Envision the future of your campus:
take the Capital Master Plan survey

The Capital Master Planning committee invites you to think of the possibilities and envision the future of Okanagan College’s campuses by participating in a short online survey.
The online survey is open until Tuesday Sept. 29.
The survey is an opportunity for you to provide valuable input on campus work environments and the future of how we deliver post-secondary education. Do we need more bike paths on campus? What latest technological wonder do we need to incorporate into our future building projects? Should we re-purpose some of our existing facilities to be more flexible for our programming? How important is it that the College be a leader in sustainable building practices? And many more questions are explored.
Capital Master Planning is more than just building new buildings. It is also about our working environment, our technology, food services, transportation and service options for our students. It is the pulse and culture of the College, which is key to attracting and retaining students and serving the community.
A follow-up to the campus consultations that were held in May and June, the survey incorporates information and feedback from these with an aim to help establish priorities at each of the campuses.
The committee will be reporting back to the College community in October and early November. If you would like to discuss the survey or provide more information on capital master planning please contact your Regional Dean.

Accelerate Okanagan partners with OC
for new coding program

In response to the exponential growth in app popularity and sector demand, Okanagan College and Accelerate Okanagan have partnered to offer a new Mobile Coding for Android and iOS program starting this fall, with room for 16 students.

Applications are currently being accepted for an October intake. The program is designed for individuals currently working in coding: four months of part-time classes on evenings and Saturdays will be followed by a five-week practicum with one of the region’s tech companies that Accelerate Okanagan will help students connect with.

Students will learn how to create an app for Android and iOS systems that includes responsive and functional technology that can be converted from one platform to another, meaning it is adaptable to be functional on a smartphone, tablet, and desktop computer on multiple operating systems.

In April 2015, Premier Christy Clark had announced $250,000 to be provided to five post-secondary institutions to advance coding skills among the tech sector workforce. Okanagan College received $50,000.

For more information and to apply to the program, visit the website, and follow this link to read the press release.

Wilden’s support to aid and inspire future tradespeople

Wilden donationA new student space within the trades complex under construction at the Kelowna campus will be made possible thanks to a $100,000 pledge from Blenk Development Corporation (Wilden Development) towards the College’s Bright Horizons Building for Skills fundraising campaign.

The donation will boost both student space and awards, with $75,000 going toward construction of a space where students can meet, study, and relax between classes, and $25,000 to be utilized to establish an award fund for trades students.

Known for their motto “nature inspired living,” Wilden Development wanted to support a space within the complex’s main entrance that would inspire and refresh students, with plenty of natural light and views to green space. The theme of the space will be “Be Inspired.”

“We see this as a wonderful opportunity to give back to our community, support the industry we are a part of, and invest in the future of trades in the Okanagan,” said Russ Foster, President and CEO of Blenk Development Corporation. He added that the College’s vision for a sustainable facility was one of the important factors in Wilden’s decision to support the project.

To read more about the contribution from Wilden Development, read the press release here, and stay in the know about the new trades complex by following this link.

A new recipe for food services and culinary arts at Kelowna campus 

There are a few changes being whipped up in the kitchens at Okanagan College. This fall, in an effort to improve the learning environment for culinary arts students and provide better food services the cafeteria and Infusions menus will be adjusted. Students and staff have expressed interest in improved choices and food service through recent surveys.

The College will be implementing changes that will see the cafeteria provide enhanced services through daytime hours, with changed menus and options. Employees can log in to College Matters to view menus and learn more about the changes.


Renowned editor-turned-author to speak
at free College events

GibsonDouglas Gibson, who has had one of the most remarkable editing careers in Canadian literary history, will take the stage at Okanagan College in two performances of his penned collection of memoirs, Stories about Storytellers.

Students, employees and the public are invited to attend the free events on Tuesday Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus Lecture Theatre, and on Wednesday Sept. 16 at 3:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre at the Vernon campus.

Gibson’s works read like a library of Canada’s biggest literary names including Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Alice Munro and Pierre Trudeau, an amalgamation of his 40-year career that included roles as an editor, publisher, and ultimately president of McClelland & Stewart Publishing House.

