In the fall of 1995 OILR offered its first courses; 10 volunteer peer-led study groups with an enrollment of about 100 participants. Under an affiliation agreement with OUC, a portable classroom was provided on what is now Okanagan College on KLO Road.
In 1996 the OILR received Society status under the British Columbia Society Act. A branch campus was established in Penticton 63 kilometres to the south, but later ceased activities. Meanwhile in Kelowna OILR membership outgrew the single portable classroom at OUC, and rented space was found at the Salvation Army and in church facilities. Continued growth meant that by 2003 OILR had grown to 382 members.
In 2003 OILR re-wrote its Constitution and Bylaws and reorganised itself as the SLR Society for Learning in Retirement. It received both Society and Charitable Organisation status, and on January 29, 2003 was incorporated under the Society Act (1996). With charitable status the new SLR was granted the right to receive tax-deductible donations to create a building fund.