The Age Friendly GIANTs
The GIANTs are Grand Individuals Aging with Neighbours in Thunder Bay and they want to make aging independently better with the help of friends and neighbours. In 2017, ten strangers came together to learn how to make a digital video story over three days. The Art Gallery exhibit is a result of that gathering and is a legacy to the friendships and the wisdom that was shared about aging at home and in one’s own neighbourhood. Age Friendly GIANTs (Grand Individuals Aging with Neighbours in Thunder Bay) is a celebration of people who are aging together in our city.
The project was funded by the New Horizons for Seniors Program and supported by Age Friendly Thunder Bay and the Lakehead Social Planning Council. The project began with ten volunteers, ranging in age from 58 to 98, who wanted to share their personal stories. The GIANTs movement grew to include community gatherings, as well as the photographs and materials on display at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.
The stories, photographs and quotes have informed, educated, entertained and connected people of all ages. The storytellers and coaches have bonded and former strangers have become a new community of friends. They demonstrated how the process of sharing stories and respecting others as they tell their story can be a powerful means to create community, reduce social isolation and increase self-confidence.
Photographer Melissa Dafoe captured the images of the GIANTs. Her subjects, the original GIANTs are: Nellie Murphy, Jaro Kotalik, John Cosgrove, Brian Spare, Diana Plomp, Raziuddin (Razi) Ahmad, Lynn Strey, Judy Mostow, Sis Angus, and Arlene Vibert.
This exhibit encourages viewers to connect face-to-face with neighbours of all ages. We are all GIANTs.
For more information visit the Age Friendly Giants website.
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