Bright Horizons - Building for Skills launches with $2.5 million

Trades Campaign launchThe Okanagan College Foundation campaign to raise funds for a new Trades Training Complex at the Kelowna campus has kicked off with donations from 43 donors totaling $2.5 million – a significant portion of that coming from Kelowna area car dealerships.

“We’ve only just launched our campaign and we’re more than a third of the way to reaching our $7-million goal,” said Dennis Gabelhouse, Chair of the Bright Horizons - Building for Skills Campaign.

Work on the $33-million Trades Training 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 $7 million; $5 million for capital costs and the remaining $2 million going towards student and program support.

“The announcement makes it clear that industry recognizes the importance the trades play in our economy and is working with the College to address the skills shortage we know is coming,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.

Information about the campaign can be found on the Foundation’s website.

The announcement received media coverage, see Campaign launched to help fund new trades building in Kelowna on Global News, Drive on for new complex in the Kelowna Daily Courier, and Auto sector support vital to $2.5 million launch of trades complex campaign in the Kelowna Capital News.

Blood Drive for Deb Davis

Brittany Davis, the daughter of Deb Davis, assistant to the registrar (on leave), has organized a blood drive for Okanagan College employees and students in support of her mother. Deb is currently battling a serious medical condition that requires her to receive blood products on a frequent basis.

To encourage blood donation, Brittany – a student doing her Associate of Science degree at the Kelowna Campus – has arranged for Blood Services to devote four donation days in October to her mother’s campaign. All blood types are welcome.

“My mom is really sick and I am doing this so she can see how many people are rooting for her right now,” Brittany says.

Okanagan College’s designated days are Oct. 23, 27, 28 and 30 at the Kelowna clinic (1865 Dilworth Dr.) Staff from Blood Services will be at the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus on Oct. 20 to book appointments for staff who want to take part and support Deb. Employees can also call 1-888-2-donate to make an appointment. If you wish to donate to the campaign on another day or in a different location, use the code ID number BEPO 097264 to ensure your donation will be earmarked for the campaign.  

“If Okanagan College exceeds the target (of 15 donations), there will be a permanent record of my mom that will live on,” says Brittany.

To date, 33 people from Okanagan College have registered appointments to donate.

Visit to learn more.

Cork pops on new Wine Sensory Centre

Sensory Centre 2Winemakers, chefs, politicians, donors, media and other VIPs gathered on Sept. 24 to celebrate the grand opening of the new BC Wine Information Society Sensory Centre at the Penticton campus.

The new $650,000 facility, which is housed in the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence, was made possible by a $300,000 donation from the BC Wine Information Society, for which the Centre is named. The Society’s contribution also allowed the College to access funds pledged by the Jim Pattison Foundation, on a fund-matching basis.

The first educational facility of this type in the valley, the Centre is a 120-square-metre space dedicated to providing quality tasting and educational space for sensory evaluation of wine and food – a similar tasting environment to those already in existence at Brock University and Niagara College in Ontario. It is intended to build on the reputation of the College’s Penticton-based wine and grape-focused programs.

More than 150 students have already come from as far away as Calgary to attend the Centre’s Food, Wine and Farm programs and workshops this past summer.

For more information, read the press release.

The announcement received media coverage, see Wine lab already busy, Simply appetizing, and Allison Markin’s column Pumpkin spice on everything in the Penticton Herald, and Wine is focus of new Okanagan College lab on Global News.

Support Career Fair – volunteers needed

For more than 30 years, Okanagan College’s Career Fair has been helping connect the community to insights about careers and education. On Sunday, Nov. 2, hundreds of students, job seekers and employers will descend on Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus to investigate their educational options, research potential career paths, and discover available job opportunities.

With this year’s event less than a month away, Public Affairs needs volunteers to act as hosts and ambassadors from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. All volunteers will receive a gift and lunch.

If you are interested in volunteering or know of a potential exhibitor, please contact Michelle Lowry.

New centre site for Wine Festival awards

Pouring wine in wine sensory centreHot on the heels of the opening of the BC Wine Information Society Sensory Centre, it was announced that the facility is the new home for judging the Okanagan Wine Festivals’ BC Wine Awards starting in 2015.

“Each year, the Fall Wine Festival brings some of the continent’s best palates to the south Okanagan to judge the entries for the Fall Wine Fest,” explains Martin Lewis, the chair of judging for the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society. “We have used various venues for those intensive judging sessions, but we are very excited about being able to utilize the new Sensory Centre at Okanagan College next year.”

