Record OC budget broadens services and programs

OC 2019 budgetOkanagan College’s largest operating budget – $121.7 million – will provide additional student services and expanded access to programs.

“I was impressed by the scope of developments that were presented by the College departments through the budget process. What was clear was that our students and employees are interested in improving student services, broadening program offerings, and ensuring that Okanagan College is sustainable in the long-term,” says Curtis Morcom, Vice President of Employee and Corporate Services.

The new 2019-2020 budget includes funding for:

  • 17.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) faculty and instructors, and 16.6 FTE support and exempt staff
  • Increased student counseling services in Salmon Arm and Penticton
  • An immigration consultant and cultural liaison positions for international students in Penticton and Vernon
  • A new Tourism Management Diploma program in Revelstoke beginning in September
  • New two-year diploma programs in Collision Repair and Auto Service Technician

The budget also provides funding for completion and implementation of a wellness strategy, an Indigenization strategy and an internationalization strategy.

Read more details here.

The ball is in your court – attend Hoopla 

Hoopla photo - Inside OCOkanagan College’s Coyotes basketball teams and the OC President’s office invite you to mix and mingle with the players, coaches and supporters at the third annual Hoopla: President's Celebration fundraiser. 

“Our women’s and men’s basketball teams have performed admirably and won a lot of respect both on and off the court,” says Jim Hamilton, Okanagan College President. “It’s been thrilling to see them develop as teams over the past couple of years, and to witness the time and energy they’ve invested in mentoring youth. This event is a great opportunity to celebrate the teams’ successes after their first season of official league play.”

The fundraiser takes place Thursday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning building at the Kelowna campus. 

Attendees can participate in silent and live auctions, enjoy a cash bar with local VQA wines, beer and cider from Big Surf brewery and savour gourmet bites prepared by OC Culinary Arts students and staff.

Special guest speaker Tom Budd will also be at the fundraiser. Budd’s journey is one of healing and finding hope, and he will speak of the value of giving while drawing attention to health and wellness.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

RIPE registration now open

RIPE logoOkanagan College is hosting its third annual Research Innovation Partnerships Expo (RIPE) at the Kelowna campus on Tuesday, May 14 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. OC employees can register for workshops, free of charge. 

The RIPE event is an opportunity for community members, industry, educators, researchers and students to network and learn about how applied research is growing new partnerships and creating enriching student experiences in the Okanagan and beyond.

Participants will hear from keynote speakers, take part in workshops, have the opportunity to pitch their research ideas and ask questions about applied research. Sample workshops include Intellectual Property, Applied Research in the Craft Brewing Industry, Building Applied Research in Colleges, Changes to NSERC Funding and many more.

Click here to see the full workshop schedule and to read about the keynote speakers. Registration is free for all OC employees and students. To register, please click here and enter the access code RIPE for free tickets.

New diploma focuses on tourism management

Tourism Management Diploma 2019 MarchWith tourism employers across much of B.C. feeling the pinch when it comes to finding experienced managers, Okanagan College is launching a new applied diploma designed to help students advance their careers in the tourism sector.

The first intake of the College’s Tourism Management diploma will take place at OC’s Revelstoke Centre this fall. Those interested in learning more about the program can attend an information session at OC Revelstoke, 1401 First Street West, on April 16 at 7 p.m. 

“This diploma has been designed with a great deal of industry input,” says Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “Our goal is to provide students a program that will help advance their tourism careers, while helping employers find the skilled workers they need – and what better place than Revelstoke for this kind of program?” 

It’s expected that the program will not only help draw students to Revelstoke, but world-wide attention for the region as a tourism training destination as well.

More information about the program is available at Read the full story here.


OC Speakers Series takes on sex, salmonella and beetles

David Waltner-ToewsWhat do food, sex and salmonella have in common? Award-winning author and veterinary epidemiologist David Waltner-Toews will share his insights during an upcoming reading as part of Okanagan College’s Speakers Series. 

