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  • November 03, 2023 12:38 PM | Michael Wosnick (Administrator)

    TALYR 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM)

    October 30, 2023 at 12 Noon via Zoom


    As with all registered Not-for-Profit organizations, TALYR has a requirement to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM).  All active Members were invited to attend the AGM which took place at 12 noon on October 30, 2023 following our webinar presentation for that day.

    At the meeting, we reviewed the year 2022-2023, elected a slate of new and continuing Board Members and Officers (President, Secretary and Treasurer) for 2023-2024, and approved the TALYR Financial Statements for Fiscal 2023. 

    We also approved a major update to the bylaws of TALYR to bring the bylaws more in line with current standards and best practices.

    Below are links to the AGM Agenda as well as other documents that were discussed and approved. Thank you to all who attended for your ongoing engagement and participation. 


    Materials for the TALYR 9th AGM

    TALYR 9th Annual Meeting Agenda - October 30, 2023

    TALYR 8th Annual Meeting Minutes - October 17, 2022

    President's Report for 2022-2023

    TALYR 2022 - 2023 Financial Statements

    Revised TALYR Bylaws for Approval 

    Proposed Slate of New and Continuing TALYR Board Members to be Elected for 2023-2024

    Proposed Slate of TALYR Officers to be Elected for 2023-2024



  • October 17, 2022 2:36 PM | Michael Wosnick (Administrator)

    TALYR 8th Annual General Meeting (AGM)

    As with all registered Not-for-Profit organizations, TALYR has a requirement to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM).  All Members were invited to this meeting.  

    The meeting took place earlier today (October 17th at 12 noon). 

    For convenience of Members, below are links to the AGM Agenda, the President's Report, the Slate of Directors that were approved at the AGM for 2022-2023, and the Financial Statement for 2022.  

    TALYR 8th Annual Meeting Agenda - October 17, 2022

    TALYR President's Report for 8th AGM

    TALYR 2022 Financial Statements

    TALYR Board and Officers Slate 2022-2023


  • June 08, 2022 10:35 AM | Michael Wosnick (Administrator)

    We Asked You What You Thought.

    You Answered; We Listened:

    Results of TALYR's 2022 Future Planning Survey


    The biggest single problem we all face right now is uncertainty as to the future course of the COVID-19 pandemic. None of us could likely have predicted the twists and turns we have already taken. That makes planning for the future more difficult, since there is considerable lead time needed to recruit Speakers and mount a future lecture series. Therefore, the best we can do in planning for the Fall of 2022 is to take the opinions of Members into account BASED ON WHAT WE KNOW TODAY, and forge ahead while keeping the health and safety concerns of our members as our highest priority. 

    Accordingly, we recently sent all our members a Planning Survey questionnaire to help us ascertain your preferences as we move forward with our programs in a very uncertain future. We were very gratified that over 160 of you responded!

    This is a great testament to our community, and we thank you for your responses and candour but especially for your loyalty and your continued enthusiasm and support.

    As part of our accountability back to you, we wanted to provide an overview of some of the feedback we got, and where appropriate, what actions we are taking.


    Health and Safety Concerns

    Based on what we know TODAY, respondents were VERY CLEAR that they wanted to continue with ONLINE Webinars (via Zoom) rather than return to in-person meetings in the Fall. In fact, when asked directly if you would attend in-person lectures in the Fall, fully HALF of respondents said they would NOT ATTEND. Conversely, when asked if you would attend online webinars with Zoom, only 7% responded that you would not attend.

    Obviously, there are some of our Members who feel that the in-person benefits are more important and/or they do not favour the value or format of online webinars, but the overwhelming majority of you told us clearly that you are far more comfortable staying online for now.

    And so, at our TALYR Board meeting on June 1, 2022, the Board made the decision to keep the Fall 2022 Series online only via Zoom. It is not a decision we had hoped to make, but (sadly) the decision was an easy one given the facts as we know them today, and the very clear directive from our Members.

