Canadore College has received nearly $2 million dollars in funding through the federal government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.
The funding was applied for through Canadore College’s The Village living, learning centre.
The college will work collaboratively with community organizations and agencies on the Village Collective Impact Project, with a focus on developing services, programs, and activities to encourage social inclusion and healthy living for seniors in northern Ontario.
In making the funding announcement, Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota promised a five-year commitment on behalf of the government.
“The New Horizons Seniors Program call for concepts for pan-Canadian projects was launched last December, aimed at helping seniors stay active, healthy, well informed and fully engaged in all aspects of their lives,” said Rota.
“By 2031 a large part of our population will be seniors. This program allows Canadians to benefit from the knowledge they have accumulated over the years.”
The project will place an emphasis on social engagement for low-income seniors, seniors in rural areas and indigenous seniors.
It will provide over 500 students with opportunities for meaningful relationships with seniors, develop mentorship opportunities, and empathy as growing professionals and a sense of belonging by seniors.
“The second side of this is the research component of how to create a greater wellness environment for our seniors,” stated Canadore College president George Burton.
“This program will be a series of projects working with the community and community organizations. It will engage seniors and we will inject our programs where it is appropriate, where the learning outcomes match the project because we’re not driving this project, it is collaborative. We’re going to sit down with organizations and decide how best to engage seniors.”
With the funding now secured, the next step is to reach out to those community organizations which interact with seniors to work through the agenda.
“The call to partners is broad and wide open. Some of it will be cultural specific, some of it will be more general and we’ll let working groups sort through that over the next little while,” said Burton.
“Let’s bring people who deal with that day to day to tell us how best we can improve it, what gaps we can close with this funding. We will take our learnings and distribute them across the country as part of the pan-Canadian effort we are engaged in.”
Burton says the goal is to ensure that every generation lives life to its fullest potential.