Pendants Provide Purpose during a Pandemic

“They were very popular and sold out in less than 2 days. I completely ran out of materials and was even taking apart my old ones to re-construct the new!”

Tina Pali makes beautiful pendants, a creative outlet that combines many of her passions – art, the outdoors, even her husband! – and she found a way her pendants can make a positive impact during these strange times.  

Our Communications and Fund Development Manager, Bill Briscall, wanted to know more about this amazing person and how the Dr. Bonnie Henry pendants came to be. Tina agreed to a short interview and we wanted to share it with you. 

Bill: Where is your home? 

Tina: I’m originally from Victoria, but have lived most of my adult life in the Lower Mainland. I’m a retired teacher and now live in Steveston.

B: How long have you been creating pendants? 

T: Since I retired 2 years ago I’ve been creating pendants from nature photos. My husband Frank is a professional photographer and has thousands wildlife photos to choose from. I have another friend that takes gorgeous florals that she kindly lets me use. Then there’s me with my iPhone taking random shots of things like tree bark.

B: What do like most about this type of artwork? 

T: Being a condo dweller, I like that it’s clean and doesn’t take up a lot of space. I’ve always loved being outdoors and appreciate the beauty in nature. I also really enjoy taking photos of my pendants to post on my instagram page @paliware.

B: How did you come up with the idea of making  Dr. Bonnie Henry pendants?

T: Since the beginning of the pandemic I had wanted to help in some way where I could use my skills. One day I saw a post of a painting of Dr. Bonnie’s message “Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe” created in a such colourful and playful way. I immediately thought that it would make a great pendant and I could sell them to raise money for charity. I contacted the artist (Sharon Montgomery) who kindly gave me permission to make a few pendants if it was for charity. Word got out and in less than 24 hours I was sold out and donated all the proceeds to the Richmond School District meals program.

I was on a roll, so I thought I should try to raise more money with a new pendant. I searched through my photos and came across our Lions Gate Bridge rising above the clouds. I knew it was going to be the perfect backdrop for Dr. Bonnie’s message. They were very popular and sold out in less than 2 days. I completely ran out of materials and was even taking apart my old ones to re-construct the new!

B: How did you hear about RainCity and the ACT Team?

T: I taught grade 6 and 7 with Jerry who is the husband of Gina Parhar (head of RainCity’s ACT Team). I knew Gina’s job involved supporting some very important people in the community so I asked her if they needed any money….of course she said “Yes”!

B: How are you getting through the pandemic?

T: Being retired, this is not a huge transition for me, as I’m used to occupying my time outside of working. I’m an active person so I stay in shape with pilates, yoga, walking. I’m a long time swimmer so I’m really missing the opening of Kits Pool.

B: What’s the first thing you’ll do when it’s over?

T: Hug my loved ones. And go swimming!

Thank you, Tina, for creating art, raising awareness, and finding a way to give back to the community during an unprecedented time!

You can see more of Tina’s beautiful work at @paliware over on Instagram, including a time-lapse video of her making the Dr. Bonnie Henry pendant – check it out!

Shared Post: CAEH features two RainCity Housing First Programs

Some of the Leaders of our Housing First teams. From left to right: Jolanta, Bernie, Chelsea B, Chelsea R, and Gina

For this month’s blog we’re sharing the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness’s Bright Spots blog post that features our Surrey ICM Team and our LGBTQ2S+ Youth Housing First Program.

It talks about the importance of having folks with lived experience working and managing programs, particularly when Housing First is a crucial part of the program.

Head on over to their blog and have a read!