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Gillett to lead School of Business at Okanagan College
Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur named one of BC’s best community projects
Young chefs on the road to Riccione
Collaboration offers OC students a pathway to mining programs at BCIT
Students build tiny house to support environmental research
Trio of OC students earn bronze at Skills Canada Nationals
Graduation becomes a family affair as mom receives her College degree
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Gillett to lead School of Business at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Bill Gillett June 2017Okanagan College will welcome a new Dean of Business this summer with the arrival of William Gillett, an esteemed post-secondary administrator who brings an impressive record of public and private sector experience.

Gillett comes to Okanagan College from New Hampshire, where he has held the Christos and Mary Papoutsy Distinguished Chair in Ethics and Social Responsibility at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Previously he was the Dean of Business for SNHU where he lead 58 full-time faculty, 125 adjunct faculty and supported more than 1,600 students in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“I’ve been extremely impressed by the Okanagan School of Business,” says Gillett. “The reputation of Okanagan College is what attracted me to the institution and every interaction I’ve had with the College and students has only reinforced that for me. There is a clear focus within the institution to provide an education that prepares students for a globalized economy and I’m looking forward to building on that focus.”

Prior to working in post-secondary education, Gillett worked as an attorney in commercial practice for firms in New York and Detroit, specializing in insurance regulation and mergers and acquisitions. He then worked in the insurance industry for a number of years in Seattle, Manchester, New Hampshire and London where he was involved in major reorganization projects of European and US operations. He oversaw European operations as Managing Director for RiverStone Holdings in London, UK and was promoted to President of RiverStone in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“We’ve found a superb Dean for the School of Business in Bill Gillett,” says Dr. Andrew Hay, Vice President Education at Okanagan College. “His international experience in both the private sector and post-secondary education very much aligns with the values of our college and the goals of our business school. He will be well positioned to build on the great work of Dr. Heather Banham and everyone within the School.”

Gillett’s board member roles include the International Institute of New England, NH High Tech Council, NH Business Committee for the Arts, Mount Saint Mary Academy, New Hampshire Public Radio and New Hampshire Writer’s Project.

Gillett will replace Dr. Heather Banham, who will retire from her role as Dean of the Okanagan School of Business this summer, after a 24-year career with Okanagan College. 

 

Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur named one of BC’s best community projects
Okanagan College Media Release

A collaborative program that helps Shuswap entrepreneurs launch their bright ideas received a boost of its own this month when it was named one of the top community projects in the province.

Launch-A-Preneur 2017 Fitt and MarshallThe Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur program received the Community Project Award at the 2017 BC Economic Development Awards in Victoria last Tuesday, June 13. The prestigious awards honour organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Launch-a-Preneur is a joint project hosted by Okanagan College, the College’s Enactus team, Community Futures Shuswap and the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society. The popular program provides support, resources and mentorship to assist individuals with a business idea to successfully launch in the Shuswap. 

“The most powerful part of this program is how it brings the community together to support and encourage local entrepreneurs,” says Andrew Klingel, a professor with the College’s School of Business who also serves as a faculty advisor to Enactus OC. “It’s exciting to see all the new business ideas and watch how the community rallies around them.”

May marked the fourth season for Launch-a-Preneur, which runs every other year. It includes both a workshop series and a final event night, which gives teams the chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

This year 10 teams competed in front of a sold out crowd of 285 people at the Salmar Classic Theatre. Six teams took home more than $36,000 worth of prize packages designed to help them launch or grow their businesses. First place went to the team from WineBox Sweets Co., who also garnered People’s Choice.

Over the past four years, nearly $100,000 in prizes have been donated by local sponsors. That investment has allowed the project to continue to grow and support more entrepreneurs each year.

“Community support for the program has been overwhelming from day one,” explains Lana Fitt, Economic Development Manager for the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and one of the event’s organizers. “And the ripple effect of that support has been deeply felt by the many entrepreneurs who have participated over the years. We are very proud to receive this award. It’s an honour to be recognized among some of B.C.’s best economic development efforts.”Launch-A-Preneur 2017

This year marks the 27th year that the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) has presented these awards. There are two categories, Community Project Award and Marketing Innovation Award, with two awards bestowed in each category – one award for a project serving a population less than 20,000 and one for a population more than 20,000. Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur took home the award for population under 20,000, while the City of Prince George’s Economic Development department took home the hardware for population more than 20,000.

Buoyed by the award and another round of positive feedback following Launch-a-Preneur’s fourth season, organizers expect the event to continue – and that the ripple number of businesses launched will likewise continue to expand.

“The value of the Launch-a-Preneur program can clearly be defined by the number of participants who have successfully launched their businesses in the Shuswap,” says Rob Marshall, Executive Director for Community Futures Shuswap. “Community Futures is pleased to be part of a program that engages community members on so many levels and we proudly stand with our partners in accepting the Community Project Award.”

More information about Launch-a-Preneur is available at launch-a-preneur.ca/

 

Young chefs on the road to Riccione
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Okanagan College’s Culinary Arts program hosted its annual Road to Riccione Cook Off this week with a coveted prize on the menu for two winners: a trip to Italy and the culinary adventure of a lifetime.

The event kicked off Tuesday morning with Okanagan Chefs Association (OCA) Junior members serving up dishes with equal parts creativity and skill, while the afternoon portion of the competition saw OC Culinary Arts students vying for the title of Student-of-the-Year in a Top Chef-style culinary faceoff. Competitors in each round were presented with a tantalizing array of ingredients with which to prepare an Italian-inspired meal, including dessert, for a panel of judges that included OC Culinary Arts instructors and other esteemed chefs from around the Okanagan.

After a fast-paced morning of competition, Riley Eberts of Waterfront Wines was named winner of the OCA round, delivering the judges a decadent pan-seared duck and quail egg main, followed by a lemon olive oil chiffon cake for dessert.

Daniel Cardoso June 2017In the afternoon round, Daniel Cardoso rose to the top with a masterfully plated Arctic char main dish, accompanied by a classic panna cotta to finish. The competition among Okanagan College’s Culinary Arts group was incredibly close. When all the judges’ marks were tallied, only .25 of a point separated Cardoso from his classmate and second-place finisher Annie Low.

“I really wasn’t expecting this, but it feels incredible – especially given how well everyone cooked today,” says Cardoso, who graduated from the Culinary Arts program in February and returned to the College for the competition.

Born in Castlegar and a Kelowna resident for more than a decade, Cardoso cites culinary classes in middle school as one of his earliest inspirations for chasing the dream of becoming a chef. He now works in the kitchen at Summerhill Pyramid Winery.

“I want to keep learning and travelling to build my skills, so this trip to Italy will definitely help me do that,” adds Cardoso. “I’m incredibly excited for it. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

Morning judges for the cook off included Tina Tang, Pastry Chef at Predator Ridge Resort, along with OC Culinary Arts instructors Chef Jim Armstrong, Chef Mike Barillaro and Chef Roger Planiden. In the afternoon, OC students competed under the watchful eye of Chef Melissa Masters, Junior Director for the OCA, joined by OCA member Chef Willi Franz and OC’s Chef Jim Armstrong and Chef Reinhard Foerderer. OC Culinary Manager Chef Bernard Casavant served as the chef organizer.Daniel Cardoso and judges June 2017

In order to qualify for the Road to Riccione Cook Off and the chance to be named Student-of-the-Year, Cardoso and five other classmates had to first pick up another honour – the Culinary Arts program’s AMA student of the month award.

“AMA stands for attendance, marks and attitude,” explains Casavant. “You can measure the first two, but attitude is that intangible quality that sets everyone – students and professionals – apart in this industry. We’re extremely proud of Daniel and all the students for the way they have progressed in their skills and how they performed this week.”

In October, both Cardoso and Eberts will accompany Casavant and Barillaro to Riccione, Italy where they will tour cooking schools and the region. They will also get to host a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner for Canadian guests at the Hotel Belvedere. 

 

Collaboration offers OC students a pathway to mining programs at BCIT
Okanagan College Media Release

Students considering a career in the mining sector – which boasts more than 120 different careers, including technology and engineering related roles – will now have the opportunity to start their education and training at Okanagan College and bridge into mining studies at BCIT.

