July Update

July Update by Kathy Smith

Volunteer Coordinator

Like everyone else in Ontario, I’m happy there are fewer restrictions about outdoor gatherings, activities and other small group events. Here’s hoping we can all avoid any 2021-22 fall and winter lock-downs .

Community arts

Libraries, churches, retirement homes and seniors’ centres will develop timelines to ease into indoor programs. I’ll be connecting with more individual staff members to schedule fall outdoor activities and social events. Some of the indoor meeting rooms (previously used for programming) are in need of ventilation upgrades now regarded as a priority for safe indoor gatherings. Some are postponing indoor group sessions until the spring of 2022.

In special circumstance, it is possible for me to organize community arts programming onsite this fall if the room is an adequate size with good ventilation. For the indoor area of the premise accessible to members of the public, please ensure each staff member and participant wears a mask or face covering that forms a barrier with the skin in a manner that covers their mouth, nose, and chin, and as best as possible, maintains a physical distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) from every other person while in the indoor area.

The partnership outreach project Healthier Aging Through the Arts sponsored by Museum London and funded by New Horizons for Seniors will launch on October 1st 2021.

Creative Age Creativity Kits (prototypes) are now available for testing in independent living retirement homes.

We’re in the process of mapping out more potential sites for community arts programs in the spring of 2022..

Online engagement

I’m proud to say we’ve made excellent use of our time during these lock-down months. There are new online programs to promote during August, September and October 2021.

  • Virtual Creative Age Studio – ads start on social media platforms
  • on August 1st.
  • Creativity Boosters, book reviews and activity recommendations will be posted on a weekly basis.
  • Creative Age Online Journaling Club – ads start on social media September 1st.
  • Creative Age Studio Online Gift Shop – marketing starts September 1st.
  • Monthly Zooms or FaceBook live sessions – ready to roll

Peer Empowerment

We continue to offer one on one coaching and mentoring to help network members and colleagues with digital literacy skills. A community leadership symposium is planned for October. Date TBA.


Direct Message Research Project – I’m so proud to be part of the Direct-Message Research Project. Team members are now conducting phone and online interviews with older adults. Our online pilot projects and test projects will be organized for the fall months.

The UN WHO has designated 2021 to 2030 as the Decade of Healthy Aging. To support the global movement, our volunteers and facilitators are making special efforts to develop programs to enhance overall health and wellness of adults 50+. You can learn more about the social determinants of health HERE.