Elder Academy




In October 2014, after more than a year of preparation, the University of Victoria Retirees Association (UVRA) introduced Elder Academy for the purpose of providing the public with “Better mental and physical health for seniors through stimulating educational experiences”. This is achieved through presentations on topics of timely and high general interest, such as cutting-edge research on wellbeing, science, and medicine.


In the years following the inauguration of Elder Academy, over 100 lectures have been presented. These are listed on this website below. The academic level of our presenters is high and speakers are drawn from learning institutions in the region as appropriate. Community participation is key to the success of our organization. In order to keep costs in line, speakers are invited to present on a volunteer basis. Elder Academy welcomes your volunteer input and assistance. A program of topics and themes chosen and speaker selection is established by a Programming Committee.



Programming Committee: 


Please contact the Chair of the Programming Committee or any member of the committee should you wish to contribute to the content or design of the Elder Academy program in anywayplease click here



Administration of the program is managed by Sanjit Roy who can be reached at uvraelderacademyevents@uvic.ca 


A compilation of past and current programs and events is listed below. This list is organized by calendar year. Please click on a specific event to find more details of that event. Registration details are provided where appropriate. Links are also provided to videos and presentation slides where available.



Speaker Guidelines:


Elder Academy has established “Speaker Guidelines” and for reference, they are available at the following link: please click here


Lectures are scheduled on Saturdays as appropriate and they are held in UVic lecture facilities between 10 am and noon. Currently, and for the foreseeable future, lectures are held using the Zoom platform as opposed to being physically held in lecture facilities. Those registering to attend a given lecture are charged $5 per event to cover administrative and organizational expenses.


Protocols and procedures for UVRA Elder Academy presentations using Zoom: 


In March 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Elder Academy made the decision to conduct all lectures and events using the Zoom platform for the foreseeable future. Depending on what role is played in these presentations (most commonly as a participant or registrant), please follow the protocol/procedure as detailedplease click here






Series: End of Life Matters!



Feb 6: “Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD): What’s old and what’s new?”

                Presenter: Rosanne Beuthin, PhD, RN, CNS, End of Life, Island Health.


Feb 13: “LONG Term Care: a definite misnomer”

            Presenter: Patricia Gunton, MD, Family General Practitioner and Hospitalist.


Feb 20: “Navigating Palliative Care Services in Island Health”

            Presenter: Shelley Tysick, RN, BSN, BSW, South Island Palliative Care Coordinator.


Feb 27: “Recognizing your Journey as a Caregiver” 

            Presenters: Laurie De Cross & Glenda Kopperson,

            Support and Education Coordinators for the Alzheimer Society of BC. 

Note: The slides from the presentation are not available but these links should be helpful for those wishing for more information or looking for resources.



Series: POLAR OPPOSITES: Why are our polar regions so different?

Poster and Invitation


Mar 6: “Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot: Politics and Transformation in the Global Arctic. 

            Presenter: Dr. Wilfrid Greaves, Assistant Professor, UVic Dept of Political Science. 


Mar 13: “Exploration, Explanation and Exploitation: Their Historical Relations in the Antarctic Peninsula Region.”

            Presenter: Dr. Jim Gardner, Adjunct Professor, UVic Dept of Geography. 


Mar 20: “The Rapidly Changing Arctic Marine Environment and Potential   Impacts.”

           Presenter: Dr. Randy Scharien, Associate Professor, UVic Dept of Geography. 


Mar 27: “Antarctica: The 7th Continent.”

           Presenter: Dr. John Gunton, Retired Geologist/Geochemist.



Series: Modern Day Democracy: Current Perspectives

Poster and Invitation


May 1:  “Truth, Reason and Democracy”

            Presenter: Colin Macleod, PhD, UVic Dept. of Philosophy.


May 8: “Restoring Democracy in an Age of Populists and Pestilence”

            Presenter:  Jonathan Manthorpe, Author and Journalist.


May 15:  “Democracy and Colonialism in Canada: A Long-term Perspective”

           Presenter: Peter Cook, PhD, UVic Dept. of History.


