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Art Jam unveils Breast of Canada 2002 Calendar

Spoke

October 9, 2001 -  Page 7
by Stacey McCarthy

Art Jam unveiled their unique 2002 calendar to the media on Sept. 25 in preparation for breast cancer awareness month in October.

The calendar, Breast of Canada 2002, featuring the black and white photographs of Guelph photographer Melanie Gillis, depicts "healthy, natural women." The photographs in the calendar are nude models ranging in age from their 20s to 40s. Their torsos are shown in the photographs in various poses.

Forty per cent of the profits for the calendar will be given to Breast Cancer Support Services' breast health education programs. The calendar will be distributed nationally and consumers can purchase one at participating Shoppers Drug Marts, the Calendar Club, a kiosk found in malls, or Guelph's Bookshelf Cafe. The cost $24.95 plus tax.

The idea for the calendar first came from Sue Richards, creator of Guelph's Art Jam program. Art Jam is a community arts program operating in Guelph. "This idea has always been with me," said Richards. "It's an important cause and compelling subject matter".

Adrienne Winslow of Breast Cancer Support Services also spoke at the conference. "I remember the day Sue first came into my office. She had this idea and she was so excited about it. It was impossible not to get excited too- a quick meeting turned into three hours."

In addition to the fine art imagery, the calendar acts as a health manual by teaching women the proper way of self-examination and breast health facts.

"It's a beautiful calendar but a highly informative one as well," Richards said. "You need to be empowered to act on something like breast cancer - this calendar definitely does that."

In addition to containing necessary information regarding breast cancer, the calendar also feature photographs of "women in a healthy perspective - beautiful images of everyday people." "It's absolutely ...thrilling, said Richards. "to be part of something like this - it's great". 

Speakers at the conference also included photographer Melanie Gillis and models Tova Davidson, Adewale Olanike Shamonda and Melanie Archibald. Gareth Lind of Lind Design, who helped design the calendar, and Konnie Peet, Executive director of the Guelph community Health Centre also spoke at the event.

"It's a wonderful melding of passion on the part of the whole team," said Richards. "what we've created will be shocking - hopefully, but also informative."

Gareth Lind from the design team agreed. "It's wonderful to work on something that actually means something and to promote awareness."

"We've made a great calendar," said Richards. "We've just got to get the word out there. We've got 20,000 to sell."