FOCUS ON SENIORS: Tuning up for a busy year
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Jan 06, 2017  |  Vote 0    0

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Tuning up for a busy year

Brant News

In order for us to fully realize the many opportunities posed by living longer, healthier lives, we need to view aging with our eyes wide open.

Goal-setting should continue throughout our entire lives. Having something new and fresh to look forward to should happen at any age.    

The Grand River Council on Aging has been making plans for another busy year.

We will be actively recruiting new volunteers in 2017.  

For the past two-and-a-half years, partners Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) and the Brant News have used this weekly page to showcase stories of particular interest to people of all ages, but especially seniors.  

The GRCOA has always been on the lookout for great story ideas. Now it’s on the lookout for great storytellers, too.

In order to have a fresh story or perspective in the column each week, the GRCOA is seeking people willing to volunteer their time and writing skills to this column.  

To discuss this exciting opportunity, call Kathryn Poirier at 519-754-0777, ext. 438.

Other people may like to plan and organize events and activities. Volunteers with this type of experience are needed to serve on the GRCOA’s communication committee and the event committee.

Members of the communication committee are responsible for planning education and awareness events.

Examples of these events are the GRCOA booth at the annual CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) Fair in May of each year, and the Workshop on a Bus on National Seniors Day — an annual event every Oct. 1.  Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 2 p.m.

The event committee meets every other Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Both committees meet at the Grand River Community Health Centre.

This committee is responsible for planning the Musical Matinee Concert and Taco Fest. Both events are brand new in 2017, with all funds raised going toward the work of the GRCOA.   

The Musical Matinee Concert is scheduled for Wed., April 19 at 2 p.m., at the Sanderson Centre, and will feature the combined musical talents of the George Rose Band for the first half and the Kennie Marco Band for the second half of the concert.

The George Rose Band has been playing together since 1982.  

Starting out as a swing band, the band’s recordings trace the music from the original swing to contemporary R&B, soul and a bit of rock.  

This progression led to the present stage, where the band is playing more jazz- flavoured arrangements, show tunes and famous vocalist hits. This local group entertains generally within a 250-kilometre radius and enjoys a following of its own.   

Kennie Marco, now a resident of Saskatoon, originally hails from Brantford. He has played in some of the hottest rhythm sections in rhythm and blues and popular music in North America, performing and recording with such notable talents as David Clayton Thomas, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Etta James.  

This superb guitarist is an original member of Motherlode, a Canadian group that produced the international hit single, “When I Die.” Also an original member of Dr. Music, Marco was recently back in his hometown to perform at the Brantford International Jazz Festival.

As seasoned entertainers, it should come as no surprise that Rose and Marco are considered polished professionals.  Both have been described as honourable men, earning the respect of their peers and the rave reviews of their fans.  

Joining them on stage will be another local musician, Frank DeFelice, on drums. Talented dancers Brian and Kelly Slote will demonstrate some ballroom moves. Concert pianist Shirley Hutty will play in the lobby as guests arrive. Brantford’s town crier, Dave McKee, will bring greetings. Tickets will cost $30 each.  

Taco Fest will be modelled after a similar event that takes place in Kitchener-Waterloo each year, and brings together various kitchens and breweries for a signature fundraising event to appeal to all ages.  

Watch this column for further details on this exciting fall festival.

Finally, the GRCOA hopes to recruit people from various neighbourhoods around the City of Brantford to volunteer as “age-friendly community champions.” These champions are people who act as a resource to help seniors understand new concepts, avoid scams, and be a source of information for seniors.

If any of these volunteer opportunities tickle your fancy, please call Kathryn Poirier at 519-754-0777, ext. 438, or email

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