program and nor provide supplies.  And the need is urgent.  This is not the time to wait for months and months for grant opportunities.

What to do?

I took a walk into “my backyard” the other day– Stanley Park.  I stood for a long time under the heronry wondering about my own life, my work, about my desire to provide free programming to youth, at a loss as to what to do next.  I bathed myself in the sounds of the heron chicks.  I continued on a long walk into the trees, around the lagoon, listening.  Walking with the question.

Photo 2017-06-11, 4 02 54 PM

I dreamt that night of 100 Herons, walking among them.  A mixture of being up in the trees with them, under the trees, in the water.  I had a peaceful heart, feeling this was a message about the healing power of art– about my need to make personal commitment to my true path:

TO CREATE, to focus on my gifts.  To stop searching elsewhere.


 You are being called to take courage and follow your true path, which will be discovered through exploring your inner self.  Find what draws you to action.

[Message of the HERON]

And so the 100 HERONS art project is born!


Funds raised go to:

• Art Supplies 

• Creation of the twelve panels

• Program development (will include drawing, painting, journal exercises, sock monkey therapy)

• Facilitation

• Transit fees

• Free ART programming at the Refugee and Immigrant Specialized Experience Program (RISE), Surrey BC [Youth ages 16-24]

Donation Button 


I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer  I can provide receipts.



CREATE twelve 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons between June 14 to July 31, 2017!

IMMEDIATE GOAL: RAISE $2500.00 CAD by June 30, 2017

Art classes with youth will occur: JULY 2017 and AUGUST 2017

Art lessons include: drawing, painting journaling, sock monkey therapy, one on one and group projects.

Completion of the panels July 31, 2017

Art exhibit and sale: AUGUST 2017


Thumbnail list of panels plans

  1. Nest and heron silhouettes (The Stanley Park Heronry)
  2.  Heron portraits
  3.  Heron portraits
  4.  Heron portraits
  5.  Heron portraits
  6.  Herons on West End buildings
  7.  Herons in ocean
  8.  Herons at Lost Lagoon
  9.  Herons at Beaver Lake
  10. Eggs and chicks in a nest
  11. Heron nest with eagle in background
  12. Heronry trees

Total of 100 Herons drawn!

Each panel will include surprise additional Stanley Park characters: racoons, mice, squirrels, sparrows, chickadees, owls, insects…

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 3.20.49 PM


Each panel will also contain additions of discarded heron nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads…

Photo 2017-06-12, 12 49 41 PM

Photo 2017-06-12, 12 50 16 PM

Photo 2017-06-12, 12 50 35 PM

Photo 2017-06-12, 12 50 50 PM


Interested in pre-purchasing panels?

$375.00 CAD per panel [plus $40.00 shipping fee if panel needs to be mailed]


Photo 2017-06-11, 4 51 46 PM




June 13, 2017

The first four out of 100 ready for embroidery and embellishment!  (The donor wishes to remain anonymous)


No. 5 out of 100:

Sponsor: Terry Cowan

Big Draw Vancouver Oct 1! Join me at Strathcona Community Centre for DRAWN TOGETHER




I LOVE teaching drawing!  

Join me on for BIG DRAW VANCOUVER on October 1 2016 10:30 AM-12:30 PM PT at Strathcona Community Centre in Vancouver BC (601 Keefer) as I host a two hour drawing session!  

My fabulous artist friend, Alison Donnelly, will be co-hosting!

Try out chinamarkers on newsprint, add to a community art project using wheatpaste, join in as I run through some simple drawing lessons!  You can finish some of my pre-prepped drawings, or draw whatever you like!

Creative Process! Experiment!

Join for the full two hours or drop in!

All ages and FREE!  












When Doors Close: A Retreat to Unlock New Possibilities May 20-22

7 brilliant, heart-full and talented colleagues are collaborating to create When Doors Close – a retreat to unlock new possibilities.

I’ve been witnessing heartaching frustration in friends, loved ones, even strangers, and hearing the refrain “all the doors seem to be closing” – over and over. I know these words well. I’ve said these words, and felt at my wits end, at several watersheds in my life.

