Arts Participation in Canadian Older Adults

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


Concerts in Care Ontario, CiCO, older adults, musical performances, virtual performances


Background: Concerts in Care Ontario (CiCO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing older adults with access to musical performances. During COVID-19, CiCO has transitioned to an online delivery of their programming, using Zoom to reach older adults living independently and in congregate care settings. This project explores the potential benefits of virtual CiCO performances for older adults and their care partners, with a focus on specific pandemic-related concerns for the older adult population, including mood and social connection.

Method: Data were collected in a variety of ways: 1) through observation of CiCO performances (n = 13), 2) a questionnaire (n = 59 senior participants and n = 3 staff), and 3) interviews and standardized evaluation forms from staff (n = 6).

Results: Satisfaction with the performances was very high, with 100% of participants reporting benefits for their well-being. Participants indicated feeling more relaxed and connected, and that they appreciated the educational/learning aspect of the performance structure. Participants were observed to react in positive ways to the performances, including outward displays of appreciation for and curiosity with the music, performers, and instruments. Staff indicated that the performances were extremely positive for the older adults in their care and had a secondary benefit for the well-being of staff within the congregate care settings.

Conclusions: Virtual delivery of Concerts in Care Ontario programming was very successful, with both the older adults and the staff who attended (via Zoom) the concerts responding positively to the experience. Future exploration of a hybrid model of performance delivery post the COVID-19 pandemic may help even more Ontario older adults access the healing power of music.


Sheridan Research

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Dupuis, k., Zeng, C., & Tsotsos, L. (2021). Concerts in Care Ontario: Evaluation of performances, May-June 2021 [unpublished]. Sheridan Research, Sheridan College.

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