KNOW now

As an ACP team we were very proud to have provided over 420 presentations and distributed over 111, 000 resources in the 3 years we dedicated to raising awareness of ACP.  It still felt like there was more to do and so many opportunities to get even more creative in reaching out to the public.  It was, therefore, very exciting to reach out and try something different for our final ACP project event and our celebration of all this community has accomplished in 3 years.  Taking a cue from an event in Sault Ste Marie, we collaborated with local artists from across Waterloo Region and Wellington County to create KNOW now.  This event focused on ACP conversations and bringing them to life visually and emotionally through various art forms.  Over 20 artists contributed pieces including painters, sculptures, woodworkers, screen printers and mixed media artists.   In addition to these contributions, we were also very fortunate to have 3 spoken word artists, a videographer and a photographer take up our cause and create incredible works of art, both spoken and visual.    Both the videographer, Blair Cameron (Cameron Productions) and the photographer, Brandon Marsh (Brandon Marsh Photography) interviewed individuals, asking them a series of questions with the hope that their responses would inspire and guide conversations between the audience, their SDM’s and their loved ones (to be prepared in the event he/she/they had to make health care decisions on their behalf).  The result was a stunning video and a photo gallery that reaches the public visually and emotionally.  I am delighted to be able to share the link to KNOW now video that showcases this event and all its incredible components.

It was our hope that the entire event would impact our audience beyond what we had accomplished with our popular ACP PowerPoint presentation (often successfully delivered by our team of volunteer presenters).  Our goal was to inspire our audience (approx. 90 people) to share “ACP conversations” with family, friends and colleagues.   Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of Hospice Waterloo Region, Hospice Wellington, the WW LHIN and the ACP community that has developed over the past 3 years.   It was a pleasure (and I remain in awe) to work with the incredible Nicole Fantin, Art therapist of Hospice Wellington. She taught us (very patiently) the power of art in communicating to the public. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that her legacy also includes teaching us about wall vinyl and plynths, never to be forgotten! Raviv Israel of “Capital Management” provided a blank canvas, an empty office space in a unique location at Factory Square Campus, Waterloo where we were given the freedom to transform the space into our own art gallery.   Dawn and Tran Phong of “Matters of Taste” provided the biggest charcuterie boards I have ever seen and the best assortment of coffees and desserts imaginable while Giesbrecht, Gilbert, Funk and Irvine LLP helped us turn the evening into a gala, donating the red /white wine for our guests.

“KNOW now” took us beyond the ordinary and provided an opportunity to reach each guest emotionally and visually.  It was an outstanding event, one that made me wish I had a “way with a paintbrush” because there was no doubt in my mind that we had reached people about ACP at a deeper level through the artwork.    I hope you will watch the video to get a feel for this unique collaborative effort in Waterloo Wellington!

Sheli O’Connor

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