A five-year, two million dollar project funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) looks to improve senior community inclusion in the District of Mackenzie.

“Senior Inclusion Solutions for Northern Communities” sees the College of New Caledonia partnering with other local and regional groups to develop ways to socially include seniors, defined as people 55 and older.

When the District of Mackenzie was incorporated in 1966, it was designed around a young workforce.

Based on 2016 Statistics Canada data, 1/3rd of Mackenzie’s population is now 55 or older.

CNC’s Mackenzie campus hopes to connect seniors with trades students to create shared mentorship experiences through collaborative projects.

The campus will also open a training kitchen allowing seniors to learn more about cooking.

Furthermore a “Lunch and Learn” series for seniors will start at CNC with information sessions on an array of subjects including cell phone use, gardening, trade tools training, and business computer use.

Seniors will be able to receive credit for various courses, and they may also be able to register for free under CNC’s tuition waiver for seniors.

“The ‘Senior Inclusion Solution for Northern Communities’ project strives for lasting improvements providing seniors the ability to feel more integrated in the community including social, recreational, artisan, and entrepreneurial ventures,” said Shannon Bezo, Regional Principal of CNC Mackenzie.

Other key partners include the Mackenzie Autumn Lodge Society, Kimta Transportation Society, and UNBC’s Community Development Institute.