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280 – 1125 Howe St

Exploration through Expressive Arts

An invitation to feel re-energized and restored through a weekend of expressive arts exploration. Find community, connection and access inner wisdom to reduce burnout and awaken aliveness. Reconnect with internal resilience and physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.


  • Strategies to increase mindfulness and compassion
  • Creativity tools to bring to the work place
  • Tools to encourage self-efficacy, enhanced social support, and improved listening and communication skills
  • Expressive arts activities in the areas of movement, poetry, writing, and visual arts

Workshop Details

  • June 6 & 7, 2020
  • 9:30am – 4:30pm
  • 12 in class hours
  • $325 Tuition + $20 Supplies + GST
  • Early Bird (Expires May 5th) $300 Tuition + $20 Supplies + GST
  • Prerequisite: None

Who is this for?

  • Any one interested in enhancing their creative potential
  • Those looking to foster communication, connection and supportive networks with colleagues
  • Indigenous health professionals and healers
  • Allied health and wellbeing professionals interested in enhancing their ability to be in partnership with Indigenous peoples
  • Those seeking to enhance their sense of physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being



  • Gentle movement and accessible visual art activities
  • A deepened sense of awareness of the body
  • Poetry and writing explorations
  • Community and connection
  • A deeper sense of self

Instructors: Melanie Rivers & Leah Walker

Melanie Rivers/Tiyaltwelwet, is an Indigenous mixed media artist, instructor, and Expressive Arts Therapist from the Squamish First Nation. She facilitates art and creativity sessions that include painting, collage, movement, poetry and writing for individuals, teams, and communities.

For the past 20 years, Melanie has worked in the Indigenous health field and she holds a Masters in Public Health and a Provincial Instructors Diploma. She has extensive experience with instruction, workshop design, evaluation, cross-cultural facilitation, and culturally relevant resource development. She has led the development of over 21 educational and policy resources and now teaches art and creativity classes to people around the world.

Melanie says; “Art is an incredibly powerful vehicle to express what can’t be said in words, a way to synthesize and capture an experience, transform stories, build bridges, heal, foster community and strengthen relationships”.

In the workshops she teaches, Melanie draws from her traditional ancestry and on her vast experience in the health and healing field. She creates safe space and offers art and creativity activities that all can engage with.

Melanie Rivers-Tiyaltwelwet

Leah Walker is of Danish, English, Nlaka’pamux ancestry and has strong kinship ties at Seabird Island. She is a mom of a beautiful 16-year old, wife, gardener, sailor, educator, and Expressive Art Therapist, living on the Coast Salish Territory of Nex̱wlélex̱m (Bowen Island).

Her life work includes her role as the Associate Director-Education of the UBC Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health. Leah grew up the small resource community of Burns Lake (Wet’suwet’en) and her experiences there heavily influenced her interest in education, social awareness, conflict resolution, equity and art making. She has been engaged in a variety of expressive modalities throughout her life including theatre, dance, writing and movement.

Her current enquiry includes exploring the relationship between embodiment and decolonization, or how do I decolonize my body and deepen my relationship with myself, others and this planet? Compassionate and playful, Leah offers workshops that support participants in expanding their sense of wellness and possibility.

Leah Walker Expressive Arts Therapist VSOHA


  • Must be 19 years of age.
  • Tuition is paid in full at the time of registration.

Cancellation Policy

Tuition is fully refundable until one week prior to the course at which point no refunds will be made. If a student is unable to attend for any reason, payment received will be kept on file as a credit and can be used for any other VSOHA program or course within one year.