May 22:  “Extremist Politics, the “Culture War”, and the Annihilation of History”

           Presenter: Edwin Hodge, PhD, UVic Dept. of Sociology.



Series: Nutrition 2: Are we what we eat?

Poster and Invitation


June 1:  “Understanding Human Metabolism: What is a Calorie?”

            Presenter: Greg Mulligan, PhD


June 8: “Fads & Facts: What are effective diets?”

            Presenter:  Greg Mulligan, PhD


June 15:  “Farm to Table & Food to Human Cells: Eating to Support Healthful Aging”

           Presenter: Greg Mulligan, PhD


June 22:  “Dietary Choices: How Your Food Environment Shapes Your Eating”   

           Presenter: Greg Mulligan, PhD



Future Elder Academy Saturday Speaker Lecture Series (in development: details to follow)


        Oct:           "Understanding China"


        Nov:          "Body Works 3"






Series: Sex, Drugs & Alcohol – Use and Overuse


Jan 11, Sex Trafficking vs. Prostitution: The Need for Evidence-Based Laws and Policies, with Dr. Cecilia Benoit.


Jan 18, Cannabis, alcohol and other drugs: Science behind laws for impaired driving and the workplace, with Dr. Scott MacDonald.


Jan 25, heART Space: Compassion Building Around Overdose, with Marion Selfridge.



Series: Living Without Oil




Jan 30, Keynote Address: Making the case for “Living Without Oil”, with Dr. John Gunton  


YouTube Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe2Sfe2VKIk&list=PLcFXogPfBbBYEjUlWqbjpKBKg0W8hyf-N&index=2&t=0s



Part 1 


Poster and Invitation 




Feb 8, The Role of Hydrogen and the Fuel Cell in Future Energy Supply, with Nicolas Pocard


YouTube Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXROLtUmFVA&list=PLcFXogPfBbBYEjUlWqbjpKBKg0W8hyf-N&index=3&t=0s




Feb 15, Nuclear Revisited – Canadian SMRs (Small Modular Reactors), with John Stewart.


YouTube Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8sjBi4sScc&list=PLcFXogPfBbBYEjUlWqbjpKBKg0W8hyf-N&index=4&t=0s




Feb 22, Developments in Wind Turbines: Offshore vs Terrestrial, with Dr. Curran Crawford.


YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxh_s7iAsSU&list=PLcFXogPfBbBYEjUlWqbjpKBKg0W8hyf-N&index=5&t=0s




Feb 29, Cleaning BC:Wave Supplied Power in a Low-Carbon Energy System, with Dr. B. Buckham


YouTube Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhjgVin6KxA&list=PLcFXogPfBbBYEjUlWqbjpKBKg0W8hyf-N&index=6&t=0s




Part 2



Poster and Invitation



Note: Change in the first speaker of part 2



Mar 7, Low Carbon Electrification, the Clean BC Plan and BC Hydro, with Thomas Hackney (BCSEA)


Youtube Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x0V2I0r1j0&list=PLcFXogPfBbBYEjUlWqbjpKBKg0W8hyf-N&index=7&t=0s




Mar 7, Solar on Strata, with Bruce Mackenzie (BCSEA)


YouTube Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RERl5uKQ6xg&list=PLcFXogPfBbBYEjUlWqbjpKBKg0W8hyf-N&index=8&t=0s





Living Without Oil Part 2 Series presentations re-scheduled to October



In response to the COVID 19 pandemic and closing of on-campus facilities, the remainder of the 2020 program was re-scheduled and presented as per the schedule below using a Zoom platform




Series: Staying Active While Staying Home!  

Poster and Invitation 


Aug 15, Don’t give a squat? Maybe you should! with Dr. David Docherty



Aug 22, Theraband exercises to work every muscle in your body, with Dr. David Docherty.





Series: Two Newsworthy Biomedical Advances that you Should Understand



Poster and Invitation 



Sep 12, An Introduction to Stem Cells, with Dr. Edward E. Ishiguro




Sep 19, An Introduction to Gene Editing, with Dr. Edward E. Ishiguro





Series: Living Without Oil Part re-scheduled



Poster and Invitation 




Oct 3, Series Recap – Fuel Cell/Hydrogen, Nuclear, Wind, Waves, Hydro, with Dr. John Gunton.



