Twenty-five pieces of art created by local Vernon students and children are on display at Schubert Centre June 1-6, 2021, as part of the Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Services Society and i2i Intergenerational Society’s celebration of Intergenerational Day Canada. (Contributed)

Twenty-five pieces of art created by local Vernon students and children are on display at Schubert Centre June 1-6, 2021, as part of the Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Services Society and i2i Intergenerational Society’s celebration of Intergenerational Day Canada. (Contributed)

Budding Vernon artists bridge gap with installation for seniors

Students, children tackle topic of isolation, loneliness for Schubert Centre display

A temporary art installation created by budding artists will be on display for seniors in the community for the next week in celebration of Intergenerational Day Canada.

The Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Services Society (VDICSS), in collaboration with i2i Intergenerational Society, asked clients, and students of See You Later Alligator Kid Care Ltd. and Seaton Secondary to tackle a topic the senior population has had to endure this past year with COVID-19 restrictions: the effects of Loneliness and Isolation.

“Intergenerational Day Canada is a day to celebrate the power of intentional and respectful connection between older adults and children and youth,” said Sarah Lauman, board member at i2i. “We understand it has been especially hard for seniors this past year, having to remain in their homes to stay safe and healthy.”

The artwork, VDICSS community connections coordinator Maritza Reilly said, is a way to let seniors know they’re not alone in their feelings of loneliness.

“Kids from our community have also been feeling the same way. And I think people might be surprised with how some of the really young artists, three and four years old, expressed having similar feelings.”

VDICSS was recently awarded more than $19,000 by the federal government’s New Horizon for Seniors Program to organize activities to celebrate diversity in age and culture while closing the gap between seniors and youths through inclusion.

A portion of that grant, with support from local partners who donated signposts, made the installations at Schubert Centre and Heron Grove possible.

“We look forward to seeing seniors educating local youth through their stories and sharing their experiences,” said VDICSS CEO Philipp Gruner. “We hope the youth who participate will leave feeling empowered and encouraged to aim high in their personal and educational pursuits, knowing others before them were successful.”

The artwork will be on display for the public June 1-6 outside the Schubert Centre. An additional display is located at Heron Grove for the residents. The two will be swapped mid-week so the public can enjoy all 25 pieces.

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