Launching this fall, the Collaborative Mining Engineering and Technology Diploma/Degree pilot program will provide students across British Columbia with a convenient conduit into BCIT’s Mineral Exploration and Mining Technology or Mining and Mineral Resource Engineering programs.Mining June 2017

The program was launched with convenience for students in mind. The first year of training is provided locally through courses at Okanagan College in Kelowna or Penticton (all but one of the required courses can be completed at the College’s Penticton campus) and online. Students then join others from across BC to complete the diploma or degree at BCIT’s Lower Mainland campus.

“This collaborative partnership with the Mining Engineering program at BCIT is an excellent example of BC post-secondary institutions working together to increase accessibility to education not previously available in the BC interior,” says Phil Ashman, Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College. “Financially, it can be a significant cost savings for students to study close to home for a year. We are very excited to be a part of this unique provincial collaboration, providing students living in the Okanagan with local access to opportunities in the mining sector.”

“The development of this new learning pathway is a tremendous opportunity for aspiring Mining students to embark upon an exciting career as Mining Technologist or Professional Engineer,” says Dave Rutherford, Associate Dean, BCIT School of Construction and the Environment. “Congratulations to Okanagan College, College of New Caledonia, Northwest Community College and the BC Centre of Training Excellence in Mining for stepping forward and contributing to the long term training success of BC’s Mining sector.”

Okanagan College is one of three BC colleges delivering the pilot program in collaboration with BCIT. The others are College of New Caledonia (CNC) and Northwest Community College (NWCC). The project is supported by the Centre of Training Excellence in Mining (CTEM), a province-wide virtual hub that facilitates collaborative, innovative training opportunities for the British Columbia mining industry, job seekers and communities.

The collaboration is timely given the demand for skilled workers in the mining sector in BC, across Canada and internationally, according to Jill Tsolinas, Executive Director of CTEM.

“The BC mining industry needs skilled individuals to fill newly created jobs and vacancies from retirees,” explains Tsolinas. “Jobs are located in every region of the province providing employment close to home or allowing the opportunity to travel. CTEM congratulates Okanagan College and BCIT for being leaders in exploring innovative ways to deliver relevant training for the BC mining industry.”

Interested students should apply to the Associate of Science degree program at Okanagan College and speak with an advisor to express their interest in the collaborative mining pathway. They will need to complete a list of required classes at OC, in order to meet the entry requirements to step into year two of BCIT’s Mining programs.

More information is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/mining
.  

 

Students build tiny house to support environmental research
Okanagan College Media Release

Bird Banding Station June 2017A unique tiny house built by students in the College’s Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) program will soon provide a secure environment at the Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory for bird banding.

“We’ve had the opportunity to work on a number of incredible projects throughout the program, but this one is definitely a highlight for me,” says Mark Eyjolfson, one of the College’s first SCMT graduates. “It’s a great feeling knowing that something you’ve built is going out into the real world to be used by Environment and Climate Change Canada.”

Bird banding involves marking birds with a band around the leg before releasing them, and provides valuable data on population, migration and behaviour. Students were tasked with producing a space where bird banders could do their work in a secure environment. That meant creating a portable space that would discourage theft and vandalism, allow as much natural light as possible into the space and be environmentally friendly.

The observatory at Vaseux Lake is a project of the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance (OSCA). Since 2005, 17,000 birds and 109 different bird species have been recorded at the observatory. In the late summer and early fall, the station will be placed at the observatory. When not in use, it will be under the care of Environment and Climate Change Canada.

This station will be invaluable,” says Owain McKibbin of Environment and Climate Change Canada. “It was great to have students involved in planning and building it, and the product speaks to how beneficial it is to have this type of training in green building available to students in the Okanagan.”

In addition to OSCA and Environment and Climate Change Canada, the building of the bird banding station was supported by Penticton-based company Structurlam, which is quickly gaining an international reputation for its innovative wood structures. Among the company’s employees is Mark Eyjolfson, who will be among the first cohort to graduate from the SCMT program this year.

With nearly a decade of experience in residential construction, Eyjolfson was looking for a way to climb the ladder in the field. Specializing in sustainability offered that potential – and it’s paid off. Even before graduation, he was offered employment with Structurlam.

“I have a young family, so gaining employment and advancing my career before graduation was really important to me,” explains Eyjolfson.

He approached Structurlam to request a donation of materials for the banding station and the company agreed.

The end result is a secure tiny house purpose-built for this unique work. It is a solid timber panel structure cladded in metal siding, with minimal glazing to reduce environmental impact. It is also well-lit with natural light as artificial light can hinder the ability of a bird bander to study the pigment of a bird’s eyes.

The SCMT program is a two-year diploma program that trains construction managers and technologists in sustainable development and green building principles, to minimize the impact of projects on the environment and maximize energy efficiency.

The program launched in the fall of 2014 as a three-year pilot program. On the success of the pilot the program has been revised and will continue as a two-year diploma program with an intake being offered in September in Penticton. Twelve are graduating this year.

“We couldn’t be prouder of this first group of graduating students,” says Dr. Amy Vaillancourt, a renowned sustainability expert who instructs and chairs the program.

“They have built their knowledge and skills exponentially over the course of the program and along the way have had a chance to work with industry to advance green building in the Okanagan. It has been wonderful to watch their growth and development along the way, and we can’t wait to welcome the next cohort in September.”

Learn more at www.okanagan.bc.ca/scmt.

 

Trio of OC students earn bronze at Skills Canada Nationals
Okanagan College Media Release

Three Okanagan College students each earned bronze medals at the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) held in Winnipeg last week, May 31 – June 3. SCNC is the only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country.

Brendan Battersby took home the bronze in the IT Network Admin competition. Battersby graduated from the Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (NTEN) program at the College’s Spring Convocation Ceremony in Kelowna over the weekend. He is employed by iTel Networks Inc. Pictured with coach Ron Light, NTEN program instructor at Okanagan College.

Siobhan Detkavich of Oliver earned bronze in the Cooking competition. Detkavich is completing her Level 2 Professional Cook apprenticeship at the Kelowna campus and works in the kitchen at Terrafina Restaurant at Hester Creek by RauDZ. She was coached by OC Culinary Arts instructor Chef Jim Armstrong.

Andreas Roth won bronze in the Autobody competition. Roth is a Level 3 Motor Vehicle Body Repairer apprentice at the Kelowna campus and is employed by Boyd Autobody and Glass. He was coached by OC Collision Repair instructor Danny Marques.

These students qualified for Nationals by winning gold medals at the Skills Canada BC Provincial Competition in Abbotsford in April. 

 Brendan Battersby Skills June 2017

 Siobhan Detkavich Skills June 2017  Andreas Roth Skills June 2017
 Brendan Battersby and coach Ron Light Siobhan Detkavich Andreas Roth and coach Danny Marques

 

Graduation becomes a family affair as mom receives her College degree

Graduation becomes a family affair as mom receives her College degree 

Julie Dorsey grad 2017Celebrations will be abundant in the Dorsey family household this June, as mother and son duo cross the graduation stage.

“I had set a personal goal of graduating College at the same time as my third child Noah would be graduating from high school,” says Julie Dorsey, a mother of three grown children who returned to the classroom after 30 years in the farming business. She is one of the 1,386 Okanagan College students who received their credentials at three ceremonies this weekend in Kelowna.

Dorsey’s journey to complete her Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Honours degree included some pit stops. She started on the path of getting an education degree then got married, had three children (now aged 30, 26, and 18), and went on to run a poultry farming business for three decades with her husband where they raised 40,000 chickens every eight weeks. She stepped back in the classroom when they were done with the farming business, which enabled her to make a College education her primary focus.

“Just because I got married young, doesn’t mean I had to forgo the opportunities that education brings,” says Lake Country resident Dorsey. “If I didn’t finish my degree, I’d regret that. I am so glad I persevered.”

That perseverance resulted in Dorsey making the Dean’s list every semester. She was also awarded the Honours Prize for Progressing Non-profit Excellence: a $1,500 award founded by alumna Amanda Wright.

“Coming into the program, I was worried about how I would engage in my studies while also running a business, and how I would connect with other students who would be closer to my children’s ages,” she says. “Starting at the smaller Vernon campus afforded me a gentle start.

“I thought I’d feel more competent because of our years in business, but farming is unique. I learned that the complexities of the business world were much greater than what we did on the farm.”

Dorsey wanted to apply those learned complexities to the non-profit sector, especially after having volunteered her time on various boards, events, and at her church. Even before having her degree in hand, she has been hired as an assistant property manager at the Society of Hope in Kelowna.

