Seniors & The Arts

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Arts Council Wood Buffalo and St. Aidan's Society have been partners since 2020 in bringing arts-related programming to seniors and Elders in the Wood Buffalo region. This has been achieved through a number of different initiatives, which are planned and executed in consultation with local seniors and Elders.

From 2020-2022, we led the Art of Conversation, which facilitated phone conversations between local artists and seniors in a time of increased isolation. In 2022, we transitioned to in-person programming with Arts in Action, offering free opportunities for seniors to engage in hands-on learning through the arts.

These initiatives also created paid opportunities for artists, driving the creative economy in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo.

2022 Arts in Action
Community Impact

12 Workshops Hosted

76 Seniors Participated

8 Artists Hired

About the Programs

Since May 2020, artists engaged in conversations over the phone with seniors or Elders. The artists created new pieces of art using that conversation as their muse. Arts Council then purchased those art pieces from the artists and gifted them to the seniors or Elders with whom they were made.

Following the successes of 2020 and 2021, the Art of Conversation initiative continued into 2022 as a collaborative project for artists and seniors in the Wood Buffalo community, led by Arts Council Wood Buffalo and St. Aidan's Society. Local artists of various disciplines in the community engaged in phone conversations with Wood Buffalo's isolated senors and Elders. They then created new pieces of art, using their conversations as inspiration. Arts Council purchased those art pieces from the artists and gifted them to the seniors and Elders with whom they were made.

As this project was developed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Arts Council gradually sunsetted the program in 2022, opting to focus on a new iniative: Arts in Action. Those who were not comfortable engaging with the arts in person were given the opportunity to engage in the Art of Conversation iniative, as before. As the year went on, the need for the program diminished, as all seniors opted to participate in person.

Visit Art of Conversation Virtual Exhibit to see the artworks that were created through this program.

Arts in Action was launched in April 2022, with the goal of engaging seniors through a set of in-person arts-based workshops of varying disciplines. Some of these workshops were delivered by seniors, some by local artists, and some by local youth. All workshops were offered specifially for seniors and Elders, aged 60 and up, and all workshops were free to attend.

In 2022, Arts in Action saw 76 seniors particpating across 12 workshops, with a total of 8 artists being hired to teach.

Are you a senior or Elder interested in being engaged in the arts? Contact us at

Support and Collaboration

Seniors & The Arts has been generously supported by the New Horizons for Seniors Program and Suncor, and is in collaboration with St. Aidan’s Society.