Dr. Caroline D. Bergeron is a healthy aging advocate and researcher. She has a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of South Carolina, a Master’s in Communications from the University of Montreal, as well as a Bachelor’s in Communications and a Bachelor’s in Spanish from the University of Ottawa. To date, Caroline has studied falls, ageism, social participation, sexual health, health communication, employment, organ donation, chronic disease management, pain, age-friendly communities, dementia, resilience, alcohol consumption, malnutrition, suicide, and the impact of the COVID-19 on older adults. She has worked in healthy aging at the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, the Quebec National Public Health Institute, the Mayo Clinic, and the Council on Aging of Ottawa.
Dr. Bergeron is affiliated with the LIFE Research Institute at the University of Ottawa.
Non-Profit Organizations as Leaders in AFC in Canada: Building Capacity in Communities
Holly Schick grew up in Lemberg, Saskatchewan. She attended university in Saskatoon and Regina. Much of her working career has been as ministry personnel in the United Church where she had the opportunity to live and work in a number of communities throughout Saskatchewan. Looking for an opportunity to do something different resulted in her accepting the position of Executive Director of SSM (Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism) in 2009. Working on projects and programs that allow various groups to collaborate, address issues and build a positive view of older adults are some of the things that she enjoys about her work. Age-Friendly Saskatchewan is a key part of this work.
Connie Newman is the Executive Director (lead consultant) for the Manitoba Association of Senior Centres – Age Friendly Manitoba Initiative (MASC – AFI). MASC is a member association currently with 62 member Centres throughout Manitoba. MASC – AF connects with 92 communities in Manitoba on the Age Friendly pathway. She is 73 years young. She retired from Education in 2004. She was a junior high teacher/principal for 34 years in St James Assiniboia School Division. She is a boomer – still independent with many connections in Manitoba, Canada and beyond. Her favorite pastime is her dog – Tobe, a companion, a friend. She believes in active aging and all that it means – keeping one’s mind and body active helps her to assist those around her who may need information and support as we all age together. Giving back, giving to others is important. We can all give in some form – it makes our Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada a much better place.
Bruno Poirier a terminé son baccalauréat en gestion du loisir à l’Université de Moncton en 1987. Son parcours professionnel l’a amené à travailler à titre d’animateur communautaire dans un Centre scolaire/communautaire, puis comme directeur du service des parcs et loisirs d’une municipalité rurale, avant de devenir coordonnateur des affaires étudiantes dans une institution postsecondaire. Au cours des dernières années, Bruno occupait un poste de conseiller régional en mieux-être au sein de la Direction du mieux-être du ministère du Développement social du N.-B. Tout récemment retraité de la fonction publique du Nouveau-Brunswick, il est maintenant à l’emploi de l’Association francophone des aînés du N.-B., où il agit comme coordonnateur de projets pour le réseau Municipalités/Communautés amies des aînés. Il est aussi président de l’organisme Communautés Loisir N.-B. Il a près de 35 années d’expérience en développement communautaire durant lesquelles il a coordonné de nombreux projets visant la participation citoyenne. De plus, Bruno est conseiller municipal à la Ville de Beresford depuis 2012.
Caroline D. Bergeron, University of Ottawa, Canada
Holly Schick, Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism, Canada
Connie Newman, Manitoba Association of Senior Centres and Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative, Canada
Bruno Poirier, Association Francophone des Aînés du Nouveau-Brunswick, Canada
The promotion, implementation, and advancement of age-friendly communities across Canada varies greatly depending on several factors: leaders and champions, engagement with communities, support and tools available, and funding, among others. In some provinces, the work of age-friendly communities is entirely led and supported by non-profit organizations. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the roles of non-profit organizations in leading age-friendly communities in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick.
Through an innovative and dynamic panel-style workshop, a moderator will ask each panelist a series of questions to better understand their realities, contexts, and experiences: what do the age-friendly communities look like in their jurisdiction, what is their role as a non-profit, how did this role come about, what works in their province, what works less well and why.
All three provinces are geographically, culturally and linguistically different, and use different age-friendly models, structures and programs. At their core, the three non-profit leaders share their connection to community, their role to engage, listen, and amplify the community’s voices, and their ability to build age-friendly capacity with intention.
In this workshop, while challenges regarding funding and policy influence will be discussed, several lessons learned and practical recommendations will be shared about the power of trust, flexibility, and the grassroots movement. Non-profit leaders are invaluable for age-friendly communities; their challenges, lessons learned and calls for action can be insightful for any non-profit organization starting or already working in the age-friendly space as well as all other age-friendly community stakeholders.