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SENIORS Our Monthly Feature
...For Seniors and about Seniors
Former Art Gallery executive director reflects on time in Yorkton By Tanner Wallace-Scribner Staff Writer For 14 years, until his retirement last year, Don Stein was able to showcase all different art and artists at the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery in Yorkton. Stein, who was born in Edmonton, grew up loving the arts, and that love saw him take many different jobs all across Canada throughout his career. In the 1980s, Stein was freelancing as a musician and composer for theatre and dance. During that time, he would work in Regina as a composer for the New Dance Horizons,
where he helped them with their production management skills. When the 1990s came around, he took a job at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, where he was the Associate Director of Program Planning, a position that led him all over Canada and the world. It was then during the early 2000s that he decided he wanted to be closer to the art. “In the beginning of the early 2000s, I decided I would recommit to working in small arts organizations. Big biocracies are good for jobs, but you are quite far away from the actual hands-on art-making, and that’s the part I loved,” he said. “When I was faced with a career change opportunity, and there was this little cool company in Regina, I decided that I would make the plunge.” Stein would take a job as a manager of a dance company in Regina in 2002. One suggestion later, and it would bring him to Yorkton. “The artboard suggested to the people in Yorkton that they could use my services to help them with incorporating the gallery as a separate entity,” he explained. “Up until that point, the gallery had been operated by the Yorkton Arts Council. I had quite a bit of history working with
Don Stein small arts organizations, and the arts council hired me a consultant to walk them through the stages of incorporating the gallery.” “I remember at the time thinking, ‘Wow, this is a really sweet little gallery,’ and the person who was the director at the time I thought she had a really nice little job. In 2006 when the job came up, I thought Yorkton is a very cool place, so I applied for the job, and I got it.” From there, the rest is history. Stein would spend the next decade, and a half was showcasing all different art and artists, whether they were local or from far away, new or established. “I’ve been here for 14 years; I wasn’t surprised
that I like Yorkton; I was surprised by how much I liked it. It’s very comfortable here. There is enough of everything, you can get all the services and things you need, but at the same time, it’s nice and small, very rural community friendliness. It ended up being super comfortable,” he said. “Plus, the gallery is a very interesting little gallery. It’s a nice size; you can do a lot of experimentation, try out ideas, strong and supportive audience, a lot of appreciation from people for the work we do. I stayed longer than I thought I was going to stay.” During his time here, he said his engagement with the local artists and the local community is what he is the proudest of professionally. “I started at the beginning of 2007, and when I arrived, there wasn’t at the time, a lot of engagement with the local artist community. One of the first things I did was start a local annual artist show. It’s called ‘Landscape and Memory.’ It’s every year in June, and I started that the very first year I arrived,” he noted. “Every year it’s a big celebration. We’ve had 50 or 60 people taken part some years, and I’m
always proud to say people ranging in age from the 7 to 10-year-olds, right up to seniors artists in their 90’s, who all come together, share their work, they celebrate one another’s creativity. I think that’s just a wonderful way to experience and enjoy the kind of creative energy that there is around here.” He continued that one of his big goals was to engage with the community and encourage people to focus on the arts. “I am very pleased about when I look back. A lot of people got solo exhibitions, and sometimes it was new and emerging artists; even more gratifying in some ways was just having the opportunity to do a big retrospective of important community figures. I think a lot of it sort of fed into people realizing there is a willingness and an appetite for the gallery, and it encouraged them to make more and more.” Personally, Stein said that the connections he made with people are what matters most to him.
“That was so significant, and when I think back on my time, of course, you think about the shows that you did or an exhibit, but the part that is really memorable is the family and the community connections,” he said. “Over those 14 years, I got to know multiple generations of their families. They took our after-school programs; they took our evening classes, a lot of kids would go from taking the after-school classes, would take the evening classes. Some of those young people worked at the gallery when they became young adults, several of them I still stay in touch with. That’s why I had so much fun and enjoyment from living here for so long. You feel connected to a community, and that is priceless, and you don’t get that as easily in a bigger centre.” Overall, he said, looking back, it was a dream job for him. “It was very much an ideal creative playground for me. Curating and creating galleries is Continued on Page A13
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Godfrey Dean Gallery Lego Show, 2018.
Godfrey Dean Gallery July 2019.
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REFLECTS Continued from Page A12 very creative. You have to come up with ideas. I start with this idea where you want to create an exhibition, and you’ve got a bunch of stuff, and you have to turn it into a beautiful room with well-presented ideas. It was very much a wonderful creative outlet,” Stein said. “Anything I was interested in, whether it was tea, violins, paint-
ing, sculptures, I could really pursue my own interests, but at the time, I know it was making a contribution to the community.” Since retiring, Stein has decided to have one long staycation in his house, though once the COVID19 pandemic restrictions are lifted, he plans on doing some travelling. “What I would like to say is just my gratitude and thanks to every-
Saskatchewan Craft Council Show.
body in the community. There were so much support and so many people that said really kind things on Facebook,” he said. “Not being able to see people and say thanks to everybody and goodbye, and how much I appreciated. The people here are wonderful, and the gallery was well supported. It was really a terrific experience, the highlight of my career.”
Artist Kenton Doupe 2012.
Drop In Art Program at the Godfrey Dean Gallery.