For more information, read the press release.

The announcement received media coverage, see College getting taste of wine awards in the Daily Courier.

Vernon sports facility update

Vernon Sports Complex OctoberWork is well underway at the Vernon Community Sports Facility – located adjacent to the parking lot of Okanagan College’s Vernon campus. Artificial turf was laid last week and the track will be completely installed by mid-November.

“What was once a dirt lot is now a field of green,” says Okanagan College’s Regional Dean in Vernon Jane Lister. “Work on the buildings will commence next month and the facility is on target for the spring 2015 completion date.”

Buy tickets for Young Chefs challenge

There is still time to snag tickets for the Young Chefs competition at Okanagan College on Oct. 9. This exclusive event is part of the Okanagan Wine Festival and showcases the talents of several Okanagan College apprentice chefs and alumni.

Up-and-coming Okanagan chefs from local restaurants such as Waterfront Wines, Mission Hill Terrace Restaurant, and The El at the Eldorado, among others, will create a dish that features Alexis de Portneuf cheese. The decadent dishes must be comprised of at least 20 per cent cheese and will be paired with an Okanagan wine. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample fine wine, cheese and the creations of the future of the Okanagan culinary scene.

Ticketholders play judge and critic and vote for their favourite dish to receive the Consumer’s Choice Award, while professional judges weigh in on their favourite food and wine pairing to determine the Top Young Chef.

Four teams of apprentice chefs from Okanagan College will compete and will be mentored by College Chef instructors Perry Bentley, Mike Barillaro, Jim Armstrong and Reinhard Foerderer.

The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the atrium of the Centre for Learning. Tickets cost $60 and can be purchased online.


Hisdal retires from Army Reserve

Captain Howard Hisdal retirementProfessor Howard Hisdal, Chair of the History department, has retired from the Canadian Army Reserve.

After 25 years of military service in both the Regular Force (seven years) and the Army Reserve (18 years), Captain Hisdal had his Departure With Dignity ceremony (the Canadian Forces’ version of a retirement celebration) on Sept. 13. On Sept. 24, on his 60th birthday, Hisdal turned in all of his combat uniforms and field kit.
Hisdal has received letters thanking him for his service from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Premier Christy Clark, M.P. Ron Cannan, and Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.
“I will miss my comrades in the British Columbia Dragoons, but I will now have more time to devote to my family and new job as chair of the History department,” he says.

Dr. Heather Banham receives the CGA’s highest honour

Dr. Heather Banham CGAFThe Dean of Okanagan College’s School of Business, Dr. Heather Banham, has been awarded the highest honour that can be bestowed on a member of the Certified General Accountant (CGA) association.

On Sept. 20, Banham was among eight other accounting professionals given a CGA Fellowship designation for their outstanding contributions to the CGA Association or the accounting profession.

Banham was specifically recognized for her contribution to the development of the College’s business program and the creation of strategic partnerships between the College and the CGA, which resulted in a $100,000 endowment from the CGA through the Okanagan College Foundation.

CGA-BC Chair David Sale praised Banham as a “fine example for anyone in a position of leadership within a large, multi-faceted organization.”

For more information, read the press release.

The award received media coverage, see CGA honours college dean, in the Okanagan Sunday.

Rubadeau profiled on BC Games website

Rubadeau SailingOkanagan College School of Business professor Devin Rubadeau was recently profiled on the BC Games website for his work coaching athletes. Rubadeau is a former competitive sailor and certified sailing coach who has been coaching for 22 years. 

He is currently devoting his time to helping develop the sailing abilities of athletes participating in the BC Summer Games, which is a biennial multi-sport event, as well as coaching the Regional Sailing Team out of the Central Okanagan Sailing Association, and the Department of Defense's Canadian Forces Sailing Team.

Closer to home, Rubadeau is a faculty advisor with Enactus Okanagan College and won the Rookie Faculty advisor of the year award from Enactus Canada.

To read the profile on Rubadeau, click here.

Residential Construction students give back to Salmon Arm family

Res Con AmrstrongStudents taking the Residential Construction Foundation program in Armstrong recently had the opportunity to use their newly acquired skills to help out a family in need.

The students were working on their program’s project house – digging holes and laying backfill – when it was delayed due to inclement weather.
Residential Construction Instructor Les Shuert needed to find an alternate project to fill the gap, so he turned to John Aarestad at Shepherd’s Home Hardware who suggested having the students build garden sheds using materials donated from his store.
The students completed the two 8 x 10-foot garden sheds, which were then donated to an auction to help the family of Okanagan College Carpentry Instructor Gerry Leverrier, whose four-year-old granddaughter Megan is currently undergoing treatment in the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto for rare liver disease. The sheds netted the family nearly $1,000.
“While it’s hard to beat the pride you feel from seeing a finished project, knowing it was helping a family going through a really difficult time made it even that much more rewarding for the students,” says Shuert.

