Arts and Humanities for Health and WellBeing



Poems in Practice:
Poetry Reading / Talk / Discussion
with Dr. Ron Charach

Arts and Humanities for Health and Wellbeing  and
Arts & Humanities in Healthcare Journal Group
are pleased to co-present this event on:

12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Light refreshments will be served.
Free and open to all.

For more information and a map:

Toronto psychiatrist, poet and essayist, Ron Charach, will read selections from his published poems and essays. He will discuss how reading and writing literature can enrich medical practice, as well as enhance the well-being of both patients and their doctors.

The audience will be invited to share their responses to poems and to participate in the discussion.  This event will be of interest for those keen to explore literature’s potential in addressing mental, physical and emotional health.


Winnipeg-born Ron Charach is the author of nine books of poetry. His work is widely published in national and international journals and anthologies of writing by doctors about their craft. He was contributing editor of The Naked Physician, the sole anthology of poetry by Canadian medical practitioners. A practicing psychiatrist now residing in Toronto, Charach combines a physician’s candid eye for the foibles and betrayals of the body with a psychiatrist’s compassion for the suffering of the mind. He creates poems around the memorable image, the anecdote that, on the surface, seems to say little, yet opens to reveal a great deal about the human condition. Ron’s humanistic convictions also find voice in the letters pages of Canadian and American newspapers. Essays that define and elaborate on his liberal humanist views are found in his 2009 collection, Cowboys and Bleeding Hearts.

“One of the chief characteristics of Ron Charach’s poetry is the light, but incisive, way he approaches his subject. . . . This poet brings to each poem a clinician’s eye and a healer’s compassion.
—American poet Jack Coulehan, editor
  Blood and Bone: Poems, University of Iowa Press




Music Care Conference:
Music Through the Lifespan

Arts and Humanities for Health and Wellbeing  is pleased to be a partner
in this one day conference hosted by Room 217 Foundation.

9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
click on this link: MUSIC CARE CONFERENCE
Registration (includes GST)
Early (by Sept. 12) – $120.75
Regular – $157.50
Student/Senior – $99.75

Music Care Conference brings together community  – professionals, families, volunteers, musicians – pursuing the issues/themes around caring for people with music.  Here are some great reasons to attend:

• Enjoy SUSAN AGLUKARK, Inuit Singer/Songwriter, as closing keynote performer.
• Learn and experience how music is connected to our well-being throughout our lifespan.
• Be inspired by keynote speakers Jason and Marjorie Crigler as they share their remarkable journey with Music and Stroke Recovery.
• Discover how you can use music more effectively in caring for your loved ones and clients.
• Learn how music is connected to our memories in Music and Dementia Care with Robin Rio, Arizona State University.
• Listen to how local people in Alberta are using music in care:
Jennifer Buchanan, President of JB Music Therapy and local guests
Music and Parkinson’s Disease with Dr. Bin Hu – Suter Professor for Parkinson’s research, Director of Movement Disorders Program, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
– Using Music in Palliative Care with Dr. Steve Mitchinson, Paul Rumbolt and Bev Foster
– Singing with No Wrong Notes with Melanie Boyd, Program Facilitator, University of Calgary
• Be entertained by local musical groups: The Calgary Fiddlers and The Tristan Campbell Trio.
• Registration includes lunch and refreshments.
• It’s the first time, the Music Care Conference is coming to Alberta.
Network – Make some new friends who share your music care passion.


No Wrong Notes Facilitator Training Playshop

with No Wrong Notes founder, Melanie Boyd
Saturday, May 3, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
University of Calgary
Application deadline is March 31, 2014.
There is no charge for this training.

This training is for adults interested in facilitating singing groups using the No Wrong Notes model.

No Wrong Notes is a non-auditioned, non-performing group singing model for people of all levels of experience. In No Wrong Notes, emphasis is on learning through listening, freeing the voice, and enjoyment. Songs are shared orally, singing is a cappella, and harmonies are improvised. To ensure inclusion, the repertoire is secular, with songs selected for their sound and ease of learning by ear.

No Wrong Notes has only two rules: 1) no paper and 2) no judgment.  “No paper” embraces the oral tradition where, over time, we embody songs individually and collectively – making them available to us anytime, anywhere. It frees singers from the sense that there is one right way to proceed, and places on more equal footing those participants who read music and those who don’t. “No judgment” is a promise that anyone who wishes to sing can do so freely and with joy.

Playshop leader Melanie Boyd has been involved in group singing for over two decades.  She founded No Wrong Notes in 2004; since then, she has facilitated singing groups in workplace, healthcare and community settings. She also investigates No Wrong Notes’ impact on participants, resulting in research she has presented internationally. Melanie works as a literatures librarian at the University of Calgary, where she also co-founded and co-coordinates the Arts and Humanities for Health and Wellbeing Research Group.


Drama as Conduit to Health and Wellbeing for Young and Old

with guest presenters:
David Barnet, Department of Drama, University of Alberta
Andrea Halwas, PhD Candidate, University of Calgary
Thursday, March 27, 2014
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Room 540A, Biological Sciences Building (Teaching and Learning Centre)
University of Calgary
Light refreshments will be served.
Free and open to all.

Drama can have powerful effects on health and wellness, both for performers and audiences. In this event of the Arts and Humanities for Health and Wellbeing Research Group, two speakers will share their experience and research in working with diverse groups of people and a variety of performance arts.

Professor David Barnet, Department of Drama, University of Alberta, specializes in community-based theatre and acting. His research considers the realization of creative aging through theatre and he works in partnership with GeriActors and Friends, an intergenerational theatre company. The actors develop original plays based on stories and issues from their lives.   David is currently concluding a CIHR research project: Theatre as a Pathway to Healthy Aging.

Andrea Halwas, BA, MFA is a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at the University of Calgary. Her PhD research is focused on tragedy and the therapeutic effects that drama can have on individuals facing difficult life experiences. Her work aims to assist individuals to find meaning in their lives through the medium of theatre. As such, she is a published playwright and the creator and facilitator of a children’s drama therapy puppet show entitled The Nicki and Little Bear Show which helps children and their families deal with loss and grief.


Exploring mindfulness through multiple lenses

Campus community invited to roundtable discussion on Oct. 30
October 21, 2013

Mindfulness places our attention on the present moment, without judgment and without desire to change or accomplish anything. With this principle of non-striving at its core, mindfulness has been shown to benefit human health and well-being in many contexts. As a result, while the roots of mindfulness are in religion, its theory, practice and application have branched into diverse disciplines.

At their inaugural event on Oct. 30, the new Arts and Humanities for Health and Well-Being (AHHW) Research Group will explore mindfulness through the lenses of medicine, education and nursing. In roundtable format, University of Calgary scholars will describe the benefits of mindfulness from their own experiences in both interdisciplinary and discipline-specific contexts.

  • Michael Speca, adjunct associate professor, Faculty of Medicine, will discuss his experience in developing a clinical mindfulness program and associated research at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.
  • Jackie Seidel, assistant professor, Curriculum and Learning, Faculty of Education, will address how our unconscious habits in education make mindfulness a challenging concept to apply.
  • Drawing on an interpretive study of mental health nurses’ practices, Graham McCaffrey, assistant professor, Faculty of Nursing, will look at ways an institutional environment can help or hinder mindful ways of working.

This event is open to all students, faculty and staff ― no registrations required. Light refreshments will be served.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Werklund Centre, Education Tower 146B

There will be time for questions and discussion, as well as an opportunity to participate in very short (optional) periods of mindfulness practice.

Source of text for this post: Utoday, October 21, 2013


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