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‘Buddy bench 2.0’ for the People’s Place Library in Antigonish

Stella Merry decided a hand-print is nice but a foot-print is even better, when contributing to the ‘buddy bench’ Aug. 16, a collaboration between the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home and Antigonish: Art after Dark Festival which will sit outside the People’s Place Library.
Stella Merry decided a hand-print is nice but a foot-print is even better, when contributing to the ‘buddy bench’ Aug. 16, a collaboration between the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home and Antigonish: Art after Dark Festival which will sit outside the People’s Place Library. - Richard MacKenzie

Antigonight, R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home collaborate on project

ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

The ‘buddy bench’ created for the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home’s garden last year proved so popular, a second one has been created for the People’s Place Library.

“Last year, Antigonish: Art after Dark Festival, in partnership with the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home, crafted a buddy bench for their new garden. We brought the bench to Antigonight as a seating option for people during the festival and the library liked it so much, they wanted one,” festival director Emma MacDonald said Aug. 16, as the activity of putting hand and foot-prints on the colourful bench took place, just outside the library on Main Street.

Lily Atyeo putting her hand-print on the ‘buddy bench.’
Lily Atyeo putting her hand-print on the ‘buddy bench.’

The finishing touches were being done by seniors from the nursing home and young children involved in a local art program. MacDonald described it as an intergenerational project.

“Antigonight festival offers free, accessible arts programming throughout the summer, so this is our Creative Kids Club,” MacDonald said, gesturing towards a few of the youngsters who were joyfully placing their prints on the bench.

“All summer long at the People’s Place Library as well as out in the community. And we offer programs at the R.K. and High Crest Homes; we’ve developed those relationships with them. So we’ve invited residents from the R.K. to contribute to this intergenerational bench,” she added, gesturing now to the other age demographic whose smiles and enthusiasm matched their young partners.

MacDonald explained the Antigonish Canadian Association for Community Living built bench was dedicated to the library by the R.K. and Antigonight festival.

“This is the ‘buddy bench 2.0,’” she said with a chuckle.

“A bench outside for people to sit and used for the bus stop, because this is a pretty prominent spot for the bus stop,” she said. “So community members will be able to use it.

Mia MacIsaac found a great spot for her hand-print on the new ‘buddy bench’ for the People’s Place Library. The finishing touches were done Aug. 16 just outside the Main Street library.
Mia MacIsaac found a great spot for her hand-print on the new ‘buddy bench’ for the People’s Place Library. The finishing touches were done Aug. 16 just outside the Main Street library.

“And after we’re done painting it, we’re going to put a plaque on the bench to recognize who collaborated on the bench today.”

The activity was taking place less than a month before Antigonight will be happening (Sept. 12 to 14). MacDonald said they are happy to have this project as part of their summer activity and are growing “excited” as the festival draws near.

For more on Antigonish: Art after Dark Festival, visit the website antigonishculturealive.ca and follow the appropriate links, and visit the festival’s Facebook page.    

R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home resident Colena MacMillan, from Judique, chats with R.K. director of recreation, spirituality and volunteer services Kim MacDonald, after contributing her hand prints to the new ‘buddy bench’ outside of the People’s Place Library, Aug. 16.
R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home resident Colena MacMillan, from Judique, chats with R.K. director of recreation, spirituality and volunteer services Kim MacDonald, after contributing her hand prints to the new ‘buddy bench’ outside of the People’s Place Library, Aug. 16.

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