College celebrates $2.5 million gift

pattisonOkanagan College made history in B.C. when it celebrated the largest private gift ever granted to a college at the official opening of The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation in Penticton.

“I appreciate the leadership demonstrated by Okanagan College and the overwhelming community support this project has received,” said Jim Pattison, in making his $2.5 million pledge of matching funds to the College.

Premier Christy Clark joined College President Jim Hamilton and many others in thanking Pattison for his $2.5 million pledge of matching grant to the College at a dignitary filled event held in the new $28-million building in Penticton.
The College expects this generous donation will inspire others to contribute to and support both the building itself, and the innovative programs taught within its walls. Thus, the leveraging impact of the gift will be a boost of $5-million to the College’s fundraising.

In making the announcement, Pattison declared he is a firm believer in education and appreciates the need for a trained and skilled workforce. Follow this link to read a Public Affairs press release.

Suggest a theme for ACCC 2013

Okanagan College will be hosting the 2013 national conference for the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. It means hundreds of delegates from across the country coming to the Okanagan and while the event may seem like a long way off, there is some immediate preparatory work to be undertaken.

An important piece is development of a theme for the conference. For those who have attended an ACCC conference, you’ll know that each one comes with a theme that helps connect the events and provides a focus for the gathering.

We’re looking for ideas from the Okanagan College community for the 2013 theme. To help refine your thinking and stir the creative process, here’s a list of the last decade of ACCC conferences:

    - 2011 Big Sky Thinking (Edmonton)
    - 2010 Power the Promise (Niagara)
    - 2009 Charting the Course (Charlottetown)
    - 2008 Forests of Change (Prince George)
    - 2007 Vive la difference (Montreal)
    - 2006 The Learning Stampede (Calgary)
    - 2005 Beyond Knowledge (Moncton)

To make things easier for you, we’ve created an online submission, which will be updated regularly as name suggestions come in. Include your name with your submission and you may be eligible for a prize.

Click here to make a suggestion.

Recycled timber gets new life at College

cotterRecycled timber originating from 250-year-old B.C. forests will soon add an authentic note of heritage to Okanagan College thanks to a hefty in-kind donation to the College’s carpentry program through the Okanagan College Foundation.

Kim and Doug Cotter, owners of Cotter’s Bin and Demolition Services Ltd. in Penticton, salvaged the Douglas fir timbers from the historic Naramata packinghouse and offered to donate $22,266 worth to the College.

“It makes you feel good to have something done of value from this salvaged wood,” said Doug Cotter, who spent time working in B.C.’s logging industry.

The towering posts and beams are now at the College’s Kelowna campus where the wood will be used in the carpentry program.

Construction Trades chair Alf Leimert, who approached the Cotters about donating, said the wood gives his students a rare appreciation for the products that came out of the province’s forest industry more than 70 years ago.

Plans are for students to create an archway that will be installed at the Penticton campus.

Entrepreneur-in-residence creates new Scholar Fund

kotlerOne of the most well known entrepreneurs in the B.C. Interior is quickly fashioning a deep and lasting relationship with Okanagan College.

Mel Kotler, the founder of Fabricland, along with his wife Dina have decided to invest in a new pattern for business program development – a Scholar Fund focused on retail management at the College’s Okanagan School of Business.

“I wanted to do something for the College and this seemed to be a good match,” said Kotler, who became an Honorary Fellow with the College earlier this year, and the School of Business’s Entrepreneur in Residence. “This new Scholar Fund will enhance the College’s business program, and allow the College to move into new territory.”

Associate Dean Barry McGillivray said the Mel and Dina Kotler Scholar in Retail Management Fund will give the School of Business the ability to expand on its existing retail programs. Follow this link to read the complete press release.

Marketing Maven

edtAn innovative program designed to put real meaning into all that twitter about tweeting landed an Okanagan College Continuing Studies program with an award worth squawking about.

The international Learning Resources Network honoured the College for excellence in marketing for the Eat.Drink.Tweet. conference – a social media event created by Allison Markin in concert with the College.

Eat.Drink.Tweet. became an overnight success story when it launched earlier this year in Penticton, making more than two million impressions on Twitter alone, and a trending topic in Canada, second only to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The three-day event combined education with an IRL (in real life) experience involving wine and food, bringing in local chefs and Okanagan wines.

Read the Public Affairs press release here.


