What We've Done So Far

Art With A Heart has been helping people and the community since 2009


Art With A Heart started a youth and young adult mentoring program, accepting students from high school, colleges and universities for volunteer opportunities, co-op placements and practicum requirements.

Life Church invited Art With A Heart to present an arts-based workshop that will help their congregation explore and better understand the world around them. The workshops served as arts-based research and encouraged people to acknowledge their emotions around groups of people who may be different from them. We looked at ethnicity, race, immigrant status and lifestyle choices, along with issues including mental illness, addictions, homelessness, street-involved youth, and poverty.

Focussing on seniors,
Art With A Heart created a unique multi-week drop-in program for residents at Fairview Lodge in Whitby. The sessions helped to minimize feelings of isolation, and encouraged gentle, moderate movement. Family members and caregivers interacted with the seniors during these sessions. Artists engaging in this project had specialties in dance, visual arts, Zentangle and mindfulness, and creative expression.

Continuing its weekly program at W.I.N.G.S Maternity Home in Ajax, Art With A Heart connected with four mothers and expectant moms through an expressive art therapy program. Moms were able to attend the Art With A Heart studio and at their maternity home setting in Ajax. Artist Sheri Gundry has committed to providing belly painting (with body approved paint) and belly casting (a safe procedure that creates a plaster cast of the pregnant belly) for each mom who goes through the W.I.N.G.S program.

Art With A Heart created and implemented a bi-weekly program for Muslim Welfare Home, a women and children’s shelter in Whitby, Ontario. The sessions engaged temporary residents in expressive art activities focussed around emotions, emotional expression and release, emotional regulation, stress management, personal resources, identity work, community support, and personal gifts and resiliency.

Art With A Heart Inc. ran a workshop at The Refuge for staff, who work with the drop-in program for street-involved youth and young adults.

Canada Day Celebrations in the Region of Durham included Art With A Heart hosting a public information booth, introducing the community to our charity and the programs we deliver. We also provided arts-based activities at our table run by volunteers and board members.
Art With A Heart Inc. met with four high school groups who were working with YPI (Youth Philanthropy Initiatives).

Focussing on young mothers, Art With A Heart created an on-going aftercare program for young mothers called Momentum. This program is for young mothers who have graduated out of local maternity homes or other parenting programs and who want ongoing support, teaching, and life skill development through the arts and cooking.

Art With A Heart finalized its policies and procedures manual, setting the standard about how Artist Facilitators will work with vulnerable people and the general public. This initiative was undertaken as a result of funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.


Art With A Heart returned to W.I.N.G.S maternity home in Ajax to continue working with the expectant and new moms in residence. These young mothers/mothers-to-be spent two hours per week participating in an Expressive Arts Therapy Program and Art Journaling Program.

On December 6, 2013, we opened our head office, located in downtown Whitby on Dundas Street, just east of Brock Street. MPP Christine Elliott and the Mayor of Whitby, officially cut the ribbon, and over 60 people were in attendance.

Art With A Heart ran a 12-Week Expressive Arts program for students developing employability skills and opportunities in the Skills Link Program hosted by Bishop Joseph Fisher’s Family Life Centre in Pickering Ontario.

Art With a Heart hosted its annual fund-raising gala on October 3 at The Lake House in Pickering. The evening was titled “Behind the Mask”. Paul Shannon’s amazing catering tantalized more than 140 guests who enjoyed the jazz stylings of Patrick Tevlin’s New Orleans Rhythm, and presentations by singer/songwriter Kevin Morse and storyteller Brad Woods. The evening was hosted by TV personality Heather McCullough. Click here to see images from the gala. (note: insert pictures or a link to a facebook page where they exist).

With financial support from The Trillium Ontario Foundation, Art With A Heart Inc, was able to create and implement an Expressive Arts Therapy Program with seniors at Fairview Lodge Seniors Home in Whitby Ontario. The program launched in the Spring of 2013 and carried on bi-weekly until the end of the year. The program has since been continued by Fairview Lodge directly and continues as a bi-weekly program combining music, movement, visual arts, voice, poetry, relaxation/mindfulness, and deep breathing techniques.

