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United’s partnership with the THIRD ACTion Film Festival fits perfectly with United’s focus on eliminating ageism and promoting positive, creative aging. Residents were treated this week to a sneak peek at two films that are part of the festival.

The THIRD ACTion Film Festival in Calgary is to be held this year online October 23 to 25. It celebrates aging and older adults, with the goal of establishing a culture shift in the way we view older adults. Part of that work brought the two festival films into United’s two communities.

A photo from the film, "All the Time in the World"

A photo from the film, “All the Time in the World”

A photo from the film, "The Passage"

A photo from the film, “The Passage”

All the Time in the World  is a short Italian film that focuses on love and resiliency, and The Passage is an American film shot in Canada about a canoe trip up the Inside Passage on the West Coast that says it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. “Ageism is so engrained in our society. It is subtle but so pervasive in all age groups. It even affects how older adults see themselves and their place in society. The films in the festival aim to bring attention to that, but also speak to the positive aspects of aging,” said Mitzi Murray, executive director.

Mitzi Murray, executive director, THIRD ACTion Film Festival

Mitzi Murray, executive director, THIRD ACTion Film Festival

Mitzi noted that ageism is becoming better understood, but it’s a slow process. “The portrayal of older adults in our society is predominantly negative and leaves the impression that they aren’t important. We’re working with United and other older adult communities to change that.” Films at the festival cover a wide range of topics including dementia and caregiving, death and grieving, and positive aging themes.

“Like everyone else, we are adapting and finding a new way of doing everything,” said Mitzi. “We really appreciate the patience the residents had during the screenings on our new online software as we had some technical issues. We are looking forward to returning to show new films after the festival and of being issue-free on the tech end.”

United’s residents at the film screening were impressed with the two films. “I really enjoyed both films,” said Yvonne Ackerman. “The Italian film was a love story about two people with dementia. It was very well done. The second film reminded me of a trip I made with a friend about three years ago to the Haida Gwaii, and we travelled up the Inside Passage. I felt the bonding between the young and old. The film reminded me of how beautiful our country is. It really tore at my heart when the film made a point of how important companionships are, and how a long journey gives us time to get to know each other and experience new things.”

“The power of storytelling is huge and can build empathy and bring about change,” said Mitzi. “We need people to see that the ‘third act’ of life is full of possibility and that adventures can happen at every stage in life.”

The online presentation included prerecorded introductions by the films’ producers and used a software program that allowed interaction between Mitzi and the residents that encouraged discussion around the topics presented in the films.

“Ageism is a topic that spans the generations. Baby boomers, who are now entering their third act, have been agents of change in our society since they came of age. They are now experiencing ageism and they don’t like it. We want the festival to accelerate that change,” said Mitzi.

United’s programming encourages  creativity and often brings generations together. United has a unique student-in-resident program that brings university students into the United communities to live and work alongside the residents, and programs that promote storytelling. Check out United’s videos on positive aging and creativity on our YouTube channel.

Photos by THIRD ACTion Film Festival. Video by Sherana Productions.

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Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

The restrictions on visiting mean that tours aren’t available right now, but don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once we are able to do so. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

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Ellenore and Ross Campbell in their suite at Fish Creek West

Ellenore and Ross Campbell in their suite at Fish Creek West

Ellenore and Ross Campbell moved into United’s Fish Creek community two years ago, and haven’t looked back. Both are enjoying their decision to live in their independent suite at Fish Creek West, while enjoying the programs and social side of living in an older adult community. Ellenore will be speaking on behalf of United’s residents at Mount Royal Conservatory’s Sounds of the Season concert this weekend, which United sponsors.

Sounds of the Season is Mount Royal Conservatory’s annual salute to the festive season, featuring the work of the MRU Conservatory choral ensembles with the Calgary Youth Orchestra, Mount Royal Kantorei, Artio and Zhi-Yin choirs.

In her welcome remarks, Ellenore thanks Mount Royal for its partnership and all of the programs and benefits it brings: “Thanks to the partnership United Active Living has with Mount Royal University we have had the opportunity to explore and enjoy new and different experiences. And we love to come to this wonderful hall [Bella Concert Hall] especially for Sounds of the Season, to listen to singers and musicians who not only entertain but also remind us how much life can be enriched through music.”

