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Balance, attention, hearing and vision are key components involved when performing daily life activities. However, healthy ageing can lead to hearing and vision loss, or troubles dividing attention between two tasks (e.g., talking while walking), resulting in poor balance.

During her residency at the engAGE Living Lab, Berkely Petersen, a graduate student in psychology at Concordia University, investigated how vision loss, hearing loss and multitasking impacted older adults’ balance. She will share her findings including the many age-related factors that can impact balance and increase falls risk.

Deborah Maia de Lima, a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University and initiator of the Movement Hive at the engAGE Living Lab, will tell us about the role of this intergenerational safe community space in enhancing self-awareness and self-acknowledgement of the body. In the Movement hive, the participants can play, move, and experience their bodies through dance and spontaneous movements, following a routine in each session to assure safety and best practices, allowing everyone to participate as they are.

Come join us to hear the presenters, participate in the discussions around challenges and safe practices with movement and balance.

Come join us to hear from Deirdre Potash, an artist who found meaning in art-making and teaching art for fun in the community. Nga Pham, Gilles and Shantie Audet are artists in community spaces and avid learners.

The presenters have something important in common: they found the benefit of expressing themselves through visual imagery, the pleasure to do art for fun and well-being.

During the pandemic, Deirdre, owner of ArtWill Studio and teaching artist with a varied practice including a specialty in cultural mediation, offered free art courses online for the community. Her intention was to foster tactile exploration on a personal level, shifting the education courses into just making the participants have a good time.

Nga is a member of the art hives community and enjoys learning new things and challenging herself with new art techniques. She will share her artistic progress after participating in the art hives and art classes.

Gilles and Shantie are a happily married couple that started the artistic journey after retirement, about 4 years ago. They like to experiment with different media and different artistic styles and work on refining their sketching abilities and techniques.

We will explore this ongoing journey based on multiple visual arts experiences. Please come share your experience with the arts and how it shaped your journey of discovery.

Videos from the conversation

Art for Fun and Well-being. Gilles
Art for Fun and Well-being. Deirdre

Art Hives offer individuals opportunities for creative expression, for building self-efficacy and autonomy, as well as opportunities to feel welcomed to belong to an inclusive and loving community. They are places to simultaneously be oneself and connect with others in authentic ways.

In this conversation, Nicole will discuss her findings from her masters’ research on perceived learning at the art hive for participants in the third age (55 – 75), and the implications for art hives and other community art studios to have a significant impact on the well-being of ageing populations.

Nicole Macoretta is an artist, art therapist, art educator and administrator. Her artwork is grounded in and reflective of her love for the natural world and fibre materiality. She is passionate about encouraging the emergence and cultivation of creative capacities in support of physical and mental well-being, and more connected communities.

Our second speaker is Isabelle Fortier, a visual artist and graphic designer with a deep passion for the community. She created and is facilitating the art hive “La Page Blanche” in Boucherville, a well-anchored community art hive that opened its doors in 2015. In 2020 went online due to the pandemic and is now venturing into a new hybrid model.

Videos from the conversation

Nicole Macoretta
Isabelle Fortier

Creative Science Shop presents a Special Open House on Creative Solutions for SICK! Social Innovation through Creative Knowing Problems

Thursday, June 17, 2021, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm 

Please Zoom-by, and come and go as you like, for a special Open House version of the Creative Science Shop.

This event will present project ideas from a class of students, both undergraduates and graduates from a variety of disciplines who all took part in an online summer intensive at Concordia University called: SICK!: Social Innovation through Creative Knowing. The innovative solutions that students will present are a result of their identification, examination, and creative responses to “wicked” social or environmental health challenges. The projects were also informed by their experiences using the creative arts as well as student involvement in a variety of community-based learning.

This special Creative Science Shop will have two parts, from 12:00-1:30 and 2:30-4:00, with a one-hour break featuring 23 students, who will present their creative ideas of how to increase health and wellbeing in times of COVID.

This conversation will begin with an introduction by the instructors, Dr. Satoshi Ikeda, professor of sociology, and Dr. Janis Timm-Bottos, professor of creative arts therapies.

Each hour of student presentations will be followed by a 30-minute community discussion. We want to hear your responses, ideas and experiences related to the topics presented.

Engage Living Lab Créatif – Online event

Join us for a conversation about art and mental health with Anne Ramsay-Piérard and Maryse Ménard from “Les Impatients” Center.

Ms. Ramsay-Piérard, in charge of partnerships, will present the center and its creative activities for almost 30 years. Les Impatients’s mission is to help people with mental health problems through artistic activities.

Ms. Ménard, a nurse by profession and participant in the center’s art workshops, will share with us the benefits of creation for her, and in the context of an intergenerational group.

Come join us in a discussion on how artistic creation adds to our well-being. What would art bring to the health and mental health care system based on our experience?

We were delighted to host a conversation about the power of singing and to hear how the community is promoting stronger older voices. Barbara Lewis, Anne Caines and Louise Jack shared their work in the community that encourages personal and collective well-being through song.

