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Maria brings her masterpieces to Parkland

August 14, 2023 Always Parkland

Maria Valzquez is currently the concierge at Parkland on Eglinton West who has a passion for art. On the side, she volunteers with the “Passionate Painter Club”, part of Parkland’s Harmony Wellness Program. “The residents are amazing artists. Sometimes they come to me with questions or insight, and I think wow I didn’t think of that!” she says. Maria believes with art, you can express yourself, no matter who you are, where you’re from, what language you speak, art is universal. Art therapy helps with memory, lower blood pressure, improve coping, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem. Scientific research shows that older people who engage in creative art practices experienced positive emotions and displayed a greater degree of happiness.

Maria started using water colours when she was young when her aunt asked if she wanted to take classes. “I was about 10 years old when I went to my first class. My aunt asked me if I wanted to take a class, I agreed and that’s how I got started; classes three times a week in the evening, but I would also do it outside of class because I love it.” Maria says.

Maria chose a career in Graphic Design where she got to be creative and continue with her passion. She was also given opportunity in Mexico to create pieces in company magazines and calendars.

Since working at Parkland, she has been able to hang her art pieces in the new Lifestyle Residence, Parkland Ajax. She currently has two hanging up, one in the spa and the other in the Supportive Lifestyle community. One resembles a water landscape with sunset colours where she was inspired by the residents. “The residents know I love purple, but they started asking me what other colours do I like… pink, gold…like a sunrise or sunset they said!”

The second piece has green tones where she was trying to create something peaceful and calming. “I used to work at a golf course, and I took a picture of the course with a lake and some trees – that looked very peaceful to me. This is the resident’s home, and I want them to feel peaceful and relaxed here. So, I took inspiration from that picture and the feeling I wanted to create, and this is the result.”

As a valued member of our team, you’ll be part of a community committed to Leading the Way to Better Living for seniors in retirement. Each day, you’ll be inspired to come to work and be the best you can be while providing exceptional service to active seniors enjoying a premium, active, and carefree lifestyle. Working with seniors is truly special. If you ask any member of our team why they do what they do, it’s because they respect, admire, and cherish our elders. Seniors add value to our life and work experience, an at the end of every day, you’ll leave with a full heart knowing you’ve made a difference. Since working at Parkland, Maria has been given the opportunity to give back doing something she loves – working with seniors and art. Growing up, she had an inspiration and willingness to help others and since starting at Parkland, she has been able to do so.

Parkland communities are managed by Shannex, a family-owned company with Maritime roots and more than three decades of being trusted provider of services and supports to seniors across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Ontario.

With opportunities from healthcare to hospitality, you will find friendly and dedicated team members who support residents. Learn more about the career opportunities at Parkland.