When stepping off West 5th Avenue and into the dimly-lit, exquisitely decorated Beaumont Studios, you could easily mistake “Re-Mind: An evening of art, music, and readings” as just another busy evening of music and art in Vancouver’s trendy Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. And in most ways, that was exactly what it was.

Featuring music, art, and readings created by local Vancouver artists, the venue was packed with friends, family, and social media groupies within the first hour. An observer stumbling into the festivities would never guess that every artist showcased that evening had something in common: each struggle with schizophrenia, psychosis, or serious mental illness in their lives.

This was the driving idea behind “Re-Mind: An evening of art, music, and readings.” This celebration of the artistic accomplishments of individuals living with psychosis, schizophrenia and other severe and persistent mental illnesses is designed to break down the stigma associated with these disorders. “Re-Mind” was a free, all-ages event that took place as part of BC Schizophrenia Society’s recognition of National Psychosis and Schizophrenia Awareness Day.

This is the third year that BCSS has hosted this event, and every year, participants and attendees leave more inspired and full of hope. One artist has revealed that it wasn’t until her parents came to this event two years ago that they began to see that they weren’t alone and didn’t need to be ashamed of her mental illness. After attending “Re-Mind,” she and her parents became closer and were able to talk about her mental illness and how it has affected them all.

This year, approximately 150 attendees were greeted by keen volunteers who handed out programs, helped guests sign in, and gave out BC Schizophrenia Society t-shirts, bags, and USB bracelets. Inside the venue, purple decorations shared wall space with incredible works by visual artists Jujube Jacinto, Bryn Genelle Ditmars, Paul Goldsby, Nina Aldewood, Sandra Yuen Mackay, and Trish Cox. Tying it all together was a huge green backdrop with gold letters that spelled out the hashtag #schizophreniaawareness, standing ready for photobugs and selfie enthusiasts.


Local Indie singer Charlie Kerr took to the stage to kick off the night’s performances with a solo set inspired by his journey through mental illness. As his larger-than-life voice took over the room, his lyrics clearly resonated with audience members who nodded their heads along to poignant moments. Then, Courage to Come Back Award winner Erin Emiru gave the audience a closer look at a schizophrenia patient’s journey with a reading from her book When Quietness Came: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey with Schizophrenia.

The audience then had the opportunity to ask Charlie and Erin questions in a short Q&A, giving even the most inquisitive of people the chance to get their questions on mental illness answered.

To end the night, Charlie Kerr again took the stage, this time accompanied by his equally and exceptionally talented Hotel Mira bandmates, to sing radio hits familiar to many. Kerr and Hotel Mira were exploding with energy and soon had everyone, including a 12-year-old fan and a retired parent, on their feet and bouncing to the addictive beats.


A huge thanks to our volunteers and our sponsor Otsuka-Lundbeck Alliance for making this possible.