FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has declared June 1 as Intergenerational Day.

“We are encouraging people to learn more about one another and to discover what we have in common, regardless of age,” said Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris.

Harris made the announcement while addressing the Healthy Aging Provincial Roundtable in Fredericton today. The roundtable is overseeing the implementation of the New Brunswick Aging Strategy.

“The New Brunswick Aging Strategy identified intergenerational opportunities to help develop greater understanding and increase awareness of ageism,’’ said Harris. “There are lots of intergenerational activities going on in communities across New Brunswick, and we encourage everyone to think about how they can foster ties with people of different ages.”

New Brunswick’s Wellness Strategy also highlights the importance of creating opportunities to connect people of all generations. The Department of Social Development’s wellness branch and the Elizabeth Fry Society developed an intergenerational toolkit, which is available online. It has tips and ideas for people who want to develop stronger intergenerational connections among children, youth and seniors.

Activities that encourage intergenerational relationships promote the sharing of knowledge, culture and history while fostering respect and empathy. Developing more age-friendly communities is another way to help younger and older New Brunswickers interact more, said Harris.

Intergenerational Day Canada was started in 2009 by a British Columbia teacher who was working with students on a world elder abuse prevention and awareness project. The idea of bringing younger and older people together grew from there. Today, more than 100 Canadian cities and 12 provinces and territories take part in Intergenerational Day Canada.