Foundation notes: Art powers healing

Promoting patient health through art at Penticton Regional Hospital

It’s not often I get to wax poetic about art – especially in a hospital.

But everyone involved in the June 14 launch of The Healing Power of Art exhibit was totally enthused about the art and photographs which will be on display for the next three months in the PRH cafeteria.

Well over 100 people, including many of the artists and young photographers whose works are on display, turned up for the opening. The idea of promoting patient health through art rather than having them stare at blank walls seemed to resonate with all involved.

For many, the art itself is therapy such as the Photo Voice Project featuring photos taken by some young mental health patients at PRH. I had a chance to chat with mental health staffers Andrea Larson and Kayla Nemes who talked about the tremendous benefits the patients get by viewing life behind the lens. Sounds like a win-win all around.

The Healing Power of Art is open to the public and continues through until Sept. 4 at PRH. The hospital’s newly formed arts committee is also working with the Penticton Arts Council on adding various forms of art in the hospital year-round.

Tea stirs up more fundraising

Another recent success was Take an Old Bag to Tea, hosted by the Penticton Hospital Auxiliary on June 11 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. The fun fashion show attracted well over 200 people and raised about $8,000 while another $3,900 was realized in a raffle for a glittering diamond tennis bracelet won by Patricia Thomas of Penticton. A total of 195 tickets were sold in the bracelet raffle.

The auxiliary started the Tea by donating $50,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation, bringing them more than halfway towards their $250,000 five-year pledge to our $20-million campaign to provide the medical equipment for the PRH expansion.

Charity golf tournaments

Summer is here and the golf course awaits. This year, not one but two fundraising golf tournaments are in the works for the SOS Medical Foundation.

First up is the 21st annual Peach City Tees Up for Cancer ladies golf tourney at the Penticton Golf & Country Club on Aug. 18 and 19. This has always been an incredibly fun event for a very worthwhile cause. There’s still room for more — send a quick email to for registration information.

Meanwhile, EllisDon Infrastructure, the province’s private sector partner in the PRH project is hosting a tourney Aug. 28 at the Penticton Golf Club. Registration is almost full but a few sponsorship opportunities are still available. Registration deadline is July 14. For more information contact Cathy Nord at EllisDon in Penticton 778-476-7771 or email

Big donations

I had the honour of being invited to the Penticton Gyro Club’s recent annual meeting where I got an opportunity to chat with members about the PRH expansion and our campaign.

Thanks to the Gyros for their generous donation presented by 2017 president Lloyd Hansen and past-president Ron Perrie.

Thanks also to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 40 Auxiliary in Penticton, as president Sandy Bumby stepped forward with another donation. Several Legion branches throughout the region have pledged a combined $90,000 to PRH.

And a big Thank You to the Penticton Lions Club for their $2,000 gift to our PRH Tower campaign. Since 1994, the Lions have donated more than $16,000 to help support the hospital — so greatly appreciated.

John Moorhouse is development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. For information on donating, please call 250-492-9027 or visit our website