Over 500 people attended the 8th MOSAIC Multicultural Seniors Day event on September 14th. Held in the atrium and theatre of Surrey’s City Hall, the bright and airy venue was the backdrop for lively multicultural performances and personal stories from MOSAIC Seniors’ Club Leaders regarding their personal journeys in Canada.
Welcoming words were provided by Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors and Multiculturalism Anne Kang, Minister of Labour Harry Bains and other local elected officials.
Many community resource providers who feature services for seniors, or which seniors frequently access, were also on site with information booths, and language support was provided by MOSAIC Seniors’ Club Leaders (volunteers) to folks requiring translations.
The annual event is hosted at this time each year to celebrate the upcoming National Seniors Day and the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, which are both observed on the first day of October.
Vancouver’s proportion of older immigrants (21.5%) is higher than the proportion of all older adults in the general population (15.9%) reflecting the aging of immigrants in Metro Vancouver (Statistics Canada, 2016).
MOSAIC Seniors’ Club provides individual services and group activities to over 500 immigrant and refugee seniors annually. To maximize the potential of newcomer seniors, and to assist them in their desire to contribute to the communities they belong to, MOSAIC provides Senior Leadership Training. This training provides group activities and peer support to other seniors, helping them to get connected, and have access to services. The Senior Leaders are dedicated to building bridges between isolated seniors and community resources and active living.
Social isolation among older people is emerging as one of the major issues in Canada. According to reports by Statistics Canada, 24% of Canadians over age 65 feel isolated from others and wish they could participate in more social activities (Government of Canada, 2018).