Art for Social Change: WEAAD event on June 9


To mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, elders make waves towards an age friendly city.

On Thursday June 9th, Montreal-based groups RECAA, Union United Church and Le Groupe Herencias/Encounters project will join forces with their partners to bring community awareness to the importance of an age friendly city in preventing elder abuse. Starting at 11 am, local groups, including mostly seniors, will meet at the Lionel-Groulx metro and march to the Union United Church. Once at the church, lunch will be served. There will be speeches and more arts-based interventions. The purpose of the day’s activities is to engage the public with work that is being done by local groups to prevent elder abuse. Under the banner of “Elders Make Waves towards an Age Friendly City”, the groups have been focusing on issues of accessible transportation, social inclusion, and health and social services. This event is being held in anticipation of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), which happens annually on June 15th. Media and the public are invited to join.

Date of Event: Thursday, June 9 (11am to 3pm)

Location of Event: Lionel-Groulx metro (at 11am) and the Union United Church, 3007 Delisle Street (12pm-3pm)

RECAA receives funding for Food Forums project


We are pleased to announce that RECAA (Respecting Elders, Communities Against Abuse) has received funding from New Horizons Seniors for an exciting new project called “Food Forums: Recipes for Interaction, Inclusion and Social Engagement.” Over the next year, members of RECAA will cook, take photos, write blog posts, record stories, host meals, and create recipe cards as they work together to counter elder abuse and isolation.

The project will include, in part, the creation of a food blog that intends to foster conversation, participation, and inclusion among the group and within the community. Ultimately, RECAA’s goal is to include elders’ voices in a primarily youth-dominated, foodie culture that has taken the Internet and social media by storm in recent years. Restaurant Day, which has been growing in popularity every year, is noticeably attended by younger people. Members of RECAA want to change that. They plan to host an elders’ led “restaurant” for Montreal’s Restaurant Day in August. By including elders’ voices in a youth-dominated foodie culture, RECAA hopes to continue to build intergenerational relationships and diversify dialogues around food, meal sharing, and inclusivity.

RECAA’s inspiration for writing this grant application emerged for two reasons. First, the group was looking to diversify their communication approach. After twelve years of using Forum Theatre as their primary mode of expression, members of RECAA were looking for new modes of expression, new strategies for community engagement, and different approaches to public outreach. Second, RECAA realized that their close-knit group dynamic has emerged through years of sharing ideas and stories during lunch breaks. Great things have happened around the table. These informal, meal time conversations tightened their friendships and sparked creative inspiration. For RECAA, formalizing the meals and sharing their knowledge through digital platforms seemed like a step in a refreshing but familiar direction. The Food Forum project will allow RECAA to explore creative new approaches to bringing awareness to elder abuse and mistreatment.

ACT-affiliated students will have the chance to be involved in the digital aspects of this project as well. Students will provide digital media workshops to RECAA members and will contribute to training members in photography, audio recording, and blog writing. ACT students will also have the opportunity to learn new recipes and cooking skills from members of RECAA.

RECAA is an important community partner of ACT. As an organization, RECAA has been talking with communities about forms of elder mistreatment for over twelve years. Members of RECAA come from diverse backgrounds and reflect the ethnocultural and multilingual diversity of Montreal. Members are of South Asian, Caribbean, European, South East Asian, African, Canadian, and Latin descent. RECAA uses theatre, specifically, Forum Theatre, as a medium to address themes of neglect, disrespect, and isolation. Members of RECAA have worked with ACT students in the past and this new project will present exciting new opportunities for more intergenerational exchanges.


Call for student applications: GUSEGG

ACT is co-sponsoring a module on ageing, this time titled Aging, Communication, Technologies, and will fund up to five graduate students to attend the school. This year, ACT researchers Stephen Katz, Line Grenier and Kim Sawchuk will teach at the school. You can learn more about the GUSEGG here. More information about ACT’s involvement in the school from last year (including a great video “trailer” produced during the last summer school) can be found here.

Interested students need to apply to ACT (not GUSEGG). The deadline for this application is  March 31, 2016. If you’re interested in applying, contact for more information.



Moving Pictures: The Atwater Library + ACT + Nuit Blanche on Sat. Feb 27th

We know libraries are packed full of fascinating stories but these stories are usually found in books that sit silently on shelves. This weekend will be a little different because the walls and windows of the Atwater Library are about to come alive with video footage from local Montreal residents.

