Art Therapy


Expressing what is often unspoken

Experiencing the healing peace of being heard

Lee is a valuable member of the team. Not only is he a committed assistant, but he also takes the lead role in our annual art show. He is very talented but oh so humble. Lee is a passionate advocate of the importance of artistic expression and the value of each person’s artwork as having meaning.

On August 30, a painting by Lee was unveiled at city hall, a painting that Lee had been commissioned to create in celebration of the Housing First initiative.  Follow this link for the full article:


Lee's painting for Housing First

                                    Lee's painting for Housing First

The colourful keys on a light blue background take up most of the painting, with some shaded keys on a white background, as if the keys gain their colour as they move into the vibrant part of the canvass. The keys represent the security of opening a door to a home and winning back freedom.

Lee at the unveiling of his painting at Ottawa City Hall

Lee, flanked by Bev (on his right), and Rick, at the unveiling of his painting at
Ottawa City Hall.

“Each of these keys is a victory, a triumph,” Lee said after unveiling his painting, Transitions, at city hall Tuesday. “Each key brings back that measure of dignity, that measure of liberty, that measure of self-respect and confidence to go back and rejoin society.”

Lee, 54, said he’s been artistic his whole life. He moved from Malaysia to Toronto in 1982, attended York University, and relocated to Ottawa two years later, continuing his post-secondary studies at Carleton University.

“I ended up at the Salvation Army about four years ago. I was having problems with dealing with my father’s death and I have been estranged from my family for a while. I just fell into a depression I couldn’t get out of,” Lee said.

“(Salvation Army staff) are the ones responsible for me regaining a lot of my dignity, a lot of my self-respect, a lot of my confidence.”

A weekly two-hour art therapy class at the Salvation Army was the “most significant and important thing that happened to me in the last few years,” Lee said.

Some of the artwork produced in the class became part of an annual show called Heard. More information about this annual show can be found below.