At the Epic Parenting Conference, Art With A Heart presented an expressive arts workshop about knowing one’s self, as well as self-care techniques through the arts, and how to parent from a place of wellness – physically, mentally and spiritually.

Art With A Heart presented a special workshop program for seniors at Thorntonview Long Term Care Residence.


In November, Art With A Heart received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to support two streams of workshops for youth and for seniors during 2013. The monies will also help the three-year-old organization further develop its policies.

Art With a Heart hosted its annual fund-raising gala on October 25 at The Lake House in Pickering. The evening was titled “Putting on the Ritz”. Paul Shannon catered the event to more than 140 guests who also enjoyed the jazz stylings of Patrick Tevlin’s New Orleans Rhythm and soloist Kyle McCullough. Stephanie Herrera and Durham Improv also performed throughout the evening. Click here to see images from the gala. (note: insert pictures or a link to a facebook page where they exist).

In Fall, Art With A Heart returned to W.I.N.G.S maternity home in Ajax to begin a second season of working with the young mothers in residence who are developing their life skills in an effort to live independently and sustainably. Drawing on the success of the first W.I.N.G.S program, the young mothers spent two hours per week participating in an Expressive Arts and Art Journaling Program. They also completed plaster masks that they decorated and embellished as part of an Art With A Heart program called “The Masks We Wear”, which explored concepts around the masks people wear in their lives and why.

On September 29, Art With A Heart participated at the Conant Community Carnival, presented by Oshawa Community Health Centre. This event saw Art With a Heart volunteers introduce creativity to children and parents through the making of complimentary buttons.

From September 13-16, Art With A Heart volunteers and board members returned to the three-day Camp Samac Arts Festival hosted by the Oshawa Arts Association. Art With A Heart served delicious meals and snacks to more than 70 artists and the 6,000 attendees.

On July 7, Art With A Heart partnered with Ontario Shores Mental Health Sciences for Mindful Music. This event brought awareness to mental health issues in the community and helped to disrupt stereotypes and stigma associated with mental illness. Art With A Heart hosted a table and a station to make buttons with event attendees, and discussed our art programs.

Artist At Large and Executive Director Sheri Gundry and Board Member Angela Brown facilitated a three-hour intermodal workshop at Oshawa’s Thorntonview Long-Term Care Facility in July. More than 30 seniors participated in group storytelling, a percussion music exchange and also a creative drawing exercise.

On Canada Day, Art With A Heart hosted a button-making booth at Canada Day Whitby @ Victoria Fields. Youth volunteers worked alongside Board Members to create special limited edition buttons to commemorate the event.

On June 9, Art With A Heart hosted a button making booth at JAM Jazz Festival 2012 at The Courtyard in Ajax. This event saw youth volunteers who led the event under the mentorship of senior artists.

From March to June, Art With A Heart piloted a three-month Expressive Arts and Arts Journal Program for young mothers in residence at the W.I.N.G.S maternity home in Ajax. Artists Sheri and Taylor Gundry facilitated one session per week, including a belly painting session and belly casting session (a cast is made of the pregnant woman’s stomach and then decorated).(In body and face painting, approved paint for body is used. These sessions were developed to encourage the young mothers and expectant mothers to explore their feelings about motherhood and assist with building life skills, while building relationship, and attachment awareness around early life parenting and connection with their infant.

On March 19, Sheri and Taylor Gundry appeared on Rogers Daytime TV with Host Christian Pritchard. The segment discussed the new W.I.N.G.S program.


In October, more than 100 guests enjoyed dinner and entertainment by comedians Neil Crone and Kevin Franks at Art With A Heart’s annual fundraising gala. The evening was emceed by Chef Christian Pritchard and The Heather Luckhart Collective performed. Jazz musician Matthew James made a special presentation. The gala proudly showcased the works of artists who offered their art as part of a silent auction, and generously donated half of their proceeds to Art With A Heart.

The Pinewood Centre and Durham Social Services hosted a special one-day event “Phenomenal Women” focussing on Women in Fall 2011. Artist-At-Large and Executive Director facilitated a half-day workshop and facilitator Angela Brown assisted with teaching more than 25 women the art of life journalling.

Culture Days is celebrated across Canada. Art With A Heart joined the festivities with three days of free events, where Durham residents participated or learned about storytelling, dance, modern batik painting, textile art and face painting. Each workshop was taught by a skilled working artist.

