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A transformative collaboration between the Ottawa Art Gallery and The Ottawa Hospital

November 7, 2019

Press Release

Creative Wellness: Partnering Arts, Wellness Research and Science for a healthy Ottawa

OTTAWA – November 7, 2019 – Last night during a launch celebration, The Ottawa Hospital and the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) announced the Creative Wellness partnership, a multi-year initiative connecting artists of various disciplines and communities with hospital researchers and clinicians to create new works of art to enhance hospital spaces.

“The Creative Wellness partnership brings together key city artistic institutions such as the Ottawa Art Gallery and Ottawa Symphony Orchestra to work together to engage the community in partnership with clinicians, researchers and the general public.,” said Joanne Read, Vice President of Planning and Support Services, The Ottawa Hospital. “We look forward to working with the Ottawa Art Gallery to develop the best way to deepen those relationships in the hospital’s public and clinical spaces, in order to bring a wider appreciation throughout the City of Ottawa of the benefits to patients, visitors and the general public as it relates to art, scientific research and wellness.”

“Those of us in the culture sector have always understood that, outside of its intrinsic value, art has the power to communicate challenging or complex subject matter as well as to help process trauma and create an overall sense of wellbeing. This partnership allows us to engage professional artists with the exciting research that is going on in the medical field in Ottawa resulting in a myriad of possibilities such as art experiences in The Ottawa Hospital’s new campus, new ways of broadcasting scientific discoveries as well as potential new art therapies test driven in a clinical setting.”
– Alexandra Badzak, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Art Gallery

The city-building collaboration aims to promote local research excellence through artistic expression, enrich and transform hospital spaces, foster a healthier Ottawa and deepen cultural vibrancy and social cohesion. Creative Wellness will increase awareness of patient care at The Ottawa Hospital, incorporate art as part of the patient experience, and further develop art as therapy programming.

Collaborations with other Ottawa arts organizations, from varied disciplines, such as the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra as well as artists, clinicians, patients, donors and the public will bring visual, performing and applied arts to The Ottawa Hospital environment and, where possible, throughout the City of Ottawa. For example, over the next four weeks, The Ottawa Hospital will integrate music into the care environment through the Lepsoe Music Initiative, created in honour of Paul Lepsoe, and his courageous fight with brain cancer. In the next steps, a plan for artistic submissions will be defined and shared with the community.

The event last night brought together the words of renowned neurosurgeon Dr. John Sinclair, the inspired work of photographer Leah Mowers, and music accompaniment by Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

Leah Mowers is an Ottawa and Toronto artist and photographer specializing in portraits, headshots, and travel photography.

A graduate of the University of Ottawa, Dr. John Sinclair‘s subspecialties include neuro-oncology and vascular neurosurgery.  

Press images:
Leah Mowers artwork image and caption, and photographs from the event launch:

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For media enquiries or to book an interview:
Ottawa Art Gallery:
Véronique Couillard
Officer, Media, Public and Francophone Relations
613-233-8699 +244

The Ottawa Hospital:
Michaela Schreiter
Media Relations Officer
613-737-8899 ext. 77299

About the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG)
OAG is Ottawa’s municipal art gallery and cultural hub. Located in Ottawa’s downtown core, the expanded Gallery is a contemporary luminous cube designed by KPMB Architects and Régis Côté et associés.

OAG receives funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Ottawa.


OAG is Open from 10 AM to 6 PM Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday | from 10 AM to 9 PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Admission is always FREE. | Register for Summer Art Camps!