Former Vancouver Canucks goalie Corey Hirsch and his battle with mental health is the inspiration behind the Mind Full art exhibit, which occurs at The Reach on June 27. (Submitted)

MindFull exhibition focusing on Corey Hirsch’s mental health battles

Robert Bateman Secondary School students’ artwork on display at The Reach

Corey Hirsch’s lifelong struggle with mental health is set to be showcased in a unique way by Robert Bateman Secondary School students later this month.

The MindFull Art Exhibition takes over The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford on June 27, and the former Vancouver Canucks goalie will be on hand to take in the project.

The exhibition shares the life story of Hirsch visually through 28 large-scale paintings done by RBSS Art Activism students.

Art Activism program teacher Alexandra Klassen said she first discovered Hirsch’s story through her husband, and became inspired by his story and his fight against mental health.

“It’s an issue I’m personally passionate about and I love Corey Hirsch’s message,” she said. “He really speaks about early intervention and diagnosis and how important that is within the realm of mental illness. We still have so much shame and stigma around mental illness for young people and young men, and the work he is doing is so important.”

Hirsch, who represented Canada on the International stage and also played professionally with the Canucks, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars, revealed his struggles with mental health to the sports world back in 2017 when he penned an article for the Player’s Tribune. Since then he has become an advocate for mental health awareness and specifically working to end the stigma associated with mental health.

He went onto partner with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and speaks with schools and organizations all across the country on the issue.

It was through one of those school visits that MindFull came together. Hirsch spoke on mental health at RBSS back in February, and the project began to form.

“I thought it was a bit of a long shot when we reached out to him to be involved,” Klassen said. “But he spent the day with our class.

Hirsch fielded questions from small groups of six students and all his responses were recorded. Klassen then pared those conversations down to 28 shorter clips, and each student was then assigned an audio clip. It was from that audio clip that each student was tasked to create a painting representing what was said.

Klassen said that all those attending the exhibition will have the opportunity to not only view the paintings, but also listen to the audio that inspired the work of art in a truly interactive experience.

All the proceeds from the event will go towards creating a scholarship that will go to a student struggling with mental health and/or addiction. Hirsch himself is also expected to attend the event and Abbotsford Foundry will be there providing information for ways youth can help deal with mental health issues.

Klassen said the finished paintings will potentially be auctioned off in a silent auction if the demand is there.

The event runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for students.

This marks the third big fundraiser put on by the Art Activism program, which is unique to RBSS. Past years have seen a look at refugee’s in Abbotsford and an exhibit on the local history of residential schools.

For more information on the show, visit rbssart.com.

Just Posted

Comedy, chicken poop and dancing at Lytton Festival

This year’s festival will honour longtime supporter Shirley James

LETTER: Recreational angling has low-impact on Fraser salmon

Jason Tonelli writes about his displeasure at the call to close recreational fishing on the Fraser

Hope’s Wheeled Wild Women hit the road for cancer research

Group of friends ready for the 200-km bike trek that ends in Hope

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Cougar spotted in Seabird Island

Residents are asked to report all sightings to conservation

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Most Read