Day Centre for Seniors Intergenerational Art Project
Throughout the month of February members of the Baycrest Community Day Centre for Seniors in the Parkland/Oceanside Clubs were working in creative collaboration with Grade 9 art students from Westmount Collegiate Institute on an “Intergenerational Heritage Art Project”.
This project used the arts to create linkages between generations and to celebrate the unique histories of all participants. Each Day Centre member designed one multimedia panel to go together with two other panels designed by the students in order to create a “triptych”.
The Day Centre celebrated the Artists’ work on Monday March 5th with a Gallery Exhibition.
Learning From Our Elders
Congregation Habonim’s youth group participate with a group of our seniors in a “Learning from Our Elders” program where they have an opportunity to ask questions and listen to our seniors tell about growing up Jewish in Canada and in Europe. Each year the elders and students work with an artist from the Living Through the Arts program at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Together they produce a joint project depicting the elders’ stories.
William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate high school students join our seniors in gardening activities in the Apotex, Hospital and Day Centre. Grade 12 students take part in what has become an annual intergenerational philosophy class. In this program, each student is assigned a senior buddy to learn with. The resulting discussion has been intense and animated. Both students and seniors have learned from each other.
We are currently working with an educational psychologist/researcher from the University of Toronto and William Lyon Mackenzie’s principal to introduce an intergenerational class in English or Philosophy in the high school where our seniors can attend and learn with the teens. Seniors have an important role to play in passing on cultural knowledge and cultural wisdom to the younger generation and can help adolescents learn life lessons that will help foster the conditions for them to continue to develop greater wisdom through out their lives.
Tanenbaum CHAT south campus students participate in L’Chaim, Sukkot, Chanukah & Passover programs. Our intergenerational musical variety show has become a yearly November happening with students and elders preparing pieces to perform together.
Eric Golombek, principal at the neighbouring Associated Hebrew School leads the monthly Wednesday evening “Jazz for Juniors and Spirited Seniors” in the Winter Garden Court. This evening brings out parents and children from the school to join seniors in an interactive and lively jazz concert. It is a wonderful opportunity for those of all ages to engage with each other while enjoying the spirit of Jazz.
University students volunteer with Holocaust survivors at the Café Europa every second week. The students have assisted in program set up and serving refreshments but have also been engaged in hearing survivor stories and writing their own reflections on this experience.
Elementary school students enrich on-floor programs with their visits, bringing their songs and holiday activities, and engaging with our seniors.