Arts & Health is coordinated through the office of Arts, Culture & Engagement in the Decolonizing, Arts & Culture Department at the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, with senior level direction and governance provided by the project’s Executive Task Force.
The Task Force is comprised of individuals with strong affiliations to the arts, recreation and health fields including Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and Vancouver Coastal Health.
Executive Task Force
Lezlie Wagman retired from Vancouver Coastal Health’s Sharon Martin Community Health Fund (SMART Fund) in 2012. As Manager of the Fund since 2001 she supported the initial start-up and continuing funding of Arts & Health Project recognizing it as an innovative strategy to build creative art skills and community capacity with seniors.
Lezlie brings more than 35 years experience in population health promotion covering areas of strategic planning, program evaluation, community development, social marketing, health literacy, health education and policy development. She continues to support Arts & Health as a volunteer.
Currently a Population Health Policy Consultant, Claire has worked in Public Health for 16 years. She uses her Masters Degree in Community and Regional Planning to provide leadership within Vancouver Coastal Health, which is one of 6 Regional Health authorities in BC, in the areas of healthy communities and community food security. The Vancouver Coastal Health Population Health team uses partnerships, policy, leadership and advocacy to address the determinants of health and support the creation of healthy environments and healthy equity.
Claire has been an executive member of the Arts & Health Project since the project’s inception in 2006.
Marie Lopes is the Coordinator of Arts Culture and Engagement for the Vancouver Board of Parks and recreation. Marie is an arts educator and administrator who has worked for over 24 years in museums and arts organizations, creating exhibitions and projects fostering creative engagement and public discourse in the arts. She studied Art History at Wayne State University and was Curator of Education at art galleries in Windsor, Edmonton and Burnaby. In Vancouver since 1999, she has worked at ArtStarts and the Vancouver Art Gallery, as a Public Programs coordinator and Head of Public Programs, responsible for artists’ residencies, performances, conferences, classes, artist talks and cultural events.
Marie joined the Vancouver Park Board in 2009 and worked as an Arts Programmer at the Roundhouse Community Centre developing engaging arts projects connecting professional creative practice and everyday life. As an Arts Programmer she coordinated partnerships with arts organizations across disciplines who present their work at the Roundhouse and around the city in parks and community centres.
Donnie Rosa is General Manager at the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, the President for BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) and formerly a Board member for Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA). Donnie is also on the Board of Directors for the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE).
Relocating from Ontario in 2016 Donnie was responsible for the Canada 55+ Games, The Rose Theatre (Brampton), Community Arts, Little Libraries, Parks and Recreation and the Special Needs Adult Program Services Ontario (SNAPSO). Donnie was also involved in developing policy and capacity for Leisure Access, Public Arts, Climate Action and various Community Development initiatives. Donnie is immersed in learning their responsibility as a settler and is committed to decolonizing the Board of Parks & Recreation.
Donnie played and coached professional hockey provincially and nationally, coaching numerous Olympians during their career. Donnie went to school on a full athletic scholarship to Northeastern University in Boston, MA. As captain of the team, they earned a spot in the Sports Hall of Fame, named first team All-American and earned a spot on the Boston Beanpot Team, commemorating 40 years of excellence in sport.
With a career spanning over 3 decades Donnie built relationships, led with compassion and helped build resilient people and communities through Parks, Recreation & Culture. Donnie has spent their career driving visionary change through innovation developing policy to remove barriers and create equity. Donnie is an advocate for youth, seniors and people with special needs, and brings this experience and passion to their community and job.
Caroline is a contemporary dance artist and has worked in Vancouver as a choreographer and multi-disciplinary creator since 2003. As a dance educator, facilitator, and organizer, Caroline has led community engaged arts projects in community centres, art galleries, parks, schools and neighbourhoods, and has worked as an arts educator at the Vancouver Art Gallery since 2009. From 2008-2013, Caroline also coordinated dance outreach projects with Made in BC – Dance on Tour, working with communities around the province.
Caroline draws on training in group facilitation, trauma informed practice and conflict resolution in her work. She holds an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts & Science degree from McMaster University in Ontario, and completed her professional dance training at MainDance. She has been Project Coordinator of Arts & Health since 2015.
"The Arts and Health Project at Britannia has benefited not only the A&H participants but the community at large."
"I have noticed that the seniors really benefit from this type of programming. Their health improves, new friendships form and their sense of community increases. Seniors need stimulation to age well."
"The project offers a safe and welcoming space for Seniors of diverse backgrounds to connect through movement and to express themselves individually as well as collaboratively as a group."
"I was fortunate enough to grow up with all of my grandparents and as a result have a profound respect and admiration for the elders in our world. I feel truly honoured to be able to be a part of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Community and to do the work I am able to do here."
"The Strathcona group is unique in Arts and Health because all of the participants speak either Cantonese or Mandarin with little or no English. Translating is essential. Watching the seniors overcome their everyday barriers, no matter if it’s transportation or medical conditions, seeing them joyfully engage in the Arts and Health project is one of my biggest satisfaction!"
"My experience working with community members, many of them Seniors, to secure housing, income, and access to health care as an outreach worker in the past helped me with this work with the objective to connect Seniors to each other and their neighbourhood through this continuing and enhanced program. The Downtown east-side community is home to seniors with very diverse backgrounds and this project brings them together."