Hope Bridges Society

Facilitator Profiles

DSC_0334Trisha Nelson

Go Green Upcycling – Thursday mornings

Trish has always been creating.   Her Dad was a petroleum engineer.  When she was young, she had the unique opportunity (this does not happen today) to stay on the rigs with her Dad.  As a result, she would spend a lot of time in the trailers.  That is when she began to draw.  To pass the time, she would sit at her Dad’s desk and draw the rigs.  When her parents saw her interest in art, they were very supportive and encouraged her to discover.  Most importantly, they began taking the whole family yearly to the Calgary Art Show at the Stampede.  Trish began to follow of the artists she learned about from the show.  They inspired her to study art.

In 1997, she graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a combined Bachelors of Education and Bachelor of Fine Arts.  She took this degree because she has always wanted to be able to manage and teach community art.  Today, she has the privilege of being the Hope Bridge Go Green Upcycling facilitator and that is a lot of fun for Trish.   She enjoys very much going to garage and flee market sales to find nuggets to create with in her studio and at Hope.  And will always take the time to create something steam punk or Victorian – her most favorite designs.  Trish has lived for seven years in Strathmore with her husband Neil and their children Griffin and Rowan.  She is thrilled to be creating in community.


13920623_10157395839010235_7342992141202546889_nJesse Dollimont

Sing Your High Note  – Tuesday afternoons (music therapy)

Jesse Dollimont, MTA, MT-BC was born and raised in Alberta. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Canadian Mennonite University, in addition to a Diploma in Vocal Performance from Grant MacEwan University.

Jesse views collaborative and therapeutic music experiences as powerful agents for healing and social change.

JB Music Therapy has been serving the Calgary area since 1991 and is a part of our local area Project Hope. Jennifer Buchanan’s team of qualified music therapists are skilled, warm, enthusiastic, compassionate and creative. Especially to people who are learning challenged, addicted and mentally incapacitated, JB Music is an incredible gift of peace and hope.

Charlene - PotteryCharlene Hart

Hand Built Pottery

See www.glazeuponmywork.com


11204405_1620807174707537_7290829431342785214_nMonica Soltys

County Upcycling

See Little Painted Nest

Jamie Gore

Adaptive Drumming Circle – Series of a few weeks

Jamie discovered the drum circle at Calgary Women’s Centre workshop in 2010 and knew instantly that it was for her. She completed Drum Circle Facilitation Training shortly thereafter and has received amazing mentorship by Judy Atkinson to become the facilitator she is today. She realizes that the drum circle can be a springboard to bring people together for many different reasons, ranging from team building, community development, creating an inclusive environment, personal healing, finding a connection to something deeper, and even for just pure fun. She has brought the power of the drum circle to many different people including: corporate businesses, seniors and youth groups, individuals facing health issues, and even people with developmental disabilities. With each of these groups she sees the impact of the drum circle, and the benefits it brings. Her life intention is to bring the joy and connection she experienced in her first drum circle to others! It is her hope to show us that we all have a natural unique rhythm and creativity waiting to burst forth for all to enjoy!

rhondaRhonda Bruce

Drumming & Drum Fit

Health and Wellness have been an integral part of Rhonda’s life for over 30 years. She is a trained DRUMBEAT & Integrative drum circle facilitator, Canfitpro fitness instructor  certified in DrumFIt, and Qi Gong instructor combining 6 styles of medical QI Gong.  She moved to Strathmore, from BC with her young family in 2000.  Her 2 boys were raised here in our wonderful community.  Her passion is helping others on their journeys through health and wellness.  She has had the immense pleasure of facilitating drum circles from as young as 3 up to 98 years, with many different groups including special needs, and believes in the power of drumming to relieve stress, raise vibrations, help with cognitive function, depression, & anxiety.  DrumFit is a funtastic workout with all the benefits of drumming! It is easy to learn, and is for every BODY! We use exercise balls, and drumsticks. It is YOUR workout and we will adapt to your needs and level. She is excited and grateful to be a part of Hope Bridges. It is a wonderful organization that brings so much to our community.



Deb Lawton


Deb is a visual artist who studied at Alberta College of Art and owns and operates Art Branch Studio in Calgary.

She designs costumes and sets for film and theatre and facilitates sculpting, painting and drawing classes of all ages and abilities. Some of her work can be seen at the Canadian Badlands Passion Play in Drumheller.

Debbie loves to play and have fun while creating sometimes by dressing up herself and her team.

Bonnie Bigras

Picture coming soon

Knitting & Crocheting Folk Art

Bonnie was born and raised in Calgary and moved to Strathmore in 1987 with her husband and three small sons.  Two years later their daughter was born.  She has worked at Westmount School for over 15 years as the librarian, and started a crochet club for the students.  Bonnie loves to sew, crochet, ski, ride horses and read.  She is looking forward to being a part of the Hope Bridges team and know we will have fun crocheting and knitting together.


