Canada, like most countries worldwide, is experiencing a shift in the distribution of its population towards older ages, referred to as population aging. Worldwide, it is expected that 1 in 6 people will be aged 60 years or over by 2030. In Canada, the proportion of the population aged 65 and over is almost 20% and this is expected to increase at an accelerated pace over the next decade. Although people are living longer, they are not necessarily experiencing optimal health in their later years and there are large disparities in well-being among older adults as a result of social and structural factors.

One area that has been identified by the World Health Organization as a global priority for action in order to improve the well-being of older adults is combatting ageism. Ageism is defined as the stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination directed towards others or oneself based on age. Research studies have found that ageism negatively impacts the livelihoods and physical and psychological well-being of older persons.

The goal of the Healthy Aging Visual Art Prize is to bring together researchers, trainees, artists, older adults, and other members of the public through a visual art contest and exhibitions that will feature inclusive, diverse, authentic and anti-ageist representations of human aging. Our specific objectives are to:

  1. Bring awareness to and redress cultural ageism through visual imagery that is aligned with inclusive definitions of healthy aging
  2. Mobilize knowledge on the broad factors that foster well-being with age to older adults and members of the community
  3. Foster collaborations and networking between researchers in different fields and between researchers, artists, older adults, and other community members
  4. Provide community engagement and knowledge mobilization experiences for trainees
  5. Foster well-being among older adults by providing opportunities for creativity, social connection, and intergenerational interactions

We invite submissions using a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, small sculpture, photography, ceramics, mixed media, glass, print making and digital arts. Note, film, video or any art or media created by artificial intelligence will not be accepted

There will be two categories of submissions:

Category #1 – Public: Anyone residing in British Columbia. You do not need to be affiliated with University of British Columbia to enter this category. Entrants in this category must not be staff, investigators, or trainees of the Edwin S. H. Leong Centre for Healthy Aging or the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.

Category #2 Centre-affiliated: Open to any investigator, staff or trainee (undergraduate or graduate student, or postdoctoral fellow) affiliated with the Edwin S. H. Leong Centre for Healthy Aging or the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.

The deadline for all submissions is September 30, 2024. All submissions will be displayed in a digital gallery. Select finalists will also be invited to show their work at an in-person exhibition at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at the UBC Vancouver campus, as well as at the Jericho Arts Centre, a community gallery. Winners will receive a monetary prize. Please see the guidelines for more details.

All questions regarding this competition should be directed to healthy.aging@ubc.ca.