Category Archives: Art and Disabilities

Alive and kicking!



We have been open for almost a month and it has been a total whirlwind, but its been so much fun!

We have a ton of new classes added to our roster, including a bunch of yoga classes and a theatre class.

Our amazing Yoga teacher, Crystal, has added an adult yoga class on Mondays at 7:30-8:30pm which is filling up quickly! Crystal also has an amazing kids yoga class on Thursdays at 4:00-5:00! Crystal also created a Mum and Tot Class on Thursdays at 2:00-3:00 where mom’s or dad’s can come and bring their baby to the class with them. Child care is not provided by the child is in the room with the parent! So far parents are loving it! Such a great idea!

Kat has recently joined our yoga team and has added a ton of classes to our Saturday schedule in the Lulu Movement Studio! Kat has created a kids yoga class on Saturday mornings at 10:00-11:00! She has also added a class for teens to come and have yoga on Saturdays at 11:30-12:30! As well she has created a Paint a Picture Yoga class that runs on Saturdays at 3:30-4:30 which sounds really interesting and fun!! Kat has also created a Theatre class that will run for 8 weeks starting on May 11th!! Kat loves theatre and is really excited for people of all ages to join this creative class.

Our classes are open to people of all ages and abilities. We can tailor the class to meet the needs of anyone. Our centre is completely wheelchair accessible. For more info on these and other classes, check out our website at or email Jade at!

How could I forget?


sitenavlogo-thumb-268xauto-56324Honestly it has been a whirlwind week that Ryan just reminded me that I forgot to mention that I had an interview with the CBC Calgary, The Homestretch with Doug Dirks. How could I possibly forget that…Guess I should not be blogging at 2:30am? Mary Katherine of the show contacted me after she saw our writeup in the Calgary Herald on Thursday. They were so amazing and accommodating! Here is our interview!

Thank you so much Mary Katherine and Doug Dirks for giving me such an amazing opportunity! There are some really fantastic people in Calgary! I’m a lucky girl!


What an AMAZING week we have had at Mandala Art Centre


Our week started on Sunday with a visit from the Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi. What an incredible man to take time out of his busy schedule to come to Mandala to see what we are all about. He of course loved that our main colour is purple, one of his favourite colours. He also mentioned that he too lived in the North East and how a centre like ours was very much needed. I was on cloud nine, as I’m sure you can imagine.

March and April 2013 118

Things didn’t stop there for Mandala Art Centre. On Monday, we filmed a segment and interview for Shaw TV‘s Go Calgary! show, a local show that highlights what’s happening in Calgary. A wonderful friend of mine arranged for some awesome kids to come and to do an art activity with me for the show. We did shaving cream paper marbling. If you have never tried it and have kids, try it, you will love how it always turns out and can be done by anyone of any age. The kids in this activity ranged from 3-10 years of age and they all really loved it. The segment aired on Friday all day! Here is our interview …

We also had a write up in the Calgary Herald on Mandala and what it is that we do.

We are having our Grand Opening Celebration on Sunday April 14th from 11:00-4:30! Everyone is welcome and we will be having FREE Art Activities, Face Painting, Caricature Drawing, Snacks (including some gluten free ones), Yoga demos and so much more! We are located at Suite 226, 5401 Temple Drive NE! Come on by! We are open to all ages and abilities.

A huge thank you to Mayor Nenshi, Alanna Nolan, Ange B, Stephen Hunt, Tom Babin, Chelsea, Beth and for everyone who made this week so amazing! As always a huge, gigantic thank you to my partner Ryan…he has helped me to make this dream come true.


Grand Opening Celebration – Sunday April 14th from 11:00-4:30


grand opening flyer April 2013

Mandala Art Centre is excited to be having our Grand Opening Celebration on Sunday April 14th from 11:00-4:30. We will be having FREE art activities, face painting, snacks, yoga demos/classes and so much more. Please plan on attending and invite all friends, family and others who would enjoy this kind of event. Our centre is open to people of all ages and abilities! For more information, check out our website at

I should also mention that if an event like this could be too overwhelming (which it may be) that I can be contacted to arrange a tour of the Centre on a different day. I would like to keep experiences at Mandala Art Centre positive so please let me know how I can help. Contact me at

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the 14th!

Metro News Calgary did a story on us today!

metro news

Mandala Art Centre has been open for just over a week and we received a phone call from Metro News Calgary wanting to do a story on our centre and what we were doing. Today we were fortunate to have a write up on us in the Metro News Calgary! Thanks so much Katie Turner for doing such a great job and for helping us to get the word out about our barrier free centre for all ages and abilities!

Click here to read the article~

We are open for Business!!!


Over the weekend, we moved into our new space at Suite 226, 5401 Temple Drive NE in Calgary and on Sunday March 17th we had our first party! We had a such a great time and I got a ton of new paintings to decorate my new place!

Our first party...

Our first party…

Everyone painted beautiful works of art for our walls!

Everyone painted beautiful works of art for our walls!

amazing works of art!

amazing works of art!

Fun was had by all...

Fun was had by all…

Mandala Shower March 17 2013 008

My favourite painting of the day... an amazing painting of my dog LuLu...made for me by an 8 year old artist!

My favourite painting of the day… an amazing painting of my dog LuLu…made for me by an 8 year old artist!


If you are interested in taking some classes at Mandala Art Centre, please check out our website at Or contact us at

Alright step right up and sign up for our classes!


After months of work and organization, I think we are ready to sign people up for classes!

