March PCSBV Newsletter 2023

March 2023 PCSBV Bulletin

#202 - 1080 Railway Ave. | Canmore, AB T1W 1P4

(403) 707-7111 |

This month we are celebrating women and the amazing humans that they are. We are inspired by their abilities to show vulnerability and strength, grace and fierceness, leadership and gentleness. As we enter into March, we celebrate all women in recognition of International Women's Day on March 8.

Processing Grief

Women are more comfortable seeking connection to process feelings Women seek an outlet to process their feelings Women find comfort in the emotional support they receive Women feel empowered when they share experiences with other women Processing grief is a personal journey and it can be a lonely place. As women process their grief, they may reach out to their existing social networks or create new ones, especially with others who can understand their sense of loss. More reasons for this are:


Grief Shared

Grief Support

Four women. Four different lives. One thing they all have in common is the experience of widowhood at an early age. Through their shared experience they found support and community in each other – an example of what can happen when we share our feelings and experiences. These four women founded Crying Out Loud, a company dedicated to offering support and compassion to others navigating loss, grief, and life’s difficulties. Due to their very nature as females, these women were able to process their grief and empower each other through their journey. And for many women, the ability to be able to be open and vulnerable with feelings is built-in. For some, sharing their story multiple times, helps process their feelings. This can help them come to terms with what they're feeling, understand their emotions, and feel heard and supported.

Reaching out to a support group such as one of the PCSBV grief support groups. The walking group offers physical activity and the opportunity to share stories with a group of others in a similar experience. Finding an Art Therapy class. Connecting with others through art has shown to provide a safe place to share. Getting support can help with expressing grief and pain in a healthy way. Connection with others can be made by:

Meeting with friends or create a group for other women who are experiencing the same type of loss.




Wednesdays | 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm (January, February, March)

Canmore: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. PCSBV Office - #202-1080 Railway Ave. (Above Sports Experts)

Canmore Recreation Centre - 1900-8th Ave. Meet in the lobby . Fill out Rec. Centre Waiver here.

Banff: Wednesdays 9:00 am to noon. Banff Canmore Community Foundation - 214 Banff Ave.

There is no fee to join this drop-in grief conversation group . It's open to all 18+ who are grieving. We will walk and chat for about 30 minutes and then stop for a guided conversation on the themes of loss and grief.

Contact: Book appointment with Bill Harder


Volunteer – Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley ( Follow the link to the volunteer training calendar.


Mar 18: Exploring Spirituality (Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Richard LeSueur) 9:30 AM – Noon Hybrid – Boardroom/Zoom Registration Link

Mar 18: Effective Listening (Facilitator: Dr. Tiffany Kriz) 1:00 – 4:00 PM Hybrid – Boardroom/Zoom Registration Link

Mar 17: Virtual and Phone Supports (Facilitator: Bill Harder) 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM Hybrid – Boardroom/Zoom Registration Link

Apr 15: Family Dynamics (Facilitator: Merrily Marchessault) 1:00PM –4 PM Hybrid–Boardroom/Zoom Registration Link

Apr 15: Emotional & Psychological Supports (Facilitator: Jackie Baker) 9:00AM –Noon Hybrid–Boardroom/Zoom Registration Link

Apr 16: Physical Issues and Supports (Facilitators: TBA) 9:00 AM –Noon Hybrid–Boardroom/Zoom Registration Link

Apr 16: Case Studies (Facilitator: Bill Harder) 1:00PM –4 PM Hybrid–Boardroom/Zoom Registration Link



Dame Cicely Saunders is often denoted as a pioneer of palliative care and an ardent supporter and builder of the hospice movement. Using her experience as a nurse, research lead, doctor, and medical social worker she worked to restructure how society deals with and treats those nearing the end of their lives. In 1967, Saunders established St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham, London which used a holistic approach to meet the physical, social, psychological, and spiritual needs of patients, their family, and friends. Later, in 2001, she received the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize for her work at St Christopher’s.

Dr. Samantha Winemaker is another influential figure in palliative care, although in a more modern sense. As recently as 2018 Dr. Winemaker was awarded the Elizabeth J. Latimer prize for excellence and innovation in improvement of end-of-life care. Coinciding with more than 17 years of work as a palliative care physician she remains very active in the social media space with her co-hosted podcast Waiting Room Revolution which aims to transform the illness experience through advice and transparency. She also uses media like Instagram to dispel myths surrounding palliative care and actively create a space for people to learn and ask questions.

In the spirit of disseminating information surrounding palliative care Dr. Kathryn Mannix has transformed 30 years of work in palliative medicine into a retirement focused on bettering the public’s understanding of what dying really looks like and how people can prepare for it. Through media like the BBC, TED talks, CBC, and her own books, With the End in Mind and Listen, Mannix talks about the reality of death and how to die well. She uses real stories to illustrate the importance of reclaiming this process so that we can communicate with each other and take on grief together without being shellshocked by a seemingly sudden transition of a loved one. Dr. Mannix champions the idea of developing these communication skills and not shying away from these types of conversations, both for the public as well as health professionals.

Dr. Nadia Chaudhri, described as a force of nature, was a neuroscientist from Montreal who, when diagnosed with ovarian cancer, decided to share her palliative journey and amassed a worldwide audience. While undergoing treatment she set up a GoFundMe to raise money to help support marginalized or underrepresented young scientists. It raised $50,000 USD on the first day. Concordia University, inspired by their researcher’s bravery, set up the Nadia Chaudhri Wingspan Award which became an annual scholarship available to underrepresented neuroscientists and has since become so successful the university is expanding the scholarship.

