“This collaboration is one of the many ways our residents are not only aging but aging artfully.”

This quote from CEO of HavenGroup, Tannis Nickel, refers in part to some recently purchased photographs, from the Steinbach Arts Council, which are now on display at their Rest Haven Care Home in Steinbach.

Nickel says the idea came from talking with David Klassen from the Steinbach Arts Council about Rest Haven Care Home needing artwork on the large walls in the facility.

“We talked about how we could facilitate that, and working together with our foundation, we were able to secure the pictures. And so, yeah, it's very exciting!”

Tannis Nickel - Haven Group and David Klassen - Steinbach Arts Council stand next to newly hung photograph at Rest Haven Care Home, SteinbachTannis Nickel with HavenGroup (left) and David Klassen from the Steinbach Arts Council (right) stand next to a newly hung photograph at Rest Haven Care Home in Steinbach.

Nickel explains how the images were chosen. “Residents had a chance to look at these (images) beforehand and picked out pictures that were important to them or ones that evoked memories, to put up in the facility. So, each ‘House’ has pictures in their entryway, in their living room, and then in the future, in the dining room. So, it has been a great project.”

She adds, “We will be able to feature a lot of local artists and photographers’ pictures. There was such a variety of choices of images. I really think that everybody had a chance to look at something and enjoy the photograph for what it is.”

Nickel notes that the next expansion of Rest Haven has three floors, with four Houses on each floor and 12 residents in each House.

“And because everybody has varied tastes, some of the pictures in the homes are a little bit different. There are pictures of scenery, pictures of flowers, and pictures of animals.”

“Some of our most popular pictures would be the pictures of the crocuses, which one resident said, "Every time I'd walk to school, I picked crocuses for my mom in the spring." So, that was a wonderful memory that they shared with us."

Photographs of a Fox and Chickens sit side-by-side in the living room of a Rest Have Care Home HousePhotographs of a Fox and Chickens sit side-by-side in the living room of a Rest Have Care Home House.

Another resident has a memory about a fox. So, the fox stole the chickens from their hen house. So, maybe not the best memory, because it was a fox, and now the resident is sitting and looking at the fox on the wall.”

Nickel says there have already been some really great discussions about the prints, bringing back some great memories. And not just for the residents, but families and staff are also getting in on the conversation.

She says there are more photographs to be placed in the 12 Houses’ dining rooms. "So, we’re looking for pictures of food, which in our culture is huge. And we are working together with the HavenGroup Foundation and raising funds to look towards that.”

Nickel notes that residents of the southeast can help by purchasing a ticket for their upcoming fundraiser taking place on Friday, March 1 at the Steinbach EMC on Main. The event starts at 7pm, it will be a dessert fundraiser, with musical entertainment by Steve Bell.

She adds that, “The arts are so important to all the residents. In bygone days, maybe, they didn't look at it as art, but all their craft work, all their embroidery, all their pictures that they may have painted or drawn or did tatting for embroidery, things like that, they were very artful. So, yeah, we're aging artfully at Rest Haven.”

Meanwhile, Executive Director of Steinbach Arts Council David Klassen says, “We are honoured to have completed a visual art project with the HavenGroup team, allowing Rest Haven residents to engage in conversation about their past memories, and express themselves through selected photographs.”

Visitors to Rest Haven Care Home in Steinbach will notice the specifically selected photographs in the living rooms, by the patio doors and above the fireplaces in each ‘House’. Nickel says, for now they have purchased multiples of the same photographs, so each House on the first floor mirrors the upper floors.