Engaging Conversations Conference

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MAY 8, 2017

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Meaford Museum is hosting a conference aimed at empowering Arts and Culture organizations to plan and implement programming for individuals with cognitive challenges on Monday May 8, 2017 at Meaford Hall Arts & Cultural Center. 

This conference will present opportunities for community partnerships and programming.  

Audience: Museums, Art Galleries, Arts and Culture Organizations, Long Term Care, Day Away programs, organizations working with individuals with cognitive challenges, Community Living and  anyone in arts and culture environment - art, dance, music, history who would like to make their programs more inclusive.

Confirmed Sessions:


Belinda Deenik (Facile Perth)

Belinda Deenik is the Manager of Facile Grey/Bruce and a Life Coach. This interactive workshop will explore ways to build a meaningful life through community, citizenship and shared gifts. Individuals and family members will share their personal experience to deepen the learning.


Tomas Hanson (Brockville General Hospital) and Amy Mackie (Brockville Museum)

This workshop will focus on the unique 30-year partnership between a community museum, a hospital and a service club. The Artifact Therapy program began as a one-on-one hands-on program by Brockville Museum staff & volunteers for 5 patients. Originally, developed as a way for dementia patients to interact as well as rediscover our community’s history, the audience has changed and expanded over the years. Join Tomas Hanson (Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Brockville General Hospital) one of the founders of the program along with current presenter, Amy Mackie (Interpretation & Public Program Coordinator, Brockville Museum) to explore how our program brings history to life for those with dementia, other hospital patients and seniors. The presenters will delve into the history of the program, its benefits (both for the museum and the patients) and things to consider before running a similar program. We will also discuss how this program has adapted to the changing climate within our local hospital and how it is used in other facilities. A sample version of a program will be offered along with a chance to ask questions from both a museum and medical point of view.


Louise Stewart-Potts (MOVE FREE)

Louise is the founder of MOVE FREE, a dance class for those with Parkinson's disease, MS, Stroke and other movement disorders. This class explores your imagination, renews strength, energy, confidence and builds community.  Join Louise in a hands on demonstration of the class. She began her dance journey at age 5 and has trained in many dance styles.  Louise is a certified Dance It Out instructor. She has completed the Dance for Parkinson's Training through The National Ballet School of Canada and the Mark Morris Dance Center, New York City.


Jillian Passmore (Oshawa Museum)

Since 2014, the Oshawa Museum has provided the residents of Cedarcroft Place Retirement Residence with something to look forward to each month. What began as sporadic visits in 2010, turned into a monthly lecture series over the last three years. In discussing various aspects of the history of Oshawa, we provide an outlet for the residents to reminisce, and they in turn provide the Museum and Archives with oral histories that may otherwise be lost to time. There are many challenges that come with this – but lecture topic scheduling has been the most important for assisting the residents with recollection. Within my presentation, I will expand on the project and share some of the gems that have come out of my relationship with my friends at Cedarcroft.


Michael Van Huisseling (The Joseph Schneider Haus Museum) & Sue Cressman (Sunnyside) and panel.

The Joseph Schneider Haus Museum in Kitchener Ontario is a living history site that is owned and operated by the Region of Waterloo. Since opening in the early 1980’s the museum has offered a wide variety of public programming with a focus on the Mennonite community that established themselves in the area in the early 1800’s. In June of 2016 the museum, in partnership with Seniors’ Services, Region of Waterloo, received grant funding from the Ontario Senior Secretariat to provide a new program called Sharing Stories Around the Fire. Through visits to the museum and outreach to day-program sites, this program provided seniors living with memory loss opportunity to take part in hands-on sensory stimulating activities and reminiscing conversations.


Carol McCurdy (Alzheimer Society of Grey Bruce)

Minds in Motion ® is a community-based social program that incorporates physical and mental stimulation for people with early to mid-stage signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias and their care partners. The Alzheimer Society Grey Bruce has been running this program for the last 3 years with expanding locations and numbers. Carol McCurdy, our Minds in Motion® Coordinator will discuss program content and the importance of activities as part of overall health and wellness for participants. She will share what participants are saying about the program, what are the inspiring benefits and how we have used feedback from our clients to enhance the program.




Contact Us

Jody Seeley, Meaford Museum:
Email: jseeley@meaford.ca
hone: 519-538-5974


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