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History

Sharon MacKenzie, Executive Director of i2i Intergenerational SocietyIntergenerational Day was born in 2010, out of the momentum created by World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). The purpose of IG Day, as it is often referred to, is to illustrate and honour the richness of intergenerational partnerships through varied initiatives.

While developing the WEAAD Teen Kit in 2010, Dr. Elizabeth Podnieks  (International Federation on Ageing/ Public Health Agency of Canada) and Sharon MacKenzie (i2i Executive Director) realized that the demands of school year-end limited youth involvement in the event. 

I2i Society of Canada had already witnessed the power of youth participation in building sustainable intergenerational bonds (with the Meadows School Project) and decided to facilitate youth involvement through the creation of Intergenerational Day Canada on June 1st. The date originally served as deadline for projects celebrating the value of intergenerational partnerships. These projects were then shared with the community on June 15th for WEEAD.

Intergenerational bonds, the key to a better health and society?

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I2i’s innovative research -incorporating the Meadows School Project into care facilities and schools in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta- has proven that intergenerational activities improve participants’ sense of well-being, reduce isolation, create a sense of meaningful contribution to the community and are key in the prevention of mistreatments of all ages.

One goal of i2i is to someday see every school curriculum contain at least one opportunity for each student to be involved in a one-on-one contact with an older person. Executive Director Sharon McKenzie sees profound similarities between elders and children, who face identical issues in an increasingly fast-paced and demanding world. I2i believes that these common struggles, once acknowledged, can help create a better understanding and acceptance of each other.

Sharon MacKenzie emphasizes how easy setting up and participating in an intergenerational activity is. It can be something as simple as encouraging children to take part in their grandparents’ book or art club.

On June 1st, some people celebrate inter-generational projects they have been involved in all year, others create an event for the day; some simply see June 1st as a reminder to take a minute to hold the door for an older person or to be kind to someone younger.


Getting started - Intergenerational tools

  • Several government-funded, collaborative and comprehensive resources are available for free at www.intergenerational.ca. These resources contain engagement ideas, initial lessons (e.g. how to communicate), implementation checklists, activity frameworks, and evaluation suggestions to help bridge the generation gap sustainably.

  • Engaging and supporting a larger part of the population to turn ideas into actions remains crucial. In addition to providing online resources, i2i has teamed up with Ryerson University to offer an online mapping tool for gathering information from the public on intergenerational resources and projects across Canada. 

  • Whose Grandma are you? is a one-hour documentary about the Meadows School Intergenerational Immersion Project.

 

I2i Intergenerational Society aims to demonstrate the multiple benefits of bridging generations and to act as a resource hub and advocacy group for intergenerational initiatives across the country. 
Connect with I2i Intergenerational Society:

 

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