I’ve got some answers, and some experiences, that will help you (or your friend that you’re thinking of) to make it through to the other side where there’s room to breathe and hope again. And more answers and experiences are in the hands of Brenda Barton, Lucca Hallex, Kat Thorsen, Sue Biely, Tammra Broughton and Jain Wells who will join me in leading participants through a powerful weekend designed to release what is no longer, remember what will always be, and connect to the supports that will make forward movement possible. – Rebecca Mears


I am delighted to be part of this extraordinary retreat!

Event page

There are times in life when it feels like all the doors are closing or have closed, and we can’t for the life of us figure out a way forward. When the pressure is intense, courage failed a long time ago, and the heart feels broken.

This weekend retreat is designed to breathe life, hope, and courage back into those weary and worried bones. I have chosen facilitators from varied backgrounds and modalities whose expertise and guiding will enable us all to access, express, process, and discover how our paradigms, experiences, and emotions are collectively impacting what we perceive to be possible – which then creates (or limits!) what IS possible.

The weekend will feature intensive learning sessions, art, sound therapy, play, and quiet-time in which to process personal insight and application. My “prime directive” is for participants to complete the weekend journey feeling empowered, refreshed, unburdened, hopeful, connected to new members of their “tribe”, and ready to take specific and positive action towards the creation of their immediate future.

Here is an overview of what the journey will look like:

Phase 1: Release What Is No Longer
We will begin the retreat weekend on Friday evening by releasing what is no longer supporting, available, healthy, or viable in our lives. We will allow ourselves to appreciate and grieve, and consciously let these things (or people, or situations) go. Brenda Barton will take us through some “Rituals for Releasing”, and then we will “reset” our bodies and minds through a Gong Sound Bath led by Jain Wells.

Phase 2: Remember What Always Will Be
Saturday we will dig deep to reinforce our foundations and re-stabilize on what nothing outside of us can change. Rebecca Mears will lead a morning session on “Re-membering your Truths” that will use visualization, provocative questions, and story-sharing to facilitate each person’s remembering of who they are that they will always be, and the individual truths we hold that can guide us through the dark and foggy times. Kat Thorsen will follow up on these ideas in the afternoon via her powerful use of art and creative expression, leading us all through deeper exploration of what was uncovered in the morning. In the evening, Lucca Hallex will guide the group through an “Intuition Tune-Up”, where we will all get more familiar with the unique ways our intution speaks and guides us – and give a megaphone to what it is telling us right now.

Phase 3: Re-enforce Supports and Connections
On Sunday we begin with PLAY! Sue Biely will engage us in a delicious play-based session that will take us back to our unfettered selves – where creative problem solving, idea generation, and community building happens easily. We will begin to identify possibilities where we had not previously seen any. After lunch, Tammra Broughton will equip us with tools useful for becoming aware of and learning from our negative self-talk, that can empower us as we move forward – in her session “Positively Powerful NLP.” The weekend will be brought to a close Sunday afternoon as Rebecca Mears ensures everyone has next-steps, supports, self-care, and access to encouragement in the session “Constant Vigilance”.

The Deets
May 20-22, beginning on Friday the 20th at 5:30 pm and ending Sunday the 22nd at 5:30 pm.

Bios and details for each facilitator and their session will be posted soon in the event and on the website.

$250 on-site in Vancouver (limited to 35 seats)
*Lunch/snacks included. Housing overnight is not included, although there are two guest bedrooms available for reservation on-site. Payment plans are welcomed, write Rebecca to set one up. Location is at the House of Dreams in Kerrisdale, Vancouver, easily accessible by transit.

$100 for live streaming online
*For those who join us online, we will provide you a list of art supplies to prepare so that you can participate in all workshops to the maximum even from a distance. Live stream will offer the ability for you to interact with fellow online participants, to ask questions of the facilitator, and will be recorded. Payment plans are welcomed, write Rebecca to set one up.

