Canada's New Government Supports Art Project Aimed at Improving the Lives of At-Risk Women and Girls

    WINNIPEG, April 13 /CNW Telbec/ - On behalf of the Honourable Beverley J.
Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, Mrs. Joy Smith, Member
of Parliament (Kildonan-St. Paul), today announced funding of $165,000 to the
Crossing Communities Art Project Inc., a registered charity aimed at
developing art projects and networks by mentoring women and girls who are in a
marginalized position.
    This is among the first grants Canada's New Government has provided under
the renewed Women's Program at Status of Women Canada. "Crossing Communities
Art Project is making a difference in the lives of at-risk women by creating
opportunities for them to develop skills in film and video, as well as to
improve their interpersonal communication and presentation skills," added
Minister Oda.
    "The Government of Canada is proud to support this initiative, which
takes concrete actions to directly help Canadians," Mrs. Smith said. "This
project will directly engage up to 30 Aboriginal and visible minority girls
and women who face significant barriers in their lives."
    Ms. Edith Regier, Executive Director of the Crossing Communities Art
Project Inc., said, "The Project offers a unique opportunity for art
mentorship to women and girls who have come into conflict with the law, or are
at risk of doing so. Through this initiative, we are helping to boost
confidence and self esteem among these women, as well as their social and
economic well-being, in ways that can truly change their lives - and the
community - for the better."

    Based in Winnipeg, Crossing Communities achieves its goals through
studios and workshops that employ visual expression in ways that help women
and girls to heal in the aftermath of trauma and violence, reduce their
likelihood to harm themselves and re-offend, and increase their social and
economic well-being. Participants are drawn from other service agencies
working with women who have been in conflict with the law, or are at risk of
going to prison.

    Status of Women Canada is a federal government agency working to promote
the full participation of women in the economic, social and cultural life of

    For more information, visit the website at

For further information:

For further information: please contact: Véronique Bruneau, Press
Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women,
(819) 997-7788; Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director of Communications, Status of Women
Canada, (613) 995-7839; Ce texte est également disponible en français.; This
release is also available on the Status of Women Canada website:

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