Seventh annual event demonstrates ‘boundless possibilities’ of people who have a disability, says attendee
Camille Jensen

VANCOUVER –  In the six years Global television broadcaster Arran Henn has participated in posAbilities’ Inclusion art show, this is the first year she’s seen a line up for its opening.

“We started at five and there were people lining up to come in,” recalls Arran, who was the emcee for the night. “It’s been busy since the doors opened.”


More than 400 people attended posAbilities seventh annual Inclusion art show Oct. 27.


More than 400 people strolled, admired and bought art at Heritage Hall Oct. 27 as part of the seventh annual art show featuring artists who have a disability from across British Columbia.  Not only were the crowds the largest yet, but also the number of artists and work:  there were 215 artists and 615 artistic creations ranging from painting to pottery, glassware and jewellery.

“It was inspiring,” says Katherine Joyce Price, who learned of the event from her daughter, and bought three pieces from varying artists.

Katherine says it was her first time at the event, and while she’s familiar what people with different abilities can do, the art enhanced her appreciation.

“It was a nice addition to see the boundless possibilities that are here,” she says.


There were 615 pieces of art on display including paintings, pottery, jewellery and glassware.

The theme for this year’s Inclusion art show  was diversity, celebrating the unique gifts and talents of many people. This included South Asian artists, who were invited to share their heritage during the time of Diwali, the festival of lights, a month-long holiday celebrated in parts of South East Asia.

For many of the artists, the change to receive public profile and sell their work made the night a golden opportunity. 

Robbie Rivard, a host family provider, poses for a photo with artist Charlie Johnson and Gerald Lamb.


This was true for long-time contributor Carrie Billow, who most recently branched from drawing into glass creation and jewellery, with many of these items selling at the event.

“I like doing my artwork and expressing it with other people,” says Carrie.

For Jennifer Barrette Green, 31, it “feels great” to have sold her art, a cross-stitch that took three months to make.

As part of the annual event, posAbilities staff chose one piece of artwork to be featured on their Christmas cards, which are sent to all posAbilities families and members. This year’s winner was Dan Tell, for his painting Barns in Winter. Dan is an accomplished artist in a variety of mediums including painting, tile and pottery, which he produces at the Pottery Works Studio.


Dan Tell, centre, was the winner of posAbilities Christmas card contest. The artist is seen here posing with posAbilities family and communications co-ordinator Monique Nelson (left) and Global television broadcaster Arran Henn.

PosAbilities CEO Fernando Coelho says he’s impressed by the event’s evolution, as each year the show becomes more exceptional.

“Every year the selection of the art chosen for the art show becomes more and more professional.

“People are taking a lot of pride,” says Fernando.

He adds the art show is meeting its goal of advancing inclusion by introducing new people to the abilities in their community.

“Sometimes, it’s the first time (people) connect with individuals who have a disability. So not only are they connecting with someone with a disability, they are also looking at the ability these individuals have,” he says. “It’s a way to integrate mainstream community into the world that we live in, which is made of individuals with all sorts of abilities.”

All donations support next year’s event, which is hosted by posAbilities.

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