Category Archives: older adults

Bow Cliff Centre gets a New Parking Lot!

Bow Cliff Centre parking lot renewal, Seniors SW Calgary, Bow Cliff SeniorsExciting news! At last we can announce that funding has been raised for the parking lot – nothing stands between Bow Cliff Seniors and a new  parking lot to be completed by Fall, 2012.
An April 18th letter from the Provincial Government  announced that we had been granted $125,000.00 through the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP).
On Monday, May 7th, JoAnne Porter, our Community Recreation Co-ordinator for the west area called with the good news that the City of Calgary had awarded Bow Cliff Seniors $218,864.67 from the Capital Conservation Grant (CCG) – another contribution to our parking lot renewal program.
Some of you may remember that we entered contests and Corporate entities were approached along with applications being made to all levels of government, so this success may go to our heads.
Summarizing sources of funding:

218,864.67   CCG funding
35, 000.00   Waste & Recycling Dept
125.000.00   CFEP
4,000.00   Hellenic Society
382,864.67  Grand Total

A plan of the lot was issued to members attending the Annual General Meeting followed by a question and answer session. One of the questions related to a limit of four  handicapped parking stalls. This has been extended to six but all stalls are the size of those at Canadian Tire stores – comfortable for even the most timid of drivers – speaking personally.
To avoid distraction, signage will be limited, but generous speed bumps  are sure to slow down any  reckless drivers. Any personal concerns?  Any members of the Board or Staff will pass on your questions to the Building and Development Committee, we’ll try to answer your questions.
After this…. our next major endeavour? How about a New Hall?
Betty Wheatley, Ways & Means Director

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Aside

The day to celebrate Robbie Burns Day has again arrived.  January 25, 2012 would have been Robert Burns 253rd birthday!  His writing definitely stands the test of time.  The most famous is Auld Lang Sang we sing bringing in the New Year.  Much of … Continue reading

#3 – Mid- to Low-Income Seniors – Friends of Bow Cliff

Reason 3: All funds donated to Bow Cliff Seniors are used within the organization for programs and services to help members who are mid- to low-income.

Think about how many times you, as an individual in Calgary, take out your wallet in an average day. There aren’t a lot of places that people can gather without paying for something, whether it’s a coffee, a dinner or an event. But many seniors in Calgary struggle to meet their basic needs; 26% of Calgary seniors receive the Guarenteed Income Suppliment to help them do just that.

Friends of Bow Cliff, Bow Cliff Seniors, Calgary Seniors

Bow Cliff Seniors exists to make sure that these seniors – and those who are struggling just above this line – have a place to gather without having to worry about how much is in their bank account that morning. For the most part, we rely on funding from governments (New Horizons for Seniors, Alberta Gaming and Family and Community Support Services of Calgary) to pay ongoing operational costs (including administrative and facility costs). We also look to sponsors and donors to help us grow our programs and meet the increasing needs of seniors.

$36 may not seem like a lot, but to our centre it could mean:Bow Cliff Seniors, Friends of Bow Cliff, Calgary Seniors

  • birthday lunch for six seniors
  • two hours of in-chair exercise instruction
  • one month of snow removal so a senior can stay in his home

 

Making a donation via Friends of Bow Cliff means we can continue offering great programs for seniors at a cost they can afford. Won’t you join us today?

#2 – Keeping Seniors Active – Friends of Bow Cliff

Reason 2: Bow Cliff Seniors assists seniors who might otherwise be isolated to stay active and socialize.Bow Cliff Seniors, Friends of Bow Cliff, Calgary Seniors

As the number of seniors increase in our society, governments are developing strategies and policies that will best address their needs. In Alberta, the government is committed to aging in place, which encourages the development of programs/services that support seniors to live independently as long as their health and circumstances allow.

Friends of Bow Cliff, Calgary Seniors, Bow Cliff SeniorsSeniors centres, like BCS, are an integral part of aging in place. As a community gathering place, BCS hosts activities that keep seniors engaged on an educational, recreational and/or social level. These include exercise classes, card games, and a weekly luncheon. We charge minamal fees for these activities to allow all seniors, regardless of income, to participate.

In 2011, we’ve added new programs like the Healthy Living Challege, run in conjunction with 11 other locations in the city, and increased our Food Services Program to add more weekly lunches, Themed Dinners and Musical Jams.

Friends of Bow Cliff, Calgary Seniors, Bow Cliff Seniors

Having the support of the Friends of Bow Cliff will help us develop more programs to reach isolated seniors in 2012.

