Seniors make significant and valuable contributions to their families, communities and Canadian society.
That is why the federal government supports efforts that help seniors stay active and engaged in their communities, says Paul Chiang, MP for Markham-Unionville.
This is key to enhancing their well-being and quality of life. It empowers them and enables them to expand their social network and explore new learning experiences.
The Seniors Got Talent show, recently hosted by Chiang, celebrated Asian Heritage Month and the incredible talents of seniors in our communities. The event took place at Xinflix Media in Markham.
The event was co-hosted by Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and included special guest Seniors Minister Kamal Khera. International Trade and Small Business Minister Mary Ng was in attendance along with Markham councillors Amanda Yeung Colluci and Juanita Nathan.
A variety of talented performers were showcased to the hundreds of members from diverse communities that came out to join the celebration. Among the participants was Chiang’s father, who is 93 years young, and who also lives in Markham.
The response to the call for talent from seniors was enormous. Eventually, nineteen senior groups from diverse communities entered the show, showcasing their amazing talents in music, dance, and other forms of entertainment.
Some performers used their guitar, saxophone and aerophone, Chinese Erhu and Pipa to generate dynamic music for the crowd. A pair of dancers displayed their affection with Tango. A South Asian Older Adults Club danced their way through GARBA. Some Senior groups showcased their dances and costume shows. Others kept the audience smiling with their various songs, including You Look So Good When You Smile.
Chinese Tai Chi and Qigong clubs demonstrated their Tai Chi Fan movements and Yangsheng Qigong — exercises that combine movement with mindfulness to promote overall health and wellness.
The competition was judged by a panel of four adjudicators, including Rajan Sharma, performing artist YiPei Wang, Asian Month community leader Nancy Siew, and musician Dr. Erhei Liang.
Sharma and Chiang sang a special duet of the Bollywood movie song Mere Sapno Ki Rani, together with ministers Ng and Khera. Scarpitti also presented a solo of the Chinese movie song Shanghai Bund.
In this year’s Budget 2023, the government is forecasted to provide $75.9 billion in support directly to seniors through the Old Age Security program. The federal government’s investments and benefits are indexed to inflation, meaning they will continue to increase with inflation rates to support seniors. In addition, through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, the government provided funding to over 3,000 local projects led by and for seniors that make a difference in communities and help improve seniors’ quality of life.
One of the government’s top priorities is supporting the seniors who have always been there for us, shared MPs Chiang and Khera. Since 2016, the federal government has taken significant action to further support our seniors. This includes a 10 per cent increase to the OAS pension for seniors aged 75 and over.
“As Canadians are living longer, our government is committed to improve their well-being and financial security so they can live a dignified retirement and remain engaged participants in our communities,” Khera said. “Watching them showcase their amazing and diverse talents at the Seniors Got Talent event is a reminder that creativity, passion, and dedication have no age limit.”