Raising the Curtain

... on the lived experience of dementia
The Imagination Network is a groundbreaking collaboration between artists, Deer Crossing the Art Farm, health care professionals, The Good Samaritan Society, and academia, Douglas College, to redefine how we engage with aging.

While the impact of dementia continues to grow in our lives and communities, and research accelerates to match this impact, the voices of those individuals—their thoughts, stories, and ideas—fade into the background.

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Inspired by TimeSlips—a story creation process that replaces the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine—The Imagination Network brings people with dementia together with artists and community members to create powerful and inspiring works of art.

In the emerging field of dementia advocacy, one of its leading voices Kate Swaffer—living through the experience of dementia herself—has coined the term “prescribed disengagement”; once a person has been diagnosed with the illness, they are encouraged to disengage from regular society, to prepare for the inevitable decline in their cognitive abilities.

Kate Swaffer challenges this line of thinking and encourages people to instead re-invest in their lives and communities.

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The Imagination Network believes that a person with the lived experience of dementia is still creative, still has an important story to tell, and still has valuable contributions to make to our world and communities.

Our Goal

To raise $20,000 towards the creation of a theatrical production that is co-written, co-produced and co-performed by people with dementia in collaboration with professional artists, care givers, and community members.

Tides Canada - Art Farm Fund

Donate to the Deer Crossing the Art Farm Fund at Tides Canada and your donation will be directed to charities (such as The Good Samaritan Society) who support our mission.  Donors will receive a tax receipt.  Email us to learn more.

Raising the Curtain

Raising the Curtain is a ground-breaking multi-year project that explores the question: “What is the lived experience of dementia?” through the ideas, creativity and perspectives of those living it. It is being facilitated by a team consisting of health care professionals (Christenson Village), Researchers (Douglas College) and artists (Deer Crossing the Art Farm).

The first phase of the project will culminate in the presentation of a theatrical production that is written, produced and performed by people living with dementia in collaboration with professional artists, care givers, and community members.  

Working towards this production goal, the team has undergone an in-depth collaboration process utilizing all elements of creative expression.  People living with dementia have led and actively participated in a series of creative workshops such as sculpture, mixed-media, spoken word, sound and movement.  

At the end of this project, a research paper will be also be published that evaluates the impact of creative engagement on people with the lived experience of dementia, as well as the impact on the community in which they live.

Why this is Important

We believe that amplifying the voice of people living with dementia, and bringing it to the forefront will transform our perception of, interaction with and relationship to aging. Raising the Curtain will foster engagement and provide meaningful connections between people living with dementia, caregivers and the broader community.

Creative Engagement is Powerful

Over the past three years, professional artists and researchers have collaborated  with people living with dementia through a series of creative workshops including collage, painting, textiles, sculpture, shadow puppetry, spoken-word, music, and theatre.

This creative collaboration has provided an opportunity to provide a “voice” for people who are not normally heard and to co-create powerful works of art with and because of that “voice”.   Through this project, people living with dementia have had the opportunity to connect with each other, share their stories, create works of art, and engage with the broader community.  This project has profoundly broadened our understanding of the power of community engaged arts.

How the Funds will be Used

Your support will be used to pay for professional artists (the playwright, choreographer, sound designers, visual artists, performers, and facilitators) and recreational therapists to engage creatively with people living with the experience of dementia and co-create a powerful theatrical production.

Raising the Curtain is based on the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia.

The Imagination Network has already received funding support for this next phase from Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, Sunshine Coast Community Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, Town of Gibsons, Sunshine Coast Regional District, and private donors.

Special thanks to our Imagination Network partners, sponsors and funders.

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