In Vancouver this evening, a local artist will be hosting a book launch and art show.

Not really a news story for Vancouver but what makes this special is that the artist, 54-year-old Teresa Pocock, was at one time forced to live in an Ontario nursing home for the aging since the people trying to help her determined that as a person with Down’s syndrome, she was incapable of caring for herself and neither was her family.

How she ended up in a nursing home was the result of a plethora of bureaucratic activities by government and advocacy groups who were working to ‘care’ for Teresa within a system that ignored what Teresa and her family wanted. According to Teresa, the system forced her into the nursing home (once successfully and once unsuccessfully). Finally, she was able to live with her sister and they moved to Vancouver a few months later due to all the opposition they faced in Ontario.

Since then, Teresa has thrived in Vancouver as an artist, poet, and ‘self-advocate’. She even got the Minster of Health in Ontario to write her a letter of apology.

And her new art display reflects her own conviction that people with disabilities are very capable.

Her new book, “Totally Amazing: Free To Be Me” will be on display at the art show tonight, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Gallery Gachet in Vancouver, BC