“After a successful farming career, I am working by choice and I wanted a job that would give me purpose,” Dorsey explains. “In my non-profit management course, our professor, Kerry Rempel, had said that the sector needs the skills that we are building here at OC, and that’s what inspired me to go into that field.”

Always a mother, Dorsey can’t help but recount the unique experience of going to College simultaneously with her Grade 12 son Noah, who is taking the carpentry pre-apprenticeship program at Okanagan College for dual credit while finishing high school at George Elliot Secondary.

“It was neat, and helped me feel connected as a parent,” she explains. “By going to College together, we could have conversations about the experience and I was able to ask him pointed questions.”

One of her most memorable education-meets-family moments was having her son, and parents, attend her Honours presentation.

“That’s when things really came full-circle for me,” she says.

“We provide access to education to help students fulfill their career goals, and foster their passion for learning,” says Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “Our learners come from diverse backgrounds and communities and we celebrate all of their success. On behalf of Okanagan College I commend each of our 2017 graduates on their achievements.”

This weekend’s ceremonies were three of the seven ceremonies held by Okanagan College this year. The first took place in January and an additional three ceremonies will be held later in June. More than 2,140 students will have graduated from Okanagan College in 2017 before the end of the month.

 

Builder honours father and industry with $50,000 gift to College
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Vernon-based home builder Keith Construction has stepped up to provide $50,000 towards the campaign to support Okanagan College’s new $6.2 million Trades Training Centre at the Vernon campus.

Dahlen Family May 2017Ken and Karen Dahlen, owners of the custom home building and renovation company, are thrilled to be the first to contribute to the project as a way to demonstrate the company’s appreciation for its industry, employees and community.

“Our success over the years has come from multiple skilled tradespeople within our region,” says Keith Dahlen. “With a shortage of skilled trades, we believe the best way for the company to give back to our industry is by helping to provide quality training for the next generation.”

The $50,000 gift will support the construction of a new 13,450 square-foot state-of-the-art facility that will help address the province’s skills gap by training approximately 150 students per year for the workforce. The building will include multi-purpose trades shops for the College’s electrical, carpentry, plumbing and pipefitting programs, as well as a dedicated welding shop.

“This gift sends a powerful message to our students when an employer with an exemplary reputation in the community invests in their future,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “It represents the value the Dahlen family places on education and will be truly transformative for trades training in Vernon and the surrounding region.”

Keith Construction has employed several carpenter apprentices from the College’s program and Dahlen knows the benefits that a high-quality education brings to the industry – a value championed by the company’s founder, Keith Dahlen.

“This gift is a fitting way to honour my father and the emphasis he put on learning the proper skills in order to provide quality craftsmanship to our clients,” he says. “He taught me that if you are going to do a job, do it right or don’t do it at all.”

In 1990, Dahlen’s father, a certified journeyman carpenter with more than 25 years of industry experience already under his belt, founded Keith Construction in Vernon. The younger Dahlen and his wife Karen joined the company when they moved to the Okanagan in 1994 and have continued to build on the company’s reputation since Keith’s retirement. Keith Construction has won 21 Georgie Awards, 37 Tommie awards and was voted the 2016 Best Residential Renovation Company (North Okanagan) and 2016 Best Residential Builder (North Okanagan) by Okanagan Life Magazine.

Dahlen recently completed an educational milestone himself – he is one of four in the province who has achieved a Master Residential Builder designation.

At a recent client appreciation event hosted by Keith Construction, the support of the community was demonstrated when an additional $2,580 was raised for the training centre by event attendees.

“Our business has always been about building our clients’ dreams – no matter how big or small. Now we will get to help build the dreams of students,” adds Dahlen.

The $6.2 million-dollar training centre will be constructed by Maple Reinders Inc., a national engineering construction company, with support from MQN Architects, as well as CIMA+ and Encora. The project is being supported primarily through the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. Through this fund, the province of B.C. is investing $2.9 million and the government of Canada has provided $2.7 million. Okanagan College will contribute the remainder of the project cost. 

Construction is scheduled to begin later this month, with completion targeted for the spring of 2018. More information on the project can be found at okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.

 

HOST program furthers hospitality, tourism skills
Okanagan College Media Release

As the busy summer tourism season approaches, the first students to complete the HOST certificate at Okanagan College are now wrapping up their practical work in hospitality, a booming sector in the Okanagan and across the province.

The Hospitality Service Training certificate (HOST) includes courses on customer service excellence, professional front desk training, and food and beverage operations, with comprehensive, occupation-specific instruction leading to entry-level employment in hospitality and tourism.

Jessica Soroka is one of the first students through the program. She is currently the Assistant Manager of Housekeeping at Predator Ridge. Her employer suggested she take the program to gain more insight and knowledge of industry trends.Jessica Soroka May 2017

“Food and beverage service is new to me, so I learned a lot of new information,” says Soroka. “It was also pretty cool to find out about environmental trends and hear stories and ideas from around the world from our instructor.”

Soroka says she would recommend the HOST certificate to anyone in hospitality, from newcomers looking to break into the industry, to those like herself who enter into the program with a wealth of previous experience.

“The program and the booklet are so packed with information, it was intense but a great experience,” says Soroka.

According to a BC Labour Market Report, tourism is a leading employer in the province, with more than 101,000 new job openings expected by 2020. With the Okanagan continuing to receive national and international recognition as a vibrant and diverse destination, job prospects are predicted to hold strong.

“These students took away some great insights that are difficult, if not impossible, to get from on-the-job training, where there can be disruptions inherent to the operational nature of a business such as a hotel,” says instructor Tania Rutt. “Being off-site in a classroom setting offers time to focus and encourages creative, out-of-the-box thinking.”

The Okanagan is an ideal location for the training, notes Rutt, given its four-season, multi-faceted tourism and hospitality sector, which creates opportunities for everyone from high school students seeking first jobs, to university students working part-time to fund their education, to retirees who enjoy working in hospitality, to tourism professionals in the midst of career development.

“Unlike many other centres, the Okanagan boasts such a wide array of hospitality and tourism employers – hotels, wineries, resorts, ski hills, golf courses and other attractions, says Rutt.”

Students in this intake were all currently employed in the sector, hailing from Vernon’s Sparkling Hill Resort and Predator Ridge Resort, and Kelowna’s Manteo Resort.

Both the Penticton and Kelowna campuses will be offering the HOST program this fall. Prior to admission, students must have both their Serving It Right and FOODSAFE certificates. HOST includes theory, demonstrations, and practical-skills training in various areas of the hospitality industry, with an emphasis on customer service and working together as a team.

Learn more at www.okanagan.bc.ca/hospitality

 

Sketch a career in animation with new Okanagan College diploma

Steff Farrar May 2017Aspiring animators will be able to bring their passion for drawing to life this fall with animation industry veteran Steff Farrar at the helm of a new two-year diploma at Okanagan College. 

“It’s exciting to be able to offer a program suited to an industry that has a lot of buzz right here in the Okanagan,” says Farrar, who recently moved to Kelowna in order to chair the Animation diploma program. She brings with her 25 years’ industry and training experience.

The College will be hosting a series of open house information sessions in its new animation lab in the Okanagan Centre for Innovation every Saturday in June to meet with prospective students and those interested in a career in animation. Farrar will be on site to answer questions and encourages potential applicants to bring their portfolios along. 

“Candidates might think their body of work has to be polished, coloured and poster ready, but to be honest, I’d rather see something loose and rough that shows good form,” she says. “That will tell me more about their skills and readiness to join and thrive in the program.”

With the animation entertainment industry experiencing exponential growth in the valley, graduates of the program will help to meet the local industry demands.

“All eyes are on Kelowna,” says Chris Derochie, Kelowna Supervising Animation Director at Bardel Entertainment. He explains that the lower Canadian dollar has helped the trend of big productions looking north. With the Vancouver sector exceeding capacity and the high cost of living there, it is creating opportunities within many studios in the Okanagan.

“We don’t necessarily want to have to search abroad for our talent, we need it to be close at hand,” says Derochie. “By hiring locally we can get the individuals into the studios quicker, and in turn those employees want to stay in the region where they have established family and life roots.”

Bardel’s Kelowna office started with four employees in 2013, today they have 82 employees and a target of getting to 120 by the end of 2017. It is this type of growth that has spurred the development of the College’s program.

Yeti Farm Creative echoes the same sentiments. 

