Programs & Activities

Tips for fostering intergenerational connections

Looking for WINspiration? What are you already doing that you can do differently to incorporate an intergenerational component?

Here are some general tips for fostering intergenerational connections in your events:

  • Share knowledge and skills across generations (workshops, lectures)
  • Unite generations in shared interests (book clubs, nature walks, etc.)
  • Co-create arts and crafts (visual, written and dramatic arts)
  • Sharing life experiences through artistic expression (story-telling, etc.)
  • Learn a new skill together (gardening, cooking, pottery, etc.)
  • Shared experiences (tea party, “Then and Now questions”, milestone celebrations, etc.)

Here are some examples to inspire you:

  • Flashmob (Intergénérations Québec)
  • Cyber Seniors – Sienna Senior Living – Be inspired by an unforgettable journey
  • School visiting program / Senior Centre or Senior Residence Visiting program (SKIP brings children and seniors together to enhance the lives of each.)
  • Linking Generations through Song, example of teenagers, people affected by Alzheimer’s and nun’s inclusive intergenerational singing choir (Alzheimer Society London and Middlesex, Medway Highschool and Sisters of St. Joseph)
  • Check out WIN’s Blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

Local WINspirations

Linking Generations through Song

Linking Generations through Song at AGI is an inclusive intergenerational singing group facilitated by a certified music therapist for those affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia, their care partner, as well as school-aged children and members from the community.

Linking Generations through Art

Linking Generations through Art the Drop In Program of Cummings Centre, partnered with the City of Cote St Luc Summer Camps 2019, to create a mural between Older Adult guests of the program and youth of the community. The goal of the project was to discuss similarities in summer likes and to foster relationships within the building & community. Over 65 older adults and 60 children were a part of this project.

Intergenerational Child Care Program

Facilitating connections for Seniors and young children / Seniors in the West-end began volunteering at the childcare center “CPE Les P’tits Profs” in October 2017.

Starting off as a class project, this initiative transformed into a community building program. Seniors in the West-end began volunteering at the childcare center “CPE Les P’tits Profs” in October 2017.

Quebec daycares and ‘Centres de la Petite Enfances’ (CPEs), suffered major budget cuts and many were in need of volunteers. Meanwhile, 1 in 3 people in the borough of NDG are over 65! Why not seize the opportunity and get Seniors engaged as volunteers at the childcare center, to provide support and reap the benefits of IG connections? The Older Adult volunteers had the flexibility to choose how they wanted to be involved (examples: help with meals, help during outdoor time, book reading…)


“…you cannot imagine how well it is going with the Daycare – over the top. The bonding with the kids is immeasurable, everyone could not be nicer nor more welcoming….I look forward to every Tuesday. What a great opportunity to “rejuvenate”! Matthew, my youngest grandchild, is 15 1/2, so I no longer have little ones at my beck and call!!!”
– Volunteer since October 2017

“On Wednesday, the 11h of April, 2018, I had the pleasure of spending two (2) hours at the C.P.E. on Belmore….I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and I was fortunate, indeed to have the support of Shayne Zal (the intergenerational volunteer coordinator). He kindly spent the two hours with me and the children. Thanks to his expertise and patience, I learned how to spend time with the young ones and how to benefit immensely from this experience.”
– Volunteer since March 2018

Intergenerational Day with Extra Miles

An activity based get-together encouraging the exchange of information between generations, fostering outreach, cooperation, understanding, mutual respect and fun. (2012 won Intergénérations Québec’s award in the “Continuity” category.)

  • Ice breakers (“Then & Now” conversation cards, meet and greet)
    • Extra Miles’ “Then and Now” cards are used to begin conversations between people of all ages and backgrounds. A card, “How did you / do you communicate with others?”, is selected,
      • Youth asks, “Older Adult, how did you communicate with others when you were my age”?
      • Older Adult asks, “Younger person, how do you communicate with others”?
  • “Speed dating” with a twist (rotation of small group activities)
    • Visiting Seniors and youth are paired at different tables. Each table has an activity. Every few minutes the youth move to another table. Youth and Older Adults have more personal conversations and time to get to know each other.
  • Mindful meditation
  • Sharing a meal
  • Creative activity
    • Ideas: Share a song, poem or story, create a piece of art together etc..

Above activities can be adapted to virtual gatherings and or landline conversations. Contact WIN to discuss ideas.

