Scarborough Arts’ Seniors Programs have been in existence since 2013. The program travels to different neighbourhoods in Scarborough offering inclusive and accessible writing and visual art workshops with a goal to reduce social isolation for Scarborough’s seniors, to engage and support them on their journey of capturing and documenting their life stories, and showcasing and publication opportunities to share their stories with the public.
Healthy Arts for Seniors: Cultural Cookbook
From September 2019 to March 2020, Scarborough Arts presents two Healthy Arts for Seniors: Cultural Cookbook programs one for all seniors and one for Newcomer and Refugee Seniors. This year’s program is presented in partnership with Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, East Scarborough Storefront, and the Agincourt Community Services Association.
Participants traveled to Chester Le Community Corner and East Scarborough Storefront to engage in a series of workshops that include creative writing, photography, oral storytelling, and recipe sharing. At the end of the workshop, the participants had a selection of collaboratively created recipes which will be featured in a Cultural Cookbook set to be launched March 2020.
Healthy Arts for Seniors
From October 2017 to March 2018, the Healthy Arts for Seniors program ventured to South Scarborough at East Scarborough Storefront then to North Scarborough at Agincourt Community Services Association—Chester Le Community Corner to engage seniors in creative writing, oral storytelling, and photography. During the program, we welcomed expanded involvement from Mandarin-speaking seniors in the newcomer and Chinese communities in North Scarborough.
As a culmination of the HAFS program, Scarborough Arts held a public event on April 19, 2018 to launch a print and online anthology, a photography exhibition, and a collection of audio recordings. All materials were translated in English and in Mandarin.
Scarborough Seniors Write
From October to November 2016, Scarborough seniors participated in two-hour writing workshops held in Toronto Public Library locations across Scarborough. The workshops delved into diverse topics such as fiction, mystery, short story, and poetry. The Scarborough Seniors Write Anthology is a culmination of the work created by the seniors in those workshops and highlights the many short stories, poetry, and visual arts pieces that illuminate the colourful lives of Scarborough’s talented senior writers.
The Write On! project engaged seniors in the literary arts through weekly writing workshops, which provided opportunities for participants to uncover their creativity and write compelling stories. Participants explored a variety of literary genres and forms and learned more about self-publishing. Finished works were included in the Reflections anthology, celebrating and recognizing participants for their creative work.