“The industry is saturated with work and there are simply not enough qualified and skilled animators, designers, storyboard artists, FX artists, to fulfill current industry demands,” says Ashley Ramsay, Partner and CEO at Yeti Farm Creative. “The industry shows no signs of slowing down and Okanagan College graduates will be fortunate to have their pick of local opportunities should they wish to stay in Kelowna upon graduation.” 

Farrar is working in concert with local studios to ensure that an engaging curriculum responds to the changing needs of the industry, providing critical skills students need to fast track into being job-ready. The program focuses on drawing, design, and the principles and techniques of traditional and digital character animation in 2D, digital 2D and 3D animation. Skills will be developed in: visualization, animation software (Toon Boom Harmony), storyboarding, life drawing, and character design among others.

Students will learn in state-of-the-art classrooms at the Okanagan Centre for Innovation. A hub for creative digital arts and the tech sector, the Centre is newly opened in downtown Kelowna, placing students at the epicenter of top Okanagan animation studios including Bardel Entertainment, Disney Interactive and Yeti Farm Creative.

To assist with program costs, Okanagan College is providing $6,000 of financial support per program year to each enrolled domestic student ($12,000 total).

The free open house sessions will be held each Saturday in June (3, 10, 17 and 24) at the Okanagan Centre for Innovation (460 Doyle Avenue, Kelowna). The hour-long sessions will be offered twice each day: 10 a.m. and noon.

To find out more about the program visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/animation.

 

Greyeyes and Klick receive OC Alumni Association’s highest honours
Okanagan College Media Release

In recognition of outstanding contributions to the College and its surrounding communities, two Okanagan College alumni have earned the top honours awarded by the Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA).

Penticton’s Grace Greyeyes is the recipient of this year’s OCAA Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes excellence in the areas of leadership, the environment, business or industry, public or community service, the arts and/or support for Okanagan College. Ben Klick of West Kelowna will receive the 2017 OCAA Young Alumni Award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions of alumni under the age of 35.

Grace Greyeyes May 2017Greyeyes has been a passionate advocate for education all of her adult life, first in her nursing career which spanned more than 35 years in Canada and the U.S. and later as a volunteer, advisor, Elder, and Aboriginal knowledge keeper in the South Okanagan. She has been a member of the Aboriginal Education Advisory committee for School District #67 in Penticton for more than a decade and recently began developing curriculum for SD#53 (Okanagan Similkameen).

For the last five years she has also volunteered with the Penticton Indian Band’s Grandma program, which provides support to local elementary, middle and high school students. She also recently founded the Penticton Indian Band’s Snpinktn Elders Society.

Her passion for education has been recognized locally and at the national level. In 2016, she was honoured with the Okanagan Nation Transition and Emergency Housing Award for her commitment to education in the community. This September she will be participating in the National Gathering of Elders hosted in Edmonton.

Greyeyes’ connection to Okanagan College dates back to the institution’s earliest years. She completed her Practical Nursing training at the College (then B.C. Vocational School) in 1968. She returned in the early 1990s to continue to her education, pursuing Arts courses at the Penticton campus. Since 2015 she has served as Elder in Residence at the College’s Penticton campus.

“I’m humbled and grateful to be recognized by the OCAA,” says Greyeyes. “Education has always been very important to me. I really do believe that education transforms lives, and so I continue to encourage our young people to think about their education, set goals and reach for them.”

At only 21 years of age, Ben Klick has already made his mark in the country music scene in Canada and the U.S. andBen Klick May 2017 continues to amass fans and accolades, along with the attention and respect of his fellow artists in the industry.

Klick enrolled in the Audio Engineering and Music Production program at Okanagan College in 2014. He set out to learn as much as he could about the music industry, from the technical aspects of the recording studio to the finer points of marketing and entrepreneurship that go into launching a successful career as an artist. After graduating in September 2015, he released his debut EP Today and went on to play nearly 60 dates across North America the following year.

Despite a hectic recording and touring schedule, and an ever-expanding list of awards to his name – including 2015 Global Country Star Search Winner, 2016 Canada’s Walk of Fame Top 7 Emerging Artist, British Columbia Country Music Association (BCCMA) Award (2016 – Best Website), and 2017 First Round JUNO Award Nominee – Klick maintains close ties with the College and his community.

In January he headlined the “North of Nashville” concert at the College’s Kelowna campus. The show was produced by students from the very program from which he graduated. The net proceeds of the concert – $1,500 – went back to students in the program through bursaries. On March 23, he once again dazzled a hometown crowd when he took to the stage at the Kelowna Community Theatre to open for country music legend Tanya Tucker. Klick is currently working with producers in Nashville on new singles, the first of which will be released on June 12.

“Okanagan College is near and dear to my heart, so this award is very special to me,” says Klick. “Given all the incredible young OC alumni out there in the world doing great things, I feel supremely honoured and humbled to be recognized.”

“Grace and Ben share a remarkable dedication to the College and to community involvement,” says Kara Kazimer, President of the Board, Okanagan College Alumni Association. “On behalf of my fellow OCAA board members, I congratulate both of this year’s award recipients on their accomplishments. Those accomplishments – and the example they have set – will no doubt inspire our future alumni to consider the impact they too can have.”

Greyeyes and Klick’s achievements will be celebrated at the OCAA awards ceremony and reception on Sept. 19 at the College’s Kelowna campus. For more information about the awards and previous recipients, please visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/alumni.  

 

Wine Talks returns with an expert panel on wine marketing
Okanagan College Media Release

Together with Liquidity Winery, Okanagan College is presenting
Wine Talks, An International Perspective on Wine Marketing, for the second time. Five international experts will come together at the Penticton campus on June 26.

“We are so pleased to build on our connections with the B.C. wine industry, and to continue working with Liquidity Winery,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “We look forward to hosting another Wine Talks with an excellent panel that brings a variety of knowledge to the table.”

Leading the discussion will be Mark Davidson, Global Education Manager for Wine Australia. Davidson has more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality sector and is a former Sommelier of the Year at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. He is an instructor with the International Sommelier Guild and is currently studying the theory section to become a Master of Wine.

Joining him is founder of WineDrops, Karen Graham. WineDrops offers commentary on policy and business issues in the Canadian wine and liquor industry, along with analytical and strategic advisory work through KMG Strategy Consulting. Prior to working in the wine industry, Graham held several senior level policy positions with the Business Council of BC and the United States Consulate in Vancouver.

Rob McMillan, Executive Vice-President of the Wine Division of Silicon Valley Bank, joins the panel once again, having presented at the first Wine Talks in November. In his role, McMillan supports the growth of California’s wine industry with his client base and by sharing views on factors impacting the fine wine business.

Vancouver-based lawyers Mark Hicken of Vintage Law Group and Shea Coulson, who practises commercial, regulatory, and constitutional litigation, will provide updates and insight on the direct-to-consumer market and interprovincial trade barriers. Hicken is the founder and co-chair of Vancouver’s annual Wine and Liquor Law Conference.

“The College plays a significant role in educating members of the B.C. wine industry, from the vineyard to the tasting room,” says Ian MacDonald, owner of Liquidity Winery. “We are delighted to work with them to bring world-class industry experts to the Okanagan and provide professional development events for our growing wine region.”

Wine Talks will be held on Monday, June 26 at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College (room PC 113, 583 Duncan Avenue West), from 6 to 9 p.m., including a coffee and wine break. Early bird tickets are $35 until June 19, when the price increases to $45. Tickets can be purchased online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/winetalks.

 

Workshop to provide a guiding compass for social enterprises
Okanagan College Media Release

SoFun Workshop Hosts May 2017An upcoming workshop will equip those seeking real-world solutions to challenges in our communities with the essential business tools needed to set their social enterprise ideas in motion. 

On Thursday, May 25 the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence at Okanagan College and Purppl, a community enterprise accelerator, will join forces to lead the SoFun workshop, teaching social enterprise fundamentals. The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College in room E103.

“Communities are struggling under the weight of chronic, persistent challenges like social justice, food and water security, accessible transportation, and economic empowerment,” says Andrew Greer, founder of Purppl. “The organizations tasked with solving these issues are struggling with unpredictable funding models.

“Using a social enterprise model can add predictable, sustainable, entrepreneurial revenue into these organizations which can be used to implement long-term solutions to community challenges. The SoFun workshop uses global entrepreneurial best practices and tools to help social entrepreneurs.”

Participants will examine the case study of Mission Possible (an organization which helps those affected by homelessness find meaningful work) through the global-standard Business Model Canvas tool. The model applies lean thinking, which aims to shorten the process from startup to implementation, therefore increasing efficiency and impact of the business idea. Participants will also be able to apply key learnings to their own business ideas and work on them while making the most of access to experts and resources in the room.