Huge thank you to Rebecca Mears for envisioning, developing and producing this retreat!

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 7.40.53 AM



SATURDAY MAY 21, 2016 1-4:30 PM

 The session will cover:

Therapeutic journaling


Guided visualization

Writing (getting at the internal pain)

Esteem focus

Drawing lesson– gentle guidance (no experience necessary)


Anatomical Heart

Cartoon octopus

Mind-mapping/ personal planning

Whole brain engagement



Action Plan

Visual storytelling – group

Graphic recording of group dialogue and reflection

Collaging drawings

Creating group mind map (that can evolve and be added to)

Closing circle


For me, art has no end- there is no end product… A drawing by my father.

I was staying over at my brother and sister-in-law’s place the other day, spending delicious time with my niece and nephew.

Photo by Cher Thorsen
Photo by Cher Thorsen

I went to the downstairs washroom to wash my hands after Halloween costume mayhem…


… and came across a drawing my father, Roar Thorsen, had  done in 2011:


Oh, how I adore this piece.  It contains so much.  It illustrates the beauty of Roar’s post-stroke art.  It contains his intense attention to detail, his use of stickers to cover “mistakes,” his classic hands-in-the-pockets “gubbar,” his portrait of his beloved dog Tobey, as well as my cats, his love of the Swedish landscape, his joy that he felt creating his art inside a residential care centre, his pride.



I just love it.  And seeing little water splashes on the piece as my nephew (little Roar) stands at the sink and washes his hands, adds so much to my love of this piece.  For me, art has no end- there is no end product; art evolves over time.  And these water droplets are the continuation of the marks my father made.

A picture is a poem without words. – Horace


Roar Thorsen August 8, 1930- October 25, 2012


INSIDE OUT PROJECT- breaking the cycle of violence through creativity: Activities Report Summer 2015

Inside Out Project Summer 2015 was made possible by a generous grant from the Province of British Columbia – Ministry of Justice: Victim Services and Crime Prevention  Division

INSIDE OUT PROJECT- OWN YOUR JOURNEY: breaking the cycle of violence through creativity Activities Report

Screen shot 2015-08-12 at 9.09.47 AM

Location: Mountainside Secondary School, North Vancouver, BC, Canada


Ian Powell: photography, digital media

Kat Thorsen: therapeutic art

Erin Ross: animation

The Inside Out Project Summer 2015 was a three-week intensive arts-based program for youth ages 13-20. Using therapeutic art, photography and stop motion animation participants were taught skills in self-empowerment, peer-to-peer interaction, and how to make healthy, non-violent choices. The goal for the Inside Out Project was to help youth-at-risk address the root causes of violence (with a special focus on violence against women) through creative expression.


Arts-based prevention programs allow for alternative experiences of what life can be like, helping at-risk students discover their own talents and creative energy and providing opportunities to develop their inner resources and explore new options for the future. Using a rich and creative curriculum around the themes of violence prevention, self-actualization, empowerment and creativity– facilitators of the Inside Out Project encourage participants to own their journeys.

The Inside Out Project engages participants with the arts, allowing for successful experiences on which to build the resilience and psychological hardiness as well as providing tools to be able to better meet personal and community challenges and to make healthy, non-violent choices.

Between July 6 and July 24, 2015, 11 participants completed the three-week curriculum.

Week 1 Highlights

• Chalk Talk: How does violence affect how people live their lives?

Photography introduction



Vancouver Police Foundation Mounted Squad field trip


• Art journals

• Discussion and reflection on Shane Koyczan’s Ted Talk: To this day- for the bullied and the beautiful.

