WHEN: Every Thursday, starting at 10:30am


In 2021, the Campbell River Art Gallery identified a lack of  arts-based programming for individuals who have been impacted by homelessness, substance misuse, and mental health. Peers expressed a desire to have a safe space where they can come together, free from judgment or barriers, to make art and potentially generate  income from their creations.

Since February 2022, artist Nadine Bariteau has been facilitating a weekly open studio at the Campbell River Art Gallery.This studio serves as a space for connection and artistic expression for Peers from the unhoused and lived-experience community.

Food and supplies are provided, and guest facilitators are brought in to teach special skills such as cedar bark harvesting. Participants are welcome to sell their work as consignors through the CRAG gallery shop. Many people have learned to screen-print, and their designs can be seen on shirts seen around Campbell River and beyond! 

Peers from the Art Hive may work alongside CRAG staff at public events such as Pride, National Indigenous People’s Day, National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, and weekly Farmers Markets during the summer.

This initiative has created bridges within the larger community. It aims to destigmatize intergenerational trauma, addiction, and housing precarity – allowing people to see each other for their artistic skills, willingness to engage, and shared humanity. 

While the program is not geared specifically towards Indigenous participants, the CRAG has made sure that the work is carried out is done in a good way, through a collaboration with Laichwiltach Family Life Society’s Kwesa Place, and Ligwilda’xw Cultural Leaders Shawn Decaire and Cory Cliffe, who offer support, facilitation, and guidance.

Artmaking is not only proven to have a beneficial impact on individual and community health, but in this case, it also reinforces cultural identity for the many Indigenous community members who frequent the Hive.

The goals of the CRAG Art Hive as they pertain to Truth and Reconciliation, are as follows:

  • Promoting Dignity and Human rights
  • Addressing discrimination, racism, and stigma
  • Decolonizing and Indigenizing community wellness

How to support the CRAG Art Hive:

Meet the facilitator: Nadine Bariteau

Artist Nadine Bariteau
Nadine Bariteau is a facilitator for The CRAG’s Art Hive.

Born and raised in Montreal (Tiohtià:ke) Nadine Bariteau is a queer cross-disciplinary artist and activist whose practice is rooted in printmaking, installation, video/sound and community based research. Nadine has been a print-based advocate and teacher in diverse institutions for the past 15 years. (Ontario College of Art and Design University,York University and North Island College fine Art). She believes in the richness of printmaking’s political history and its potential to develop impactful reproduction-based art that can shape the cultural and political realms of the contemporary world.

In 2018 Nadine purchased a school bus and converted it into a mobile printmaking studio that fosters cooperation and engagement with diverse communities. After having traveled throughout North America giving workshops and artist talks along the way, she settled on Vancouver island. In 2019 she became the Creative Director of the project “Walk With Me,” a community engaged research project addressing the issues of the toxic drug crisis through storytelling and art making. Today she is the facilitator of the Art Hive at the Campbell River Art Gallery, a safe space and studio for people who struggle with housing and substance abuse related to intergenerational trauma. She also teaches printmaking in the diverse community of Nunavik in the Northern part of the Québec province.

Artwork exhibited in: Mu’la || Gratitude

John Albert Sharkey (Guy), Chuck Jules, Shawn Decaire, and Jennifer Joseph
Curated by: Nadine Bariteau
January 28 to April 29, 2023 in our Satellite Gallery

Mu’la means Gratitude in Kwakwala. This state of appreciation fosters a sense of our collective responsibility and shared humanity. Each artist’s work is a manifestation of their gratitude. Chuck Jule’s gratitude goes to the people of the Hive, the space where he practices his art. Jennifer Joseph is truly grateful for the teachings passed down from her ancestors, particularly those shared by her mother and grandmother with whom she learned to weave. Guy Sharkey’s gratitude goes toward Beau Dick, his mentor for 30 years, who taught him the traditional way of carving. Finally, Shawn wants to pay tribute to the late Jorge Lewis who taught him 20 years ago to make his very first Manat’si (drum). The artists are participants in our Art Hive.

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.

Inspired by…

The CRAG Art Hive is part of a vast network of Art Hives around the world,  all dedicated to creating   safe spaces for artistic expression.

Walk With Me is a project developed in response to a crisis that has blindsided municipal governments and communities, large and small, across the country. The crisis has had a heavy impact in BC. Since it was labeled a provincial emergency in 2016, illicit drug toxicity deaths have totaled over 6,500. For governments, communities, front-line workers, families and people with lived and living experience, the crisis can feel insurmountable. This project, developed by research and community teams in Kamloops  and the Comox Valley, brings together diverse stakeholders to re-frame the crisis, and imagine new ways forward.

The Campbell River Art Gallery hosted an exhibition of the work created through the Walk with Me project in our Satellite Gallery from November 27, 2021 to February 19, 2022.

“As we participated in Walk With Me, we quickly realized the impact that it was having on folks, not just the actual walks and the story telling part, but the fact that members of our unhoused community had a place to go that was consistent and where they felt empowered, and valued. We listened to some of the cultural leaders that were part of walk with me and they clearly asked us to keep something going.”

-Sara Lopez Assu, CRAG executive director, in an interview with Marc Kitteringham for the Campbell River Mirror