Art with a Heart at work again

Nicola Ramsey
Nicola Ramsey

Katrina Owens
Lakeside Leader

It looks like the kind folks who helped Slave Lakers redecorate their homes after the 2011 fire are back at it again helping those affected in the Fort McMurray area.

Nicola Ramsey, one of the co-ordinators for Slave Lake Art with a Heart, gave Spotlight an update on what’s been happening.

“One of the ladies who donated to the Slave Lake project is from Boyle,” says Ramsey. “She and some volunteers from the Boyle area are organizing a similar project for Fort McMurray and it will be called ‘Art with a Heart…continued.’”

For those who don’t know what Art with a Heart did, Ramsey says a group of community members helped home owners who lost art work in the fire.

“Following the 2011 wildfires in Slave Lake, a team of local residents organized the collection and distribution of more than 400 original works of art,” she says. “These art works included paintings, sculptures, photographs, needlepoint and more.”

Ramsey adds, “They came from artists in the U.S. and right across Canada from Newfoundland to Saltspring Island and right here at home. They came from local art clubs and internationally renowned artists such as Ted Harrison, Robert Bateman and Bob Guest!”

According to Ramsey, the way it worked was residents affected by the fire registered with the program and were able to pick a piece of work for their homes.

“It was a truly heartwarming experience to see the generosity of artists and the appreciation from people who had lost their own artwork,” she says. Ramsey and other members of the Slave Lake Art with a Heart team will be providing information and helping Penny Lamnek and her group. She says if any area artists are interested in donating, to contact Lamnek at 780-689-2410 or email her at

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