• Animation introduction

Check out more about week 1:

Day 1

Day 2- VPD Horses

Day 3- animation and anatomical hearts

Day 4 and 5- digging deeper

Week 2 Highlights

• Journaling

• Public Service Announcement discussion


• Project planning

• Animation project: Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson (individual and group projects)

Week 3 Highlights

• Film interviews

• Craftivism: Operation Sock Monkey: “200 Sock Monkeys for Nepal” (benefitting KYT Foundation)

• Animation completion

• #BESTYOUth Emotional Intelligence Workshop (with guest facilitator, Laura Mack)

• Celebration

LIFE SKILLS addressed during the three-week curriculum included:

o Anxiety tools

o Emotional intelligence

o Self-reflection

o Motivation

o Journaling

o Behavioral pattern recognition

o Teamwork

o Chalk talk

o Peer to peer counseling

o Project planning

o Mind mapping

o Interview skills

o Creative process and expression.

CHALK TALK defined:

Three groups of 3-4 students work on three sheets of large paper, silently writing on the topic: how does violence affect how people live their lives? Each group moves at regular intervals to each of the three sheets- adding their thoughts and reflections on existing work. A large group discussion follows. The discussion and subsequent key points serve as a starting point for the final group video project around the theme of violence prevention.




Title: Inside Out Project- Own Your Journey

Subtitle: Breaking the Cycle of Violence Through Creativity

Chalk Talk: footage and audio (participant interviews)

Participant Interview:

Like nothing mattered other than drugs. Honestly, I didn’t even care about myself. I didn’t care about what I did. I didn’t care about going to jail. I didn’t care about dying. I didn’t care about anything. I just cared about using. And that is not who I am. It’s crazy how different it made me, like, I don’t think I would recognize myself I saw myself on the street like that.

Animation compilation:

Screen shot 2015-08-12 at 9.13.54 AM

(interpreting and animating the poem “Autobiography in five short chapters” by Portia Nelson, ©1993)


I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk

I fall in.

I am lost … I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place

but it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in … it’s a habit.

My eyes are open

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

Back to Central Interview:

Well, like, I guess when I’m being creative, it lets me let out all my emotions and like everything that I’m thinking, just like, let me be crazy on a page or whatever… and like when I used heroin it would, like, take it into me again. It wouldn’t let it out. It would just shove it back down and make me feel better that way. Instead of expressing it. That’s why I think I should probably do more art. 

Tagline: Do more art.

Timelapse: youth artist portrait painting.




The Inside Out Project run by Kat Thorsen, Erin Ross, and Ian Powell this July truly changed my life. Two days before the program started I lost a friend to a heroin overdose. I could have chosen to fall back into my own heroin addiction but the Inside Out Project helped me stay strong throughout this hard time in my life. Honestly, I don’t think I would have made it through without the love, support and whole-hearted care everyone in the program gave me. The Inside Out Project saved me from myself. It saved my life. – Miko


Vancouver Police Department Mounted Squad field trip: tour with Cst. Darcy Henkel, discussion on violence prevention and use of horses, as well as photo essay opportunities. PHOTO ESSAY LINK:

Operation Sock Monkey (OSM) craftivism workshop: OSM is a volunteer-run initiative in support of humanitarian organizations that provide laughter, hope and healing to communities around the world affected by disease, disaster and social/political turmoil.

The 200 SockMonkeys For Nepal project: LINK

Screen shot 2015-08-12 at 9.15.34 AM

#BESTYOUth- Growing Together (ViRTUS /TELUS ®): emotional intelligence workshop with guest facilitator Laura Mack.

Key learnings from #BESTYOUth:

o Get to know your best self

o You always have a choice

o Your values are your inner GPS

o You can learn how not to snap

Screen shot 2015-08-12 at 9.22.26 AM


Screen shot 2015-08-12 at 9.17.00 AM

Wow- even though I KNOW, from years of experience, that art heals, art builds connections and art saves lives- experiencing it again and again never ceases to amaze me. I just completed a three week intensive with 11 amazing youth. (I am so honored to have worked with you all!) It takes a lot of courage to dig deep and these 11 youth certainly did that. Watching them develop and form connections in these past three weeks has certainly been a highlight in my career as therapeutic art facilitator. [Special mention to Miko Philip for bravely sharing her personal story on which we could build our creative expression.] Here is their final project video on the theme of “breaking the cycle of violence through creativity.” Huge thank you’s as well to Ian Powell,Erin Ross for developing and facilitating this program with me. And thank you’s to Lenore Kane and Laura Mack for adding significant enrichment to it. – Katarina Thorsen, July 24, 2015














