Making Connections project successfully completed
The Making Connections (MC) project, a 2020 PAL (55+) initiative, funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors, had a very successful 2020. In spite of the challenges of a global pandemic, the project was completed on time, and under budget.
In late 2019 and early 2020, the MC project team was busy making plans for the rest of the year, including celebrating Manitoba’s 150th anniversary. Within a couple of short months into 2020, the world as we knew it changed, as did the project plans for the rest of the year.
Not to let a pandemic stand in the way of building and promoting partnerships with other ethnic groups, the MC project team pivoted (to overuse an oft-used 2020 phrase) and identified a number of new tasks to help fulfill the project goals.
Highlights of some tasks include the following: translating the PAL (55+) general brochure into 5 languages; offering gift cards to locally owned ethnic restaurants for new and returning members; and offering a series of lectures and presentations on various themes of diversity and inclusion.
The project Co-Chairs, Dr. Sandra Sukhan and Mr. Bill Ghostkeeper would like to thank the small (9), but very dedicated group of volunteers who spent more than 800 hours on the project. The committee hopes that the work started on this project will continue to be foundational in making PAL (55+) a welcoming place for all, especially as we look forward to moving into a new home in the near future.
See the full report below.
PAL (55+) received a grant from the Government of Canada, New Horizons for Seniors Department, to implement the Making Connections project in 2020. The project is designed to help PAL (55+) become more inclusive and representative of the community it serves, and will have two distinct streams: fulfilling PAL (55+)’s commitment to the Indigenous Accord, and collaborating with ethno-cultural groups within its geographic area.
- increase the capacity of PAL (55+) to be welcoming to older adults of varying cultures
- participate in activities which support Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous communities
- intercultural awareness, and promote understanding of varying cultures
- provide new opportunities for programming and community outreach
- train volunteers to be leaders and ambassadors in the community by developing a new model of community outreach.
Our plans include:
- collaborating with ethnocultural communities
- visiting Indigenous and other cultural venues
- hosting thematic lectures on diversity, inclusion and reconciliation
- co-hosting an ethno-cultural event
- translating PAL (55+) promotional material which reflective languages spoken in the catchment area
To see past presentations, please visit PAL’s YouTube Channel by clicking this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/lannylanful/videos
St. Norbert World War I Cenotaph
The Cenotaph is a limestone monument in St. Norbert, which honours thirteen fallen World War I soldiers who had lived their young lives in the St. Norbert area. It is located in the St. Norbert Catholic cemetery on Rue Ste. Therese Street.
In 2011, members of the Pembina Active Living (55+) walking group noticed the neglected grounds around the Cenotaph. Members of PAL (55+)’s Still Bloomin’ Gardening club have since transformed the grounds with their hard work, enthusiasm and donation of perennials, hostas, cedars and annuals. This group watered the flowers during the hot summer, watched the flowers bloom and raked leaves in autumn. As the result of their interest and nurturing, the Cenotaph has become a very beautiful place to honour our veterans and those who gave their lives. Many in the neighborhood admire and appreciate their efforts.
Kings Park Gardens
In the Spring of 2010, Marion and Bill Goodwin had a vision of rejuvenating the flower gardens in King’s Park. Neglected for more than a decade, the waterfall garden and the rose garden were dry, weed choked, and a shadow of their formal glory. The Goodwins, both members of PAL’s Still Bloomin’ Gardening Club, approached the park officials and asked for permission for the Garden Club to plant some flowers in the park. The park staff were thrilled with the idea and volunteered to pay for the bedding plants.
A dozen willing volunteers began work in earnest to rid the overgrown areas of the many dandelions, thistles, grass and chickweed that had taken over the plots. In the Spring of 2010, the Still Bloomin’ volunteers planted 36 dozen annuals at the waterfall and 2 dozen hostas in the old rose garden. Since then, every spring, summer and fall, Still Bloomin’ members have volunteered to maintain these two beds. With the assistance of the park staff, the Still Bloomin’ Gardening Club has brought a spot of colour and life back to King’s Park. Many favourable comments from park visitors attest to the success of one couple’s dream.
Intergenerational Sing-along in collaboration with the Boys & Girls Club of Winnipeg, Dalhousie Club
In 2011, with the support of an Intergenerational Grant from the Manitoba Association of Senior Centres (MASC), Pembina Active Living (55+) entered into partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, Dalhousie Club, to develop an intergenerational program for the children and seniors of Fort Richmond. The Intergenerational Sing- Along attracted 10-12 participants each week, with an equal representation between the generations. A local singer-songwriter was engaged to lead the group in a one-hour sing-along, held at the Dalhousie School theatre each week for a month. Requests for songs were accepted by the facilitator and participants learned songs from all eras. All participants really enjoyed sharing in the music of each others’ generations.