Art for the Heart

The Cause

At Radiance (formerly Sonshine Community Services), we seek to heal the human spirit. Art for the Heart will be a healing space for woman and children impacted by domestic violence through facilitated art groups and family events. Art is an inclusive activity that transcends age, language, and cultural differences. Using art as a therapeutic tool, Art for the Heart utilizes creative processes to promote self-awareness, emotional exploration, and healing, leading to transformative experiences.

Radiance Centre is a residential shelter serving women and children fleeing family violence and abuse. The Centre is an integral part of Calgary’s collaborative response to domestic violence, housing women with and without children who are at a high risk for serious injury or fatality. With 24 units, Radiance provides an eighteen-month program that supports clients in navigating the practical and emotional complexities of leaving an abusive home, including six-month follow-up to support clients in their safe transition back into the community.

Many women who come to Radiance have lost friends and family as a result of the abusive relationship or in leaving it and come to us alone and living in fear. At Radiance, we recognize the power of community and connection in healing and successful integration into the community.

Art for the Heart will include 2 co-facilitated groups for woman that is 10 sessions long. One series of groups will occur in the Winter/Spring and the other series will occur in the Fall. Each series will include 1 co-facilitated family art event, bringing both women and their children together to learn, celebrate and grow.

The objectives of Art for the Heart:
1. Foster connections: Encourage meaningful connections between women within the building, promoting a sense of belonging and support.
2. Facilitate self-healing and empowerment: Utilize the creative process to help individuals heal and empower themselves, providing a therapeutic outlet for emotional expression and personal growth.
3. Boost confidence and self-trust: Enhance participants' confidence and self-trust through artistic activities, fostering a positive sense of self-worth and belief in their abilities.
4. Strengthen mother-child bonds: Create opportunities for mothers and children to build stronger connections through shared artistic experiences, nurturing a deeper bond and understanding between them.
5. Development of peer-led Art for the Heart group

Who Will it Benefit?

Radiance serves a diverse population of women and their children. Radiance Centre provides services to women with children and women without children who are identified as being at high risk of injury or homicide.
• 30-50% of our clients represent multi-ethnic backgrounds. 20 percent being recent immigrants who face extensive language and cultural barriers.
• We are the only second-stage shelter in Calgary that can accommodate women without children.
• Approximately 30% of our clients identify as Indigenous.
• Our clients include women ages 18-50+ and children ages 0-17.
• 95% come from Calgary's three emergency shelters
This past year, 87% of women who resided at Radiance Centre were in severe or extreme danger of death by partner, according to the Danger Assessment. This was a 7% increase from the previous year. The Danger Assessment is a research and evidence-based tool that helps staff identify a client’s risk of death by partner or femicide.