50+ Festival: Celebrate how aging is changing

The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education announces line up for annual festival with a focus on the social and economic contributions of older people.

TORONTO, May 26, 2014 /CNW/ - As a kick off to Senior's Month, The 50+ Festival, presented by The Programs for 50+ at The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University will celebrate how aging is changing. Running from Sunday, June 1 through Tuesday, June 3, the festival engages older adults interested in personal growth and continued learning.

"The 50+ Festival was developed to provide a forum to better understand what aging means today and to highlight the continued learning of older adults," says Sandra Kerr, Program Director for the Programs for 50+ at The Chang School. "We have more options and different challenges than we did ten or 15 years ago, so it is important that we consider the economic, social and cultural ripples of these changes."

The event will host a dynamic series of workshops that will stimulate the brain. From a talk by Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing that will look at the economic and social contribution that older people make in different societies around the world, to a workshop in Conductorcise®, lead by renowned Maestro David Dworkin, 80, which will challenge participants to use their brain and their body to exercise the full self and better understand the effect that music has on the brain.

"Lifelong learning is the cornerstone of our programming," says Marie Bountrogianni, Dean, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. "The 50+ Festival is the truest version of this, with a vibrant community who celebrates aging and all of the learning opportunities that it has to offer."

The Festival will be held on the Ryerson campus. For more festival information visit fiftyplusfestival.ca.  Most sessions are free of charge, but participants must register in advance.

Festival Highlights:

Sunday June 1: Day one of the festival will look at music and the profound impact that it has on our psyche.

1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Opening Remarks and performance by the Long and McQuade New Horizons Band.
1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes: Talk entitled Let There Be Music! A Wellness Prescription.
2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Conductorcise® with David Dworkin: Move Your Body, Feel Your Soul.

Monday June 2: The most diverse day of programing, day two of the 50+ Festival features a closer look at what it means to get older.

9:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Olivia Chow…A talk about her continuing journey.
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Dr. Jane Barratt separates facts from fiction - Discussion will look at whether older people are an asset or considered a burden?
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. A screening of the short documentary, Father Figures, which follows a 46 year-old Canadian filmmaker, April Butler, throughout Asia as she examines her 73-year-old Caucasian father's romantic relationship with a 23 year old woman living in the Philippines.

Screening followed by a panel discussion including director/producer April Butler, Martha Ocampo, Race, Culture, and Mental Health consultant, and moderated by Associate Professor Dr. Lori Schindel Martin, Ryerson University.

Tuesday June 3: Get Psyched! A series of conversations with experts engaging with aging and pyscology.

9:30 - 12:00 Featuring Dr. Alexandra J. Fiocco: A conversation looking at the biological and psychosocial factors that contribute to pathological and successful aging in late life, and the importance of lifestyle choices.

Dr. Andrea Wilkinson, PhD: Evaluate the benefits and effectiveness of brain exercise programs that are designed to enhance the ability to ignore distractions - Do they work?
2:00 - 4:00 Theatre out of the Box: Part of Programs for 50+, The Estelle Craig ACT II STUDIO Theatre Out of the Box program presents new plays written, directed, and performed by older adults.

About Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education (www.Ryerson.ca/ce)

With approximately 70,000 annual enrollments, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. There are over 1500 courses, workshops and seminars and 93 career-related certificate programs and numerous course series in which 20 certificate programs can be completed entirely at a distance. The school's mission is to be a leader in innovative, quality, lifelong learning that empowers adults to reach their life and career goals.

About Programs for 50+

At Programs for 50+, those 50 years and older can access academic tools and opportunities for personal enrichment, self actualization, and engagement in society with their peers and as part of an intergenerational campus dynamic through The Chang School.

SOURCE: Ryerson University's The Chang School

For further information:

Media contacts: Tara Bolger, tbolger@blueskycommunications.com, 416 929 2052, or Sarah Turnbull, sturnbull@blueskycommunications.com, 416 929 7740.

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Ryerson University's The Chang School

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