Bridging the generation gap

Oakville youth capture life narratives of local seniors in an upcoming community exhibition

Younger lady speaking to an elderly lady in a room
Bridging the generation gap
Kerr Street Cafe
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About the Author

Matthew Hyland

Matthew Hyland

Matthew Hyland has been director of Oakville Galleries, since 2008. Educated in women’s studies and cultural studies at York University and the University of Victoria, respectively, Hyland has been with Oakville Galleries since 2006. Prior to joining the staff at the Galleries, Hyland held positions at the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre and the City of Toronto.

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Oakville Galleries is pleased to announce the fourth annual Oakville Galleries’ Youth Council (OGYC) exhibition Age Gap: Conversations between Seniors and Teens, presenting video portraits that capture the individual life narratives of a community of local seniors. Please join OGYC to celebrate the opening on Wednesday 21 May from 6:00 pm–7:00 pm at Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens.

Age Gap: Conversations between Seniors and Teens
Fourth Annual Oakville Galleries’ Youth Council Exhibition

21 May – 25 May 2014
Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens

Over a period of several months in winter 2014, members of the Oakville Galleries’ Youth Council met one-on-one with residents at the Post Village Inn Seniors Residence to create video portraits of local seniors. Each teen was paired with a senior, with whom they conducted in-depth interviews about their life story. These interviews were shot and edited by the teens into short videos, which will be presented in the exhibition.

In capturing the individual life narratives of a community of local seniors, stories of childhood, youth, immigration, work, love, and family emerged readily, as well as unexpected moments of amazement and bewilderment from the teens recording the stories. One teen, for example, interviewed a mother of eighteen children and another was amazed to hear her female subject’s career evolution from chemist to farmer to real estate agent. Stories such as these demonstrate the “age gap” between subjects and interviewers, granting teens a fresh perspective on aging and senior identity.

This project was made possible with support from the New Horizons For Seniors Program through Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC).

Formed in January 2010, OGYC is comprised of a group of local teens interested in contemporary art. Driven by a desire to create a youth-oriented art scene in Oakville, the OGYC has organized a broad range of programs and events over the past four years, including this exhibition.

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