Oct 17, Energy Storage and Electrification, with Dr. Andrew Rowe.



Oct 24, Solar: Cost and limiting Efficiency of Silicon Solar Panels, with Dr. Tom Tiedje.



Oct 31, Impact on Society of Life Without Oil, with David Yager.





Series: Climate change Anxiety: Causes, Consequences, Solutions and Costs



Poster and Invitation 



Nov 7, Key Climate Research Activities in the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCma), with Dr. Ellie Farahani.




Nov 14, Climate Change a Geologist’s Perspective, with Tom Gallagher.




Nov 21, The Importance of Oceans to Climate Change, with Dwight Owens.




Nov 28, Is Geoengineering the Naloxone for our Fossil Fuel Addiction? with Dr. Hadi Dowlatabadi.




Dec 5, Tackling the Adaptation Imperative: International Best Practices, with Dr. Hannah Teicher


Jan 19, Robert Bateman: Visit to the RB Centre and Presentation



Series: Our Changing Ocean


Feb 9, Thunderbird And Whale: BC's Next Big Earthquake and Tsunami, with Dr. Martin Scherwath.


Feb 16, An Introduction To Sound In The Sea And How It Impacts Marine Life, with Dr. T. Dakin.


Feb 23, Life Below Water: The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14, with Dwight Owens.


Mar 2, Seeing In the Deep, with Dr. Maia Heoberechts.



Series: Artificial Intelligence: the Promise and the Perils


Mar, Learning from Data: Charting the Course for AI, with Derek Jacoby.


Mar, Will Artificial Intelligence Learn to do Everything? If not, why not? with Hugh Cartwright.


Mar, The Real World of Artificial Intelligence, with Arthur Kroker.



Series: Activities to Enhance Your Enhancing Quality of Life as You Age


Sep 7, Factors that Influence Quality of Life in Older People, with Dr. Anastasia Mallidou.


Sep 14, Sex and Seniors: A Physician 's View, with Dr. Patricia Gunton.


Sep 21, Exercise as Medicine, with Dr. David Docherty.


Sep 28, The Benefits of Volunteering, with Dr. Neena Chappell.



Series: Canadian Politics: Past, Present & Future


Oct 5, The 2019 Election So Far…, with Dr. Michael Prince.


Oct 12, Who is the State For? Communities & Justice in Political Philosophy, with Dr. Cindy Holder.


Oct 19, Scandals & the Shaping of Canadian Elections: From Macdonald to Trudeau, with Dr. Penny Bryden.


Oct 26 Booth & Consequences: Aftermath of the 2019 Canadian Election, with Dr. Michael Prince.



Series: Complementary Medicine – Expanding Your Choices


Nov 2, "Complementary Medicine” in Context: where does it come from – and where is it going? with Peter



Nov 9, Ayurvedic Medicine and Wisdom Traditions for Practical Day-to-day Healing, with Elham Ansari.


Nov 16, Medical Qigong: The Taoist Art of Nurturing Life to promote Healing, Transformation and Optimum

Wellness, with Syliva Fockler.


Nov 23, The Role of Cannabis in Seniors Health, with David Hutchinson.


Nov 30, Healthy Aging: A Naturopathic Perspective, with Dr. Jasmine Wong & Dr. Natasha Montroy.


Series: Becoming an Artist


(Presenters: Jenny Waelti Waters, Fran Baskerville, Agnes Aninichuk, April Caverhill)


Held: Saturdays, January 6, 13,20 and 27  - 10am to noon in UVic MacLaurin Building room D114 


Cost was $20.00

Jan 6, Session#1, Jenny Waelti Waters.


Jan 13, Session #2, Fran Baskerville  


Jan 20, Session #3, Agnes Ananichuk


Jan 27, Session #4, April Caverhill 



Series: Are You Prepared for the Inevitable?


Feb 3, Ethics of Medical Assistance in Dying, with Dr. Eike Kluge.


Feb 10, Scanning the Landscape of End of Life Care: What Can Support Me and My Family? with Deanna



Feb 24, Living Well-Dying Well: An Introduction, with Bill Israel and Penny Allport.