Increasing the sustainability of non-profit organizations has been one of the key directions of the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence since it was established in 2014. Social enterprise is a tool that organizations can use to achieve a level of sustainability.

“Our research shows that lack of access, or simply not knowing where to find the information, is a big gap in the non-profit sector within the Okanagan,” explains Dr. Kyleen Myrah, Okanagan College School of Business professor and faculty researcher at the Centre. “This workshop is one way to put information in the hands of those ready to help make the changes that will benefit our community.”

Attendees will each receive a copy of the Business Model Canvas, will have an opportunity to work on their own social enterprise ideas, explore available business resources, connect with other like-minded individuals, and have access to learn with and from other social entrepreneurs. The workshop is suited for: leaders of non-profits, individuals working in existing organizations (non-profit and for profit) with social enterprise initiatives, entrepreneurs looking to solve a social problem in their community, government employees looking to implement impact initiatives, and students.

Myrah and Greer will be joined by OC business professor Kerry Rempel to lead the workshop. Giulio Piccioli, founder of One Big Table, will also present about his experience of building a social enterprise focused on access to local food and the lean startup approach he has applied.

Tickets are $45 (at www.socialfundamentals.eventbrite.ca) and include lunch, coffee, and tea.

 

Enactus Okanagan College takes nationals by storm
Okanagan College Media Release

Enactus Nationals 2017 Fin LitFive students from Okanagan College’s School of Business have proven a small group of people can transform a community and were recognized for their empowering work with youth through the CANSave program at the 2017 Enactus Canada National Exposition in Vancouver last week, where they won top honours and were part of a larger group from the College who amassed an impressive number of awards and accolades.

Okanagan College sent four teams to compete at the national event after placing first in three categories during the regional competition. By the time the national exposition was over, of the 60+ universities and colleges at the event, Okanagan College was the only institution to win first and second-place National Challenge titles.

OC was also awarded a trophy for the nation’s Top Campus Administration. Business student Cody Troutman was one of only 12 in the country to earn a $2,500 John Dobson founder’s bursary for his work in the area of leadership. And OC alumnus Drew Vincent was recognized with a national award as the Top Alumni Over 30. Vincent is currently the Team Leader at OYP Collective in Kelowna.

“I am extremely proud, but not surprised, by the results of Enactus Okanagan College at the national exposition,” says Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “I have had the pleasure of watching our students present and their knowledge, poise and confidence is truly remarkable. Even more remarkable though, is the impact of the work they are doing in our communities. They are living and breathing examples of how the College transforms lives and communities. I commend the team members and faculty on their performance and I know they will continue to do great things.”

Enactus Nationals 2017 YE

The most exciting moment of the competition came when Enactus OC won the Capital One Financial Education Challenge based on an impressive presentation that showcased the work they have done with the CANSave program. The project, which teaches financial literacy skills to elementary students, began in Kelowna last year and has since spread to 80 communities across the country. With support from Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, the program has now impacted more than 6,000 students across Canada. Team members included Julia Lalach, Cody Troutman, Bliss Ducharme and Rochelle Diaz. The team is coached by faculty mentor Devin Rubadeau.

Enactus Okanagan College finished second in the nation in the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment challenge after presentingon the impact of CANSave and how it impacts youth to take control of their financial education. The Vernon-based team was made up of Mitchell Pepper, Christianne Edblad, and Anthony Peterson, who are all from Vernon and Gabby Edblad (Kelowna). The team was coached by professor Andrew Klingel. 

“This national competition was truly special, both for the achievements of our team, and also for the incredible support we continue to receive,” says Dr. Kyleen Myrah, faculty advisor with Enactus OC. “Having our entire institution truly behind us, in addition to the many community stakeholders and alumni who share their time and expertise with us, truly shows what a deep impact our Enactus team has accomplished.”

The College’s national team advanced through the first round into the semis but was stopped in its tracks by a dynamic team from Memorial University, who would go on to win the national event for the second year in a row. 

 

Camp OC offers summer fun and learning for youth throughout the region

 

From Revelstoke to the South Okanagan, youth will have an even better selection of summer camp opportunities to choose from this year with Okanagan College’s Camp OC returning for another year. camp oc 2017 web

Camp OC, coordinated by the College’s Continuing Studies department, offers week-long educational day camps full of interactive experiences, fun and adventure for youth.

Back for its 13th year in Kelowna, camps will once again be offered for students in Grades 2-12. Parents can select from a range of camps including Minecraft programming, wood and metal fabrication camps, fashion and cooking camps, and go kart and flight academy camps, among others.

New in Kelowna, camp organizers are offering optional after camp care for students who will be entering Grades 2-6 this fall. With camps running 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, parents will now have the option of enrolling their child in week-long after camp care in which qualified staff will engage them in activities until 5 p.m. The cost ranges from $24-30 for the week.

Camps are available at the Penticton campus for students in Grades 4-9. Parents and their children can choose from a range of camps including junior passion for fashion, video game workshop, and mad scientist camps to name a few.

Returning for its second year in Revelstoke, Camp OC is open to students in Grades 2-9. Parents and their kids can select from offerings including Chef Academy and Teen Cuisine camps for the aspiring cooks, to French language Mad Scientist camps. New for this year in Revelstoke is a Mini Up-Cycle camp designed for students in Grades 2-4.

New this year for Vernon and area residents is an expanded age range. Camps are offered for students in Grade 3 right up to and including Grade 12. Parents can select from a range of offerings including Minecraft programming, wood and metal fabrication camps, fashion and spa camps and cooking camps, among others.

And the camps aren’t all just fun and games. For the high school set, they are designed to provide a taste of life as a College student – and to open students’ eyes to careers that are in high demand, like computer programming.

This year students in Grades 9-12 can tap into a special two-week camp offering the fundamentals of coding at the Vernon campus.

Last year more than 1,500 students took part in more than 100 different camps as part of Camp OC across the College’s campuses in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Revelstoke. The program has seen incredible growth since it launched in the summer of 2004, then with only 70 kids enrolled in about 10 camps.

More information about Camp OC is available at www.campoc.ca

 

Okanagan College is RIPE for applied research

Okanagan College Media Release

Curiosity, entrepreneurship, and creativity will be hot topics at RIPE, the Research and Innovation Partnerships Expo being held at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College on May 9. RIPE celebrates applied research and will bring together researchers and businesses to explore working together to solve real-world problems.

“Applied research greatly enriches the learning and teaching environment at Okanagan College and opens up doors to collaboration with our communities that advances economic and social development in the region and beyond,” says Dr. Andrew Hay, Vice President, Education. “The College’s growing applied research portfolio unites employees, students and our industry and community partners to explore subjects from the economic impact of wine tourism, to creating better outdoor play spaces, to building ‘plug-and-play’ homes.”

RIPE is the first major showcase of applied research projects going on at the College. It will include presentations, workshops, and demonstrations, as well as a call for research partners led by Mark Holland of New Monaco. The day begins with keynote speaker David Chalk. 

dave chalk newsA self-proclaimed epic entrepreneur, Chalk is recognized as a leader in technology, cyber security, and business consulting. He hosted Canada’s longest running technology show, Dave Chalk’s Computer Show, and aims to bridge the gap between technology and practicality.

“Technicians 

can get mired in the details, while innovation drives entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs feed a passion, and the post-secondary sector drives innovation as the forefront of ideas and research,” says Chalk, whose talk is titled Innovation is Nothing New.

“A quality education means I would rather be looking at my future than examining my past. Applied research can be that future,” continues Chalk.

Applied research at Okanagan College can involve any employee, not just instructors, and students play a key role as partners in projects, gaining valuable real-life experience that can lead to future employment.

When a business or organization approaches the College with a possible project, it is evaluated based on whether or not it answers a practical research question, if the College has the right experience for the project, and if it embraces curiosity.

“We can all be engaged in applied research,” says Hay, “and our goal with RIPE is to create greater opportunities to connect across the college with our communities.”

RIPE gets underway at 8:45 a.m. and runs until 2:15 p.m. It is free to attend, however guests are asked to register in advance. Full details can be found at
www.okanagan.bc.ca/appliedresearch.

Computer Science research may help cities bounce back quicker from disaster
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College Computer Science faculty and students have partnered with a renowned 3D modeling expert on an international research project aimed at simplifying the way buildings are assessed and repaired after natural disasters.

