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The History of SLR

The Society for Learning in Retirement, now more popularly known simply as SLR, has grown five-fold since its inception in the spring of 1995. With an initial enrolment of 100 members and a handful of courses, it now has close to 450 members enjoying over 120 classes per year. Today, with the advent of technology and increasingly rapid change in the world around us, SLR is on the cusp of reaching out to new members far and wide.


In 1995, with the help of Okanagan University College (OUC), a new organisation known as the Okanagan Institute for Learning in Retirement (OILR) was formed. Its purpose was to offer continuing education courses for retirees, based on a model developed at Harvard called the McGill Institute of Retirement. Fred Miles, one of the founders of the McGill Institute, enlisted the help of Gary Dickinson, then Dean of Continuing Education at OUC, to hold the OILR’s inaugural session on May 24, 1995 with 200 people in attendance. 

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