CreateAbility is a pilot project involving about a dozen people who take part in Choices and Options through the Parksville and District Association for Community Living (PDACL).

PDACL enhances lives in Parksville Qualicum Beach

After 10 weeks participants will celebrate their achievements with an exhibit at the MAC

Another program fostering creativity in the community gets underway at the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) tomorrow.

CreateAbility is a pilot project involving about a dozen people who take part in Choices and Options through the Parksville and District Association for Community Living (PDACL).

Supporting adults with developmental disabilities through innovative programs, person-centered planning and advocacy, the PDACL aims to enhance the lives of all people in the community.

Many of the participants can often be seen around Parksville delivering newspapers and picking up litter and now some will be tapping into their creative side in a new music and visual arts program.

CreateAbility will run consecutively for 10 weeks in space provided by the MAC.

The visual arts program will be under the direction of Kelly Ulrich a graduate of Emily Carr College of Art and Design.

She has worked for more than 20 years in the graphic arts field with the B.C. Teachers Federation and currently teaches private art classes in the community.

The music program will be under the direction of Gerry Barnum.

Barnum is a singer, songwriter, recording artist, music educator and music program coordinator who works and plays across the board in concerts, workshops, and one-on-one settings with children, seniors in complex care and individuals with developmental disabilities.

The theme for the pilot project is sights and sounds of Spring.

Both Ulrich and Barnum will incorporate elements of the theme in all the activities that are offered to participants.

After the 10 weeks participants will celebrate their achievements with an art and music exhibit at the MAC. There will be an opening reception for the exhibit where the program participants will be in attendance to share their creative journey with the public.

Jody Lee a staff member at Choices said the participants met their facilitators last week and everyone involved is excited about what they are about to embark upon at the MAC.

“The McMillan Arts Centre is so well laid out and they have offered a room to display our stuff which is cool.  We hope it can be an ongoing program,” she said.

If the pilot project is a success program organizers intend to apply the knowledge gained to an expanded program and will invite other local service organizations in the community to introduce more arts disciplines.

Heidi Abbott, who is on the board of the Oceanside Community Arts Council which runs the MAC, said while they do have funding for the program they could use some more supplies to support the project.

Donations are being requested for canvases, paint, brushes, frames, or funds to purchase them.

“We don’t need a huge amount of stuff.  We have some supplies but we don’t want to run out. “

“People may have items they are no longer using and we could use them.”

Anyone who would like to assist can e-mail Abbott:

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