Members of ElderCollege examine a copy of the Bayeux Tapestry in a history course. File photo

Comox Valley ElderCollege celebrates 20 years

The public is invited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Comox Valley ElderCollege at North Island College.

The event is Friday, Sept. 13 from 2-3 p.m. It will include speeches from past and current ElderCollege officials, and an unveiling of a commemorative plaque in the foyer outside the Stan Hagen Theatre.

ElderCollege serves students on the far side of 50 (55 or more in the Comox Valley). Members gain access to more than 140 courses and lectures annually, without the stress of grades or exams.

“This celebration marks more than just an anniversary,” said John Bowman, NIC president. “We’re recognizing the extraordinary, sustained effort by dedicated volunteers who have grown the Comox Valley ElderCollege membership to more than 1,000 students, ensuring the joy of education continues at all ages. They have created a legacy of lifelong learning that NIC is proud to be a part of.”

Comox Valley residents Betty Emery and Elizabeth Smith first pitched the concept of ElderCollege to NIC in 1999 as a vehicle for continued learning in the community. Then-college president Dr. Lou Dryden embraced the idea and pledged support in the form of registration assistance and classroom availability. ElderCollege has also expanded to NIC’s Campbell River and Port Alberni campus.

All NIC ElderColleges are volunteer-run and self-funded.

Comox Valley ElderCollege chair Michael Syer became a member in 2009, and has enjoyed Saturday lectures and participating in courses including photography, the Canadian constitution and more. He so enjoyed his early experience that he volunteered for the organization’s finance and administration committee, later becoming chair.

“ElderCollege gave me the opportunity to connect to my new community and was a highlight on many a dull winter morning,” said Syer. “We get this feedback from our students again and again. It connects classmates, lifts spirits and generally enriches people’s lives, no matter if they are an instructor, student or volunteer.”

Following speeches and the plaque unveiling, guests can mingle and enjoy refreshments. The event is free, but the public must register in advance by visiting

Innumerable volunteering opportunities abound to maintain the continued dynamic viability of this gem of an organization in the Comox Valley.

Visit the website at for more information, and plan to attend the free information forum at the Stan Hagen Theatre on Sept. 7 to hear about the exciting upcoming lectures and courses.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Famed brother, Africa inspire Comox artist Monica Meyer Huisamen

She already sold several works since this week’s opening at Milano

Courtenay’s first privately-owned retail cannabis store now open

Courtenay’s first privately-owned retail cannabis outlet is open for business. La Pachi… Continue reading

Possibly stolen goods recovered by Comox Valley RCMP

Was your car broken into recently?

Herb Alpert tribute coming to Courtenay

One of the favourite Georgia Straight Jazz Society shows presented at Thursday… Continue reading

Check out a new future at career and education fair in Comox

Event today features booths from more than 40 employers and educational institutions

Comox Valley Beefs & Bouquets for the week of Jan. 21

Bouquets to and from the Adopt-a-Grandparent program; beef to people setting off fireworks

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Most Read