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Canadian artists and celebrities come together in support of Creative Works Studio

Toronto, April 4, 2011

Best Employers for New Canadians Winter's Apple, by Rex Harrington, is one of several works of art up for Silent Auction at Art Gems 11.

A wide variety of Canadian artists and celebrities have once again come together on April 26 for Art Gems 11, an annual auction of original art in support of the Creative Works Studio.

The artists, including Douglas Coupland, Adrienne Clarkson, Gord Downie, George Stroumboulopoulos, Roberta Bondar, Cynthia Dale and Jane Urquhart have all created unique commissioned pieces for this one-of-a-kind art auction. The master of ceremonies for the evening is Rex Harrington, former principal dancer, and now Artist-in-Residence, of the National Ballet of Canada.

Creative Works Studio, a mental health outreach service in the Inner City Health program of St. Michael's Hospital, gives people who struggle with mental health issues a place to heal, build self-esteem and develop life skills through participation in the arts. Creative Works is a community-based program that allows a group of artists with a diverse set of mental health issues to work in a safe, nurturing environment while creating art. Donations account for one half of the studio’s funding.

“Art gives them a way to express something inside that needs to be expressed," said Isabel Fryszberg, a trained artist and occupational therapist who founded the studio. "It gives them a voice and a purpose. It helps them dream again in a positive way. We build their ability to move from being a patient to being an artist.”

Art Gems 11

When: Tuesday, April 26
Where: The Berkeley Church, 315 Queen St. East
Registration and Reception: 5:30-7:00 pm
Presentation and Live Auction: 7:00 pm