A festival at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth, N.S., is celebrating and showcasing the skills of artists in the disabled community.
It’s called The Art of Disability and features various works of art from photography, jewelry, painting and poetry.
New to the festival this year is a dance performance. That attracted the Social and Recreational Inclusion Society and its younger members.
The society was started in 2007 by a group of parents of people with special needs who saw their children become increasingly isolated.
It now has 160 members. A drop-in club is open six days a week with a range of programs from music to cooking, lunch programs and a supper club.
Alice Evans heads up the society and says a range of talents will be exhibited through paintings, photography and other art.
"I think it’s a great opportunity to celebrate diversity in Halifax," she says.
'We found there was a real gap, especially once they reach around age 13.' - Alice Evans
Evans says it is important for the younger demographic.
"We are all parents of people with special needs who started it," she says. "We found there’s a real gap. Especially once they reach around age 13. They find they’re not as included with their peers sometimes."
Evans says when people with special needs are isolated, everyone loses.
"Our members have a lot to offer," she says. "They have great social interests, skills they can share and a wonderful enthusiasm."
The group’s live dance performance is an especially important experience for club members.
"And to have people applaud and cheer you, you know? There’s nothing like it," Evans says.
The Art of Disability is at Alderney Landing on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.