You don’t have to be young to enjoy the benefits of learning new things.
That’s the idea behind a new program being offered through the Canmore Senior’s Association.
Beginning this week Lifelong Learning through the CSA has begun a series of talks aimed at those over 50 with who wish to continue their education in various topics.
Peter Petrik, who chairs the group responsible for organizing the program, said there is a growing trend towards Lifelong Learning as people in the western world are living longer, healthier and more active lives.
“We really have this tremendous advantage that has been recognized of retired and sem- retired people with a wealth of knowledge and wisdom and at the same time they want to keep being stimulated,” Petrik said. “It is extremely important to keep a healthy mind.”
Monday (Feb. 28) was the beginning of the first Lifelong Learning series entitled Life in the World of Music with Charlie Usher, a speaker from the Banff Centre music and sound program, who spoke about his life as a composer.
The idea behind the program began after vice-chair Jean Slaght returned from a trip to Ontario during which she attended a meeting of the Georgian Triangle Lifelong Learning Institute.
“The more active your mind, the more alert you remain and it is all a part of healthy living,” Slaght said.
She said upon returning she connected with others interested in promoting the idea of lifelong learning as part of the Canmore Senior’s Association.
A meeting was held at the beginning of February to gauge support and generate ideas for the program. With up to 70 in attendance, Slaght said the turnout and the comprehensive list of topics that came out of the meeting was encouraging.
At that point, a group of 12 formed a steering committee with Slaght as vice-chair and Petrik as chair.
“I would call the response overwhelming,” Petrik said. “We felt that at the risk of going too fast we had to keep the momentum going.”
Serendipity played a part in the Lifelong Learning program beginning soon after the committee was formed.
Work had begun on a speaker’s series with the Banff Centre that provided the first steps to kick off the program.
On March 7, the program will feature Henk Guittart, director of the fall/winter music program at the Banff Centre, who will speak about his career as a chamber musician with the Schoenberg String Quartet in the Netherlands.
On March 14, the program will feature Dr. Milton Laufer who will speak about his life as an international concert pianist and educator.
The programs run at 2 p.m. at Creekside Hall. Admission is by donation and CSA membership forms will be available for newcomers.
The next series, to run in April and May on Tuesday mornings, will be on the topic of healthy aging.
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