Oct. 7, 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 14

Nomination deadline looming for College awards

Nominations are now being accepted for Okanagan College’s Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service Awards. These awards recognize outstanding service and achievement and are given at the 2015 convocation ceremonies.

Nominations should be submitted by Oct. 24 to Joanna Campbell, Assistant to the President. Full criteria and nomination forms can be found here.

To read about past recipients, click here.

Canada Savings Bond

Okanagan College employees can save money for a rainy day by purchasing a Canada Savings Bond using deposits automatically deducted from each paycheque. The money will start earning interest the day the funds are received by The Bank of Canada. 

Sign up for a new Canada Savings Bond through payroll deduction by visiting the Canada Savings Bond website before Oct. 31. The first payroll deduction will take place on Dec. 12. Okanagan College's organization ID is 12924.

Existing payroll plan owners can also make changes to their accounts during this time. 

If you have any questions about the Canada Savings Bond Payroll savings program, visit, call 1-877-899-3599 or contact Cathy Schwarz at ext. 4234.

Vehicle for sale

The Okanagan College Foundation and the College’s Supply Management Services, in conjunction with the Collision Repair department, are selling the following vehicle:

2012 Dodge Ram 1500 Truck

Bidding Vehicle Number: 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 Truck

Reserved Bid is set at $17,599

Viewings will take place on Oct. 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. and are by appointment only. Click here for details.  

Bids are due by 2 p.m. on Oct. 17. Please fill in the bid sheet.

For information, contact Kevin Waite, ext. 4461.

Revised Hospitality Policy

The Board of Governors approved the revised Hospitality Policy on Sept. 30. The Policy has been revised for clarification. Revisions include:

  • Policy Statement was revised;
  • Guiding Principles were added;
  • Clarification of employee/volunteer appreciation was added;
  • Procedures and requirements for expense claims were clarified;
  • The Declaration Form for lost receipts for expense claims and VISA statements was revised, which can be found on myOkanagan/OC Express/Supply Management Forms.

The revised Policy is posted here.


Flu vaccination clinics

It’s flu season again and Okanagan College is offering employees the opportunity (on a voluntary basis) to receive a flu vaccination for only $10. Refer to your family physician or the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Info Sheet for questions regarding the type of vaccination or the after-effects.
As in previous years, the College is paying 50 per cent of the $20 cost. Please bring a cheque payable to Okanagan College or $10 in exact change to receive the vaccination. 

The Seasonal Flu Vaccination Questionnaire and Consent form must be completed ahead of time but do not fill in the signature and date – as those are completed when the nurse is present.
The clinics will be held as follows:
Date:     Thursday, Oct. 23
Time:     10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Room:   Atrium, Centre for Learning (under the Centre for Dialogue)
Date:     Wednesday, Oct. 29
Time:     9 to 11 a.m.
Room:   Sunoka PE A1E
Date:     Thursday, Oct. 23
Time:     12 to 1 p.m.
Room:   136
Date:     Thursday, Oct. 23
Time:     12 to 2 p.m.
Room:   E105
If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Klotz at 250-762-5445, ext. 5682.

Maximizing your metabolism

Join this webinar on Oct. 15 at 12 p.m. to learn how to maintain a healthy and vibrant metabolism throughout life, which can help support high levels of productivity, enhance energy levels, keep excess weight off and ensure good health as we age.

This webinar was originally scheduled in September but was cancelled due to technical issues. Click here to register.

Think LEAN to improve performance

The Institute for Learning and Teaching presents LEAN Thinking: Eliminate waste, strive for excellence.

This session provides an introduction to LEAN thinking and tools attendees can start using immediately. LEAN thinking empowers front-line stakeholders in any process to analyze and improve their daily workflow, which enables an organization to improve its processes and eliminate waste.

The sessions in Kelowna and Vernon have already taken place, but upcoming workshops will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. at the Salmon Arm campus, in SA136, on Oct. 9, and the Penticton campus, in PC 120 on Oct. 10.

Check the ILT website for more details.

