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H’art Accessible Arts Program

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What is the H’art Accessible Arts Program?
HAAP! is H’art Centre’s community-coordinated arts program for seniors who live in long-term care homes, including those living with disabilities. Several times a week, trained artists and volunteers travel to long-term care homes across Kingston to deliver meaningful arts-based programming.

How does it work?
H’art delivers high-quality programming that emphasizes increased opportunities for inclusion. Everyone is welcome and no art experience is necessary.

New session
H’art Centre will be offering a new term of classes this winter, beginning in February at three long-term care locations. There will be opportunity for residents to:

  • Sing their favourite tunes in a choir,
  • To reminisce about the past and share stories of the present during Storytelling,
  • To create beautiful textile art, paintings, drawings and more
  • And to dance (while seated for the most part) to well loved music.

“The artists strive to create a meaningful, inclusive environment for all participants where creativity and is fostered in a supportive and positive space,” said HAAP coordinator and dance instructor, Amy Booth. “It is never too late for an individual to engage in something new and master a skill so we encourage participation for everyone. Families and friends are always welcome so come and see what it is all about. It is our hope that through bringing arts to our seniors in these three homes that we will be able to enhance their quality of life, provide something fun to look forward to each week and help them to continue living their lives to the fullest.”

Current Artist Instructors 

Amy Booth, Coordinator
Laura Scott
Isidora Spielmann

 

 

 

 

Jackie Mills
Jessica Irwin
Yessica Belsham

 

 

 

 

Get Involved

Are you an administrator at a long-term care home and would like to know more ?

Are you a post-secondary student or a senior who would like to volunteer to assist our artists? Volunteering is a great opportunity for you to enhance your skills, learn more about inclusive art techniques, and make a difference. If you are enthusiastic, have 3 hours a week to commit, and can meet the strict volunteer requirements and standards of H’art Centre and its program partners, we look forward to having you join the HAAP! team. Please contact us to learn more about the requirements.

History of HAAP!

In December 2015, H’art Centre began to imagine what it could do to help seniors with disabilities in Kingston. By August 2016, more than 40 community supporters had rallied around the idea (then known as Young at H’art) and donated to support the development of a new option in Kingston. From September to December 2016, H’art Centre offered an inaugural session and delivered more than 50 classes in four different disciplines to seniors with disabilities in THE BOX at H’art Centre. The Ontario Trillium Foundation then pitched in and enabled H’art to extend the program by offering outreach classes at three long-term care homes.

H’art Centre would like to acknowledge the early support of the following groups who helped launch the Young at H’art Initiative. Over the years, we have enjoyed support from: Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat, Anna & Edward C. Churchill Foundation, Harry Foster Foundation, Cataraqui Rotary Club, Community Foundation for Kingston & Area, Kingston Rotary Club, and Empire Life. H’art also recognizes the support of: Connie Armstrong, Jim Brown & Joan Lee, Nancy & Bill Gray, Kim Donovan, Alicia & Barry Gordon, Virginia and John Gordon, Peter Kostogiannis, Julie Ann and Michael May, Pam McMillan & Norman Dupuis, Lillian Porter, Dr. Leslie Shanks, Dr. Jonathan Standley, Kathi Toth Switzer, Ed Vreeke, and Tom Wightman.

H’art Centre would like to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for supporting the outreach initiative through a seed grant in 2017. The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and Canada’s largest granting foundation. Over $110 million is awarded annually to some 1,300 non-profit and charitable organizations across the province.