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Who We Are

Sooke Region Lifelong Learning is a volunteer organisation offering educational programs and workshops for older adults in the Sooke region. Based on the Elder College model, we provide stimulating and enjoyable learning environments which address the unique and diverse interests of participants. Programs are offered at SEAPARC Leisure Centre and at other locations in the community. Sooke Region Lifelong Learning functions as a working group under the auspices of the Sooke Region Communities Health Network (SRCHN).

Contact Us



Registration will begin in August after all programs have been confirmed and posted.  We hope that everyone will have a safe and happy Summer and we look forward to your participation this coming Fall.  

To register, please make your request by email: 

At present, the sessions are free of charge, but if you wish to donate to support SRLL, please send a cheque to :


Sooke Region Lifelong Learning

c/o Sooke Region Communities Health Network

PO  Box 642

Sooke BC, VOZ 1H6

or click on the donation button below and view the drop-down offer for Sooke Region Lifelong Learning, and you will immediately receive an electronic tax receipt.


SRLL Program Fall 2022

Sooke Region Lifelong Learning Welcome

Leader: David Mallett, Chair SRLL

Program description: Everyone Invited! Come and meet the presenters of this Fall’s Programs on Sooke Region Lifelong Learning. 

Number of sessions: 1

Date and time: Thursday - Sept 1st, 1 – 2:30pm

Program location: hybrid (Library and ZOOM) 

Maximum registration: 50 in-person in the Library

Covid requirements: masks in the Library optional


Municipal Muscle 

Leaders: Hester Vair assisted by  Jack Gegenberg, Lynn and Chris Moss) 

Program description: Municipalities have considerable control within their boundaries to determine the “livability” of their constituencies. From building permits to traffic controls, Councils can be engaged and responsive or aloof and bureaucratic. We look at examples of innovative changes that communities have invoked for the betterment of the public and ask, “Why can’t Sooke?”

Number of sessions: 2

Date and Time of session: Thursdays - September 8th and 15th  from 1 to 2:30 pm 

Program location: Library common room

Maximum registration:  20

Covid requirements: Masks optional in Library


Who do you expect to grow your food?

Leaders: Heather Philips, Lynn Moss, Chris Moss

Program description: Vancouver Island has three days’ of food if the supply lines are shut down.  Sooke is building on old and current farmland and people are paving or covering their property with lawns.  What are you doing to be more self-sufficient ?

Number of sessions: 1

Date and times of sessions: Sept. 6

Program location: ZOOM

Maximum registration: open

Covid requirements: none


Movies in the Afternoon

Leader: Jack Gegenberg

Program description:  The course will follow the same format as the previous course of the same name, offered by Bob and Arlene Stamp.  That is, the instructor will choose a theme for a series of films to be viewed at Harbourside Cohousing TV room.  The showing will be followed by a tea/juice/cookie break and then discussion will ensue.  The Fall 2022 course will consist of films from the New Wave cinema of the 60s and 70s.  The New Wave films broke from the traditions, themes and techniques of Hollywood and its imitators internationally.  The filmmakers associated with this tradition include such directors as Rainer Fassbinder and Werner Herzog (Germany); Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Trufaut (France); Satyajit Ray (India); Akira Kurosawa (Japan); Alain Tanner/John Berger (Switzerland).  These films changed filmmaking profoundly and their influence continues to be felt.    Tentatively, four of the films to be shown are:
Nosferatu the Vampyre (Herzog), Rashomon (Kurosawa), Devi (Ray), and Jonah Who Will be 25 in the Year 2000(Tanner/Berger), all subject to availability.  Two other films will be chosen from suggestions from people enrolled in the course.
Number of sessions:   6
Date and time of sessions: Tuesday  - 1:30-4:30pm October 11th ,18th ,25th , November 1st , 8th , 15th .
Program Location: Harbour Cohousing .
Maximum registration:  12
Covid requirements: Masks must be worn in Cohousing


Driving Electric - Now is the Time!
Leaders:      David and Carol Mallett
Program Description: Join David and Carol Mallett to get news about all the latest developments, makes and models. Learn about the expanding variety of Electric Vehicles available:  cars, trucks, buses and semi’s.  Discover how and where to charge your electric vehicle, including available home chargers and subsidies.  Learn about battery developments and improvements. Enjoy driving electric and planning a trip. David and Carol drive a 2019 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range.  They have enjoyed driving electric for three years making two trips to Winnipeg and back to visit family.   The first in 2019 required travelling along i90 in the USA to take advantage of superchargers.   The most recent this summer, travelling the Trans Canada, as the superchargers are now located coast to coast.  As members of the Victoria EV Association we try to keep up on all the latest EV developments.   
Number of sessions:    1
Dates and Times: Thursday, November 10th  form 1 to 2:30pm 

Program Location:     ZOOM
Maximum Registration:    Open
COVID Requirement:    None