Mar 3, Let’s Talk about Dying and Why It’s Crucial to Your Quality of Life, with Dr. K. Stadjuhar.




Series: The Theory and Practice of Getting Fitter and Stronger


(presenter: Dr. David Docherty)



Mar 3, Aerobic (cardiovascular) Fitness.


Mar 17, Developing the Core or Protecting the Back.


Mar10, Developing Strength and Muscular Endurance.


Mar 24 Developing Flexibility.


Apr 17 & 24 Visit to Maarnada Studios Gallery and Garden.


Visit to Maarnada Studios Gallery and Garden 

\Maarten Schaddelee (Sculptor)  

That took place on April 17 and April 24, 2018 

It was a free event and donating to "ChoirKids" - a non-auditioned choir program - were suggested.




Series: Nutrition - How Food Can Affect Your Health


(presenter: Greg Mulligan)





Oct 15 Visit to UVic Observatory, led by Dr. Karun Thanjavur.


Series: Mini Med School


Jan 14, (Un)healthy hearts – basic cardiology, heart attacks & strokes, with Sam Harder.


Jan 21, An apple a day keeps the doctor away – disease prevention & intervention, with Sergiy Shantenko.


Jan 28, A beautiful mind - mental health, with Sergiy Shantenko.


Feb 4, The war on drugs – prescriptions, with Sam Harder.


Feb 11, How to pass the test – testing, screening, scanning, with Sergiy Shantenko.


Feb 18, The health care odyssey – discussion of health care system, with Sam Harder.



Series: The German Lied: Big Emotions in Small Packages


(presenters: pianist Harald Krebs and soprano Sharon Krebs)



Mar 4 – Apr 2, A Genre of 19 Century Music, (4 Sessions): A Feast of Song, hosted by Michael Best.



Series: Astronomy: Exploring New Frontiers


Apr 13, Journey to the Edge of the Solar System, with JJ. Kavelaars.


Apr 20, Search For Extraterrestrial Life, with Jon Willis.


Apr 27, The Birth of Stars, with Helen Kirk.


May 4, ALMA and the Art of Planet Formation, with James Di Francesco.



Series: Can We really Blame It All on Our Genes?


(presenter Dr. Jane Gair in conjunction with Yakimovich Wellness Centre)



May 10, An Introduction to Genetics. 


May 17, How is Genetics Important for your Health?


May 24, Understanding the Genetics of some Common Diseases and Disorders.


Jun 7, How Medicine can work with your Genetics to Improve your Care.



Series: Bacterial Colonists of the Human Gut Current Views: the Impact of Bacteria on Human Health,


(presenter: Dr. Edward Ishiguro)



Sep 16, Introduction to the Gut Microbiota.


Sep 23, Interaction of the Gut Microbiota with the Immune and Nervous Systems.


Sep 30 & Oct 7, Impact of the Gut Microbiota on Human Health 7 the Promise of Interventions.



Series: How Physical Activity Can Improve your Health and Life


(presenters: Dr. David Docherty & Dr. Jochen Bocksnick in collaboration with Yakimovitch Wellness entre).



Oct 2, Heart health


Oct 16, Pumping up!


Oct 23, Brain health through physical activity! Really!


Oct 30, Keeping balance in life



Series: Our Changing Ocean


Nov 4, An Introduction to Ocean Networks Canada, with Maia Hoeberechts.


Nov 18 Earthquake Early Warning for BC, with Bob Crosby.


Nov 25, Hot, Sour and Breathless: Oceans Under Stress, with Dwight Owens.


Dec 2, Tangled up in Blue: The Impacts of Marine Debris, with Dave Riddell.


Series: “The Body Works? Function and Dysfunction” Part 1


(presenters Dr. David Docherty & Dr. Mike Bassett)



Feb 27, The heart and cardiovascular system.


Mar 5, Joints or articulations.


Mar 12, The digestive system.


Mar 19, The back, how to protect it and what can be done when things go really wrong.



Special Presentation


Mar 7, Research on the Raincoast: Applied Conservation Science in Bear-Salmon-People Systems of Coastal BC,

with Dr. Chris Darimont.