Observation during Intergenerational Day with Extra Miles, Teacher remarked, “It is nice to see my students interacting so compassionately. I will be interacting with them differently when we go back to school”.


Regular monthly visits with the students they met at Intergenerational Day with Extra Miles. They had “Then and Now” conversations and played games.

Random Acts of Friendship and “The Ripple Effect”

Random Acts of Friendship and “The Ripple Effect” – with Extra Miles and in recognition of National Seniors Day, October 1, 2018 (2019, Winner Intergénérations Québec’s award in the “Literary” category).

  • Cards prepared by students from Royal West Academy and Hampstead Elementary School were delivered to the NDG SCC Day Away Program participants (24), New Hope Senior Citizens’ Centre Meals on Wheels (MOW) clients (64); and Montreal West Meals on Wheels clients (16). Extra Miles worked together with Jagdeep Trehin, Spiritual care, Guidance and Community Involvement Animator – English Montreal School Board and the above-mentioned community organizations who rallied their volunteers to deliver the cards. One recipient was touched and happy. She was “pleased the youth were concerned about older adults and wanted to understand”.

The ripple effect, as a result of the National Seniors Day card writing initiative :

  • The New Hope Senior Citizens’ Centre MOW coordinator gave a talk at Hampstead Elementary School about Meals on Wheels.
  • Hampstead Elementary students prepared and designed holiday cards to deliver with MOWs in December.
  • Seniors and students interested in being pen-pals.
  • Hampstead students visited New Hope Senior Citizens’ Centre’s Monday Day program for lunch and bingo. The class was so energized from the experience when they returned to school, another three classes wanted to participate in the exchange.
  • Three other classes visited the New Hope Meals on Wheels program.
  • Hampstead students prepared happy summer cards to be distributed through MOW.

Read more about the Ripple Effect Program in La Presse

Afternoon Dance in Celebration of International Day of Older Persons (2019)

WIN brought the intergenerational component. Sponsored by the NDG Senior Citizens’ Council in collaboration with the West-end Seniors Table, Montreal West United Church’s Extra Miles Senior visiting program, WIN and WIN partners, students from Edinburg Elementary guided by Jagdeep Trehin, Spiritual care, Guidance and Community Involvement Animator – English Montreal School Board School helped serve, danced, said kind words and brought cards for all the guests. Guests were the Older Adults from the community. Music by the Fabulous Flashbacks. Line dancing was spontaneously led by local police officer Constable DeAngelis. As the guests were departing, we saw one gentleman smile warmly at the card while tucking it away very carefully in his breast pocket. Guests and volunteers alike are looking forward to future Tea Dances.

CPE Afternoon Tea 2019-06

In celebration of “CPE week”, “Friendship has no age day” and to honour the Seniors in the community CPE Les P’tits Profs hosted a schoolyard Senior Appreciation Tea Party.

Thank you: William and his wife wrote us a beautiful email of thanks, “I wanted to let you know how much my wife and I appreciated being at the tea party of your CPE. It was clear that a lot of work and preparation had gone into the event. My wife and I do not have children or grandchildren. It was therefore amazing for us to see so many ‘small ones ‘at the same time. And all the attention and watching that they require. That is what the intergenerational day has done for us.


March for the environment

WIN joined Mark Medicoff, faculty representative to the student group Sustainable Concordia to mobilize Older Adults in support of “our grandchildren and youth”: Elders for Climate March! / Les Aîné-es à la marche pour le climat

Town of Montreal West 50 plus club

Town of Montreal West 50 plus club and Edinburg Elementary School leadership group (Facilitated by Extra Miles senior visiting program and WIN)

Cyber seniors

Cyber seniors (EMSB/JFK, REISA, WIN) Cyber Seniors / Seniors from Almage 50+ Center and secondary 5 students from John F. Kennedy High school. (Relationship assisted by REISA, EMSB SCA Samantha Smith and WIN) (pictures from REISA)

  • A program pairing secondary 5 students with Seniors who want to learn how to better communicate in today’s world.
  • The program encouraged dialogue and building intergenerational friendships.

Monday with Montclair Residents

During the 2019-2020 school year (until March 2020), the Kindergarten classes from Saint Monica Elementary School walked to Montclair Residence with their teacher and their SCA, Ms. Samantha (Smith). The little ones entertained the Residents with a couple of songs, then grouped with a Resident or 2 to read and share their favourite books. These activities were followed by a creative Art Activity to the theme of the Month. The time together was filled with lots of cuddles and broad smiles.