April Update

Ontario-wide stay at home directive and full lockdown starting April 8th. Community arts and onsite social programs are on hold indefinitely. Until they resume, our volunteers and core group members are developing facilitator training materials to establish online communities and networks. During the coming summer months 2021, we will continue with content development of a signature Create @Home Bite-Sized Workshops, including infographics, video demonstrations and interactive activities for older adults by older adults.

Creative Age London Ontario – April update from deep within the COVID Grey Zone. Here in Ontario Canada, we are in another one month lockdown.

Summary overview: we have decided to focus on training key volunteers who are also our core group of facilitators and arts instructors. Empowerment: we continue to develop and strengthen our online community of practice through experiential, interactive and self-directed training programs and practice sessions for the core volunteer leadership team – all of whom are older adults.

  1. The Art Adventure Adventure Group will continue to meet online through the lockdown and spring months.

These creative ZOOM sessions started in March 2020 and they are now entering the second year. Congrats to our tech savvy facilitators and participants. Very impressive and inspirational. The Art Adventure online gatherings feature peer-led skills development and social sessions. They are held each Thursday from 1pm to 3pm. Contact Penny Wearne at penny@pennywearne.com

2. The Create @Home series of “how to” YouTube videos are in progress.

Volunteers will continue to discuss and develop content for workshops and speaker series through April. Videos will be uploaded to the YouTube Channel as each video is edited and completed. Contact: kathysmith@creativeage.ca

3. The Creative Age Journaling Group will continue online through the spring and summer.

We will continue with online meetings of consultation and discussion of new course content organized for Creative Journaling program on the first Monday of each month starting at 10am. This new online program has been developed with older adults in small group online sessions through the Middlesex County Library. The sessions feature interactive skills development and social time to support our goal of expanding a network of creative communities for older adults. May 3rd, June 7th and July 6th and August 2nd. Contact Kathy Smith at kathysmith@creativeage.ca

4. Direct-Message Research Project

**Our network members are part of the Direct Message Research Project sponsored by McMaster University, the University of Guelph and Centre 3 in Hamilton Ontario. Direct[Message] is a collaborative community-arts project created by and for older adults in Ontario, Canada. Our team of artists, community members, researchers, and designers are working to make the arts more accessible and interactive through digital technology. The online surveys and ZOOM interviews are scheduled to start in London, Hamilton and Guelph April 2021.

5 The importance of ongoing facilitator training and practice

Webinar and presentation skills training for the Create @Home Online Facilitators is currently underway. It took some time, but we are getting more comfortable with online communication skills and video presentations. We learn by doing. We will continue to improve communication skills with practice sessions and experiential learning pilot projects in digital literacy.

6. Congratulations Jen!

With great success, our colleague Jen Tindall (Art Your Service: Creative Aging out of the Box) continues to build morning and afternoon online learning and social sessions for older adults. The programs are offered every week Monday to Friday at 10am and 2pm.

7. Creative Aging Toolkit and Workbook: Outreach to Rural Seniors – don’t miss the distribution of our resources in and around Southwestern Ontario sponsored by the Municipality of Thames Centre, Dorchester Lions Seniors Centre.

8. Creative Age Multi Media Studio – Over the spring and summer months, Kathy will continue work from her art and multi media studio in order to upload the following Create @Home: Bite sized workshop videos to the YouTube Channel. The goal is to have the following resources completed by the end of the summer.

  • Creative journaling (April)
  • Paper collage and mixed media (April)
  • Collage with mosaic tiles (April)
  • Nurturing your creative spirit (April)
  • Remember When: capturing family stories (May)
  • Remember When: online memory box London and surrounding area
  • How to draw and paint meditative mandalas (June)
  • Discover and explore expressive painting (June)
  • Decorative paint techniques (June)
  • How to make a spirit cloth with re-cycled textiles (July)
  • How to upcycle vintage clothing (July)
  • How to make wearable art (July)
  • How to applique crazy quilts (August)

Proud to support: The United Nations has proclaimed 2021–2030 the Decade of Healthy Aging, with WHO leading international action to improve the lives of older people, their families and communities.