ELLA is run entirely by volunteers!

Every Spring, the Edmonton Lifelong Learners Association (ELLA) puts on a three week intensive learning opportunity for anyone over 50 years of age.  It is a wonderful experience on the U of A campus, featuring excellent instructors, stimulating topics, opportunities for daily physical exercise, plenty of social interaction.  ELLA “regulars” look forward to this entrance to Spring every year in early May!

It is people like you and I who put this all together, using skills we have acquired at home and at work. We still get a kick out of developing something unique….but for ourselves. ELLA has an amazing bunch of volunteers doing most of the work, which makes it both fun and satisfying.

If you are planning to come to this Spring Session (or even if you are not), please consider volunteering for ELLA next year. It takes many hands to do the work.  We have a job tailor-made to suit your time, energy and capabilities. We are also willing to provide training to help you acquire skills needed if necessary.
Will you join us? 

Email Recruiting Chair at exella@ualberta.ca

Purposes and Function Statements

March 21, 2016


PURPOSE The Administration Committee shall ensure the management of the ELLA Office meets the needs of the organization.


The Administration Committee is responsible for

  • Providing timely administrative support to committees to assist them with their responsibilities, including collaboration with U of A as required.
  • Managing the daily operation of the ELLA office, including all membership communications and being the central conduit for all communications for ELLA committees.
  • Training volunteers to run the office, support V-office activities, and event registrations.
  • Processing annual membership fees and event registrations on an as-needed basis in collaboration with the IT committee, any various other ELLA committees, and the U of A Finance Department.
  • Supporting the online membership and event registration systems, in collaboration with IT Committee and U of A where applicable to uphold the integrity of the databases to generate reports and obtain data.
  • Preparing event specific materials, including registrant packages, for communication purposes with membership which involves interaction with various committees, as needed.
  • Contributing to the planning and implementation of the Strategic Plan.
  • Preparing an annual Committee budget for Board approval and adhering to it.
  • Maintaining and annually updating the Administration Committee Handbook of Information and Procedures.(Reviewed March 15, 2017)



PURPOSE: The Advisory Committee shall ensure that the ELLA Board is supported in determining the future direction of the organization.

The Advisory Committee is responsible for:

  • Recommending the incorporation of new concepts and models of governance, leadership, strategic and operational design into the organization.
  • Supporting and assisting the Board in improving management of the organization.
  • Advising the Board about successful Third Age learning programs in Canada and internationally
  • Initiating and/or collaborating with the U of A on research projects.
  • Contributing to the planning and implementation of the Strategic Plan
  • Preparing an annual Committee budget for Board approval and adhering to it.
  • Maintaining and annually updating the Advisory Committee Handbook of Information and Procedures. (Reviewed April 3, 2017)



PURPOSE: The Bylaws and Policies Committee shall ensure that the ELLA Board and Committees have current governance documents to guide their direction and activities.

The Bylaws and Policies Committee is responsible for:

  • Reviewing the ELLA Bylaws, Policies, Guidelines and Standards to ensure that current practices are in compliance with them.
  • Assisting other ELLA committees with formulating their Purposes and Function Statements.
  • Revising the ELLA governance documents to ensure currency and accuracy.
  • Meeting the requirements of Alberta Corporate Registry and of Canada Revenue Agency when the Bylaws are changed to ensure legality.



PURPOSE: The Document Management Committee shall ensure that the ELLA Board and Committees have timely, consistent access to information and documents.

The Document Management Committee is responsible for:

  • Advising and supporting the Board and volunteers regarding document management.
  • Developing and updating Board approved policies and procedures for formatting, classifying, retaining, storing, and archiving documents.
  • Developing, delivering and updating training materials about document management for board members and volunteers.
  • Maintaining and monitoring electronic files in collaboration with other committees.



PURPOSE: The Encore Committee shall ensure that short term learning experiences, as approved by the ELLA Board, are organized and delivered on a cost-neutral basis.

The Encore Committee is responsible for:

  • Collaborating with appropriate ELLA committees to identify up to three short term learning experiences presented between Spring Sessions
  • Preparing a written proposal for each potential event.
  • Coordinating all aspects required to deliver each event
  • Evaluating each event.



PURPOSE: The Executive Committee, as delegated by the ELLA Board, in partnership with the University of Alberta shall ensure that the current ELLA operations are viable.

The Executive Committee is responsible for:

  • Making necessary decisions on behalf of the Board, which must be ratified at the next Board meeting.
  • Ensuring the Board Chairs, Committees and Executive Officers fulfill their expected responsibilities and outcomes.
  • Hiring, directing activities, and evaluating the performance of the Executive Assistant.
  • Collaborating with the Recruitment Committee in screening potential Board candidates.
  • Negotiating the Agreement with the University of Alberta.



PURPOSE: The Finance Committee shall ensure that the fiduciary responsibilities of ELLA are met.