Dr. Sugihara CIS May 2017Dr. Kenichi Sugihara is a professor of Information Science at Gifu Keizai University in Japan who specializes in Computer Graphics (CG) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). His current research finds him blending both disciplines by exploring how cutting-edge algorithms can automatically generate 3D urban models.

Enter Dr. Youry Khmelevsky, Chair of the Computer Science program at Okanagan College, who is helping Sugihara refine his working model of a program specifically tailored to evaluate roof damage in buildings using 3D simulations.

“Current 3D building models for construction take a lot of time to produce,” says Sugihara. “New technology and programming techniques are simplifying the process, making it much more efficient.”

Sugihara and Khmelevsky’s project is focused on applying 3D modeling to areas beyond the traditional applications of planning and construction – such as translating satellite images into models which civil engineers can then use to assess damage and re-build after natural disasters like floods or wildfires.

“This project may help city planners and insurance companies assess damage quicker,” explains Khmelevsky.

The six-month project was recently awarded a $25,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Engage grant. Esri Canada, a Canadian distributor of GIS software, is providing in-kind support to match the grant and is also working with the College to explore new ways of teaching GIS – a field in need of skilled workers in the province – both in the classroom and in the field.Cocar and Wallace CIS students May 2017

“Esri Canada is excited to be working with Dr. Khmelevsky and Dr. Sugihara on an innovative approach to roof geometry modelling that holds promise for multiple application uses in 3D building models,” says Dr. Brent Hall, Director of Education and Research at Esri Canada. “We’re also particularly pleased to be able to support GIS use in instruction and research at Okanagan College.”

Two Okanagan College students will play key roles in completing the 3D modeling project over the next six months.

Second-year Bachelor of Computer Information Systems (BCIS) students Matt Cocar and Marty Wallace came on board in March and had a chance to meet with Sugihara when he visited the College and spoke in Kelowna about his research.

“It was incredible to have the opportunity to spend a few days with Dr. Sugihara,” says Cocar. “He showed us some brilliant, complicated algorithms that we’re now working with and learning more about as we go.”

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” says Wallace. “This research has definitely opened my eyes to a new path in computer science.”

Cocar and Wallace are already hard at work on the project. Both students started part-time in March. Cocar will continue part-time, while Wallace will ramp up to full-time over the summer.

Attendees of RIPE (Research Innovation and Partnerships Expo) happening at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on May 9 will have a chance to chat with Khmelevsky and other OC employees and students championing applied research projects. The event includes talks and networking opportunities focused around education-industry partnerships in the Okanagan. More information about RIPE is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/ripe.

 

 


Enactus OC’s Soup’s On warms Vernon and Kelowna
Okanagan College Media Release

 

After two years of serving up soup for a good cause in Salmon Arm, Enactus Okanagan College students found the recipe for success in expanding their Soup's On fundraising initiative to Kelowna and Vernon this year, raising more than $5,200 in support of local social service providers.  

Soup's On Vernon April 2017The inaugural Soup’s On Vernon took place at Okanagan Spirits' Vernon location on Thursday, April 27. More than 100 people turned out to sample some of the finest soups and spirits in the region at the sold out event. Basket Case Picnics produced a Thai soup that garnered the most votes, narrowly edging out second-place finisher Kal's Naan Stop and third-place finisher Kal Sports Bar. More than $4,000 was raised, with proceeds benefiting the Upper Room Mission and Enactus Okanagan College students.

“We could not have achieved this success without incredible support from community members and local business owners,” said event organizer Mitch Pepper, VP of Enactus Okanagan College at the Vernon Campus. “A special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Prospera Credit Union, and to Okanagan Spirits for providing the beautiful venue and drinks.”

“Soup’s On was a blast,” said Kelsey Galt, owner of Basket Case Picnics. “The Enactus team blew us away with such a well put together event. It was a pleasure to be there supporting the fundraising effort and it was an honour to be awarded first place. We can't wait for next year.”

Two days later the soup was back on, this time in the Centre for Learning at the College’s Kelowna campus, whereSoup's On Kelowna April 2017 attendees had a chance to sample and vote for their favourite bowl from 14 of the city’s top chefs at the inaugural Soup’s On Kelowna event. The winning soup was a Thai Pumpkin Curry by Chef April Roy of Train Station Pub. More than $1,200 was raised in support of the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank and Enactus Okanagan College students.

Nobody was more pleased with the response to both events than Alexandra Jacques, a second-year business student who spearheaded the Kelowna and Vernon expansion after being a driving force behind Soup’s On in Salmon Arm for the past two years.

“I am blown away with all the positive feedback we have been receiving from people who attended and businesses who supported the events,” said Jacques. “We are deeply grateful to them and also would not have been able to pull this off without the help of other Enactus OC students and faculty advisors.”

Based on the strong community support for the events, Jacques said Enactus Okanagan College hopes to be able to run the events annually in Kelowna and Vernon, in addition to Salmon Arm.

“These events are a lot of work to organize, on top of a busy course load, but it's something I am very passionate about and thrilled to be a part of. I'm already planning for the second annual Soup's On in Kelowna!”

Jacques’ optimism about the future of Soup’s On is echoed by Dr. Kyleen Myrah, a professor with the Okanagan College School of Business and mentor with Enactus OC.

“We are so proud of our students for realizing their vision and bringing Soup’s On to two more communities this year,” said Myrah. “Thanks to their hard work and dedication, I expect Soup’s On will continue to grow and develop as a wonderful way to engage the community, showcase local culinary talents and benefit worthy causes.”

 

College names Manuel, Shepherd and Terbasket as 2017 Honorary Fellows
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Okanagan College is bestowing its highest honour on three notable Okanagan residents, each of whom has made unique and meaningful contributions to the region through historical preservation, volunteerism and mentorship.

Randy Manuel, Sharon Shepherd and Edna Terbasket will be named Honorary Fellows of Okanagan College during Convocation ceremonies in Kelowna this June.

Randy Manuel HF 2017Manuel, an artist, writer, historian and public servant whose career spans more than five decades, will be recognized by the College for his vision and multi-faceted efforts in documenting, celebrating, and preserving the history and ecology of the region.

Born in Naramata and raised in Penticton, Manuel trained at the Kootenay School of the Arts (Selkirk College) as a Commercial Artist. He began volunteering with the Okanagan Historical Society at age 17 and has supported the organization for more than 50 years, including serving as its president from 2013-15. He served as president of the Okanagan-Similkameen Parks Society in the late 1970s and established the Kettle Valley Steam Railway Society and the S.S. Sicamous Restoration Society in 1988.

Manuel was the Curator of the Penticton Museum from 1986 to 2005, during which time he helped to draw wider public attention to the history of the region. He served as a Penticton City Councillor from 2005-08, and then as a director and president of the Okanagan School of Arts, guiding in the restoration of the school’s historic Shatford Cultural Centre, which was extensively renovated in 2010 and reopened in 2011. Manuel has published more than 500 historical articles and has lectured at the Penticton campus as part of the OC Speakers Series.

“Education has always been an important part of my life and work so this is a huge honour,” says Manuel. “I’ve dedicated myself to preserving the history of the region and to sharing that history with others because I am a firm believer that if we don’t know where we’ve been, we’ll keep making the same mistakes.”

Sharon Shepherd has been actively engaged in improving quality of life in the City of Kelowna for nearly 40 years, as aSharon Shepherd HF 2017 volunteer, educator, mentor, business owner, long-time councillor and two-term mayor. She has championed numerous causes for youth, families, women, the environment and health, including CATCH (Community Action Toward Children’s Health), Soles4Souls, Arion Therapeutic Farm, and East meets West. She also served as an Honorary Chair of the Red Cross fundraising campaign and was a member of the KGH Foundation’s Be a Lifesaver campaign.

Shepherd holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from UBC and has been a business owner and manager of a medical practice since the late 1970s. She served as a Kelowna City Councillor from 1996-2005 and as Mayor from 2005-2011. In the last few years she has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Kotler United Way Humanitarian Award and the Anita Tozer Memorial Award. Despite her hectic schedule, family has always remained extremely important for Shepherd, a mother of two and grandmother of two.

Shepherd’s connection to the College dates back to her early years on Council. Since the early 2000s she has volunteered with the Okanagan College School of Business and Enactus OC as a mentor and judge for student competitions, and has also been an advocate for the Women in Trades Training (WITT) program. She has also instructed a course on pharmacology to nursing students at the College.

