COMMFFEST 2016 Shines light on Seniors

Date: October 27, 2016 Author: ocsco Categories: OCSCO News

COMMFFEST 2016 Shines Light on Seniors
Elizabeth Nykorowytsch Macnab, Executive Director

Under the leadership of early age seniors’ cohort, Sandie de Freita (2nd to right), Toronto played host to COMMFFEST Community Film & Arts Festival from Oct 11- 19, 2016. Toronto is a city of hidden gems, and COMMFFEST is one of its bright jewels. OSSCO participated in this year’s festival with me (2nd left) as a panelist in Social Talks, titled: Bringing Communities Together for Social Empowerment.

The talk took place after the documentary showing of Grey Ambition.  We discussed with documentarian Brandi Yanchik (far right) Ontario’s aging demographics, skill shortages, and global worker mobility which is creating wide scale transformation in how we view and navigate life. I referred to the research which was used for our Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant, Enhancing Economic Opportunities for Older Unemployed Workers.

Canadian television and radio host and Social Talk Moderator Dini Petty felt it was important for us to disclose our age and discuss why we prefer to work with an older community. A lively discussion took place as to when one truly becomes a senior, without conclusion. The audience seemed to agree with my comments that marketing companies define a senior with their “discounts” as well as what a “boomer” is.  The audience cautioned us on the effects of age silos.  Personally I believe there are 4 cohorts that share similar characteristics in this 3rd stage of life: pre-normal age of retirement (55 -64), the early senior (65-74), mid-life senior (75 – 84) and older senior (85+).

Key Reflections explored 3 themes after the documentary:

  • key issues and concerns voiced by aging adults and those who serve them re: transportation, housing, social participation, health, respect and social inclusion.
  • age-friendly communities adapting their structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people and identifying global best practices
  • role of governments, health sector, non-profit, corporations, parents and family in creating inclusive and thriving ageing communities.

Brandi’s documentary is available for sale at She will be skyping into a mini-conference OSSCO is organizing for mid-March 2017 as a follow-up to its
Overcoming Social Isolation: Best Community Practices Forum.