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Modern Mississauga: Arts for Mental Health Conference

The Mississauga Arts Council and Mass Culture partner to launch the first Arts for Mental Health Conference in Canada – Modern Mississauga

Published on on September 7, 2021

“Do you believe in magic? Well, you should according to Mike Douglas, Executive Director, Mississauga Arts Council (MAC).

“COVID-19 has created such demand for mental health care and the arts are ready and able to help alleviate this crisis. We started with Medicare and the time has finally arrived to appreciate the impact and benefits of ArtsCare to help improve one’s mental health by participating in a creative experience, whether as an audience member, attending an art class, dancing, writing, or singing, all generate measurable physiological and neurological benefits – it’s magic.

“So much research has been done, we are excited to pull it all together in a two-stage presentation,” offers Robin Sokoloski, Director of Organizational Development for Mass Culture. “First, we’re co-hosting our inaugural Datathon on September 7-9th, to collect sector-sourced research, resources, and tools on Arts and Mental Health. The information collected will be shared leading up to and during Mississauga Arts Council’s Arts For Mental Health Conference on October 6th.”

“Mass Culture will be hosting one-hour Data Parties every day during the 72-hour Datathon period. Each Data Party will be an occasion to bring everyone together, talk about and upload some Arts & Mental Health resources, and offer other arts and health engaging activities.

“Once the research is gathered and organized, it will be presented at the Arts for Mental Health conference occurring online during the afternoon of October 6th, 2021. When guest speakers, experts, scientists, and artists gather to share the outcomes, benefits, and strengths of creative experiences, led by or performed by professional artists, lifting depression, reducing anxiety, and the use of traditional, established and expensive healthcare services in hospitals and doctors’ offices.

“Exploring what the arts can do for the health and well-being of Ontario’s citizens, learning how attending creative events can become part of the whole mix of non-medical social prescriptions, will build upon the works of others featured during the conference. Evidence of benefits and physiological and psychological effects will be shared leading to a pragmatic brainstorm, to collectively envision what a pilot referral and prescription service might look like, bringing arts care to residents in need after the damages done by COVID-19.

“The Arts + Mental Health Datathon is open to all who wish to contribute resources. Learn more and sign up at

“The Arts for Mental Health Conference is invite-only, learn more about the Arts for Mental Health conference at

“The Arts for Mental Health Conference is funded by a Seed Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, sponsored by Bell and Alectra, and supported by the City of Mississauga.”