Seniors living with dementia in the greater Antigonish area will see continued opportunity to express themselves through various art forms, and to contribute to the vibrant creativity in Antigonish, thanks in part to a federal grant.
Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova was pleased to announce that Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) is receiving a federal grant of $25,000 through the New Horizons for Seniors Program for the group’s Arts Canopy 2018 Program.
Fraser made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, at the RK MacDonald Seniors Home in Antigonish, along with members of the AHA! team.
Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) is a collaboration between artists, educators and health care workers, which began at the Sustainable Antigonish table in 2013, with the goal of fostering creativity as a path to community health. Since then the group has created and facilitated about 20 arts-based programs for youth, for seniors, for those who in the hospital and for the community. AHA! has employed close to 30 artists as facilitators and their programs have reached over a thousand community members. AHA! is part of a growing arts-health movement across Canada, a movement for inspired change that has been building globally for 35 years.
This grant will support AHA!’s Art Canopy 2018 Project to build on the Arts Canopy 2016-2017 Pilot, that brought music, poetry, movement, visual arts and pottery to seniors living with dementia. This funding will expand the program to train and hire new artist facilitators, to include other art forms and other sites in the local region. Arts Canopy focuses on the abilities and capacities of those living with dementia and helps them in discovering other ways of remembering and socializing. Through arts-based programs facilitated by professional artists, participants discover meaningful ways to remain active, to be socially engaged and to express themselves creatively. Arts Canopy is unique in Canada, and is particularly impressive in being offered in a rural area.
The New Horizons for Seniors Program promotes positive aging by supporting seniors’ volunteerism and encouraging seniors to play an active role in their communities. This innovative program enhances seniors’ social well-being and enables them to maintain social ties and share their knowledge, skills and experience with others. Above all, it values and celebrates them for all they contribute to a vital, creative community. Applications are now open, with the deadline being June 15, 2018, and more information available at seanfrasermp.ca
“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that all Canadians have a real and fair chance to succeed. We support a wide array of New Horizons for Seniors Program projects that bring seniors together in innovative ways to help build communities that are strong and vibrant. These grassroots projects are community-driven and promote social interaction, positive aging and seniors’ well-being. They reach out to seniors and encourage them to pursue active lifestyles, expand their social network and play a leading role in activities that inspire goodwill, sharing and fellowship among community members.
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Canada
“I am thrilled to see support from the federal government for a program that takes it a step further than simply engaging generally with our senior population and truly responding to the needs of this growing community of those with dementia. To know that they have a space and an opportunity to engage in their community and express themselves in a personal and meaningful way is truly special. I’d like to thank those who volunteer and continue to work to bring this program to this community, it is quite special.”
– Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova
“What is special about Arts Canopy is that it intentionally explores innovative ways for seniors with dementia to remember, to explore, and to value their best selves. Whether they are involved in music, poetry, or visual art, they immerse themselves. They laugh, they cry; they rejoice in each other. It is a privilege to witness what they are able to do when they see themselves as authentic participants in a dynamic, creative process.”
– Anne Simpson, writer, AHA! leadership team, Arts Canopy creator and facilitator
- This project was approved through the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) 2017–2018 Call for Proposals for Community-based Projects.
- The call for proposals for the 2018-2019 is open from May 7, 2018 until June 15, 2018.
- Eligible organizations can receive up to $25,000 in project funding, and, as of this year, up to $5,000 in new small grants funding for organizations that have not received funding within the last five years (including the 2012-2013 NHSP call for proposals).
- Through the NHSP 2017-2018 Call for Proposals, the Government of Canada is providing approximately $35 million in NHSP funding for more than 1,880 community-based projects.
- Since 2004, the NHSP has approved close to 21,600 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada, with a total Government of Canada investment of approximately $452.5 million.