On the eve of her 60th birthday, Art Heals caught up with acclaimed Vancouver musician and composer sylvi macCormac ("aka elviS"), who turned to soundscapes after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. With influences ranging from Buffy Sainte-Marie and Bruce Cockburn to Barry Truax and Hildegard Westerkamp, sylvi has produced works for Co-op Radio, the Vancouver Adapted Music Society (VAMS), and the Utsam Witness Project. In 2012, she was named one of Vancouver's Remarkable Women, and released her first documentary film, Patience and Absurdity, about her relationship with her mother who was facing dementia. Whether she's profiling social justice and Indigenous rights issues or fellow artists and people with disabilities, sylvi's work explores the intersection of pain and beauty and gives back to the communities that have supported her along the way.
Sarah Jickling is a Vancouver-based musician and mental health advocate who isn’t afraid to sing about her deepest truths and struggles. Her first album, When I Get Better, told the story of her journey through bipolar recovery. Her latest record, The Family Curse—released last November—explores the root of her mental health challenges: intergenerational trauma and family mental illness. When she’s not recording under the name Sarah Jickling and Her Good Bad Luck, Sarah can be found spreading mental health awareness at local high schools with Reach Out Psychosis, a touring presentation developed by the BC Schizophrenia Society. She’s also studying circus arts at Tantra Fitness in Gastown, which is where we met her on a rainy Saturday morning.
In this episode, you’ll meet Alaric Posey, a Vancouver-based composer and music teacher. He’s also the assistant conductor and manager of the Highs & Lows—a low-barrier choir that promotes wellness for people with mental health challenges. From an early age, Alaric found inspiration and purpose in music. More recently, the choir has become his home. Co-producer Serena Renner and host Elaine Joe interview Alaric in the pavilion-style sanctuary where the choir used to rehearse.