    Given that our annual Winter Series was always going to be via Zoom (due to weather concerns in January and February etc) this means that the decision for returning to in-person lectures will not come into play until we have to plan for the Spring of 2023. We will obviously cross that bridge when we get there, and you can be certain that if there is any doubt at all, we will be coming back to you for your input and opinions before any decisions are made!


    In-Person vs Zoom Beyond 2022

    When we asked for your preferences of in-person vs online/Zoom even in a Post-COVID future, i.e., when we could safely meet in-person again without restriction, opinions were mixed.

    Twice as many of you said you actually preferred to stay on Zoom rather than return to in-person, even when it was safe to return to a physical venue (32% Zoom vs 17% in-person). Another popular option was some sort of ‘mix’ of Zoom webinars and in-person lectures.

    It seems clear then that while Zoom became the option of necessity when the pandemic started, a significant number now feel comfortable enough with Zoom that the convenience of online webinars is actually preferred, even when we could go back to in-person meetings.

    As expected, a number of you indicated that the social interaction provided by an in-person event was of paramount importance. We were surprised, however, that this factor did not rank as highly as we surmised it might.

    In fact, the priorities you ranked as most important were “recruiting expert speakers from outside our geographical area”  [highest ranked priority] and “convenience of enjoying the lecture in the comfort of your own home and without having to travel”  [2nd highest ranked priority]. The priority of “opportunity for attendees to socialize in person with one another ”  was only ranked as the 5th highest priority, out of 6.

    We also asked if we should explore the (more costly) option of a true “hybrid” format:  an in-person lecture for those who wanted to attend in-person plus a concurrent livestream for those who wanted to view in real time from home. This is not something TALYR could expertly mount on its own but would have to be contracted out to a professional AV company. More than half of you said you had no real interest in us exploring this avenue, especially given that it would likely raise costs considerably.


    Recording of Lectures

    Another major theme that emerged in your comments (again) was the issue of recording of lectures. People have had to miss both in-person or online lectures in the past due to conflicting commitments, ill-health or other, but in the era of Zoom/Internet webinars, the question has intensified as to whether we could record our Zoom sessions for later playback.

    Up until now TALYR had a strict policy NOT to record any lectures, both to protect the Speaker’s Intellectual Property, but also to protect TALYR should there be any inadvertent infringement of Canadian Copyright laws. This past year however, we worked with other Later Life Learning organizations in Ontario to get legal advice to see how we might record Zoom lectures for future playback and under what restrictions etc.

    Based on that legal advice, at its Board Meeting on June 1, 2022, the TALYR Board approved that, on a trial basis, TALYR WILL record Zoom webinars, so that anyone who has to miss the Monday morning webinar will be able to watch it at their convenience for a limited period of time after the original webinar date. Any recordings will of course be subject to the full agreement and approval of each Speaker, and so it may happen that we may not be able to apply this to all lectures.

    We are working out the rest of the details as to how we will make recordings available, with appropriate restrictions, so stay tuned for that.


     Value Proposition

    Our members fully recognized that, as a not-for-profit, we must of course be able to cover our costs. Although the costs of an online program are not significantly different than the costs of an in-person  program, you told us that it is important that we be transparent as to what those costs are, whether for Zoom or in-person. We agree completely, and in fact our annual financial statement has always been presented at the TALYR Annual General Meeting (usually in October) and also posted in full on the TALYR website.

    In any case, Members overwhelmingly indicated they thought the Zoom webinars had value and would be willing to continue to pay for them in the future. It is assumed that our intended recording of Zoom webinars for future playback (see above) will further enhance that value proposition in the future.


    Lecture Topics

    Regarding lecture/webinar topics, many subject areas got broad support but the most favoured were Global Issues; Health, Medicine & Well-Being;  and Social Issues. (63%, 61% and 48% of all respondents, respectively).

    The 3 least favoured topic areas were Sports, Athletes & Recreation; Financial Health; and Law and Legal Issues (3%, 11% and 13% of all respondents, respectively).

