Engaging Conversations Conference


October 10, 2018

 Download Registration Form

Meaford Museum is hosting a conference aimed at empowering Arts and Culture organizations to plan and implement programming for individuals with cognitive challenges on Wednesday October 10, 2018 at Meaford & St. Vincent Cultural Center.

This conference will present opportunities for community partnerships and programming.  

Audience: Museums, Art Galleries, Arts and Culture Organizations, Long Term Care, Day Away programs, organizations working with individuals with cognitive challenges, Community Living and  anyone in arts and culture environment - art, dance, music, history who would like to make their programs more inclusive.

2018 Speakers/Sessions

St John’s Ambulance Therapy Dogs (Local Grey, Bruce Huron Branch)

The St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program builds on our proud tradition of community service by bringing the benefits of pet companionship to both children and adults that are hospitalized, adults residing in long term care facilities, children struggling with reading, adult and child victims of trauma and crime, students stressed from school challenges and individuals in homeless shelters. 

Therapy Dogs can help meet the need for physical touch as stroking and touching a dog has been proven to lower blood pressure, calm people who are agitated and refresh the mind of those who are confused. Dogs are completely accepting of people: they do not make judgments about a person’s looks, nor are they offended by what people might say to them. They offer unconditional affection.  (St. Johns Ambulance website)

This presentation will focus on what therapy dogs do, who therapy dogs visit and why St John’s Ambulance therapy dogs are so accepted. 

Living Memories

Mary Solomon is a Meaford Museum volunteer for the Living Memories Program. Mary through her professional career and volunteer activities has a passion for keeping life interesting especially for people of diverse abilities. As a physiotherapist she has been involved in active living projects for individuals with disabilities including adaptive skiing, horseback riding and dance. As a facilitator and trainer for Heart and Stroke Foundation Living with Stroke Program she knows the importance of community engagement for all individuals. Arts and Culture are an important part of this engagement.

Living Memories is a program designed to provide a safe environment for people to interact with museum artifacts and art, while engaging in conversation and stimulating memories. This workshop will use demonstrations, case studies, problem solving, and discussions to assist the participants in gaining confidence to offer the program to groups of individuals with diverse abilities within their own communities. Working with individuals with dementia, cognitive challenges and developmental challenges will be part of the presentation. 

The Gentle Moves Experience

Miriam Goldberger founding Teacher, Director, What Dance Can Do, B.A. Dance; Dance Therapy MA studies, founder, Preggae Woman, Canada's 1st pre-natal/postpartum dance program, Dance for Parkinson's advanced instructor training through Canada's National Ballet School of Canada, Mark Morris Dance Group; charter member Dance for Parkinson’s Canada Network ​.  What Dance Can Do – The Gentle Moves Experience: a dance class for those with Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, mobility challenges, early stage dementia or acquired brain injury.

HealthRyhythms Group Music

Lauren Best presents a hands-on workshop exploring wellness through music and multi-arts: you are invited to nourish your mind, bodies, and spirits. Fun and friendly music making combines with movement and creativity that provides us opportunities to both be inspired and energized by the proven cognitive, emotional, and physiological benefits of recreational music. This includes selected activities with HealthRhythms group music: evidence-based recreational group percussion that has been used worldwide for fun, wellness, stress reduction, exercise, employee retention, and community building. Drumming, percussion instruments, creativity, wellness, and making music together!

Move Free

Louise Stewart-Potts is the founder of MOVE FREE, a dance class for those with Parkinson's disease, MS, Stroke and other movement disorders. This class explores your imagination, renews strength, energy, confidence and builds community. Join Louise in a hands on demonstration of the class. She began her dance journey at age 5 and has trained in many dance styles. Louise is a certified Dance It Out instructor. She has completed the Dance for Parkinson's Training through The National Ballet School of Canada and the Mark Morris Dance Center, New York City.

Developing our Lives Program

Chris Doyle is the Community Development Coordinator at the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce. Developing Our Lives is a photography program for people living with dementia. With funding provided by a New Horizons for Seniors grant the society purchased digital cameras for participants to use. Seven individuals living with dementia and six care partners joined the program. We met once a week for eight weeks to learn about photography with local experts and to share photographs. Participants were given themes or ideas to focus on so that each session had some consistency and direction. Towards the end of the program favorite photographs were selected. They were named by the participants. These photos were printed, framed and displayed in public exhibitions at the Tom Thompson Art Gallery and Bruce County Museum. These exhibits were viewed by hundreds of local people and received excellent media coverage. Additional photos and information about the project and participants were compiled into a short photobook. The project was well received by many participants and there has been interest in holding another session incorporating lessons and feedback gained at this first trial. 

Contact Us

Jody Seeley, Meaford Museum:
Email: jseeley@meaford.ca
hone: 519-538-5974


  • 2019-03-21T12:29:31+0000
    The municipal office will be closed this morning for a staff meeting. We will reopen at 10:30 a.m.

  • 2019-03-20T18:19:12+0000

  • 2019-03-18T14:43:59+0000
    St. Vincent-Sydenham Townline from Gerald Shortt Parkway to Sideroad 6 is now re-opened. #meaford

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