Cat Sivertsen

Past HARC Collaborator

Cat is a Ph.D. student with the School of Health Sciences and also works as a Research Associate in the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. She is a volunteer board member for Prince George’s Community Arts Council and an advisor for the Fine Art Program at the College of New Caledonia.

Cat is a practicing artist, educator, facilitator, an arts advocate and a student.  After living in the UK for 20 years or so, she is happy to call Prince George, and the ‘North’, her home. Cat’s arts practice is based in drawing and painting but is often represented in video and sculpture.  She is a fine art lecturer at the college level, a facilitator on the ‘arts as well being’, a mentor and an advocate for the arts in health, education and business sectors.

Seven years ago, Cat came to Prince George to be near family and this is where her arts in healthcare practice, and advocacy, began in earnest: implementing Two Rivers Gallery’s ‘art heals’ program in the University Hospital in Prince George.  ‘Art heals’ takes a therapeutic approach toward using the arts in health care rather than the phsyciatric methods of ‘art therapy’.  ‘Art heals’ was delivered, twice weekly, to a diverse group of patients in the paediatric and adolescent psychiatric wards as well as the addictions treatment centre for youth.  Cat has taken this ‘art heals’ approach beyond the patient-centred environment to seniors’ centres, care-homes, mental health agencies as well as to new immigrants and healthcare workers.

exhibit 365

While working at the Gallery, Cat completed her M.Ed. in arts based education.  This program delivered a worldview approach to education of placing the arts at the centre of the delivery model within the broader scope of curriculum. It was during this course of study that she was introduced to an epistemological sense of self with place in my arts practice, and in academic research. Cat’s masters degree culminated in a body of work, using the ‘art heals’ approach within an empirical research methodology, to look at the ‘aesthetics of grief’ around the loss of people, place and identity. Continuing with this art value for health ethos an exploratory body of work called ‘exhibit 365: a relationship with cancer’ was recently exhibited as a gathering gesture to dialogue about relationships with cancer.

Ph.D. Research Interest:

The arts and health care.  Does increased engagement with creative arts add to peoples’ health and well-being in remote situations?

Supervisor:  Dr. Sarah de Leeuw


Ph.D (current) – University of Northern British Columbia, School of Health Sciences

M. Ed.- Simon Fraser University, Education (Arts Based Education), 2011

Post-Graduate Certificate of Education – Bournemouth Art University Institute, England, 2006

Fine Arts Studies – University of Victoria, 1992

Visual Arts Diploma – Camosun College, 1991