A feast fit for Dickens

Staff from the AACP (Adult Academic and Career Preparation) and ASE (Adult Special Education) dusted off their aprons to prepare a turkey lunch for 130 students at the Pit in Kelowna on Dec. 15.

The annual event included entertainment, plus a well-rehearsed reader’s theatre rendition of A Christmas Carol.

Thanks to all those who attended and took part including James in Ed Tech, the Facilities Management crew, Sports and Rec for the fabulous pseudo fireplaces, ASE for set up, and all of those amazing chefs.

Kelowna historian launches book

simpsonOkanagan historian Sharron Simpson has become the latest author to add one of her titles to the Okanagan College library’s collection room.

Simpson was at the campus to read from her new book The Kelowna Story. The book now joins many other of historical note in the College.

Local resident Diane Kelly (seen in photo) was among those who attended the reading, which featured many colourful tales including the story of the wily Walter Boyd James, and his frantic attempts to escape being hanged in 1912 for murdering Const. G.H. Ashton.

Dave Harris Fond Farewell

The food was good, the fashion even better. Well-wishers bid farewell to Dave Harris at Infusions on Dec. 13.

Readers’ Theatre performance

Fundamental English students at the Penticton campus took a page out of a Christmas story for their tutor appreciation presentation on Dec. 19.

Students showcased The Christmas Truce by Aaron Shepard, and read some of their own writing to the group of volunteer tutors who have worked with students one-on-one on various skills, including basic reading, writing, as well as computer and math skills.

Gift basket winner

Okanagan College staff donated $500 to the Salvation Army thanks to the IT Services gift basket raffle. President Jim Hamilton drew Laura Spearman’s winning ticket.
December 20, 2011 Vol. 5 Issue 19


Seasonal closure

A reminder that the College will be closed to the public during the holiday season from Friday, Dec. 23 and will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 3. The College will be open to conduct business operations during this period.

Negotiations update

Negotiations with the Faculty Association and with the BCGEU Vocational Instructors at the Faculty Common Table with the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association (and participating employers) have resulted in a signed Memorandum of Settlement. The settlement, reached Dec. 15, will renew and amend the 2007-2010 Common Agreement.
Negotiations with the Faculty Association to renew and amend the local 2005-2010 Faculty Collective Agreement concluded on Dec. 16.
These settlements, along with the local Memorandum of Agreement reached earlier in June with the BCGEU Vocational Instructors, are now subject to ratification by the parties, including the PSEA Board of Directors.
Local negotiations with the BCGEU Support Staff are on hold pending the resumption of Support Staff Common Table negotiations with PSEA. Dates for the resumption of provincial bargaining have been set for February 2012.

Campus Store to carry Apple computers

The Kelowna Campus Store will soon carry two models of Apple computers at educational pricing: the iMac and the MacBook Pro. The computers are expected to arrive just in time for the start of the new semester.

Along with this news, the Campus Store website will soon provide a link on its home page that will allow Apple products to be customized and purchased at educational pricing.

CPP changes afoot for 2012

If you are 65 or older and in receipt of your Canada Pension Plan Benefits be aware that changes are taking place to the Canada Pension Plan effective Jan. 1, 2012. If you wish to stop contributing to the CPP, please visit this website and submit the CPT30 form to Payroll by the end of December. For more information about this, please contact Vicki Pannell at ext 4312.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Heather Schneider from the Regional Dean's office at the Kelowna campus, who won the Dec. 16 payday draw for $602.50.

The staff lottery contributes to annual student awards that now exceed $1-million. If you’re interested in being among the 200 staff who participate, please contact Tessa Derksen (Local 4774) in the Advancement & Alumni office (located in P103, KLO Campus) or download a registration form online

Family Award application deadline Jan. 20

Applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Okanagan College Family Award, designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) Okanagan College employees.

Full award criteria and the application form can be found in myOkanagan – follow the link to OC Express - Forms and then click through to Foundation.

All applications must be date-stamped at the Welcome Centre in Kelowna or the Campus Administration office at your campus by January 20, 2012. This round of applications is for programs or terms starting between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2012.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office at 250-862-5419.


