Welcome to the Changemaker’s Market, an online marketplace of woman-founded offerings in support of the BC Women’s Health Foundation — including artist, Carmen Chan.

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We’re going from “how’re you holding up” to “who are you holding up”. 

Welcome to the Changemaker’s Market, a digital community of movers and makers who have generously donated their goods and services to benefit the BC Women’s Health Foundation.

Each and every item or service has been generously donated by a BC business owned by self-identified women. You can bid on items or buy them outright, with all proceeds benefiting the BC Women’s Health Foundation and our mission of healthy women everywhere, capable of anything. 

We asked our Changemakers a few questions, including artist, Carmen Chan @carmenchanart.

Visual artist, Carmen Chan, has been starting her Saturday mornings practicing the techniques of traditional Chinese watercolour painting for years. She created the Morning tea and watercolour painting class inspired by her idea of the perfect way to start a pleasant weekend morning: Watercolour painting, to the background of soothing tunes, while sipping on heart warming tea which is a reminder to slow down and practice patience with oneself.

What’s your Quarantine anthem?  

I have a personal curated playlist on Spotify named “Carmen Chill” which I add to periodically and play when I teach my Morning Tea and Watercolour painting classes. 

One of the songs I’ve been listening to is “Good Day” by Surfaces as it describes the mood of enjoying a perfect sunny day with the one you’re in love with and whenever I listen to it, I think of me and my husband, Andrew.

What is one word to describe you?

My husband once described me as being “brave” which surprised me as I don’t think about being brave on purpose. 

But upon some reflection, I do think it describes me well because I’m not afraid to go after the things I want and take risks to try new things. Like saying yes to painting a mural on an 84 ft long building and learning to drive a boom lift for the 2019 Vancouver Mural Festival!

Sourdough starter, yay or nay?

Yay! But I haven’t been able to get my hands on a sourdough starter. I recently found a local bakery (The Flourist) that is selling it so that will be my next baking adventure. 

So far, my husband, Andrew and I have made muffins, focaccia, cinnamon buns and pizza dough from scratch.

Why did you choose to donate to the Changemaker’s Market?

I always enjoy supporting initiatives and causes that support women because I want to be part of the change we should see in the world. I am inspired by women – they are unbelievably strong (both mentally and physically), naturally caring, and make great leaders.

Why does women’s health matter to you? 

I learned in recent years that medical research assumes research findings for males applies to women as well… and that is just not the case — our bodies are so different! This needs to change.

Do you have a personal story that inspired you to support women’s health?

For about four years I travelled a lot for work and wasn’t aware of the harmful effects of not having a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough rest. I had to change my “work hard, play hard” mindset that I carried throughout business school. Now I know better and can take care of myself and my family.

What inspires you most about giving back to your community? 

Knowing that I may have made a small difference and positive change in the world motivates me to continue giving back in the different ways that I am able. It is even more rewarding when the causes align to my own passions and interests.

What’s your unique mission with your art? 

Growing up, I have always found a sense of calm and comfort in the world of art. Through my Morning Tea and Watercolour painting classes, I hope to teach my students Chinese brush painting techniques but also create a class that has a relaxing ambience where the intention is to breathe slower and take time to connect with yourself through art.

What’s the first thing you’ll do post-social distancing?

I dream of travelling overseas again but I know we may not be there yet. 

My husband and I are looking forward to staying local this summer and creating little adventures for ourselves exploring BC, going camping and hosting BBQ’s with friends and family again.

What or who is a local shop/service founded by a woman that you admire?

Ananta Wellness is an Osteopathy clinic in the South Granville neighborhood of Vancouver founded by Jennifer Hanson. 

I’ve been seeing Jen for the past 3 years and I completely trust her and she has taught me so much about the benefits of regular Osteopathic care to maintain my health and overall wellbeing.

Who is another woman artist you admire?

An artist I admire is my good friend, Laura Kwok, who owns her own illustration and greeting card company, Art and Soul Creative Co. To me, she is someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously and lives her life with integrity and kindness — qualities which are often rare to find in one person. I’m lucky to know her and grateful for our friendship.

Bid, buy, connect, create change. Every purchase made at the Changemakers Market is a declaration of your dedication to women’s health and equity in the healthcare system. Go you.

Whether you bid on the Changemakers Market from May 30 – June 6, or donate directly — you’re championing change for all women across BC.

Interested in learning more about our Changemakers? Read more stories or follow along on Instagram @bcwomens.

BC Women’s Health Foundation is BC’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the full spectrum of women’s health. The information shared is intended to educate, inform, and point readers to credible sources. It is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of qualified healthcare professionals with any questions specific to your medical condition. For more information, visit HealthLinkBC.ca.