The 15th Annual CURAC/ARUCC (College and University Retiree Associations of Canada/Association de retraités des universities et colleges du Canada) was held this year at Carleton University, May 24-26, under the hospices of the Carleton University Retirees Association, and in recognition of the 75th anniversary of that University’s founding. . Senior College was represented by Peter Russell as Principal and Past President of CURAC, and by Ken Rea and Alexander Gregor, as College Delegates.

CURAC represents a composite of the various university and college retiree associations (33) across the country, and is accordingly quite heterogeneous in its interests – as are those associations themselves. But it has proven remarkably successful in identifying and exploring a range of topics of common interest. An exploration is made of ‘best practices’, with suggestions from across the country on strategies to foster engagement and further the interests, material and intellectual, of a growing retirement community. It was particularly satisfying to see the interest expressed in the model being presented by Senior College as a vehicle for the continuing intellectual engagement of academic retirees.

A comprehensive history of the establishment and development of CURAC was prepared by Ken Rea, the Association’s Founding Secretary, and appears on the CURAC website:

Professor Rea’s history has been used as the basis of an Association Archives project (through the Queen’s University Archives), which on completion will be available through the Association website. Available as well on the website is the Association Newsletter and Bulletins, which provide updates on events and initiatives during the course of the year.

In addition to the consideration of best practices, the conference this year examined, via round tables and talks, three major themes: the Economy; Health; and Higher Education. Consideration of the first topic was subsumed under the rubric “Trump and the Canadian Economy”; health focused on “Health Equity: Our Collective Responsibility” and “Successful Aging”; and the topic of higher education was considered under “Learning in Retirement: How older adult education is understood and practised in Canadian Universities”. An impressive conference banquet provided the opportunity for a range of awards to individuals deemed to have made a significant contribution to the Association and the broader retirement community it represents.

In addition to the annual conference, CURAC is actively engaged, through a range of committees – Health Care Policy, Pensions, as examples – in the gathering and dissemination of information, both for the use of member associations, and for collaboration with a network of other organizations which are also in various ways engaged with the same issues.

The CURAC Executive has acknowledged that not enough has been done as yet to bring the activities and resources of the Association to the attention of constituent associations and, through them, the broader university and college retiree community; and efforts are afoot to remedy that matter. The work and contribution of CURAC are in fact very impressive and of obvious value to the retiree community. Senior College Fellows and Members are strongly encouraged to explore the Association website.

Alexander Gregor


CURAC 2018 Annual Meeting

The 2018 Meeting of CURAC will be in Halifax on May 23-25, 2018. You can find further information and register at