In a role reversal, the editor/publisher-turned-author recognizes that in theory authoring a book should have been easy for him, but it turned out to be quite the contrary. Even he, who had edited more than a hundred books and published countless others, was not immune to a case of writer’s block.

But like all good tales, the stories eventually took shape and had a beginning. Stories about Storytellers has been acclaimed for its wittiness, modesty, and delightful tales.

Read the press release here and for more information about Douglas Gibson, visit

Scott Forbes qualifies for world canoe polo championship

ForbesHuman Kinetics professor Dr. Scott Forbes is on his way to the 2016 world canoe polo championship in Syracuse, Italy next August as part of Team Canada after defeating the USA last month to win the Pan American Championship, which was held in Edmonton.

Forbes scored two goals in the final game, which resulted in an 8-1 win against the Americans.

Forbes got into the up-and-coming sport after a long career racing canoe. After retiring from competitive racing, he joined a canoe polo club and was eventually selected as one of eight members of Canada’s national men’s team.

In canoe polo, teams compete with five players – each in their own one-person kayak – in the open water. The aim is to score goals in a net that is suspended two metres in the air. Competitors can use their paddles or hands to the ball to make passes, defend, or score.

As it is a developing sport, Forbes often trains by himself on the waters of Skaha Lake. He connects with the rest of Team Canada a few times per year in advance of competitions.

Forbes and his team were featured in the Edmonton Journal, read more here.

Ulmer leads press ops at TO2015 Pan Am Games

Ulmer at PanAmPublic Affairs manager Christine Ulmer took some time away from the College this summer to lend her skills to the Pan Am Games, which took place in July in Toronto. Ulmer spent nearly a month working as part of the TO2015 organizing committee’s press operations team in the role of Venue Press Manager.

She led a team of 25 whose primary function was to ensure the smooth interaction between athletes and international media at the field hockey venue at the University of Toronto. Ulmer oversaw the operations of the media centre, press tribune, and mixed zone, designated photo positions and scheduled media availabilities with athletes and coaches.

“Working at the Pan Am Games was an incredible opportunity for me both professionally and personally,” she said. “I worked with an unbelievably talented group of people and was definitely pushed beyond my comfort zone, which is one of the most fun and inspiring ways to learn – to jump in with both feet.”

TO2015 was the largest multi-sport games to ever be hosted in Canada with more than 7,000 athletes from 41 nations competing in 36 sports.  

Sept. 8, 2015, Vol. 10, Issue 12

Overflow parking (Kelowna)

Trouble finding a parking space? Want to get a few extra steps in each day? There are 150 overflow parking spaces at the Evangel Church (3261 Gordon Drive) in Kelowna that have been made available to students and staff, as well as the construction workers of the new trades complex.

The updated parking brochure provides diagrams of the parking areas available at the Kelowna campus, including the overflow option. For additional information about parking on campus, please visit the Parking Services webpage.

ILT Fellow vacancy: Science & Engineering Technologies

The Institute for Learning & Teaching is accepting nominations for a Fellow vacancy in Science & Engineering Technologies. The ILT meets once a month (Sept.-May) to discuss and create initiatives to enhance learning and teaching at Okanagan College. 

Completed nomination forms are to be submitted by email by Wednesday Sept. 23. For more information please contact the ILT department.

IT Services classroom support hotline

A new hotline phone number has been set up to assist with technological issues in the classroom. When called, a technician will be dispatched immediately to the classroom location to provide assistance with projectors, sound, computer and laptops. It will be operational September to May from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and until 4:30 pm. on Fridays. Summer hours will also be available.

The hotline is 1-800-836-5499.

If you have any questions about the hotline, please contact Ryan Ebner.

Still time to register for
SLCO Certificate

Learn more about excellence in service and support by enrolling in the Service and Support in a Learner Centred Organization (SLCO) Certificate. These six mini-courses were developed specifically with Okanagan College in mind and they cover practical topics such as communication, conflict resolution and teamwork. Each course is two weeks long starting on Sept. 21. All learning takes place online. For further information please see the ILT website. To apply, click here.

Deadline approaching: Family Award applications

Applications for the Okanagan College Family Award, designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) Okanagan College employees, will be accepted until Sept. 18 for programs or terms starting between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2015.

