Government and SASCU fund trades training in Salmon Arm

sarm2Two announcements of funding to benefit Okanagan College trades students in Salmon Arm were well received by students and staff in the region on Friday, April 18. The Hon. George Abbott, Minister of Health and MLA for the Shuswap, announced on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell, $684,712 to purchase the trades training building in Salmon Arm’s industrial park. Minutes later Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union announced a donation of $50,000 to support local trades training. Read the Public Affairs press release or visit the media section for more coverage.

Government announces funding to support childcare in Kelowna

daycareThe Hon. Linda Reid, Minister of State for Childcare, visited the Kelowna Campus on Wednesday, April 23 to announce $474,942 of funding for the development of a childcare facility on campus. The building will provide space for 63 children and will be operated and managed by the YM/YWCA of the Central Okanagan. The 3,000 square-foot building will begin construction in the fall of 2008 and will be built by Okanagan College students in the Residential Construction program. The daycare is expected to open in the fall of 2009. For more details read a press release from the Ministry or watch TV coverage from CHBC-TV.

BC Skills Canada winners

 Calain Libby
Six Okanagan College students took home medals at the 14th annual BC Skills Canada competition. In the Automotive Collision Repair competition the College’s Tyler Selzer and Brian Wellington won gold and silver, respectively. In Automotive Service Rob West won a silver and Jesse Leroux won bronze. Penticton’s Calain Libby won a gold in Industrial Wiring and Tyler Rasmussen won a bronze medal in IT PC Network Support. In the Secondary category Mount Boucherie Secondary’s Leah Learmonth won a silver medal in Culinary Arts. Mount Boucherie’s Culinary Arts program is operated in partnership with Okanagan College and utilizes the College’s curriculum and instructor to deliver the program.

Time Capsule takes the plunge

capsuleThe W. R. Bennett Bridge Time Capsule (built by Okanagan College students) left the KLO campus on Tuesday and made the trip to the top of the new bridge where it was lowered by a crane to be positioned in its new home later this week. The bridge crew will use a forklift to place the capsule on one of the floating pontoons, where it will be fastened and remain until it is re-opened in 2035. The aluminum box was designed and constructed by students in Okanagan College’s metal fabrication pre-apprenticeship program, then filled with more than 40 memory boxes put together by students from the Okanagan.

Inside Okanagan College turns one!

Today’s edition of Inside Okanagan College marks one year since the publication began. Public Affairs is interested in hearing from staff as to what is working well and what can be improved. Please email Christine Ulmer with comments, suggestions or feedback – and keep the submissions coming!


The announcement of a new daycare facility at Okanagan College made its way into the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read about how the centre will affect the College in 194 new day-care spaces for city.

Coverage of the announcement for Salmon Arm's trades training facility appeared on the 1150 AM website. Read more in Salmon Arm Trades Money.

A 15-page article about Okanagan schools appeared in the April edition of Okanagan Life magazine. Among those quoted was the College's Francie Greenslade. To read a pdf version of the article please email Michelle Lowry.

An article profiling the success of Okanagan College students at the BC Skills Canada competition appeared in the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in Auto mechanic students finish 1-2 in skills challenge (headline is somewhat misleading as the students were from the Collision Repair category/program). The Penticton Herald also ran a piece Students take home Skills Canada medals.

An article by Honourary Fellow Lorraine McGrath highlighted the contributions of local women. Laura Thurnheer, Dr. Kyleen Myrah, Dr. Jayne Brooks and Dr. Heather Banham were among the women singled out. Read more in Amazing Women.

A couple of news articles stemming from the launch of the Okanagan College Works campaign appeared in the Kelowna Daily Courier: OK College graduates contribute and Okanagan College wants to hear your success stories.

Regional Dean Donna Lomas penned a letter to the editor of the Penticton Herald outlining the expansion of trades training in the South Okanagan. Read more in College seeks to expand trades training.

The Daily Courier’s Steve MacNaull profiled the success of six Jamaican workers at Sun Valley Window Cleaners. Read more about their experience and the Okanagan partnership that brought them here in The Jamaicans are here and working.

