Art of Medicine Shows the Healing Power of the Arts

An event to showcase how the arts can be used to enhance patient care and well-being will be held next week.

The Art of Medicine takes place on Monday, May 30 at the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation (formerly Holy Angels High School) in Sydney. The event runs from 7-9 p.m. and is organized by the Cape Breton Cancer Centre.

“The Cape Breton Cancer Centre has undertaken a number of projects that use the arts-visual, musical, literary and horticultural-to help our patients contend with their illness and to help others better understand the lived experience of being ill,” says Tom McNeil, Medical Social Worker with the Cancer Centre. “The Art of Medicine is an opportunity to showcase some of what has been going on.”

This year, the Art of Medicine will highlight the work of Write On! , a creative writing group which consists of Paul MacDougall and cancer patients. Some members of the group will give live readings during the event.

Another project being highlighted is Refreshed Eyes, the latest documentary from film maker Jason LeFrense. The film chronicles the experiences of three people diagnosed with cancer.

“We hope people will come away from the Art of Medicine more attentive to the patient’s voice as we try to understand the illness experience,” says McNeil. “The arts can encourage that voice. We just have to listen.”

McNeil adds that the event wouldn’t be possible without the support of the writers, film participants, Royal Bank of Canada (Charlotte Street Branch), the Cape Breton Regional Foundation, Seaside Communications and the Cape Breton Cancer Centre.

Art of Medicine is free, with a goodwill offering at the door. Seating is limited so register early. To register, contact 902-567-8074.

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Media Contact: Tom McNeil, Medical Social Worker, 902-567-8551