Won’t you join us today?

Friends of Bow Cliff, Calgary Seniors, Bow Cliff Seniors


Music Lovers Find a Home at Bow Cliff

Our member, Roy Hetherington is a very active member, involved in all of the singing groups such as the Harmonica Tableau, the Rhythm Kats, and the Singalong Group.  Watch his interview to see how he got involved, and what he has to say about it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXIbWswj5ds

Interview with June Crowe of the Rhythm Kats:

Six years ago, I started the Rhythm Kats. We are currently holding our own, but as you can see, our numbers are diminishing.  The new 50+ group coming our way are into totally different things.  Both of my groups like to sing and play the songs we grew up with — the “oldie goldies”  as I call them.  I guess I am not into Rock and Roll.

A year ago, I joined the Board of Directors. I had been asked many times before but was too busy with music, family, and so forth.  When I join something, I like to participate 100% and give it my all.  Now with all the changes taking place at the Centre, being on the Board is very exciting and, not to say the least, very challenging!  There are plans for:

A New Parking Lot, I am not going to miss the potholes!

A Brand New Building, Whoopee! A New Kitchen, decent Washrooms and more space. My Sing-along s will be able to move back to the Centre.

The biggest issues I see is changing our focus for the next generation of 50+ coming into the fold.  We need to develop new programs to suit their needs and lifestyles, but also to keep in mind our current members and their needs.  What a great time to be a part of this expansion and change. Go! Bow Cliff! Go!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWkXqulcg3Y

Panache Artists kick off Planning of 13th Annual Art Show and Sale

The Panache Artists are working on their Art Show & Sale coming up  May 6 & 7, 2011.  The Panache Artists Group is a vibrant club of artists who meet every week for classes and painting sessions at Bow Cliff Centre.

Panache Artists preparing for Art Show & Sale May 6 & 7, 2011

Artists preparing for Panache Art Show & Sale

This is the 13th Annual Art Show & Sale.  The 1st Annual Sale was held June 5th, 1999.  Edna Charchuk is the Coordinator of the Art Show & Sale, and thanks to her dedicated committee, plans are underway for another fabulous show which will showcase the work of the Panache Artists.

The Panache Art Show & Sale will showcase 26 artists.  The artists specialize in a variety of media, from water colors to oils, and pastels.  There are some beautiful Panache Artists preparing for Art Show & Sale May 6-7, 2011landscape paintings underway, as well as nature, portraits which may be available for sale.
Our artists will be showcased on the website, coming soon.
See the website for more details on the Panache Artists Show & Sale, and the artists who will be presenting their works.
Beautiful nature pieces painted by the Panache Artists

http://www.panacheartists.orgPanache Artist Show & Sale May 6-7, 2011

Pub Night Kicks off New Event Series Targeting Active Older Adults

Bow Cliff Centre held a Wine & Cheese Social Focus Group on February 28th, with great feedback from attendees.

The group identified two categories: the things that scare us, and the things that we are looking forward to in retirement.

The things that scare us were centred around mobility, loneliness, and access to services. The things we look forward to were around socializing, learning, staying active.

The following video summarizes the need for this Focus Group, and some of the incentives Bow Cliff is initiating to bridge the gap in services for older adults.

We are welcoming all in the 40+ crowd to come out and enjoy our first event: Pub Night, held on March 18th. Tickets are on sale now, see below!

Irish Pub Night  at Bow Cliff Centre Friday, March 18, 2011  608 Poplar Road SW  Cocktails: 6:00pm            Dinner 6:30pm                   Games: 7:30pm  – 9:00pm

Pub Games: Dart Tournament, Poker, Wii Bowling,  plus more games & prizes!     Tickets: $12 Single, $20 Couple    Cash Bar   Limited Tickets, must be purchased in advance! Call 403-246-0390 or email info@bowcliffseniors.org

Alberta Handicrafts Guild Rug Hooking

The Alberta Handicrafts Guild meets at Bow Cliff Centre, and one of the divisions of the Guild is the Rug Hookers. There is an increased interest in Rug Hooking lately and this group has grown.
The skill level to begin is very simple, a few supplies such as scissors, a hook, and some material can get you started, and your only limit is your own creativity. Many of the members create their own designs, but to get started you can use a pattern.

Watch this video to see Cheryl working on a project, and talking about Rug Hooking and the Alberta Handicrafts Guild.

If you are interested in checking it out, come down and talk to the Guild. They meet at Bow Cliff Centre every Tuesday morning and every 2nd and 4th Thursday 6:30 to 9:30pm.

