Okanagan College’s 50th anniversary celebration

50thIf it’s one thing we know how to do, it's throw a party! So don’t miss out on the event of the year–Okanagan College’s 50th Anniversary Party–on Sept. 27, 2013 at the Kelowna campus from 3 to 7 p.m.

All employees, students and friends of Okanagan College are invited to come to this fun-filled shindig and catch up with alumni, former staff and local dignitaries, as well as win prizes and dig into the savoury specialties created by the Culinary Arts students and instructors.

To RSVP, contact Michelle Lowry.

For more information on the event, visit

Wine tourism generates $140 million in economic impact in B.C.

2013 Okanagan Wine InfographicWine in the Okanagan is big business, but you may not realize how big. A new study conducted by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, British Columbia Wine Institute, and the Okanagan College School of Business, released this week revealed that wine festivals, winery tours, and wine tasting shops and restaurants in the region generate more than $140 million in economic impact and 1,400 full time jobs.

“This study really validates the importance of wine tourism to our local economy and how the Wine Festivals and our member wineries have been successful in engaging consumers in unique and authentically British Columbian wine experiences year round,” said Blair Baldwin, Okanagan College School of Business professor, General Manager of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and co-author of the study.

Another recent study by School of Business professor Lee Cartier confirms these findings. Cartier studied the value chain analysis of British Columbia’s wine industry and found that a litre of wine generates $300 million in economic spinoff.

“Fifteen years ago this was not a story. It was a vision of pioneers in the valley and people who have worked very hard and it’s incredible to see how much the industry as grown,” says Baldwin.

Okanagan College receives part of $1.8 million in funding for health education

The provincial government has given $1.8 million in one-time funding to create additional student spaces for short-term health training programs Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk announced today.

The funding is targeted at programs running for one year or less, and will support 12 programs, including mental health and addictions and health care assistant, to be offered at eight public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. Okanagan College received funding to run the Health Care Assistant program, which started in Revelstoke on Sept. 23. Each student was eligible to receive a bursary of $1,000.

Pow Wow: A huge success

Pow Wow DancersOkanagan College’s fifth Annual Youth Exhibition Pow Wow received major news coverage and record attendance. The annual event took place in the courtyard of the College’s Kelowna campus on Sept. 19. Hosted by MC Elder Richard Jackson, the event featured the drumming artistry of Iron Mountain and Little Hawk and dance performances by students from across the Okanagan Valley.
While the costumes and traditional regalia dazzled, the message was embracing culture and student success. A Global TV report showcased the increasing numbers of aboriginal students at the College and the soaring rates of those students continuing on to post secondary education. To watch a clip, click here,  to see more news, check out the media section of Inside Okanagan.

Infusions chef launches new menu

Chef Jim Armstrong has launched the new menu for the 2013/14 season, which features current culinary trends and a focus on fresh, local ingredients. Infusions Restaurant offers a rare opportunity to experience four-star dining at a fraction of the cost. New menu options include warm duck confit risotto cake with spinach and mustard seed vinaigrette, miso-glazed lingcod with tomato and leek compote and scallop ravioli, sun-dried olive roasted rack of lamb with an onion zucchini relish and potato gnocchi.
Students from the Culinary Arts program learn on-the-job skills working in Infusions and proceeds from the restaurant, which is open to the public, help fund the program. Allergies and special dietary requirements can be accommodated. The restaurant is licensed and offers a selection of Okanagan wines.

Diners can choose from two courses for $24.95, three courses for $28.95, or four courses for $32.95.

Open Tuesday to Friday
Lunch buffet 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dinner a la carte, opens at 5 p.m.

Contact Susan Kane for reservations and more details at (250) 762-5445, ext. 4426.

Okanagan College students receive TELUS scholarships

Jordy Koenig 2013 recipients 

From left: Jordy Koenig, Scott Ambler, Adam Welsh, Bryer Edwards, and TELUS Service Assurance Manager Ken Smith

Three Okanagan College students with top first-year marks in the Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology program have received a total of $5,000 through the Jordy Koenig TELUS Scholarships awards.

