2017 Innovation of the Year Award Winner

This week we are announcing the winners of the 2017 BC Care Awards, continuing with the category of Innovation of the Year. Nominations for the 2017 BC Care Awards closed on December 5th. The Events and Recognitions Committee met by teleconference on December 6th to review submissions and select winners in each category. For this year’s awards we received a record number of submissions, and the judges had to choose several excellent candidates.

To see the profiles of each of the people recognized, visit this link.

And now, we are honoured to announce the winner of “Innovation of the Year” BC Care Award.

Bruce Devereux
Recreation & Volunteer Manager
Good Samaritan Society
Christenson Village (Gibsons)

Bruce Devereux

Bruce Devereux is the Recreation and Volunteer Manager for Good Samaritan Society Christenson Village, a 140 bed Campus of Care located in Gibsons, BC. Bruce has been involved in the social services profession since 1977. Since then, he has gained significant leadership and public speaking experience with community, non-profit associations, and volunteer based organizations.

Graduating in 1987 from the Douglas College Therapeutic Recreation program, Bruce won Outstanding Student of the Year Award. He then went on to complete a USA certification program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Bruce is an original member of the Nova Scotia Disabled Skiers Association, a past Provincial Sport Director of the BC Wheelchair Sport Association, a certified TimeSlips facilitator, and a founding member of the BC Therapeutic Recreation Association. He is a winner of numerous awards, including a Heritage BC Award and an Interpretation Canada Award of Excellence Bronze Medal. While working as a Recreation Therapist Bruce also pursued Visual Arts and Film Studies at both Langara and Emily Carr College of Art and Design.

Video courtesy of TimeSlips

Bruce has been with the Good Samaritan Society,  Christenson Village location in Gibsons since it first opened in 2006.

More on Bruce’s innovative work from his colleague Barb Darby

A long list of community partnerships has helped Bruce Devereux bring his passion for film and audio recordings to projects that engage the 140 residents of Christenson Village in creative pursuits. Devereux is recreation and volunteer manager at the Gibsons, BC care community, which is part of the Edmonton-based Good Samaritan Society.

In 2012, Devereux worked with local musician Steve Wright on Across the Lines, a project that helped residents create “beautiful sounds” using iPads and iPhones. Those sounds were turned into a professionally produced CD, which also features improvisation by local musicians and poetry reading and storytelling by Christenson Village residents.

Through a second partnership, Christenson Village residents produced and narrated three short video documentaries that became part of a smartphone app produced by the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives with local funding. In collaboration with Museum Manager/Curator Matthew Lovegrove designed Time Travel Sunshine Coast, which later won two prestigious awards. (Heritage BC & Interpretation Canada Awards) Tourists use the app to take walking tours of BC’s Sunshine Coast.

A third collaboration with Gibsons’ Deer Crossing The Art Farm makes use of Anne Basting’s TimeSlips story creation process to help Christenson Village residents create original and imaginative stories. This creative care partnership with The Art Farm resulted in the formation of “The Imagination Network”. In 2015 their campus of care was a featured studio stop during Gibsons’ annual Art and Culture Crawl. Christenson Village was the first care community ever to participate in the festival, which opens about 150 artistic settings to the public. The Imagination Network comprised of Christenson Village and Deer Crossing the Art Farm has now added Douglas CollegeTherapeutic Recreation and UBC Theatre departments as partners and collaborators. Future goals include the creation of a theatrical production that is co-written, co-produced, and co-performed by people with dementia in collaboration with professional artists, caregivers, and community members.

While “The Imagination Network” is inspired by the work of University of Milwaukee Theatre Professor Anne Basting, a pioneer in the creative care movement, Devereux and his partners feel they are taking a unique approach within BC to creativity and care. Bastings spearheaded the development of TimeSlips, a ritualized story creation model for people with the lived experience of dementia. As a certified TimeSlips facilitator Devereux has been using this method for the past 4 years to generate over a 100 stories written by residents with dementia.

Using the creative material generated by those with dementia, and seeing them as co-collaborators in the creative engagement process we are adding value to the collaboration while building community. The process of creation is important, but we view the relationship building between residents, family, staff, and community as the cornerstone to every project.

How does the innovation have potential for sector-wide application?

The core practice of creative care focuses on shifting the therapeutic recreation model from one where residents are recipients of programming to one in which they are active participants in—sometime even creators of—the programming. This shift has a positive impact on the residents, and the staff and volunteers who surround them. It improves quality care and accommodations by:

  • Building a vibrant sense of community for staff, residents, and volunteers through the creative process,
  • Encouraging more community engagement (volunteers, audiences, participants) in our site through the programming,
  • Improving staff and volunteer morale and motivation,
  • Generating more colour and diversity; raising the energy level of the shared spaces and environments,
  • Providing rich and varied opportunities for visiting family and friends to engage with their loved ones,
  • Transforming the community’s perception of, interaction with and relationship to aging,
  • Promoting citizenship by providing a “voice” for people with the lived experience of dementia,
  • Providing meaningful connections between people with memory or mobility-related disabilities, caregivers, and the broader community.

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Congratulations, Bruce! Your award will be presented to you at a ceremony in Victoria, BC on February 20th. Details of the event to follow.

Click here to read others who have received 2017 BC Care Awards recognition.