As with most things in life, change is inevitable. ElderCollege has seen many changes throughout its history and we have another chapter to come.
Our leadership team and volunteers have always recognized the importance of social connection in learning and our programs were designed to provide an opportunity to gather together, to share our experiences, to share our knowledge. When Covid impacted our communities, our dedicated team of volunteers worked tirelessly to overcome the many barriers that Covid created, quickly adapting and moving our programs onto Zoom to provide a way to stay connected. ElderCollege remained one of the few lifelong learning organizations to continue offering programs through the pandemic, but with a smaller number of registrants.
We recognize that our course participants now want to resume in person learning and reconnect socially, to gather together again in friendship. However, moving back to the community has created new challenges with competition for space, a reduced number of volunteers, and fewer course registrations impacting our budget. Our leadership team has been in discussion to carefully weigh our options for moving forward in light of these challenges and have made the difficult decision to wind down North Shore ElderCollege Society.
With the end goal in mind of continuing to provide intellectually stimulating programs to our lifelong learning community, we have capitalized on our community relationships and are pleased to announce that in January 2023 the majority of our programs will move into Silver Harbour Centre and What's News Parkgate will be at Parkgate Society.
Silver Harbour is a longstanding organization with deep roots in North Vancouver and shares our values of serving our community's mature adults with quality, affordable programs and services. Eldercollege at Silver Harbour will be a new program of intellectually stimulating sessions to complement their existing programs. Our volunteers will continue to develop interesting courses, to host engaging discussions, to develop bus trips. It will be part of a central community hub easily accessible by transit, with an onsite cafeteria for lingering and socializing, and with dedicated staff to assist with registrations. And with a new facility under construction, this will be a delightful new space for learning, socializing, and staying active.
Parkgate Society is an active hub that serves our community east of the Seymour River. What's News Parkgate's stimulating discussion format with focus on news and current affairs will be an excellent complement to their program offerings.
So what does this mean for our Members?
Current ElderCollege programs will finish in December 2022. Course Planning volunteers are working with the Eldercollege at Silver Harbour team to put programs in place for January 2023 and Silver Harbour staff will communicate and manage course registrations for those programs. Parkgate Society will manage registrations for What's News Parkgate via the North Vancouver Recreation Commission. The current Board will remain in place to take the required steps to wind down the Society. As we turn the page, we trust that Eldercollege at Silver Harbour and What's News Parkgate will continue to provide the beloved programs that our community has enjoyed for so many years.