Login to myOkanagan under OC Express – Forms and then Foundation to review criteria and complete an application form. Contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office at 250-862-5419 for more information.

For sale: two cars & a motorhome

The Okanagan College Foundation, Supply Management Services and the Collision Repair Department are presently offering for sale two vehicles and a motorhome:

For more information, including vehicle information sheets, bid forms and instructions, and vehicle viewing times follow this link.

Bids for the CruiseMaster Motorhome will be accepted until Thursday Sept. 17 at 2 p.m.
Bids for the Mazda 3 and Toyota Matrix will be accepted until Friday Sept. 18 at 2 p.m.

Fall fitness facility hours (Kelowna)

  • Monday to Thursday: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday: 12 – 4 p.m.
  • Closed Sunday and all Statutory holiday weekends

To sign-up for a membership visit the Athletics, Recreation & Student Life office at the Kelowna campus or use the new online registration website.

Municipal Pension Plan information seminars

Municipal Pension Plan members are invited to attend free seminars this fall to learn more about their pension.

Register online, under pension information seminars. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and members are responsible for their own travel and associated costs to attend.

Health and wellness resources

Okanagan College’s employee and family assistance provider, Optum PPC Canada, provides information on issues regarding your health and wellbeing.

The September edition of The Balance Sheet newsletter focuses on men’s health issues, including exploring unique struggles men can have with depression and prostate cancer risks. 

Register here for the Wednesday Sept. 30 webinar titled "Men’s Health" which will provide practical advice to help men lead healthier lives.


Douglas Gibson free literary events 

Sept. 15 (Kelowna) and Sept. 16 (Vernon) – see People section for details.

Roundabout sessions return for 2015-16 

Sept. 16 and ongoing - IT Services and Learning & Teaching are pleased to announce the return of the Roundabout learning series. Offering a new schedule format, Roundabout sessions will take place throughout the fall and winter semesters to encourage continuous professional development and dialogue amongst colleagues.
Events will include 45-minute department spotlights or one-hour learning sessions focused on applicable skills. Occasionally, topics requiring extended time to go more in depth will be scheduled for an hour-and-a-half workshop. See upcoming events and register online.

The first session titled “Moodle 102: Grades, Groups and Quizzes” will be presented by Ross McKerlich on Wednesday Sept. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room L203 at the Kelowna campus.

Southern Interior Flight Centre Open House

Sept. 19 – Southern Interior Flight Centre, Okanagan College and Carson Air are hosting an open house to showcase a new facility and celebrate a long-time relationship with OC that has produced hundreds of commercial pilots over the past quarter century. The public is invited to the open house and celebration on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at 6305 Airport Way in Kelowna.

Youth Exhibition PowWow

Sept. 24 – Celebrating Aboriginal culture at our campuses, the College’s seventh annual Youth Exhibition PowWow will be held in the courtyard of the Kelowna campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each year the event draws a crowd of students, employees, and the general public to witness and participate in Aboriginal culture and dance. This year is particularly significant as it will include a ceremonial signing of the Indigenous Education Protocol.

A 50/50 draw and a special draw for an autographed Jordin Tootoo hockey stick will benefit an Aboriginal student scholarship.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Pit of the Student Services building.

Register today: TiltShift conference

Sept. 25-26 –The first annual TiltShift conference held at the Kelowna campus will explore themes of online learning, technology leadership, and tools to benefit student learning, among others. Presented by Learning & Teaching and IT Services, the conference’s interactive and demonstrative sessions will provide alternative perspectives for education and practical uses of technology in classrooms and course curriculum design.

The conference features two thought provoking key note speakers, 13 diverse Saturday breakout sessions, beverages and appetizers on Friday night, coffee on Saturday morning and lunch on Saturday.

Visit the TiltShift website to see the sessions’ schedule and to register ($50 fee).

Trunk Sale returns to OC

Sept. 26 – The Regional Waste Reduction Office will host once again its Trunk Sale event at the Kelowna campus, from 8 a.m. to noon. Similar to a large garage sale, and aiming to promote reuse and recycling, individual vendors will sell their goods from the back of their vehicles.

