New Horizons program offers assistance

North Island communities will receive financial assistance from the Canadian Government's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

The Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations, the community of Zeballos and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 147 of Sayward are among the more than one dozen groups and organizations scheduled to receive financial assistance through the Canadian Government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

The program offers seniors new opportunities to volunteer, mentor younger generations and help raise awareness of elder abuse. In all, $321,885 will be shared among 18 organizations on the North Island.

John Duncan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors).

“Our government recognizes the diversity of skills, knowledge and experience that seniors contribute to our society and the economy,” said Duncan. “Through initiatives such as the New Horizons for Seniors Program, we are helping to ensure that seniors maintain a high quality of life and continue as active, participating members of their communities.”

In Port Hardy, the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations will engage seniors in the community through mentoring by building a pavilion and fire pit where elders can demonstrate, model and pass on traditional salmon preparation and canning methods.

In Zeballos, the organization will install a lift in the Governance Building to support the social participation and inclusion of seniors by continuing seniors’ activities on the second floor of the building.

In Sayward, the local Legion branch will replace the roof of its hall, and upgrade the kitchen and washrooms to make them accessible to support social participation and inclusion of seniors by continuing to offer game nights.

Duncan also announced this week the 2013–2014 call for proposals for community-based projects under the New Horizons for Seniors Program has recently been launched.

Organizations can receive up to $25,000 in funding per year and must address one or more of the program’s five objectives: volunteering, mentoring, expanding awareness of elder abuse, social participation and capital assistance.

The application deadline for community-based projects in British Columbia is July 5. For more information about the call for proposals, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/seniors.