April 9, 2020
Seniors Sector News
REPORT HIGHLIGHTS COMMUNITY NEEDS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC 
Canadian Mental Health Association Edmonton 

CMHA Edmonton's most recent COVID-19 report illustrates the top concerns of community members during this time. Currently, approximately 30 per cent of calls to the Distress Line and 35 per cent of calls to 211 relate to COVID-19. Mental health concerns, loneliness and health/medical inquiries are the top three concerns of COVID-19 callers to the Distress Line. Information sources, emergency food and administrative entities were the top met needs of COVID-19 callers to 211. 
NEW HORIZONS FOR SENIORS PROGRAM PROJECTS CAN NOW BE USED FOR COVID-19 SUPPORT 
Government of Canada

On April 6, the Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors, announced flexibility for organizations under the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) to use funding previously received through the community-based stream to provide immediate and essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19. Regardless of the nature of the previously approved project, organizations with approved projects in 2019-2020 can now use their funding to provide support for seniors' needs due to COVID-19.
More seniors sector news
(links to the ESCC News for Seniors Organizations web page)
Resources
CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY 
Government of Canada

Recently, the Prime Minister announced the introduction of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for employers who have experienced a loss of revenue attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. This wage subsidy aims to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis.
 
The program would provide a 75 per cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. To qualify, This subsidy would be available to eligible employers that see a drop of at least 15 per cent of their revenue in March 2020 and 30 per cent for the following months (see Eligible Periods). Eligible employers can apply for the subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency's   My Business Portal .
10% TEMPORARY WAGE SUBSIDY FOR EMPLOYERS 
Government of Canada

Employers who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may qualify for the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy. The subsidy is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The subsidy is equal to 10 per cent of the remuneration employers pay from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.
COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR SOCIAL WORKERS

As part of the frontline pandemic response, social workers support their communities, friends and families. In caring for others, it is important to not neglect self-care. The following resources promote health tips for social workers during this stressful time.
 
Personal and Professional Strategies to Reduce Psychological Stress During a Pandemic: This presentation slide deck by Caring Safely contains information for professional carers to take care of themselves emotionally during this pandemic.
 
Social Work Peer-to-Peer Facebook Support Group: This online support group is a great resource for Canadian social workers seeking support during the pandemic.
HOLDING AGMs AND BOARD MEETINGS DURING A PANDEMIC
Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (ECVO)

Given the restrictions on in-person gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit organizations may be wondering how to convene board meetings and AGMs. The Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (ECVO) has outlined information to help organizations think through decisions related to these key meetings. Visit ecvo.ca/covid-19 and click on the AGMs and Virtual Board Meetings tabs for more information.

ECVO also posted an announcement related to postponing AGMs. The Government of Alberta has officially announced that nonprofits and societies can postpone AGMs and filing of annual returns until meeting restrictions are lifted. Additionally, cancellation or dissolution processes for societies and non-profit companies that have not filed previously outstanding annual returns are suspended until further notice.
VOLUNTEER SCREENING: POLICE INFORMATION CHECKS 
Edmonton Police Service

For organizations that rely on volunteers, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted practices integral to proper volunteer screening including requiring volunteers to supply police information checks and vulnerable sector checks.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Police Information Check & Alarm Control Section office closed to the public. However, new procedures have been implemented to allow the section to continue to offer these important services:
  • Volunteers are now able to submit police information check applications online.
  • An appointment-based system for fingerprinting services has been implemented.
Batch submissions from organizations that have agreements with the Police Information Check Section are still being accepted.
ONLINE COLLABORATION TOOLS 
Community at Work 

Being able to remotely connect with your team members quickly and expediently is more important than ever. With the right tools, collaborating online can be a snap. This helpful resource lists tools to help your team with creative thinking, surveying and polling, online meetings, online discussion groups and communities, citizen engagement, file sharing, and project management.
More resources for sector staff
(links to the ESCC Resources web page)
Learning Opportunities

TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS THAT SUPPORT VIRTUAL OPERATIONS FOR SENIORS ORGANIZATIONS 
Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council

The need for physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic requires that seniors organizations rethink how to offer programming, convene boards and conduct daily operations. Technology platforms are available that can help seniors organizations do this virtually.

To help seniors organizations build their capacity in this area ESCC is offering training on two platforms:
  • Google Meets, Google Classroom and Google Drive: Google tools are free, accessible and have helpful options
  • Zoom: Zoom is a popular video conferencing platform at the moment so it makes sense to use a tool that many people are familiar with
 
Zoom training for seniors organizations:
Session 1: Thursday, April 9, 12 - 1 p.m.
or
Session 2: Wednesday, April 15, 1 - 2 p.m.
 
Google training for seniors organizations:
Session 1: Thursday, April 9, 2 - 3 p.m.
or
Session 2: Friday, April 17, 2 - 3 p.m.
 
RSVP to Janelle at janelle@seniorscouncil.net indicating which session(s) you would like to participate in. Meeting login information and invitations will be sent to registered participants.
COVID-19 & RACISM 
Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies ARDN and Action Dignity
April 15, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Free

Funded by the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund, AAISA is pleased to offer this webinar in collaboration with Action Dignity and the Alberta Rural Development Network. This webinar will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic through an anti-racism lens. We will discuss the media coverage, the language that people are using, and the xenophobia and racism that is being amplified during this global crisis.
THE SECRETS TO VIRTUAL FACILITATION 
Leadership Strategies 
April 16, 12 - 1 p.m.
Free

