Casey worked once again with agency Bensimon Byrne and sister company Narrative to create the spa, Healing House. Situated in downtown Toronto, it employed 15 HIV positive therapists to give free massage treatments to customers last weekend. Billboards with the slogan "Relax Your Fear" promoted it outside.
Joseph Bonnici, partner/executive creative director at Bensimon Byrne, explains how the project followed on from the restaurant: "If food made by HIV+ chefs makes people uncomfortable, what about actual skin-to-skin touch? We want to make those that are ignorant uncomfortable with what we are doing. We conducted a North American wide poll and found that almost half the population wouldn’t touch someone with HIV."
Bonnici adds that the spa also allowed the workers to speak directly to customers and tell their stories, rather than being behind the scenes as the chefs were in the restaurant.
Joanne Simons, CEO of Casey House, says: “Compassion is something Canadians are known for, yet as a country we lack empathy for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. It is time for compassion to win over complacency. With the launch of Healing House, we’re going to lead by example and show the world how positive touch can be a form of healing for those who deal daily with misperceptions and the stigma of HIV/AIDS."