About the Seniors' Association

The Seniors' Association is an independent, not-for-profit organization affiliated with George Brown College.

The Association has its own Constitution and By-laws and elects a Board of Directors composed of volunteer officers, committee chairs and members-at-large.

The Association offers seniors innovative programs of a cultural, educational, and recreational nature that serve lifelong learning needs and interests. Each winter and fall – a variety of lecture courses are offered and also each spring and fall we have a series called Great Treasures. Courses are usually 10 weeks long

We provide opportunities for voluntary participation in the activities within the Association and for collaboration with community programs.

Each year several scholarships are awarded to students entering second year Gerontology studies and the Nursing Program. We also provide a bursary to mature students in the George Brown Theatre School and the Financial Services School. The recipients are selected by the Faculty. These scholarships and awards are supported by our membership on a continuing basis and are administered by the George Brown Foundation.

Please Note: Cancellation for any course must be received no later than 10 business days prior to the beginning of the course in order to receive a refund. A $10 administrative fee will be charged for each course cancelled.


Great Treasures Starts April 24th 2019. Registration information will be sent in the new year

Winter 2019

Registration Starts on January 7th

ITALIAN $45.00
With Luciana Benzi

Mondays: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm February 11 - April 22
Room -108 – St. James Campus

No Class February 18 - (Family Day) Course extended one week

Our Italian studies continue for those who have good basic knowledge of the language and wish to build on their skills. Basic grammatical aspects and vocabulary will be reviewed before the introduction of all new material. Classes will give priority to language practice with particular attention to pronunciation. Some homework is required. We welcome students new to the class. Though they should have reasonable knowledge of Italian, we are glad to help them integrate with our class.

From 1962 to 1976 Luciana Benzi taught the Italian language at the University of Toronto in the Department of Italian Studies, the School of Continuing Studies and the Faculty of Music. During these teaching years she wrote many articles on topics of the Italian language and literature and gave papers at symposia and talks on Italian culture at various institutions. She received a grant from the Italian government to research and prepare material for a textbook written by her on the principles of Italian phonetics for first year students of the Italian language.


Andrews Favourites $45.00
The Crime Film 1930-1950 with Andrew Close

Mondays: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm February 11 - April 22
Room 418A – St. James Campus

No Class February 18 - (Family Day) Course extended one week

This course will take a look at examples from one of the most notable, successful, and ever-changing genres in film: the Crime Genre.
More importantly, the course focuses on films of this genre from its most influential period, the 1930s, 1940s, and early 1950s. The 1930s saw some of the most interesting developments in story, characters, and themes; the 1940s showcased some of the most influential developments in cinematography; the 1950s introduced multiple International film evolutions into the main styles still used today. This genre of film intertwined with other popular genre types to create some of the most remarkable films in cinematic history. It is partly due to this mixing of multiple genres and themes that kept audiences coming back to see what comes next. It is still one of the most popular genre of films worldwide. Therefore, it is necessary to look at not only the Hollywood films of this period, but also some examples from British and French films, as these are just as important to the development and evolution of this genre. Some of the films to viewed for this course include: The Lady Vanishes, Le Corbeau, Fury, The Naked City, Key Largo, After the Thin Man, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Le Jour Se Leve, You Only Live Once, and The Big Heat. A full list of films to be viewed will be made available the first day of the course.


Andrew Close is returning to present his ongoing series. He has been with George Brown College since 2002. He has taught in several different disciplines throughout the College, one of which has been the Film Studies course.  He has brought the world of film and how to view it through the study of film to many students. In the area of film, his interests lie in independent filmmaking, foreign filmmaking and the world of remakes.

SOUTH ASIAN ART $45.00
With Sudharshan Duraiyappah

Tuesdays: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm February 12 - April 16
Room 568D – St. James Campus

Explore the amazing world of South Asian art that dates back to 4700 years ago.   From art produced for daily life, religions and public spectacle the visual art infused all aspects of South Asian life.  This course will include in-class presentations with slides and discussions

The last class will be held at the Royal Ontario Museum to visit the feature Exhibit, Treasures of the desert kingdom: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur.

