June is Seniors Month in Ontario. We’re busy with current projects and planning for the fall. During Seniors Month, we usually take the opportunity to educate about creative aging programming. The London Creative Age Network members have been developing programs, events and activities in the region since 2010.
In June 2023, our London Public Library staff have sponsored a fantastic slate of educational programs, activities and special events for Seniors Month. We’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to co-create program content and delivery for neighbourhood branches. We’re now working on new ideas for Fall and Winter months.
What is Creative Aging?
“The term “creative aging,” in the broadest sense, describes an aging policy idea that focuses on highlighting the creativity of older adults in order to prepare individuals and communities to manage old age. Programs focus on the evolution of creativity over the lifespan and aim to provide meaningful participatory engagement, especially through the arts.” Drawing on the Arts to Enhance Healthy Aging. Andrzej Klimczuk, Warsaw Poland
“Creative aging workshops are anti-ageist, non-discriminatory, and succeed in enriching the lives of older adults because they are designed by professional teaching artists, include intentional social engagement and focus on building art-making skills over time.” Lifetime Arts, NY
Here in London Ontario Canada, we work with researchers, libraries, art centres and seniors centres to train more facilitators, instructors and program developers. Our approach has been heavily influenced by the training our members initially received from instruction and materials provided by Dr. Gene Cohen and the National Centre for Creative Aging, Washington DC. Our founding members completed training certification in 2013. Since then we have adapted our programs, events and activities to meet the needs of local older adults in our communities. The next facilitator training sessions will be offered in July, sponsored by Hamilton’s Centre  for Artistic and Social Practice. For more information, please use the contact form.
Penny Wearne, Creative Age Art Studio and Kathy Smith, London Creative Age Network