FREDERICTON (GNB) – Intergenerational Day Canada will be celebrated June 1 in New Brunswick and across the country.

Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris encouraged people to have a chat with someone from another generation not only on June 1 but to continue those interactions throughout the year.

“I think it is so important that we all learn from one another,” said Harris. “The knowledge, wisdom and life lessons shared between generations are crucial to understanding one another. I want to acknowledge the intergenerational initiatives that are already happening in schools and communities across the province.”

Harris said a lot of people do not know that they may visit a nursing home and talk to seniors who reside there.

“I know a lot of people feel isolated, regardless of their age,” said Harris. “Intergenerational Day Canada is one way to strengthen our common bonds and to ensure people have a sense of well-being.”

New Brunswick’s Wellness Strategy highlights the importance of creating opportunities to connect people of all generations. Developing stronger intergenerational connections between children, youth and seniors will help create and enhance environments that support a culture of wellness.

Activities that encourage intergenerational relationships promote the sharing of knowledge, culture and history as well as foster respect and empathy. Harris pointed to age-friendly communities as a way to help younger and older New Brunswickers interact more and encouraged everyone to think of ways to bring people together.

Intergenerational Day Canada was started in 2009 by a teacher in British Columbia who was working on a world elder abuse prevention and awareness project with students. The idea of bringing younger and older people together grew from there. Now more than 100 cities and several provinces take part in Intergenerational Day Canada.