2011 News

May 3, 2011


SewellA new award that will support Summerland students pursuing post-secondary training in trades or business has been established in honour of Art Sewell, one of Summerland’s most dedicated community members and strongest advocates for youth and education.

At its regular evening meeting on Tuesday, the Summerland Rotary Club, Summerland Penny Lane and members of the Sewell family announced they will each contribute $25,000 to establish a $75,000 bursary fund to support local students.

Sewell was a founding member of Summerland Penny Lane and served as its Chairman for eight years. As an active Rotarian for 35 years, he believed in the importance of providing access to education and training, as well as business leaders’ responsibility to provide opportunities for skill development in youth to help them reach their full potential.

“We wanted to do something that would honour the legacy of our dad as well as benefit others,” explained Ken Sewell. “Our father joined Rotary to provide service to his community. Raising money for important causes or contributing to community initiatives, that’s where he was in his element. This new bursary is an extension of his legacy of service.”

“In establishing this new bursary we are following Art’s dream of supporting youth in Summerland by providing greater access to education,” said Bob Van Balkom, President of the Summerland Rotary Club. “Our Rotary Club also firmly believes in Okanagan College and its role in both educating our youth and providing local and regional job opportunities for the future.”

The Summerland Rotary, Art Sewell, Summerland Penny Lane Bursary will provide an annual award of $2,500 to a student entering full-time studies in a Trades Foundation program or Business Administration program at Okanagan College. The recipient will be a resident of Summerland or will have attended high school in Summerland. Selection of the award recipient will be based on financial need.

“Art was instrumental in developing Summerland Penny Lane and S.A.D.I. (Summerland Asset Development Initiative),” said Orv Robson, Chairman of Summerland Penny Lane. “He and his family have been a great asset to this community. Art’s legacy will live on without this award but I think we can all be proud that we brought this bursary forward in Art’s name to help carry on the work he was so invested in – that being investing in young people and their success.”

“We are extremely grateful to each of the partners who came together to create this new award in Art Sewell’s name,” said Jim Henderson, President of the Okanagan College Foundation. “We are well aware of the impact Art has had on this community and are fortunate to be able to play a role in continuing his good work in the lives of future students.”

March 28, 2011


London Drugs March 2011

London Drugs is the most recent Penticton business to back Okanagan College’s new Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation, announcing a $10,000 donation to support a series of annual financial awards for new programs, which will be offered at the Centre.

Store Manager Colin Campbell made the announcement today at London Drugs’ Cherry Lane Mall store. The $10,000 commitment will fund two annual awards, each valued at $1,000 for the next five years.

“We are so pleased to be a part of the Centre of Excellence campaign,” said Campbell. “This partnership with Okanagan College and its students is a really good fit for London Drugs. We are deeply committed to our community and the Centre of Excellence is going to be an incredible facility and resource for the people of Penticton.”

Campbell went on to explain the decision to support the campaign was an easy one for London Drugs, as its corporate giving focuses on two main streams – supporting education and health. The Centre of Excellence will create space for approximately 500 more students at the South Okanagan-Similkameen campus in Penticton.

The Centre will also offer an array of new programs that are focused on sustainability and green technology. The building itself is striving to meet the Living Building Challenge, committing to a net zero consumption of energy and water.

“By contributing to these new financial awards London Drugs is helping to realize its goal of making our local community stronger,” explained Campbell.

“This donation is going to make a real difference to local students in helping to finance their education and training,” said Jim Henderson, President of the Okanagan College Foundation. “We are extremely grateful for the support of London Drugs and are well aware of the important role our local businesses play in our community.”

March 2011


HSBC donation
 Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton (middle) accepts a $30,000 donation from HSBC Canada’s Barry Taitinger, Assistant Vice President and Regional Manager (left) and Kelowna Branch Manager Marcia Jones during the Okanagan Business Students’ Association banquet.
The Okanagan College Foundation is proud to announce that it has received a $30,000 donation from HSBC Bank Canada to establish the permanently endowed HSBC Bank Canada Entrance Award in Business Administration.

One award will be granted annually to a first-year student at Okanagan College enrolled in the Faculty of Business Administration. Award recipients must demonstrate academic achievement, financial need and community service.

“Corporate and community support helps ensure that students who can benefit from post-secondary education get the chance,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, who is also a director of the Okanagan College Foundation. “HSBC Bank Canada understands and has been a strong supporter of our business program. As I express our appreciation, I’m doing so on behalf of a group of students who will benefit in the years ahead.”