The partnership with United brings young and talented musicians from the Conservatory and professors such as political science professor Duane Bratt and pianist Charles Foreman to both United communities, and provides opportunities for residents to attend concerts.

Ellenore enjoys at art project in the art studio

Ellenore enjoys at art project in the art studio

“What really attracted us was the ability to live completely independently while taking advantage of the programs at United,” said Ellenore. “The idea of independent living in a retirement community was a concept new to us and we decided it was time to take on this lifestyle.  We are happy here; we take advantage of the many activities and entertainment offered so we are busy and stimulated. We can attend professional concerts, and often, those same musicians and gifted students come to our community to perform. That’s a real benefit for the residents who are less mobile. We really enjoy the concerts and art programs United has. And the staff are terrific. Really wonderful group of people.”

Read about Ross and Ellenore’s decision to move to United’s Fish Creek community here.

 

Photos by Sherana Productions, United Active Living
Video by Sherana Productions

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Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

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Residents Claire Weir, left, and Libby Roth

Residents Claire Weir, left, and Libby Roth

Residents Claire Weir and Libby Roth love opera. So when United’s partnership with Calgary Opera brought in six of  the opera’s best new artists, they were thrilled.

“I’m just new at Fish Creek,” said Libby. “When I came into the theatre I didn’t expect it to be a live performance. They were actually here performing! Unbelievable!”

United partners with about a dozen arts and cultural groups within the city to give residents in both Fish Creek and Garrison Green communities the best in musical, art and contemporary lectures. Often, residents will go out to performances, but many times the performers come to the communities for residents who might not be able to go out as often.

Scott Rumble singing with Kallie Clayton. Mel Kirby is at the Piano

Scott Rumble singing with Kallie Clayton. Mel Kirby is at the Piano

Performer Scott Rumble from Woodstock, Ontario is one of the emerging artists performing today. “The Emerging Artists program is a bridge between student and professional. We get small roles in the bigger, mainstage productions, but we also get to perform in smaller, more intimate settings like this one, which really connects us to the audience.”

The artists were chosen from across Canada through a series of auditions, said Mel Kirby, the manager of the Emerging Artists program, who also supported the singers on piano. “Auditions were held in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, and I have to say this year we have an amazing group. Their maturity level – not just their ages, but their abilities, their performance backgrounds – is really great. We look forward to working with them in their own production of Beatrice and Benedict by French composer Hector Berlioz in March, which is based on the Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing.

“I attended opera when I lived in Hawaii for 20 years,” said resident Claire Weir. “This is fabulous. We’re so lucky! What really impressed me was how they could slip into the character they were portraying so easily. We were right there. They were so close to us!”

Libby and her husband travelled extensively and attended opera in Europe and had season’s tickets to Calgary Opera for 25 years. “The singers really gave us the story in their voices, and you could hear the feeling,” said Libby.

“I’ve only been here a few months, but this was the best concert I’ve been to. It was awesome.”

Ask us about our short-term respite stays and other short-stay options.

Photos and video by Sherana Productions

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Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

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Actors Daniel Fong and Katharine Zaborsky ham it up during the performance

Actors Daniel Fong and Katharine Zaborsky ham it up during the performance

United Active Living’s partnership with Lunchbox Theatre brought the travelling production of Gutenberg! The Musical! into United’s Fish Creek community last week, complete with set pieces and costumes. The result was a light-hearted musical production that brought smiles and laughter from the appreciative residents who packed Fish Creek’s theatre.

“A big thumbs up from me!” said resident Bob Wharton “I really enjoyed it.”

“These were two very talented actors,” said Ross Campbell. “It was an amazing performance.”

The actors, Katharine Zaborsky and Daniel Fong played 19 characters during the hour-long performance, supported by stage manager Lisa Russell. “Getting out into the community brings live theatre to people who perhaps can’t always get out to watch our performances at our theatre downtown,” said Katharine.

“This is our 35th performance, and our 6th or 7th of the touring production,” added Daniel. “The feedback has been fantastic. It’s great to share our love of theatre. It’s a more personal touch than what we experience in the theatre. We talk to the residents during the show and get an immediate response, which is great!”

