In the early 1990’s a dedicated group of astrology teachers and professionals met in Toronto to discuss the idea of setting standards for astrology teaching in Canada. There were different lines of thought; become a chapter of the National Council for Geocosmic Research or NCGR, an American foundation that was already established, or join any of several other astrology organizations that existed at that time. The final option was to ‘go it alone’ by setting up an organization that was dedicated to Canadian students and teachers and which would be trail blazing. There was a lot more work to do, but ultimately a much more rewarding choice.
Joan Gibbins of Toronto assisted by Elaine Pond, her astro twin (born 3 weeks apart) from Waterloo, Ontario, were the pioneers and original founders of the CAAE.
In the summer of 1993, the Canadian Association of Astrological Education (CAAE) was born. Members of the founding group also included Murray Souva who acted as CFO of the new organization and Janet Markham, secretary. The organization got off to a roaring start – during the first two years that examinations were held there were regularly 40 to 50 students writing each of the Basic and Intermediate exams, with very many continuing on to the Advanced level courses.
As students moved through their studies, the CAAE Board was kept busy with expanding membership, developing course curriculae and teachers, and all the business requirements of a growing company. Along the way, Murray Souva was replaced by Don Keith. When Elaine Pond moved away from the organization in early 2000, Janet Markham stepped in to assist Joan Gibbins and Joan Ann Evelyn became the board Secretary.
In 2004, Janet Markham was elected President. While Joan Gibbins continued to focus on educational work, Janet managed and developed the profile of a growing CAAE. A website was introduced as well as increased public relations through participation in events such as The Women’s Life Fest conference. As we grew, the CAAE continued to interact with other community organizations such as the Living Institute to bring into Canada international astrology speakers such as Richard Tarnas (US) and Sue Tompkins (UK).
By December 6, 2009 the first CAAE graduates qualified under the CAAE banner which included a range of teachers and students from Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia. This was an important first step in realizing a goal of the CAAE to become a truly national Canadian astrology organization.