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By Sharon McKenzie, Executive Director of I2i Intergenerational Society


WHAT IS INTERGENERATIONAL DAY?

Intergenerational Day was initiated in 2010 by i2i Society and 5 student groups from Newfoundland, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba & British Columbia, with the financial support of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Intergenerational Day was born in 2010, out of the momentum created by World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Isolation and loneliness are the two leading causes of poor health in Canada for older adults and for young people alike. For seniors, social isolation is also a major risk factor for elder abuse and neglect. The purpose of IG Day, as it is often referred to, is to illustrate and honour the richness of intergenerational partnerships through varied initiatives and to encourage connections and understanding between age groups, as a prevention approach and a way to encourage all-ages-friendly communities.
To date, 12 provinces and territories and over 100 cities have officially recognized the day with 3 provinces (ON, MB, NB) and the Toronto District School Board proclaiming it by law, in-perpetuity. This year, larger celebrations are taking place at a city-wide level in Toronto, Calgary, and Ottawa.

i2i Intergenerational Society is a volunteer not-for-profit organization that assists individuals and organizations in pursuing respectful and purposeful Intergenerational connections through innovative initiatives and helps share promising intergenerational practice in Canada. A decade of practice with the Meadows School Project (between 2000 and 2010) is the research that informed our purpose. 

HOW TO CELEBRATE THE DAY
There is no one way to celebrate. Over the years, we have seen activities ranging from community celebrations to readings in Legislature; rural organizations connecting generations with farming tools and practice; picnics and more! IG Day can be marked by everyone. People are acknowledging Intergenerational day and highlighting its purpose through real-life activities and social media campaigns, with photo ops, on blogs or in schools. Look for listing on local event calendars, and in newsletters of national organizations. There are many ways to celebrate on June 1st. Your event doesn't have to be on June 1st, you can make it a week-long affair. To inspire you we have gathered a few tips and resources below:

RESOURCES
- A brand new website to help you organize and share your IG activities in the Ottawa region has officially launched. Visit www.iGenottawa.ca today!
- Intergenerational toolkits: New Brunswick, BC, and Edmonton, Alberta have created Intergenerational Toolkits, all of them can be found on the home page of www.intergenerational.ca
- Other organizations, listed below, will offer you support and will help promote your events. Feel free to send them your event announcements, updates and photos

In 2020, we will celebrate the 10th year anniversary of Intergenerational Day! We are already working on some special projects and surprises. Stay in touch with us to learn more as plan our celebrations!

IN CONCLUSION:
Social + emotional intergenerational connection = All-Age Friendly Community and safety!
It is our sincere hope that you will take advantage of this day to share the bounty of your Intergenerational success.