Daniel and Katharine wore many hats during the production, portraying 19 characters

Daniel and Katharine wore many hats during the production, portraying 19 characters

“Our residents were really looking forward to seeing this Lunchbox production. It’s always the best attended event we present,” said United’s music director Jill LaForty. “Teaming up with Lunchbox Theatre is a natural partnership for us given that some of our residents attend or used to attend their productions. Now we can bring professional theatre directly to those who find it more difficult to go out. United is a big fan of bringing a variety of musical and educational programming to residents so that residents have a wide variety of choices.”

Touring productions is a relatively new program for Lunchbox Theatre. It’s a collaboration with Toronto’s Smile Theatre that focuses on bringing live theatre into older adult communities and to community centres. Last year Lunchbox brought the play Miss Caledonia to United’s residents.

An in-house production isn’t the only way that aspects of the theatre are brought to United residents. “As part of the partnership, members of Lunchbox’s artistic team come into our communities to give residents back stories and added insight into current productions before some of them head out to see the shows,” said Jill. “This happened recently at our Garrison Green community. Residents then joined us last week at Fish Creek for the show’s complete performance.”

Lunchbox Theatre is located at the base of the Calgary Tower. It has been running noon-hour plays – usually one-act plays written by Calgary playwrights – for more than 40 years, and is considered to be one of the most successful and longest running noon-hour theatre companies in the world.

Photos and video by Sherana Productions.

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Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

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Music has a way of bringing up memories. That was the idea behind the latest Alberta Heritage Music Project between United Active Living and the Alberta Music Education Foundation (AMEF), which brought residents and students together at United’s Garrison Green community.

United and AMEF signed a partnership agreement last year that encourages the use of music to add a new dimension to traditional storytelling. This year, students from Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary worked with several United residents to interpret their stories together through short performances and videos.

Also this year, participants had the privilege of working with an Order of Canada recipient and legendary figure in the Calgary theatre community who also happens to live at Garrison Green. None other than Joyce Doolittle helped guide the performances. “They were very moving and very well done,” she said. “I made a few suggestions, but mostly to help the students feel confident in their decisions. They did an excellent job.”

In one emotional and heartwarming play 94-year-old resident Marjory Koop and student Grace-Anne Weisgerber recalled the last moments with Marjory’s grandmother when Marjory was just five years old. The scene was re-created by the students. “My grandmother was just 49. She had cancer and I remember that I used to go to her house to sit with her,” recalls Marjory. “I used to sing Oh Happy Day  to her. It was an old gospel hymn. That was our song. Her nurse called the family in and although my grandmother didn’t have the strength, she sat up and said, ‘I’m going, I’m going. Goodbye, goodbye’. She laid back down and was gone.  She was a big part of my life and meant a lot to me. I wanted to re-play that scene for the project because it was a memory that really stuck with me all these years.”

A completely different kind of story came from Louise Dean. She became an opera fan through her sister, who started listening to the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts from New York in the 1930s on CBC radio. Through an archival broadcast of an opera performance, Louise and the students recreated those moments when, with the help of her brother who faithfully set up the old crystal radio set each week, the two sisters would listen to opera using just one earpiece each.  “My sister and I really established a bond through this program. Music was a big part of my life. My mother often sang in the house, and she taught us an appreciation for music and dance.”

The students also told their own stories through play and music, about how music has influenced their lives. The weekly working sessions at Garrison Green over a period of a month were very meaningful for them.

“I was able to learn so much from people who have more life experience than me,” said student Amy Gulewicz. “I also felt there was a strong feeling of respect from both groups, which really brought us together.”

“The Heritage Music Project is really about relationships,” said facilitator Samantha Whelan Kotkas. “Music brings out memories, and this project tapped into some of those personal stories. This collaboration between students and residents in choosing the music to play and the stories to tell has created strong and lasting friendships.”

Photos and video by Sherana Productions

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

 

 

 


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Johnny Summers on trumpet, with Egor Ukoloff on piano

Johnny Summers on trumpet, with Egor Ukoloff on piano

United’s new partnership with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra brought trumpeter Johnny Summers and pianist Egor Ukoloff to the Fish Creek community. The appreciative, packed theatre heard the two perform jazz and blues classics.

