Tag Archives: Herbert Pryke

Back from Africa

Art Building Children’s Dreams is an organization that provides financial assistance to schools and families at risk, by using children’s art to raise funds for their education and community development.

As part of the twelve volunteer Canadian team, I went to Tanzania to be an art teacher. I designed a mandala for the students to paint. Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘lotus blossom’ and cultures from all over the world draw them. As well as an art form, the mandala is about the process of healing.

The Tanzania Mandala was designed with images that would be easily recognizable by the children and for their specific meaning. The torch is Tanzania’s symbol for freedom. The butterfly personifies transformation and willingness to change. The elephant represents strength and patience. The Baobab tree exemplifies shelter, food, water and fire.

Amedusi wants to be a doctor. He is 13 years old. He lives alone, sleeps in the home of his deceased parents and goes to his grandmothers for food. It is difficult for me to fathom this type of life and imagine his dream as a reality.

Working with these children taught me to be with what is. Limiting my thinking of a situation as difficult is grounded in a belief that promotes judgement. This belief system requires something to be ‘ugly’ for us to recognize beauty.

The giraffe doesn’t think that that rhino is more beautiful or uglier than it is. They are devoid of judgement. The children of Tanzania taught me to be more aware of compartmentalizing everything as good or bad; right or wrong.

I became the student, and with this new perception, I can view John as the healer he wants to be and offer encouragement without attaching an outcome.

Artcures Inc. will soon have prints of painted mandalas available suitable for framing with proceeds donated to ABCD.

Visit www.artcures.ca for more information.
Herbert Pryke is founder of Artcures Inc. an Aurora based non profit organization that believes in the power of art to restore, repair and renew.



Mentorship in Motion

I’m honoured to be asked to participate in the 2nd annual Arts Exposed York Region Arts and Culture Conference, November 2 and 3rd at Seneca College, Markham.

I will be on a panel sharing my views of the importance of collaboration.


noun 1. the action of working with someone to create something.

Mentorship in Motion is a collaboration of professional artists and young people living with a challenge. It’s happening here in York Region.

I am one of the artists in this 1st annual six team project. It has been a humbling experience.

At first introductions, Michael and I shared one thing. We were both diagnosed with cancer. The difference between us is Michael is going into Grade 11. My trek with cancer is finished; Michael is still on his journey. We have been working together on a 36 by 36 inch wooden panel.

The artwork from each team is complete. Each artwork is completely different; each very special. This exhibit will open at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts on October 26th at a special event; The Power of Art. The original artwork will be unveiled, the artists present to speak about their experience and to sell signed limited edition prints of their artwork. Proceeds from the sale of these prints will be donated to a charity of each teams choice. These include: Dramaway, SickKids, Geneva Centre for Autism, KC’s Cancer Cushion Fund, Bereaved Families of Ontario – York Region and the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.

When motives are authentic enthusiasm builds. Artists from across York Region have been donating their original artwork as door prizes for this opening event. Imagine, for the cost of a $50 ticket, you view the exhibit, be entertained by Joanna Grace on piano, Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra Flute trio, Steppin’Out Theatrical Productions and then take home an original artwork.

The collaboration continues. During the event Anna Stanisz, Programs and Education Curator for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection will have an announcement.

The Mentorship Exhibit will on tour for three months. To purchase tickets to the opening event, read about our mentorship teams and view the tour schedule, visit www.artcures.ca

No doubt I’ll be talking about the consequence of collaboration to reach more people in our community and share the importance art has to restore, repair and renew.

Thereʼs more to the arts that meet the eye

The performing and visual arts are supposed to be entertaining, but more importantly the arts remind us of our power to create. The act of creation is the essence of our purpose and our progress as a community. The arts teach us how to think beyond boundaries and inventively overcome obstacles.

The arts teach us that we are inherent sources of innovation and that we can dramatically contribute to the community in every area of life – from medicine to technology to public policy.

In July, Artcures Inc. a York Region non-profit arts organization, built a six foot mandala for the community to paint. The point was to create something that hopefully benefits others. The action of creating allows us to make sense of ourselves so we know how to be of purpose to the humanity in which we live.

Artcures Inc. also created a paper wish garden in York Region and the public were given strips of rice paper for them to decorate and hang. People wrote messages of hope, health and wellness for themselves, their family and for society. The messages or ʻprayersʼ have been collected and will be burned in a special public ceremony on September 12th in Holland Landing. The ceremony will include a native drumming circle, song and prayer. All are welcome.

For more details, photos of the paper prayers and a map visit the Artcures Inc. website at www.artcures.ca / September Drumming Circle


Artcures Inc.ʼs mission is to expose and invlove the community with the arts and the power art has to generate self expression, exploration and evaluation. The arts lead us to our power to create and inspire change.

Herbert Pryke, Founder Artcures Inc.


O What a Night!

June 9th – Aurora Festival of the Arts celebrated its second annual Hollywood Style Black Tie Gala in style!  Guests dressed up in zoot suits, fedoras, boahs, diamonds and gowns – bedazzled with all the fun and glitz that Hollywood infers!

It all started with a Red Carpet Press Conference featuring festival featured artists George St. Kitts, George Olliver, Rob Tardik, Robin Banks, John Ebata, Joel Krivy, Courtenay Field, Hot Rocks taking photos with organizers, guests and being interviewed by the press including Rogers: Diana Ciccone, SNAP: Cindy Shaver and Nic from The Era Banner.

By 6pm the Mansion was buzzing with excitement as guests arrived in anticipation of a wonderful night for the Arts!  Cameras snapped out photos on the Red Carpet capturing Artists, Organizers, Charities and Guests.  What a wonderful guest list it was.   Included were MPP Frank Klees, Ontario Trillium Foundation representative Merwat Rashwan, York Region Chief of Police Eric Joliffe, Mayor Steve Pelligrini of King, Markham Councilor Kanapathi, Aurora Councilor Humfryes, York Region Arts Council Executive Director Nancy Bodi, Michael Bowe & Denise Anderson of the Multi Media Film Festival of York Region, Herbert & Danielle Pryke of Artcures, television and radio personality Spider Jones, Rogers television personality Diana Ciccone, Catherine Matheson and crew from 88.5 The Jewel (88.5 car parked in front!),  business leaders, former councilors, a table full of artists as mentioned, real estate personalities – Michele Denniston, Merilyn McCart and Judy Kendall and festival’s two charities representatives of Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness and Safehaven making the event a microcosm of this year’s festival.

The night was filled with fun and dancing to the sounds of George St. Kitts Band and guest artists Alex Ciccone, Robin Banks and Spider Jones.  Silent Auction was filled to the brim and bidding continued into the night raising funds and awareness for the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.   A guessing game for a fantastic 22K Blue Topaz necklace hung elegantly on a strand of luminescent pearls, valued at $3500 donated to the Aurora Festival of the Arts by Kavar Jewellers was part of the excitement of the night.

MPP Frank Klees and OTF representative Merwat Rashwan presented AFA Board with the Ontario Trillium plaque, speeches were made and then the celebration the arts in York Region carried on until after midnight.

O what a night for the Arts indeed!  A perfect opportunity for art supporters to get to know one another better and cook up more ideas on how we can support the arts while stimulating local economy and tourism!

Thanks to all who supported the 2011 Hollywood Style Black Tie Gala fund raiser for the Aurora Festival of the Arts!

Join us July 29, 30 and 31st in Aurora’s Town Park at the Aurora jazz+ Festival


Sher St. Kitts – AFA – Chair


Images From the event!