Trades and Apprenticeship is hosting the Women Building Futures Safely workshop this Saturday in Kelowna. An article featuring the workshop and the increasing interest and viability of a career in trades for women appeared in Madeleine magazine. Read more in Celebrating Women in Trades.

Marc Arellano, professor of Communications, appeared in the Kelowna Capital News discussing the documentary film he is currently working on - Strange Fruit: The Changing Landscape in the Central Okanagan. Read the full article (OC instructor looks at changing fruit growing landscape) to find out more about the issue of food security and plan for Arellano’s film. Marc was also interviewed on CBC - listen to the taped interview.

The Adopt-a-Trail creek cleanup event in Penticton made the news again last week in the Penticton Western News: Campaign makes a difference and the Penticton Herald: Creek clean-up a big success.

Four Okanagan College students who won a film contest through Burton Snowboards made the news again, this time in the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more in New film company gets big start.

Recent cuts to the funding allocated to Okanagan College prompted a look into how Okanagan College will deal with the reduced funding. Read more about the issue  in an interview with Allan Coyle, director of Public Affairs, in College scrambles to cope with cuts.

Okanagan College Alumna Kelly Scott was all over the pages of Kelowna media after her team earned the chance to vie for a world championship and was also awarded the Bryan Couling Memorial Team of the Year award. Read more in: Scott caps season at Players’, Bryan Couling Memorial Team of the Year, Scott not resting on her laurels and Kelowna’s Kelly gets second shot at world champ.

Stan Chung, Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational, wrote his Daily Courier column about his tenuous and complicated relationship with his grandmother in What’s left unsaid.

Jane Muskens’ School’s In columns uncovered the complexities of accounting designations and the cost of attending university. Read more in Okanagan College can stat you on path to CGA and High cost of university misleading.  


Congratulations to Dr. Tim Jacobs of Communications who is celebrating the arrival of his first child.
Abigail Sophia Jacobs weighed in at eight pounds, five ounces after five hours' drug-free labour.

Christy Cave and Jamie Basran take on the president

bocceYes, it's that time of year - time for Okanagan College's Bocce tournament.  The last week of regular competition will wrap up next week with playoffs to follow. While it is still early to make predictions, some teams are definitely faring better than others.  Oh, and just in case anyone is interested in the outcome of the game...Jamie and Christy were victorious.

Where the grass is always browner...

johnpriceDr. John Price, long time Vernon resident, veterinarian, and historian (spouse of  Dr. Sherry Price, Okanagan College Professor) has written a definitive book on the history of the high country grasslands' historic Okanagan Commonage. His book, Where the grass is always browner on the other side of the fence, delves back into the days before the European settlers and comes forward into modern times. Fully illustrated with rare photographs and maps, the interesting content fills some 240 pages. The book  will be officially launched at the Lone Pine Ranch, also on the Commonage (315 Commonage Road) just south of Predator Ridge Resort, on May 18 between 1 and 4 p.m. Author Price will be available for book signing and friendly repartee concerning this fascinating place, his home, and the hardy souls who survived its often forbidding elements ... bitter cold, drought, grasshopper plagues and fluctuating fortune.


IR Factlets

The last edition of IR Factlets, noted some results of the BC SORS survey. Ontario also surveys their students and the 2007 Key Performance Indicators survey found generally high levels of satisfaction among Ontario college graduates, their employers and college students.

Among the findings:

* 93.1 per cent of employers were satisfied with how Ontario colleges
had prepared their graduates for the workforce

* 90.5 per cent of Ontario college graduates were employed within six
months of graduation

* 82.8 per cent of graduates were satisfied with the usefulness of their
college education in achieving their goals after graduation

* 77.9 per cent of students were satisfied with the overall quality of
services, programming and resources available at Ontario colleges

The Ontario KPI and BC SORS survey results are now featured on the
MacLean's web site


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

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on May 9, 2008.

April 25, 2008, Vol. 2 Issue 1


Okanagan College Family Award recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of the Okanagan College Family Award for the Winter 2008 term. If you would like to learn more about the Okanagan College Family Award,  please contact the Financial Aid & Awards Office.

