On February 12, residents of the Rivage, Montreal Booth Centre’s program for men with mental health problems, hosted an art exhibition in the chapel where about ten artists displayed around fifty of their drawings and paintings. Proceeds from sales went to the Booth Centre.
Edward Schulman, one of the residents, was the moving force behind the event after having participated in others like it. “I want to boost the morale of our men, make them happy,” he said. Paolo Tumba, another resident, took advantage of the event to show off some of his paintings, his pride evident in the smile on his face.
Program director, Valérie St-Pierre, was proud of the men’s effort. “It’s important to validate the creativity of the residents, to give them the chance to show what they can do. It’s an important event for them. The intervention workers give them a free hand to organize everything from a to z.” The residents themselves designed the posters for the event and distributed invitations in the neighbourhood. “In a way, this kind of activity helps others to have fewer prejudices against those with mental health problem,” she added.
The art room where the artists produced their paintings and drawings was the initiative of the Rivage and operates on a minimal budget of $100 per month. A volunteer holds sessions with participants every Monday for therapy by artistic expression. All profits from the exhibition will be used to buy art supplies.
If anyone wishes to purchase one of the works that was shown on the day of the exposition, they may do so by contacting Ms. St-Pierre at the Booth Centre, 514-932-2214, ext. 227.
As well as helping men with mental health problems, the Booth Centre also offers low-cost short- and long-term room and board for men unable to live on their own. In such cases, the Centre offers rooms that give them privacy, good nutrition, support, interaction with others, and learning opportunities, all within the context of a safe, secure environment.