The first Creative Aging Project in London Ontario took place in 2010. That initial 12 month program was funded by New Horizons for Seniors Canada and sponsored by the City of London Ontario Dearness Home for Long Term Care. Originally, the start up goal was to raise awareness about the benefits of Creative Aging Programs in seniors housing and long term care by demonstrating how the arts can inspire and mobilize older adults to combat social isolation, lead efforts towards positive social change and improve quality of life.
In 2015, a 5 year plan was established to develop community awareness and creative aging initiatives in and around London and Middlesex County. That initiative was successfully completed in the winter of 2019. Local support from Age Friendly London, the London Arts Council, Westminster College Foundation, London Public Libraries, Museum London and Municipality of Thames Centre allowed us to organize community programs, events and activities in the region.
The global pandemic and new technologies provided another great opportunity to re-think and re-set a new vision with new mission to improve the quality of life of low-income older adults through arts, culture and technology. A virtual centre for creativity and lifelong learning was established to help realize that goal. That initiative operates as a social purpose business.
- resource and partnership development
- online training support and production of digital information resources for older educators and facilitators
- consulting support to start Creative Aging programs in the region
- e commerce community enterprise – a virtual store or marketplace showcasing new products, services and creative work of older adults
- Create @ Home – a subscription to “bite-sized” online video workshops and monthly creative projects in a box for older adults 50+
- online gallery – a virtual showcase with seasonal exhibits of work by older adult artists and makers
- fundraisers and corporate sponsors to support mission
Like most others, Kathy Smith and associates are now working from and creating at home. With community partners, they continue to demonstrate leadership by exploring and developing new and creative uses for existing digital devices, software and social media. They offer networking support, training and encouragement to empower a grassroots network of instructors, makers and creative service-providers who then go on to strengthen creative and healthy older adult communities in and around Southwestern Ontario. Contact Kathy Smith email: email@example.com
Member: Age-Well Canada
Canadian Network for Arts and Learning
CSARN [the Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network]