OV-CAOS Ottawa Valley Community Arts

Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds Mental Health in Killaloe

Art Unveiling and Walk-about

This past winter, community members gathered to have conversations and create art about how we can support mental health in Killaloe.

4 pm: Gather and welcome Killaloe Public Library (A) 1 John St.

4:30 to 5:30 pm: Self-guided Walk-about
Experience the art installations and other surprises—visit:
Community Resource Centre (B) 15 Lake Street
Garth’s Kitchen (C) 14 Lake Street
Killaloe Post Office (D) 172 Queen Street, note: post office closes at 5 pm

5:30–6:30 pm: Gather and conclusion
Rainbow Valley Community Health Centre (E) 49 Mill St.

Event collaborators

Anya Gansterer, project coordinator
Tanya Lyons, artist-facilitator
Roberta Della Picca, community artist
Andy Trull, community poet
Emilyn Stam, musician
John Stam, musician
Sigrid Geddes, musician
Garth’s Kitchen, catering
Students at Killaloe Public School, woven banner
Jen Bennett Pond, community artist
Scott Pond, community artist

What is the Planting Seeds project all about?

A new art project funded by the Ontario Arts Council is coming to Killaloe this spring to encourage conversations about mental health in our community.

The Ottawa Valley Creative Arts Open Studio (OV-CAOS), Rainbow Valley Community Health Centre, and the Community Resource Centre (Killaloe) will host three community art workshops leading to a public exhibition and parade. The workshops will provide a place for people to express their thoughts, concerns, hopes and questions about mental health in our community. The mode of expression includes art-making and focused conversation. The workshops are free and open to all. They will take place March 2, March 30 and April 27, from 1 to 4 pm, at 12 North St. Community Centre in Killaloe.

At these workshops, OV-CAOS artist-facilitators will guide participants in making miniature worlds that will become part of five public art installations housed in venues around the village of Killaloe. The unveiling of the art installations will take the form of a parade in May. The parade will visit each installation, where a surprise performance will take place, and conclude at Rainbow Valley Community Health Centre.

Why make art and talk about mental health?

The project grew out of questions about how we, as a community, can better care for those with mental health challenges, caregivers, and one another. Our hope is to reduce stigma by bringing people together to further the conversation about mental health. Art-making is well known for its healing and community-building benefits. As a community arts organization, OV-CAOS understands the power of people making art together by nurturing personal and collective imaginations. We look forward to this new project and invite everyone to join us in imagining a world where all are welcome.

Who is this for?

Everyone—we all experience shifts in our mental health
Professionals—people who work directly with, or frequently encounter people struggling with mental health
Caregivers—those who are caring for people struggling with mental health
People who struggle with mental health

A mental health councilor will be present at all workshops should any participants need support.

Why the garden analogy?

Planting Seeds for Mental Health is an art-making project exploring people’s imagination. However, it also has a literal meaning, based on discussions with Rainbow Valley CHC about the possibility of creating a mental health garden on their grounds at 49 Mill Street in Killaloe. The future could include the actual planting of seeds and shrubs along pathways in a green space dedicated to peace, healing and contemplation. This project will inform the next steps for a mental health garden, as well as document the concerns, questions and recommended actions needed to support the mental health of everyone in our community.


The Ottawa Valley Creative Arts Open Studio is a not-for profit community arts organization, founded in 2011. Its mandate is to promote the integration of visual arts, music, drama and other creative arts into the lives of individuals, families and communities in the Upper Ottawa Valley. We work in partnership with local cultural and service organizations to bring people together to explore their stories, images, and creative possibilities.


Anya Gansterer, Project Co-ordinator, anya@ov-caos.org, 613-633-1236
Tanya Lyons, Project Artist, glass@tanyalyons.ca
Linda Archibald, Mental Health Project Liaison, larchibald@rainbowvalleychc.on.ca