Applied Research workshop

The Institute for Learning and Teaching is hosting an online workshop on applied research on Oct. 27 from 3 to 4 p.m. Dr. Audrey J. Penner, Vice-President, Academic and Student Success at Northern College, will discuss ways institutions can build capacity in applied research and find the key people, issues, and projects that are critical to building a sustainable applied research agenda.

This free online workshop has room for 50 attendees and will be conducted through Collaborate software. Email Carla Whitten to register and receive more instructions on how to join the workshop.

Check the ILT website for more details.

College Pension Plan seminars

The College Pension Plan offers members free Fall Pension Seminars containing information about benefit statements, pension options, retirement income and planning tools. All plan members, including those receiving long-term disability benefits, are welcome. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and members are responsible for their own travel costs.

To view the schedule or register, visit the College Pension Plan website.

For questions, send an email or call 1 877 558-5571.

2014 Municipal Pension Plan AGM

The 2014 Municipal Pension Plan AGM: Taking Action Today for a Secure Tomorrow is taking place on Oct. 16 at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This is an opportunity to meet the Plan’s Trustees, learn about the cost of living adjustment and keep up-to-date with the Plan’s financial highlights.

Visit the Municipal Pension Plan website for details.


Okanagan College Adult Academic and Career Prep student Mike Pogson from Salmon Arm was the feature of a story about his career as a Licensed Practical Nurse in the Friday A.M. newsletter.

A survey is underway to determine the need for a daycare at the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Penticton, see OK College needs daycare in the Penticton Herald.

Alumnus Donnie Ungaro launched a new food business to help the less fortunate, see The Socially conscious entrepreneur in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Ten up-and-coming Okanagan chefs will compete for the title of Okanagan’s Top Young Chef at Okanagan College, see Young chefs competition returning to the Kelowna campus next month in the Penticton Herald and Emerging chefs compete Oct. 9 in the Okanagan Sunday.

Alumnus Drew Vincent has been nominated by Okanagan College Business professor Devin Rubadeau for the Top Forty Under 40, see Connect directly with your food and wine in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Okanagan College students and employees attended the Okanagan Aspiring Entrepreneurs Social at Okanagan Co-Lab, see Aspiring entrepreneurs mingle in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Laura Thurnheer, Chair of Business Administration at Okanagan College's School of Business, announced she is running in the upcoming municipal election, see Thurnheer seeks seat on council.

Okanagan College School of Business professor Dr. Kyleen Myrah was honoured for her work as a mentor, see 2014 Community Leader Awards in the Kelowna Capital News. Okanagan College also sponsored the event’s Leader of the Year award.

Graduates from the first Practical Nursing class returned to Okanagan College on the 50th anniversary of their graduation date, see Nurses care to remember Okanagan College in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Okanagan College’s baseball team recently took on both the University of Calgary and Thompsons Rivers University in one weekend, see Coyotes play six pack at home in Elks Stadium this weekend in the Kelowna Capital News.

Okanagan College students learned about breast cancer from representatives of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, see Spin to learn in the Salmon Arm Observer.

City councillors met with Premier Christy Clark to discuss the feasibility of a downtown campus in Salmon Arm, see City pushes for college in Salmon Arm Observer.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Jim Henderson presented the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs in Penticton with a cheque from the TELUS Community Board, see Dialing up a donation in What’s Up Down South.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Yasmin John-Thorpe showcased some entries for the colouring contest for the South Okanagan Raise-a-Reader program, see Colouring contest entries in the Penticton Herald.

Okanagan College’s first Honorary Doctorate Charles Fipke made a huge donation to honour his longtime friend Bill Bennett, see Diamond pioneer donates $9M to target Alzheimer’s in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Okanagan College in Kelowna was a treasure trove of gently used goodies at the Regional District’s garage sale on Sept. 27, see Trunk Sale set for Saturday at college in the Kelowna Daily Courier, Trunk sale bargains in the Kelowna Capital News, and College calling bargain hunters in the Penticton Herald.

Therapist Assistant instructor Darrell Skinner penned an article on motor-vehicle accidents and bodily injury, see Proper classification for whiplash injuries in the Kelowna Capital News.

MasterChef Canada and Okanagan College alumna Kaila Klassen opened a new restaurant at Bonitas Winery called Corx+Brix, see Kaila’s back with new eatery in the Kelowna Daily Courier, and Reality show chef opens restaurant in the Penticton Herald.

Board of Governor’s Vice Chair and Liberal party candidate for South Okanagan West Kootenay Connie Denesiuk did a meet and greet with constituents, see Liberal meeting in What’s Up Down South.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Meredith Birchall-Spencer.

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. 21, 2014.