The success of courses offered to date through the Cummings Centre’s online format has exceeded all expectations. Teachers have stepped up to the challenge with enthusiasm, delivering stimulating and engaging programs that can be easily accessed from the comfort of one’s own home. Students have also been willing to learn the new technology to continue their educational pursuits while maintaining social connections.

Now in his ninth year teaching at Cummings, David Novek, 86, finds virtual lecturing very rewarding. “First it allows me to expand my technical knowledge and keep busy during the pandemic,” says Novek, who lectures on the Golden Age of the Movie Musical and Broadway Musicals. “Secondly, it provides an opportunity for Cummings Centre participants to lighten their day for a couple of hours during these trying times.”

The winter 2021 season is gearing up to offer a cornucopia of programs enabling participants the opportunity to stay connected. Rosalind Warhaft, 80, teaches how to make better use of your iPad. “Participants are very appreciative of the opportunity to learn and stay connected during these challenging times,” says Warhaft, who has also given workshops on how to use Zoom.

The spirit of ‘being in this together’ encourages participants to support one another in learning. Gaby Orbach, 71, has been teaching crafts for 25 years at Cummings. She notes that students are very motivated. “When students show off their finished creations and I see how proud they are of their work, it makes me feel that I have inspired them as much as they have inspired me,” says Orbach.

Drawing on her knowledge and experience, Cindy Kanis, 66, is looking forward to guiding her students online to create beautiful designs and develop one of a kind works of art. “I am a hands-on teacher which is sometimes hard to convey without being beside the person,” said Kanis. “It just means that I need to stretch myself to come up with different ideas to help my students learn the techniques.”

Wellness programs continue to attract a growing number of participants. Fitness instructors appreciate the volunteer support they receive to assist students on Zoom so that they can deliver a quality program whether it is a walking workout, chair yoga class or seated adapted exercise.

Among the many returning signature programs, there are new virtual offerings planned for 2021 such as Cummings’ first ever bilingual national conference on Aging Well, Adapting to the New Reality on Thursday, January 21. Award winning virtual mentalist Spidey takes to the online stage on Wednesday, February 17 with a feature presentation on the magic of mind performing arts. Cummings West hosts a lecture on Wednesday, March 3 with Robert Wise on strategies to overcome fears and anxieties of COVID and beyond.

Winter registration begins on Monday December 14, 2020 for all courses and programs. Call 514-343-3510 or log on to for more information.

The Cummings Centre empowers and enhances the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment.