We live in a society that equates aging with decline and loss, even obsolescence. We are constantly reminded to fight the process, to rise up against it, and favor the next big “anti-aging” product. AGEWELL questions the current aging paradigm, attempting to understand and tease apart conventions and assumptions from lived realities and experiences. With this understanding, we will use arts-based facilitation to support cross-sector dialogue and collaboration to help improve seniors’ wellbeing

AGEWELL consists of two phases. In the first phase we invited the community to share their thoughts and feelings on aging by submitting creative expressions on the topic. The response was overwhelming. We received over one hundred submissions in different forms and media. From poetry to puppetry, painting and performance, the pieces were not only varied in medium, but in theme as well. Some were introspective, while others took a socio-political view of aging. Selected submissions were displayed at the Vancouver’s Performing Arts Lodge between May 30th and June 7th. At the same time, art-making workshops that ranged from theatre/movement workshops, to story telling, puppetry and music, ran alongside the exhibition, deepening the dialogues around creative aging.

Check out the Agewell Chataqua Project booklet to see photographs of the artwork that was exhibited.

In the second phase, which kicks off in October 2014, we conduct cross-sector arts-based dialogues on key themes that emerged during the first phase of the project. Our goal is to imaginatively nurture understanding and collaboration across professional silos and to contribute to the creation of innovative and concrete solutions to complex issues that affect the lives of our elders. Stay tuned for more information.

Photograph by Beryl Woodrow