In the audience was Garrison Green resident Margaret Hails. Margaret is the wife of late jazz great Cliff Hails, who passed away in January. The two were married for 67 years. Their lives were filled with music. The two even cancelled their honeymoon in 1950 so Cliff could buy a tenor saxophone. Cliff also played the baritone sax, flute and piccolo.  At 26, they immigrated to Canada for a better life, and they settled in Calgary some 60 years ago.

Cliff Hails, right, speaking with good friend Tommy Banks

Cliff Hails, right, speaking with good friend Tommy Banks

“One of the first phone calls I received after following Cliff to Edmonton in 1957 was from a young twenty-year-old Tommy Banks, an up and coming piano player,” recalls Margaret. “He was going to book Cliff for a gig. Cliff and Tommy knew one another for about nine months. Musicians are like one big family! They became close friends and often played together.”

Years later, in the 1990s, Cliff and Margaret became good friends with Johnny Summers, who went on to form the Calgary Jazz Orchestra. Banks, who was a world-renowned jazz pianist and former senator, passed away just a week after Cliff.

The Jazz Orchestra will perform a tribute to Banks during the Orchestra’s first show of their season Oct. 21, and many United residents, including Margaret, will be in the audience.

Johnny Summers shares a laugh with resident Margaret Hails

Johnny Summers shares a laugh with resident Margaret Hails

“We first met Johnny in Hawaii,” said Margaret. “Cliff was playing with Neil Gow & the Five Knights and we instantly took a liking to Johnny. We’ve been friends ever since.”

“I was really nice to see Margaret here,” said Johnny. “I dedicated a song during our performance to Cliff. It was terrific to speak with her afterwards. Cliff and I played together at various jazz festivals and he was one of the great sax players.

“I really enjoyed playing for the residents in such an intimate setting. It is more authentic in many ways because our playing is much like having a conversation with the audience. Playing in a jazz club feels very much like playing in this theatre. I always like to have fun with the audience.”

And the residents liked what they heard. “I loved it. It was light and very professional,” said resident Alexis Beddoe. “I’m really impressed with the partnerships United has. I’m always surprised at the professional level at which they perform.”

“I loved the performance,” said Margaret. “I think a lot of seniors hear the word ‘jazz’ and they have an idea of what they will hear, but Johnny does a great job of interpreting the music and adding his own touches to the music making it a real joy to listen to.”

Photos by United Active Living, Video by Sherana Productions.

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Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

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Almost 100 United residents took part in the Honens Piano Competition and Festival last week in the largest programming initiative to date.

“Thanks to our partnership with Honens, our residents got to be part of the one of the premier musical events in the world!” commented United music director Jill LaForty. “They attended concerts live at Jack Singer Hall, watched several rounds of the competition live-streamed in our theatre, and even had a chance to hear and meet some of these brilliant musicians right in their own community”.

United threw open its doors to the larger Calgary community for two Honens encore concerts. The one at our Fish Creek community featured semi-finalist Megan-Geoffrey Prins from South Africa. Performing before a full house of residents, family, friends and several Calgary music lovers, Megan held nothing back. His program of challenging pieces from his semi-final recital on the community Steinway piano was topped off with a familiar Chopin Waltz.

 

chocolate cubcakes with a kitkat keyboard

A Concerto in Chocolate Major

After the concert Megan was extremely gracious during the wine and cheese reception. It was complete with chocolate cupcakes accented with an elaborate keyboard motif created especially by United chefs. Megan mixed with many of our residents and enthusiastically and generously answered their many questions one-on-one or in small groups. Some spoke with him about having followed the Honens competition for years.

The Honens week at United, which included eight concerts, wrapped up at 10:30 p.m. Friday night when almost a dozen residents were riveted to the large screens in the theatres watching the last of the final three brilliant contestants vie for the Honens crown.  “Honens is music at its best!” exclaimed Fish Creek resident Joan Patterson. “The pianists were all very special. It’s so great that United offers us this. I’ve always loved music, but I was busy raising my children. Now I have time to enjoy it.”

“Everyone at United Active Living – our residents and staff – are thrilled with the naming of Georgian pianist Nicolas Namoradze as Honens newest Prize Laureate,” said Jill. “We had an especially close relationship with the previous Laureate, Luca Buratto over the previous three years, and with our ongoing partnership with Honens, we look forward to hearing Nicolas both within our communities and in concert in Calgary at his various public performances.”