    Although there were a few changes in rank order of other topics since the last time we polled you over a year ago, the overall ranking of your most (and least) favoured topics has not changed.


    Membership and Demographics

    Our respondents were 80% female and 20% male. Most questions were answered similarly by both genders.

    Of note, over 20% of respondents live in areas farther away than we have considered as our traditional “catchment” areas in York Region, many of those from as far away as Ottawa or Thunder Bay. Obviously, attending in-person for these members is out of the question and no doubt contributes to the growing popularity of Zoom Webinars where geography is largely irrelevant.


  • October 25, 2021 3:41 PM | Michael Wosnick (Administrator)

    TALYR held its 7th annual AGM earlier today, via Zoom. Thank you to all of the TALYR members who attended.

    If you were unable to attend, or if you simply wish to have a second look at some of the materials etc that were presented or discussed, here are links to the pertinent materials which you can read here or download at your convenience.

    7th AGM Agenda

    6th AGM Minutes (Approved as circulated)

    President's Report (Received)

    Financial Statement as of June 30, 2021 (Approved as circulated)

    Slate of Directors and Officers for 2021-2022 (Approved)

  • April 09, 2021 4:14 PM | Michael Wosnick (Administrator)

    We recently sent all our members a survey questionnaire to help us ascertain your preferences as we move forward with our programs in a very uncertain future. We were very gratified that over 200 of you responded!

    This is a great testament to our community, and we thank you for your responses and candour but especially for your loyalty and your continued enthusiasm sand support.

    In fact, the largest number of comments by far were very laudatory and complimentary to our TALYR team for the job we do on your behalf. Many of you indicated that you would not change a thing. While this is very gratifying to all of us on your Board of Directors, we all know that there is always room for improvement, and we intend to continue to seek out your opinions and do our best to always improve our programs for our members.

    As part of our accountability back to you, we wanted to provide an overview as to some of the specific feedback we heard from you, and where appropriate, what actions we are taking.

    Health and Safety Concerns

    On a day when Ontario hit a record number of Covid-19 cases, it is hard to see the end of the pandemic. But we are all hopeful that there will be some return to some semblance of normal, eventually!

    Respondents were VERY CLEAR, however, that they are less likely to return in person until and unless they feel completely safe doing so. The vast majority therefore want us to delay any attempt to return to in-person program until and unless we can mount it safely, and without restrictions (e.g., masks, distancing, reduced attendance etc).

    In-Person vs Zoom Going Forward

    Interestingly, when asked for your in-person vs Internet/Zoom preferences for the future when we could safely meet again without restriction, opinions were mixed.

    A full 20% of you indicated you still would prefer Zoom ONLY programs, even if we could meet safely and unrestrictedly in person. About 30% prefer going back eventually to ONLY in-person programs. About 50% of you said you would prefer a mixed program of in-person and Zoom.

    [Note: there may be some confusion in terminology that would need to be further probed. When we referred to a “mixed” program we meant that some lectures might be in-person only, while  other lectures might be Zoom only. This needs to be clarified further, since some may have interpreted this to mean a lecture being available in-person and via Zoom simultaneously. The question was meant to be “either/or” – at this time we are not anticipating live streaming or otherwise “simulcasting” on both platforms at the same time.]

    Not surprisingly, there were some very mixed feelings about the relative benefits of an in-person meeting vs a Zoom webinar:

         + As expected, many members value the social interaction that comes with having an in-person meeting.

         + However, many also value the convenience and ‘intimacy’ of Zoom (i.e., in your own home). Bad weather, commute times, difficulty in finding parking etc were common comments in favour of Zoom.

         + Comfort level, audio visual and sight lines were common complaints for our previous in-person meetings. Many were not happy with the (old) Aurora Cultural Centre venue – common complaints were mainly about AV, sightlines and so on (can’t see, can’t hear).

