Spotlight on Wade Lynch: Learning has no Age
There is a saying that goes, “never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.” This is exactly what Wade Lynch encourages as the Development Officer for the Senior Academy for Lifelong Learning at Bishop’s. The Vancouver-born actor, director, playwright, broadcaster and educator has been hard at work developing programs and activities to bring learning opportunities to mature members of the surrounding communities.
When he discovered an Anglophone community in the Townships filled with students of life, eager and curious to continue learning, Lynch set out on his first task, “to find out who they were and to find out what they wanted. The first part of the project was to go find these individuals where they congregated, and that meant going to visit the ladies at the Anglican Church, the gentleman at the snowshoe club, and the senior Anglophone men who like to have coffee early in the morning at McDonald’s.” Listening and carefully taking note of what seniors sought, Lynch started planning and developing a variety of learning opportunities, adapting with every activity. One program that really garnered attention was called Global Issues and Informed Perspectives. “We brought together experts, mainly from campus, to talk about world events such as international environmental crises, marketing scams, and what was happening in Syria,” Lynch explains.
The Development Officer has become a driving force when it comes to unifying the local senior community. This year, he is excited to share that there are two new learning opportunities that will offer them even more chances to meet up; “a guided bird walk with one of our own, Gary McCormick,” as well as, “a regular two-day a week drop in fitness program for seniors that is modified for every level.”
Even with Lynch’s strong devotion to the Academy, he still finds time to continue an active career in theatre. A balancing act, Lynch confesses that, “I’d rather be [at the Academy] to oversee everything, but since my interests often align with the seniors’, they’ll come out and support my plays.” Lynch was the former associate director of the Charlottetown Theatre Festival in Prince Edward Island. Here at Bishop’s, he’s been involved with theater productions such as 7 Stories. Will he be involved in any other upcoming productions? He gives one hint: “Look out for 2 monkeys, 1 grape.”
At the end of the interview, Lynch laughs at the mention of his not-so-secret talent, “People don’t realize unless they look really closely that Queen Elizabeth has a profound sense of humour.” Having impersonated the Queen for years, Lynch shares that the secret to her impersonation is a balance between humour and reverence; “I never make fun of the Queen. She’s always treated with absolute respect.”