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 $1,000,000 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 occupational therapy based 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

Honourary Chair

The Honourable Michael Wilson P.C., C.C.


Judy Allen

Assistant Director

Josette Lamoureux

Art Committee Chair

Martha Reeve

Art Committee

Ginny Leuty
Caitlin McCullough
Kariv Oretsky
Devan Patel

Development Committee

Jocelyn Barford
Lissa Ellsmere
Nancy Evans
Laurie Foote
Ann Katrusiak
Gallant Law

Occupational Therapist & Creative Lead of Creative Works Studio
St. Michael’s Inner City Health Program

Isabel Fryszberg

Director, Good Shepherd
Non-Profit Homes Inc.

Nancy Garner