         + Many had looked forward to switching to the Odeon Cineplex or similar venue with tiered seating to get better sightlines and better audio. Many were therefore very happy the Zoom alleviated these issues for them.

         + The ability to get speakers from farther afield was a noted benefit of Zoom, whereas in-person events likely are limited to speakers within driving distance of the venue.

    Value Proposition

    People overwhelmingly indicated they thought the Zoom webinars had value and would be willing to pay something for them in the future. People recognized that of course we need to be able to cover costs, and some wondered what our expenses were for Zoom vs in-person.

    Lecture Topics

    Regarding topics, many topics got broad support but the most favoured were Global Issues; Health, Medicine & Well-Being;  and Social Issues. (61%, 58% and 49% of all respondents, respectively).

    The 2 least favoured topic areas were Sports, Athletes &Recreation; and Financial Health (2% and 8% of all respondents, respectively).

    Membership and Demographics

    Our respondents were 80% female and 20% male. Most questions were answered similarly by both genders.

    Less than 25% of members have been with TALYR since its inception (either continuously or intermittently). About 76% have been with TALYR for at least 3 years but a full 30% joined just this past year.

    Approximately 15% of respondents live in areas farther away that we have considered as our traditional “catchment”. Interestingly, over half of those from “outside” our usual area joined just this past year, presumably since Zoom presentations afforded them the ability to participate but not have to commute to a given venue.

    Recording of Lectures

    The other major theme that emerged was the issue of recording of lectures. People have had to miss in-person lectures in the past due to conflicting commitments, ill-health or other, and in the era of Zoom/Internet webinars, the question has intensified as to whether we could record our sessions for later playback.

    At the moment, TALYR has a strict policy that we do NOT record any lectures, both to protect the Speaker’s Intellectual Property, but also to protect TALYR should there be any inadvertent infringement of Canadian Copyright laws. That said, we are currently working with other Later Life Learning organizations in Ontario to get a legal opinion and to see if there is a consensus that we can come to about recording Zoom lectures for future playback and under what restrictions etc.

    In a similar vein, others asked whether we could “livestream” an in-person lecture to give members an option of attending in-person or staying at home.

    As indicated earlier, the issue of some sort of livestream or simulcast is not under consideration at this time. It is costly and too demanding on our meager people resources. Further, research shows that it is not always the best experience for the audience, and especially not for the speaker, to have to cater to live and virtual audiences the same time. We may revisit this issue/technology in the future but for now it is not on our to-do list.


  • February 14, 2021 5:00 PM | Barrie Braiden (Administrator)

    Dear TALYR Members,

    We are pleased to provide  the speakers' names, bios and topics for your review. We are holding 6 Speaking Events from April 12 to May 17, 2021 on consecutive Mondays using ZOOM as our platform once again.

    Spring 2021 Speaker Event Series 

    All Spring 2021 speaker events will be conducted virtually using Zoom software

       April 12

    Tom Vassos


    A Fascinating Tour of the Universe
       April 19

    Rona Maynard

    Your Discovery Years: Finding Joy in  Retirement  


       April 26

    Shermeen Beg

    An unrivalled city: Constantinople at the time of the Italian Renaissance


       May 3

    Mike Daley, PhD

     The Elvis Presley Story 


       May 10   

    Charles Mathewes, PhD


    Evil, Memory, and Redemption after COVID
       May 17 Lynne Golding

    A Romp Through the Roaring 20’s


    A reminder email including Zoom registration instructions will be sent out in early March 2021.



  • December 29, 2020 2:00 PM | Barrie Braiden (Administrator)

    Dear TALYR Members,


    We are pleased to provide  the speakers' names, bios and topics for your review. We are holding 4 Speaking Events from January 18 to Feb 8, 2021, on consecutive Mondays using ZOOM as our platform once again.