Namoradze, 26,  won the world’s largest prize for piano – $100,000 – and a three-year Artist Development Program valued at $500,000, which includes debut recitals in some of the world’s leading concert houses, concert opportunities with leading orchestras, professional management, residencies, and recordings. He already has an impressive performance resume, which you can view here.

“We are looking forward to showcasing Nicolas’ talent for United’s residents through our ongoing partnership,” said Honens president Neil Edwards. “While he has brought his formidable skills to major concert venues around the world, we’re looking forward to playing in the smaller, more intimate venue that United’s communities provide.”

Photo credits: Monique de St. Croix, Sherana Productions, Jeff Chan

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.


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Spend a few minutes watching the panda bears in their new home at the Calgary Zoo and you know why they are a crowd favourite. Cute and playful, people of any age are drawn to them. That’s why it was a special treat for residents to spend time at the panda enclosure this week. In May, when the $14 million Panda Passage opened, the zoo set an all-time attendance record.

Resident Shirley Norris taking pictures of a Giant Panda

Shirley Norris snapping a few memories

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Garrison Green resident Kay Kuwahara.

The four black and white bears moved to Calgary in March after a five-year stay in Toronto.

The two giant pandas, Da Mao, the male and Er Shun, the female are on a 10-year loan from China. They will call Calgary home for their remaining five-year stay. Er Shun gave birth to Jia Panpan, a male and Jia Yueyue, a female in 2015 in Toronto. Visitors have the chance to see all four at the Panda Passage.

“It was very special to see them today,” said Garrison Green resident Ken Logan. Shirley Norris recently moved to Garrison Green from Toronto. “It was great to see them. I saw pandas in China, but I was very impressed with their surroundings here.”

It’s been 30 years since Calgary last hosted pandas. That was during the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Garrison Green residents check out the panda enclosure

Garrison Green residents check out the panda enclosure

“Getting to see the pandas was a treat in its own right but also a great way to connect with the larger Calgary community through shared experience,” said program development coordinator Monica Schmidt. “Outings such as this one are part of the large number of specialty programs that we offer residents. One of the things that sets United apart is that it’s not just myself or other staff deciding what sorts of programs or outings we’ll run in any given month. Instead, we work closely with our residents to get a feel for what they are interested in and what sorts of experiences they want to have. Because we take the time to get to know our residents on a personal level it becomes possible for our programming to be personally meaningful to the people who choose to make their lives here. From political hot topics to conversation cafes and theatrical performances, everything we plan is both based in and and geared towards our residents’ interests. Today it was pandas at the Calgary Zoo, next week it’s an art gallery excursion to Banff. After that? Well, the residents will let us know!”

United creates seasonal program guides for each of its two communities. The guides each contain more than 30 pages of programs that focus on lifelong learning, music, theatre and the arts.

“The program guides give us an opportunity to highlight our ongoing relationship with our community partners,” said Monica. “We have signed partnerships with about a dozen music, theatre and educational organizations. Truly unique to United is that through these partnerships we are able to give residents access to professional performances out in the community and also bring performers directly into our two communities for one-of-a-kind in-house performances and lectures.”

United’s two newest partners are Lunchbox Theatre and the Calgary Jazz Orchestra.

Photos and video by Sherana Productions

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

 


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“The true beauty of music is that it connects people.” – Roy Ayers, American funk, soul and jazz composer

United continues to connect music to people by partnering with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra to expand the wide range of music available to residents of the two communities.

The Calgary Jazz Orchestra (CJO) began 14 years ago as the brainchild of jazz musician Johnny Summers. At the time, Calgary was lacking a jazz orchestra, so Johnny brought together two dozen of the best musicians. “These are world-class performers,” said Johnny. “We have all grown throughout the years and we are dedicated to giving Calgary the best musical experience with every concert we give.”

The Orchestra gives six concerts each year at the River Park Church in Marda Loop.

“United is one of our first partners,” said Lacie Marchand, CJO concert manager. “It’s a way to expand our audience and give residents a unique musical experience. I think people see jazz as mainly background music, but watching jazz performed live can be an involving, emotional experience.”