Art With A Heart hosted the “bistro” at the Oshawa Arts Council fall art fair, held at Oshawa’s Camp Samac. Over the course of three days, participating artists and visitors dined on soups, chili, sandwiches, salads and sweets served by the Art With A Heart team.

Art With A Heart Inc. partnered with Durham Family Court Clinic for a second time to facilitate workshops for youth. The 16-week program taught sculpture, watercolour, mosaic art, free motion embroidery, modern batik and writing to 13-to-19-year olds. Some of the young men and women who participated have maintained their ties with Art With A Heart. Two emerging artists are regularly hired to face paint at public events with Sunflower the Clown (aka Artist-At-Large and Executive Director Sheri Gundry).

A special Valentine’s Day fundraising dinner shared Art With A Heart successes with guests at Eat. Care. Love, an evening of fine food, jazz and art. During this dinner, a patron generously donated a $5,000 tuition bursary to one of the youth associated with our art workshops.

Art With A Heart youth volunteers helped young children complete a craft designed and prepared by Artist-At-Large and Executive Director Sheri Gundry at The Conference Place Gallery during Imagine Film Festival. This was associated with RIO movie event.

Our Artist-At-Large and Executive Director, Sheri Gundry, participated in Colin Burwell’s documentary about art in our communities. This is another way that Art With A Heart contributes to building an appreciation for art and its many benefits.


Art With A Heart Inc. programmed their first series of workshops for youth as part of a partnership with Durham Family Court Clinic formed in 2009. Fifteen youth, aged 14 to 19, and five of their assigned workers attended the optional art program. The pilot program was an experiment to gauge the benefits to youth and Durham Family Court Clinic recognized a new confidence among participants and improved attendance.

Camp Samac hosts the Oshawa Arts Council Fall Art Fair and show and Art With A Heart volunteers again served warm foods and sandwiches, sweets and healthy snacks to artists and guests to fundraise and build awareness about our charity.

Art With A Heart food artist Jacquie Horvat created and donated special food platters to The Conference Place special gallery event in Spring 2010. This event helps build awareness about mental illness.

Drawing on our work with at-risk youth, Art With A Heart’s Executive Director attended Durham College’s 2nd annual At-Risk Youth and the Law Conference in 2010. While there, she participated in workshops to better understand both the barriers at-risk youth face and the focus of the justice system in their dealings with youth.

Continuing in its support of arts and culture in Durham, Artist-At-Large and Executive Director Sheri Gundry and Artist in Residence for Textiles Kim Mather attended the Winter 2010 Art of Transition/Artscapes Conference at Oshawa’s Robert McLaughlin Gallery. They participated in roundtables to talk about art spaces in Durham Region being initiated.

The first Art With A Heart Newsletter is sent to friends, supporters and patrons in January 2010.


Art With A Heart Inc. announced their opening with a fundraising gala to raise funds to help children in orphanages in the Ukraine. Renowned Canadian bandurist Victor Mishalow performed, six original batik paintings of orphans were sold, as well as hundreds of Art With A Heart calendars, which documented the plight of orphans as well as historic Ukrainian traditions. Proceeds of $2,000 were raised. The event was held at L’viv Hall in Oshawa, Ontario.

Art With A Heart Inc. followed the Ukrainian-themed gala with a full day of cultural arts event. This day included more than 28 participating artists/artisans, live musicians (Brian Gordon, Derek Giberson and Heather Luckhart, Ukrainian Dance Troupes, BOW Flag team), guests such as Sunflower the Clown, and food sold by L’viv Hall. Live art was created by children with youth volunteers leading various projects including creating your own picture frame and pumpkin painting.

Camp Samac hosted the Oshawa Arts Council Fall Art Fair and show and Art With A Heart volunteers served warm foods and sandwiches, sweets and healthy snacks to artists and guests

Executive Director and Chairman of the board for Art With A Heart attended the first Art of Transition Conference in Fall 2009 and Executive Director Sheri Gundry was then asked to have the cover of the first Transitions ‘zine released by Durham Tourism. This introduced people within Durham Region to both Sheri’s artwork and to Art With A Heart.