Canadian Veterans Celebrated Through the Eyes of a Youth

The Revera and Reel Youth Age is More Film Project connects generations and smashes stereotypes

CALGARY, Nov. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Tomorrow, as Canada remembers the sacrifices made by those who risked and even lost their lives in battle, they can watch veterans share their first-hand accounts with young filmmakers.

As part of a unique program between Revera, a leading provider of seniors' accommodation, care and services, and Reel Youth, a charitable project that empowers youth to create films about important social issues, several youth have captured ten inspiring stories on film including those of several Canadian veterans. The program aims to celebrate older Canadians through story-telling and film while building new intergenerational relationships.

"With veterans living in Revera residences across the country, Remembrance Day is a special occasion," said Stephen Foster, Senior Vice President, Retirement Living at Revera. "The Revera and Reel Youth Film Project is a fun and meaningful way for the generations to come together and in this instance provides the opportunity for youth to hear wartime stories directly from veterans."

While Canadian youth may, thankfully, find it difficult to relate to veterans' experiences, youth and seniors have a lot more in common than they think. Research shows that they have both experienced considerable age discrimination in Canada, with 73 per cent of Gen Y and 63 per cent of seniors (66 years of age and older) saying they have been treated unfairly or differently because of their age.i   Experts say that a lack of connection between people of different generations fuels stereotypes and misperceptions. But, the simple act of getting to know someone of a different generation promotes positive attitudes and behaviour.

"The youth were quite moved by the stories shared by the veterans," said Mark Vonesch, Director of Reel Youth. "Even during the first day of filming there were a lot of connections being made between the younger and older participants. The youth were really interested in the stories shared by the older adults and it was truly inspiring to see them connect on such a poignant topic."

The goal of The Revera and Reel Youth Age Is More Film Project is to bring generations together and celebrate older Canadians through the creation of a series of short films that profile the lives of older adults. In the process of working on the films, participants of all ages get to know each other and develop new friendships — a legacy that lives on, along with the films, after the project is over.  In this project, ten residents from Chateau Renoir Retirement Community in Calgary have been paired with youth from the Calgary area, with the resulting films being posted online in time for Remembrance Day. Revera and Reel Youth have partnered on other projects previously, but this is the first one to highlight stories of veterans.

"Many young adults learn about wars in history books or in television and movie adaptations, but it's important that they hear from those who actually lived it, that they hear the real story so that it's not glorified," said Bob Petersen, a participant in the project and WWII veteran. "When I was their age, I was worrying about whether my crew would return from a mission; it's important for them hear how my life differed from theirs."

The film project is part of Age Is More, Revera's ongoing commitment to help combat ageism. In collaboration with partners like Reel Youth and the International Federation on Ageing, Age Is More aims to shed light on ageism, challenge the assumptions of aging and recognize the valuable contributions of older adults to society.  All of the films from the Revera and Reel Youth Age Is More Film Project, including the Veteran's Spotlight, and seven other films featuring residents from Chateau Renoir, can be viewed at AgeIsMore.com.

About Revera
Revera is a leading provider of seniors' accommodation, care and services; built on a 50-year history of helping seniors live life to the fullest. Our 28,500 dedicated employees continually strive to serve a diverse group of clients and to offer choices to meet their individual preferences. With 227 sites across Canada and parts of the U.S., they work to enhance lives in their retirement communities, long term care homes, U.S. nursing and rehab centres and through the provision of home health services. Canadian-owned and operated, Revera serves approximately 28,000 clients every day, with the core values of respect, integrity, compassion and excellence at the heart of their business. Find out more about Revera at www.reveraliving.com, on facebook.com/Revera.Inc or on Twitter @Revera_Inc.

About Reel Youth
Reel Youth is a not-for-profit program that encourages youth, adults and organizations to create and distribute compelling films about important issues. Over the past nine years, Reel Youth has produced over 2,000 films with 6,000 people within Canada and across the world. For more information, visit www.reelyouth.org or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Revera Research
Revera, in partnership with Leger Marketing, surveyed online Canadians aged 18-32 (Gen Y's), 33-45 (Gen X's), 46-65 (Boomers), 66-74 (Younger Seniors) and 75-plus (Older Seniors) to better understand their attitudes on aging.  The survey was completed online from August 24th to September 4th, 2012 using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,501 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. 

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i Revera Report on Ageism, Revera and the International Federation on Ageing, 2012

SOURCE: Revera Inc.

For further information: Michelle Titus, Environics Communications, (416) 969-1667, mtitus@environicspr.com; Jennifer Arnott, Revera Inc., (289) 360-1372, jennifer.arnott@reveraliving.com

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