Johnny agrees, adding that attending one of their concerts is like going to an art gallery. “You see how the various artists in the gallery create an emotional attachment to the viewer. It’s the same attending one of our shows. Our musicians create emotion with sound. For the audience, a live performance offers an authentic, real experience that incorporates a range of emotions including humour and just plain fun!”

Johnny often rearranges popular music for the concerts into funk, soul and pop versions. For instance, Disney’s classics are reimagined as jazz pieces, and their annual Christmas show combines traditional Christmas music with a jazzy flare, with popular Frank Sinatra tunes.

“”We’re really looking forward to our partnership with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra,” said United’s music director Jill LaForty. “Music is important to our residents. We offer a wide variety of musical genres both in-house and at various music venues. CJO musicians will perform three concerts this year for United residents. The first will be at our Fish Creek community in September and feature Johnny on trumpet and Egor Ukoloff on piano. Afterwards, our residents will have a chance to mingle and talk one-on-one with the musicians. These types of performances are unique to United’s communities.”

“It really means a lot to me as a musician to play for an audience and watch their reactions,” said Johnny. “I watch their faces – their expressions, the laughter, the smiles. The applause is genuine and the excitement for us and for our audience is genuine. It’s why we do what we do.”

Photos by Calgary Jazz Orchestra

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Contact us here!

 

 


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Lunchbox Theatre and United Active Living have signed a partnership that will bring special talks and a full production, complete with sets and costumes into United’s Fish Creek community.

“We have many successful partnerships that promotes United’s philosophy to promote creative expression in all of its forms,” said United’s music director Jill LaForty. “We’re always looking to broaden our offerings to meet our residents’ interests. Teaming with Lunchbox Theatre was a natural step given that some of our residents already attend their productions. Now, with this partnership, we can bring professional theatre directly to those who find it more difficult to go out.”

Jamie Konchak as Peggy Ann Douglas in Miss Caledonia. Photo by Benjamin Laird

Jamie Konchak as Peggy Ann Douglas in Miss Caledonia.

Lunchbox To Go is a relatively new program for Lunchbox Theatre that focuses on bringing theatre into older adult communities and to community centres. “The program is an opportunity to promote theatre in the larger community,” said Valmai Goggin, development associate with Lunchbox Theatre. “We pick one of our shows that is performed in our theatre downtown and take it on tour. This year it was Miss Caledonia by Melody Johnson. The touring version is about 80% of the theatre version, including sets and costumes. We don’t take the lighting with us because each venue is so different.”

“I have never seen our Fish Creek theatre as full as when Miss Caledonia came to us in April,” recalls Jill. “Our residents were absolutely captivated and their enthusiastic response signalled we were on the right track in pursuing this partnership.”

“I’ve been going to Lunchbox since it started in 1975,” said Garrison Green resident Joyce Doolittle, who is a recent recipient of the Order of Canada for her work in Calgary theatre. “It’s a wonderful place for young playwrights and for actors at the beginning of their careers. Having the plays come here is a good thing as not everyone can get out, and you can always count on the quality of the productions.”

An in-house production isn’t the only way that aspects of the theatre will be brought to United residents. “We’re also delighted that as part of this partnership, members of Lunchbox’s artistic team will come into our communities at least three times this season,” added Jill. “They’ll give our residents back stories and added insight into current productions before some of them head out to see the shows.”

Jamie Konchak as Peggy Ann Douglas and Aleksandra Danicic as the Fiddler in Miss Caledonia. Photo by Benjamin Laird

Jamie Konchak as Peggy Ann Douglas and Aleksandra Danicic as the Fiddler in Miss Caledonia.

Lunchbox Theatre is located at the base of the Calgary Tower. It has been running noon-hour plays – usually one-act plays written by Calgary playwrights – for more than 40 years, and is considered to be one of the most successful and longest running noon-hour theatre companies in the world.

“We think that as many people as possible should have access to the performing arts,” said Valmai. “People can’t often come downtown, so the more we can diversify and bring theatre into the community, the more we will connect with older adults and the more our theatre productions will resonate with them.”

Next year’s visiting production for United residents – Gutenberg! The Musical! by Scott Brown and Anthony King –  will tour in the spring, from April 23 to May 5.

Photos by: Benjamin Laird

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Contact us here!