Maintaining Creativity [2016] Closing Panel [l-r] Charles Pachter, Rita Shelton Deverell, Scott Walker, Peggy Baker, R.H. Thomson

The CSARN Story

Canada’s senior artists share many of the same concerns as seniors in the general population. Finances, housing, health, and isolation are all concerns.

But what makes them unique is their desire to keep creating; to continue developing the skills and talents they have spent a lifetime perfecting.

It takes 10,000 hours to become a virtuoso. It would be a crime to let those hours/weeks/months go to waste.

That’s why CSARN was created. Originally known as the Canadian Senior Artists’ Resource Network, we assist professional artists to keep active and creative as they age.

Our mentorship program allows them to share their talent and experience with their colleagues.

Our seminars help them keep up with current trends. And we present a major conference in April to help senior artists stay creative.

Our Seniors’ Care Advisory Program helps them with their healthcare needs.

The decision of artists’ associations and others to launch CSARN arose from the findings of the Senior Artists Research Project. Over three years, SARP studied the circumstances, situation, needs, and interests of Canadian senior artists, looking at what services are presently available to them, and examining relevant international models. The research reports were released in 2011. You can download the full report or the executive summary.

The SARP steering Committee agreed to collaborate to launch a new organization that would be focused exclusively on assisting professional artists to live out their senior years in dignity and respect.

CSARN was launched in 2011 and received its charitable status in December of that year. Its first concrete activity was a series of seminars in April-June 2012.

CSARN'S Board of Directors

Hon. Marie-P. Charette-Poulin [Chair]Lawyer, Former Parliamentarian in the Senate of Canada, Former Founding CEO of the tribunal for the self-employed in the cultural industry, Former Deputy Secretary in the Privy Council Office of Canada, Former CBC/Radio-Canada Executive
Elise Orenstein J.D. [Past Chair]Lawyer
Garry Neil
Cultural policy consultant who has a 40-year association with ACTRA
David Hope CPA, CGA
Executive Director, The AFC
Robert HunterRetired federal government executive, former Director, Arts Policy Branch, Department of Canadian Heritage
dtaborah JohnsonEclectic Travelling Musical Storyteller, former ACTRA Toronto Child Advocate, Former ACTRA National Councillor, former member of the Board of the Toronto Arts Council
Robert JohnstonRetired Arts Administrator
Milly RistvedtVisual Artist
Advocacy Representative & Governing Council member,
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
Phillip SilverSet, Costume and Lighting Designer / Educator / Consultant
Robert UnderwoodPresident & CEO, AFBS
Gordon PinsentHonorary Board Member

CSARN'S Executive Director

Scott Walker became CSARN’s first full-time Executive Director in 2015. He has enjoyed a varied career as an  arts administrator, producer, actor, singer, and broadcaster. He was one of the founding producers of Toronto’s Reprise Concerts and Coordinator of ProArt Victoria.  He has appeared on stages across Canada in productions that range from Shakespeare to Steinbeck to Sondheim. His radio credits include CBC National Radio News. Scott has also appeared on television and film, most recently in the Hallmark movie Freshman Father. His critically-acclaimed solo CD contains a collection of classic pop standards, on which Scott is accompanied by a full 40-piece orchestra. His latest release is the love song Someone I Don’t Even Know. Scott is also the voice of the YouTube comedy hit Spiders on Drugs [more than 47,000,000 hits]. Website:

Scott can be reached at his email address


AFBS [The Actra Fraternal Benefit Society]
The AFC [formerly The Actor's Fund of Canada]
ACTRA Toronto's Act Your Age Committee
Canadian Actor's Equity Association
The Dancer Transition Resource Centre
Unison Benevolent Fund