Studio Dreamshare, in collaboration with pflag Canada, is delivering an arts program to support the mental health of local LGBTQ2S youth.

From January-March 2021, the studio is offering Rainbow Art Club for five in-person participants, and eight remote participants on a weekly basis across the Ottawa Valley.

“We are offering remote delivery during COVID-19 because not only is it safer for the community, but queer youth are spread out across our rural region and might not be able to get to Pembroke easily for an in-person class,” said Cameron Montgomery, director at Studio Dreamshare. “Getting to hang out with other queer kids, even virtually, is so important for mental health.”

Jill Holroyd, chapter leader of the Renfrew County chapter of pflag Canada, said LGBTQ2S youth in Renfrew County are isolated from their peers at the best of times, and the situation has worsened due to Covid-19.

“LGBTQ2S youth are suffering from anxiety and depression due to stigma, rejection, bullying and even violence due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity/gender expression. We often hear from parents, or the youth themselves, that they would like a place to be creative, develop their artistic skills and socialize with other LGBTQ2S youth. This will lead to improved mental health outcomes,” she said.

Studio Dreamshare is hiring local artists to deliver the classes in-person for five youth, and via Livestream to eight more, who will be sent materials packages by mail. They are encouraging queer artists especially to get in touch with the studio to facilitate a class.

This project is funded by the United Way East Ontario: Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF). Due to this great generosity, Rainbow Art Club is being offered at no cost to the youth. Please contact Studio Dreamshare to register a space. All queer and questioning youth across the Ottawa Valley are invited.


The program takes place Friday nights 5-7 p.m. starting January 8, 2021.

Written By: Pembroke Observer and News