Meet Our Team
Who We Are
Laurie Kilgour-Walsh has been the Senior Manager of Education and now the Lead of Wellness at the AGH since 2006. During that tenure, Laurie has led educational and interpretive programs for audiences of all ages and abilities, creating programs that are responsive to the individual strengths and interests of participants. She is now developing a larger mandate for arts and wellbeing within the AGH’s public program to support diverse audiences with a range of abilities and interests.
With a background in fine art and art history, many years spent working in museums and an eclectic collection of additional education and professional development experiences, Laurie brings a passion for art and museums to this work, focusing on the socially connective and empowering potential of creative experiences. Laurie is also a practicing artist and an avid museum visitor.
Laurie led the inception of Artful Moments in 2009 and continues to lead it through a number of diverse initiatives in support of best practices in museum-based programs. Following numerous conversations with peers about Artful Moments, and how others can create similar experiences for their audiences, Laurie is excited to share the collected learning and experiences of the past decade through this project, Artful Moments: Shared Learning.
Janis Humphrey is a retired nurse who worked in the field of dementia care for over twenty years. Janis holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from McMaster University and a master’s degree in Health Administration from D’Youville University in Buffalo, New York.
Janis has worked to raise awareness of dementia, and its impact on the person and family, as well as examining the role communities can play to enhance the lives of those living with this disease. Janis was the clinical lead for the inception of Artful Moments in a hospital setting, and her knowledge and vision continue to guide this work. In partnership with the AGH, Janis has been researching the connection between art and dementia. Through the publication of their work, the focus has been to translate the findings and continue developing relationships between museums and people living with dementia.
Museums are a trusted source of information and a valuable repository of knowledge. Janis believes that Artful Moments provides the framework to engage individuals in the world of museums. Through engagement, one can explore, share experiences, and create their own masterpiece. The Artful Moments model provides an opportunity to enhance an individual’s sense of well-being.
Janis believes in the importance of living in the moment; the emphasis is on the process, and the connections made along the way, which is where the joy lies.
Maureen Montemuro graduated with a BScN from the University of Toronto followed by an MHSc degree from McMaster University. She retired in 2014 after working in the nursing field for 45 years. For the last 22 years of her career, she focused on clinical practice, education and research with older adults and completed her career working as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in dementia care.
As a CNS, Maureen worked with her institution and long-term care homes to develop, implement and evaluate an educational program called Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) in Dementia Care, to train healthcare staff across Canada. Later she became involved with the AGH in the development of Artful Moments.
Since retiring, Maureen has volunteered at the AGH, playing a key role in designing, implementing and evaluating Artful Moments, now presented for people living with dementia and their loved ones in the community. Maureen has found this volunteer work to be a mutually beneficial endeavour as she can contribute to the program because of her background while also developing knowledge and skill for herself in art appreciation and art making at the AGH in her retirement years – a win-win!
Kathy Moros retired from her 38-year career as an Occupational Therapist in 2021.She dedicated most of her career to assessing and treating persons with dementia on a specialized inpatient hospital program, educating families and staff about dementia, presenting at conferences and participating in dementia- related research. Kathy has also contributed to student learning by being a tutor and clinical preceptor for the Occupational Therapy programme at McMaster University (Hamilton).
Kathy has been part of Artful Moments since its inception, assisting with the initial development of the educational curriculum, participating in the associated research project and publishing the research results.
Although now retired, Kathy’s passion for the Artful Moments program continues as she volunteers her time to further develop the educational curriculum with the goal of expanding access to Artful Moments for persons with dementia in her local community and beyond.
Shannon Stanners is a Speech-Language Pathologist with Hamilton Health Sciences. A highlight of her career was her 11 years working with individuals with Dementia on the Behavioural Health Unit at St. Peter’s Hospital.
Enhancing communication with individuals with Dementia had always been a key focus and passion of her role on the team, working alongside Maureen and Kathy, under the inspirational leadership of Janis Humphreys. In Artful Moments, through their collaborative project with the AGH, she witnessed first-hand the happiness and engagement that the participants had during the program.
She eagerly re-joined this incredible team, now extending the work to other museums and galleries. With clinical experience, as well as personal experience caring for loved ones with Dementia, she has experienced Artful Moments both as a team member and as a care partner alongside a participant in the Artful Moments program. She values the program deeply and has observed the positive impact on her loved one’s engagement, social connectedness, confidence, and well-being.
A Special Thank you
We would also like to thank our colleagues for their ongoing contributions to Artful Moments:
Tyler Van Holst is the AGH Youth Coordinator and the lead artist-educator with Artful Moments. Tyler has worked at the AGH since 2012, leading a range of hands-on activities with many different audiences. Tyler has been involved with Artful Moments since the early days of the program and continues to bring their knowledge of art and creativity strategies to each program. Tyler’s knowledge of dementia and their responsive and individualized approach allows every person to be creative in their own way.
Esther Coker is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Behavioural Health and Medically Complex units at the St. Peter’s Hospital site of Hamilton Health Sciences. She is a Certified Gerontological Nurse with an interest in clinical research and loves observing first-hand the impact of Artful Moments on persons with dementia. She enjoys sharing her research knowledge and skills with the Artful Moments team.