During the COVID-19 pandemic, I am meeting all clients exclusively online.
It was a privilege to work with and learn from Virginia when she facilitated a series of workshops on anti-oppressive and anti-racist practices in creative arts therapies for the Canadian Art Therapy Association. She is a phenomenal educator and facilitator. She brings much energy, care, and openness into the workshop process, not only during the workshops, but also in the planning and collaboration with the workshop organizers. Virginia is meticulous, thoughtful, and flexible in her approach to consider the diverse learning needs and perspectives of the workshop participants, and enacts a persistent self-reflexivity that is grounded in humility and strong principles of anti-racism and anti-colonialism. We are very grateful for Virginia's contributions to our association's ongoing efforts in building capacity for anti-oppressive practices in the art therapy profession.
- Patricia Ki, Communications Specialist, CATA
Virginia is a passionate, OutSpoken activist who creatively and sensitively brings her Lived Experience and her heARTs in the service of giving voice to those marginalized and silenced in our current shared World Ecology. She is aware and unafraid to name the current dominant and dominating societal conditions that are rapidly becoming more and more obvious: where the labour of many is extracted to enable privilege and resource accruing for the few. With precise wit, deep sensitivity, and gentle wisdom, Virginia is able to name and poetically describe multiple intersectional forms of oppression, and to encourage and enliven all of us to create, and thereby to recreate, to transform our shared society.
- Dr. Fyre Jean Graveline, Metis Grandmother, Artist, Art Therapist, Earth Activist
Partnering and collaborating with Virginia for The Body Shop's Self Love Uprising virtual event was an absolute joy. Virginia's professionalism, service and personal values were deeply appreciated. Event attendees were incredibly engaged in the unique curriculum developed and led by Virginia. She provided a safe, soothing, and artistic environment for folks to dig deep and express their self-love and self-worth. We look forward to partnering with Virginia again in the future.
- Hannah Clarke, Communication & Activism Specialist, The Body Shop Canada
Virginia is one of the founding therapists of the 'Trauma to Trust Clinic' offered by Vita and as such had a hand in designing everything from the intake process to the assessment package that we would use. Virginia was extraordinarily creative and flexible in the services she provided. She worked with individuals with significant and severe disabilities – individuals who could neither speak or use any organized communication system and demonstrated that this population can also benefit from therapeutic intervention. She devised several groups at the clinic including ‘The Studio,’ an immensely popular drop in program which continues to be well attended... Virginia’s work has become so valuable here at Vita that at our staff retreat Virginia was the recipient of Vita’s most prestigious award: The Manuela Dalla Nora Award. This award is given to those whose work has benefitted both Vita and the larger sector.
-David Hingsburger, Director of Clinical and Educational Services
"Virginia Jahyu provided an inspiring and in-depth mental health and resiliency training for our Unity Charity's Artist Facilitators. She had thoughtfully adapted the workshop to the needs of our organization, and in-turn it was well-received by our staff. Virginia has proven she is very knowledgeable in her practice, and her delivery was captivating and sincere. Virginia created an inclusive space that was welcoming for our artists to learn and grow. I look forward to working with Virginia in the future!"
-Bob Veruela Jr., National Program Director
"Virginia is a gifted artist who develops and implements innovative, dynamic and high caliber visual arts activities for groups of all ages … Virginia’s holistic approach, from thoroughly planned instruction to responsive and empathetic facilitation style, guarantees each participant a fulfilling artistic experience … Virginia is especially attuned to the needs of the culturally and economically diverse children and youth we serve, addressing their distinct needs in a tactful, positive and effective manner. She is exceptionally skilled at adapting her program to suit the needs of every participant, ensuring that each child’s creative ability is honoured.”
-Myra Leibu, Special Projects Manager
“The pleasure was all mine to have Virginia Jahyu onboard as Lead Expressive Arts Therapist for the Not Forgotten Seniors Community Day Program. An innovative interactive program for Seniors and their Caregivers living with Dementia and Alzheimers in the black community.
Virginia lead this program with a level of confidence, pride, care, love and appreciation for all, that was simply first class. Her enthusiasm was reciprocated week after week by our attending Members and their loved ones. Virginia was able to pull forth creative and artistic juices that our Members never knew existed, and that in itself is a gift! Seeing the joy and pride this left them with was certainly immeasurable. Virginia is definitely one in a million and I would not hesitate to having her on board again!”
-Carleen Robinson, Program Lead
“Virginia has been providing a wonderful arts therapy program for our residents at Extendicare Scarborough since 2012. She is a very attentive and creative individual that is caring and respectful towards both the residents and staff. Virginia is compassionate and encouraging. She has strongly demonstrated an effective approach that is easy to follow with her step-by-step instructions along with her patient tone … She emphasizes the importance of the process of art-making and the results of the artwork in the end is always outstanding. The residence always leave feeling confident and happy.”
-Eric Lo, Resident Program Manager
"I've worked with Virginia Jahyu on projects related to Hip-Hop education in Mississauga since 2013, and have known her for well over a decade longer. In my professional opinion, I must say that she is impeccable with her work and very particular in the best sense. Virginia pays very close attention to detail and process while carrying a strong value toward both creative and efficient applications, which means she understands and works with the full picture in mind. Personally, she is heart felt, understanding, patient and has lived experience to compliment, which is vital to her work. I absolutely enjoy building art education ideas and creative collaborations geared toward youth with her, simply because she is completely and truly invested, forward thinking and walks the walk; executing above standard."
-Marcel DaCosta, Program Coordinator for the HUB
"Both times that I experienced Virginia's facilitation at the Hub hosted by Unity Charity, it was beautiful to see how quickly the trust and rapport grew between the participants. Some were familiar friends, others were newer joiners to the community yet there was still such a willingness to be vulnerable and transparent with one another. All while exploring deeply personal elements of ourselves such as the significance of our names and our familial heritage. Virginia's capacity to blend simple, fun activities like balancing a bamboo staff on our finger with deep reflection upon our sense of identity creates a fertile space for healing and discovery."
-Mohammad-Kumail Sayeed, Participant
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