Day 4 and 5 Inside Out Project Summer 2015: Digging Deeper

INSIDE OUT PROJECT: OWN YOUR JOURNEY- Breaking the cycle of violence through creativity

Inside Out Project – Own Your Journey SUMMER 2015 is a three week intensive arts-based program running out of Mountainside Secondary School (July 6-24, 2015) for youth ages 13-20 that uses the vehicles of therapeutic art, photography and stop motion animation to teach life and transferable skills while developing self-empowerment, peer to peer interaction, community connections and by providing tools to make healthy, non-violent choices. The goal for Inside Out is to help students address the root causes of violence (with a special focus on violence against women) through creative expression. The program allows students to creatively reflect on self, to work in a team and to experience critical engagement and transformative changes that shift their attitudes and behaviors in order to prevent violence. Three experienced facilitators (Ian Powell, Erin Ross, Kat Thorsen) provide instruction and support.


Day 1, July 6, 2015: Own Your Journey LINK

Day 2, July 7, 2015: VPD Mounted Unit LINK

Day 3, July 8, 2015: Animation and anatomical hearts LINK

Day 4 and 5: Digging in deeper.

We were busy last few days!  Hands-On Animation Tests, Public Service Announcement Discussions, Mind Mapping, Shane Koyczan TEDTalk, Project Planning, Therapeutic Arts and Crafts, Dialoguing, Creative Process etc…

What I love seeing unfold are the connections forming within the group.

Here are some highlights from Day 4 and 5:     —

I sit before flowers
hoping they will train me in the art
of opening up

I stand on mountain tops believing
that avalanches will teach me to let go

I know

but I am here to learn.
― Shane Koyczan


It has quickly become apparent that this is our hub/dialogue/creativity table. We move back and forth naturally between the computer lab and this room where we do old fashioned handmade stuff and group dialogue/mindmapping.

It hurts to stretch your wings. But doesn’t it hurt even more to let them atrophy?

You can survive without Creativity. But you won’t ever come fully alive & unapologetically yourself, unless you practice it, every damn day. – Andréa Balt, Creative Rehab


Next week we begin our group animation project!  Stay tuned!

The Inside Out Project- Own Your Journey Summer 2015 is offered to youth at no cost thanks to a grant from the Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO) in partnership with the Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division (VSCPD), BC Ministry of Justice.


“Dear me…” Write a letter to your younger self.

Pic 2

What would you write to younger you today?

There is so much I want to write to that little anxious girl.  I haven’t written my letter yet, but it will come.  For now, I give that little girl a knowing nod and whisper- you are perfect as you are.

We have outgrown our container and are pushing up against limiting beliefs and our small, fear-based thought processes. The inner child is wounded and wants to be healed. But we must be disciplined and reward only a clear committed intention and not a whiny tantrum. Watch your reactions, as they can be explosive this month. Take a deep breath and think before you speak and act especially when you feel agitated, impatient or victimized. Remember to take responsibility for what is showing up in your life at this time. Step up to the challenge and trust spirit to take care of whatever you cannot see your way through.

There is tremendous opportunity this month to restructure your life based on healing your own inner child and adolescence and allowing for a new alignment of the masculine and feminine both for you personally and for the greater planetary community. The end result will be more personal power, a greater sense of freedom to live your life the way you want, and a deeper experience of self-love and confidence. There has never been a better time than now to move into a place of more trust in spirit and a deep inner knowing that all is as it should be. So embrace your growing pains and enjoy the ride. – Lena Stevens, The Power Path July 2015 Monthly Forecast


Mail the finished letter to yourself.  Once you receive it back, keep it sealed until the day you really need it- you’ll know when.  It’s a wonderful therapeutic art exercise!

Contact me for custom orders at

Pic 1


Screen shot 2015-07-01 at 9.06.47 AM

Screen shot 2015-07-01 at 9.09.50 AM