(Burnaby BC) Over 300 seniors, their families, and caregivers are expected to attend the 4th Annual MOSAIC of Seniors event on Saturday, August 22nd from 10am–3pm at the Bonsor Recreation Complex in Burnaby. The free event will feature West African, Filipino and Taiwanese international folk dance performances, stage presentations on elder abuse, community resource tables and a light lunch. Awards will also be presented to recognize seniors who have been active in their communities.
Volunteers will be on-site to provide language support in Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.
According to the Government of Canada, one in five Canadians may know of a senior who is living with abuse, yet 96% of Canadians believe that much of this abuse remains hidden. Saleem Spindari, Manager of Community Outreach & Advocacy Programs who heads MOSAIC Seniors Club, said “Elder abuse is a difficult issue to talk about because it is usually perpetuated by loved ones. It can happen to any elder regardless of cultural background, but for immigrant seniors, it takes on an added dimension: as newcomers, they are less familiar with their rights and community resources. They are more dependent on their loved ones, especially if they were sponsored here.”
The stage presentations about the topic will highlight what constitutes elder abuse, and where individuals can go to get more information, or assistance.
MOSAIC of Seniors is an annual multicultural celebration that has its roots in a 2012 gathering of newcomer seniors to mark the United Nations and Canada’s Day of Older Persons. With the support of community organizations and businesses, the event has since grown, featuring varying stage themes that reflect community priorities.
The event is made possible by support from sponsors and funders, including, the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy & Support; Citizenship & Immigration Canada; Dr. Sabrina Chen-See; McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada; the Province of British Columbia and the United Way of Lower Mainland.
MOSAIC is a non-profit organization and the primary settlement and employment services agency in Vancouver assisting newcomers to fully participate in Canadian society. MOSAIC has over 40 programs and 30 client sites across Metro Vancouver and also operates the WorkBC Centre for Vancouver Northeast, as well as MOSAIC Translations and Interpretations Services.