Creative Resilience

Exploring Arts & Health

Creative Resilience: Exploring Arts & Health is a short series of events taking place between Nov. 2019 – Jan. 2020, exploring the intersections between arts and health.

Over the past year, ELAN has wanted to engage more proactively with the specific barriers artists face in relation to health. In 2014, our YEAH! (Youth, Education, Arts, Health) project allowed us to begin documenting resources and connecting artists with health practitioners. More recently, surveys (conducted between 2018-2019), focus groups (2019), and anecdotal conversations with members (documented from 2016-onward), have shown the need to resume interrogation of the overlapping effects of precarity, isolation, and lack of resources on artists’ health.

These conversations have highlighted that the health care needs of artists are often specific and unique, and can be informed by:

Precarious labour, gig economies, and low (or no) pay force artists into an ever-greater dependency on subsidies, and demand of them the commodification of their work.

Many freelance artists have less access to insurance, and even for those who do, the care that artists require is often specific (ex: chiropractors, massage therapists), and expensive.

Stereotypes around artists’ labour (ex: burn-out, sleep deprivation, and over-work) normalize harmful practices, while neoliberal self-care narratives put the onus on the individual artist to just “be less stressed”.

Gentrification and a lack of affordable housing exacerbates socioeconomic inequity, forcing working artists out of their homes and studios, or out of their cities entirely.

These structural impacts cause individuals to burn out and communities to fragment, imposing limits on creative being.

Despite all of this, there doesn’t seem to be a clear pool of resources or organizations in Quebec to help artists navigate health. We are interested in building community resilience by connecting artists with tangible tools and resources, while also situating these networks within broader conversations about structural barriers to health care.

Performative Discussion: burn-out

Studio 303

Friday, November 15th, 2019

5 p.m. to 7 p.m. @ Studio 303 – FREE

Free child care (booking required)*

Studio 303 link 

RSVP by sending an email to

We’re opening the Creative Resilience: Exploring Arts & Health series with Studio 303 by holding a Performative Discussion on topics of burnout and precarity. By starting with this open, participatory format, we hope to learn more about the specific needs and confusions artists have around health, and then respond to them in the subsequent events.

Studio 303 and ELAN are co-hosting a Performative Discussion on the topic of “Artist Burnout”. This event’s playful format (borrowed from Lois Weaver’s Long Table), preserves a space for intimate dialogue (anyone seated at the table is a guest speaker/performer) while an unlimited amount of observers may gather around the table.

*Free child care: offered by Ruby Kato Attwood, a childcare provider with Red Cross Certification who provides a gentle, inclusive approach, using non-violent communication and play-based co-operation strategies. For more information, please visit our website or contact To BOOK please contact Studio 303 at

Studio 303’s accessibility – Consult this page for detailed information.

Creative Resources: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Self-Care

Sonia Osorio

January 26

at M.A.I., 11 am – 1 pm

3680 Jeanne Mance St, Montreal, Quebec H2X 2K5

RSVP by sending an email to

Our primary creative resource is our own body-mind. We need to connect to this on a daily basis in a way that is healthy, nurturing and supportive, particularly during times of stress and tension, when support and resources may not always seem readily available. This workshop will explore self-awareness and awareness of our environment as a model for self-care. We will use mindfulness-based practices to bring awareness to how we move through – and are moved by – life, and to how we can resource all that presents itself as potential material for creative change, within ourselves and through the work that we do. Practices will include seated and walking meditation, dyad work and group exercises.

Sonia Osorio has a Master’s level training homeopathic medicine and naturopathy. She is also a massage therapist and a certified yoga instructor and meditation practitioner with over 20-years’ experience in mind-body approaches to health and well-being. For several years, Sonia worked as a writer and editor in medical and health care publishing, and she has also helped develop and facilitate teaching curricula for various organizations. She has worked with individuals in areas related to physical and emotional trauma, addiction, women’s health, and gender issues. Her work is individualized and collaborative, encouraging us to broaden our perspective of what constitutes well-being – for ourselves and for our communities.

SenseLab Workshop

Csenge Kolozsvari

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

SenseLab – FREE

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Access & Alternatives

Panel Discussion

January 2020

* Details to be announced soon!

RSVP by sending an email to

In January, we are bringing together the threads of these conversations in a panel discussion that will connect artists with tangible community resources. This panel addresses scarcity and access to resources, as well as creative solutions that foster space for individual and community wellbeing. Joining the panel is Tiger Lotus Co-operative Wellness Centre, whose work frequently intersects with artists and artistic practices, and considers the structural impacts of wealth inequality and privatization.


Find the health resources you’re looking for on our Community Links page: