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Kelowna Flightcraft lands with a donation to support trades training complex
Enactus Okanagan College receives three national grants in support of local entrepreneurship
Westwood Electric donation powers up new electrical controls lab at Okanagan College
College students prepare for final round of ICBC after dominating preliminary challenge
GIS program helps students map out their career
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Kelowna Flightcraft lands with a donation to support trades training complex
Okanagan College Media Release

One of the Okanagan’s best-known businesses has thrown its support behind the campaign to expand and renovate the tradesLapointe Dec 2014 training complex at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

Barry Lapointe, CEO and Chairman of Kelowna Flightcraft, has made a $500,000 donation to the Bright Horizons Building for Skills fundraising campaign that will help complete the $33-million project.

“I believe that people who have done well in this region should give back,” says Lapointe. “And we feel strongly about supporting post-secondary education.”

Lapointe’s donation to Okanagan College was acknowledged this week by Premier Christy Clark, area MLAs Norm Letnick and Steve Thomson, and several representatives of Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Foundation at Flightcraft’s airport hangar, where a class of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering students were nearing completion of their course.

“Barry sees what’s coming: a shortage of skilled labour, and a tremendous opportunity for trained people,” noted Premier Clark. “He has always supported the creation of more education and career opportunities in the Okanagan, culminating in this generous donation.”

Lapointe’s donation brings the $7-million campaign up over the $3 million mark. The money raised will help complete and equip the trades complex and create support for students who take programs there. The province has contributed $28-million to the project.

The building and renovation project is expected to be complete by spring 2016. Approximately 5,100 square metres of shops and classes will be renovated and an additional 5,500 square metres of shops, classroom and student space are being constructed along KLO Road.

The complex will accommodate approximately 2,600 students annually in a range of trades programs. 

“Barry’s support is a key donation for the campaign,” explains campaign chair Dennis Gabelhouse. “Industry support, from people like Barry, from the automotive industry, from companies like Westwood Electric sends a message to would-be tradespeople that validates their career choices.”

“We know that we are facing a significant skills gap – especially in the trades – in the coming years,” explains Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Barry and others understand that and are investing in our future.”

Okanagan College is the second-largest trades training institution in B.C.
Enactus Okanagan College receives three national grants in support of local entrepreneurship
Okanagan College Media Release

Brent Basil Dec 2014Enactus Okanagan College is the only college in Canada and one of only five post-secondary institutions across Canada to receive three or more national partnership grants from Enactus Canada to support entrepreneurship in the Okanagan. 

The grants are evidence that the non-profit student-run organization is making good on its goal of using the power of entrepreneurial action to help individuals in need. 

The Enactus Okanagan College students have already applied funds from two of the grants to encourage social entrepreneurship in young people and have launched a new social enterprise, InnSpire, to generate funds for a homeless shelter in Kelowna. 

The grants are part of the Enactus Canada partnership program and include the Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur Project Partnership sponsored by the RBC Foundation and presented by Futurpreneur, the BDC Entrepreneurs First Project Partnership, and the 3M Canada Problem Solving Project Partnership. 

“Being selected for the three grants goes to show how much effort our team, and our community partners put into our programs,” said Tom Arrowsmith, president of Enactus Okanagan College. “These grants add an extra level of validity to our programs by having them be nationally recognized.”

Dr. Kyleen Myrah is the faculty advisor helping oversee the newly launched InnSpire venture, which is a partnership with Inn From the Cold. The students have created a social enterprise that generates revenue from the sale of donated soap. The funds support Inn From the Cold’s Chandler House and the students get the chance to put their business skills to use.  

“The goal of this project is to run a social enterprise; providing a sustainable source of revenue that also serves to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness, promote the work of the Inn From the Cold organization, and provide long-term employable opportunities for the men in the Chandler house,” said Myrah. 

The Enactus Okanagan College students launched the social enterprise in November using the proceeds from the 3M Project Solving Partnership as seed money. The project has already achieved several thousand dollars in revenues for Inn From the Cold. Future plans for the project include expanding the number of sales locations and the product base to further support the sustainability of the program.

The Unleash Social Business Case Competition funded by RBC and presented by Futurpreneur was hosted at Accelerate Okanagan during Entrepreneurship week in November. This case competition pitted teams of students working together to develop sustainable business plans to address social issues facing our community. 

The finalist from the program presented their case to a panel of judges. Karen Vandergaag, a member of the winning team, described the experience and the winning case.

“When we received the case, my team looked at how we could take a few social issues in our community and bring together some entrepreneurial ideas to come up with a solution,” said Vandergaag. “I got a lot of value from the process of turning our ideas into a concept that would solve some of Kelowna’s pressing social problems.”

The BDC Entrepreneurs First Grant will be used to support the growth and expansion of Venture Okanagan. Venture Okanagan provides a forum for start-ups to pitch their ideas to venture capitalists and other potential funders.  

In addition to connecting startups with investors, Venture Okanagan also provides mentorship and support throughout the multi-week process. This competitive forum will be held again in the spring of 2015.
Westwood Electric donation powers up new electrical controls lab at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College students in the Electrical Trades programs will soon plug into a cutting edge new learning space thanks to a Westwood Dec 2014generous donation of $100,000 from Westwood Electric. 

Westwood’s donation to the Okanagan College Foundation’s “Bright Horizons: Building for Skills” Campaign will support the Trades Training Complex, currently under construction at the Kelowna Campus. The electrical controls lab in the new facility will feature state of the art equipment, technology, and workstations for students.

Westwood’s decision to support the campaign for the Trades Training Complex was based on the recognition that proper training is crucial for maintaining the overall health and growth of trades, both locally and beyond.

“Today's apprentices are tomorrow’s qualified journeypersons, supervisors and industry leaders. The best possible trades training will only further promote the apprentice’s future, opportunities for local business and ultimately the province of British Columbia,” said Jason McCormick, Vice President - Operations and Partner of Westwood Electric, which is celebrating 40 years in business.

“We see this as a very special opportunity to be a part of the campaign behind the Trades Training Complex at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus,” said McCormick. “We are honoured be involved with what will be one of the largest, most comprehensive and environmentally sustainable trades training facilities in British Columbia.” 

"This support from Westwood is exciting news for Okanagan College and especially so for our students enrolled in the Electrical Trades programs, which is one of our largest trades programs, having grown by over 80 students this year," said Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. "The Trades Training Complex will provide students with a learning environment that reflects Okanagan College’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. We thank Westwood for their generous investment in our students and in our College’s mission to transform lives and communities."

Work on the $33-million complex expansion and renovation has begun and is expected to be complete in the spring of 2016. The provincial government has committed $28-million to the project and the Okanagan College Foundation is responsible for raising an additional $7 million; $5 million for capital costs and the remaining $2 million going towards student and program support.

Okanagan College embarked on the expansion to be pro-active in anticipating and meeting industry needs at a time when there is a looming shortage of trades workers.

“We are excited to watch this new facility take shape and look forward to the many benefits it will provide to the apprentices and businesses in our region,” said McCormick.
College students prepare for final round of ICBC after dominating preliminary challenge
Okanagan College Media Release

Derek Cook Dec 2014Okanagan College will send its largest-ever contingent of business students to Kingston in January to compete in the final round of the prestigious Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (ICBC) after 10 students advanced from a competitive preliminary round. 

Five teams of students from the College will compete in the international event, which is held annually at Queen’s University in mid-January. ICBC is Canada’s longest-running undergraduate business case competition. 

This year, more than 140 teams were invited to compete in the preliminary round, only 46 teams advanced. The College will send the second largest number of students to the event – the University of Calgary will send just two more. 

Arguably the most prestigious post-secondary business case competition in the country, the final round of ICBC requires teams of two students to create an innovative and viable business solution to a problem in their field of competition. 

The College will be represented in the areas of accounting, ethics, debate, finance, and management of information systems. 

Okanagan College’s Jared Cook will be heading to ICBC for the second year in a row. Last year he made the finals in accounting. This year he will be joined by his partner Amanda Wright to take on top schools such as Concordia University, the University of Calgary, Brock University and the host Queen’s in the area of finance. 

Cook will be joined at the competition by two familiar faces; his brother Jason will compete in the final round of ethics and his father, professor Derek Cook, will attend the competition as coach of his finance team. 

“Each year that we compete successfully against top business schools across the country and other parts of the world, I become more convinced that our students are receiving a first class business education at Okanagan College and that we are preparing graduates that are the equal of any in Canada,” said professor Cook. “Although I have enjoyed all of my previous trips to Queen’s, this is a special year for me as my two youngest sons, both BBA students at Okanagan College, are in the finals this year. No matter what the outcome, it will be a very memorable year for me.” 

Jason Cook will make his first trip to Queen’s in January as part of the ethics team.

“I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to represent Okanagan College on an international level,” said Jason Cook. “The success I have enjoyed is due in large part to my dedicated partner, to the faculty who have ensured we were prepared for the preliminary round and lastly to my family for providing the competitive motivation.”  
GIS program helps students map out their career
Okanagan College Media Release

Chad Parrent and Teresa Robinson are among those students looking forward to the January start of Okanagan College’s Advanced GIS (Geographic Information Systems) certificate program in Kelowna.

Robinson is adding to her resume as a geophysical technologist and knows there is work waiting for her at the completion of the program. Parrent is among those who have already registered for the 20-week program that provides students with the skills to create maps and gather, edit and manage GIS and GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) data, and manage projects.

The program is a blend of theory and practical application that prepares graduates for work in a variety of sectors including resources, government and with First Nations.

Parrent, who is 34, is anticipating the program will lead him to a career in the region using GIS skills – hopefully with government.

“I’m interested in geography and mapping. That’s what led me to look at the program,” explains Parrent. “Then I spent some time speaking with the instructor (Bruce Ganton), to ensure I knew what I was getting into. I am very interested in the career opportunities associated with the program.”

Robinson, who is looking to re-engage in the workforce, has already identified work that she’ll be able to get at the conclusion of the program. She’s anticipating that the opportunity will exist to work remotely from the Okanagan with companies and projects elsewhere, as well.

The College’s GIS programs had their origins in Salmon Arm several years ago and are primarily based at this campus, but increasing demand has prompted the institution to offer them in Kelowna, as well as in Salmon Arm, explains Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Development. (There are February and August intakes in Salmon Arm.)

“I wanted to take the course three years ago, but wasn’t able to travel to Salmon Arm,” says Robinson, “so, yes, I’m really glad it is being offered in Kelowna.”

Part of the program sees students undertake two major projects of their own design and another project of the type they’d find in a typical workplace.

“There is significant and growing need for the skill set that students will develop,” explains Silvestrone. “Mapping and GIS are essential these days to understand data, traffic patterns, demographics, demand patterns, environmental issues . . . You name it, GIS is probably associated with it somehow.”

Students can still apply for the course, which starts Jan. 26. It is eligible for government student assistance. To find out more or apply, visit 

For a full range of program opportunities starting in January, visit
Culinary scholarship is gravy for determined cooking student
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College culinary arts student Dayna Duckworth-Dolan was more than a little surprised this month when she learned that Dayna Dolan Nov 2014she had won one of the three $1,500 B.C. Hospitality Foundation Scholarships selected by the Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia and sponsored by SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts.

“Overwhelmed, excited, shocked and amazed” is the way the composed Professional Cook Level 2 student explains her reaction. “I didn’t even know I had been nominated until a few days before when Chef Bernard (Casavant) let me know that I was among those being considered.”

It is the first time a culinary arts student from the Okanagan has been chosen to receive the scholarship, which also came with an opportunity to participate as a fully registered delegate to the CONNECT Food+Drink+Lodging Show in Vancouver, that included an industry breakfast where the awards were presented.

Casavant, who is the College’s Culinary Manager, says he had the pleasure of watching Duckworth-Dolan in action at a Fall Wine Festival event held at the College where her professionalism and enthusiasm shone. “She has poise, confidence and a desire to learn. She just has it.”

From Duckworth-Dolan’s perspective, the financial support is welcome, but more than that the scholarship communicates industry support and interest in her career choice. “Having somebody else tell me that they value my efforts and career choice means a great deal. It’s an extra catalyst to tell me this was the right industry for me.”

“That's precisely what the scholarship program is all about,” explains Alan Sacks, executive director of the B.C. Hospitality Foundation. “Our primary mandate is to support members of the hospitality industry who face a financial crisis due to a medical condition. In addition, with our scholarship program, we want to encourage and inspire the next generation of leaders in our industry. We are excited to be able to assist Dayna as she builds a successful career in British Columbia.”

Duckworth-Dolan was taking a management program at another institution when she decided – with the support of her family – to explore something that had always been of great interest to her: a career in the culinary arts. She’s confident now her decision was the right one at a “life-changing fork in the road.”

“This industry is fast-paced, ever-changing and has so many avenues you can explore. The chef-instructors at the College are incredible,” says Duckworth-Dolan. “It’s like having a thesaurus of chefs. You ask about something and you will learn about the different ways you can approach it. There’s never a question that goes unanswered and you get amazing constructive feedback. They are interested in helping you increase speed and boost your creativity.

“I’m only 24. I have a long, exciting career ahead of me in this industry. I know I want experience in a variety of settings, from small bistros to large hotels where you can cook for thousands. I really believe the spice of life is variety.”

Okanagan College offers intakes into its culinary arts program at various times of the year. The next intake is January, 2015. For more information, you can call 250 762-5445 ext 4592.
College students’ social enterprise to benefit local homeless men
Okanagan College Media Release

InnSpire Nov 2014A new social enterprise developed by students from Okanagan College’s Enactus team is kicking off this month and will benefit local residents of Chandler House in Kelowna. 

Chandler House is Inn from the Cold’s newest residence and is home to eight chronically homeless men in Kelowna. The residence is a safe place for the men to rest, take a shower, and have a hot meal. In short, it’s a place for them to call home.

After receiving a large donation of soaps, Inn from the Cold connected with the College’s Enactus team and a unique opportunity emerged - a chance to generate income for the not-for-profit, while giving students a chance to put their business skills to the test by developing a plan for a legitimate social enterprise. 

After months of planning and hard work, the team from Enactus and Inn from the Cold are launching InnSpire. The students have created a business plan for selling the donated soap, and this has included marketing, packaging, advertising, and sales. The soap will be available for purchase next week in a variety of locations.

“Working on InnSpire has been truly rewarding because it has given us a chance to help an organization that has helped so many in our community,” said Brent Basil, Okanagan College student and InnSpire Project Manager.

The team hopes to develop a sustainable source of income that not only benefits Inn from the Cold, but also raises awareness about the organization as a whole. Future goals include expanding the product line, establishing long-term relationships with vendors, and possibly implementing a mentorship program that involves working directly with the men of Chandler House.

Enactus Okanagan College is partnering with various organizations to bring the product to the community, including KLO Middle School, Save-on Foods and Okanagan College.

InnSpire will be selling beauty soaps made from all-natural ingredients, and types include Tea Tree, Honey Oatmeal, Lemon Grass, and more. 

The bundles consist of:

  • Singles squares at $5 each.
  • Three-packs of ovals for $10 apiece.

Soaps can be purchased at the following locations:

  • K. L. O. Christmas Craft Fair at K. L. O. Middle School (Saturday, Nov. 29)
  • A Touch of Christmas Fair at New Life Church (Saturday, Nov. 29)
  • Christmas Shop and Swap at the Laurel Building (Sunday, Dec. 7)
  • Save On Foods at Orchard Plaza (every Sunday between Nov. 30 and Dec. 14)
  • Okanagan College Centre for Learning atrium (Dec. 2 and 4)

Visit the team’s Facebook page for more information: or email

New federal-provincial grant program opens doors for employers with training needs
Okanagan College Media Release

Area businesses should take note of the new Canada Job Grant program, if they have employees with training requirements or need to train prospective employees, suggests Dennis Silvestrone, Okanagan College’s Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Development.

“Under the new program, employers can access a subsidy of up to two-thirds of the cost (to a maximum of $10,000 per employee) for training that will help them in their work,” notes Silvestrone. (The training can be extended to both current and future employees but has to be provided by a third-party trainer.) 

The Canada Job Grant is part of the $65 million Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement provided by the Government of Canada. While the grant will help employers and employees get the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow, the fund will also ensure training programs exist to give vulnerable workers the skills to enter or progress in the job market.

Silvestrone is hoping employers will consider Okanagan College as a source of that training and expertise as they contemplate applying for the program.

“We have a variety of training opportunities that employers can access as they consider their needs,” he says. “From trades to health care, from project management to leadership to occupation-specific programs there is a great deal that Okanagan College has to offer.”

The training identified as eligible for the Canada Job Grant program includes, but is not limited to: 
  • Essential skills training
  • Technical training
  • Business training
  • Management and leadership training
  • Short-term certificate training

The training grant is available to private and not for profit sector employers. Participants need be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or designated as people entitled to work in Canada by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

The training has to be completed within 52 weeks of receiving grant approval. The grant covers tuition fees or trainer-charged fees, mandatory student fees, fees for textbooks, software and other materials as well as examination fees.

Employers interested in the program can visit for further information.

To find out how Okanagan College can help and for more about its programs and opportunities to meet employer needs, contact:

Employers can also visit or for more information.

Winners announced for Okanagan College’s Three-Hour Short Story Contest
Okanagan College Media Release

Jesse Frechette Nov 2014A high-speed story of loss by Penticton campus Associate of Arts student Jesse Frechette took the top prize at Okanagan College’s Three-Hour Short Story Contest.

“The judges loved ‘Lost Control’ for its confident and original narrative voice, which kept us fully engaged in the story to the very end,” said Okanagan College English professor and contest judge and organizer Corinna Chong. 

“The writer created an impressively complex conflict; the story artfully develops the narrator’s struggle to come to terms with the loss of his father, which rises to the surface as he drives his father’s old Camaro faster and faster down the highway. We were also impressed by the story’s ending, which has a powerful impact but also resists wrapping the conflict up too neatly or artificially,” she says.

The judging panel, which consisted of Chong and fellow Okanagan College professors and writers Kerry Gilbert, Jeremy Lanaway, Hannah Calder, and Francie Greenslade, felt this year’s entries were very strong and exceptionally creative. 

“The competition was fierce, which made the job of judging difficult but exciting,” says Chong. “Many students came out of the contest with excellent stories that we hope they will continue to work on.” 

The Three-Hour Short Story competition is an annual event held at each of the College’s four campuses and is open to students in Grade 11 and 12, and those attending Okanagan College. 

Writers have three hours to create a story using College computers and are not able to access any pre-written material or anything online. Students also have to incorporate a mystery phrase – this year’s phrase was “soggy bread” – into each of their stories. 

Four prizes of a $250 tuition credit were handed out to a winner at each campus. The regional winners were: 

Kelowna – “Run-Run-Run” by Sarina Bouvier (Kelowna Secondary School)

Vernon – “Time Moves Quickly” by Daniel Reich (Okanagan College)

Penticton – “Lost Control” by Jesse Frechette (Okanagan College)

Salmon Arm – “A Small Victory” by Kyle Phillips (Okanagan College)

As the grand prizewinner, Frechette also received an additional $250 tuition credit, which made the total of his prize $500 to use toward his College fees. 

Originally from Edmonton, Frechette currently lives in Summerland and is pursuing his Associate of Arts degree at the Penticton campus. He plans to finish his Bachelor of Arts degree and ultimately hopes to go to film school back east.

Read all the winners’ stories at
College business student receives $10,000 Irving K. Barber Scholarship
Okanagan College Media Release

mckayOkanagan College Bachelor of Business Administration student Lauren McKay has received the Premier’s International Scholarship for Study Abroad from the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society.

The Winfield resident is one of only 16 students in the province to receive the prestigious annual award.

McKay, who received $10,000, is currently taking two semesters at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland in Olten, Switzerland, and all courses will count toward her business degree at Okanagan College.

“I am so happy and honoured to receive the award,” says McKay. “Being in a new country and studying with people from different countries and cultures is such a wonderful experience, and will be so beneficial for my career in the future.”

She chose to go to Switzerland, in large part, because of the country’s linguistic diversity (French, German, and Italian are all official languages).

“Engaging in the international exchange program is transformational for our students,” says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of Okanagan College’s School of Business. “We have an exceptional group of institutional partners and this type of experience builds students’ multicultural communication skills. The Ike Barber scholarship program broadens the opportunity for participation and we are thrilled that Lauren has received this support.”

When she graduates, McKay plans to work in the family business and help her parents expand their pharmacy operations. Afterwards, she hopes to return to school to study consumer behaviour.

“By going to Okanagan College, I feel I've gained practical knowledge in different areas of business (including accounting, management, and marketing) and when I graduate I know I will be prepared for actual work situations and scenarios, not just theoretical ones,” says McKay.

Hugh Gordon, Chair of the Irving K. Barber B. C. Scholarship Society, noted that this year brought forward a record number of applications for the Premier’s Scholarship program.

The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society has awarded just over $2 million in international scholarships since 2008, when the program began.

Roy Daykin joins Okanagan College as Vice President Finance and Administration 
Okanagan College Media Release

DaykinOkanagan College will welcome one of the sector’s leaders to its executive team when Roy Daykin joins the institution as its new Vice President Finance and Administration on Dec. 15.
Daykin brings nearly three decades of leadership experience in post-secondary; he was most recently Vice President, Administration and Community Engagement at Langara College.
Prior to that role, Daykin spent three years in senior executive roles at Langara, serving terms as the institution’s Vice President of Administration and Finance, Associate Vice President of Administration and Finance, and Langara’s interim President and CEO.
“Roy is a highly respected leader in our sector and his experience will be a valuable asset to our College,” said Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “He has provided outstanding service to other post-secondary institutions and a school district and will bring a wealth of relevant experience to our institution and our region.”
In addition to senior executive roles at Langara, Daykin spent nine years at Kwantlen University College as Associate Vice President of Finance.
Prior to that appointment, he was with Douglas College for 16 years where he progressed from a position in accounts payable to Manager of Accounting Information and Internal Audit, and eventually to Director of Finance.
Daykin also spent two years as Secretary Treasurer with Mission Public Schools.
“Okanagan College has a great reputation and there are so many reasons I am looking forward to joining the team,” said Daykin. “There is such a strong sense of community in the Okanagan and the College is deeply engaged with the community and that is very important to me.
“I’m also excited about the depth and breadth of programming the College offers. From trades to university studies to applied programs, it’s a great variety of programming that supports students and their learning.”
Daykin holds a master of arts in leadership and training from Royal Roads University. In addition, he is a Certified General Accountant.
He is currently the chair of the BC Post-Secondary Employers Association Board, chair of the BC Consortium for Skills Development, member of the BC Task Force on Reengineering, and chair of the Senior Finance and Administration Officers for BC Post-Secondary Institutions.
Daykin replaces Robert Eby, who will retire on Dec. 18 after serving seven years as the College’s Vice President of Finance and Administration.

Take a walk in space with Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald
Okanagan College Media Release

mcdonald3There are astronauts and there are spacewalkers. Astronauts leave the earth’s atmosphere in a spaceship. Spacewalkers don pressure suits and step outside into the universe—a physically demanding, mentally rigorous endeavour. It’s so difficult, in fact, only three Canadians have ever succeeded: Chris Hadfield, Steve MacLean and Dave Williams.

Bob McDonald, award-winning science journalist and host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, takes us into the world of spacewalking and explores the fascinating and important contributions made by Canadian astronauts during his presentation Canadian Spacewalkers: What’s it Like to Step into the Abyss? at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus lecture theatre on Monday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
McDonald interviewed Hadfield, MacLean and Williams, as well as drew on his own experiences with simulators and zero-g aircraft, for his new book Canadian Spacewalkers (Douglas & McIntyre).
In addition to Quirks & Quarks, McDonald is a regular science commentator for the CBC. His book, Measuring the Earth with a Stick: Science As I’ve Seen It, was shortlisted for the Canadian Science Writers Association Book Award. McDonald has received the Triple Crown of Canadian science medals: Michael Smith Medal for Science Communication from the National Research Council, Sir Sanford Fleming Medal for Science Promotion from the Royal Canadian Institute, and McNeil Medal for Public Awareness of Science from the Royal Society of Canada. In November 2011, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
McDonald’s talk is part of the Science in Society Speaker Series (a joint project by Okanagan Science Centre and the Okanagan College), which is sponsored by the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Cooper’s Foods, Starbucks Coffee, and the Vernon Morning Star. Clark Robinson and Hollis Wealth also provided special supporting sponsorship for this event.
Admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For tickets, call the Okanagan Science Centre at 250-545-3644 or visit To subscribe or obtain more information about the Science in Society Speaker Series, visit