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The Art for Aid Project

Most Recent Art Supply Collection Drive*

Recent: July 29 - Aug 19, 2020 (for Art Supply donations)

*Check back in the new year for our next art supply collection date


The drive, July 29th through Aug 19, 2020, was a HUGE success! Thank you to all who worked to make this happen. Thank you to the Rotary Clubs for their tremendous support in collecting items for this recent drive. Thank you to our AWESOME volunteers who picked up the donations and got them to out us. It’s because of your support that this collection ran like a well oiled machine.
Did you miss this drive and have gently used or new art supplies to donate? Please hold on to them until our next call out. We're super busy sorting and preparing the current drive's items to ship the boxes to remote Indigenous schools.


We have more items than our budget has funds to ship so monetary donations to help with shipping would be greatly appreciated. You could sponsor the shipping of a box of supplies for $50.00, or purchase something from the https://artforaidshop.ca. 100% of sales from the shop fund the Art for Aid Project. 


Email:  artforaid2013@gmail.com

Scroll down for a list of items to donate at the next collection drive.


Please be aware that we are shipping your donation to remote Indigenous communities that have little to no protection against a Covid 19 outbreak. 

We are asking that you take precautions to clean and sanitize your donation with alcohol. Leaving the items spread out on a blanket in the sun for a few hours can also kill any potential viruses. We will be taking extra precautions in our storage area before sending donations out but this is a situation where we can’t be too careful. Colleen Gray does the majority of this work on her own with the help of a few amazing volunteers. The work load can be daunting and these protocols make it doubly so but they are absolutely necessary to ensure we are protecting these communities. 

Schools: If you are collecting art supplies for us, please request an info letter from us about engagement which can be given out to the families or download the info from our website. You can enquire about inviting Artist Colleen Gray to your school to share her Earth to Sky art talk along with information about how Art for Aid is positively impacting remote community schools through art.

Your support: We can do what we do because of you! Your support for this work is the driving force behind getting the job done. Proceeds from the sale of our art support the shipping and operations budget for Art for Aid. We are a self-funded initiative and as such, we work hard to satisfy a demanding budget. Please support our work through donations to I Love First Peoples (www.ilfp.ca), and request an official tax receipt for donations of $20+. Please select "Art for Aid" in the drown down menu on the donation page. You can also support our work by purchasing Colleen Gray’s beautiful art products through our new Shopify store at www.artforaidshop.ca.

If you know of an Indigenous school that could use art supply support, please have them contact us. We have some new and exciting projects coming up and would love to involve their students! You can reach us at artforaid2013@gmail.com

Thank you for your ongoing support for this important work. Art is a powerful medium to bring healing, ignite creativity and give youth a voice. But it all begins with the tools.

Art Credit: Student of Arnaqjuaq School, Hall Beach, Nunavut


  • Buy Art for Aid Project artwork products at our https://artforaidshop.ca and at events. Custom gift certificates make awesome gifts for many occasions e.g., retirement, birthday, anniversary, going away, award, thank you gift etc.

  • Collect new or gently used art supplies for us (see list below).

  • Involve your classroom in a social study project to collect art supplies for a remote Indigenous community that you can learn about.

  • Sponsor the shipping of a box of supplies for $50.00.

  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and share our stories ...

DONATION ITEMS WE ACCEPT* - please check back soon for our next art supply collection drive date.

Note: most of the schools we ship to are K-Grade 8

  • canvases (under 16x20")

  • good paint brushes of all types

  • acrylic paint, watercolour paint

  • watercolour paper

  • colouring books for children (not the more complex adult colouring books)

  • pencil crayons, markers, gel pens

  • stickers, kids craft items, play dough or modelling clay

  • lego

  • drawing tools, erasers, glue sticks, craft glue guns and glue sticks, white wood glue

  • scissors, single hole punches, pencil sharpeners

  • finger paint and finger paint paper

  • beading materials, beading tools, beads of all types, beading cases 

  • jewellery thread of all sorts, clasps and jewellery making accessories

  • fabric paints and new child sized t-shirts to create a shirt painting project 

  • good quality tanned deer hide or moose hide in ready-to-use condition

  • good quality crafting needles for sewing hide, good strong scissors to cut the hide

  • any store bought ready-to-craft kits, small loom kits, bracelet making kits, ribbon, feathers.

*What we don't take:

  • flammable items

  • liquid paint mediums such as resins and oils

  • books, paper (we have lots)

  • glitter and glitter glue (due to its large negative global impact on our waters)

Downloadable list of what we are looking for - art supply donations.


We have drop off locations in Westboro, Kanata, Barrhaven and Carleton Place. Please email artforaid2013@gmail.com or use the contact form to request details, arrange for drop off/pick-up dates. Thanks! 

A special request to art supply donors.... please consider when you donate ...

We get a significant amount of art supplies donated on a regular basis and we appreciate every item we receive. The workload to sort and box art supplies is significant; you could really help us out if you consider the following when deciding which items to donate: 

  • Please test the products you are donating. If a bottle of paint has only a few drops left in it, we don't ship it - we work hard to maximize the valuable shipping space in our boxes. Sorting through near empty bottles redirects valuable time and financial resources that can be better utilized.  We accept gently-used and clean items that are in good working order; kindly please remove the used pages in sketchbooks and colouring books; if you shake your acrylic paint and nothing moves, it's likely hardened; paint brushes can be soaked in warm soapy water to easily remove paint residue, clean canvases only please.

  • Beginning in 2020, if your school is collecting art supplies for us as a social change project, please request an info letter from us about engagement which can be given out to the families. 

Monetary Donations - Dear beautiful people...if you tuck a monetary donation between the pages of colouring book or in with the beads, you should know it melts my heart every single time. But with so many supplies being moved around and packed, I may never know who to thank. Please write a note or your name on a paper with it so I can properly thank you for your kindness. For an official tax receipt, monetary donations can be made through I Love First Peoples. Miigwetch, thank you for your kindness. - Colleen