Our Organization and Board Members

TAL-KW is a non-profit, independent organization operated by a board of volunteer directors, which arranges lectures by professors and community experts.

Eclectic, continuing-education challenges for active, mature minds are presented every fall and winter in two afternoon series of eight lectures each. A short refreshment break adds to the vibrancy of the exchange of ideas.

The organization has existed since 1988, when Ruth Clark spearheaded a group to form Third Age Learning in Kitchener-Waterloo. Other founding members were John Boulden, Miriam Butler, Bea Fleischauer, Florence Hayes, Jean and Carl Hennigar, Sally Jefferson, Trudy Motz and Vera Wood.

Originally, lectures were held in the Kitchener Auditorium. In the fall of 2002, because of increased membership, Third Age Learning moved to the Century Room at the Manulife Sportsplex, RIM Park, Waterloo.

Fall 2013 saw a further expansion into the Forbes Family Hall at RIM Park in order to accommodate increasing demand (maximum 650 seats).

What Our Members Say

Really cutting edge approach to each of the lectures. Very well put together, stimulating. Lots of food for thought. (Winter 2017-Architecture series)

Thoroughly enjoyed this series and learned so much. I came out of this with a changed view of our justice processes. I plan to volunteer with CJI. (Winter 2017-Community Justice)

Excellent series which I have found to be very thought-provoking. Speakers overall have been good, and the topics varied enough but cohesive. I’ve also enjoyed learning about  sustainable community and am  encouraged to be involved further! (Fall 2016)

Great course–Wonderful history of evolution of the music & technology –enthusiasm of the presenter much appreciated. (Fall 2016)

Have really enjoyed this series. Speakers excellent! Learned so much. Thank you. (Fall 2016)

What Our Speakers Say

After the last lecture one participant handed me a note. It read: “Thank you for an excellent series. It opened my eyes in many ways, which made me more respectful of many people’s points of view. The background and facts upon which each speaker based his/her presentation contributed to my historical understanding of people and therefore contributed to my respect for where they are coming from as a person.  I need to be broader in my respect for all people and more accepting. It leads to working peacefully with all people, enjoying each other, and working out peaceful solutions in which we can live and grow together.”

 As educators, could we ask for a better response?

Prof. David Seljak, University of Waterloo, Religious Studies

Board of Directors 2020 - 2021

Sylvia Ranson

Secretary & Archivist

Keith Myra

Assistant Registrar

Melanie Watkins

Hospitality and Volunteers Coordinator

Marie Beattie

Program Director

Barbara Kempe


Jean Coughlan-Bednarski


Elaine Wetherup


Doug Koegler


Phil Thomas

Technical Team Leader

Kathleen Woodcock



TAL-KW is a non-profit organization run by volunteers, according to its constitution and bylaws. Board members may be elected for a maximum of six consecutive years.

The 2020 Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, February 27, 2020, at 3:35 p.m. in the Forbes Family Room, RIM Park, immediately after the final lecture in the Thursday series.  The Minutes for the 2020 AGM are available here.

TAL-KW is a member of the Third Age Network (TAN).


TAL-KW contributes to the following bursaries with funds declared by the board to be surplus to the needs of TAL-KW.
Since 1992, TAL-KW has given money to an endowment for financial assistance to deserving graduate students in gerontology studies in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo. The annual bursary is awarded to a student who proves financial need.

In 2010, an endowment fund was established at Conestoga College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning. Beginning in 2012, an annual bursary has been awarded to a full-time student who is enrolled in a School of Health and Life Sciences and Community Services program which contains a gerontology component. Students must demonstrate their financial need as well as an interest in working with seniors.

In 2014, TAL-KW established the Third Age Learning Kitchener-Waterloo Graduate Student Bursary in Gerontology and Movement Disorders Research at Wilfrid Laurier University.  An annual bursary may be awarded to a full-time graduate student who is conducting research related to gerontology and/or movement disorders. The recipient will have a minimum cumulative GPA of 7.0 and proven financial need. First preference for these funds will be given to graduate students who are conducting research at the Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre (MDRC).