YANA is about to get another cash infusion, thanks to the artistic talents of Merville resident Anne Davies.
Davies was recently announced as the “Overall Best of Exhibition Winner” in the inaugural Lilly Oncology on Canvas Canada Art Competition, for her entry, The Dance.
Lilly Oncology on Canvas Canada (LOCC) was created to help those affected by cancer cope with the emotional and physical effects of this disease, through the artistic representation of their cancer journey.
Davies has beaten cancer twice.
“I had been posting on the Canadian Cancer Connections site – it’s a site for people who either have cancer or have had cancer in the past – and I got a note from them saying there was this national competition,” said Davies. “I had posted my paintings on the site now and again but thought, OK I have never [entered a contest] before so I sent in a painting along with a 125-word narrative last September.”
Last week, Davies received notification that she had won the contest. She received a $2,000 first place prize, as well as two $250 prizes for winning two subsidiary categories. The prizes are awarded in the form of a donation to the charity of her choice. Davies has chosen You Are Not Alone.
She said that while there are a lot of worthwhile charities in the Comox Valley, YANA is special to her. Although Davies has never had to use YANA’s services before, she said as a parent, she has an intimate appreciation of the work the charity does.
YANA is a Comox Valley community organization that offers help to local families who need to travel to access medical treatment for their children.
“I chose them because they care for children and families,” she said. “I am a parent and nothing is worse than having a child in desperate need of care.”
Davies’ winning painting is called “The Dance”. She described the painting as an expression of her journey through two separate bouts of cancer.
“What I have come to know – and I don’t know if this is true for everyone – but from my experience, when you first hear you’ve got a cancer diagnosis, it’s overwhelming. It takes over everything and everything seems really dark,” she said. “Cancer doesn’t have a good track record. So it’s in the dance, because you struggle to leave fear behind and go towards health and happiness. That’s why there are two [scenes in the painting]. In the one, you’ll see the darkness, the moon and the sky. The bigger one is the dawn, and it is the dawn that brings the light.
“You have to keep positive when battling, and that’s the dance – the dance between the dark and the light. You are constantly struggling.”
She took her first painting course in the Comox Valley in 1999 and The Dance was painted at MusicFest.
“They have the people, and the tents lit up at night, and the moon to the left of the main stage – that was where it was painted,” she said.
Contest entries will be featured in healthcare centres across the country later this year.