Series: Can We really Blame It All on Our Genes?


(presenter Dr. Jane Gair.)


Apr 28, An Introduction to Genetics.


May 5, How is Genetics Important for your Health?


May 12, Understanding the Genetics of some Common Diseases and Disorders.


May 19, How Medicine can work with your Genetics to Improve your Care.



Series: Technology Series: Embracing The Digital Age?


(presenter Jennifer Cairns & eGurus Tech Tutor)


Oct 15, Going Mobile With Tablets and Smartphone.


Oct 22, Staying Safe Online.


Oct 29, Photography In A Digital World.


Nov 5, Travel In A Digital World.



Series : Physical Activity Courses


Oct 17 - Dec 5, 55+ Strength, Stretch & Stamina, (8 sessions) with Megan Frazier.


Oct 17 – Dec 5, 55+ Circuit Training, (8 sessions) with Megan Frazier.



Series : “The Body Works? Function and Dysfunction” Part 2


Nov 12, The Brain (and Nervous System), with Dr. Michael Bassett.


Nov 26, The Respiratory System, with Dr. Chris Pengilly.


Nov 19, The Endocrine System, with Dr. Chris Pengilly.


Dec 3, Special Senses: Vision, with Dr. Helen Martindale.


Series: Election 2015: Everything you need to know to vote!


Sep 23, All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Canadian Electoral Process But Were Afraid to Ask! with Dr.

Michael Prince.


Sep 30, Platforms: What Is Each Party Promising and What Are the Implications for BC Voters? with Dr. James



Oct 7, Changing role of Social/Media in the Contemporary Electoral Process. with Dr. Janni Aragon.


Oct 21, Election Results Are In … Now What? with Dr. Michael Prince.



Series: Who am I? What do I want? What is preventing me from achieving what I want? What are my choices?


(presented by Bernard Turgeon)


Oct 23, Environment: Present state and desired state. External constraints/when and where?


Oct 30, Behaviour: Self behaviours, side effects and stress, making a choice.


Nov 6, Capabilities: Expanding one’s awareness of resources. Strategies and state of mind.


Nov 1, Beliefs and values: Permission and motivation. What makes me think this way?



Series: The Immune System: Function and Dysfunction


(presented by Dr. Ed Ishiguro)


Nov 24, Vaccination.


Dec 1, Dysfunction in the immune system.


Dec 8, Cancer and its interactions with the immune system.


Elder Academy formed Fall of 2014


Inaugural Address


Oct 31, What is Elder Academy?, with Dr. David Docherty & Dr. Jane Milliken



Series: Scientific Advances in Aging and Longevity


(presenter Dr. Edward Ishiguro)



Oct 6 – Nov 3, The following topics were discussed. (4) sessions


  1. A summary of key research findings that have led to the identification of some of the major root causes of aging;

  2. The influence of diet on the aging process and a critical evaluation of other anti-aging strategies;

  3. The genetics of aging and longevity;

  4. The basis of age-related diseases;

  5. The latest on the role of the human gut microbiome, the 100 trillion bacteria that inhabit the human digestive tract, in the aging process;

  6. The consensus recommendations for healthy aging.



Series: Physical Activity: The Elixir of Life!


Nov 10 – Dec 1, (4 sessions) with Dr. David Docherty


  1. The effects of physical activity on the cardiovascular system. 

  1. The effects of physical activity on strength. 

  1. The effects of physical activity on retaining memory and cognition. 

  1. The effects of physical activity on back health.


Focus: The theory, rationale (research), and practices to achieve positive outcomes.



Series: Engaging in Healthy Aging (In association with Yakimovich Wellness Centre)


Nov 14, The New Science of Aging Well, with Dr. Debra Sheets


Nov 21, Deliberate Death: Some Ethical Considerations, with Dr. Eike-Henner Kluge


Nov 28, What Makes a Community Age-Friendly? Lessons Learned, with Dr. Elaine Gallagher,


Dec 5, Nurse Practitioners: Who are They and What Can They Do for Me? with Dr. Sangster-Gormley