Bringing seniors together to socialize, keep fit

The Canadian Chinese Orchestra and the Paradise Seniors Association are among several Markham organizations that will each receive a grant to help bring seniors together to learn new skills, socialize and keep fit.

The money comes from the provincial government’s Seniors Community Grant Program, which will deliver $5 million to municipalities and local organizations for programs that support projects focused on volunteerism, learning, financial awareness, social inclusion, elder abuse prevention, mental well-being and physical activity.

The Armadale Ontario’s Seniors Club will receive $25,000 to offer virtual and in-person social, cultural and recreational programs. The Canadian Chinese Orchestra will receive $24,860 for a project that will teach seniors how to play Chinese instruments through free online lessons over three months. The project will culminate in a virtual 90-minute concert for fellow seniors, families and friends.

Chinese Moving Well Community Centre will collect $20,170 to host a series of workshops and social events to educate Chinese seniors about the signs of elder abuse and how to get help. CEFS Centre will help 200 newcomers stay healthy, safe and engaged while also inspiring volunteerism thanks to a $22,220 grant.

Greensborough Tamil Seniors Wellness Club is receiving $25,000 for a project that focuses on activities and skills for older adult immigrants, including yoga and computer and technology skills. The Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians will receive $25,000 for a project that offers physical and mental fitness, music, dance and outings to neighbouring communities.

Markham Wesley Centre will receive nearly $17,000 to provide a platform where seniors can learn, socialize and stay connected. Programs will be delivered in-person and virtually, with a tablet loan program available for those in need. Paradise Seniors Association Markham will receive nearly $13,000 for a project that offers a mix of virtual and in-person visual art programs through six workshops focused on water colour, oil and acrylic mediums.

Markham Arts Council in Unionville will receive $10,000 for a project that will help isolated seniors improve their physical and mental well-being by taking part in virtual dance lessons. Bereaved Families of York Region will receive $25,000 to provide grief healing support groups for seniors, with a focus on the impact of grief on mental health, relationships and isolation.

The provincial government will invest up to $6 million in the grant program for the 2022-23 program cycle. Applications will be accepted from March 1 through April 28. If you have questions about the program, email [email protected].

“After several months of increased social isolation, we have seen a surge in demand for targeted and reliable access to programs and services that address the unique needs of Ontario’s seniors,” says Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo. “With this investment, our government is taking real action to further empower seniors in their own communities and provide them with high-quality supports that contribute to their physical, mental and social well-being.”

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