Daniel Banham        Karlyn Bauer
Ingrid Bloomfield      Steve Ensing
Jessica Goerzen      Wyler Hamilton
Delia Homer             Cassandra Howlett
Kristin Howlett          Amber Kane
Daren Ling              Jean-Pierre Letnick
Jordan Miller            Melissa Neilsen
Geoffrey Northcott   Catherine Schmidt
Sarah Stewart          Christopher Simpson
Troy Stubbert           Liisa Tuhkala
Nicole Tuhkala         Brendan Turner
William Turner         Tara Werger
Jessica Zucchi

Bike to work week…

bikeraxWith 11 days to go until the start of Bike to Work Week (May 5 -9) Okanagan College has had 46 people sign up. Bike racks have been installed at the Kelowna campus to encourage the use of bikes for students and staff. There are now 140 lockable bike stalls for staff and students to use during Bike to Work Week. Anyone can still sign up for Bike to Work Week by contacting Paul Stephenson (4647).

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Susan Kane from Food Services/Cafeteria in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $465. The Okanagan College Foundation 50/50 Staff Lottery is open to all employees of Okanagan College. If you wish to sign up for the lottery, registration forms are available from: Advancement & Alumni/Okanagan College Foundation office (P103, KLO Campus), Human Resources (Landmark V, Kelowna) or online.

Bicycles for Humanity

bikeThe non-profit Bicycles for Humanity organization is holding a bike collection event in Kelowna on May 10 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. to gather donated bikes to be shipped to AIDS workers in Namibia, Africa. The event will take place at St. Charles’ Church on Benvoulin Road (next to Father Pandosy in the Mission). Volunteers are asking for adult-sized mountain bikes in good working condition. The bikes will be shipped to Namibia in a large container at a cost of $30 each – cash donations will also be accepted to help cover the cost of shipping. Visit the web for more information or contact Keith Germaine if you would like to donate:

2008 summer hours at Okanagan College

As in the past, departments at Okanagan College have the option to change normal operational hours to summer hours. This year, summer hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at Okanagan College will be in effect from Monday, May 5 to Friday, Aug 29, for participating departments.

Copier upgrades

Supply Management has installed new multi-functional, environmentally friendly, high-tech copiers across Okanagan College. Over the next few weeks Supply Management will be working to complete equipment training for staff and will ensure all equipment is networked appropriately.  With Okanagan College stepping up its efforts to build a green and environmentally friendly workplace, staff are reminded that paper is a major consumption of resources.  Help to protect the environment by reducing your copying and printing.  For more information about the copier,   follow this link or contact Deb Peterson or Brad Piontek. For information about service and supplies (toner, staples, transparencies) please visit the Supply Management webpage.

Mike Minions Invites you to…

Join CTAG – the Classroom Technology Advisory Group. Provide your input on what kinds of technology we should be putting in Okanagan College classrooms to enhance the learning experience.
Join DTAG – the Distance Technology Advisory Group. Provide your input on what kinds of distance learning technologies we should be exploring, providing and supporting.
Join OCMUG – the Okanagan College Macintosh Users Group. While Macs are not officially supported in the Okanagan College environment, there are lots of people using them to do lots of interesting things.
Feel free to contribute to the wiki pages for these three groups at or contact Mike Minions, Educational Technology Coordinator, to sign up.

Municipal Retirement Seminar Information

The upcoming seminars are as follows:
April 29, 2008 - Days Inn, Penticton - 6 to 8 p.m.
April 30, 2008 - Ramada Lodge Hotel, Kelowna - 6 to 8 p.m.
May 13, 2008 - Prestige Hotel & Conference Centre, Vernon - 1 to 3 p.m.
May 14, 2008 - Ramada Lodge Hotel, Kelowna - 1 to 3 p.m.