“HSBC Bank Canada has a long-standing commitment to education, one of the main focuses of our charitable giving, and we are delighted to have established this Award at Okanagan College,” said Sandra Stuart, Chief Operating Officer, HSBC Bank Canada. “We are proud that this donation will help students pursue post-secondary education, giving them a bright future and opportunities for success.”

The Okanagan College School of Business offers a two-year diploma program and a four-year bachelor’s degree. Both offer specialty options in accounting, financial services, general studies, hospitality management, human resources management, management and marketing.

March 17, 2011


thorpe2Following the recent $37,000 donation from Okanagan College students to the Centre of Excellence on the Penticton campus of Okanagan College, the Rick and Yasmin Thorpe & Friends Scholarship Fund is enhancing its commitment to supporting students of the South Okanagan and Similkameen.
The Thorpes are announcing today their scholarship fund will award a further $50,000 in scholarships to first-year trades and technology students at the new Centre of Excellence in Penticton.
“I am a long-time supporter of Okanagan College, having attended the College myself, and this partnership seems right,” said Yasmin John-Thorpe. “It is fantastic to see Okanagan College students contributing to the Centre of Excellence and we are pleased to provide further support for our local students.”
“I have always believed in supporting those who want to help themselves and I applaud the students of Okanagan College for showing their support of higher education, especially to our students of the future,” said Rick Thorpe. “Yasmin and I are very proud to partner with Okanagan College and assist students from the South Okanagan and Similkameen with scholarships.”
With this announcement there will be four new annual $1,500 awards to students of the South Okanagan-Similkameen region who will be entering the first year of a trades or technology program at the new Centre of Excellence.
“This donation underscores the importance of community participation in the campaign and the project," said Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton. "The Centre of Excellence will have significant impact on opportunities for our communities and our young people for decades to come. Rick and Yasmin, who continue to show incredible support for the community, clearly understand that."
"Well done, Rick and Yasmin Thorpe; your gift helps all of our communities by providing the opportunity to train students throughout the region at the new Penticton Centre of Excellence,” said Janice Perrino, Mayor of Summerland. “You continue to inspire giving in every community; we are grateful for all of your dedication and support."
"Yasmin and Rick clearly understand how important it is to create opportunities for higher education close to home and I have to commend them on their commitment to this notion, which goes far beyond the financial commitment that is being made," said Princeton Mayor Randy McLean. "We need to work together to build those programs and places for the young people of our region to prepare themselves for a changing economy. Clearly, the Thorpes are hoping to communicate that message, and to build on the message that the College's own students themselves have sent."
The new awards are in addition to the existing six scholarships valued at $12,500 awarded annually by the Rick and Yasmin Thorpe & Friends Scholarship fund to Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan.

March 2011


The Okanagan College Students’ Union is demonstrating its support for the environment, for leadership in education and for enhanced learning spaces and opportunities, with a $36,997.10 donation to the fundraising campaign for the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation.

“Looking back to when this building was first announced, I remember thinking of the incredible impact it would have for students on this campus as well as residents in the South Okanagan-Similkameen,” observed Cory Nelmes, Financial Co-ordinator for the OCSU. “From the very first days of the design process Okanagan College has committed to making this building truly a Centre of Excellence. As students and as an organization, we’re pleased to have been involved in the process that led to its development and are eagerly awaiting the doors opening on its shops, classrooms, and student spaces.”

“It will make a difference in where we learn, how we learn and what we learn.”

“We don’t have a great deal of money, but careful stewardship of funds over the years by ourselves and our predecessors left us with an opportunity to make a contribution to the fundraising campaign. We have already seen many groups and individuals step forward to contribute to this building and we are appreciative. We hope that our donation will inspire others to contribute to the $5 million campaign as well. As students we see the tremendous investment in our future that this building represents.”

The Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation will be one of the most environmentally responsible public buildings in North America when it is complete later this spring. Okanagan College, CEI Architecture and PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. and many other companies and organizations have been co-operating to build the $28-million project to allow it to meet the Living Building Challenge. That challenge incorporates some of the most demanding environmental building standards that focus not just on construction, but also on building operation.

“We involved our students from the start of the design process,” notes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “They’ve been supportive and understand what the building means in terms of improvements to the campus and in terms of educational opportunities in the region.”

When it opens, the building will create space for approximately 500 more students at the South Okanagan-Similkameen campus in Penticton.

“Having the students choose to support our fundraising efforts is a vital signal to the rest of the region,” says Jim Henderson, President of the Okanagan College Foundation and Chair of the Campaign Committee.

“At a point when we are broadening our appeal to the larger community, it is a great show of support from the people that this project will affect the most: our students. We appreciate their commitment.”