The traffic overflow sign was my first indication of how popular this annual event is. It was June 4, 2015 and the Centre was holding its “Bolder, Older, Better” Health and Wellness Symposium and Trade Show for the 19th time as part of Seniors' Week. About 600 visitors attended the event.
The day commenced with speeches from two guest speakers: Councillor Andrew Knack and Bruce Bowie from 630 CHED. The audience were much amused by by Pat Parkinson's presentation on Laughter Yoga. She saw to it that everyone laughed out loud. Two important presentations were delivered by Dr. Lauren Drogos (Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary) on Aerobics and Prevention of the On-Set of Alzheimer's and by Claire Kjeid, Registered Dietitian on Gluten Free Food. Information on Joint Health a presentation by DR. Randy Gregg, an Oilers alumnus, too proved a popular item at the Symposium.
“We sold out most of the food,” happily responded Executive Director Janice Monfries. “Westend Seniors Activity Centre is so pleased with this event.”
In addition to the Health and Wellness Symposium, there was a Trade Show displaying the services and products offered by an array of private businesses, NGOs and government organizations. For example there were booths of Scotiabank, Servus Credit Union, Park Memorial Funeral Home, Westlawn Memorial, A-Star Tours, Nurse Next Door home care services, to name a few.
Government institutions that participated included Service Canada and ETS while Covenant Health, Primary Care Network, Alzheimer's Society, Medichair, among others represented the health sector.
While the Symposium and Trade Show were being held, there were so many other activities taking place such as, woodcarving and display, African art and display and a silent auction and basket raffle. With so many activities happening simultaneously, there was much traffic along the hallways slowing down the movement of visitors. In addition, there was the BBQ and bake sale to raise funds. “We had planned a Health and Wellness Symposium under the theme: Fit for the Future, meant to educate, engage and entertain seniors during the Seniors Week,” says Monfries, “and we feel that our information sessions regarding joint health, aerobics and the prevention of Alzheimer's as well as nutrition did provide useful information to the seniors.”
She also added, “Our entertainment including Laughter Yoga, the African Drummers and the Dynamo Gymnastics team as well as the Exhibitors' showcase and demonstrations, really rounded up the day.”