Virtual meetings are our daily reality. Unfortunately, most meeting leaders don't know the strategies for executing masterful virtual sessions. This webinar will prepare leaders with comprehensive strategies for planning and executing masterful virtual meetings. Learn how to keep engagement high, prepare for a virtual session (including selecting an appropriate virtual tool), and get quality results from your virtual sessions.
HOW NONPROFITS CAN USE CROWDFUNDING TO RAISE MORE MONEY DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS
Nonprofit Tech for Good and gofundme charity
April 21, 11 a.m. ­- 12 p.m.
Free

This webinar will walk you through the basics of crowdfunding for nonprofits. Learn how your nonprofit can leverage the trend of online fundraising to increase donations and awareness for your cause. In addition to covering crowdfunding best practices, this webinar will cover how to increase your crowdfunding campaigns through multi-channel marketing, increase engagement with event fundraising and make your donor data actionable.
More learning opportunities for staff/volunteers in the seniors sector  (links to the ESCC Learning Opportunities web page)
News and Events for Seniors
ONLINE PROGRAMMING FOR SENIORS
Edmonton Seniors Centre

Core Strength and Stretching
These free live, upbeat online fitness classes will strengthen your core and get you in tip top shape. The classes will be delivered through the Zoom videoconferencing platform. To register, email Donna at donna@edmontonseniorscentre.ca with your phone number and the contact information for your emergency contact.
  • Fun & Functional Movement: Tuesdays, 11 - 12 p.m.
  • Stretch: Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
 
Joyful Chats Peer Support Group
Mondays and Wednesdays, 1 - 2 p.m.; Fridays 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
If you want to connect with others for lively conversations, this online support group is for you. To keep things fresh, a new theme is selected each week with a different topic of conversation for each session. Sessions are limited to 10 participants so everyone has time to talk. To register and for more information, email Donna at donna@edmontonseniorscentre.ca

Upcoming chats include:
 
Week One - "Remembering"
  • Gratitude: April 10, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Week Two - "Spring"
  • Changes: April 13, 1 - 2 p.m.
  • New beginnings: April 15, 1 - 2 p.m.
  • Most memorable spring: April 17, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. 
LIVE STREAMING YOGA AND BREATHING EXERCISES
Mill Woods Seniors Association
Monday-Friday, 7 p.m.
Free

In these stressful times, it's important to find ways to relax and stay grounded. Mill Woods Seniors Association is offering therapeutic virtual yoga and relaxation classes via the "Zoom" videoconferencing application. The classes run every weeknight in April. Click here to join the group. For more information about these sessions, download the poster or email Shambhu at ed@mwsac.ca. 
ONLINE YOGA CLASSES
Prana Yoga Studio
$6/class

Prana Yoga Studio has moved their classes online. Choose from three live stream classes daily. Classes are streamed through Zoom and registrants will be sent a log in code.
CAREGIVERS ALBERTA VIRTUAL SUPPORT
Caregivers Alberta 

Although in-person programming has been postponed due to the pandemic, Caregivers Alberta continues to offer support through their Caregiver Advisor, online programming, and online Caregiver Support Community groups.
The Caregiver Advisor provides one-on-one support. You can connect by:
Phone: 780-453-5088 | 1-877-453-5088 (toll-free)
 
Online workshops
Upcoming:
Dream Your Way to Wellness: April 21, 1 - 2:30 p.m.

Past workshops: 
Watch past online workshops on the Caregiver Alberta YouTube channel at any time. 
 
Online Peer Support
New online Caregiver Support Community groups happen each Monday and Thursday. 

Join the Caregiver Community Facebook group to connect with caregivers from all across the province.
COMMUNITY LEAGUE PLAZA UPDATE AND HISTORICAL PHOTOS REQUEST
Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues

EFCL is continuing construction on Community League Plaza, following strict health and safety protocols. As part of this project, EFCL is seeking photos to showcase the rich history of Edmonton's community development. If you have a high-resolution photo that you can identify, source and have the permission to use that illustrates the following events and time periods, please email   plaza@efcl.org.
  • 1917 - 1920 picture of a community league event
  • 1923 - 1925 picture of a community league city clean-up event
  • 1952 - 1955 CL Queen contest or CL Talent show photo
  • 1966 - 1970 Green Shack Program photo
  • 1975 - 1978 EFCL Neighbourhood watch photo
  • 1985 Neighbourhood watch photo
  • 1994 City Hall grand opening photo
  • 2003 Photo of Millwoods Canada celebration
  • 2011 "Community League Day" event
SHAKESPEARE PLAYS AT THE GLOBE
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre 
Free

The internationally renowned Globe Theatre is offering joy and wonder in a time of isolation by airing professionally-filmed Shakespeare plays every two weeks for free. Plays include Hamlet (2018), Romeo and Juliet (2009), A Midsummer Night's Dream (2013) and The Two Noble Kinsmen (2018), plus two previously unreleased titles, The Winter's Tale (2018) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019). Global thespians will also appreciate readings of Shakespeare's works in multiple languages.
FUN WITH ONLINE BOARD GAMES
Tabletopia 

Our friends from South East Edmonton Seniors Association (SEESA) sent along this great resource for the board game aficionados out there. This website has 800 virtual board games to enjoy, including the all-time classics such as "Bridge".
PLAY SCRABBLE ONLINE
Internet Scrabble Club 

Wordsmiths unite! The Internet Scrabble Club offers a digital outlet for your word wizardry. Have fun playing with fellow language lovers and test your chops. Thanks to our friends from SouthWest Edmonton Seniors Association (SWESA) for passing along this great resource.
More  news and events for seniors
(links to the ESCC News and Events for Seniors web page)
MORE INFORMATION

Link Letter includes new items each week.  If you're looking for content that was included in a previous issue of Link Letter, refer to the ESCC website:

Submissions for Link Letter can be sent to memberservices@seniorscouncil.net.  Review our submission guidelines for more information.