Sneak Preview from Green Thumb Theatre

On October 7 at the Vancouver launch of Teens Gone Wired: Are You Ready? we're privileged to be previewing a segment from Green Thumb Theatre?s new play OUT IN THE OPEN. The play by Dave Deveau explores homophobia, friendship, social pressure, and navigating the complicated truths of teenage relationships. Since 1975, Green Thumb Theatre has been developing original Canadian plays for young audiences, challenging them to re-examine their beliefs and prejudices and to define their feelings and aspirations. My hero, the playwright Morris Panych, says Green Thumb is "less a theatre for young people and more a theatre for formative minds."

This will be a remarkable evening.


WOW - Toronto Book Launch Lifts the Roof


About 100 of us who gathered on Wednesday evening to launch Teens Gone Wired: Are You Ready? were treated to an outstanding performance of  beatboxing and voguing that had us clapping, stomping and cheering. Our photos will give you a sense of the show, but it’s the Youtube video that is in the works that will show you what blew our socks off.  A huge thank you to Arts for Children and Youth who coordinated this amazing event for us, and to the performers who donated their time in support of AFCY. The internationally celebrated beat boxer, Balu, channelled an entire sound effects studio for the audience and the voguers, Sebastio, Andrenne, Matthew and Irvine nailed their performances, even the gravity defying “drops.” A night to remember.


September 30th in Calgary with the Kerby Centre

Lynn Podgurny describes the Kerby Centre as the place to be in Calgary if you’re over 55.  Lynn is Director of Operations and manages an impressive array of active living programs and preventive services to enhance the quality of life for older people. The Centre was founded in 1973 as an organization run by seniors, for seniors. The Board of Directors is comprised of seniors, assisted by fifty staff and over 400 volunteers. I am grateful to the Kerby Centre for hosting two presentations about You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready? on September 30. At 1:30 pm I’ll be speaking at the Kerby Centre in celebration of National Seniors Day, and that evening the Kerby Centre is hosting an evening at the Petroleum Club with appetizers and live jazz. See details below.

Can’t wait! 


Learning from my Role Model

I’m always learning from Gerald Hodge. My first lessons were imbedded in his book The Geography of Aging: Preparing Communities for the Surge in Seniors. Gerald is the former director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Queen’s University and his book lays out a detailed practical plan for designing “Senior-Smart” communities. After reading his book, I think this issue should be understood as a looming national disaster of the kind requiring an Emergency Measures Operation type response, and I would put him in charge.

His recent e-mail included a link to his thoughtful review of Susan Jacoby’s book Never Say Die, which is posted on his daughter’s award-winning blog Gender Focus.

He also had this to say about You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready?

I want to thank you for the tip in your  book about maintaining social contacts in old age. I have made myself a nuisance with my friends by persisting in asking them to come over and have a “conversation”. Well, they do and I so enjoy it. The friends differ and so does the subject matter, from jazz to US politics and local gossip.

Another thing I do, and I think you or your interviewees mention this, is keep involved in my community. I do this by presenting a 2-hour jazz program on our recently-completed community radio station. Jazz is one of the loves of my life; I did a program for ten years at the campus radio station while I was at Queens. The program is on Sunday at four (another one coming up today on jazz before 1940) and I get quite “high” so that Monday is a bust for much serious work.


Summer at the Abbotsford Salon

     I was delighted when Pat Goyeche told me that You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready? will be part of the Abbotsford Salon this summer. Abbotsford is run out of the Glebe Centre in Ottawa and you’ll appreciate the extent of the compliment when you understand Abbotsford goals. Pat is the program facilitator and, as she says, “We try to be the place where those 55+ find a community, self actualize, keep fit, and keep laughing!” This photo of the staff participating in a fund-raiser as the “Fabulous Flapper’s” of the 1920’s is proof that they’re up to the challenge. They run fitness classes, host clubs (mah jongg, snooker), offer workshops (pottery, stained glass) and run a speaker’s program. One project that really speaks to me is “Bees and Bears” where seniors are teaching a group of high school students how to create teddy bears, and the young people are getting some special attention from surrogate grandmas in the bargain. You can find out more on the Glebe Centre website.

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