Alberta Handicrafts Guild Keeping the Tradition Alive

What do you imagine when you think of knitting? Do you think of your grandmother sitting in a rocking chair in the winter making a hat or scarf? Well, there are some  members who might fit that scene at the Alberta Handicrafts Guild, but drop by on a Tuesday morning  at Bow Cliff Centre and you see a very different picture. The centre is filled to the brim with  80 women who are laughing, talking, working on their crafts, sharing snacks and stories. These are vibrant, hard working women who are able to use their creativity in such beautiful and practical ways with the crafts they make.

On any given day the Guild meets, you will find women working on knitting, quilting, tatting, or embroidery. We even have some weavers and some hookers… Rug Hookers that is! They make beautiful pieces that are truly works of art! And don’t be surprised to see a group of women talking about a project, and see them taking it apart because they didn’t get it “quite right”. There is a level of pride in their work and a bit of perfectionism in this group of women, I fear.

Women sharing at the Alberta Handicrafts Guild

The members are modern women who have businesses, homes, families, and they fit crafting into their busy lives. To stand in the room and watch them share their skills, their stories and their lives with each other warms the heart. And their commitment to keeping the ancient art of Handicrafts shines through their stories and their conversations. There is an honoring of the traditional, but a beautiful mix of modern and whimsical in their pieces that they see as opportunities to express their creativity.

Alberta Handicrafts Guild, Modern Quilt Style with scanned pictures.

The Alberta Handicrafts Guild members do knitting for charities such as hats & blankets for Preemie babies at the Calgary Children’s Hospital Neo-natal unit, they do Chemo Caps for Cancer patients, wheelchair lap afghans for assisted living centres. And that’s not all the Guild does for charity! The members who do quilting make placemats for Meals on Wheels clients, as well as cosmetics bags for the women at the Calgary YWCA Sheriff King Home, which is a shelter for abused women.

So if you want to try a craft, and don’t know what to make, perhaps you could do some charity knitting or quilting, so your projects can be fun and useful. You will be warmly invited by the members to share in crafts, socializing and fun!

Let’s Think Bigger, or What’s Our Vision for Canada?

There’s been a lot in the media this week about the federal government’s decision to cut the number of family reunification visas that they will be issuing for parents/grandparents from 16,000 to 11,000. Most of the concern seems to be around the cost to Canada as these people age and receive benefits, specifically:
  • CPP: In order to receive benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), a person has to have contributed to the program through payroll taxes. The benefits are calculated based on how long a person has contributed and at what rate, so it is really based on a person’s work experience in Canada. (There are problems with this, of course, such as the role of stay-at-home parents in the system, but that’s for another blog post.)
  • OAS/GIS: Old Age Security (OAS) provides you with a “modest” pension that starts when you turn 65, but you have to live in Canada for 10 years in order to qualify.The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) provides additional income to low income people who already qualify for the OAS (10 years in Canada). The rates for both are dismally low, with a maximum monthly benefit of about $1,200 a month – if you’ve lived in Canada for 40 years after the age of 18. Benefits are reduced for those who’ve lived here less.
  • Other Benefits: There is an Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor for those aged 60-64 whose spouses are collecting or who collected OAS. People receiving this allowance have to be in a low income bracket, have to be a Canadian citizen or legal resident and have to have lived in Canada for 10 years.
Personally, I see this as a bigger story than just numbers (just like I see the secondary suite debate as a bigger debate than parking and neighbourhood density, which is also another blog post). The impact of caring for aging parents on a family is enough of a task; putting legal barriers in the way of family responsibilities just adds to the stress. And it’s not just permanent immigration – trying to bring a family member here for a wedding or celebration has also become an almost impossible task for many immigrants. (If a family member has applied to immigrate, they are not allowed to visit until that claim is dealt with. The current wait for a claim to be resolved is 13 years. What’s happened in the last 13 years that you would have missed?)
As the population of the world ages, this is an issue we’re going to see again and again. As a country, we need to develop better ways of addressing the needs of seniors, their families and the greater communities in which they live.  The debate needs to be bigger than money – it needs to be about values and ethics and how we support each other in creating a better future for all. The vision needs to include how seniors age in community and how we support families as they address the needs of aging parents and grandparents – and it needs to include how we’re going to pay for that support. I’m not immune to the funding debates. I’m just not willing to have them be the only thing guiding my thought process.
(Cross-posted at Witch-Ways, where I’ve been crafting magic on the internet since 1994.)