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The Award

The Arts for Mental Health Award

Presented by Mississauga Arts Council. Sponsored by Bell.

MAC’s Arts for Mental Health Award recognizes leaders and organizations which improve the health of individuals through arts programs and activities.

Sponsored by Bell, this award is presented annually at the MACsquerade Ball to celebrate the achievements of individuals and organizations that are making a difference in our community.

Previous Winners of the Arts for Mental Health Award

Presenting Dr. Colin Saldanha (centre) the 2022 Arts for Mental Health Award at the MACsquerade Glam Ball ’22 on December 1, 2022. Award presented by Lena Demarco, Bell Community Affairs (left) and Nina Tangri, Member of Provincial Parliament – Streetsville (right).

Dr. Colin Saldanha (2022)

Dr. Saldanha is a pioneer and staunch supporter of therapeutic arts programs and is well deserving of this award,” says Mike Douglas, MAC’s Executive Director,  “He has been instrumental as a member of our steering committee in assisting with developing and shaping our Arts for Mental Health Conference held in October 2021, which brought together 130 healthcare practitioners and creative sectors leaders to explore the rationale for, design and implementation of ArtsCare. Congratulations Dr. Saldanha and thank you!”

MAC Executive Director Mike Douglas (left) presents the Arts for Mental Health Award to Susan Ksiezopolski (right) at MAC’s Office (2021).

Susan Ksiezopolski, Write Well (2021)

Susan Ksiezopolski was awarded the Arts for Mental Health Award in 2021 for her active work in the community, creating and sharing experiences that fuel a sense of well-being and support mental health through arts-based programs. In addition to her well-being workshops, she produced the Art of Wellness Documentary (2021), highlighting the health benefits of existing arts-based programs in Peel Region.

Anna Silgardo (left) being presented the Arts for Mental Health Award from Mayor Bonnie Crombie (right) at MAC’s Masquerade Ball (2019).

Anna Silgardo, Artists in Momentum (2019)

Anna Silgardo, founder of Artists in Momentum was presented with the award for her dedicated development of creative services for newcomer women and other groups of disadvantaged people suffering from moderate mental health obstacles. Her original and highly impactful programs led by professional artists, target participants who would benefit from creative expression, inclusion, and recognition.

Keitha McNeil holding Mind Forward’s Arts for Mental Health Award at the Masquerade Ball (2018).

Keitha McNeil, Mind Forward (2018)

The first Arts for Mental Health Award was presented to Keitha McNeil, CEO of Mind Forward Brain Injury Services. Mind Forward is a leader in using creative expression through arts activities, led by professional artists on-site, as principal therapeutic tools in assisting the recovery of clients suffering significant brain injuries.