Dark Milestones of Modern Russia    

Leader: Tim Traynor

Program description: Post WW 2, in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, Soviet Russia used repressive force in central European nations from which its armies had managed, with the aid of enormous Western military aid, to repulse the Nazi invaders. These repressions bought short-term stability at the cost of eventual fracturing of the empire directed from the Moscow Politburo. The presenter was involved directly with reformist efforts in Czechoslovakia, known to history as the Prague Spring. These were later to be swept aside by the 1968 invasion of that country by Soviet Russia and its cohort regimes.   Once the Soviet Union had been dismantled, another pattern of Russian armed intervention was fashioned. That politically-inspired violence should have made such a ferocious comeback in present-day Russia is all the more distressing given the demonstrated bankruptcy of such manoeuvres in the late 20th Century,     

Number of sessions: 2

Date and times of sessions: Tuesdays - November 8th  and 15th, 1 to 2:30pm 

Program location: ZOOM

Maximum registration: Open

Covid requirements: None


SRLL book Club

Leader:    David Mallett

Program description:  Book Club Discussion of “When Breath Becomes Air”

Number of sessions:  1

Dates and times of sessions:  Tuesday, November 24th , from 1 to 2:30pm.

Program location: Sooke Library and on ZOOM

Maximum registration: 12 (The Library Book Club Set)

Covid requirements: Masks optional


When Breath Becomes Air” is an exploration by an intelligent, highly accomplished neurosurgeon who searched for the real purpose of life by studying and fixing the brain. The miracle of the brain’s workings could hold answers to help humanity understand its purpose. The reader travels with him on the intellectual paths he takes with humour, compassion and love. We also travel with him on his journey with an incurable disease, at a tragically young age, that forces him to face his mortality with the wisdom.

This is an amazing, well written book.  It is a deep exploration into topics that help us lead a richer life and a more peaceful and accepting death. 


Join us on Tuesday, December 6th from 1:00 to 2:30 pm for a stimulating discussion, in person at the library or on ZOOM.  

Send an email to to register.   The library has a Book Club set available.  

Once registered, simple ask for your copy at the counter by mentioning Sooke Region Lifelong Learning Book Club.  


PAUL KALANITHI was a neurosurgeon and writer. He graduated from Stanford with a B.A. and M.A. in English literature and a B.A. in human biology. He earned an M.Phil in the history and philosophy of science and medicine from Cambridge and graduated cum laude from the Yale School of Medicine, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honour society. He returned to Stanford to complete his residency training in neurological surgery and a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience, and received the American Academy of Neurological Surgery's highest award for resident research. He died in March 2015. He is survived by his family, including his wife Lucy, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.


Herbs for the Immune System

Leader: Carolyn Bateman

Program description: There’s much we can do to keep our immune systems strong from the inside out. Good self-care like sleep, exercise, fresh air, healthy diet and reducing stress are essential, while food and herbs have been used for millennia to get folks through flu season. Basic kitchen staples—garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish, chilies, and vinegar—are actually powerful supports for immunity. And herbs such as echinacea, astragalus, elderberries, oregano, thyme, turmeric and yarrow can balance and build.

We’ll explore in simple terms with a Powerpoint presentation how the immune system works and look at both immuno-stimulating and immuno-modulating herbs. Carolyn will also share three legendary recipes -- Fire Cider, Four Thieves Vinegar, and Gypsy Cold Care Tea -- which combine common kitchen ingredients and herbs into powerful medicines.

 Carolyn Bateman has been growing and studying herbs since 1989. In 2020, she completed certificate training with well-known American folk herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, and, in 2022, completed the Royal Roads/Gaia College Organic Master Gardener certification. She has a particular interest in growing and making her own herbal medicines and loves encouraging others.

Number of sessions: 1

Dates and time: Tuesday, November 22 from 1 to 2:30pm

Program location: ZOOM

Maximum registration: Open

Covid requirements: None



In Search of Birds and Animals in Canada’s Far North

Leader: Lily Mah Sen

Program description: Lily spent 12 days on a trip of her life-time to the NWT, the Yukon and northern BC. She visited Tuktoyaktuk, Inuvik, Whitehorse, Tombstone Territorial Park, Dawson City, and Kluane National Park.  She found beautiful birds, astonishing animals and resilient people trying to cope with the impact of climate change. 

Number of sessions: 1

Date of sessions: Tuesday - November 29th , Tuesday,   1 to 2:30pm

Program location: ZOOM

Maximum registration: Open

Covid requirements: None


Misinformation, Disinformation and Fake News

Lead: Britt Santowski

Program description:  Britt Santowski will facilitate an in-person module from an online Open Source course from Michigan Online. The Course Description is here: 

Before the session, please view the introductory lesson, here: 

At the moderated session, we will collectively go through the four lessons in first module, entitled What is Disinformation, Misinformation, and Fake News. The group can discuss real examples from Sooke, but we ask that the focus be introspection (examining your own views) instead of finger pointing. Learners are welcome to preview the videos or to watch them for the first time in the group session. Following this session, for those who wish to continue with the course, the group can decide if we want to continue with the three other modules as a group or individually.

