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Soldier On Hosts its First Creative Event

Last week, Soldier On hosted its first creative pilot. Members in Kingston, ON, took part in a week-long painting camp with Silvia Pecota, a long-time Canadian Armed Forces supporter who is a part of its Artists Program.

"This painting workshop far exceeded my expectations," says Debbie Lang. "As a complete novice painter, I learned some amazing skills, and it has stirred my interest in actually using all the painting supplies and equipment I bought and never used. I surprised myself with the end product of my work."

Relying on in-depth knowledge and experience from her award-winning career, Silvia Pecota provided ill/injured Soldier On members with tailored art instruction. Participants worked on several projects meant to bring out their artistic side.

"The creative painting class was an exceptionally beneficial experience. As I had recently undergone surgery, I am unable to participate in any active sports for the time being," shared Captain (retd) Shoshauna Gauvin. "Not only was I able to engage in a new activity that provides benefit for my ongoing mental health struggles, but it was a great avenue to connect with other injured veterans positively and therapeutically."

Richard St-Onge presented his thoughts:

“Sylvia is an amazing artist with a huge heart. She went out of her way each day to ensure everyone had something to do, and things were prepared for the next day, sometimes working late into the evening. She made us feel at home and welcome in her studio and treated us like family, which was very much appreciated. Sylvia was a great teacher, which was evident if she was able to teach me how to paint. She is a true patriot."

Thanks to her involvement with the Canadian Armed Forces, some Soldier On members were familiar with Silvia Pecota and her work before joining the painting camp.

"I have been aware for quite some time of Silvia's significant contributions to recording recent Canadian military history by skillfully rendering breathtaking images of the Canadian Armed Forces across all domains," recounts Warrant Officer Ryan Hamilton Wills, who really enjoyed the painting camp. "I had the opportunity to build and strengthen new relationships with three other members. I am grateful to Soldier On and Silvia for the opportunity to learn from the best and enjoy a bit of camaraderie. This week has been a delight."

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