Get ready for the big boom as Canada’s seniors shape society

“You’re assuming the boomers are going to be the same as the current cohort of people 65 and over, and that’s a major mistake,” he says.

Moses Znaimer, the Canadian media mogul who created youth-oriented icons such as MuchMusic and Citytv, says he saw the coming demographic shift in the late 1990s and switched his focus, following the enormous boomer cohort as they aged. Now executive director of CARP and CEO of ZoomerMedia Limited — “zoomers” being his name for boomers with zip — Znaimer says others in the industry thought it was a strange move at the time, but they’re starting to follow suit.

“You see advertising starting to acknowledge that there are people (older than) skinny 20-year-olds, and they’re handsome and beautiful and sensual and sexual, and all of that is part of the good news of this story, but you’re usually drowned in images of vast battalions of the frail and the indigent,” he says.

Boomers are an activist generation accustomed to wielding major social clout, and they’ll turn their backs — and wallets — on any company or marketer that insults them, Eng says, and that’s what she believes ultimately will change the societal view of aging from a disease to be battled, to a pinnacle to be celebrated.

Farrell in North Bay is certain his generation is about to redefine retirement and old age, just as it has changed every stage of life they’ve moved through — though he notes that at $500 a month, Old Age Security won’t provide them much security. He suggests the benefit would be better named “Single Malt Allowance.”

“When I was 25, I thought 65 was bloody old, but now my perspective has changed, of course,” he says. “We’ve shaped everything else, from the minivan, to baby food, so I’m sure we’ll shape that as well.”

© The Montreal Gazette

Keywords: seniors, ageism