Community resilience will be supported by 51 new projects across Vancouver Island and surrounding coastal communities because of Island Health’s Community Wellness Grant Program, one of which is the Campbell River Art Gallery’s Art Hive.

The Community Wellness Grant program helps promote health and wellness across the region Island Health serves by fostering local partnerships and grassroots initiatives. Nearly $800,000 from the Community Wellness Grant Program will fund a mix of projects and initiatives.

“We’re so pleased to support another cohort of exciting Community Wellness Grant projects and congratulate this year’s recipients,” said Dr. Reka Gustafson, Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer, in a news release from Island Health. “Each year, these projects showcase the impact of supporting community organizations to address the unique needs of each part of our region. I look forward to seeing this year’s projects come to life.” 

The Community Wellness Grant program is designed to support collaborative community-led upstream wellness interventions that reduce barriers and increase supports, enabling all members of the community to enjoy health and wellness.

In February 2023, Island Health issued a call for applications to local governments, community organizations and Indigenous communities for the 2023/2024 Community Wellness Grant Program.

The theme of this year’s grant program was community resilience, inviting applicants to focus on one or more of the following criteria: diverse communities, connected communities, safe communities, nourished communities and active communities. 

The CRAG’s Art Hive is a supportive space for art but also a place of connection for the unhoused community here in Campbell River. Once a week an artist facilitates an open studio at the Campbell River Art Gallery, focused on art-making workshops for people who have experiences with mental illness and substance use, as well as people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. The Art Hive is a space where people can come together and create.

Earlier this year four member’s of the Art Hive showed their work in the CRAG’s satellite gallery in an exhibition called Mu’la.

Mu’la, pronounced “mootla” means gratitude in Kwak’wala.

“This exhibition is a reminder that everyday we can be thankful for someone or something that has come across our path, and this makes room for the power and possibility of change,” said Nadine Bariteau, curator of the exhibition and facilitator of the Campbell River Art Gallery’s Art Hive.