At Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) campuses humanizing clinical space with art has proved to have a profoundly positive effect on patients, their families and friends 

On Thursday, Nov. 8, 150 philanthropists, members of the art community and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation staff gathered to celebrate the unveiling of Windward Calm by renowned artist David Robinson.   

Windward Calm is particularly meaningful to him as it was envisioned during his own recovery at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). He had gone through open heart surgery to fix a heart defect and spent a lot of time in the Gordon & Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre, where he would think about creating a sculpture for that particular space. 

David’s dream soon became a reality thanks to Gordon and Leslie Diamond who, when they heard about the project, knew immediately they wanted to donate the funds to ensure the sculpture was created. 

“It spoke to me,” says Gordon. “And now we’re helping people. There are going to be people waiting outside of the doctor’s office and when they come here and look up it will just free them a bit. It will just take them away from their problem. This is why I love the art at VGH and was happy to support this project from start to finish.” 

Gordon Diamond shakes hands with Windward Calm artist, David Robinson.

Windward Calm is the newest edition to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation’s Art Collection. Founded by Roberta Beiser in 1999, the Foundation’s Art Collection started as a few pieces scattered throughout VGH and has since grown to more than 2,300 curated and wonderful installations across VCH campuses. 

“Art changes health care,” says Roberta. “I know from my own experience how amazing it is to see something positive and wonderful. I think anybody who sees this piece will feel it. It’s extraordinary.” 

Barbara Grantham, President and CEO of the Foundation, says the importance of art in the hospital is clearest to her when she walks the halls in the evenings. 

“The evenings are different because people who are here then are experiencing a different kind of stress. They’re not here for a check-up,” says Barbara. “And often you can see them walking through the hospital looking at the art. Patients and their families in the middle of hardship finding respite in paintings, drawings and installations like Windward Calm. 

“The honour of having the work in this space where it’s interacting with people during a very difficult time in their life is an enormous privilege,” says DavidWindward Calm’s creator. 

Thank you David Robinson of Robinson Studios, Gordon and Leslie Diamond and the Art Advisory Committee for coming together to make this spectacular piece a reality for all to enjoy.  

Windward Calm from above.