The Lifelong Learning Centre and Conservatory of Performing Arts have much in common. Both are dedicated to helping people realize the joy of learning by exploring personal interests and now both have been combined under one umbrella area called Community Programs.
Kerrie Strathy, Manager of Community Programs, says that the academic review of CCE prompted the change. “It makes sense and is more efficient to combine these two units that focus on non-credit programming. There are a lot of new developments in each of these areas that we’re looking forward to this year.”
While virtually all programming was conducted online in 2020 and 2021, it wasn’t always the ideal approach for some programs. “For group programs in musical theatre, our attendance dipped because it’s one of the rare cases where it’s more challenging to interact online. This year those numbers are rebounding as we’re able to shift back to in-person programs for theatre, music classes and private lessons.”
These changes are lending an entirely new energy to the campus as students are able to gather together to perform. “Kids who are performing in recitals will be able to have family come to see them again and they love an audience,” laughs Strathy.
Also new this year has been the refurbishment and reopening of Darke Hall. “We are excited to be using the performance hall for recitals, performances and public lectures, like the Distinguished Canadian Award Lecture. It is absolutely stunning and is fully accessible so that will be a beautiful venue for students, their families and community members as well.”
While some areas are gradually moving towards in-person learning, students, instructors and staff have also discovered the advantages of remote learning. “A good example is our French and Spanish language instructors who are continuing to teach online. It allows students outside of the Regina area and even those who go away for extended winter vacations to still participate in our programs.”
With a variety of options for learning, Strathy is encouraged to see students discovering and furthering their passions. “One of our students performed a piano duet in concert with her instructor to celebrate her 80th birthday. She had invited her family, friends and classmates to attend and it was so inspiring! Learning is a vital part of life and our programs ensure you can continue to do that at any age.”