The Finance Committee is responsible for:

  • Assisting the Treasurer in drafting policies and procedures to ensure that the finances of ELLA follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and meet legal requirements.
  • Advising the Board in making financial decisions to support the organization and the long term viability of ELLA.
  • Assisting committees in preparing their annual budgets.
  • Preparing and submitting a consolidated ELLA Annual Budget for Board approval.
  • Undertaking financial projects and assignments as delegated by the Board.
  • Ensuring that the annual Audited Financial Statements are submitted for approval at the AGM.



PURPOSE: The Information Technology Committee shall ensure that the on-line functionality and presence meet the requirements of the ELLA Board and Committees.

The Information Technology Committee is responsible for:

  • Developing and maintaining electronic assets to support current operations of ELLA.
  • Representing ELLA and collaborating with U of A for electronic system upgrades, changes, and enhancements.
  • Training and supporting committee members and volunteers on technology and  software to support their committee functions.
  • Advising the Board on design and delivery systems to ensure future functionality of electronic assets and technology for ELLA.



PURPOSE: The Marketing Committee shall ensure that members and the general public are informed of ELLA and its programs.

The Marketing Committee is responsible for:

  • Managing ELLA marketing components to advertise, publicize and promote ELLA Programs (to include evaluating the effectiveness of the marketing tools.)
  • Ensuring consistent branding, messaging of marketing material and currency of information by developing marketing guidelines, promotional materials and templates and assisting other Board Members with material reviews as requested.
  • Producing and arranging the distribution (in cooperation with the Administration and Information Technology Committees) of ELLA official printed materials (to include the ELLA Spring Session Course Guide and thank-you/multipurpose cards, business cards, promotional materials and items.)
  • Collaborating with appropriate committees and U of A to market ELLA Spring Session and other events.
  • Communicating with ELLA members (to include other Programs and Newsletters, in collaboration with other Committees.)
  • Contributing to the planning and implementation of the Strategic Plan.
  • Preparing an annual Committee budget for Board approval and adhering to it.
  • Maintaining and annually updating the Marketing Committee Handbook of Information and Procedures.
  • Writing articles or advertisements for placement in newspapers, magazines and newsletters.
  • Giving presentations to organizations interested in ELLA activities throughout the year.
  • Coordinating the taking of photographs for use in publicity, the course guide or on the ELLA website and managing photographic records of ELLA. (Revised April 5, 2017)



PURPOSE: The Program Development Committee shall plan, direct and evaluate ELLA’s educational programs for Spring Session.

The Program Committee is responsible for:

  • Identifying learner needs using prior year evaluations, surveys and other feedback from members.
  • Planning all learning elements of Spring Session programming to address identified learner needs.
  • Identifying and contacting proposed instructors and speakers to meet learning the learning goals of the Spring Session with regard to topics and balance.
  • Collaborate with University of Alberta Extension to vet proposed instructors and courses for quality to meet the standards of the U of A., and to ensure contracting and payment of instructors engaged.
  • Collaborate with other ELLA committees to ensure booking of needed venues, and production  of communication and publicity materials, as well as course guides, and course materials, as well as to ensure there is no duplication of learning events (particularly with Encore).
  • Designing, executing and analysing course and program evaluations for all learning events.
  • Prepare and update key documents including an annual budget, a final report on Spring Session and other learning events, including related financials, and the Program Development Volunteer and Coordinator handbooks.  (Reviewed April 10, 2017)



PURPOSE: The Program Implementation Committee shall ensure that all components of the instructor led ELLA Spring Session are delivered.

The Program Implementation Committee is responsible for:

  • Collaborating with appropriate ELLA committees and U of A to support Spring Session. Obtain booking information and printing requirements.
  • Booking space and equipment for all aspects of Spring Session.  Monitoring enrollment re: room changes, cancellations.
  •  Identifying, training and communicating with Facilitators, Ambassadors, and technical support.
  •  Providing instructors with orientation, technical information and training.
  • Setting up and operating the Information Table.
  • Providing on-site support for volunteers, instructors and members throughout Spring Session.
  • Contributing to the planning and implementation of the Strategic Plan.
  • Preparing an annual Committee budget for Board approval.
  • Maintaining and annually updating the Implementation Committee Handbook of Information and Procedures. (Reviewed March 20, 2017)



PURPOSE: The Recruitment Committee shall ensure that the ELLA Board and Committees have qualified individuals to fulfil assigned responsibilities.

The Recruitment Committee is responsible for:

  • Developing and implementing an annual plan to recruit Board members and committee volunteers.
  • Conducting the electoral process to fill vacant positions for Directors of the Board.
  • Conducting the electoral process, in collaboration with the Finance Committee, for a minimum of two ELLA members to perform the annual audit.
  • Matching volunteer skills with committee needs.
  • Organizing and conducting an orientation workshop for the new Board members.



PURPOSE: The Social Committee shall ensure that ELLA Board approved social events are delivered.

The Social Committee is responsible for:

  • Organizing all aspects of ELLA Board approved social functions.
  • Organizing entertainment and audiovisual requirements if included in social events.
  • Collaborating with the appropriate committees to honor long-term ELLA members and volunteers