Scott Ambler received the gold award of $2,500, while his classmates Bryer Edwards and Adam Walsh took silver ($1,500) and bronze ($1,000) respectively.

Jordy Koenig, who is a network technician in optical transport at TELUS, presented the awards to the three students before their first- and second-year peers at the Kelowna campus.

“This is a very tough course,” Koenig told the group, and encouraged the students to stay the course noting that many technicians will be retiring in the next two to five years.

“As a company we’ve benefited immensely from students who have gone through this program,” he said.

Ambler thanked TELUS for providing the scholarship, which in his case essentially covered his tuition for first year.

“Seeing the recipients of this award last year gave me the drive to strive for the best marks I could,” he said.

This marks the seventh year that the Jordy Koenig TELUS Scholarships have been handed out to Okanagan College students.


Sean Johnston publishes new novel

Sean Johnson Book LaunchGaspereau Press is releasing Okanagan College Professor Sean Johnston’s new novel, Listen All You Bullets. This is the fourth novel for Johnston, who teaches English in Kelowna.

Listen All You Bullets tells the story of a young boy named Billy who is trapped on a hardscrabble North Dakota ranch with his lonely mother and his wheelchair-bound father. But Billy isn’t just any boy stuck on any ranch: Billy and his family are the creations of Jack Schaefer’s popular 1949 Western novel, Shane.

To support the release, Sean will be embarking on a cross Canada tour of readings with stops in Calgary, Saskatoon, Hamilton and Toronto.

Terry Fox Run OC Team 2013

Team OC Supports Terry Fox Run

Team Okanagan College saw 55 people come out to support the Terry Fox Run on Sept. 15 at the Mission Sports Field in Kelowna. Participants could either complete the 1.5km walk, 5 km run or the 9 km bike ride. The community event raised over $98,000.

Scholarship win makes best Friday the 13th ever

Kimberly McGuiness AwardKimberly McGuinness was having one of those days when nothing was going right.

Until, that is, she heard a ding on her cell phone.

“There was an email saying I had won this scholarship,” said McGuinness, who completed her Education Assistant Certificate in June. “I had completely forgotten I’d even applied.”

The scholarship that made her day came from the Geoffrey and Anita Tozer Memorial Fund, which provides $1,500 annually to a student who has enrolled in the Education Assistant program at Okanagan College.

Allen Tozer presented the award personally to McGuinness (pictured) recently at the Kelowna campus.

He said the award was created in part to honour the memory of his mother, who was a tremendous teacher. In addition, he experienced the value of the program as he watched his own daughter receive support and thrive as a child, thanks to the work of Education Assistants.

The two finished the presentation with a hug.

“I won’t ever forget that Friday the 13th,” McGuinness said. “It changed everything.”

Sept., 24, 2013 Vol. 8 Issue 13


Get fit this fall

The Athletics and Recreation department in Kelowna has a bunch of events to keep you moving and motivated this fall.

Rec Fest:
Thurs. Sept. 26 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. KLO Courtyard.
Showcasing our community recreation partners with demos, free snacks and giveaways. A climbing wall and horizontal bungee will be available for students to enjoy.
10,000 Steps:
Sept. 30 – Oct. 25.
A Fall Fitness Challenge that is designed to get you moving by tracking the number of steps you currently take in a day. Sign up at the Athletics and Recreation office A105 and you will receive your free pedometer. Prizes for the most steps and/or most improved.
Scenic Canyon Hiking:
Saturday, Oct. 5 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Free event.
Please bring water and a bagged lunch. Meet in the Pit at 10:30 a.m. Sign up by Oct. 2 at the Athletics and Recreation office A105.

Tickets for our Okanagan College Coyotes games are available at the Athletics and Recreation office A105. See website for weekend game schedule:

Practical Nursing hosts Wellness Fair

Start the new school year off in a healthier way. On October 15 from 12-2 p.m., Practical Nursing students in Kelowna are hosting The Wellness Fair in the PIT in the Student Services building. Topics covered include smoking cessation, hand washing and health promotion awareness, sexual health, nutrition, blood pressure analysis, and fitness.


