Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Renelyn Quinicot: Tools for Care: Tracing Memory, Lineage, and Story Through the Body 

Friday, August 25, 2023, 12 – 2 PM PDT 

Centre A (Zoom) 


Register HERE


This 2-hour session will be part-practice, part-workshop, talk, and open discussion. Over the two hour session, artist and facilitator, Renelyn Quinicot (she/her) will be offering Tools for Care – different mindfulness techniques through breathwork, and movement based meditations to helps us collectively ground into our bodies, and learn techniques we can continue to resource into our every days. She’ll be sharing a talk on her relationship to the importance of care for Self, as never an isolated action, but one that ripples effect beyond, and before us. The workshop will end with a mindful-writing exercise and open discussion.

TOOLS FOR CARE : Tracing Memory, Lineage and Story through the Body

Navigating the intricate terrain of the wellness and arts industry as a second-generation Asian immigrant has led me to confront a profound double-bind. On one hand, I find myself immersed in an environment that promotes health, balance, and personal growth—values deeply resonant with my upbringing. On the other hand, I am acutely aware of the potential implications of my involvement in this industry – as well as the arts communities – that can, and has, inadvertently contributed to the gentrification of families like my own. 

During my presentation for the CAARDI series at Centre A, I shared about my journey through studying Art Criticism and Curatorial Studies at Ontario College of Arts and Design University (OCADU). During my studies, participation and advocating for the art networks in our city, I was simultaneously being evicted from my family home in Parkdale, Toronto due to the neighborhood–which during the 90’s primarily catered to immigrants and low-income BIPOC families–becoming a hub for hipsters coffee shops, vintage stores and the very art galleries I was studying or attending. I emphasized a deep inspiration of mine thus becoming the ongoing relationship of being a part of the very industries that both sustained and fulfilled me, and pushed people like me out of the neighborhood. 

My values serve as both a compass and a sounding board, guiding me through the complexities of this double-edged reality. The duality of my position has spurred me to define and reaffirm these values, seeking clarity amid the confluence of personal aspirations and communal responsibilities. This process has illuminated the importance of finding harmony between my role within the wellness industry and my connection to my community. Where too often I was trying to fit into wellness studios where I was not seeing myself, I decided I needed to also support and create my own spaces where exclusively Queer and BIPOC folks, whom grew up similarly in low-incoming homes that wouldn’t even consider spaces for relaxation, could now feel belonging on our own terms, without having to be hosted by white businesses. 

Advocacy for inclusivity within the wellness industry has become a cornerstone of my approach. Stressing for example, that inaccessibility to many BIPOC folks in the wellness industry was not just financial, but deeply psychological was a major part of my drive to dream up new experiences of well-being-ness within community. Recognizing that my voice holds the potential to drive change beyond, and much bigger than me, I’ve championed programs and collaborations that prioritize community engagement and upliftment. By forging partnerships with local businesses and organizations creating spaces of healing for BIPOC folks, I strive to create a symbiotic relationship that mutually benefits my industry and the communities it operates within to create new futures of what it might look, and feel like to feel “well” for more types of bodies and identities. 

Transparency has emerged as a powerful tool in navigating the delicate balance between personal heritage and professional pursuits. In my CAARDI talk I also walked through my journey recreating what wellness experiences could feel like outside the Yoga studio context. Inspired by 1970’s artists creating communal spaces for shared meals, and resource sharing, I’ve fostered dialogues that extend beyond the yoga mat. I am interested in how meditation and movement tools can be incorporated into the everyday. For example, if we can practice ways to show up for ourselves, we can deepen our ability to better show up for others, our communities, the land, and all our relationships. These conversations have allowed me to connect with clients and customers on a more genuine level. 

I’ve come to realize that my acts of self-care aren’t just for my benefit alone. They carry a resonance that reaches back to all the generations before me—ancestors who, due to circumstances of their time and the limitations of their culture, couldn’t prioritize self-care or even imagine finding a place or a sense of belonging in North American, white-dominated wellness spaces. 

With each yoga class attended, each meditation practiced, and each moment of introspection, I am not only showing up for myself but also for the generations that came before me and those yet to arrive. By embracing self-care, I’m breaking a cycle of living just to work and holding silence and smallness within white-dominated spaces – a cycle that kept my ancestors from the healing they deserved. I am transforming my own well-being into a testament of resilience and empowerment—one that paves the way for future generations to thrive without feeling like outsiders in spaces of wellness and self-discovery. 

As my journey unfolds, I’ve come to recognize that my path isn’t linear; it’s a mosaic of experiences, perspectives, and choices. I’ve accepted the dynamic nature of my position, acknowledging that my viewpoint may evolve over time. What remains unwavering, however, is my determination to navigate this double bind with authenticity and integrity.


Renelyn Quinicot (she/her) is a queer filipina artist and movement & meditation teacher born and based out of Parkdale Village in Toronto. Her offerings include Kundalini Yoga, Pilates, Aerobic Exercise, Yoga Nidr?, Sound Meditation and more. She is passionate about curating spaces for connection and storytelling, where art, music and wellness can intersect. In all her work, she explores the body as a keeper of story and lineage, PLAY as a radical act of resistance, and is most of all, passionate about sharing supportive breathing tools to remind us of our own body as a wise resource of care.

Accessibility: The gallery is wheelchair and walker accessible. If you have specific accessibility needs, please contact us at (604) 683-8326 or [email protected].

Centre A is situated on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. We honour, respect, and give thanks to our hosts.