In 1997, a group of artists came together committed to enhancing the wellbeing of professional performing and creative artists as well as students in, and teachers at, recognized post-secondary arts institutions. The Artists’ Health Alliance (formerly the Artists’ Health Centre Foundation) was formed, with a vision of creating a centre for holistic treatment and comprehensive health education and outreach.
In 2012, the Artists’ Health Centre Foundation officially transitioned to a registered charity under the name Artists’ Health Alliance (Alliance).
The Alliance works in partnership with The Al & Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre, Toronto Western Hospital (Centre), founded in 2002, to ensure the needs of the artistic community are being met, and is accomplished through ongoing communication with the arts community, the Christine Ardagh Education & Outreach Program, Needs Assessment Surveys and the work of the Artists’ Committee.
The Alliance is also responsible for management of the Joysanne Sidimus Fund, with funding available through the Centre, for artists of limited financial means.
To empower artists of all disciplines with accessible, innovative and integrative healthcare, so they may enrich our society.
The Artists’ Health Alliance: provides leadership in health advocacy, promotion, and education for artists of all disciplines; supports artists’ use of specialized arts medicine and the integrative healthcare facility at The Al & Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre at Toronto Western Hospital; and through active networking and research is a catalyst for advancing the health and wellbeing of our artistic community.
In 1994, a group of Toronto artists met at the request of Joysanne Sidimus, Founder and Executive Director of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre to investigate the possibility of creating a specialized health care facility for creative and performing professional artists. The impetus for the project was a unanimous frustration with the cost and lack of appropriate health care for artists. The project grew into the Artists’ Health Centre Foundation (now the Artists’ Health Alliance).
In 1995, an extensive needs assessment survey was conducted in the Toronto area concerning the health care needs of artists. At the same time, research was conducted into other known artists’ clinics including centres in San Francisco, London, The Hague, and New York City. The information gathered confirmed the need for an integration of complementary and conventional medical health services, as well as research in the field of artists’ healthcare, and subsidies for alternative therapies.
The initiative was referred to the Healthy Connections program at Toronto Western Hospital within the University Health Network, and it was there that The Al & Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre (Centre) found its home, opening in November, 2002.
The creation of The Al and Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre was a labour of love for the visionary people who brought it into being; the board of the Artists’ Health Centre Foundation (now the Artists’ Health Alliance) and the directorship of the University Health Network. It would have been impossible without the contributions of the many people who could easily have put their money elsewhere, above all Al and Malka Green.
The Artists’ Health Centre Foundation (now the Artists’ Health Alliance) remained active throughout the process of opening the Centre.
Two seminars were held before the space was officially opened (one for artists, the other for practitioners). In 2003, three more seminars held in the Centre’s space presented speakers familiar with the issues and injuries of artist’s, and dealt with techniques and resources that are available to artists within the community. Since then, numerous clinics, seminars and workshops have been presented and the Alliance continues to be an active partner in recommendations for the Centre, as well as education and outreach programs and management of the Joysanne Sidimus Fund, established in 2004.
“What we do on stage or in front of the camera is so physical, and we can’t be sick. If we’re sick, we don’t work. So, you know that old saying ‘the show must go on'.”
Registration: Artists' Toolbox
June 30, 2018
Fill in the form below and select which events you want to register for, including the number of spaces you want to reserve (under “quantity”). If you have any problems registering online, you can do so over the phone by calling 416-351-0239. Season Summary Narrative Wellbeing ...
Maintaining Creative Energy
March 13, 2018
This workshop addresses creative fatigue and combats the isolation that plagues artistic work. Through activities facilitated by an expert drama educator, participants identify and discuss sources of their creative energy. Explore how your personal and professional stories, and the places you come ...
January 25, 2018
This workshop addresses the fact that artistic practice can entail unhealthy habits. Facilitated by a registered dietitian and a physiotherapist, this workshop will help artists gain individual insight into their own habits in regards to diet, exercise and sleep. Create sustainable patterns and ...