KGH employees gifted with over 400 pieces of art from community

'Perfect gesture for this time'

More than 400 Kelowna General Hospital employees are receiving a hand-painted piece of art this week from the community.

The "Share the Sunshine" project was started by Kelowna artist Michelle Droettboom, after she wanted to find her own way to honour the employees at the ICU and COVID ward at KGH.

What started as a call to artists across the Okanagan to help out with the idea, turned into a huge showing of support. Four-hundred-and-seven paintings with personal messages inscribed on the backs of each canvas went directly to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, where each employee from those departments will choose the design they want.

Droettboom says now that the paintings are complete, she couldn’t be happier.

“We did it,” Droettboom exclaimed. “This is amazing, and it means a lot because I wanted this to be a joyful day, and a hopeful day, and I think that's coming through with the art.”

Megan Roberts is the manager of local art store OPUS in Kelowna. She helped supply the canvases after Droetboom reached out for help. Roberts was kind enough to lower the costs of the canvases, and said it was the least she could do to say thank you to the healthcare workers.

“We’re really about art in the community, and this is such a community building activity. We’re so grateful for all the support, the healthcare workers and all they’ve been through and are doing. It was an easy, little commitment to say thank you,” said Roberts.

With all the obstacles and fatigue healthcare workers have faced throughout the pandemic, KGH Foundation executive director Jaymi Chernoff says this gesture couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Everything happens for a reason and even just in the wake of everything that's going on this week, It's just so touching. To know that this is for our healthcare workers, who like everybody else in the community is feeling fatigued and we are tired, so this is a perfect gesture for this time,” said Chernoff.

Droettboom wanted to acknowledge the healthcare workers for their commitment to keeping the community safe by saying thank you, and she describes the artists and everyone who helped bring this project to life as “just simply the best.”

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