Why We Exist
Our mom was in the palliative care unit at the Foothills Medical Centre for the last 5 weeks of her life in January/February. She had been battling cancer for the past 6 years. During her time at the Foothills, mom loved choosing the pictures that would be placed on her walls. One picture in particular really meant a lot to her – it was a picture of a polar bear cub in the snow. Her sister had stayed with her almost every night that she was in the hospital and she also fell in love with this polar bear picture. With Art a la Carte’s permission, we purchased the picture and our mom wrote a special note on the back of the picture to give to her sister to say thank you for helping her through the last days of her time on earth. Mom gave her sister this picture two weeks before she passed away. I want to thank Art à la Carte for the impact they’ve made on our family’s lives.
The City of Calgary is well-known for its vibrant arts community; the performing arts as well as the visual arts can help Calgarians to celebrate beauty, be inspired, nurture their feelings and enrich their daily lives. However, this is not the case for thousands of people in our City who are long term residents in our hospitals and care centres. Recognizing that the sterile hospital environment can be forbidding, Art à la Carte was created 24 years ago to fill this aesthetic gap, bringing a compelling and unique program of art and inspiration to patients in these centres.
What began in 1994 with a sampling of photographs placed on the wall of a single hospital room has grown into a collection of 300+ pieces of diverse art that is brought to the bedside of Calgary patients. More than 85,000 visits have been made to Calgary health care facilities by compassionate volunteers who offer comfort to patients, families and caregivers through the bedside art program which is a compelling and unique complement to patient care.