Programs & Services

Arts & Culture Programs

Activate Your Imagination

At United Active Living, we champion creativity and lifelong learning, and we integrate them into our daily offerings. To ensure that the programming made available is appropriate and interesting to our residents, many of these programs come from residents’ suggestions. By getting to know our residents personally, we draw upon their rich history and experiences to design our programs. This open dialogue about values and interests aligns with our social model of care and ensures there’s something for everyone.

The best way to see the unbeatable variety of programs available is to view our sample Programming Calendar with real examples of past activities. Many of these programs are made possible by our wonderful Community Partners or our in-house artists who facilitate enriching experiences for residents.

Below, are some examples of our signature Creative Expression programming made available to residents.


Music inspires, entertains and lifts us. United offers an extensive music program that has you covered whatever your musical tastes. Whether you like to get right in there and sing, to learn something you didn’t know before or engage by listening, you’ll love…

Resident Choir

Singing is about coming together and making a joyful noise. Whether you’ve sung in choirs or only in the shower our professional choir director will lead you – when we can sing again – in fun and engaging songs that will leave you wanting more.

Music Appreciation with Jill and Mark

This is your chance to connect to music you know, broaden your horizons with pieces you’ve never heard and learn about the lives of the music creators, be they Beethoven or the Beatles.


Our Open Studio is available 24/7 to all residents with all the equipment necessary to create a masterpiece. Painting lessons and guided paint nights are also regularly hosted in the studio.

Creative Workshop: Portrait Painting

Before photography, this was the way to capture a person’s likeness and preserve their history. This workshop will look at painting the face step by step working from a photo of your choosing or one of the examples available.

Pendulum Painting

This fun painting project uses the physics of a pendulum to create fascinating art! We use gravity, momentum, friction, and probability to show an example of chaos theory; even within a chaotic environment, systematic patterns may be found.

Pottery & Ceramics

All UAL locations have their own kiln for pottery and ceramics. Residents have the opportunity to learn different techniques for shaping, colouring, and finishing pottery and unlimited raw materials to practice.

Mishima Clay Technique

This is a Japanese technique of decoration where one can create fine lines in surface design on clay. It is a technique of inlaying underglaze into the clay, creating lines that otherwise would be difficult to replicate in any other way.

Clay Workshop: Human Body Sculpting

Form, proportions, and texture all come into play when sculpting with clay. This exercise will have us working in three dimensions while moulding and melding the clay with our hands and only a few tools.

Drama & Theatre

Residents at UAL enjoy more than just performances—they get a backstage pass! Enjoy the show, then enjoy an invigorating chat with the actors, directors, set and makeup artists who bring it to life.

Lunch Box Theater: A Tender Thing

What if Romeo and Juliet had lived? This is the question posed in this delicate and profound “remix” of the greatest love story ever told. Shakespeare’s timeless poetry creates a new, deeply romantic and powerful play, and a strikingly different love story.

Calgary Opera Costume and Makeup Demo

A successful opera production could never take place without the highly skilled artisans behind the scenes. You will witness a character come to life before your eyes and have the chance to ask questions.

Art History & Appreciation

Art is excellent for expressing feelings, but there’s lots of benefits for the mind too! Talks with artists and art historians will educate and inspire with art from every country and era.

Artist Talk: Being Human in the 21st Century

Come see an artist who creates sculptures of people she’s never met by using samples of their DNA, the computer program that has generated over 100,000 photographs of people who don’t exist, and more.

Artist Talk: Leonardo DaVinci

We will explore the life and work of the man who symbolizes the philosophy of Renaissance Humanism.

And So Much More!

Every season we have new and exciting ways of engaging in our creative sides. View this example program guide for an idea of the variety of enriching experiences residents enjoy each month at United Active Living.

View Sample Program Guide