Our Story

“Our Creative Age Network started in 2006 and developed over time as myself, colleagues and friends entered the Third Age. With a more creative approach to traditional retirement, we started a percussion and dance ensemble called The Rhythm Sisters. Like other Leading Edge Boomers, we weren’t satisfied with arts and crafts programming offered by public institutions and seniors centres. No more macaroni necklaces, paper plates, pipe cleaners and poster paints!” Kathy Smith, London Ontario Canada

Our core group attended online webinars offered by Dr. Gene Cohen, founder of the Center on Aging, Health, and the Humanities at George Washington University. Dr. Cohen single-handedly changed the image of aging in the USA from one of senescence to a period of creativity. Our key instructors completed training through the National Center of Creative Aging in New York.

We formed a catalyst group to collaborate with local organizations to raise funds and up-level the quality of performing and creative arts programming available to older adults in diverse neighbourhoods in our region.

We have recently completed a 5 year strategic plan and the summary report can be found here.

Our Vision

Our network members envision age friendly neighbourhoods where care homes, retirement communities, libraries, faith communities and older adult centres are enriched by vibrant colours, familiar melodies, thought-provoking performances, and hands-on artistic expressions. Trained facilitators and artist instructors (adults 55+) serve as creative community catalysts to engage other older adults to realize the vision.


We enjoy sharing our expertise and peer-led experiences with municipalities, organizations and individuals who have a similar vision. Our experienced community developers, speakers and workshop leaders are available to make presentations to community organizations and professional development groups or organizations. Contact: admin@creativeage.ca

Did you know?

In 2020, 2.52 million people over the age of 65 were living in Ontario. That number will almost double as the last cohorts of baby boomers turn age 65.

– Government of Ontario population projections

Lead Facilitator

Kathy Smith is an experienced advocate and adult educator. She has received several professional and community awards and citations, including the Mayor’s Honour Roll for Arts and Culture and the Ontario Seniors Achievement Award. When she’s not organizing arts programs or doing speaking engagements, you can find Kathy in her home studio located in downtown London Ontario, near the Thames River.

Check out Kathy’s Instagram

Program/Event Coordinator

Kristan Smith has been involved with theatre, music and cultural events since 1985. He has coordinated activities, tours and special events since 2015. Kris received his digital media training at Fanshawe College, Concordia University and SAE Institute Berlin Germany. During the COVID pandemic, Kris led the way for the Creative Age Network to create an accessible digital space with a goal to offer more virtual programming in a social learning environment.