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Ages and Stages in Canada
The Ages & Stages research team have returned from Canada where Professor Miriam Bernard, Project Leader and Director of Keele's Centre for Social Gerontology, together with Jill Rezzano, Head of Education at the New Vic Theatre and Research Associate, Jackie Reynolds, attended the annual 'Creative Age Festival', participated in FEST (the Festival of Seniors Theatre) and held research meetings with their partner project at the University of Alberta. Whilst there, the team took part in workshops (performance storytelling, creative movement and comedy improv); attended an art show, theatre performances and musical events; and participated in an arts café, an evening of seniors' theatre and the concluding symposium. The team are pictured at the VIP reception for the Creative Age Festival where they were introduced to Mayor Stephen Mandel (third from right).
They also met with key members of Creative Age Edmonton, to learn about the development of the Festival which is now in its seventh year, and in preparation for a scoping meeting for a similar event here in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. Over 20 organisations (including the local authorities; the NHS; arts and older people's organisations; and both Keele and Staffs Universities) were represented at a two-hour workshop held at the New Vic Theatre on July 9 to discuss the potential benefits of such a Festival; what the barriers might be; and considered what resources could be drawn upon and who might be involved. All participants enthusiastically endorsed the idea of having a local Creative Age Festival and the team will be progressing the idea over the coming months.