Inspirational women exist in all facets of society, but it is truly inspiring to highlight just a few of the women who have had a hand in bringing the realities of palliative care to light for both the public and people within the industry. Before Dame Saunders, the extent of care for the dying was limited to pain killers. Through the work and experience of people like Saunders, Winemaker, Mannix, and Chaudhri, the dialogue surrounding the care and treatment of those receiving a life-limiting diagnosis is being opened and people are learning about what this means to them in new and innovative ways.



Social Workers Week is March 6 to 10, 2023 and it raises awareness about social workers and their contributions to the health and wellbeing of patients across the province. We caught up with Deanne Arada to learn more about her and the different hats she wears in her roles in social work as an AHS social worker, a contract counsellor for a private agency, and an Art Therapy practicum student. Officially, Deanne is a Registered Social Worker for Alberta Health Services as part of the Integrated Home Care department for Banff Community Health Centre and the Canmore General Hospital. “Within my role in Home Care, I focus on addressing future planning with clients, their wishes for their healthcare and what they might want if their health declines.” Currently, Deanne sees adults and senior clients, primarily. Her work is not limited to just adults or seniors. She can support all ages. Outside her role in home care, Deanne also works as a counsellor. “In these spaces where I offer counselling support, I focus on creating a safe space, building a relationship, and validating their experiences, fears or worries.” “I have been practicing social work officially since 2017, however, I have worked in the social services sector in various capacities since 2011. I didn't realize how impactful and life changing being a social worker would be, says Deanne. “After my first semester in my Bachelor of Social Work program, I knew I had to continue down a path where I finally felt I could utilize my empathy and listening skills into a career that made people feel seen and heard.” Her passion for her work is taking her down many paths. Additionally, to her work in homecare and private counselling, Deanne is a Art Therapy student with the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute and here in the Bow Valley as a PCSBV Art Therapy student working with Bill Harder, PCSBV Palliative & Grief Support Navigator to create an adolescent art therapy grief group.

Deanne Arada

“Within social work, there are a lot of 'elephants in the room' whether there are previous traumas that people experience or talking about their life-limiting illness, says Deanne, “Every person's story might be different and so I utilize similar skills because based on my work with people, most people just want to be heard and understood. They also want a safe space to explore those emotions if they don't have any other spaces in their life to do that.” She believes her role as a social worker is to offer clients a “map” of directions to go towards in their therapy. One of the things she enjoys most about her job is letting people experience social workers differently and offer a different experience to her clients where they feel seen, heard, validated and safe. “I want to acknowledge the privilege of being able to hold space for people and experience their unsaid stories for the first time. It is a privilege to build trust with my clients that they share the unsaid stories that they have held onto for so long and be able to witness the unravelling of their journey being shared with another person. I think that part of my job is the biggest joy and privilege. I want to say thank you to all the people that have put their trust in social workers to share their journey or story with them, thank you for finding courage to trust and having faith that we will support you along the way.”



The Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley offers essential community support services to those in our community experiencing life-altering changes, including terminal diagnoses, life-limiting illness, and grief through our client care volunteer program. Together with supporters like you we can achieve our goals for ongoing palliative care services and programs delivered to communities, individuals and families in the Bow Valley.

General Donations are used for programs currently with the greatest need of your financial support.

Tributes honour a family member, friend, or loved one.

Building donations support creating a residential hospice home accessible to the Bow Valley community. Monthly donations will ensure constant support throughout the years.

Thanks to generous donors, PCSBV provides client care services without a fee.

Donations of $25 or more will receive a charitable receipt.


Click on the link >>> Online at and click on the “Donate” button. Send a cheque to: DONATE

Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley, PO Box, 40113, Canmore Crossing, Canmore, AB, T1W 3H9.


Music Therapy: What Is It, Types & Treatment (

Music therapy is an evidence-based approach that utilizes the naturally mood lifting properties of music to reduce stress and anxiety, improve motivation, manage pain, and help with a multitude of disorders like cardiac conditions, depression, or ADHD to name a few. It was first used and defined by the United States War Department in 1945 to help recovering military service members and is now used for folks of all ages, including to combat behavioural disorders and trauma in children.

Canmore's Alpine Voices and Threshold Choir has been a strong supporter of palliative care by bringing comfort to those on life’s threshold through the strength and stimulation of song. Their work echos music therapy and its benefits.


Grief Works by Julia Samuel

Alpine Voices at the PCSBV 2022 Hike for Hospice

"Julia Samuel, a grief psychotherapist, has spent twenty-five years working with the bereaved and understanding the full repercussions of loss. This deeply affecting book is full of psychological insights on how grief, if approached correctly, can heal us."

Alpine Voices Threshold Choir had its start in Canmore in 2016. They are a chapter of Threshold Choir, an umbrella group whose tag-line is:

“One choir, many voices-singing for those at the thresholds of life in over 200 communities around the world”.

They are not a performance choir, but a choir of presence. It’s their hope that their singing brings comfort and companionship to those whom they surround. It is the intention of singing that makes this volunteer work rewarding. They have sung at the bedsides of dying people, virtually as people receive chemo therapy, at the side of a woman whose sister was receiving MAiD in a distant city, outdoors at a graveside interment. It is said that Threshold Choir singing “is love made audible”. In practice they create a space of genuine support for the members to learn pieces and they foster a community of care as a choir and as an outreach of palliative care in the Bow Valley.


National Caregiver Day April 5 World Health Day April 7

Advanced Care Planning Day – April 16 National Volunteer Week April (24 to 30) National Day of Mourning April 28 National Hospice Palliative Care Week (May 1 to 8)

To learn more about the Threshold Choir, visit:

To contact our local chapter, reach out to the PCSBV office for the choir leader’s contact.

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