Creativity fosters emotional well-being, reinforces memory, cultivates a positive approach to life that enhances the immune system, and can help combat depression. Guided tours and artmaking at the gallery break down barriers and encourage visitors to engage socially and creatively in museum settings. The Art Gallery of Ontario, in partnership with the City of Toronto Long-Term Care Homes & Services, embarked on a three-year pilot program to support residents and clients with a range of cognitive and physical abilities.
The AGO also trains youth volunteers from the City of Toronto to be Art Ambassadors, who lead artmaking experiences in Long-Term Care homes and supportive housing sites. The artworks on view in this exhibition were all created during those sessions, based on works in the AGO collection. Many more sculptures and paintings were created beyond this exhibition presentation from all 10 Long-Term Care Homes.
The AGO’s Access to Art Programs offer an outlet for creative expression and enhance quality of life for participants, their family and friends, and the staff and volunteers who support them. Older adults, visitors who are blind, and organizations supporting mental health are invited to the gallery for tours and artmaking through the Access to Art Programs and workshops.