Plan Members who want to attend a seminar must complete and return the registration form which is available at: Registration is on a first come, first served basis and some venues fill up quickly, so it is important to register as soon as possible. Anyone with questions can contact Seminar Services staff toll-free at: 1-877-558-5578 or via e-mail at

May is Leave a Legacy month

Making a legacy gift to Okanagan College has given many benefactors the satisfaction that comes with knowing that they have helped future generations of students and faculty. Having the foresight to support the College in this way is a concrete expression of their commitment to higher education and a lasting legacy of kindness and generosity.

A planned gift is made after careful consideration of your personal and family needs, and is tailored to fit your financial situation. Your planned gift may be one of the most significant gifts you ever make, but planned gifts are not just for the wealthy. Even people of modest means can make a meaningful and important contribution. Take the time to consider the options carefully and please contact Linda Way at 862-5630 (Ext. 2) if you have any questions.

Leave a lighter footprint

Facilities Management is committed to conserving energy and reducing carbon emissions. Please consider some simple energy saving tips that will help reduce fuel, water and electrical consumption.

- Remember to turn the lights off when you leave the room or when natural daylight is adequate.
- Turn off office equipment such as your computer, printer and coffee machine when you leave for the day.
- Keep thermostats set at 21 degrees C during the heating season and 25 C degrees during the cooling season. Dress comfortably for the weather; adjust your layers before adjusting the thermostat.
- Know and cooperate with scheduled hours of building operations, do not expect buildings to have fully operational HVAC systems during evenings and weekends when there is minimal occupant use.
- When purchasing new equipment consider the Energy Star rating.
If you find areas that require attention to conserve energy please submit a work request or contact Peter Csandl at Facilities Management.

College supports BC Summer Games

Okanagan College is supporting the BC Summer Games, which will take place in Kelowna from July 24 -27, 2008. The Summer Games data and communications hub will be located at Okanagan College’s Downtown Centre on St. Paul Street and will be the home for media relations, communications and data information for the Games. The Kelowna campus nursing lab will be available as a first aid centre for the Games and thanks to support from Food Services, the cafeteria and kitchens will be used to help prepare more than 15,000 meals that will be served during the Games. The College is also proud of the many staff volunteering for the games. If you would like to volunteer visit: 


May 2 – More than 70 students from elementary, middle and secondary schools in the region will compete in the 18th British Columbia Secondary School Mathematics Contest sponsored by Okanagan College and UBCO. This year’s competition will take place in the Arts building at UBCO at 9:30 a.m. Award presentations will follow at 3 p.m. Contact Clint Lee for more information.

May 7-8 – The fourth annual UBC Okanagan Learning Conference will take place over two days at UBCO. Registration is free for Okanagan College faculty and instructors. Visit the web for more information:

May 14Dr. Gabor Mate, author of In the Realms of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction will present a lecture at 7 p.m. in the KLO Theatre. Mate has worked with addiction issues in Vancouver’s lower east side for many years. Find out more about the presenter on his website:

May 22 - Mark your calendar...the 2008 Annual Charity Okanagan College Foundation/Whillis Harding Agencies Golf Tournament and Silent Auction will held on Thursday, May 22 at the Okanagan Golf Club (Quail Course). Spaces are limited and filling up quickly! To register or for more information, email Renee Huska or Dawn Douglas, or call 862-5630.

May 25 – The Penticton Philosopher’s Café will feature an evening with John Ralston Saul: Musings about Canada’s Global Future. Join the award-winning essayist and novelist as he examines the future of Canada’s global military and economic role. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Penticton High Auditorium. Tickets are available at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College or the Tumbleweed Gallery (adults $10, students $7, at the door $15).

There's another event on Monday, a chance to dine with John Ralston Saul at the Front Street Bar and Bistro. It's a limited-audience event, though, and tickets are a little more: $200. The dinner is a fundraiser for the Okanagan College Foundation.

June 20Okanagan College’s men’s golf tournament will take place at Kelowna Springs with tee times starting at 3:44 p.m. The tourney is a nine-hole challenge – email Jim Gamble to register.

June 25 – The women’s tourney will take place at Michaelbrook in Kelowna beginning at 5 p.m. (shotgun start). Thirty-five dollars will get you nine holes, dinner and prizes. Register with Angie March.