The Niagara Age-Friendly Community (AFC) Network officially launched the Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan on June 5, 2015 in conjunction with the celebration of Seniors Month in Ontario. The Seniors Month theme “Vibrant Seniors, Vibrant Communities” resonates throughout the Niagara Plan.
The launch event marked the completion of the Ontario Trillium Foundation funded project to engage the community across Niagara in the development of the Plan. The event also allowed the acknowledgement of the project partners, Rose City Seniors Foundation, City of Welland Seniors Citizens Advisory Council, Niagara Connects, Niagara Region, Niagara College and Brock University, as well as the over 500 people who contributed to the Plan through the steering committee, planning teams, focus group and community forum participants and the provider survey/draft project paper contributors.
Close to 100 people attended the launch, including local elected officials, business and community leaders, and many older adults from across Niagara. Patrick Darte, Lord Mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake, representing Alan Caslin, Chair, Niagara Region, welcomed the enthusiastic participants to the launch, and provided contextual remarks about the importance of collaborative initiatives such as the aging strategy project in community development.
In addition, Dr. David Siegel, Professor, Political Science, Brock University, Doug Rapelje, City of Welland Seniors Citizens Advisory Committee and David Sheridan, Project Coordinator, from Shercon Associates Inc. imparted some of the key messages of the day:
- Based on Niagara’s aging demographics, it is important to seize the opportunity for economic benefits that come with being an age-friendly community
- Niagara’ municipalities can benefit from replicating municipally supported seniors advisory or age-friendly committees as successfully developed in Welland and Pelham
- Through the project, participants from across Niagara have identified key aging strategies and outlined the proposed action plans and next steps for potential partners to pursue
The following documents, made available on the Niagara Knowledge Exchange following the Launch, provide the foundation for the Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan:
- Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan – Summary Booklet
- Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan – Full Project Report
- Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan – Implementation Template
- Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan – Tool Kit
- Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan – various working and background papers
- Further information on the Niagara Age Friendly Community Network
- Your name to be added to the distribution list for AFC updates provided by the Network
- To request a presentation on the Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan made by one of the Network’s volunteers
- To offer to be a champion for one of the Plan’s five major goals, or be a partner in helping move forward on one of the 100+ action steps
- To suggest some funding sources to support the Network in expediting the implementation of the plan
We look forward to working with everyone across Niagara on making Niagara “a community for all ages” and continuing to live the theme of “Vibrant Seniors…..Vibrant Communities”.
Cathy Fusco and Dominic Ventresca, Co-chairs
Niagara Age-Friendly Community Network