Masks We Wear is a community arts dialogue that explores the faces we present to the world and those we perceive of others. / Submitted Photo

Masks We Wear will be on display in downtown Mission

Mission Overdose Community Action Team hosting a community arts dialogue

Knocking down the walls of silence that keep people from talking about substance use is an important step towards addressing the overdose crisis in B.C., according to a release from the Mission Overdose Community Action Team (MOCAT).

Recognizing that people who use drugs are real people helps to put a human face behind the numbers of so many preventable tragedies.

Throughout August, leading up to International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31, MOCAT is coordinating a number of community projects and invite Mission residents to get involved.

Masks We Wear is a community arts dialogue that explores the faces we present to the world and those we perceive of others. Beneath the mask shines our collective humanity. MOCAT is hosting a series of mask making workshops in August at various locations in Mission. No art experience necessary. The masks will be created in a variety of simple mediums and participants will have the opportunity to write short narratives about their experience.

In addition, MOCAT is calling for artworks, photography, poetry, music, and memes created by Mission and area residents that reflect on this theme and the impact of the opioid health emergency in their own lives.

“Masks We Wear” will be exhibited during the week of Aug. 31 to Sept 6 on First Avenue in Mission and then on display in the Community Art Space at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford.

For more information please contact MOCAT Project Coordinator Kat Wahamaa at: Find MOCAT on Facebook at StopOverdoseMission or on Twitter @StopODMission.

Workshop dates and locations:

  • Gallery 202 – Aug. 18 and 25 from 3-5 p.m.
  • In-Phase Clinic – Aug. 19 and 26 from 1-3 p.m.

The public must pre-register by emailing

The open call for art deadline is Aug. 28 and those who wish to participate must email to get further information.

MOCAT is also participating in the Moms Stop The Harm Purple Ribbon Campaign. Purple is the colour adopted by International Overdose Awareness Day.

Ribbons have long been displayed as a token of remembrance. They are powerful symbols of ties that bind.

Moms Stop The Harm asks Canadians to wear purple and tie ribbons in remembrance of loved ones, “somebody’s someone”, lost to overdose and drug harms.

More information is available at

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