ElderCollege Course Descriptors

Those under 50 can register for an additional fee of $20 + GST to attend any class

ELDP 005 S22R01 - Interactive Spanish for Beginners Level II - NEW

This course will be a continuation of the Interactive Beginning Spanish and Refresher course. It will focus on readings, dialogues, and real life situations in class in order to practice all forms of the verbs. Students entering the course must know the verb forms in Present, Past and Future tenses. In this class you will learn the specific uses of prepositions such as Por and Para, the verbs Ser and Estar, Hacer and Haber, and you will also learn more vocabulary and common idioms.  

Additional Expenses: You must buy Schaum's Outline of Spanish Grammar by Conrad J. Schmitt, Publisher McGraw-Hill Education; 7th edition. It can be purchased from an online book store such as Amazon, Indigo/Chapters, etc. List price ranges from $15.86 to $26.95 + shipping (price varies by retailer).

Instructor: Miriam Palacios

8 sessions

Wed, Feb 2 – Apr 6; 2-4 pm (no class Mar 16 & 23)

$53 + GST

ELDE 082 S22R01 - St John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program

Few things are more rewarding than therapy dog work. Not only can you personally brighten the days of those who need companionship, but you get to witness firsthand the incredible impact a gentle, joyful dog can have on the lives of others.

Boosting spirits in Canadian communities for over 20 years, the Therapy Dog Program is alive and well in Powell River. We are always looking for individuals who wish to provide health-care-oriented volunteer service within our community, using their dog to assist. Come and learn about what makes the St John Ambulance Therapy Dog program unique and the steps involved in becoming part of a Therapy Dog team. Jerry, the Therapy Dog, looks forward to meeting you! 

Instructor: Debra Maitland

1 session

Fri, Feb 4; 11 am-12:30 pm

$12 + GST

VIU – Powell River would like to thank Deb as she is volunteering all her hours and waiving her small monetary stipend in order for us to charge only a nominal $12 fee.

ELDP 006 S22W01 - Sustainability, Social Change and Fun - NEW

Human activity is pressing against planetary limits. Perpetual growth is no longer a viable goal.

Mike Nickerson, author of Life, Money and Illusion: Living on Earth as if We Want to Stay, explains how our changed relationship with the Earth requires a different approach to mutual provision (the economy). He describes time-tested biological processes and how re-integrating with them can secure long-term well-being. Children grow; adults, not so much. Human activity has reached physical maturity and, as with individual maturity, accepting responsibility for our strength accompanies the vast opportunities of adult life. By adapting society's economic metabolism to our new situation, many problems can be solved. 

Join us for a look at how a shared vision of the new goal can lead to a sustainable future. A glimpse of a future our grandchildren might enjoy can be seen through the precept “more fun, less stuff.”

About Mike Nickerson: In 1971 Mike co-founded the Institute for the Study of Cultural Evolution. After decades of study, writing, and presentation/discussions, Mike has come to see the ideas he has collected as key to stimulating people to imagine and work towards a sustainable future. Along with numerous articles, pamphlets, and speaking engagements, Mike has written three books on the topic, the most inclusive being Life, Money and Illusion: Living on Earth as if We Want to Stay. More about his work is collected at www.sustainwellbeing.net.

Instructor: Mike Nickerson

1 session by Zoom

Thu, Feb 24; 10 am-12 pm

$17 + GST

ELDP 007 S22R01  - Exposing the Sources of Income Inequality - NEW

We all heard about the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, but do you know why it happened? Join Wayne as he presents his opinions and ideas about this global financial crisis. Explore with him the ways capitalism has misled us and is failing the younger generations. “Unless we see high-level changes, we will see our societal structures completely fall apart,” says Wayne.    

This course will be interactive with attendees free to ask questions for additional information. Major topics will include the development of banking, economic structures, the Great Depression (1929-1939), the Great Recession (2000-2008), structural changes in finance and the growth of corporations, international trade, the wisdom of a lesser-known economist, and existential problems of our time and some potential solutions to those problems.

Wayne Armitstead started his career as a school teacher and administrator (principal). He then made a transition to the financial field and worked as a stockbroker, and later as a portfolio counsellor for wealthy clients. Following the financial system collapse of 2008, Wayne shut down his business in 2010 due to the unpredictability of markets resulting from various government interventions taken to re-stabilize the system. He has observed at close hand the evolution of the financial system over the years, and has analysed the causes of changes in the nature of capitalism and of phenomena like income inequality.

Additional Expenses: Please note that Wayne’s book is required: Capitalism Perverted, Publisher Friesen Press; 1st edition (July 5, 2020). It can be purchased from the Publisher Friesen Press’s website or from an online book store such as Amazon, Indigo, etc. List price ranges from $3.99 to $23.99 (price varies by retailer and depending on the book’s format: e-book, paperback or hardcover).

Instructor: Wayne Armitstead

6 sessions

Tue, Feb 15 – Apr 5; 10 am-12:15 pm (no class Mar 15 & 22)

$48 + GST

ELDP 001 S22R01 - Pickleball for Seniors and Senioras - WE’RE BAAACK!