Waltner-Toews has published more than 20 books. His most recent book, Eat the Beetles!, challenges us to think about our attitude toward insects and whether eating them might help solve the planet’s environmental problems.

Waltner-Toews’s reading will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13 at The Innovation Centre (460 Doyle Avenue) theatre in Kelowna. The event is presented by Okanagan College and supported by the Writers’ Union of Canada’s National Public Readings Program and the Okanagan Regional Library.

Admission is free, but space is limited so please register in advance on Eventbrite.

Donations of non-perishable food or hygiene products will be gratefully accepted to help Okanagan College students in need as part of The Pantry food bank project at the Kelowna campus, coordinated by the Okanagan College Students’ Union.

Read the full story here.

Students beat procrastination with pyjamas, pizza and prizes

Long Night Against Procrastination 2019 - PentictonOn Thursday, March 21, the College’s Penticton campus library hosted the fifth Long Night Against Procrastination, a special late night event designed to help students make progress on their end-of-semester projects and papers. 

The event started at 9 p.m. and students worked on their assignments through the night until 2 a.m. Approximately 50 students showed up – most in their pyjamas – and were helped throughout the evening by a half dozen faculty and staff.

Throughout the evening students were treated to breaks, snacks, midnight pizza and fun activities to help bust the late-night blinks and crush procrastination. Students had several study break options available to them, including yoga (led by student Savina Singh) and a special viewing of the Super Worm Moon. Door-prize draws were announced every hour.

In addition to motivating students, this event helps them to release stress and bond as a campus community.

Fatphobia walking tour presents positive body messages on campus

Fatphobia walking tourGender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies professor Emma Lind led her class through a unique assignment that promoted positive body messages around the Kelowna campus. 

Students from Lind’s Current Topics in Women’s Studies class were tasked to create several installations that students would later view on a walking tour. Installations were meant to encourage students to think critically about topics on body image including the existence of fatphobia and diet culture in public spaces. 

The walking tour began with an exhibit in the elevator then moved on to the women’s second and third floor washrooms, the library and other public spaces.

The exhibits in the women’s washrooms offered an anonymous survey. The exhibit encouraged students to flush negative thoughts about body size, weight, fat shaming, discrimination and sexism and to not flush away their confidence, self-love, strength, fearlessness, inner beauty and courage.

View photos from the walking tour on the College’s Flickr page and read more about the exhibits in the Vernon Morning Star, Capital News, BC Local News and Summerland Review

Armstrong Co-op delivers new tools for trades students

Armstrong toolsA co-operative that boasts a history closing in on a century is supporting the next generation of skilled trades workers with a donation of new tools to OC’s Vernon campus. 

Armstrong Regional Cooperative has donated $5,000 to the new Trades Training Centre of state-of-the-art tools that will accommodate more than seven programs offered in the new Centre. 

“We have a beautiful new trades facility and this donation means our students will have access to the very latest tools as well, so they’re training on the same equipment they’ll encounter when they step out onto the jobsite,” says Steve Moores, Dean of Trades at Okanagan College.

The donated tools were delivered on a pallet and unveiled to students who responded with a round of applause. The new equipment ranged from air-powered nail guns to welding helmets, electric sanders and socket sets.

Read the full story here

Help us spread the word at OC

Do you have a neat idea for a story that you’d like to see in this e-newsletter? Know of any of your colleagues’ accomplishments that we should celebrate? Or of a student or alumni who is doing something interesting in the community or beyond? 

Inside Okanagan College is here to share unique stories and news from all OC’s campuses, employees, students and more. This includes achievements, special College-based events, neat student field trips or projects, College projects (including unique research) and more. 

If you’d like to submit a story idea or report a piece of news to Inside Okanagan College, we want to hear from you. To submit a story, please reach out to Holly Stevens, Marketing and Communications Specialist in Public Affairs.

April 2, 2019, Vol. 13, Issue 1


Right to Life Society Demonstration – Kelowna campus – April 5

On Friday, April 5 the Kelowna Right to Life Society will be holding a demonstration on the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College, in the walkway area between the breezeway leading to the Student Services building and the Centre for Learning.

