Creative Age Festival – Musical Exploration

It’s not very often that people get the chance to play handbells or a Djembe (African drum), but at this year’s Creative Age Festival you can try both instruments!

The Handbells Workshop with Wendy Hoskin will cover basic ringing techniques, how to read handbell music, and how to participate in an ensemble. No experience is needed because you’ll be doubling a position with an intermediate ringer as you learn to ring beginning music. Thursday, June 4 from 2 – 4 p.m. Cost: $15.

Handbells at NESA

At the African Drumming Workshop Deborah Bortscher will teach techniques to achieve the three basic sounds on a Djembe – bass, tone and slap. Using your new-found skills you’ll learn to play a drum song from West Africa. Drums are provided or you can bring your own. Saturday, June 6 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Cost: $15.

Register by calling NESA at 780-496-6969. Both workshops are held at North Edmonton Seniors Association (7524 139 Avenue).

Creative Age Festival – Workshops

Not sure if taking a workshop is right for you? Hear what past participants have said.

Never had so much fun singing. (Rock n’ Roll)

Inclusive, safe, explorative! (Acting Shakespeare)

Found parts of my body still work! (Creative Movement)

Photo by Ryan Parker (PK Photography)
Photo by Ryan Parker (PK Photography)

I found that I could participate even with a cane. (Creative Movement)

This was an introduction to new field. The facilitator made it easy to undertake and to achieve success! (Shadow Puppet)

Confidence and wonderment at the scope of Shakespeare in today’s 21st century realities. (Acting Shakespeare)

Photo by Ryan Parker (PK Photography)
Photo by Ryan Parker (PK Photography)

Energizing when I needed it. Facilitators had great rapport with the participants. (Rock n’ Roll)

I really love to do the movements. It’s an exercise that is good for your body, mind, heart and soul. (Creative Movement)

I love the theatre, and talking part in it. Creating a story and acting – it’s a good experience! (Intro to Acting)

Shakespeare is not as intimidating as I expected. (Acting Shakespeare)

Photo by Zvonimir Rac
Photo by Zvonimir Rac

Be sure to register for some workshops at the Creative Age Festival June 4-6.

We have a great variety of arts workshops lined-up including: African Drumming, Watercolour Painting, Acting Shakespeare, Pottery, Performance Storytelling, Handbells, Dance and Physical Storytelling, Musical Improv, and Memoir Writing.

To register call NESA at 780-496-6969.

Arts Extravaganza – Creative Age Festival 2015

CAF Poster

Join us on June 5 for an evening of performances by talented seniors and intergenerational artists. Featuring the Grove City Barbershop Harmony Chorus, Melle Huizinga, the GeriActors & Friends, and more!

The show will take place at the Timms Centre for the Arts (87 Ave & 112 Street). There will be a reception in the lobby to follow and a cash bar available before and after the show.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchase through the North Edmonton Seniors Association (780-496-6969). Tickets will also be available at the door.

Grove City Barbershop Harmony Chorus

“How can you be unhappy when you are singing?”

The Grove City Barbershop Harmony Chorus is made up of around 30 men from all over the Greater Edmonton area. Some drive over an hour to each of their Wednesday night practices.

Coming from all walks of life and virtually all ages, they are all amateur singers who enjoy singing together and sharing their talents. Their chorus has been active for over 20 years and is the only chorus north of Red Deer. They are part of the 23,000 man, worldwide Barbershop Harmony Society.

In addition to their annual shows they also do many singouts around the Edmonton area, including hospitals, nursing homes, and fundraisers for various charities. They compete at least once a year with other barbershop choruses in Alberta.

The Grove City Barbershop Harmony Chorus performs at the Creative Age Festival 2012
The Grove City Barbershop Harmony Chorus performs at the Creative Age Festival 2012

Melle Huizinga

Melle Huizinga immigrated with his family to Canada in 1948. As a child and as a teenager he was determined to be a farmer but fate intervened and he taught school for 40 years instead.

He learned to love teaching and he keeps his hand in by mentoring student teachers at the King’s University and by teaching a creative writing class through the Minerva Institute for senior studies at MacEwan University.

Melle Huizinga loves to tell stories. The story he tells today, from his first year of teaching in a small Ontario town, is titled “Blundering into Small Town Power Structures”.

Melle Huizinga performing at the Edmonton Poetry Festival 2008
Melle Huizinga performing at the Edmonton Poetry Festival 2008

GeriActors & Friends

“It’s like a tapestry, we’re always making collages of our ideas and stories; somehow we are all one.”

The GeriActors & Friends is an intergenerational theatre company based in Edmonton. The GeriActors are seniors from SAGE and the “Friends” are students and alumni from the University of Alberta. They range in age from early twenties to late eighties. The intergenerational nature of the company generates new energy, brilliant ideas, a great sense of fun, and lasting friendships.

They write plays based on stories and issues from their lives. They perform to audiences of seniors and their families, students, health professionals and the general public and they are currently enjoying a very successful Spring Tour of their newest play Washing. Be sure to join them at the Arts Extravaganza to see their play We Decide When inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear.

The GeriActors & Friends perform Felixstowe at the Creative Age Festival 2012.
The GeriActors & Friends perform Felixstowe at the Creative Age Festival 2012.

Creative Age Festival 2015

We are busy with preparations for the Creative Age Festival happening June 4-6 at the North Edmonton Seniors Association and Timms Centre for the Arts.

The Creative Age Festival features performances by seniors and intergenerational artists as well as workshops in a variety of art forms. This year’s festival will have 8 workshops to choose from in music, theatre, creative writing, dance and much more.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the workshops being offered June 4-6…

1) Musical Improv with Grindstone Theatre

Apr 8 (4)

Grindstone Theatre was formed in 2011 by Artistic Director, Byron Martin, to create new late night content at the Varscona Theatre. Grindstone’s flagship show, The 11 O’clock Number! is currently in it’s third season and it continues to attract attention for its unique form of musical comedy entertainment. Aside from it’s weekly show, The 11 O’clock Number! has performed for The Liberal Party of Canada, Fountain Tire/United Way, Edmonton Potterwatch, HSBC, Edmonton Children’s Dance Theatre and many other corporate events. The show has also toured festivals across western Canada and to New York City.

2) Memoir Writing with Shirley Serviss

Apr 8 (5)

Shirley A. Serviss is a long-time participant in Edmonton’s literary scene as a writer and writing instructor. She has published three collections of poetry and co-edited two anthologies. Her poetry and personal essays have appeared in numerous literary magazines and collections. In addition to teaching at MacEwan University and the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension, she has taught at numerous seniors’ centers and for the Edmonton Lifelong Learning Association (ELLA). Shirley also works part-time as the staff literary Artist on the Wards for the Friends of University Hospitals.

3) Performance Storytelling with GeriActors & Friends 

Photo by Eric Kozakiewicz
Photo by Eric Kozakiewicz

The GeriActors & Friends are based at SAGE (Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton) and supported by the Drama Department and Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta.  They perform to the general public, seniors and caregivers. The ‘Friends’ are students and alumni from the University of Alberta. The GeriActors Outreach Program includes workshops for seniors in Comedy Improvisation, Performance Storytelling, Acting, and Creative Movement. They also help to produce the Creative Age Festival and Under One Sky, a theatre project with multicultural immigrant seniors. They believe in the principle of ‘creative aging’, in which seniors become engaged in artistic activity at a level of comparative mastery. This leads to effective artistic expression, a developing sense of community, social and civic engagement, and an overall increase in health and well-being.

Registration opens May 1 – keep your eyes peeled for more information about the Creative Age Festival 2015.

See you at the festival!!!

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