On Sept 20, The Daily Courier ran a picture of grass dancer Maynard McRae who was attending the Fifth Annual Youth Exhibition Pow Wow, which took place at the College on Sept. 19. See Colourful dance.

As students flooded the campus in Vernon for orientation day, the Vernon Morning Star was there to capture it in a photo essay the newspaper published on Sept. 8. See Back 2 Class.

Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission, wrote about Okanagan College’s mission of training students for in demand careers and the significance of the upcoming anniversary in the Capital News on Sept. 19. See Celebrating 50 years of excellence.

On Sept. 24, the Okanagan Sunday reported that Okanagan College received more than $17,500 to create the SICA Patrick Waunch Award for students in the mechanical trades. Waunch is president and CEO of Rambow Mechanical Ltd and has played an instrumental role in SICA for two decades. The annual award will be $3,500. See Trades training award created.

Newspapers reported extensively about the Viticulture and Wine Studies Program information session being held Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence at Okanagan College. The story was picked up by The Okanagan Sunday on Sept. 22. See College can prepare you for career in wine industry. And in the Penticton Herald on Sept. 23, see Learn about careers in the Wine industry.

Renowned skin care brand Dermalogica is partnering with Okanagan College to offer innovative training and professional development opportunities for students in the Esthetics and Nail Technology program reports the Business Examiner. See Esthetics program scores partner.

On Sept. 12, The Daily Courier wrote about Okanagan College Business Administration student Julia Ufimzeff and the scholarship she has been awarded to study abroad. The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship went to 20 B.C. students. See Local wins scholarship to study abroad.

Environmental designer and ecologist David Tracey will open the sixth annual Science in Society speaker series on Oct. 21 with a discussion on the new trends in sustainable living and how people are diversifying food sources, redesigning cities and rediscovering what it means to be a global citizen, reports the Vernon Morning Star on Sept. 20. See People coming up with their own solutions for feeding the planet.

On Sept. 11, the Penticton Herald published a photo of a group of soon to be published young writers from the B.C. Youth Writers Camp at Okanagan College. See Young writers.

Joanne McLeod and Hal Johnson, recent participants in the Amazing Race Canada and famous for the BodyBreak television segments will be at Okanagan College on Oct. 18 as part of the 11th Annual Okanagan Sport Leadership Conference. See BodyBreak couple here for conference.

The B.C. New Democrat Opposition critic for advanced education David Eby wrote in the Daily Courier on Sept. 13 about his month-long tour of B.C.s publicly funded post-secondary institutions and his stop at Okanagan College. See Post-secondary education in crisis.

MP Ron Cannan discussed the tax relief for students the government provides in his column in Kelowna Capital News on Sept. 12. See Feds provide back to school tax relief for students, families.

On Sept. 23, The Daily Courier printed a brief from 50 years ago about the plan the government was considering on one education institution rather than a number of smaller regional schools. See A look back at life in the Okanagan.


Science in Society Speaker Series

Speaker David Tracey, a Vancouver based writer and environmental designer, opens the sixth annual Science in Society Speaker Series with his talk “Feeding a Hungry Planet with Engaged Ecology.” The event takes place Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Vernon Campus Lecture Theatre. Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. Click here for details or call 250-545-3644.

Municipal Pension Plan AGM

All plan members are invited to attend the annual general meeting, which takes place at the Victoria Conference Centre in Victoria, on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. You will need your PID number, which is located on your member benefit statement.
Click here for more information.

Mosquito Control Tire Recycling Program

If you have old tires sitting around your property, they may be collecting water, which is a potential breeding habitat for mosquitos and could increase the spread of West Nile Virus. Get rid of those old tires easily at the Regional District of Central Okanagan tire collection drop off event (no agricultural tires) on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Okanagan College, Kelowna Campus, parking lot 17. For other locations and details, visit Regional District of Central Okanagan’s website.


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 Oct. 8, 2013.