Arts Service – St Columba’s Hospice Palliative Care, Edinburgh

4th International Symposium for The Arts in Palliative Care

Hosted by our arts team, our annual symposium returns for its fourth year on Friday 10th November 2023.

This year’s theme – “the colours of dying” – brings to the fore the diversity of practices, contexts, research and theoretical approaches that paint the contemporary image of the arts in palliative care.

This hybrid event will be held in our beautiful event space, No.17 and online via Zoom.

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‘Seen / Unseen’ is the theme of our new Dramatherapy group. This six-week group runs each Friday from 11.00-12.30, beginning on 13th October to 17th November 2023.

The sessions are open to anyone and provide a space for reflection and connection with self and others. You will be guided to use a range of creative techniques to aid self-expression. No previous arts or drama experience required. Taster sessions run 22nd September and 6th October 2023. You can come to one session or as many as you would like.


Cultural events

We organise diverse arts and cultural events bringing together patients, families, staff, volunteers and the local community. We celebrate books, songwriting and live music.

Look out for our award-winning Tunes with Tea live music events and upcoming concerts. We proudly partner with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) to bring their digital sessions to you.

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Get involved

Please complete our registration form if you would like to join one of our arts groups, including our online community choir, or if you wish to access any of the online music concerts and events listed below.


Life Story Sound Track

In the summer of 2022, we hosted an innovative Musician in Residence project with folk singer / songwriter Harry Harris. Working with patients, families, staff and volunteers, Harry wrote and recorded songs inspired by the people he met. 

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You, Now

A series of creative writing workshops helped us to re-engage with our senses, our memories and our experiences. These were available to our patients, their families and the local community.

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The Invisible String

A narrated story about separation, connection and love by the St Columba’s Hospice Care community.

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Why the arts

The arts are integral to who we are, to how we relate to others and the world around us. They can be a shelter, can bypass words and offer support in times of change and loss. Recognising the transformative potential of the arts in human life, we are committed to supporting patient and family wellbeing through the use of expressive arts, including music and songwriting, painting, creative writing, photography and film making. In diverse forms and formats, including individual sessions, open groups and creative projects, the arts can bring people together in creative ways. This includes our engagement with schools and other communities to promote healthier attitudes towards change and loss in life.