In preparation for Nuit Blanche (part of Montréal en lumière festival), the Atwater Library’s Digital Literacy Project has worked together with older Montreal residents to digitize Super 8, 16 mm, and 8 mm home movie reels. Not only have the older adults involved contributed to the digitization and editing process of their home movies, they’ve created soundtracks to accompany the projections.

From 5:00 pm – 1:00 am on Saturday, February 27th, viewers will be immersed in movies from the 1940s through to the 1970s as the stories and sounds of Montreal residents dance on the walls and windows of the Atwater Library’s 188-year-old heritage building.

Join us at Moving Pictures: Moving Histories Out of the Attic and Into the Public as we share stories from times and technologies of the past at the Atwater Library (1200 Atwater Avenue; metro: Atwater).

The Atwater Library is a partner of Concordia’s ACT (Ageing + Communication + Technologies) Project and this project is specifically connected to the Older Adults Music Making Club. The project has gained additional support from New Horizons for Seniors.

If you’re interested in checking out a similar, older project, have a look at Memoryspace. This was a project that we worked on with the Atwater Library in 2012.

1200 Atwater Ave 

Metro: Atwater

Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews on Cultural Representations of Widowhood

ACT is pleased to host Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews, Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia and former Director of the CIHR Institute of Aging. Dr. Martin-Matthews will present her talk “Cultural Representations of Widowhood: Insights from Social Media”.
Dr. Martin Matthews will discuss her current research on cultural representations of widowhood in later life, first considering ‘ways of knowing’ about widowhood in more traditional research literatures. Representations of widowhood in social media, in contrast, (appear to) place more emphasis on widowhood that is off-time, dis-enfranchised, and associated with a foregrounding of a declared status. Blogs, Instagram and Reddit AMAs also imply both empowerment and challenging of stereotypes, but suggest less reliable sources of the account.
Wednesday, February 24 at 10am
Samuel Bronfman Building (SB) (1590 Docteur Penfield, corner of Côte-des-neiges)
Room 407

Extended deadline: Music, Ageing, Technology Symposium (Joensuu, Finland, May 11-13 2016)

It’s not too late to apply! The deadline for the Music, Ageing, Technology Symposium at the University of Eastern Finland has been extended to February 29th, 2016.

In May 2016, the University of Eastern Finland, the Finnish Society for Ethnosicology, and Concordia’s  Ageing, Communication, Technologies project (ACT), will bring together researchers from music studies and various other disciplines in order to discuss music in relation to ageing and technology. The  Music, Ageing, Technology Symposium will be held in the Joensuu campus of the University of Eastern Finland, from May 11th to 13th, 2016.

Participants of the symposium will look at all genres of music and ageing, often in the context of modern communication technology. The symposium hopes to offer multilayered and critical perspectives on the crosscuttings of digital technologies and ageing in relation to music studies and to explore how these approaches relate to other research traditions. The theme is closely linked to the University of  Eastern Finland’s current research orientations surrounding human sciences and technology. 

Possible topics for proposals include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

· Music, musicians, and everyday ageing
· Theoretical and methodological ear points on research into music, ageing, technology
· Music genres and ageing
· Perspectives on historical research on ageing and music
· Sounds of generations and musical heritage
· Music, soundscape, memory
· Age, technology and music education
· Well-being, age, and music
· Other themes from all fields of music research

Organisers invite potential participants to submit  proposals for oral presentations (maximum length 20 minutes), panel sessions, and poster presentations. Proposals can be strictly or indirectly related to the theme of the symposium. It is also possible to propose presentations that are entirely outside the theme. Presentations can be given in Finnish, Swedish or English.

Abstracts for the symposium should be submitted by February 29, 2016 using the online submission system. All accepted abstracts will be announced on March 21, 2016.

The online submission system and the web page of the symposium can be found at 

Ageing & Intervention in Wikipedia: A Virtual Summit

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On February 8th, Maude Gauthier and Shannon Hebblethwaite will host a virtual summit that aims to widen the scope of the discourses circulating in Wikipedia. On February 26th, Maude Gauthier will host a second virtual summit. These summits will equip ACT researchers with the strategies and tools needed for effectively editing Wikipedia pages. A key objective of the virtual summits is to encourage researchers, especially those who are not English or French speakers, to explore the state of Wikipedia in their own language with the long-term hope of fostering an international discussion on ageing and Wikipedia.
Each summit will take the form of a 4-hour workshop, monitored by our team in Montreal. ACT affiliated researchers from Graz, the University and Toronto, and Brunel University will participate in these virtual workshops.

If you’d like to learn more, contact Maude Gauthier (