As per discussions with the Okanagan College Students’ Union (OCSU), individual students and the Faculty Association, we are providing notice to all students and staff of the demonstration. The demonstration will take place between 1 and 3 p.m.

The College has an obligation to respect constitutionally protected rights, (the Charter of Rights and Freedoms), including freedom of expression. Expressive rights include visual displays, written material and speech.

As an institution of higher learning, the College encourages the respectful and peaceful exchange of ideas and open discourse, including the expression of differing views with civility, respect for the values of diversity, free enquiry, and mutual respect. 

Colleges must respect the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and must respond to freedom-of-expression requests from groups seeking a venue. As per the facilities policy, providing such a venue implies no affiliation or alignment with any group, nor with any particular point of view.

There are alternate routes to classes and services that will allow students and staff to avoid contact with the demonstration; please see map here.

A counsellor will be stationed in the breezeway area from 1-3 p.m. on Friday to provide support to students as needed. Drop-in counselling sessions will also be available throughout the day.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Regional Dean’s Office.

Alumni Award nominations – April 14

The Okanagan College Alumni Association is seeking nominations for the Distinguished and Young Alumni Awards. Alumni have local, national and international impact, and the alumni awards recognize those who demonstrate excellence in one or more of these areas: leadership, environment, business or industry, public or community service, the arts, and support for Okanagan College. Deadline for nominations is April 14. Details are available online

Look to your future

Being prepared for the future can give you and your loved ones peace of mind. Learn how to have the difficult conversations that come with planning for your future and find out what steps you need to take when it comes to estate planning. For guidance and support, visit LifeWorks online and login with the username: okanagan and password: healthy. Alternatively, you can call LifeWorks toll-free any time, day or night at 1-888-307-0590. 

Bocce is back in Kelowna

Get a partner, a team name and get in the game! A fun season of bocce is about to begin at the Kelowna campus. Registrations (including both team members’ names and emails) must be in by April 8 at 3 p.m. and can be submitted via email to The season will start on April 15 and playoffs start June 3. 

Health and safety concerns?

If you have a health and safety concern, please ensure you report to your supervisor. 

Additionally, if an urgent issue or emergency arises, please call ext. 6699 for immediate assistance.

If it's a non-urgent concern or complaint:

  • Visit to contact a member of the Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee at your campus and to fill out an online form
  • Submit an online work request through the myOkanagan portal and check messages for follow-up (e.g. room temperature adjustment, washroom needing attention, etc.)

To report an incident, injury, or near-miss (no incident, but a potential for an injury to occur):

  • Complete the Health & Safety Incident Report form:
  • Using the OC Safe App, report a concern to Security

College starts collecting student SINs

Effective the 2019 tax year, all post-secondary institutions are required to provide the Canada Revenue Agency with Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) on Form T2202 (Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate). A T2202 is produced for all students at Okanagan College who are registered in credit courses.

All students will be informed via email and directed to a link in myOkanagan where they can add their SIN if we do not have it on file already.

  • Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.
  • Further information on the eligibility of education and textbook amounts can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.
  • More information about authorized federal uses of the SIN can be found here.

Bake Shop Thursdays and Butcher Shop Fridays – Kelowna campus

Bake Shop is back in session and takes place every Thursday at noon in Infusions restaurant. Butcher Shop will continue its current schedule of every Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the cafeteria.

Register your child for Camp OC today

Are you planning activities to keep your kids busy this summer? Camp OC has fun and interactive classes throughout the summer. With class options for all ages, summertime is sure to be a blast.

Haven’t heard about Camp OC yet? Check out this video to see what all the noise is about. Want to see what camps are running this year? Check out the Camp OC webpage and view camps that are available in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Revelstoke. Stay tuned for registration opening dates for Penticton and Vernon.   

OC employees who sign up their child(ren) or grandchild(ren) are eligible for discounts. You will receive a 10 per cent discount by registering in person, over the phone or by email with the Continuing Studies Corporate Training office and if employees register last-minute for camps, they are eligible for a 50 per cent discount. Click here to read more.


