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Seniors Art Programs have been an important part of the Arts Council’s work. Originally started as the Seniors Outreach Arts Program (SOAP) at the McMillan Arts Centre the program is now offered to residents in Stanford Place Care Campus, The Gardens, Qualicum Manor,Eagle Park Health Care Centre.  It is also offered at the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) to provide independently domiciled seniors ages 75 and over an opportunity to participate in an experience that allows for a creative and engaging outlet.  The program provides an opportunity to learn to paint, or to expand painting skill and enjoy the social aspect of painting with others. Each of the participating facilities holds an annual “Art Show and Exhibit” at the respective residence which are open for public viewing and the residents are delighted to display and have their work admired.

The highlight and culminating event celebrating our artists will be the month long exhibit in October at the Parksville Community Conference Centre located at 132 Jensen Avenue E, Parksville, BC.

Classes are FREE and include all supplies and qualified instruction. Transportation to the MAC program is available through the SOS “Oceanside Better at Home” program.  This has been made possible through the RDN “Active Aging” Grant opportunity and the collaborative assistance of the Society of Organized Services.

Please contact the MAC at 250-248-8185 to register, and SOS at 250-752-2040 should transportation be required.

Program like the OCAC Seniors Art Program incorporates the concept that art is an effective form of therapy that:

  • Promotes a sense of purpose
  • Fosters a stronger sense of identit
  • Provides active engagement to occupy the min
  • Helps with feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Is relaxing and increases a sense of well bein
  • Improves cognitive function and concentration

In general, art fosters the human need for self expression through drama, music, literature, painting, sculpture and the like. It is a form of communication that allows people from different cultures and times to communicate with each other via images, sounds and stories. Art can have a profound and positive effect on one’s personal life.  We believe that investing in the arts contributes to economic development, job creation, social well being, and community building.

We are very grateful to the Regional District of Nanaimo and Michaels Craft Store for their financial support which provides for all the supplies used in the program. We also thank the staff of The Gardens, Stanford Place, Qualicum Manor, and Eagle Park Health Care Centre for enthusiastically receiving the program and supporting our art instructors in their mission of encouraging creative expression. We also express our sincere gratitude to the coordinators, instructors, artists and aides for their dedication and commitment to this program. Thank you also to the many volunteers and supporters who have personally contributed both financially and in kind with donations of art supplies to supplement the continued expansion of this most worthwhile program.

Special thanks to PQB News for covering art events and sharing the many wonderful personal stories.

Some PQB News Article about the program:
Qualicum Beach health care centre seniors celebrate their art
Become a painter — sight not required at Qualicum Beach class