Pickleball is not tennis; Pickleball is not badminton; Pickleball is not ping pong. Pickleball is a game of strategy and finesse: it is not simply a game of banging and smashing. In Pickleball, you and your partner try to outsmart your opponents by forcing them out of position so you can place the ball where they are not. In Pickleball, you have to have the patience to let your opponents make the mistake. In Pickleball, you win by controlling the court. Let us help you understand how this fabulous paddle sport can be played. All you need is to show up with a pair of sport shoes and comfortable clothing so you can move freely. Don’t forget your water bottle! We provide all the rest! Please note: this course is only for people who have never played Pickleball before.

VIU – Powell River would like to thank the Gherkins as they are not only volunteering their hours, but also supplying the nets, paddles and balls to help subsidize the cost in order for us to charge only a nominal $27 fee.

We, the Gherkins, are a group of energetic, enthusiastic picklers who are determined to teach seniors the softer game of Pickleball. The Gherkin Pickleball motto is “Placement Over Power” so that no senior or seniora has to be afraid to play. The Gherkins are also diverse in levels of play, so we understand both what it is like to be a beginner and what it is like to compete in big tournaments. Ultimately, we want to share our love for the game and the fun we have learning and playing it. Pickleball – it really is a big dill!

Additional Expenses: For a small $2 drop-in fee, we will have gym time on Fridays from 10 am to noon for the registered participants to use the skills they have learned in their Wednesday session. A mini-tournament will take place on the last Friday, May 6 as a way to end the course.


 Instructors: The Gherkins

6 sessions

Wed, Mar 30-May 4; 10 am–12 pm

$27 + GST

Seats are limited

ELDP 008 S22R01  - Dealing with Difficult People: Getting Along with Others - NEW

Communicating and getting along with other people isn’t always easy, whether it’s with family, friends, or in volunteer activities. When people feel upset, it’s hard to stay calm and work for a successful outcome. It’s stressful when you have to say, or they tell you, “I have bad news for you.” It’s equally difficult when one of you doesn’t understand what’s going on and says, “What’s going on here?”, or “I feel like you’re attacking me!” These kinds of communications quickly bring out anger and conflict and can have bad outcomes for everyone.

This course will help you learn to remain calm, deliver clear and accurate messages that do not provoke, build mutual understanding, and achieve good outcomes. Understanding both the kinds of assumptions that we can unconsciously make about people different from ourselves and cross-cultural differences in communicating can helps us handle cultural and other kinds of diversity.

The course consists of five 2-hour sessions: 

  1. Matching your communication problems and goals with the goals of the course; introducing what will be covered.
  2. Self-knowledge; unintentional communication that blocks understanding and creates conflict.
  3. Self-knowledge; observing without evaluating to achieve clarity and reduce conflict.
  4. Techniques that calm by remaining neutral and acknowledging the other.
  5. Handling diversity; cross-cultural communications differences. 

The course will be taught using lecturettes, class discussions, and small group experiential exercises. Participants will receive summary notes for each class, approximately five pages per class. No text is required, but books will be recommended for those interested in more detailed follow-up.

Your instructor is Neil R. Abramson, MA, MBA, PhD, a retired business professor from Simon Fraser University. Prior to becoming a professor, Neil was trained as a group psychotherapist and worked as a social worker. He was also a salesman for many years (insurance, advertising, training and development), and an entrepreneur/partner in three enterprises (advertising, games, management consulting). He recently moved to Powell River from Lions Bay, BC.

Instructor: Neil Abramson

5 sessions

Tue, Feb 22 – Apr 5; 1-3 pm (no class Mar 15 & 22)

$38 + GST

ELDP 009 S22X01 - Lebanese Mezze Cooking Class - NEW

In the tradition of true Lebanese hospitality, Chef Linda will be presenting a cooking class based on the traditional recipes of a selection of Mezze, or appetizer dishes similar to Spanish Tapas. You will learn how to prepare a selection of beautiful dishes that are perfect for entertaining. Many are also perfect for a light lunch or for a dinner that showcases the amazing flavors of the Levant. The dishes are meant to be shared -- enjoyed with friends and family along with lively conversation and lots of laughter! NOTE: Please bring plastic containers for leftovers.

Linda Shaben learned about traditional Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine at an early age from her grandmother, mother, and aunts. She began working in the hospitality industry after University, working in hotels and restaurants in Edmonton, Banff, and Canmore. Linda operated her own café featuring modern Middle Eastern cuisine in Edmonton, with her mother as a partner. On a trip to Vancouver Island in 2008, Linda fell in love with Cumberland and a small café called Tarbell’s that had a “For Sale” sign in the window when she stopped there for lunch. From 2008 until 2015, Linda ran this popular café then transitioned into developing a catering business called Gourmet Girls with two partners, catering a variety of events. In 2015 she moved to Powell River and began building a catering and specialty food business, working from a commercial processing kitchen in her basement. Currently, Linda is the Instructional Assistant at VIU Powell River's Culinary Arts Program and is a partner in the artisanal ice cream business Wild Scoop.

Instructor: Linda Shaben

1 session

Mon, Feb 28; 1-4 pm

$17 + $20 lab fee + GST

Location: TBA

Seats are limited