IvanRonald “Ivan” Murray

Knitting & Crocheting Folk Art

Ivan grew up in the Bowness area in the city of Calgary.  He attended SAIT for five years.  The first two years he spent in the power engineering department and the second term was in the facility management department.  Ivan has worked for the Alberta Government (PWSS) in maintenance.  He retired in 2009 after thirty-six years of work.  Ivan has been knitting for over thirty years and has been a part of two knitting clubs in schools.  A lot of the time you can see him knitting at the library in Strathmore.   Ivan has a niece in Nova Scotia that knits as well.  He is proud of being an uncle and a great great uncle.



Pat Timmermans

Drawing – Studies in Perspective

Pat is passionate about drawing, and she is doing as much as she can while she still can!  Pat has a condition of the retina that will gradually mean the loss of her eyesight.  Today, she is considered legally blind.   She has plans to pursue music once she no longer has her eyesight.  She has always loved the arts.  In the 80’s, she enrolled in an art class in Calgary and did a few oil paintings.  In 2006, she learned of Alberta artist Bernie Brown, a pencil artist.  She stalked him followed his progress at exhibitions.  Inspired by his work, she tried sketching in 2012 doing still life, plants, flowers, calligraphy and fan-art.  She has studied with Alberta artist Charlotte Cummings.  On her blog, www.luv2draw.com, Pat makes notes on her drawings and shows the progress and her style.  She enjoys taking requests from family and friends for drawings and loves to draw just for the joy of it.

Melinda Phillips

Paint and Refresh

Melinda Phillips-Oslund was born in Yellowknife, N.T. in the 1970’s, later moving to Alberta in the 1980’s. The married mother of two recently moved to Strathmore from Calgary, where she is enjoying both the experience of being an Art Instructor and an independent Artist. Much of her work to date is realistic drawings and acrylic paintings, though she also creates abstract pieces. Melinda uses other mediums also, such as, charcoal, clay, water color etc, with nature being her usual topic of choice.




Jennifer McEachern

Jennifer has been creating since she could hold a pencil.  She loves learning about art and experimenting with any medium.  Her studies have included graphic fine arts, abstract naturalism and the art of renowned artist, Eileen Raucher-Sutton, among others.  And although she loves learning techniques, art is more to Jennifer.  She loves art because she cannot not do it.  She must create.  It is part of her DNA.  Whether it be preparing food (adding some colour to a dish because it needs it) or setting up a home (colour), she approaches life artistically.

Since coming to Strathmore from Nanaimo in 2008 with her two kids, Paige and Nolan, and her husband, Ken, Jennifer has gotten her license as a nail technician and started her own artistic style nail salon in her home.  She is passionate about doing original gel nail designs for people because she knows that she can help them be healthy and happy.

Although she LOVES her nail business, Jennifer decided in the fall of 2014 that she wanted to give more to the community of Strathmore and felt it was important to do something outside of her home.  She was attracted to Hope Bridges because of the way they use art to connect and encourage adults.  She is excited to be a part of this team and looks forward to serving the community in this way.


Joan Packham

Mixed Media



Joan is a prairie girl, born and raised in Saskatchewan. She moved to Alberta to study art, and stayed in Calgary to continue her art practice and raise a family. Recently, she had an opportunity to live on both coasts of Canada, splitting my time between British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. The experience of living in these vastly different geographic locations has given her a new appreciation of her prairie roots.

She received my BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Further studies include a Summer Studio Program with the Presidents of the American Independent Colleges of Art in New York City and a session at The Banff Centre, School of Fine Art. Currently, she is the Treasurer of the Burns Visual Art Society and a member of the Alberta Society of Artists.

She has taught children’s art classes at various grade levels and skill sets at Cambrian Heights Elementary School and the North Mount Pleasant Art Centre in Calgary. This is a particularly rewarding area that she would like to pursue further with special needs and senior adults

Her creative process is inspired by the history of icon making and how this imagery evolved from ancient civilizations. In her art, she is exploring the visual development of religious and secular icons. From these symbols she constructs new icons using recycled materials, reinterpreting the imagery into simple, refined forms based on modern computer and multi-media symbols.



Heather Hubbard

Facilitator sub for various visual art workshops including upcycling.

Heather is a local Strathmore artist who loves to experiment with charcoal, graphite and pencil.  She also enjoys trying out the unusual by taking something reusable and making it into something useful and beautiful or expanding her artistic experiences with different mediums.  She studied art at the University of Lethbridge.  Currently, her focus is on raising her 3 boys with her husband, Chris.  She loves engaging her children in creative endeavors and projects.  She is thrilled to be resuming her work in the arts on a part time basis as the Creative Support at Hope Bridges, focusing on assisting the facilitators and participants in workshops.  She will also be doing some facilitation of Upcycling and drawing classes.  And at her home, she is beginning to teach art classes.   Art brings a great amount of joy to Heather.

Heather has had her 4th boy now and is taking some time off to be with her kids.


Sarah Haughey

African Drumming

Sarah was the Band Director at Holy Cross Collegiate School in Strathmore. She is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic musician and facilitator who loves to have fun and create music with others. She especially loves creating music with her kids at the school.

Most recently, she had her first baby and is spending time nurturing and bonding with that new life and her husband.