Pemberton Valley residents in their golden years will soon have even more recreational opportunities close to home through a new art program funded by the province.
The Seniors Interacting Through Art initiative will launch in 2014 after it was announced earlier this month that the Village of Pemberton and Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Area C were selected to receive a $20,000 Age-Friendly Community Project grant from the B.C. government.
“Seniors Interacting Through Art will bring seniors from Pemberton, Area C of the SLRD and Mount Currie together to explore opportunities in a friendly and safe environment,” said a press release issued Friday (Dec. 13). The Pemberton-Area C joint recreation service will develop the details of the program, which is scheduled to run from April to November.
“This successful funding application was the direct result of two local governments working cooperatively for the benefit of the entire community,” said Area C director Susie Gimse in the release. “We thank the Village of Pemberton council and staff for supporting this important initiative, which will help to build inclusivity and the climate of respect for area seniors.”
The Pemberton Valley was one of 26 communities across the province receiving one of the Age-Friendly B.C. grants, which are administered by the Ministry of Health and the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
“Families, including infants and youth through to adults and seniors are the cornerstone of this community,” said Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy, also MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, in the release. “We’re delighted that through this collaboration we’ll be able to create and increase programming that will help to ensure our seniors are supported to live active, socially engaged and independent lives.”
The programming developed through the grant will be hosted at the Pemberton Community Centre and Ull’us Community Complex in Mount Currie. Drawing, painting, pottery, photography, drama, drum-making, basket-weaving and beading are expected to be among some of the activities offered through the initiative.
The Pemberton Valley Seniors Society wrote a letter of support for the grant application. Secretary Christine Timm said the society was eager to get behind a project that would bring more cultural programming to area seniors.
“We have a strong feeling that we want to encourage a variety of activities that appeal to a variety of ages,” said Timm. “We’ve got a lot of activities that are physical, actually, and it’s time to look for more cultural things to do.”
Seniors’ gatherings in the Pemberton area have been extremely well attended recently, with several dozen local residents coming out to monthly potluck dinners at the Royal Canadian Legion and other similar events. That leads the Seniors Society to believe this new art project will be a success as well.
“Our membership’s up to 114,” said Timm, who said that number has grown since seniors’ housing was established in Pemberton. “It’s a thriving community, that’s for sure.”