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November 05, 2019
This dream began a few years ago, Seth and I began to envision our business one particularly stormy winter. We had just moved to Nova Scotia and were looking to start something new, something that would be a total shift for both of us.
A little back story: we moved late November (never a good time to move by the way), Seth retired from the military just over a month before that, and midsummer our son arrived. I was on maternity leave and left my teaching career to move provinces. To say things were busy and unsettled is an understatement. Would I do it again? Yes (except the move late November, should have done that earlier)!
Seth's transition to civilian life brought a few obstacles with it. Not because of things he was doing, but the transition process from the Canadian Forces needs some tweaking to say the least. It's from these obstacles that we were able to really get a sense of what we wanted to do moving forward.
Too many active service members and retired Veterans struggle with operational stress injuries (OSI), the one referenced most is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are those who fight the daily struggle, navigate the darkness, and find outlets of expression for what they might not even be able to put to words.
As I started to do my business plan research, certain themes kept emerging from discussions with both active and retired service members: the fear of the unknown, a loss of identity, and the struggle to find purpose.
I asked questions about what are our service members were afraid most of with their medical releases and transition into civilian life. Time and time again, I got the same two answers: a fear of losing their friends and a fear of not having the finances to provide for their family or themselves.
So the solution to the problem we see: support others while they redefine their identity, use art to explore and express, and be a safe space for those living with an OSI in their lives, a place where they do not have to explain it, excuse it, or focus on it.
Our artists can be those struggling with a retirement transition or an OSI.
They are Veterans, active military personnel, RCMP, first responders, corrections officers.
They are people who have seen the unimaginable in the world, both the darkness and the beauty.
Our artists will also be the primary caregivers; those who also live with an OSI in their lives as the unwavering support for their loved one.
There is so much that swirls in my head when I start laying out our plan. In a nutshell, we want our studio space to be a hub. We want to be able to take a holistic approach that supports our Veterans by being an outlet for expression, a place to offer both physical and mental health experts. A place for art creation, but also a place to find that camaraderie that might be missing in their lives. We want to support and advocate. We want to have workshops and art lessons. A space to make art and the place to sell that art online.
Reach out. Need help finding support? Know an artist who should contact us? Just need someone to say they understand? Email us. Come for a coffee. We get it.
November 06, 2019
I get this and reaching out to support others is a wonderful way to do this.Not that l have experienced anything like our military vets God pray for them.My return from overseas after 11 years has been a culture shock and major transition. You need to rebuild a life ,it seems you can not pick up from 11 years ago. Even though l thought l had maintained those links it is not the same and moving forward to find a fit in this new life is not always so predictable or easy and it takes time. It’s called starting over, building a new life. Its wonderful and encouraging that you have put this out there, it’s called Art Therapy. I would be interested in offering some Art workshops through you if this is part of your mandate. I have some ideas Contact me maybe this would be a good fit.
November 03, 2019
March 04, 2019
December 18, 2018