The healing power of art

Art may not be the first thing you connect with a hospital—but for some kids, it can be the salve that soothes the most. Take the Teck Acute Care Centre, for example. When it opened in 2017, the world-class facility healed kids’ minds and spirits like never before with hundreds of pieces of purposeful art created to ease stress, distract anxious minds and lift moods.

As the first project of its kind in Canada, the donor-funded Children’s Healing Experience Project was an extraordinary success—so much so that a similar project was launched when Sunny Hill Health Centre moved to the Oak Street campus. Throughout these projects, 27 Canadian artists and five iconic community partners contributed their expertise and passion to create a space of healing for patients (who also gave their stamp of approval on each piece).

Hummingbirds in the Garden, a house post created by Chrystal Sparrow, a Musqueam Coast Salish artist, is one of them. Sparrow’s piece is the first house post at
BC Children’s Hospital, joining the curated collection of original paintings, murals, interactive installations and sculptures.

“Hummingbirds are beautiful birds that often symbolize playfulness, resiliency and optimism. These Salish-inspired hummingbirds are feeding on flowers, surrounded by layers of green grass with elements of pink Salish crescent designs,” Chrystal Sparrow said. “The overall house post design represents positivity and perseverance to help Sunny Hill patients and their families get through difficult challenges by leading with good hearts.”

The awe-inspiring piece stands proudly in the DFF Leung Family Mobility Park, providing an area where patients and families can take a moment to enjoy the quiet peace of the outdoors. “It’s a meaningful reminder of our connection to the lands and the resiliency of all those who find healing here,” added Malcolm Berry, president and CEO, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.


This article was originally featured in the Spring 2023 issue of Shine magazine.

Shine Spring 2023 | Download the PDF

Join The Mighty

A monthly gift allows us to take on the mightiest of challenges knowing that you are in our corner. Join the mighty by becoming a monthly donor today.