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Century House program shines spotlight on New West seniors

Online programming aims to entertain local residents - during the pandemic and beyond
Talk New West host and producer Curt Albertson, left, chats with Marion Orser about her decision to cycle across Canada in celebration of her 65th birthday.

Talk New West is shining a spotlight on issues and stories of interest to local seniors.

The online Talk New West video program features stories related to Century House members and other New West seniors.

“It is a magazine-style video show for local seniors,” said Shelly Schnee, program coordinator for seniors  at Century House. “Our goal is to develop local content for the community (specifically seniors), especially as we find ourselves at home ‘surfing’ these days.”

includes links to some content that may be of interest to older adults, but its primary focus is interviews with folks with some “pretty fascinating” stories to tell.

“Its mainstay is feature interviews,” he said. “They are generally about 10 minutes long. Sometimes they are a bit longer, rarely shorter.”

Since November, Albertson has interviewed a number of people at the makeshift (physically-distanced) studio at Century House, including: local comedian Janice Bannister; resident Marion Orser, who celebrated her 65th birthday by cycling across Canada; and Marilyn Remus, who reflected on her first post-high school job as a flight attendant on an airline that flew to the Arctic.

“Its focus is seniors and Century House members, and New Westminster,” Albertson said. “Occasionally I push the envelope a bit – because content is key. You want to drive people to the website and you have got to have stuff up there. The more content, the more people will gravitate toward it.”

Albertson said he’s received a number of emails from people saying how much they enjoy the programming.

“Entertainment,” he said of its purpose. “Certainly during COVID times, it’s something to occupy their time that’s useful and entertaining.”

Albertson, a North Surrey resident, was introduced to Century House through volunteer work he was doing with the Seniors Services Society. Having retired in 2011, he’s been looking for ways to keep give and give back.

“I’ve been a volunteer at Century House, a recent one,” he said. “I guess it’s just a little over a year-and-a-half, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself.”

A member of the Seniors Embracing Technology group at Century House, Albertson volunteered to produce Talk New West.

“It’s always been an idea in the back of Shelly’s mind,” he said. “She brought it up there and, funnily enough because of my background, I got volunteered to be the producer. I was not expecting to be the host. I volunteered, and I am quite enjoying it.”

After Albertson does an interview (with Schnee operating the camera), he said it gets put into the Google cloud and he pulls it off there when he gets home, where he edits it and sends it via the cloud back to Century House’s tech guy, Tim Hicks. A New West resident, Hicks is responsible for posting all of Century House’s online content.

“I think it’s a great idea,” he said of Talk New West. “It brings a new technology. It’s one-on-one with our own people in a lot of cases.”

Talk New West can be found at

“I encourage them to come along for the ride,” Albertson said. “It’s lots of fun.”