Who We Are

Hamilton Third Age Learning (HTAL) is an organization focused on life-long learning. Our fall, winter and spring lecture series programs are designed to bring learning and enrichment opportunities to adults aged 50+ in Hamilton and surrounding areas.

HTAL was registered as a not-for-profit corporation in Ontario in 2012 and began the lecture series in 2013. HTAL is not a registered charity.

HTAL operates totally through volunteer commitment to serve on the Board of Directors and Committees. We encourage subscribers to consider offering their time. If you are interested, visit our Volunteering page, complete and submit the Volunteer Form.

Our High Quality Program

Our lecture theme is Understanding the 21st Century, a broad canvas for areas of particular interest and importance to our curious audience of life-long learners. Topics include contemporary issues, history, local and global politics, science, technology, arts and humanities, health, economics, the environment and culture.

Lectures are provided by university/college professors, notable authors, journalists, leaders and experts in their fields. We provide a varied program in each series.

Disclaimer: While program topics are approved by the Program Committee and the Board, the actual content of any lecture and opinions offered by the lecturers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of HTAL.

Fall and Spring Lectures are provided in-person and the Winter Series is offered via Zoom. Lectures are 50 – 60 minutes followed by a brief Q&A. A recording of the lectures is made available to all paid registrants and access is open for 2 weeks after the live lecture through a password protected link. All lectures begin at 10am on Wednesday mornings.

2024 Spring Series Lecture Schedule complete details on Spring Lecture series page.

Beliefs and Principles

Target Audience

While our learning and enrichment activities are geared to individuals of 50 years and older in Hamilton and surrounding communities, participation is open to all adults.

Speaker Selection

We endeavor to seek out speakers who can provide balanced, evidence-based lectures, where applicable, but understand that most speakers have their own opinions and viewpoints.

Audience Participation Policy

While HTAL understands that some participants may disagree with a speaker’s point of view, we expect that speakers and fellow members in the audience will always be treated respectfully.  Disparaging, disrespectful comments or outbursts are inappropriate and will not be tolerated.


HTAL is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, operating under Provincial not-for-profit legislation, with by-laws and policies developed and reviewed regularly.

The Board has adopted a Code of Conduct that applies to all volunteers associated with HTAL, reflecting the principles of the Ontario Human Rights Code and including policies on Discrimination and Harassment.

We are an independent organization and do not support any particular political, commercial or self-serving activities.


We are a financially self-sustaining organization that relies on lecture fees for revenue. We manage our business affairs responsibly to keep expenses to a minimum and costs to subscribers affordable.

Board of Directors and Committees

Current Officers
Chair: Sheree Meredith
Vice-Chair: Bob Savage
Secretary: Sheree Meredith
Treasurer: Bob Thompson

Current Committee Chairs
Program Chair: Elly Bowen
Marketing and Engagement: Cairine Wilson
Registration and Web Management: Brenda Zwolak
Event Production and Venue Management: Bob Savage
Finance: Bob Thompson

Honorary/Founding Members

We are indebted to these visionary leaders for their foresight, direction, tenacity, and good humour in developing HTAL as a premium opportunity for community members to engage in inspiring and educational lecture sessions for seniors, with seniors and by seniors.

Gillian Anchel – Board Secretary (2013-2023)

Sharron Johnston – Development Director and Chair, Winter Series ( 2012-2021)

Rosemary Knechtel – Board Chair (2012 – 2020)

Les King – Board Member, Website Manager (2012 – 2020)

Mona Levenstein – Board Member and Program Chair ( 2012-2021)

Judith McCulloch – Incorporating Director*; Board Vice Chair and Chair of Governance (2012 – 2020)

Carolyn Milne – Visionary Leader and Incorporating Director* (2012)

Carolyn Rosenthal – Board Vice-Chair and Chair of Registration/Hospitality (2012-2020)

Leila Ryan – Steering Committee Member, Incorporating Director* (2012)

Vincenza Travale – Steering Committee Chair ( 2011-2012)

*Incorporating Directors applied for Letters Patent to incorporate the new organization.

Honorary and Founding Members of the Hamilton Third Age Learning Organization

Affiliations and Support

HTAL is a member of the Third Age Learning Network (TAN) of Ontario. TAN and its members provide invaluable support and assistance to new and established third age learning groups.

The early founders of HTAL appreciated the support of local institutions and businesses such as McMaster University, Mohawk College, the Hamilton Council on Aging, Simpson Wigle Law, First Ontario Credit Union and Legacy Designs for program development, business affairs and communications systems.

HTAL is grateful for the support and advertising space provided by many local businesses in Hamilton, Dundas and Ancaster to promote lifelong learning for third age residents.

HTAL values its partnership with The Westdale for promotions and marketing, on-site support and for providing a wonderful ambiance for our engaged audience.