“I am deeply moved by this honour,” said Shepherd. “The College opens doors to education for so many people, not just in Kelowna but throughout the Okanagan. I consider it a privilege to be an advocate for OC and to be a part of the College community.”

Edna Terbasket HF 2017Edna Terbasket has been a passionate proponent for education for people of all ages and backgrounds in the Okanagan for more than 30 years.

A member of the Okanagan Indian Band and renowned Indigenous educator, she serves as Executive Director of the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society in Kelowna, an organization which provides support for the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of all peoples, through the development of community based services. The society provides support for families with children aged five and under who may be at risk for developmental delays. Skemxist Pre-School culturally-based preschool helps equip children with skills they will require for Kindergarten. Family and elder counselling, and poverty and family legal services are also provided. The Society also operates i spa-us ki-low-na Heart of Kelowna, an 86-unit affordable housing project in the heart of downtown Kelowna.

Terbasket was a driving force behind the creation of the College’s Aboriginal Career Fair that began in 1995 and continues to this day. She has also served on the Okanagan College Board of Governors (1999-2001) and in 2013 was named by the College as one of the 50 people who made a difference in the development of the institution. In 2012 Terbasket received the Education Advocate of the Year Award from the Association of BC Deans of Education.

She credits her mother, who overcame tremendous adversity in a lifelong pursuit of continuing her education, as one of her greatest role models.

“I draw great inspiration from her journey in education,” explains Terbasket. “My mother is 84 now and taught the Okanagan language until she was 82. When I see our youth struggle, I try to guide them to education, to find something they are passionate about and want to pursue. I’m honoured to be recognized for being an advocate for education in our community.”

Sharon Shepherd will address graduates at the morning ceremony on Saturday, June 3 in Kelowna. Randy Manuel will speak during the afternoon ceremony a few hours later. Edna Terbasket will deliver her address in an evening ceremony on June 29.

 


High school students invited to Experience OC
Okanagan College Media Release

High school students from around the South Okanagan will experience a brief taste of what it’s like to attend college through Experience OC in Penticton next week.

Students in Grades 10 and 11 from the Okanagan-Skaha, Okanagan-Similkameen and Nicola-Similkameen districts have been invited to the College’s Penticton campus to be a student for a day on Tuesday, May 2. Students will have the chance to attend classes led by College instructors and explore the many post-secondary education options offered at Okanagan College.

“This is a great way to inspire our high school students to think about the next steps in their education,” says Barb Sheppard, Trustee for School District 67. “It’s a fun introduction to post-secondary life, and hopefully will be the first step on a solid path to a future career for these youth.”

Hour-long classes will be offered in arts, business, continuing studies, engineering, health and social development, science, and trades, and include topics such as The Science of Sound Capture for those interested in music production; Pasta Demolition, for budding engineers who want to design, build, and destroy pasta towers; and Do You Ever Wonder Who Keeps that Airplane in the Sky? for anyone intrigued by aircraft maintenance.

“I hope some of these students are thinking about getting their hands dirty,” says Sean Jarvis, Chair of the College’s Welding program. “We’ll be there to talk about well-paying careers in trades and show off some hands-on skills.”

Experience OC events are open to high school students and take place annually at the College’s campuses in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm.

Registration information is available online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/experienceoc until Thursday, April 27 at 4 p.m. 

 

CANsave encourages local elementary students to give back
Okanagan College Media Release

Students in Grades 1-3 from Shannon Lake Elementary learned an important lesson in giving last week when they donated more than $2,000 to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation as part of their participation in Enactus Okanagan College’s CANsave program. CANsave April 2017

Five classes from Shannon Lake took part in CANsave, which is a financial literacy program developed by Okanagan College students to teach primary students the importance of saving for themselves, saving for their future and saving to help others in need. 

The Enactus team partnered with Valley First, a Division of First West Credit Union, to help further the students’ understanding of how saving can help others. Valley First’s sponsorship of the CANsave program allowed the students to have a larger impact on the charity of their choice, in this case the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. In addition to the $2,000 the students were able to give thanks to Valley First’s support, they also contributed more than $225 of their own money to support the foundation.

“Valley First is very proud to partner with Enactus Okanagan College to deliver financial literacy programming to over 100 classrooms and 2,500 students in the Okanagan in this school year,” says Marion Henselwood, branch manager at Valley First’s Vintage Hills branch. “It’s a testament to the high demand for financial literacy programs and the important role financial education plays in setting our youth up for success.”

In total, $30,000 will be donated to local charities through the CANsave program, with over half of that money already given to a wide range of local initiatives.

“We are so grateful to the students who chose to support the hospital through their CANsave fundraising,” says Chandel Christie, Annual Programs Officer at the KGH Foundation. “The students speak so maturely about money after participating in this program and it’s so inspiring to see how excited they are to donate the funds to help sick kids get better.”

CANsave has grown since its inception a year ago, and is now being used by teachers in every single province and territory in Canada, impacting almost 100 distinct communities. In the Okanagan, more than 2,500 students have completed CANsave this year, while that number exceeds 6,200 students nationally.

“The growth of CANsave has been an inspiring experience to be a part of,” says Cody Troutman, Enactus Okanagan College founding member of CANsave. “Our community partnerships have helped us grow the program beyond our expectations for the first year.”

 


Applied research RIPE with opportunity in the Okanagan
Okanagan College Media Release

Luke and Noah April 2017 RIPEA visionary Okanagan developer, a 17-year-old carpentry student and an electrical trades instructor/emerging researcher are sharing in the excitement of an applied research project’s outcomes at Okanagan College. Their project is one of many cutting-edge College-industry partnerships that will be spotlighted at an applied research Expo at OC next month.

RIPE (Research, Innovation and Partnerships Expo) is happening on May 9 at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus. The free event is an opportunity for employers, researchers and students alike to learn about how applied research is growing new partnerships and enriching the educational experience for students at the College.

David Chalk, a cyber security and innovation expert, will be giving a keynote speech that day titled “Innovation is Nothing New.” More information about the event is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/RIPEregister. In addition to Chalk, attendees will have a chance to speak with trailblazers like Andrew Gaucher, Lukas Skulmoski and Noah Dorsey.

Gaucher, president of GGroup and Catalyst Land Development and current president of the Okanagan’s chapter of the Urban Development Institute, approached the College about a year ago with an idea for a research project that would focus on a plug-and-play infrastructure system to make live, safe, connections between components of a housing system. Gaucher’s goal is to develop a system of modules that can be assembled - and disassembled – as a family’s housing needs grow, shrink or change. One of the challenges was to find ways to build safe utility connections between pre-wired modules that wouldn’t involve having to alter electrical panels, bringing in electricians or tearing walls or structures apart.

“To bring this idea of modularity to reality we need to think about making it easy for families to add another module to their home or take it away as things change,” says Gaucher. “Safe, reliable, dependable and easy connections are vital. And while you’d think there were already-developed systems that meet that criteria, I wasn’t able to come up with any. The idea is to move away from hardwiring all connections to the grid.”

Enter Lukas Skulmoski, an Okanagan College trades instructor and licensed electrician who discovered his research talents while completing his Master’s degree, and is now honing them while working on his Doctorate. With support from Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), through its community engagement grants, Skulmoski and Gaucher began research and scale prototype development.

Their initial work opened the door to student involvement. Noah Dorsey, a Grade 12 student at George Elliot Secondary in Lake Country who is taking the carpentry pre-apprenticeship program at the College for dual credit, brought his skills to the table next.

“I was amazed that this opportunity to engage in applied research opened up for me,” says Dorsey. “Our carpentry instructor explained there was an opportunity to engage in this, and I volunteered.”

Dorsey built scale-size mock-ups to house the components so Gaucher and others can explore how the technology could be applied to real-world construction.

And Dorsey wasn’t the only trades student involved in the applied research project. Before Dorsey came onboard another student – Nicole Thompson - was also involved. She is an apprentice electrician who also has two Bachelor’s degrees. She helped Skulmoski research whether there were existing plug-in systems that might make the grade. They looked at modular housing systems from around the world, looked to the cruise-ship industry where cabins are put together in modules, but to no avail. The systems weren’t appropriate, would not meet Canadian Code requirements, or would require electrical professionals to connect.

Skulmoski’s research eventually led him full circle to a system used in Canadian heavy industry that meets the parameters for Gaucher’s ideas: safe, simple, usable by a homeowner, Code compliant, able to be connected and disconnected while the system is live, and weather resistant. It is a system used in some industrial systems, shorepower connections for large vessels and emergency equipment.

