About Art Gems

Art Gems is the annual fundraising art auction in support of Creative Works Studio. Since 2007, your generosity and support has enabled Art Gems to raise over $1,500,000 for this life-changing mental health outreach program in downtown Toronto. Together we are making positive change in the lives of the many Studio members, who, through this rehabilitative therapeutic program, experience healing, increased self-esteem and the return of important life skills through their participation in the arts.

Our Goals

Through the Art Gems auction, we aim to increase the profile of Creative Works Studio in our community & to raise funds to enable the studio to expand its facilities & services for those most in need.

How Creative Works Studio Helps

Rita Lazakis is one of the many people who has benefited from the programs and environment provided by Creative Works Studio. In an essay about her experience she wrote:

For me the Studio is my everything! It’s a refuge from my loneliness and motivates me to express my feelings through my paintings. All the members work as a team. We support and help each other”
 Rita Lazakis

If you are familiar with psychiatric illness, whether from your own painful experience or that of someone close to you, you will understand the terrible loss of purpose and self-esteem that comes with these disorders. You many also realize that the arts can play a part in healing those wounds, providing individuals who struggle with these disabilities hope, purpose and identity.

Our Committee


Josette Lamoureux

Art Committee Co-Chairs

Kim Edmonds
Caitlin McCullough

Art Committee

Tara Marshall
Yvonne Monestier
Kariv Oretsky

Development Committee

Geoff Ashby
Jocelyn Barford
Brittany Boyd-Pyman
Audra Branigan
Andy Cleghorn
Brad Lachowich
Gallant Law
Tara Marshall

Event Manager
Good Shepherd Non-Profit Homes Inc.

Aussie Marie Ho

Creative Lead
Creative Works Studio

Bernadette Wycks

Studio Assistant
Creative Works Studio

Janet Romero