The “Cabaret” showcased the diverse ways older women are contributing to social change across our society; the many different ways women are engaging in community leadership and activism as they age. Instead of a more conventional keynote address, the cabaret opened our event with a series of short “snapshots” – short performances, presentations, and film excerpts – of the different forms of social change work underway among participants at the symposium. In a fun and lively way, it set the stage for conversations that ensued, between activists and academics and across generations.
Grandmothers’ Advocacy Network: (presented by Pat Evans, with excerpt of film by Peggy Edwards, Voices of Advocacy)
GRAN is a cross-Canada network of volunteers advocating at local, national and international levels. We work to engage Canadian and international support for policies and programs that will address the needs of African grandmothers as they strive to sustain their families and communities in the wake of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. As our name suggests, GRAN is made up of a strong core of older women who contribute their energy, experience and expertise.
Respecting Elders: Communities Against Abuse (RECAA): short film presentation
RECAA stands for Ressources Ethnoculturelles Contre l’Abus envers les Ainés/ Respecting Elders: Communities Against Abuse. It is an initiative of community workers and individuals from the ethnocultural communities of Montreal. Our mission is to work towards a culture of respect for our elders and raise awareness of elder mistreatment within our communities. We do this through participatory theatre: acting out scenes non-verbally to promote discussion and problem-solving.
Mother Earth Water Walkers: (presented by Shirley Williams)
The Water Walkers are a diverse group of people led by Anishinaabe-kwewag (Indigenous women) who use Indigenous knowledge and tradition uphold our responsibility to care for the water. We, along with dedicated supporters – women and men including non-First Nations – incorporate scientific knowledge to teach and practice water stewardship. Without clean water sources, Creation could not survive the pollution that is overtaking the lakes, streams, and oceans.
Peterborough Raging Grannies: Songs for Action (presented by: Linda Slavin, Dorothy Boddy, Jo Hayward-Haines, Noreen Holder, Pat Ainsworth)
Dressed in eye-catching hats and wild “Granny” clothes, the Raging Grannies sing their witty protest songs wherever and whenever they can: at rallies, in schools, in places where the public congregates. The Raging Grannies dedicate their efforts to the children of the world, so that they may live in a world of peace and harmony, safe from war and pollution. Considered by some to be a “Social Movement,” the Raging Grannies have expanded to more than 34 Canadian cities and have crossed the border and even oceans.
“I Live for Menopause”: by performance artist, Dayna McLeod