Barbara Lewis is a singer, speaker, and inspirational vocal coach who offers concerts, talks, and voice lessons, both online and in a Montreal studio. Barbara believes that singing is a powerful doorway to our happier, more peaceful selves. Check out her free YouTube Channel: Singing After 40.

Louise Jack and Anne Caines are members of Ressources Ethnoculturelles Contre l’Abus envers les Aîné(e)s, Respecting Elders Communities against Abuse (RECAA), an initiative of community workers, organizations and individuals from the ethnocultural communities. The RECAA Choir was formed in September 2019 out of interest and need to expand RECAA’s artistic contributions to the community and to improve the health and wellbeing of its members. They have performed twice and most recently have been working online on a project entitled Songs that Connect Us.

Watch the beautiful performance by Barbara, who closed this fun session with a song.

Barbara Lewis
Poster depicting seniors singing, musical notes, a laptop

Everyone is welcome to participate in any of the engAGE Living Lab activities. To get instructions on how to join, please send an email to

Join us on Thursday, May 13 from 2:30-4:00 pm EST for the Creative Science Shop, Virtual Care: What do we want it to be? How do we want to engage with it?

Sandra Smele, Coordinator of Expertise in Inclusive Aging, Diversity, Health and Well-Being at the Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology talking about new trends in health care.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a shift towards the increasing provision of what is now being called “virtual care”. Generally understood as a direct outcome of the need to shift care provision online due to the COVID-19 pandemic (and in some cases even as an “upside” of the pandemic), it is important to recognize and carefully consider the changes that have occurred within the context of both health and social services, as well as in our own every day and community care practices.

Sandra Smele will introduce us to these trends in virtual care, as well as emerging evidence of how these changes may be positively and negatively impacting various forms of inequities experienced by older adults. Come join us in a discussion about what we want virtual care to be and how we want to engage with it.

Sandra Smele is the Coordinator of Expertise in Inclusive Aging, Diversity, Health and Well-Being at the Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology and a Research Associate of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute. Her research collaborations in social gerontology focus on promoting practices that support wellness in residential homes and supporting social inclusion and participation, including the digital citizenship of older adults.

Poster depicting virtual care, seniors in a computer talking to someone. Another person on a computer

Everyone is welcome to participate in any of the engAGE Living Lab activities. To get instructions on how to join, please send an email to

On Thursday, February 18 from 2:30-4:00 the Creative Science Shop presented researchers Linda Dyer and Stefanie Ruel, accompanied by Concordia student Angel Henchey, to tell the stories of four women in science and engineering who lived and worked during the “Cold War” period in Canada. These remarkable women were pioneers in their fields and their legacies continue in the present day.

Inspired by their stories, we anticipated a lively discussion of how their world is connected to topics as wide-ranging as telemedicine, weather patterns, and the persistent challenges for women in the workplace, and our own relevant life experiences.

The presenters are Dr. Linda Dyer, engAGE researcher and professor at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia, Stefanie Ruel, a faculty member at the Open University in the UK who came to academia after a 20-year career in the space industry, and Angel Henchey, MSc student in Management with a keen interest in women’s experiences in STEM higher education.

Watch the videos of Dr. Linda Dyer’s presentation here:

A woman in my past, part 1: Elsie MacGill

A woman in my past, part 2. Dr Luise Herzberg

A woman in my past, part3: Moira Dunbar

A woman in my past, part 4. Doris Jelly.

Conclusion: Our STEM Supper Party, inspired by “The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago.

CSS Poster depicting 4 important women on the STEM field

Everyone is welcome to participate in any of the engAGE Living Lab activities. To get instructions on how to join, please send an email to

Join us in the Creative Science Shop where Dr. Mahani will present some insights from two post-COVID studies exploring media technologies and stress.

Six decades ago, the Canadian icon Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “The media is the message”. At the time, television was the newest form of communication technology and McLuhan was arguing that the effect of this new medium on our life would not be solely social and political (because of the content), but also physical and physiological (because it touched our nerves).

Simply, McLuhan argued that every form of technology is invented to extend our body and our nervous system. But in order for this extension to happen, we have to replace that body part that we are extending. He argued that this process, of amputation and extension, would stress us as surgery would.

Last year this time, we were suddenly cut off from our communities, and especially from our seniors. Did various Media technologies help us or stress us? Did this process of amputation (social distancing) and extension (Zooming) affect us in the aftermath of COVID-19?

Najmeh Khalili-Mahani is a neuroscientist and biomedical engineer at Concordia University’s PERFORM Centre. She is one of the co-founders of the engAGE Living Lab MediaSpa and her research focuses on screens and stress and specifically, she is interested in developing playful and interactive technologies that assist individuals with chronic health conditions and limited mobility.

Everyone is welcome to participate in any of the engAGE Living Lab activities. To get instructions on how to join, please send an email to

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