ARThrive: Healthy Relationship Series

Through simple and creative guided workshops, each ARThrive session will explore different topics while creating art together in a safe(r) space. All materials are included and light meals will be provided.

ARThrive is a partnership between SFU’s Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office and the SFSS Women’s Centre. We have also worked in partnership with the SFU’s Indigenous Student Centre to support some past sessions.

Sessions are open to all students of all genders.

Past Sessions

Writing for Self-Care

Creative Self-Care is intended for anyone interested in using creative writing for self-care. Through a series of guided writing prompts, workshop participants will be invited explore personal strengths and values, choice and desire, memories and healing. This is a process-based, self-reflective workshop—meaning there are no “right or wrong” ways to approach the exercises, and no pressure on the outcomes of the writing. Sharing is always optional.

Bring your preferred writing tools -- paper and pen or a laptop -- and a willingness to help create a confidential, supportive and safer environment.

This safer space for creative writing was facilitated by writer and creative facilitator Amber Dawn.  She is the author of four books and the editor of three anthologies. Her debut novel Sub Rosa (2010) won the Lambda Literary Award for Debut Lesbian Fiction and the Writers’ Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Prize. Her memoir How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir (2013) won the Vancouver Book Award. Her poetry collection Where the words end and my body begins (2015) was a finalist for BC Book Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

Diving Inside: Relationship with Self

Self-care is a holistic approach to nurture your connection to self through mind, body and soul. Join us in this workshop to explore your inner-relationship through creative writing and crafting a relaxation salve as well as an energizing roll-on.

Through a variety of activities, you can expect to gain a deeper understanding of ways in which you may foster a healthier relationship to self.


Healthy Relationships: Our Way

In this creative expression workshop, we invite our bodies and our imaginations to bring into focus the ideas we have around navigating relationships with our peers, friends, loved ones and ultimately ourselves.

Through creative writing and guided movement improvisation, we will explore our inherited ideas around consent and boundaries that contribute to our vision of healthy relationships. We will identify the characteristics of the relationships that empower and lift our being, and hone in on the choices we can make that lead to mutual feelings of respect and empathy for others.

This safer space for creative writing and movement exploration was facilitated by Cost Salish storyteller Rosemary Georgeson (Sahtu-Dene) and dance artist Olivia C. Davies (Euro-Anishinaabe) and in an adaptation of the O.Dela Arts creative expression workshop, “Home: Our Way”.


Fostering Healthy Relationships in the Community

The goal of this workshop is to explore ways to build authentic, healthy relationships within your community and to break down barriers preventing us from connection. We will tap into our creativity and discover personal strategies that will foster resilience and connection with all of our relations. You will leave feeling empowered to use tools that you inherently possess to foster deep and meaningful connections.  

This safer space was co-facilitated by Erika Doehring and Adriana Contreras.

Erika Doehring is a proud Gwich’in granddaughter, an artist, poet and healer. She is constantly on the journey of discovering her culture and connecting to her story. She always danced to her own drum, and resisted conformity by following her heart. This is something that she brings to her style of facilitation, using authentic understanding and creativity to foster meaningful connections and discussions in space.

Adriana Contreras is a Visual Artist, Graphic Recorder, Designer, and an avid Arts advocate. In 1998, at the age of 15, she migrated with her family from Bogotá, Colombia to Vancouver,BC, the unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. Since then, she has worked and volunteered with Arts and Community organizations such as SFU Galleries, New Performance Works Society, SFU Woodard's Cultural Programs, The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, among others. In 2018 she was selected as one of two Community Scholars with the organization, Drawing Change. 


ARThrive Graphic Recordings

In November 2019, we invited Erika Doehring a proud Gwich’in granddaughter, an artist, poet, and healer to facilitate the November 19th ARTthrive session: Fostering Healthy Relationships in the Community

During the workshop process, Adriana Contreras, a Visual Artist, Graphic Recorder, Designer, and an avid Arts advocate recorded Erika’s knowledge about all the elements we need to consider to Fostering Healthy Relationships in the Community. At the end of the workshop student participants were invited to write down what makes up a community for them, and they gathered all their notes to create a collective poem reflected in the second graphic.

We are immensely thankful to Erika and Adriana for sharing their skills and wisdom at ARThrive, and leave us with these two graphic pieces to share with the SFU community.