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Octopus programming continues at Century House in New West

It may not quite be back to business as usual at Century House, but the local seniors centre is still finding ways to ensure older adults have a chance to connect.
Century House
Century House is taking steps to connect seniors with an outreach initiative that focuses on technology and information.

It may not quite be back to business as usual at Century House, but the local seniors centre is still finding ways to ensure older adults have a chance to connect.

Century House is now offering “social pod” times where four friends can meet in a physically distanced way, but it’s also continuing to offer a variety of online programs and workshops through its Octopus initiative. All of the sessions for folks aged 50 and older will take place on Zoom.

Here are some of the upcoming online offerings at Century House.

Fridays – Oct. 30, Nov. 6, 13 and 20 (10:30 a.m. to noon)

Liz Orme, a semi-retired high school English teacher with 30 years of classroom experience, will lead a four-day exploration of different creative writing genres: memoir, non-fiction, short fiction and poetry. Each Exploring Writing session is literature-based, so will begin with an example of the selected genre written by a published author, followed by writing time where participants can experiment with different writing techniques and prompts.

“If they are interested, participants will be invited to share their work, via read-aloud, with others in the class, thus gaining some listener-response,” said an overview of the program. “Theoretically, each session will have two samples and two blocks of writing/sharing time, but that will depend on participant preferences; to a great extent, this course can be regarded as a living document and will therefore be designed as it develops over time, based on participant input. If you’ve always wanted to ‘write that book’, this is the place to start. Participation at all four sessions is expected.”

Along with 30 years of classroom experience, Orme has co-authored three multi-genre textbooks with Oxford University Press and has dabbled in writing fiction and poetry for many years.

Register in advance for this program at

Wednesday, Nov. 4 (1 p.m.)

Have you wondered about the difference between Outlook, Firefox and Google? Joy St. John will lead a Staying Connected workshop where you’ll learn about their safety, and how to send an email with an attachment, open an email with an attachment and delete emails that are no longer needed.

“Joy St. John, has the knowledge, experience and capability to help a peer who is having problems with the subject of staying connected in our 'new normal' world or having problems understanding how to deal with all those emails they receive or send,” said an overview of the workshop.

Thursdays – Nov. 5 to Dec. 3 (1 to 2:30 p.m.)

Wendy Parry will facilitate Lifespan, a five-week course in which participants will explore how human development changes across our lifespan.

“We will explore several developmental theories and the lived experience, and will look at human development in the context of biological, physical, emotional, cognitive, contextual and cultural influences. Emphasis will be placed on adulthood and the aging process.”

Parry recently retired as an instructor in the faculty of applied community studies at Douglas College. Lifespan runs for five weeks, and participants are asked to participate all five sessions.

Register in advance for this program at

Information about all Octopus programs can be found at

After registering for any of these free workshops and/or programs, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

“Don’t forget when you get the confirmation you will look for the words ‘click here to join,’ click there a few minutes before the session,” said the notice. “For programs that are more than one week, you can use the same link for all of the dates.

For more information contact Shelly Schnee at, 604-519-1061 or