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The Paueru Gai Dialogues #7: On Mental Health and Art

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The seventh free event in the Paueru Gai Dialogues series, On Mental Health and Art, is on Saturday September 18th 1:00 PM-3:00 PM PDT.

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Art as activism and relational connection to place have been threads throughout the Paueru Gai Dialogues, a pandemic series creating space for sticky issues and community building. Among other questions generated, participants have asked how youth are feeling about themselves; and what tools we might have to address intergenerational trauma and day-to-day discrimination. In this session, guest host Sue Arai and panelists River Blondin Burt, Leanne Toshiko Simpson, and Jotika Chaudhary Samant share insight into healing intergenerational trauma through art. Participants will be invited into breakout groups to share their perspectives with one another. To wrap up the event, everyone will reconvene to offer questions and debrief together.

Guest Host and Panelist Bios

Guest Host Sue Arai is a queer, Sansei generation Japanese Canadian residing in southern Ontario and engaging in change through the practices of psychotherapy, disability advocacy, and research.

River Blondin Burt is a Dene-Scottish-Scandinavian artist and entrepreneur. Their work is grounded in an exploration of healing through co-creation with the earth. River believes that the radical act of being deeply in-relation “with” our other-than-human relations is active social rebellion, and a pathway for transformative personal, and collective healing.

Leanne Toshiko Simpson is a mixed race Yonsei writer and mental health educator from Scarborough. She is a doctoral student in Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto with a debut novel coming out with HarperCollins in 2023.

Jotika Chaudhary Samant is a Queer Glitter Femme. Her ancestral lands are Fiji & India. She identifies as a racialized settler. She is an Expressive Arts Therapist passionate about supporting BIPoC to (re)connect into their bodies & nervous system through arts creation. She is chronically ill and an interdisciplinary artist who uses visual art & songpoetry to ground herself and cope with trauma, heartache and oppression.

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Organizer Powell Street Festival Society

Organizer of The Paueru Gai Dialogues #7: On Mental Health and Art

The Powell Street Festival Society’s (PSFS) mission is to cultivate Japanese Canadian arts and culture to connect and empower diverse communities. Our main activity is producing the Powell Street Festival in Vancouver’s historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood, Paueru Gai.

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