Hobbies for seniors residing in assisted living communities Assisted living facilities are a vital resource for aging individuals. Assisted living facilities have changed dramatically over the years, making them ideal options for adults who may need varying degrees of help with daily activities. Such facilities can help with activities like bathing and preparing meals, but they also can help residents find and explore new or existing hobbies. As individuals adjust to life in assisted living facilities, finding new hobbies or rediscovering old passions can be a great way to connect with fellow residents. Reading: Reading is a rewarding activity that can greatly benefit seniors and provide an engaging pastime for those with limited mobility. Many assisted living facilities offer activities that are designed to foster communication between residents and a book club can do just that. What’s more, reading every day may be especially valuable for people age 65 and older. A study found that dementia risk was considerably lower among men and women 65 and older who participated in intellectual activities like reading than it was among seniors who did not engage in such pursuits.
be on the dinner table. For example, vitamin D is vital to bone health, which is important for aging men and women who are vulnerable to osteoporosis. A 2014 study from researchers in Italy found that exposure to sunlight can help older adults get adequate amounts of vitamin D. Signing up for a garden-
ing club can be a great way for seniors to get some exercise, enjoy time outside the assisted living facility and promote strong bones. Art therapy: Art therapy is a creative form of therapy designed to help older adults with memory loss or those experiencing mental or
physical stress. Recent research has indicated that engaging in creative activities may be more effective at delaying cognitive decline than merely appreciating creative works. A 2014 study from researchers in Germany found that retirees who painted and sculpted had greater improvements in spatial reasoning and
emotional resilience than a similar group who attended art appreciation classes. Many assisted living facilities offer art therapy or similar programs to residents, and enrolling in such programs can promote social interaction and
provide numerous benefits to men and women over 65. Assisted living facilities offer an array of programs designed to help residents develop rewarding hobbies that can benefit their longterm health.
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How much should you stockpile for an emergency?
When the novel coronavirus COVID-19 was officially proclaimed a pandemic in March 2020, people were urged to stay home and limit their exposure to those outside their households. Understandably, some measure of panic ensued after that proclamation. Fears of lockdowns and an inability to shop for necessities created worldwide shortages of cleaning supplies, meat, canned goods, grains, and paper products like toilet tissue. Shoppers were grabbing what they could when they could, and empty store shelves
were left in the wake of the pandemonium.
Although it’s wise to keep an ample stockpile of foods and other supplies in advance of a weather emergency, it’s important to draw the line between planning proactively and hoarding goods. But what is the right amount to have on hand? Each person should have a cache of supplies that can last up to two weeks. Included in the recommendations are 11/2 gallons of water each day per person. One half-gallon is for drink-
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ing purposes and the remaining gallon is for hygiene should water supplies be interrupted by the emergency. That equates to 84 gallons of water for a family of four, which may not be feasible for many families. One workaround is to fill a bathtub in one bathroom with water to use for hygiene and reserve bottled water for drinking. In regard to food, City Prepping, a popular social media channel for preppers, has created a list of what might be included in a two-week emergency supply. Most of the supplies are nonperishable items. Some options include: · canned soup (20 cans) · powdered milk · cereal (two boxes)
· canned vegetables (20 cans) · peanut butter (two jars) · pasta (20 bags/boxes) · coffee or tea · canned fruit (20 cans) · oatmeal (five pounds) · rice (20 pound bag) · olive oil Individuals who have a chest freezer also may think about purchasing meats/poultry and frozen foods when they are on sale and creating a two-week menu. Invest in foods that are nutritionally dense and easy to prepare. In addition, set aside an area to store other supplies. Sanitation and hygiene items, matches in a waterproof container, extra clothing and blankets, cash, and spe-
cial needs items like prescription medications, contact lens solution and batteries also are good to have on hand. Some items like disinfecting wipes may still be in short supply, so buy them as they become avail-
able. Preparing for an emergency requires having at least a two-week supply of necessary items on hand. Using resources wisely and avoiding hoarding behaviors can help prevent shortages.
Enjoy senior discounts on recreational activities Despite the efforts of Juan Ponce de Leon, there is no magical Fountain of Youth. Getting older is inevitable and it is important to see the silver lining of aging. Among the various perks that come with age, including increased knowledge and experience, are a whole host of discounts for the aging population. Men and women who have reached
a certain age are entitled to key discounts if they know where to look. The ages at which discounts are available vary. Auto insurance companies may provide a senior discount to drivers who are over 50. Certain restaurants offer these discounts for those over the age of 55. Retailers may begin offering discounts to customers who are over the age of 60. Many discounts can be used for recreational activities. · Dining out: Why pay full price for a meal if you don’t have to? A meal out with friends and loved
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ently owned eateries. · Hotels: Seniors booking their stays through select hotel chains may be eligible to reduce their costs by 10 percent or more. When making the reservation, check to see if you qualify for an age-related discount · Theme parks: Before buying entry tickets or season passes, check with the membership office regarding senior discounts. Certain items also may be discounted throughout the parks. · Movies: Movie theaters may offer special viewing days or times that are discounted. · Flights/cruises: Discounted senior fares are available on select flights. Seniors can enjoy discounts on select cruises through Carnival. Rental car companies also offer discounts for senior customers. Recreational activities become a little more affordable when seniors take advantage of agerelated discounts
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