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Please note that the deadline to apply for this program has now passed! We thank everyone who took the time to apply. East End Arts invites senior participants to join us for Doorstop Diaries! We are looking for up to 24 seniors throughout east Toronto and beyond to join us. The deadline to apply to this program is July 12, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST.

July 2021 – February 2022
Taking Place Online through Zoom and through the mail!
FREE to Participate


Are you a local senior with a passion for the arts, and a story to share? Would you like to contribute to a new art project, sharing your unique perspective on the world, and in particular, your experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic?

East End Arts is looking for a group of creative, passionate seniors to create a set of Doorstop Diaries, or art journals that travel safely from doorstop to doorstop, each filled with different art work and stories from the elders of East Toronto. These art journals will become a reflection of the ideas and experiences of local seniors, not only during the pandemic, but over the course of their lives. Join us in creating a community of local senior artists, and create something to capture this incredible moment forever!

Participating seniors will also receive training on how to better use the online technologies that help keep us connected in this new world. Want to learn how to use Zoom or other video calling apps to help you stay connected?  Built into each online art workshop will be lessons on technology and digital literacy.


Doorstop Diaries is an at-home art program that will help to share the untold stories of our local senior citizens. The program will run from July 2021 until February 2022, and will engage up to 24 local seniors in the creation of a set of “travelling journals”. Each month participants will learn a new art technique over Zoom (6 new techniques in total) and respond to a series of email art-prompts to fill the pages of their journals. They will then pop the journals in the mail so that they can swap diaries with other participants throughout the course of the program. After March of 2022, we will collect all of the journals to share them online and in the East End Arts library at St. Matthew’s Clubhouse for all the world to enjoy!

Doorstop Diaries will be an exciting opportunity for east Toronto seniors to have fun, be creative, express themselves, learn new art techniques, and acquire new digital skills in how to use Zoom, Social Media, and other important online tools.


Participating seniors will receive:

  • Their own “travelling notebook” or doorstop diary
  • All the art materials required to engage in the arts workshops
  • 6 arts workshops (Online using Zoom) with our talented artist facilitators to learn new creative techniques to use in the diaries
  • Bi-weekly art prompts sent to your email inbox, to spark your creativity and help fill the pages of your diary
  • Lessons on using online technology, as well as one on one tech support throughout the course of the program
  • And a unique opportunity to be a part of a vibrant community of creative elders!


  • July 12, 2021 – Deadline for this Call for Participants
  • July 15, 2021 – Participants will receive confirmation for their entry into the program
  • July 28, 2021 – First Online Zoom Hello Party, welcoming all our participants to the program
  • August 1, 2021 to February 15, 2022 –  Zoom workshops will take place with our Artist Facilitators
  • February 28, 2022 – Final Journal collection


All workshops for Doorstop Diaries will take place online. Participation requires access to the internet, an email address (preferable one with Gmail) and a free account with Zoom. If you have specific accessibility requirements, we encourage you to reach out to our Program Coordinator Adam at,


    1. Alison Thompson – Layered Forms Collage
      “By introducing participants to the beauty of manipulating and arranging paper from our daily lives, I will guide participants into the art of collage making. This method is very loose and freeing from the constraints of what people often expect from an arts workshop. The results are unique, personal and although abstract have strong potential for story telling based on the materials used. Paper materials are all around us all the time, often discarded as debris but they tell a story about us and our lives. By utilizing some of this debris to make collage we are quietly communicating la vie quotidienne in paper form. The primary action for this workshop will be cutting, ripping, folding and pasting.”
    2. Cindy Elener – The Zentangle Method
      “The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. We call these patterns, tangles. You create tangles with combinations of dots, lines, simple curves, S-curves and orbs (if you can write your name you can do this form of art). These simple shapes are the “Elemental Strokes” in all Zentangle art. Zentangle art is non-representational and unplanned so you can focus on each stroke and not worry about the result. There is no up or down to Zentangle art. The result is a delightful surprise. As you use the Zentangle Method to create beautiful images, you likely will enjoy increased focus, creativity, self-confidence and an increased sense of well-being.”
    3. Hanan Hazime – Self-portrait Collage
      “The artistic technique I would like to share in the workshop is mixed-media collage making using mod podge. Participants will be guided on how to use found materials to create a self-portrait visual art collage that tells their story. Participants will also be guided on how to incorporate found poetry or six-word stories into their collage if they wish to use text. The workshop will begin with a group check in and brief heart-centred meditation followed by the collage making lesson. The workshop will end with everyone having space to share their work and talk about it.”
    4. Julia Prajza – Hand Lettering
      “Hand lettering is about drawing letters specifically by hand. This workshop will give a background to lettering as a unique artform, showing the work of diverse lettering artists and their creations for self-expression. Participants will learn the basics of drawing letters, and the differences between handwriting, typography, calligraphy, and lettering. We will explore different techniques to bring the alphabet to life with careful attention to detail and brainstorm ideas to create unique compositions. I will demonstrate how to add shadows and extra flourishes to help give letters personality and character. With this workshop, I hope to give participants a new form of self expression to explore and a creative hobby they will enjoy.”
    5. Natalie Very B. – Emotional Inks
      “During my Emotional Inks workshop, I will introduce the ancient medium of India Ink. The participants will learn 8 unique inking techniques through hands-on demos and will be guided through the art making process using a variety of meaningful prompts. From the art therapy perspective, ink is a highly fluid medium in contrast to, for example, pencils or markers, which
      inherently allows access to the unconscious. This workshop will mostly focus on the creative process, and less so on perfectly executed physical outcomes, allowing for an enjoyable time full of
      exploration and curiosity. The following techniques will be covered: washes, line inking, wet on wet, wet on dry, dry on dry, blossoms, splatter, and egg drop.”
    6. Sameena Anis – Fun with Comics
      “My workshop is all about making comics! Materials required are a pen, pencil, eraser, and optional: coloring pencils. My workshop will cover how to make panels, express your story through scenes and comics, both conventional and unconventional, sharing scenes and stories of being isolated, stories that were untold, and stories of connecting previously and now.
      Questions that we’ll cover:
      1. What is a moment in your life when you felt isolated even with people around?
      2. What is a conversation you remember and wish you could go back to?
      3. What special objects do you have a connection to? A gift, a story behind it?”









Thank you for your interest in Doorstop Diaries. To join us as a participant, please fill out the form below. Priority will be given to applications from seniors who are local east Toronto residents, members of our priority groups, and individuals who can commit to participating in the entire project.

Please note that the deadline to apply for this program has now passed.

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