AD{CS6422569} AD{CS6417325} Wednesday, June 7, 2017 THE CRAG & CANYON 17


JUNE 5-11

Patrick Gibson/ Crag & Canyon Members of the Banff Senior Citizens Society kicked off Seniors? Week with a barbecue spread at the Recreation Grounds picnic shelter. The group ate amidst their prized vehicle fleet: their crucial transport shuttle and a special, custom-made adaptive bike.

Senior Citizens Society brings alpine action to Seniors? Week

Patrick Gibson Crag & Canyon Seniors? Week began on Sunday, and the Banff Senior Citizens Society is making sure the town?s festivities are some of the best in the province-wide affair. Running from June 5?11, the week will feature a host of informational, social and outdoor activities geared toward Banff?s 55-plus crowd. ?It?s a great way to raise our visibility in town,? said BSCS president Mary Buckingham of her team?s role in the week. ?Some think we?re just a group that has coffee in the afternoons, and we?re just trying to get the word out that we like to do active stuff as well.? While the Society has worked tirelessly to make sure the week is a hit, Buckingham credits the Town of Banff and its senior support coordinator Sue Smythe for being the event?s ringleader. Smythe will lead a group of seniors up Tunnel Mountain for ?Tunnel Tuesday,? a hike they plan on making a weekly event (make sure you register ahead of time). There?s a muchhyped ?interesting things? display this Thursday after the Society?s weekly participation in the free Community Table lunch program. The most excitement, however, is reserved for Friday morning?s notorious baseball game. ?The over-55 seniors play the Banff Elementary School Seniors,? said Buckingham, meaning the latter team is comprised of 11-year-old sluggers just wrapping up grade six. ?The grade sixes start out in the lead, but they don?t catch and throw quite as well as the senior seniors. Sometimes, they manage to edge us out, but it often ends in a tie,? she added. Buckingham said they?re always looking for more participants for the 10:30 a.m. high school field showdown, and she added ?the kids will even run for any seniors that don?t want to run themselves.? While Seniors? Week fun ends on Monday, Buckingham and Smythe are working to make sure the entire summer is an engaging one for Banff?s seniors. ?We want to encourage people to get out, to stay healthy, and enjoy life. It?s easy for a senior to get isolated and not talk to anyone else. It?s easy to stay home, and we try and get everybody out,? Buckingham said. From coffee dates every weekday, to tai chi, to a whitewater course offered by Buckingham?s own husband, the Society isn?t leaving many excuses to stay in. Patrick Gibson Crag & Canyon

A celebration 41 years in the making

The Canmore Seniors Association celebrates Seniors? Week in its 41st year of operation. Last year, the group saw one of its largest membership counts ever, with 850 55-plus residents coming and going through the doors of their two-storey downtown Canmore facility. Canmore Seniors Association president Phil Wilson credits their strong user base to the town?s draw for adventurous retirees. ?They?re more active outdoors, by and large,? he said of Canmore?s senior population. ?They?re interested in multiple activities and they like meeting people.? The activities are numerous at the CSA. Its members can play a rousing summer game of bocce in the outdoor garden, and as the seasons change they can head into the large hall for floor curling. Wilson says the large activity selection is entirely member-dictated: ?It?s driven by member interest. There are some core activities that we know are always supported, and we?re always welcoming suggestions from members.?

All the best for



Cam Westhead MLA

for Banff-Cochrane

403-609-4509 Scottish Country Dancing, a sort of cowboy hat-less square dance, is the winter?s most popular activity. People meet weekly to learn from a member-instructor. And in the summer? ?There?s probably about 70 people that routinely play pickleball at various times,? said Wilson. A w e l l - k n o w n g r o u p operating within the social framework of the CSA is the adventure club known as the Meanderthals. Open to all seniors, the group ?meanders? through the Rockies in all seasons with their hiking boots, snowshoes or crosscountry skis. Other current favourites include table tennis and yoga, carried out in a studio upstairs that can be rented for retreats. The CSA, thanks in part to a lease deal negotiated with the town, rents out all portions of their multiroom facility to help fund their member activities. Wilson said the hall frequently hosts everything from weddings, to dances, to memorial services. However, members come first. ?We try not to bump member activities if possible,? he said. Wilson stressed the solid social foundation that these member activities create. A popular initiative is the BYOB happy hour, which is held monthly at the hall. However, the peak of the social calendar is the alwayssold-out Christmas Social. ?When seniors come into town this is always a good spot to get them involved,? he said. They come along for a couple of happy hours, they go on a couple of hikes, and suddenly they?ve got all sorts of friends, people they can do things with,? he added. ?You come a little bit early, have a chat with your friends, listen to the presentation and then quite a few people hang around afterwards.? The presentation Wilson is referring to is the Lifelong Learning Series, a curated collection of guest speakers that talk to an audience at the hall between October and April. Wilson said there?s plenty to learn. ?Dying gracefully, hiking trails, there?s a huge range of subjects,? Wilson noted. Wilson will be stationed at the griddle when the CSA celebrates Seniors? Week with their Pancake Breakfast held this Sunday at the hall. The long-standing tradition runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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