The deadline to register as a vendor is Wednesday Sept. 23 and can be done by contacting the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250. The sale will be held in parking lot #17, next to the Skaha Place student residence buildings.


A look back through history, the Kelowna Capital News featured Okanagan College’s storied past from its early days as a vocational school in 1961 to its growth as a leading post-secondary institution in B.C. in the Aug. 28 article Okanagan College continues to expand.

News of a new app coding program at Okanagan College in partnership with Accelerate Okanagan was picked up by the and the Kelowna Daily Courier.

The Vernon Morning Star and the Kelowna Capital News were quick to share details of the upcoming education technology conference TiltShift being held on Sept. 25 and 26 at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

The College’s carpentry/joinery students gave back to the community while applying skills learned in class by building cabinets for the Vernon Fire Department hall at Predator Ridge, as reported in the Kelowna Daily Courier’s print and online editions, the Lake Country Calendar online, and the Vernon Morning Star online.

The Vernon Morning Star reported the excitement and first impressions by local sports enthusiasts at the Aug. 28 soft opening of the new Greater Vernon Athletics Park. In a second article, Sports complex shines in debut, the newspaper also comments on the low voter turnout in the referendum that was held when the track project was only a proposal.

In a Business Examiner feature article about the growth of B.C.’s construction industry, Donna Lomas, Regional Dean for the South Okanagan was quoted about the need to train skilled workers for the growing industry demand and in sustainability requirements for new buildings.

The Business Examiner also included a picture of the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in an article about Penticton considering reducing red tape for businesses.

The Globe and Mail’s wine columnist Beppi Crosariol mentioned Okanagan College in his article Oenology’s ABCs: A crash course in grapes, looking at wine education. 

The Vernon Morning Star reported that Okanagan College Kalamalka Press has chosen Montreal-based writer Helen Hajnoczky as the fourth annual winner of the John Lent Poetry-Prose Award for her chapbook Bloom and Martyr.

The $100,000 support received from Wilden Development for the new Trades Training Complex was captured by the Kelowna Capital News online and

The Coyotes baseball season is gearing up at OC. The Kelowna Capital News reports on the upcoming season, and the 2016 Canadian College Baseball Conference to be held in the spring at Elks Stadium.

The effect of the late August smoky skies on the College’s solar panels continued to generate media buzz, with the Kelowna Capital News publishing an article in their Aug. 28 print edition and the Penticton Western News online.

The Kelowna Capital News and the Kelowna Daily Courier shared with their readers the details of the upcoming Trunk Sale hosted by the Regional Waste Reduction Office to be held at the Kelowna Campus on Sept. 26.

OC alumni in the news, Kelowna Capital News’ Maxine Dehart shared that Dr. David Wikenheiser who studied business at the College, celebrated his 20th anniversary as a licensed naturopathic doctor in B.C.

OC alumna from Vernon Insp. Kathy Hartwig’s path to becoming Burnaby RCMP’s new community programs officer was featured in the Burnaby Now’s Sept. 3 online edition. 

Honorary Fellow Annette Sharkey was interviewed by the Vernon Morning Star about support services available for tenants being evicted from the Green Valley Motel.

Norah Bowman, OC English Professor and Kelowna-Lake Country NDP candidate currently on the federal election campaign trail, was quoted about the NDP’s rise in what used to be Conservative leading neighbourhoods in a Kelowna Daily Courier Aug. 26 print article.

Also in election news, the Osoyoos Times published a candidates panel perspective about the proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan, including the views of Connie Denesiuk, Liberal candidate and College Board of Governors member, and Richard Cannings, NDP candidate and College Honorary Fellow.

Reporting on an early elections poll, the Penticton Herald shared that Cannings is leading the polls for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay with a 46.2% claim of the popular vote. Denesiuk earned the support of 12.5% of poll respondents.

Both Denesiuk and Cannings provided commentary to the Penticton Herald about the impact of the Duffy scandal on the elections and voters opinions.

Castanet shared details of the Junior Chamber International in Vernon teaming up with the Vernon Students Association at Okanagan College to host a youth and young adult-focused all-candidates forum on Sept. 25.


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

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 Sept. 22, 2015.