Local businesses and artists joined together to raise $2,500 for youth mental health programs at Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Vernon & District Branch.
‘The Jungle’ Art Exhibit for Mental Health, organized by Vernon artist Carley Kitagawa took place at The Fig Bistro on January 30 for the annual Bell Let’s Talk Day, encouraging Canadians across the country to share stories about mental health to create awareness and reduce stigma.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout,” said Kitagawa, who noted about 100 guests attended the event. “We are really grateful to the community for coming out to help.”
Kitagawa donated proceeds from the sale of paintings from her ‘The Jungle’ collection, which was created while Kitagawa was visiting Costa Rica.
“We’re so happy that our first event has been such a great success, and we are able to donate to a wonderful charity that we believe in,” said Beatrice Weir, co-owner of The Fig Bistro.
Funds raised will support early intervention and prevention programs for youth. “The future of our community will be in the hands of today’s youth. We need to cultivate strength and resilience while providing the guidance and support they need,” said Julia Payson, Executive Director, CMHA Vernon & District.
Some of CMHA’s youth programs include Super Saturday for children aged 7-12 and Friday Night Live for youth aged 13-17. Both programs serve youth who have a parent living with a mental illness. Youth take part in life and social skills development activities designed to build confidence, community connectedness, and help manage their mental wellness.
Guests of the fundraiser enjoyed an amazing evening of appetizers from The Fig Catering paired with wines from Intrigue Wines, live entertainment from local musician Kailee McGuire, table decor by The Room Collection and paintings for sale by Kitagawa.
About Carley Kitagawa
Vernon resident Carley Kitagawa owns the Design Firm Olive Tree Interior Designs. While operating her business, Carley saw a need and desire for large art pieces. Since she was a young child she has loved art and what it represents. Her holistic approach to painting is inspired by a passion for nature, design and people.