Sensory Symposium – Wine education series

April 28 – An inaugural sensory symposium, supported by Okanagan College’s Penticton campus is taking place April 28. At this unprecedented one-day event, you'll participate in blind tastings, seminars, interact with winemakers from all over B.C. and discuss trending topics in the wine industry. After a day of tasting and debating, wine by the glass and light fare will be available to wrap up the day's events. Partial proceeds will be going to our charitable partner, Eco Eats.

Purchase tickets before April 8 for pre-sale pricing. Event takes place at the Penticton campus from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. For tickets and more information, click here.


Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau was at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on March 26 to discuss Budget 2019. The event caught the attention of InfoTel News, Daily Courier, Castanet, Summerland Review and Global News. Castanet also livestreamed the entire discussion as well. 

OC 2012 Young Alumni Award winner (Culinary Arts graduate) and local chef Jon Garratt, alongside his wife, was profiled in the Capital News for their specialty bakery shop, Whisk Cake Company, which serves specialty donuts every Saturday.

The Indigenous issue of Academica Group shared news about OC’s launch of a professional cook training program infused with Indigenous knowledge.

Young girls in the Okanagan took part in face-to-face training with athletic heroes aiming to foster a lifetime in sports at Okanagan College as part of the Fast & Female event series. Read both stories on Castanet by clicking here and here.

The Glendale Star shared the story of Betty Schley, an OC licensed practical nurse alumna (1965), who is still practicing in Glendale, Arizona. Schley reached new heights as climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro at age 73.

The Summerland Review and Daily Courier shared information from OC’s recent 10th annual Aboriginal Student Recognition Ceremony.

Castanet and the Summerland Review took note of OC’s record 2019 operating budget.

Former OC Board of Governors Chair Connie Denesiuk was profiled in the Okanagan Weekend for her contributions as a volunteer at the Soup is Good Food's Lent lunch. Denesiuk has been helping to serve soup for the event over the past two weeks.

Westbank First Nation (WFN) Councillor Chris Derickson (who is also Chair of Okanagan College's Board of Governors) caught up with the Okanagan Weekend about the federal government's recent announcement that negotiation fees with WFN have been forgiven.

The OC Coyotes baseball team kicked off the 2019 Canadian College Baseball Conference season and stepped off the mound with two wins against the Edmonton Collegiate Baseball Club. The Capital News, Okanagan Weekend and Daily Courier shared information leading up to the games. KelownaNow shared game details from the 'Yotes most recent games against University of Fraser Valley Cascades.

Castanet shared event highlights from Dr. Mariana Brussoni’s talk as part of the College’s Vernon campus Signature Speakers Series.

OC’s new Tourism Management diploma program caught the eye of the Summerland Review.

The Summerland Review provided event details for the upcoming BC Interior RV Show that is returning to Penticton for the eighth year. Okanagan College instructors will facilitate several of the event workshops, all taking place from April 5 to 7.

Maxine DeHart’s column in the Capital News shared information about the College’s School of Business program and recent student achievements.

The Vernon Morning Star featured four OC Vernon business students and their Enactus faculty advisors who recently presented on the FruitSnaps project at the Enactus Regional competition. The project won first place and the students are now preparing to present at nationals.

OC’s Women in Trades program helped build hutches for a herd of carrot-obsessed clients (rabbits) for the Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary; the Summerland Review shared photos and details.

Richard Cannings, MP for South-Okanagan West Kootenay and 2008 Honorary Fellow, was featured alongside Summerland Mayor (and former OC instructor) Toni Boot and Penticton Mayor in the Penticton Herald for welcoming guests to the Penticton airport in an attempt to encourage guests to complete an online survey to provide more statistical data to Air Canada.

The Vernon Morning Star shared information on the 2019 Multicultural Community Champions ceremony held on March 23 at the College's Vernon campus. OC Honorary Fellow (2015) and Executive Director of the Social Planning Council Annette Sharkey helped introduce the champions.


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

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 April 16, 2019.