During one of the most significant events to ever take place at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College, Premier Christy Clark was joined by MP Dan Albas, Mr. Jim Pattison and several hundred guests to officially open the new Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation. The event received widespread media coverage from tv to radio to print and garnered attention on YouTube

Read coverage from the Penticton Herald in: Jim-dandy!, the Daily Courier in: Billionaire donates $2.5M to Centre of Excellence, the Capital News: Pattison donates $2.5 million to college, the Penticton Western: College cashes in, and an editorial from the editor of the Herald, James M. Miller: $2.5-million donation.

The Penticton Herald published a 12-page editorial supplement featuring the Centre of Excellence on the morning of Dec. 12. Follow this link to view the supplement on ISSUU. A digital version of the Foundation's commemorative Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence book is also available online.

CHBC news covered the event in a shorter segment it called Jimmy’s Excellence Adventure. Reporter Eric Szeto took a closer look at the building and its opening during the Dec. 12 evening news. SHAW TV didn’t miss the opportunity to film the opening – watch a clip here.

The Centre of Excellence also made headlines last week when the College announced it will host the annual conference for the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) in 2013 in Penticton. Read more about the event, which is expected to have significant economic impact on the region: College centre draws conference.

Penticton MLA and Speaker of the House, Bill Barisoff focused his political column on the success of Okanagan College, particularly in the South Okanagan. Read more from Barisoff’s Victoria Report in: Educational success story: OK College.

A Public Affairs press release announcing Okanagan College’s silver STARS rating was picked up by the Kelowna Capital News. The ranking was determined by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) earlier this year. Read more in: Okanagan College scores a silver for sustainability.

The Vernon Morning Star profiled a group of Okanagan College business students who earned a second place finish at the Tourism Industry’s 2011 Student Case Competition in Vancouver. Read more about the team’s challenge and their solutions to integrating marketing opportunities for B.C. Parks in: Parks presentation nets college students second place.

Okanagan College Foundation donors Clare McManus and Michael Griffin were profiled in the Penticton Herald in recognition of their philanthropic commitment to establish the McManus-Griffin Education Award at Okanagan College through a bequest in their wills. Read more in: Building your legacy with Okanagan College.

Okanagan College’s Trades department is hosting a series of information sessions about upcoming Residential Construction and Carpentry programs up and down the valley. The sessions were profiled in a Public Affairs press release that received media attention from the Morning Star: College hosts trades session, the Salmon Arm Observer: Info on trades training, and the Kelowna Capital News: Trades skill demand on the rise.

Culinary Arts instructor Mike Barillaro was photographed using a chainsaw to create an ice sculpture in the Kelowna Capital News. Barillaro participated in Bo.ttega’s Christmas Market, which featured artisans, crafters and musicians from around the Okanagan. Check it out in: Bo.ttega presents itself for Christmas open house.

The sixth annual Western Canadian RoboCup Junior competition was hosted by Okanagan College’s Electronic Engineering department earlier this month. The event, which gives local students the opportunity to explore programming, electronic engineering and robotics, resulted in a great learning opportunity for dozens of students. Read more about the competitors and the winning teams in: Robots Hound Dog and Pele reward students.

The Okanagan College Coyotes hockey team was featured in the sports section of the Kelowna Daily Courier after winning its ninth straight game and first ever win over Trinity Western. Read more in: Streaking Coyotes inch closer to top.

Okanagan College GIS alumnus Allan Jacobs was featured in the Vernon Morning Star as an example of a local graduate who has gone on to a big career in the field. Jacobs now works in Guyana for Stratagold, a Vancouver-based exploration and development company. The GIS program will be offered in Vernon for the first time beginning in January (it is typically offered in Salmon Arm.) Read more in: GIS graduates have a choice.

The Vernon Morning Star published an editorial in support of NDP Leader Adrian Dix’s call for tuition grants based on need. Dix visited the Vernon campus to make the pitch to media and local students. A few days after publishing the editorial, the Hon. Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of Advanced Education, provided a rebuttal to the editorial in her own letter to the editor of the Morning Star. Read the original editorial: Tuition costs must be a priority and the Minister’s response: Minister responds to editorial.

Continuing Studies instructors Laurie Carter and Bruce Kemp were featured in an article appearing in the Vernon Morning Star. Carter and Kemp have published a book, Gifts of the Okanagan, and hosted a book signing in Vernon on Dec. 9. Read more about the book and its author and photographer in: Authors capture gifts of the Okanagan.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Christine Ulmer.

To ensure your submission is included, please send all details at least one day in advance of the newsletter’s publication.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.