Cannan: Local support makes Kelowna a mecca for retirees

The quality of volunteers and the excellent leadership within our organizations is impressive.

No matter your age, but especially as one gets older, staying informed, being engaged and keeping active in your community is vital for one’s general well-being.

It also keeps our communities healthy and vibrant.

It was an honour to host Alice Wong, the  minister of state for seniors, earlier this month and take her on a tour of some of our local seniors’ centres, introduce her to the folks in our community who are dedicated to working daily with our seniors, many on a volunteer basis.

The quality of volunteers and the excellent leadership within our organizations is impressive and it reinforces why the Okanagan is such a wonderful place for seniors to live.

Thanks to the hospitality and great work of Kelowna Community Resources, Wong and I had a chance to sit down at a roundtable and chat with representatives of various local organizations who work hard every day to make our community safe, fun and livable.

The discussion focused on a number of topics including seniors in isolation, helping groups work with local and provincial governments to provide better transportation systems, and the challenges/best practices for keeping seniors, active, engaged and informed.

The minister and I were able to draw attention to the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which has always been well received in the Okanagan.

All communities are different and have different needs and the NHSP program lets communities design programs and projects that are tailor made to fit their unique needs.

Projects are led or inspired by seniors and address issues including promoting volunteerism among seniors and other generations; engaging seniors in the community through the mentoring of others; expanding awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse; supporting the social participation and inclusion of seniors; and providing capital assistance for new and existing community projects and/or programs for seniors.

Wong also drew attention to the National Seniors Council, which has been assessing how social isolation affects seniors and exploring ways to prevent and reduce the social isolation of seniors in Canada.

Information on the council’s activities can be found at

The value of roundtables like the one held in Kelowna can’t be underestimated.

Such gatherings provide the opportunity to build relationships between different organizations enabling them to find ways they can work together and share best practices.

Wong has visited more than 150 ridings and has been listening to folks from all over the country.

She consistently hears the message that there is a strong correlation between health and getting out into your community and keeping active.

I encourage anyone with an interest in issues related to seniors to access the extensive information available at

If you need to access resources from any level of government, want to know what benefits you are entitled to, or need more information on issues which affect the wellbeing of seniors, this is a great resource.

For those who do not have an Internet connection available to them, information is available from Service Canada by calling 1-800-O-CANADA.

Or you can always contact my Capri Mall constituency office, call 250-470-5075, and my staff or I will do our best to help you find what you might need.

As Ernest Myers the poet and author stated: “Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” I think that is sage advice to everyone, no matter your age.

Just Posted

Okanagan residents can win ride in army vehicle

A social media campaign offers the chance to win a ride in the Dragoons armoured vehicle

Reel Reviews: War from both sides of the desk

We say, “Forgive these films their faults and they will be entertaining enough.”

Residents should keep air intakes clear of snow

Silver Star Fire Department is encouraging residens to keep their air intakes clear after snowfall

Community Leader Awards: The Red Cross

The Kelowna Capital News honours volunteers in the community

Update: Highway 97C reopened following multi-vehicle incident

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

PHOTOS: Icing the competition

Skate Canada 2018 Okanagan Regional Championships skated through Vernon this weekend

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Street Sounds: Rolling with the Stones

The Stones’ On Air is a blast from the past in every sense

Sledding revved for recovery centre

Adult and Teen Challenge BC’s Sled for Eternity returns to SilverStar Mountain Resort Feb. 24

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

Owls soar to valley basketball title

KSS wins easily at Okanagan finals to represent valley next week at provincials in Langley

Brakemen pulling out all the stops for 2018

Kettle Valley Brakemen planning some surprises

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Most Read