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where senior artists are considered. connected. community.

Supporting Cast

Are you a Senior Artist or Arts Worker 55+ living in Ottawa/Gatineau seeking assistance with day-to-day needs?

PAL Ottawa’s Supporting Cast program is here for you!

PAL Ottawa’s Supporting Cast services include:

  • Companionship and wellness checks via scheduled telephone calls 

  • In-person visits and telephone checkups, providing conversation and interpersonal support

  • Support with running errands, such as grocery shopping and medication pick-up

  • Providing transportation to appointments, such as medical, dental, or other

  • Accompaniment to arts and cultural events providing personal enrichment, support and companionship

  • Providing referrals to community social service agencies and/or municipal, provincial and federal departments and programs

  • Light housekeeping, such as laundry, dusting, vacuuming, etc.

  • Assisting with odds jobs in the home

We offer programs to support and educate arts workers, bridging the gap of social isolation.

Our personal assistance program, Supporting Cast, helps senior members of the arts community retain their independence while residing in their current homes. Whether living alone or living with a temporary or permanent disability (mental or physical), we connect artists to advice, support, and alternative resources that support current living arrangements.

Supporting Cast volunteers assist those in need with daily living tasks, such as: companionship, errands, transportation, and connecting artists to community agencies, health care providers and the wider arts community.

Supporting Cast Volunteers

We are building community by matching needs with support. Our engaging and helpful roles offer mutual benefits
and friendship to both clients and volunteers.

Explore joining our volunteer team to offer one-on-one support to arts workers!
Outlined commitments of time depend upon individual client needs. PAL Ottawa offers volunteer training at no cost;
police checks are at the cost of the individual.

  • Driver

    As a Driver volunteer, you will provide transportation services for clients who are not able to drive or use public transit or other forms of assisted public transportation services (i.e., Para Transpo). PAL Ottawa volunteers use their own well-maintained vehicle to escort clients to appointments and to carry out other errands. Volunteer hours are flexible, dependent on client need, and gas/mileage is compensated.

    Commitment: 6-12 months.
    Police Check Required: Yes.

  • In-Person Visitor

    As an in-person visitor, you commit to meeting with a PAL Ottawa client (up to) twice a month, with a phone call check-in between visits. While PAL Ottawa matches volunteers and clients with similar interests, your schedule is determined by you and the client.

    This role is suitable for post-secondary students seeking practical experience (i.e. gerontology/social work programs) or anyone with experience and interest in connecting with senior arts workers. If you are curious, have well-honed conversation skills, and enjoy another’s company, you would make a great ‘visitor’ for PAL Ottawa’s clientele!

    Commitment:  Minimum one year.
    Police Check Required: Yes

  • Check-In and Chat (phone)

    As a Check-in and Chat volunteer, you commit to a weekly telephone call to an isolated senior arts worker. Call timeframes are within a schedule, agreed to by both parties. A person with patience and compassion who is open-minded, reliable and possesses excellent interpersonal skills is well-suited for this role. PAL Ottawa matches volunteers with clients of similar interests. No in-person visits are required.

    This role is suitable for post-secondary students seeking practical experience (i.e. gerontology / social work programs) or anyone with experience and interest in connecting with seniors.

    Commitment: One year+, ongoing.
    Police Check Required: Yes

  • Arts Companion

    As an Arts Companion volunteer, you will accompany a senior arts worker to arts and cultural events. This service offers isolated clients the opportunity for social contact and companionship. Volunteers may be required to use their own well-maintained vehicle; gas/mileage is compensated. This social interchange provides personal enrichment through shared enjoyment of arts and cultural events. Hours are flexible and dependent on events.

    Commitment: 6-12 months.
    Police Check Required: Yes

  • Grocery Shopping and Medication Pick-up

    As a volunteer, you will shop for clients’ food, (non-alcoholic) beverages, pick up medications, or other small items that align with a client’s needs. Hours are flexible, depending on client needs.

    Commitment: 6-12 months.
    Police Check Required: Yes

  • Resource Referral Facilitator

    As a Resource Referral Facilitator, you will assist clients with referrals to community-based social service agencies, health and well-being organizations, as well as municipal, provincial and federal government programs and departments. The volunteer is provided a current resource list and brings good listening skills. They are sensitive to others’ needs and are detail-oriented.

    PAL Ottawa offers a resource page in conjunction with the Resource Referral Facilitator assistance. 

    Commitment: 6-12 months.
    Police Check Required: Yes

  • Light Housekeeping

    To help ensure the client’s home is well-maintained and clean, you will complete light housekeeping activities within the client’s home. Tasks may include dusting, making the bed, doing the laundry, vacuuming, etc.

    Commitment: One year+, ongoing.
    Police Check Required: Yes.
    Fingerprint Required: Yes

  • Handy Helper

    As a Handy Helper you will assist with odd jobs to ensure senior arts workers enjoy a well-maintained and safe home environment. You might change light bulbs, reset clocks, replace batteries for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, hang pictures, set up a TV or an electronic device, or other small jobs.

    Commitment: One year+, ongoing.
    Police Check Required: Yes.
    Fingerprint Required: Yes

Supporting Cast Volunteer Form

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with PAL Ottawa and our Supporting Cast Program.
Once we receive your application a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly, via your preferred method of communication indicated.

* - indicates required fields

AREAS OF INTEREST (check all that apply)

When I first received word of the affordable community housing units that PAL Ottawa was proposing to build, I breathed a sigh of relief. As an artist who has experienced some instances of financial instability without an adequate safety net, I have often wondered what the future holds. I feel heartened to know that organizations like PAL Ottawa exist to help those who have contributed to the creative fabric of our city.

Kellylee Evans — Juno award winning singer-songwriter

Health, Wellness and Art

Towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PAL Ottawa offered online programming through the series, “Spring Into Summer and Spotlights 2021 - A free online arts festival”.  Below you will find videos and presentations from this series, with topics ranging from entertainment, artist’s presentations, technology support, health knowledge and more.

Please browse and share these links with others for enjoyment, learning and awareness. The video series is available at no cost to viewers.

Medications As We Age

Make the most of them and prevent harmful effects.

Canada Deprescribing Presentation

Make the most of them and prevent harmful effects.
Read more

Zoom for Zoomers

A Free Introduction to Using the Online Zoom Tool

Perpetual Guest

Artist Jinny Yu on Her Work as a First Generation Settler

Long-Term Care

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Exploring Housing Options on a Limited Budget

Ending Homelessness Together

PAL Ottawa Housing Presentation

Read more

Homelessness in Ottawa: Ending it Together

Read more

Housing Guide for Older Adults

Read more

Housing Expenses Worksheet

Read more

Feel Your Best with Nutrition

Jenni Beharry

Sculpting in Ice, Snow, Sand

My Journey as a Touring Ephemerals Sculptor

Tingmiatornis arctica

Bringing the Past to Life Through Sculpture

Panic and Perseverance

Managing to Make Music During a Global Pandemic

How Canada’s Cultural Game-Changers Break New Ground in Senior Years

My Father, My Daughter

Living in Harmony with Nature

Strike Up the Band

From the National Gallery of Canada Picket Line to a New Line of Work As a Jazz Singer