Lifelong learning is at the heart of who we are and what we do.
To offer mature adults high-quality and affordable non-credit educational courses, seminars and workshops which stimulate both mind and body by exploring liberal arts, fine arts, sciences, humanities and physical activities.
To inspire as many individuals as possible to discover the joys of lifelong learning and education.
The Edmonton Lifelong Learners Association (ELLA) has a humble origin, emerging as part of a 1976 University of Alberta Faculty of Extension spring program designed for mature adults. From there, a group of dedicated individuals created ELLA in 2001, a non-profit society registered under the Province of Alberta Societies Act.
By 2002, ELLA achieved charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency’s Charitable Division and began to offer courses as part of a three-week spring session on the University of Alberta campus.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ELLA switched the in-person spring session to an online session, and members enthusiastically embraced the new technology that made this possible. Building on this positive member response, ELLA, in 2022, decided to offer both a winter online session and a spring in-person session every year. That same year, ELLA operations became independent from the University of Alberta, although its members continued to use the University’s main campus for spring sessions.
ELLA has grown from 65 members in 2002 to approximately 1,000 members in 2023, all of whom continue to enjoy the benefits of lifelong learning. Our courses are taught by talented professors and others who are experts in their fields, with many course suggestions made by members. ELLA is overseen by a volunteer board and relies on the contributions of many other volunteers to offer unique learning opportunities to members. Full membership is available for a small fee to anyone over 50 years of age, and those under 50 can become non-voting associate members.
The Essence of ELLA
We create learning opportunities to foster friendships and a community of lifelong learners.
Our courses are welcoming, entertaining, and enriching.
Volunteers and leadership work together to deliver a unique form of learning.