Skip to main content

Portraits of health-care workers and their struggles through pandemic star in new Victoria exhibit

The portraits are of health-care professionals from across B.C. who've shared their stories about the first wave of the pandemic. (CTV News) The portraits are of health-care professionals from across B.C. who've shared their stories about the first wave of the pandemic. (CTV News)

A Vancouver Island artist has found a unique and interactive way to honour front line workers in the fight against COVID-19.

Shannon Holms is displaying her series, Courage and Compassion: Portraits and Stories of BC Healthcare Heroes, at the Gage Gallery Arts Collective in Victoria’s Bastion Square.

The gallery will feature 20 portraits of 20 health-care professionals and their personal stories from the first wave of the global pandemic.

"This is really an important time in history and I don’t want people to forget the contributions of those health-care workers, and their stories," said Holms.

"For me, it’s a legacy piece. It’s a piece (that) I want to gift to society and I want those health-care workers, when you and I are long gone, to be celebrated for this really intense time in our society," she said.

Each portrait features gold accents symbolic of each story.

"With Dr. Lorelei, who is a local Victoria physician and maternity care doctor, I painted a baby’s breath around her," said Holms.

Holms started her work at a mainland hospital, where her niece works as an intensive care nurse.

From there she went on to interview other health-care workers across the province, including 10 from Vancouver Island.

"This is Kim Hanson and she’s a care aide for Island Health," said Holms, while holding one of the paintings.

"In this portrait she’s wearing Winnie the Pooh ears and the reason why she put them on that day was because she wanted to go into the seniors care home and really bring joy to their life."

The exhibit will run at the Gage Gallery from Feb. 15 to 20.

Guests will also have the chance to share a story about their own personal hero, and Holms will paint a portrait of that figure for one lucky winner. Top Stories

'No concessions' St-Onge says in $100M a year news deal with Google

The Canadian government has reached a deal with Google over the Online News Act that will see the tech giant pay $100 million annually to publishers, and continue to allow access to Canadian news content on its platform. This comes after Google had threatened to block news on its platform when the contentious new rules come into effect next month.


opinion Don Martin: With Trudeau resignation fever rising, a Conservative nightmare appears

With speculation rising that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will follow his father's footsteps in the snow to a pre-election resignation, political columnist Don Martin focuses on one Liberal cabinet minister who's emerging as leadership material -- and who stands out as a fresh-faced contrast to the often 'angry and abrasive' leader of the Conservatives.

Stay Connected