Opening Minds Through Art

Imagine yourself trapped in the prison that is dementia. If you can, then you will appreciate the escapes made possible by painting and art at Airdrie’s Bethany Care.

On January 24, 2024, residents displayed their talents at the Opening Minds through Art, or OMA, show. They get a further boost by selling their artwork through direct sales and silent auctions, as well as getting together with families, friends, and patrons.

April Brown, Recreation Aide,says, “Residents may be apprehensive when they start the program, but after getting involved are often amazed.” She adds that families of the residents also are thrilled by the results.

The program also enjoys the support of students participating in the Bert Church Leadership program, as well as adult volunteers.  The student volunteers provide an intergenerational aspect to OMA that has delivered rewarding experiences at both ends of the age spectrum.

Heidi Lambie, Senior Development Officer at the Bethany Care Foundation, says the OMA program is unique because it is mostly self-sustaining. When patrons buy or win silent auctions, those funds are plowed back into the program.

She emphasizes that contributions from individuals, organizations, and businesses are critical now, “Even though demands for our services and programs keep growing, funding for all charitable groups, including Bethany, have diminished in recent years.”

Lambie added, “We have some great community and individual supporters who know our seniors deserve the comforts of home even when they can no longer live at home.”

The Airdrie and District Community Foundation is proud to have contributed to the important work done by Bethany Care. Chair Dale Rathgeber says, “ The purpose of our community foundation is to help our youth, our vulnerable, our disadvantaged, and our seniors, who have paved the way for us. Helping to fund this worthwhile program is what our community foundation is all about.”

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