The team’s innovation solution has important features that prevent an arc flash that could prove fatal in instances where voltage and amperage are high enough. Now, with the electrical problems addressed, Gaucher is figuring out other construction and development issues.

“I really appreciate and value the support of the College, Luke, and Noah, and the federal government,” says Gaucher. “The opportunity to innovate and create or refine different approaches to housing needs is clearly here and it’s tremendous to have this kind of resource at our fingertips in the Okanagan.”

 

Okanagan chefs ready to get their Soup’s On for a good cause
Okanagan College Media Release

Some of the valley’s top chefs will be putting their best ladle forward this month at the inaugural Soup’s On events – public soup tastings held in Kelowna and Vernon and presented by Enactus Okanagan College.

Soup’s On has run successfully for the past two years in Salmon Arm, which prompted OC students to serve up the initiative in other communities.

“What started out as a simple idea at an Enactus meeting really came to life and was embraced by the community in Salmon Arm,” explains Soup’s On project coordinator and Enactus Okanagan College member Alexandra Jacques. “I am so honoured and thrilled to have two more communities in the Okanagan jump on board.”Enactus OC Soup's On April 2017

The first event is taking place at 6:30 p.m. on April 27 at Okanagan Spirits’ Vernon location, presented by Prospera Credit Union. Tickets are $25 each and available at participating restaurants Eatology, Kaals Naan Stop, Kal Sports Bar, Intermezzo, and Sir Winston's Pub. Proceeds will benefit the Upper Room Mission and Okanagan College students.

The Kelowna event is happening two days later on April 29 at 5 p.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning at Okanagan College. Attendees will have a chance to sample culinary creations by The Curious Cafe, Basil and Mint, FSH, La Cucina, Westcoast Grill, Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar, Bonfire Restaurant, Bouchon's Bistro, Sturgeon Hall, Little Hobo Soup and Sandwich, Train Station Pub, Whiskey-Jacks Pub, Central Public House, Xchange Kelowna and Bliss Bakery and Bistro. Hot and cold beverages will also be served at the event, provided by Pulp Fiction Coffee house and Big Surf Brewery.

Tickets for the Kelowna event are $20 and available online. Visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/soupson for more information. Proceeds from the Kelowna event will benefit the Central Okanagan Food Bank and will also aid Okanagan College students.

Foodies take note: attendees will once again be invited to sharpen their pencils and don their judge’s hat. Like previous Soup’s On events in Salmon Arm, both the Kelowna and Vernon events will follow a people’s choice format.

“Throughout the event, attendees have the opportunity to score each soup and vote for their favourite,” explains Jacques. “At the end of the night, the chef whose soup earned the most votes will take home the Soup’s On trophy.”

Enactus Okanagan College is a student run non-profit organization. Through events like Soup’s On, Enactus OC students raise funds to support their entrepreneurial and philanthropic programs in the community. Examples include Silver Surfers, a program that helps seniors boost their comfort level with technology in order to stay connected with loved ones, and CanSave, a program that provides basic financial literacy to elementary school students.

 

OC students notch 13 podium finishes at Skills Canada BC competition
Okanagan College Media Release

Five Okanagan College students have punched their tickets to Winnipeg, MB to compete in the Skills Canada National Competition next month, after gold medal-winning performances at the provincial competition in Abbotsford last week. The five gold medalists were joined on the podium by eight more OC students who earned four silver and four bronze medals, in categories spanning a host of trades and technology disciplines, from Aerospace Technology to Refrigeration.

OC was the best in the province in the areas of Automotive Collision Repair, Automotive Service, Carpentry, Culinary Arts and IT. Brendan Battersby, a second-year student in the College’s Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (NTEN) program won gold in IT – Network Systems Administration. Kurt Breton, a level 4 apprentice earned gold in Automotive Service, while Lukas Pfob, also a level 4 apprentice, took the top spot in Carpentry. Siobhan Detkavich, a dual-credit Culinary Arts student at Okanagan College and Southern Okanagan Secondary School, came away with Gold in the Culinary Arts (Secondary) category.

Skills BC Provincials 2017Andreas Roth, a level 3 apprentice, won gold in Automotive Collision Repair – a category swept by OC. Roth was joined on the podium by Caleb Loewen who brought home the silver medal and Marcel Kaemmerzell, who earned bronze.

“As a first time competitor, I did everything I could to prepare ahead of time, but it was definitely a new and unique experience for me,” says Roth. “I’m really excited for nationals. I am going to practice hard and try my best for another good result in Winnipeg.”

Roth and his fellow Collision Repair competitors were evaluated on their skills across a variety of tasks, including welding, plastic and metal repair, and damage analysis over the 6.5-hour competition.

Collision Repair instructor Danny Marques said while preparation plays a big role in students’ success, it is their ability to perform under pressure that is the determining factor on competition day

“We couldn’t be prouder of these three students – and all the students who represented OC and themselves so well at the competition,” says Marques. “As coaches, we obviously try to mentor the students as much as we can, but ultimately they are the ones competing and it’s their ability and motivation that sets them apart.”

Overall, Okanagan College students captured a dozen medals at the competition, which was held on Wednesday, April 5 at The Fraser Valley Trade & Exhibition Centre in Abbotsford. Other institutions that took part included Vancouver Island University, BCIT, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Camosun College, Northern Lights College, University of the Fraser Valley, Riverside College, Thompson Rivers University and Vancouver Community College.

Okanagan College students placed as follows:
Gold
Brendan Battersby – IT – Network Systems Administration
Kurt Breton – Automotive Service
Lukas Pfob – Carpentry
Andreas Roth – Automotive Collision Repair 

Silver
Jason Clair – Electrical
Caleb Loewen – Automotive Collision Repair 
Tijana Nelson – Cabinetmaking
Brandon West – Heavy Mechanical

Bronze
Marcel Kaemmerzell – Automotive Collision Repair
Patryk Norek – Automotive Service
Bryce Mackay – Aerospace Technology
Rob Cordonier – Refrigeration

Gold medalists earn a berth to the National Skills Canada competition on May 31-June 3 in Winnipeg. The national competition attracts more than 500 competitors who compete in 40 contest areas. The program was launched in 1994, and is the only national multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country.

 

Bickley claims back-to-back OC Half Marathon titles
Okanagan College Media Release

OC Half 2017 Bickley2Kelowna’s Brad Bickley returned to Okanagan College’s annual half marathon on Sunday and claimed his second title in as many years. Bickley placed first in the 15
th annual event with a finishing time of 1:13. Patrick Schryburt finished second at 1:17 and Jeff Vogt’s time of 1:19 was good enough for third.

In the female half marathon, three Kelowna runners took the top spots. Tracy Dayman was first (1:33), Heather Greig was second (1:40) and Carolyn Hawes finished third (1:43).OC Half 2017 Dayman2

In the 10 KM event Kelowna women dominated with the winning time posted by Jane Jones (44:56), followed by Rachel Garrett (46:40) and Laura Staniewski (47:15).

OC Half 2017 Mitchell2The men’s 10 KM was won by Michael Mitchell (36:32), followed by Quinn Middleton (37:53) and Michael Denman (39:42).

The half marathon relay event was won by team “Backadders” of Vernon. The five runners covered the 21.1 KM distance in a time of (1:40). Team members included: John Glennon, Brent Helland, Jeff Trca, Steve Broderick, and Brent McWillis.  

“Today’s race was what we’ve come to expect at the OC Half Marathon,” said Christine Ulmer, Race Director. “We had a competitive group of runners vying for the top spots and we also had an impressive group of recreational runners who enjoyed the course and all of the fun associated with running. We had a great group of volunteers and the food from Okanagan College’s Culinary and Pastry Arts at the finish line was a highlight for most of the people I talked to.”

The Okanagan College Half Marathon, 10 K and Relay is an annual not-for-profit event that raises funds to support student bursaries. Event sponsors include: Canadian Springs Water, the Kelowna Capital News, Save On Foods, Okanagan College Culinary and Pastry Arts, Starbucks, and the Orchard City Amateur Radio Club.

Aid stations were generously operated by enthusiastic volunteers from: Orange Theory Fitness, Spinco, Okanagan College Trades and Apprenticeship, and The Woman’s Place.

Complete race results will be available online: www.okanagan.bc.ca/halfmarathon.