A widely travelled and published scholar, Sudharshan Duraiyappah has been teaching world religions and ancient history with the Department of Humanities at the University of Toronto, and has also taught for many years at the Royal Ontario Museum. He received his training from the Universities of Toronto and McGill. His research interests include Hinduism and the Diaspora, Trans-Asian religious routes of the 7-9th centuries AD, and iconography.

LET ME SING! – THE GREAT ENTERTAINERS $45.00
With Jordan Klapman

Wednesdays: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm February 27-May 1
Room SJB 350, Hospitality Building – St. James Campus

This highly entertaining course showcases the fascinating lives, famous recordings, and live performances of ten of the greatest singer/entertainers of the 20th Century: Al Jolson, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Fats Waller and Barbra Streisand. The course will include archival recordings, video and fascinating lectures, covering some of the biggest hit songs of all time.


Jordan Klapman is a professional musician and popular music lecturer who has taught at Ryerson’s LIFE Institute, The Miles Nadal JCC, and elsewhere. He specializes in the history, personalities and music of Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood film music, among others aspects of music. A performing musician, Mr. Klapman is also an active pianist, vocal accompanist, music director, and concert and recording producer. He has released 8 albums of mainstream jazz, klezmer, pop and original tunes.

FALLEN ROYALTY AND THE TREASURES THEY LOST $45.00
With James Thompson


Thursdays: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm February 14-April 18
Room 418A, St. James Campus

Discover great emperors and empresses, kings and queens, of many times and continents, and learn about the glittering courts, art collections, and palaces they lost. We begin in Portugal and Spain, looking at the early great collections of two monarchies that entered a state of decline by the 18th century. Then to England with the late great Tudor courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and the extravagant Stuart court of Charles I.

We will also explore the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette of France at the onset of revolution, and discover what happened there had incredible similarities  with the fall of Nicholas and Alexandra of Russia. Students will see how, for a brief moment, Napoleon and Josephine attempted to capture all the glitter and power associated with art and palaces. In Asia, the court of the Last Empress of China, the Empress Dowager Cixi, confirms that China once had a very refined and vastly wealthy monarchy with a great art collection and an agenda for erecting palaces . We will also re-visit the fate of the last Kaiser of Germany and his palaces.We will recall the last Shah of Iran and the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979 with the loss of their vast art collection. Less is known of the last King of Italy, who left after the fall of Fascism.  By the course’s end, students will be able to ask: Were there common mistakes that all kings/emperors made? OR, Was each regime different and fell due to unique and specific reasons?

James A.S. Thompson is an Ontario Ministry of Education certified teacher with a Masters in History, a diploma in Art History from the Courtauld Institute, London, and a Master’s in Museum Studies. He has been teaching later life learners at George Brown College Seniors’ Association for ten years. He has taught on politics, history and culture in Europe and Asia and is committed to teaching courses involving experiences and opinions of later life learners.


THE HISTORY OF TERRORISM $45.00
With Olivier Courteaux


Thursdays: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm February 28-May 2
Room 568D, St. James Campus

In this day and age, terrorism remains one of our society’s key preoccupations. Yet, defining terrorism is more complex than one can imagine; the debate is ongoing. One thing for certain, terrorism has a history. Ancient societies introduced the notion of terrorist acts, and the French Revolution transformed into an instrument of fear and power. This course proposes to study the long history of terrorism, from the ancient world to its most recent manifestations, whether in the West or in the Middle East. The emergence of violence, its actors, its purposes, together with the political responses brought forward over the years to fight it, will also be discussed.

Olivier Courteaux received his B.A. in history, M.A. in war and conflict studies, and a Ph.D. in contemporary international relations from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He has lectured at various Canadian universities, including Ryerson and the Royal Military College of Canada. He is the author of The War on Terror: the Canadian Dilemma (2009), Canada between Vichy and Free France, 1940-1945, and Quatres Journees qui ebranierent le Quebec on Charles de Gaulle’s famous 1967 “Vive le Quebec Libre” (2017). His latest book, The Empress Eugenie at Suez, 1869: France and Egypt during the Second Empire, is scheduled for release in the spring of 2019.

George Brown College Seniors' Association
St. James Campus Room -106
Tel: 416-415-5000 Ext. 2418
P.O. Box 1015 Stn. B Toronto, ON M5T 2T9
senex@georgebrown.ca