Battle the fall/winter blahs

Get involved in arts activities and stimulate your creativity

A few weeks ago, a friend asked online if anyone had plans for what he called “depression season.”

If I remember correctly, his own plans involved frequently calling in sick to work, gaining 30 pounds and binge-watching entire seasons of TV shows. Of course, he was joking, but his point was valid: sometimes it’s hard to keep your spirits up once the rainy season hits our Island. Fortunately, studies indicate that arts and culture can play a positive role in health and wellbeing, and not only when it comes to depression.

Research suggests that participation in arts activities can help manage persistent pain and other chronic health conditions, including mental health. That’s according to data from the Arts Health Network, a Vancouver-based organization that works to increase awareness and understanding of the role arts-based initiatives play in individual and community health. The group also cites research that suggests being engaged in the arts, even just as a spectator, seems to activate mechanisms in the body, reducing tensions, strengthening the immune system and protecting against depression.

Within a community, the group has found research that suggests participation in these activities may provide stronger positive benefits for health than even participation in sports. Arts participation also seems to enable seniors to live independently longer, to help youth succeed in school and to reduce feelings of isolation and marginalization.

But don’t take my word for it: check out these findings and others at http://artshealthnetwork.ca/.

So what do you say? Get involved with the arts in your community.

Celebrate:

• Black & White Ball Fundraiser – This event supports the Society for Arts on the South Island, the non-profit that operates the Coast Collective. Join them at Olympic View Golf Club Oct. 17 for food, live music, silent auction, art-making and more. Tickets are available at coastcollective.ca/

Learn:

• Absolute beginners, start here: Painting Without Fear, a six-session acrylics program at the Coast Collective kicking off Oct. 21. Check out the details at coastcollective.ca/. If oil paints sound more appealing, check out their six-session oil painting course starting Oct. 22.

Do:

• Juan de Fuca Rec Centre offers drop-in pottery studio sessions Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. No experience working in pottery? That’s okay, they have classes too! Check out their course offerings at www.westshorerecreation.ca/

• Metchosin Community House hosts weekly drop-in art sessions – bring your materials and create in the company of others. Newcomers are welcome, but they must purchase a Metchosin Community Association membership. The next drop-in takes place Oct. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Johanna Henderson is a volunteer with the Westshore Arts Council and is principal with Shelter Creative Services.

Just Posted

In and out in 60 seconds, two suspects get away with $10,000 worth of jewelry after break-in at WestShore Gold and Silver

Langford business broken into just down the street from West Shore RCMP detachment

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

Greater Victoria residents recognized for International Volunteer Day

Thousands of people volunteer throughout the community every year

$1,500 bursary created in memory of late Duncan musician returns for second year

Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can apply by Dec. 15

Victoria career fair highlights opportunities in film industry

Reel Careers in Film and Media fair set for Dec. 7 at Camosun’s Interurban campus

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Most Read