Number of sessions: 1

Dates and time: Thursday - November 3rd, 1 to 2:30pm 

Program Location: Library Common Room  

Maximum registration: 15

Covid requirements: Masks optional, full vaccinations please



Owls of Southern Vancouver Island

Lead : Ann Nightingale 

Program description: Who cooks for you?  Who cooks for you all? Join Ann Nightingale of Rocky Point Bird Observatory (RPBO) for a presentation on the common and rare owls which have been seen on Southern Vancouver Island. She will also provide an overview of the Northern Saw-whet Owl Monitoring Program conducted at Rocky Point and Pedder Bay. Thousands of these charismatic owls pass through our region each fall, but most people have never seen one. Ann will provide information about arranging visits to the Pedder Bay location.

Ann Nightingale is a birder and long-term volunteer with Rocky Point Bird Observatory.  In addition to the field work, she especially enjoys sharing what she has learned about birds with others, and considers herself something of a bird evangelist. She is also a zone leader for the Sooke Christmas Bird Count, held each year between Christmas and early January.

Number of sessions: 1

Date and Time: Thursday,  September 29th,  1 – 2:30 pm 

Program location: ZOOM

Maximum registration: Open

Covid requirements None 


Basics of Solar PV and Battery Back-up 

Lead: Steve Unger

Program description: In this course you will learn: Electricity basics and background*How solar panels work*How grid-tie solar works*How net metering with BC Hydro works*Electrical code requirements* Solar panel Mounting systems* How to size a solar PV system* How to estimate solar potential and energy savings* how battery back-up works* How to size a battery back-up system.

Number of sessions: 3

Dates and times: Tuesdays, September 13th , 20th , 27th  -  1  - 2:30pm

Program location: First two sessions by ZOOM, last session on-site to be announced.

Maximum registration: open on ZOOM

Covid requirements:  Masks optional during session 3 on-site


Writing and Self Publishing

Leader: Paula Johanson

Program description: Are you looking to self-publish a writing project? This short course will show some easy ways to publish your own book, pamphlet, or website, at little or no cost. Come learn how to set your goals and plan your project. Bring a short outline of your writing project to the first session.

Number of sessions: 4

Dates and times: Thursdays -  1:00 to 2:00 pm -- October 6th , 13th , 20th , and 27th 

Program location: hybrid -- both in the Library and by Zoom

Maximum registration: 20

Covid requirements: masks preferred in Library; Paula will wear a mask and have sanitizer on hand.

New session!!

Meatless Mondays - CANCELLED

Leader: Jill Marchand


Program description:

Session 1 – Introduction to Vegetarian Meals

Breaking down the different plant-focused dietary labels (flexitarian, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, etc.) and why a vegetarian diet supports the Climate Emergency.

Session will go over the Canada Food Guide as protein is sometimes a concern when considering vegetarian meals.  Suggestions for pantry staples, food storage and plant-based substitutes as well as some ingredient review.

I will give you an overview on my attempts at a 100-mile diet and the importance of choosing your food sources. Some discussion on food sharing and budget friendly meals will be discussed in the following week.

Come to the session with your questions and success stories with vegetarian cooking.

Session 2 – Vegetarian Menus and Recipes

We will review a two-week cycle of vegetarian meals including recipe sources and favourite websites.  Maybe a book review of some of my latest recipe books.

Table discussion on holiday celebrations and vegetarian options/substitutions for traditional favourites. How we can support food sharing. Budget friendly options.

Jill is a home cook who is always cooking and looking for new recipes to expand her collection.  She known to read recipe books from cover to cover.  Meatless meals have been a part of her menu planning for the past 50 years.  A full-time pescatarian for the past ten years,  she enjoys the challenge of converting conventional recipes into vegetarian items.


Number of sessions: 2

Location and dates:  ZOOM only, November 8 and 15th,  1-2:30 pm 

Max registration: open

Covid requirements: none


Our Story

Sooke Region Lifelong Learning is part of a growing North American network of volunteer organizations providing informal learning opportunities for adults. These groups exist under a variety of names: Elder Colleges, Institutes for Learning in Retirement, Lifelong Learning, etc. Our Sooke group began planning in Spring 2017, and offered some initial courses over Fall 2017/Winter 2018 under a “Sessions for Seniors” program run by the Sooke Age- Friendly Committee with a partial grant from the federal government’s New Horizons Program.

With meeting space, promotional help, registration assistance, and volunteer support from SEAPARC and from the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre, we were able to offer a full slate of programming for Fall 2018.


Past Presentations

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Past Programs

Fall 2019 Sooke Region Lifelong Learning
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Fall 2018 Sooke Region Lifelong Learning
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