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New murals help support Calgary families in crisis: ‘kids will be happy here’

Some Calgary families going through a tough time are getting some much-needed support from a local artist.

Yuliya Alagir is putting her talents to work to create a safe spot for kids caught in a crisis.

Alagir has just completed a series of colourful interactive murals all along the walls of a playroom at the new Children’s Cottage location in Calgary.

“It was meaningful for me to create these interactive murals,” Alagir said. “I tried to create something that can help children.”

Alagir’s project is part of the Children’s Cottage’s efforts to help kids find comfort while staying at the facility for a few days during a family crisis.

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“They might come here because of a medical emergency, a parent may be going through a mental health crisis,” Children’s Cottage CEO Danielle Ladouceur said. “This is a safe place for the children to be.”

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Alagir knows first-hand how important a safe place can be, after having grown up in Uzbekistan amid family turmoil.

“When I was a child I had a difficult time,” Alagir said.

Alagir went on to study child psychology.

“Knowledge of psychology helped me when I grew up,” Alagir said.

Alagir came to Calgary in 2019 to begin a new life, and her skills have been put to good use during the new mural project.

“I think it really helps that she has that background in child psychology and understands what the children need for their own healing,” Ladouceur said.

Families can start enjoying Adagir’s work when the new Children’s Cottage facility opens in early April.

“I’m very happy to see that little kids will be happy here,” Alagir said.

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