Summerside artist donates talent to support addictions centre

Mike Carson
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"They’re only going to be strengthened by this and isn’t that what we want - a stronger tomorrow," Dickson.

SUMMERSIDE – A Summerside artist is putting her talents to work to support a new centre being built in Stratford that will provide a post-treatment facility for youths who are overcoming addictions.

Summerside artist Catherine Ann Dickson displays her artwork that will go to support renovations to the Reach Centre, a post treatment centre for youth overcoming addictions being established in Stratford. Dickson is one of many artists and craftspeople giving their time and talents to effort. 


Catherine Ann Dickson is donating her art to help raise funds to renovate the centre.

The Reach Centre is being established by the Reach Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Janice Coady, Verna Ryan and Cheryl Roche.

Two of the three founders dealt with youth addictions in their own families. It was through their personal experiences that Roche and Coady noticed “gaps” in the health care system.

Dickson said she became involved after learning of the project through social media.

“Someone had posted on my Facebook,” she said. “It was a call looking for submissions from artists for an addictions facility that was being built in Stratford. I guess it was an admirer of my art and they said ‘I hope you would like to be involved in this.’ And I would.”

Dickson passed the word on to other artists to make donations as well.

“Addictions is an issue that I don’t think too many Islanders haven’t been touched with in one way or another either personally or within their family or within friends,” she said.

“It’s certain a struggle that many have dealt with one way or another.”

Dickson’s donation portrays a very unique character that is poised to succeed.

“I created him,” she said. “I wanted a young looking viral character who was triumphant in overcoming limitations and so, he’s going to prove that it can be done. This rooster is going to fly one way or another. It’s kind of a fun, artistic look at overcoming limitations.”

“That’s what this guy’s all about,” Dickson said. “He’s going to fly. Nobody’s going to tell him that he can’t do it and he’s going to get it done. I think life is meant to affect us. I think we’re meant to be affected and I think we’re meant to respond. That’s what I’m doing – responding to a call and happy to do it.”

Dickson was moved by the commitment and dedication of the women helping youth deal with addictions

“I think it’s a wonderful thing these ladies are doing,” she said. “What I read there was thee women who had struggles in their own families, saw a need. The need wasn’t met in our government so they’re making it happen out of love for their families. That’s so amazing. It’s what we need to do.”

Dickson said these women exemplify what community is all about and how everyone is in this life together.

“I remember reading somewhere, recently, a geneticist had said that no one in the world is further moved beyond us than fiftieth cousin and whether that’s true or not I thought we’re all connected,” she said. “We’re only going to be as strong as our most vulnerable link. These young men or women who are going to be using the services, they’re only going to be strengthened by this and isn’t that what we want - a stronger tomorrow. We want to invest in our youth, all of our youth. We don’t want to leave anyone behind. They’re going to be a part of our community whether they’re weak or whether they’re strong. So, why not make a long-term investment and support all of our people in becoming stronger.”

The fundraiser will be held April 5th at the Confederation Centre of the Arts and will feature the talent and expression of the creative community - including an artwork sale, entertainment by local musicians, and delicious food and drink. The artists whose work has been donated for sale will also be at the event, providing the community an opportunity to get to know more about the artists and their work.


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