Staying informed is an important part of staying healthy — a fact the Lafayette String Quartet well knows. For the past 12 years, these artists-in-residence and School of Music professors have hosted their annual free Health Awareness Forum, with topics ranging from mental health and aging well to cervical cancer, personalized medicine and, naturally, the healing power of music.

This year’s forum, coming up on Thursday October 5, is focusing on healthy minds with Our Vital Brain: Being Mindful About Optimal Health. Learn what’s new in brain health and how the practice of mindfulness and music-making are helping to positively impact overall health.

Three specialists will share their expertise and lead the audience through mindfulness exercises, with time for a Q&A. As a new initiative this year, a student research poster contest will be associated with this annual forum. The event starts at 6:15pm with refreshments and a chance to view the posters in the lobby, prior to the evening presentation at 7pm in UVic’s David Lam Auditorium (MacLaurin Building A-Wing).

The Lafayette String Quartet

This year’s presenters include Alexandre Henri-Bhargava, a clinical assistant professor of medicine at UBC and neurologist with Island Health in Victoria; Mark Sherman, executive director of the BC Association for Living Mindfully; and Erin Guinup, voice teacher, conductor of the Tacoma Refugee Choir and host of the podcast Why We Sing.

The Lafayette Health Awareness Series began in 2006 with a dialogue on the topic of breast cancer, a disease that profoundly impacted the Lafayette String Quartet, UVic’s quartet-in-residence, when one of its members was diagnosed and treated in 2001. This free forum was created to provide expert and updated information to the public on various health topics.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome, but RSVPs are strongly encouraged, as this event often sells out.