Life in Balance

Through this online art blog/gallery we can encourage, inspire and share hope with one another…We invite who you to share your “NAPS” (News, Art ,Poetry, Songs) or inspirations. Email if you would like to share inspirations. Please note we can not post advice with regards to nutrition and exercise.

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Stouffville’s ‘Earl of Whitchuch’ breaks record for longest concert

They came, they played and they’ve conquered the Guinness World Record.

Stouffville’s Earl of Whitchurch Pub surpassed the record for longest concert ever by multiple artists officially at 7 a.m. Sunday, April 2, and raised more than $90,000 for the 16 charities involved.

“It was incredible,” said organizer Kevin Ker. “When it happened the whole room erupted, packed shoulder to shoulder.

“It was like 16 New Year’s eves combined into one,” he added.

Read the full story here.

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Third Cafe Series Concert in Richmond Hill!

Riverwalk had our third Cafe Series Concert event at Covernotes Coffee in Richmond Hill last Saturday! We had several performances by musicians from the Riverwalk community and we displayed art created in our art programs.

The Cafe Series Concerts have been really community-building among Riverwalk musicians. Several musicians from different bands have been trading spots and performing with one another at these shows!

The event was held to raise awareness about mental wellness in our community and to promote our programs, such as our Expressive and Therapeutic Arts Program, and in particular, our Music as Expression group which is taking place Sundays in mid-late July in Thornhill. 

Our arts programs are available to individuals seeking mental health support and who are interested in exploring the arts as a means of engaging in meaningful, recovery-oriented activity. A referral from Riverwalk or Addiction Services for York Region is required. Please contact to inquire about the referral process.


Thank you to our performers:

Michelle Scott

Jess from the Jay Dee Band and Peter from Ravyn Red

Mark from Slick and Asa , Mel from Ravyn Red, and Andrea

Matt Gerber


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Youth who has been in and out of the shelter system has just graduated from U of T with Honours and Distinction!

This inspirational story about a young woman who has lived in and out of shelters and transitional housing for years, before receiving her degree from U of T with honours and distinction, comes to us from CBC news.

Mardi Daley experienced precarious housing throughout high school and university, but despite this, she was awarded a scholarship to U of T. Through support from a transitional housing program and her own tenacity and hard work, she was able to succeed in her university studies despite many intersecting challenges. She describes school as an “exit ticket” from her difficult situation. She now works with precariously housed and homeless youth to help them find housing and meet their goals.

She created a journal with the youth she works with, called the My ____ Journal, which is meant to act as a survival guide and source of inspiration for youth experiencing housing difficulties. You can take a look at the pdf for the journal here. (If you’re interested in learning more about how journalling and art can be effective tools in dealing with life challenges, visit Riverwalk’s Art Journalling and Expressive and Therapeutic Arts pages!)

Mardi’s story speaks to the importance of having supportive housing and mental health services for people, and especially youth. It is so difficult to work on recovery goals, including schooling, if one is precariously housed. Mental illness and unstable housing are inextricably linked, and for most people, stable housing and support are essential in working towards life goals.

Furthermore, though Mardi’s story of academic success is in fact inspirational, it should be noted that many youth experiencing mental health and housing difficulties are not able to succeed in a conventional school or work environment, due to intersecting challenges. This doesn’t mean that they are less deserving of care or support. To the contrary – those who are not able to participate in typical developmental goals (eg. life skill development, education, employment) because of mental health and housing difficulties are perhaps in most need of support.

The stigmatized attitudes towards individuals experiencing homelessness and mental illness speak to the need for a wider cultural shift in the way that we as a society view people.Mardi’s story shows that with the right supports in place, people experiencing homelessness and mental health issues have the potential to succeed and support others!

You can read Mardi’s story here.

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2017 Walk to Create a Worldwide Circle of Care!

On June 10th, 2017, people from the Riverwalk community from all over the world participated in a walk to promote caring communities. The aim was to create a World-Wide Circle of Care to promote communities that are open to showing support for community members in times of hardship or crisis – whether they’re struggling with a mental health issue, a family tragedy, or other difficulties. The circle is a framework for compassionate, practical, and (in some cases) professional support. Those in the Circle of Care understand negative coping strategies as an expression of a lack of adequate understanding and support, and strive towards a deeper understanding of one another and work towards creating a supportive community.

See below for some photos from across the globe!

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Chantal and Esther enjoy the sunshine in the Isle of Wight, UK

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Isle of Wight, UK

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Mary sends her greetings from Santa Barbara, California, USA

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Barbara has a rainy walk in Rosebank, NSW, Australia

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Rosebank, NSW, Australia

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Michelle walks around the neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada


“This river I step in is not the river I stand in” – Toronto, ON, Canada


“Never too late” – Dany shares a message of hope from Sydney, Australia


Stay tuned for more photos from around the globe!