    Winter 2021 Speaker Event Series 

    All Winter 2021 speaker events will be conducted virtually using Zoom software


     January 18

    Adam Shoalts, PhD

    Beyond the Trees: A Journey Alone Across Canada's Arctic


     January 25

    Ron Giesbrecht

    Delivering Health Services to Remote Areas – One Plane at a Time


     February 1

    Bob Bell, MD

    The Future of Publicly Funded Healthcare in Canada: Do We Need a Private Option?


     February 8

    Adam Chapnick

    Ten Events That Shaped Our National Character

    A reminder email including Zoom registration instructions will be sent out in early January 2021.

  • October 31, 2020 8:00 AM | Barrie Braiden (Administrator)

    Greetings, Members.

    Here is your October 2020 Third Age Network (TAN) Newsletter.

    October 2020  TAN Newsletter

    Happy reading.


  • April 09, 2020 3:00 PM | Barrie Braiden (Administrator)

    The Town of Newmarket Recreation & Culture Department is happy to launch our new website: newmarket.ca/HomeSweetHome today, which is full of helpful, healthy, educational and fun ideas for the whole family to enjoy while staying at home and social distancing. Town staff are sharing our favourite links and resources to help our community stay active, healthy and connected at home.  It is just one of the many ways the Town of Newmarket is helping our citizens to #flattenthecurve and keep our community engaged until we can once again open our facilities and deliver the great programs and events we
    all love! 

    We invite you to share your moments on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, tag us @TownofNewmarket and hashtag #HomeSweetHome and #Newmarket.


    Below is what the page looks like and just some of the content and ideas we are sharing on a weekly basis to keep us all busy, active, healthy and engaged.
    Be sure to check it out today and check back often as we’ll be continually updating the site with new information every week!


  • March 22, 2020 10:00 AM | Barrie Braiden (Administrator)

    Greetings, Members.

    Here is your March 2020 Third Age Network (TAN) Newsletter.

    March 2020  TAN Newsletter

    Happy reading.

    TALYR Board


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Results of Audience Survey 

May 2014

Your pick for future speaker topics


Topic
 Rating
Social Issues
 1
History
 2
Countries
 3
Music
 3
Theatre
4
People
5
Health
 6
Architecture
7
Art
7
Geography
8
 Science 8
 Politics 9
 Medicine 10

Formation of TALYR

There have been several Third Age Learning (TAL) groups successfully providing quality and informative lectures for those who wish to acquire knowledge without having to be tested afterwards. It became important to a group of six people that a similar organization should exist in York Region. With that in mind, in order to test this assumption, posters were made, sponsors obtained, and two lectures in May 2014 were presented at the Aurora Cultural Centre in Aurora, ON. These lectures, provided by Dr. Mike Daley and Dr. Peter Russell were extremely well received as well as very well attended.

In answer to this response, the TALYR organization committee decided to follow through with a series of six (6) lectures in the fall of 2014 and potentially another 6 lectures in the spring of 2015.  We agreed to centre the topics on “Innovation “.  Whether future topics will be discussed as six different topics, or as a series of six lectures on one topic, will be decided by the committee in the future.

In that regard, a website has been established and the first opportunity to become a member of TALYR occurs on Friday, August 15, 2014.  It was decided that a membership fee will be $10.00 for the year of July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. It was also decided that, to attend any future TALYR lectures, one must first become a member of TALYR.  At the same time, the first series of six (6) lectures is available as a group of six, rather than six individual lectures. The cost of the series is $50.00.

On August 15, 2014, we are providing the initial opportunity to become (1) a member of TALYR, and (2) register for the first series of six lectures in the fall of 2014.

Currently we have over 215 contacts but know that we are limited to a maximum of 150 attendees at any lecture at the Aurora Cultural Centre. It is for this reason that we are using the “First Come, First Served” approach to determine which of our contacts will be able to attend our first lecture series.  In the event that the maximum of 150 is not attained, the committee will determine if individual lectures may be purchased at the price of $10:00 per lecture.

We are very excited about the potential of this new technology for Third Age Learning in York Region.

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