New WAG Program Supports Individuals Affected by Dementia

Art to Inspire launches March 8

Winnipeg, Manitoba, February 22, 2018: People with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers are invited to participate in Art to Inspire, a new program designed to creatively engage those living with dementia through visual art. Organized by the Winnipeg Art Gallery, in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba and University of Manitoba’s College of Rehabilitation Sciences, sessions start March 8. 

Art to Inspire offers the opportunity to enjoy companionship and conversation, share stories, and explore ideas in a supportive setting. The program is run by trained art educators and incorporates lively discussions of artworks as well as art-making activities. Participants will take part in a series of interactive tours of the WAG’s permanent collection galleries and current exhibitions.

Quick Facts:
• Six 90-minute sessions are organized around different themes, such as nature, the environment, art and music, and the North, and explore related artworks.
• Sessions are capped at 16 participants (eight people with dementia, each accompanied by a caregiver).
• The cost is $60 per pair of participants.
• All sessions are held at the WAG, 300 Memorial Blvd.
• Pre-registration is required at
• The program runs every alternate Thursday from 1:30pm to 3pm on the following dates:

  • March 8 and 22
  • April 5 and 19
  • May 3 and 17

• The WAG is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery and is home to over 27,000 artworks spanning centuries, media, and cultures, including the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art on earth.

People living with dementia often feel isolated and stigmatized. Art to Inspire seeks to connect them with an opportunity for engagement through art in enriching and life-enhancing ways, as the WAG works to promote a dementia-friendly culture celebrating creativity and inclusion for all Manitobans.
--Rachel Baerg, Head of Education, Winnipeg Art Gallery

People with disabilities have the human right to participate in the cultural life of the community and those living with Alzheimer’s disease should have this right affirmed wherever possible. Inspired by research in Spain, the College, the WAG, and the Alzheimer’s Society are developing and implementing a demonstrator project with the goal of designing a template for other galleries to utilize.
--Dr. Reginald Urbanowski, Dean, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Manitoba

Art to Inspire is about giving people the opportunity and experience to discuss art at their own pace and to enjoy being involved in the community while they are doing it.
--Norma Kirkby, Program Director, Alzheimer Society of Manitoba

Winnipeg Art Gallery
Alzheimer Society of Manitoba
University of Manitoba’s College of Rehabilitation Sciences

Stay Connected:
For the latest WAG updates, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  Follow the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

For more information or to prearrange interviews, please contact:
Catherine Maksymiuk
Manager, Media & Marketing
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Tammy Sawatzky
Public Relations Coordinator
Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. The WAG holds in trust the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art on earth. To celebrate the art and to honour the Inuit, the WAG is building the Inuit Art Centre, the first of its kind in the world. Breaking ground in 2018, the Centre will bridge Canada’s North and South through exhibitions, research, education, and art making. To learn more visit

The University of Manitoba College of Rehabilitation Sciences of the is an academic unit that is a provincial, national and international centre of excellence in education, research and service in relation to health, quality of life and participation for all citizens, in particular those individuals with impairments and activity limitations. To learn more visit

Founded 35 years ago, the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba exists so that all Manitobans affected by dementia receive the help they need today and have hope for the future. As a province-wide organization, the Society seeks to achieve its mission through community awareness; individual, family and professional education; support programs and research funding. To learn more visit



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