Culture for seniors’ first year was rich in experimentation and encounters. See for yourself via the artistic activities that were organized.

Message of hope cards for seniors

Spring 2020. One of our first projects was to assist various community mobilisation committees that were looking for ways to reduce the social isolation of countless seniors in our region. Using drawings contributed by local children, we created a series of virtual cards featuring useful information on the back. These cards were delivered to nine residences on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Happiness via summer shows!

Summer 2020. The relaxing of public health measures allowed us to organize a variety of outdoor shows at retirement residences. Under sunny skies and in a festive atmosphere, 20 shows in all were enjoyed by 466 participants, including 125 English speakers. “Kudos” to the excellent artistic submissions received and many thanks to our selection committee for choosing the artists. Every testimonial received spoke of the positive effect these shows had on morale.

Distribution of 7 iPads in partnership with the RCM and the Hub des Sources

Fall 2020. Thanks to generous support from the RCM and the Hub des Sources, Culture for seniors distributed seven iPads to help seniors stay connected despite the lockdown.

Donation to the annual Seniors’ Table calendars

2021 edition. Last spring, Culture for seniors contributed $2000 to finance free calendars offered to seniors throughout the region, thus making up for a lack of sponsors because of the pandemic. Very practical, the calendar informs seniors about services available in their area. By participating in the creation of this tool, we supported the community and encouraged social participation that is vital to seniors’ health and well-being. 6000 calendars were printed. Note that there are 9000 seniors in the area.

Unlikely encounters with Rêver pour créer (Dream to Create)

Fall 2020. Inspired by the Institut du Nouveau Monde’s Rêver pour créer (Dream to create) initiative, Culture for seniors compiled seniors’ dreams. As a pilot project, this intergenerational and intercultural activity took place, face-to-face or virtually, in three elementary school classes and one retirement residence. Patrick Therrien and Réjean Obomsawin, First Nations artists, co-animated the event that reached more than 100 seniors.

A successful digital shift thanks to Infusion de Noël

Infusion de Noël, produced by Val-Saint-François artist, Marie-Anne Catry. Undoubtedly, this activity enabled us to reach the greatest number of seniors, participants and spectators. More than 100 seniors sang along with Marie-Anne and 6000 people attended the concert via YouTube and Facebook; 400 people enjoyed it live and thousands more watched Infusion de Noël thanks to three community televisions which broadcast the concert. The event even made the front page of La Tribune newspaper!

A special Christmas radio show reaches out to seniors

December 24, 26 and 27, 2020. Over the holidays, we reached out to seniors thanks to CJMQ English radio, a media that is accessible to all. This heartwarming and joyful show included a musical performance by the Duo Blue Celt (France Thibault and Laurent Hubert) and storytelling by Patti Warnock. A special thanks to Ed Humphrey from Townshippers’ Association for his brilliant editing and hosting! We also want to highlight the significant input of Alice Weare, Steering committee member, for her creative ideas and for developing links with the community.

Delivery of 175 greeting cards

December 2020. A new partnership was established with local artist, Nadia Loria Legris. Seniors in two residences impacted by COVID-19 (Villa Castonguay and Manoir Jeffrey) received an original card illustrated by the artist. Ginette Wood, director of the Val-des-Sources Volunteer Centre (CAB), told us how happy her mother was to show her the treasured gift. Nathaly, a manager, spoke about how this small gesture made a big difference.