I feel like screaming it from the roof top! We finally have our website organized and a potential opening date of March 11th. SO I think we open registration and see what happens. Its been a very interesting and often intense roller coaster waiting to see what will happen. Ive had those nightmares where I go to the centre and no one is there or I go to the centre and its completely over run with people and I cant get in the door. I guess only time will tell. Ive arranged for some amazing people to teach at the centre in yoga, dance, movement, visual arts and music therapy. I have developed a wide range of class offerings and have a willingness to create what ever the community is looking for. I have made some incredible community partners that will make a class at the Mandala Art Centre worth while. I want to thank everyone who has helped me through this journey. Everyone’s support has meant so much and I hope to not disappoint.

Here are some pics of the current studio spaces. We are waiting on flooring and touch ups and hope to be moving in the first week of March!

Our Movement/Yoga/Dance Studio

The LuLu Movement/Yoga/Dance Studio

The Marseilles Visual Arts Studio

One of our visual art studios

The Powers Visual Arts Studio

The waiting room

The waiting room

Down the hallway

Down the hallway

The Marseilles Visual Art Room and the Office


For anyone looking for more information or wanting to sign up for classes or for our March Break Kid’s Camp at Mandala Art Centre, please check out our website at or email me at





you have no idea how pathetically excited I was today to open the door to the space and to see real, actual walls!! Holy Moly its been so slow I sure didnt expect to see that today! here are some pics of what it looks like so far!

Walls...real walls!!

Walls…real walls!!

The Dance/Movement/Yoga Studio space

The Dance/Movement/Yoga Studio space

My Office!!

My Office!!

Visual Arts Studio!

Visual Arts Studio!

OMG Im so excited! The plan is to be moved in at the beginning of March…so please keep checking on our website or add your name to our newsletter to keep informed on registration for classes.

I am still looking for experienced yoga, dance, movement teachers. If you are interested please contact me at jade@mandalaartcentre. com

A blank canvas…the space has been demoed…


After months of waiting, I went to my future art space yesterday to see how it feels with all of the walls gone…It became very real to see where the new walls will be built by looking at the drawings on the floor. I was able to stand in each of the rooms and finally see how big each studio is going to be. I could also start to visualize how things will be organize in each of the spaces. It was very, very exciting.  Seeing it is so different then imagining it. Ive been looking at blueprints for months, but seeing it in real life brought the picture into focus.

here are some pictures…

our space with the walls removed...

our space with the walls removed…

windows will be in all three studio spaces

windows will be in all three studio spaces

from the other end

from the other end

I am seeing things come together…I am hoping to be in the space by March…I will keep everyone updated on the progress of Mandala Art Centre!

Why is ART important?


earth-without-art-6368So I’m totally procrastinating on doing my write ups for my website and I keep asking myself “Why would someone want to sign up for my art classes?”, “How the heck am I going to write up something that will convince people that my classes will be good for them?”  And I guess the main question I keep asking myself is, “Is ArT important?”

I know for myself that Art allows me that space to be myself and to do my own thing. It gives me a place where I can turn off the world and just focus on me. Ive always loved the arts, all of the arts … cant  say I’m great at all of them, but I have tried most of them and figured out as an adult what I like and what inspires me. So in searching the internet, I came across a ton of research and information on the importance of art in every day life and especially in education.

Andrea Mulder-Slater, founder of, talks about how art not only can help kids understand other disciplines better, such as math, science, geography. But that it also helps minds to be creative while teaching about human interactions, developing problem solving skills and teaching people how to communicate in other ways. She also talks of how sad it is to see Art disappearing from school curriculum’s when its so vital to  human development. It is often the Arts that seems to be the first thing to go when it comes down to budget cuts.

I then found an old post put out by that posed the question “Why are the arts important to humans today?” to the open forum. Some of the answers provided were nothing short of inspiring. Some of my favourite quotes:

“It is amazing how the arts can unite people across the globe, no matter where they are from, because they transcend cultural differences and capture something of what it means to be uniquely human.”

“Not having the arts is like living in a black and white world when color is an option.”

“I would add to this that the arts allow for a sense of belonging for many kids that they wouldn’t otherwise have.  Artists tend to be (but are not always) very inclusive; people who are a little unusual are more accepted.”

The last quote is one that really spoke to me about why I am creating my art centre. It is my hope that by creating groups based on interests, such as painting, drawing, sculpting, etc. that friendships and socializing will occur naturally. In working with people with disabilities for many years, I have always found that creating socialization groups was so difficult, especially for older children, teens and adults. It always seemed forced and unnatural. It was always very difficult to find social groups and peers of the same age with similar interests. I am truly hoping that by bringing people together with a common goal that friendships will ensue.

Last night I attended an event called Artism, which was a celebration of the art of people with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome put on by Autism, Asperger’s Friendship Society. They had a part in the evening where they had a teenage group called Art in Action put on an interactive play for the audience. Art in Action is a Self-Advocacy Program based on elements of the Theatre of the Oppressed. When the actors were asked at the end of the evening what they liked most about being in the Art in Action group, one of the actors said “that I have all of these guys as friends”.  It was that comment that reminded me of how important it is to create groups that give people who have difficulties socially a place to belong, to be themselves and to create and develop strong relationships with like minded people. That was so poignant for me.

drawing on tshirt

So I’ll pose the question to all of you out there in WordPress land…do you think the arts are important and why? Im very curious to hear what people think…