Our Story

Who we are and what we do

In June of 1994 after completing my thesis work at BC Children's Hospital I started Van-Art Expression as an art therapy on location business. In 1995, Brian Deo and I were married and three years later he joined the company expanding our services to offer music therapy. Over the next few years Brian and I worked diligently doing contract work all over the lower mainland zipping back and forth building our business together. 


The next big addition to Van-Art Expression was in 2003 when we added another partner to the company - our son Owen!  We now had an Executive Director that motivated us to move the company forward in new and exciting directions and we have not looked back since!


June 2020 marked the graduation of our son from high school and also our 26th work anniversary! It is heartwarming to think about all the people who have helped us throughout the years to create a company which has always been dedicated to helping others.


We continue to celebrate that accomplishment and are also adjusting to to deal with the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic. Brian and I are expanding our services within Van-Art Expression offering PIPA/PIPEDA compliant remote services with Zoom Telehealth. In addition to the remote work we continue to offer some on-site services while adhering to all Covid-19 protocols in our home based studio which we completed just a few years ago. 

Within the past two years, we have also branched off into offering onsite professional development workshops and professional supervision and consultation.

We hope you enjoy browsing through our site and learning more about us and the work that we do within our fields. In addition, we also offer links to other sites pertaining to our professions and related topics.

 

Get to Know Michelle

Michelle Oucharek-Deo received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria in 1991 and completed her Graduate Level Diploma of Art Therapy from the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute in 1994. She is a registered art therapist with both the provincial and national associations and is also trained to use horticultural therapy techniques in the counselling session. Michelle has extensive experience working within the field of mental health but after 26 years of seeing how the creative process can help people heal she is also expanding her practice to support a new client base. She is accepting clients who have always wanted to write a story; maybe even their own story but have let circumstances push their dream off to the side.

Join Michelle for a free 15 consultation.  

 
Brian rediscovers a barbershop.
Surfing in Maui 2013
Recording session.
Maui 2017
Brian's intial Zoom setup.
Taking time for important things... like beer!

Get to Know Brian

Brian Deo graduated with his Bachelor's in Music Therapy from the Capilano College/Open University Music Therapy Program in 1997 and joined Van-Art Expression after becoming accredited in 1998. Over 20 years of experience in long term care facilities and with school/ministry programs have given him the opportunity to work extensively with both geriatrics (Dementia, Alzheimer's, and other mental illness) and special needs children (Down's Syndrome, PDD, Behavioral Disorders) respectively.  Brian has a private practice working with children and adults diagnosed with autism.  Currently, Brian has been doing multiple Zoom video conferencing sessions with clients and sharing Zoom start up/fine tuning tips for colleagues wanting to do more remote video work.

 

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Lily Deo (2012-2020) RIP