The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is teaming up with a number of organizations to develop a new program that will give people with Alzheimer's a chance to enjoy art at their own pace.

The WAG, the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba’s College of Rehabilitation Sciences have combined to create Art to Inspire, a program designed to creatively engage those living with dementia through visual art.  

Eight Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers can take part in 90 minute interactive tours of the WAG’s galleries and exhibits. They will also host art-making activities and discussions on themes ranging from nature to music.

“People living with dementia often feel isolated and stigmatized,” Rachel Baerg, Head of Education for the WAG said in a release. “Art to Inspire seeks to connect them with an opportunity for engagement through art in enriching and life-enhancing ways, as the WAG works to promote dementia-friendly culture celebrating creativity and inclusion for all Manitobans.”

The cost of each session is $60 per pair and all the sessions will be held at the WAG’s main location at 300 Memorial Blvd.

The program runs every second Thursday from 1:30 pm to 3 pm on March 8 and 22, April 5 and 19 and May 3 and 17.

“Art to Inspire is about giving people the opportunity and experience to discuss art at their own pace and to enjoy being involved in the community while they are doing it,” Alzheimer Society of Manitoba Program Director Norma Kirby said.

College of Rehabilitation Service Dean Reginald Urbanowski says the idea was inspired by research in Spain, and he hopes other galleries will follow their lead.  

“People with disabilities have the human right to participate in the cultural life of the community and those living with Alzheimer’s disease should have this right affirmed wherever possible,” Urbanowski said.

Pre-registration is required at