The City of Victoria’s artist in residence, Kathryn Calder, created a toll-free phone line designed to give people a calm escape during COVID-19. (Photo by Steve Calder)

The City of Victoria’s artist in residence, Kathryn Calder, created a toll-free phone line designed to give people a calm escape during COVID-19. (Photo by Steve Calder)

Victoria’s artist in residence creates toll-free ‘Be Calm’ phone line

Phone line offers meditation, poetry, children’s laughter

From meditation to Indigenous stories to children’s laughter, a new toll-free phone line offers people from Victoria and beyond a calming escape from everyday and pandemic-induced difficulties.

The phone line is the creation of Kathryn Calder, who was named Victoria’s artist in residence in 2019.

“My goal was to create an interactive phone line to help bring comforting sounds and joy to those who are feeling isolated and may have challenges accessing an online platform,” Calder said, noting that many older adults have had an especially hard time staying in touch throughout the pandemic. “My hope is the phone line will help connect our communities until we can all be together again.”

RELATED: LIVE MUSIC: Artist in Residence reaching into the community

Callers can choose to listen to nine different audio selections: B.C. nature sounds, Indigenous stories and songs, poetry, Francophone poetry, Canadian contemporary music, instrumental music, children’s laughter, guided meditation and ambient music.

Selections feature some local artists and storytellers, such as Victoria’s Indigenous artist in residence Dylan Thomas’s story of the Salish wool dog. One of Calder’s songs, Song in Cm, is also featured.

Non-artists have the opportunity to contribute too. Calder is inviting parents who want their child’s laughter to be featured on the phone line to send audio recordings along with a release form to her by Feb. 7.

She also noted that content will change periodically, so interested people should continue to check in.

More information about the 1-877-2BE-CALM (1-877-223-2256) project can be found at victoria.ca/becalm.

RELATED: Greater Victoria woman creates ‘call list’ for seniors to tackle loneliness


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

artistCity of VictoriaCoronavirusGreater VictoriaIndigenousNatureVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria says sale of the planned subdivision will increase the club’s ability to provide services and support. (Courtesy of Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin)
Victoria Boys and Girls Club says youth would benefit from Metchosin land sale

Club says sale will guarantee supports and programs at time when demand high

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read