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Season of Creativity

Seasons of Creativity Holiday Challenge Maria

Feeling the joy of the season

The holiday season inspires a lot of creative energy at Revera’s retirement residences and long term care homes. It’s a time of fun, joy and gatherings as our residents and team members celebrate the end of another year and look forward to the start of a new one. It’s also a time to reflect on memories and old traditions, while creating new ones. In short, the holidays are special and remind us of the things that are important.

Around this time each year, Revera encourages its residents to submit their homemade art that demonstrates the feelings of the holidays. From the dozens of submissions received from across Canada, Revera’s employees vote on their favourites and we then turn these into special holiday cards. It’s always a big challenge to whittle down the number of choices because there are many talented artists who live in Revera’s retirement and long term care homes, however, it’s also heartwarming to learn the stories about our residents’ artistic journeys.

Here are the final submissions of the 2021 Revera Holiday Card Challenge:

alt="An entry in the Revera Holiday Card Challenge. A winter scene with a Christmas tree, painted by Marguerite Smith."

Marguerite Smith, Resident of Humber Valley Terrace in Toronto, ON

Marguerite was born in Cobourg, Ontario and lived in Peterborough where she worked at Canadian General Electric as an operator. Marguerite’s daughter and grandson still live in Peterborough. “When I think of Christmas, I think of trees with lights, white snow, Santa Claus, and Jesus being born on that day,” she says.

“Also, it is a happy occasion where I shared gifts with my family. I celebrated Christmas with my daughter, and we would go to the mall in Peterborough together where we would do our Christmas shopping and listen to the Salvation Army band.”

An entry in the Revera Holiday Card Challenge. A winter scene painted by Guy Kilburn.

Guy Kilburn, Resident of Longfields Manor in Nepean, ON

Guy was born in London, England on December 18th, 1951 and moved to Canada in 1957. He studied Biology at Carleton University for four years and became an apprentice at a dental lab before deciding to go into the restaurant business. Guy always had an eye for sketching and enjoys doing it for his own pleasure. A few of his other hobbies are long walks, trivia programs, music programs and social gatherings. He also enjoys listening to music and used to play the acoustic and electric guitar.

An entry in the Revera Holiday Card Challenge. A winter scene painted by Fay Newson

Fay Newson, Resident of Trillium Court in Kincardine, ON

Visitors to Fay’s suite always comment on the beautiful oil paintings and watercolours that adorn her walls. Born near Fergus, Ontario, Fay has always been inspired by rural landscapes. The Lake Huron shoreline became a favourite subject after one of her children moved to Kincardine, and visits to a son in Alberta added mountains to her favourite themes for paintings. Fay’s artistic gifts include music as well; she is an accomplished pianist who taught piano for many years.

An entry in the Revera Holiday Card Challenge. A winter scene painted by Helen Cranston

Helen Cranston, Resident of Donway Place in Toronto, ON

Helen first began painting when she attended a Community Art Program as a Junior Senior in 1984. She finds painting to be very therapeutic and loves painting from the heart. She often finds inspiration from her memories, travel, friends, pets, nature and scenery. Helen’s motto is “Tried once, lived it forever!”

An entry in the Revera Holiday Card Challenge. A painting by Maria Mauro, depicting Santa and one of his reindeer.

Maria Mauro, Resident of McConachie Gardens in Edmonton, AB

Maria was first introduced to painting during a respite stay at McConachie Gardens in 2020 when a Recreation Aide was sharing paintings that residents had created with string art. At this time, Maria had never touched a paintbrush but was excited to try when she saw how simple it was.

Since then Maria has decided to move into McConachie Gardens permanently and has not missed one single art class. Maria kept working on her art skills throughout the pandemic and created this painting during the holiday season last year.

An entry in the Revera Holiday Card Challenge. Two cardinals perched on a holly branch, painted by Mary Lumb.

Mary Lumb, Resident of Westney Gardens in Ajax, ON

Mary was born in 1933 in Ireland and immigrated to Canada in 1958. She later met her husband, George, who loved to go to art shows. Mary had an interest in art at an early age, but decided to enter the medical profession for her career. She later moved to Ajax, joining Ajax Creative Arts, where she is an honoree member. She is self-taught, and has taken workshops with well-known artists in water colour, acrylic, alcohol ink, pencil, pen and ink, and fabric art. Her favorite medium is watercolour, doing landscape birds, and flowers that she used to grow in her garden.

After she retired, Mary painted daily, and entered a number of her pieces into jury and art shows. She shared her passion with her granddaughters teaching them, as well as other residents at Westney Gardens, how to paint.

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