Tom Foord's plane donated to Okanagan College

Foord Plane DonationA plane representing a lifelong passion for flying from one of Vernon’s most successful entrepreneurs will find new wings as a training tool at Okanagan College.

Robert Foord along with family members, donated Tom Foord’s plane to the College’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) program during a small ceremony at its Vernon Aerospace campus last week.

Tom was the co-founder of Kal Tire, which grew from a small tire shop in Vernon to an international business.

“My dad loved flying and he loved this community,” says Robert, Kal Tire President and one of Tom’s five children.

“He also put enormous value on education and hands-on training and would be proud that his plane has been donated to the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer students for that very purpose.”

The keys to the Cessna 210G – Centurion plane were turned over to Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton and Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director Helen Jackman.

Read the full story here

New bursaries make Health Care Assistant program accessible to all

HCA BursariesNew bursaries established by BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) will provide nearly a full scholarship for aspiring Health Care Assistants (HCA) at Okanagan College.

The non-profit that represents non-government operators of long-term care, assisted living and independent home care and support, is allotting $25,000 this year to set up eight student awards at the College valued at $3,125 each. The awards almost completely pay the tuition for the six-month HCA Certificate program, which costs $3,300.

"Health-care assistants play a significant role in our health system by providing day-to-day care to seniors and people with disabilities," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “These positions are in demand throughout the province and these bursaries will provide people with an opportunity to enter into a rewarding career that makes a real difference in peoples’ everyday lives."

The bursaries will give preference to Aboriginal students and anyone with past experience working or volunteering in health care.

The $25,000 gift will support the College’s $5-million fundraising campaign for a new Health Sciences Centre at its Kelowna campus. In addition to raising funds for the modern centre, the fundraising campaign aims to create new student awards to encourage more people to enter high-demand health-care careers.

“We’re very grateful to BC Care Providers for providing such significant support for students,” says Yvonne Moritz, Okanagan College Dean of Science, Technology and Health. "Many mature students and single parents are attracted to the HCA program because of its short duration and the good paying jobs available, but for many, the cost of the program is a barrier. These awards will provide a significant stepping stone into a gratifying career.”

Read the full story here.

Vernon's Patchwork Farms grows again thanks to donation

Patchwork Farms donationThe collaborative community farm project at OC’s Vernon campus got showered with support from the community this season.

As part of its Community Giving initiative, TD Bank’s North Vernon Branch donated $500 to the Food Action Society’s Patchwork Farms initiative at the Vernon campus.

Antje Schirwinsky, TD Branch Manager of Customer Experience, and Emma Haner, TD Customer Experience Associate, presented a cheque to Food Action Society’s Samara Sonmor and Regional Dean Jane Lister last week to mark the donation.

The funds went to purchasing much-needed soil for 10 raised garden beds that had been constructed in the community garden last fall – which are already home to several tomato plants.

The garden has a “harvest share model,” where crops and proceeds support ongoing garden operations, organizations like the food bank and Boys and Girls Club, as well as volunteers who work at the site. It is also considered a therapeutic garden, where local non-profit agencies bring their clients to participate in gardening activities as part of wellness initiatives.

Local Enactus initiative launches into third year

Enactus 2019 Third yearGood things come in threes, and after two successful years, Okanagan College’s Enactus team is ready to launch Accelerate Youth into a third year of growth this fall.

Designed by Enactus students and led by third-year Business Administration student Jessica Egyed, the Accelerate Youth project teaches practical life skills in the areas of financial and nutritional literacy to students within the alternative school system.

In response to enrolment jumping from 25 students in the pilot to 72 students across three locations, the Accelerate Youth volunteer team also grew from four to 17 volunteers. Over the past year alone, they put in over 1,000 hours and facilitated 50 in-class sessions. 

“The impact our team has been able to have in the lives of the students has been amazing and extremely rewarding,” says Egyed. “As the students realized what Accelerate Youth was teaching them was relevant to the challenges they face day to day, they really embraced the program.”

As the program grows, so does the curriculum, enhanced this past year to include a comprehensive budgeting project, career preparation, social responsibility and project management elements.

“When young people lead an initiative that benefits young people they set an example for all of us to follow,” says Sarah MacKinnon, Youth Housing Director of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club. “It takes a village to house a child and we are thrilled that the students who participated in this project are part of our village.”

Read the full story here.

Students encouraged to take the leap as business program launches at College’s Revelstoke centre

Carolyn Gibson IOCCarolyn Gibson and her family moved west for the mountains, but it was the business landscape that connected her closely to the Revelstoke community.

The long-time Okanagan College instructor says there are plenty of prospects for budding entrepreneurs and business people looking for four-season opportunities in Revelstoke – and now couldn’t be a better time to take the leap.

The next generation of managers and entrepreneurs will learn the skills needed to succeed in business this fall, when the Tourism Management Diploma kicks off at the Revelstoke centre.

“Management studies are so valuable, because it creates an understanding of what a manager role involves, but also the importance of those small tasks and actions, the little things, that can impact the overall operation,” she says. “The tourism management piece is understanding that your actions impact somebody’s experience.”

Gibson’s family owns and operates Revy Outdoors and The Pines B&B. Those are her visible enterprises in addition to business consulting in the region as well as mentorship/coaching work for Startup Revelstoke.

“We’re not a resort town, we’re a mountain community,” she says. “My family is focused on tourism, but we have all these different industries here that make it a diverse community. What’s amazing is that we have such support from a networking perspective, but also a philosophy where a lot of people in town want to support other local entrepreneurs.”

Students in TMD will cover a broad array of business topics like accounting, financial management, marketing and digital applications. The program also serves as a two-year diploma in business, which students can use to ladder into additional studies at Okanagan College for the Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. 

For more information on the program, visit Read the full story here.

August 6, 2019, Vol. 13, Issue 10



Okanagan College has joined universities and colleges across the province in using EducationPlannerBC – the B.C. application system for prospective students.

EducationPlannerBC is a web platform/website that enables students to search for post-secondary educational programs, compare admission requirements and apply directly to B.C. public post-secondary institutions of their choice through a common online application platform. This change to the application system has been mandated by the provincial government and is intended to improve the students’ application experience.

Students can still begin the process at Domestic students have the choice to apply using the OC online application or EducationPlannerBC. This will help the Registrar’s Office test data entries before the full transition happens. As of Aug. 12, the OC application option will be retired, and domestic student applications will go through EducationPlannerBC only. Once they have completed their application via EducationPlannerBC, OC applicants will still log on to myOkanagan to view requirements and deadlines.

To learn more about EducationPlannerBC, visit the project website. For questions, please contact Inga Wheeler in the Registrar's Office. Reminder: OC applications will open on Oct. 1 this year.

Web project update

Web Update 2019

The Information Technology (IT) department and Public Affairs are preparing to share the Beta 1 version of the website internally at Connections on Aug. 20 and 21. The Beta 1 version of the website is designed to show employees the look, user-experience features and organization of the new site. A table will be setup in the breezeway during registration and in the Trades atrium during lunch. Stop by to get a sneak peek of key landing pages and sample department pages.

Stay tuned for additional opportunities to view Beta 1. In the meantime, check out the project webpage for background and review the ‘What you should do now to prepare’ section to learn the importance of reviewing, rethinking and rewriting your content in advance. 

If you have any questions, please contact Kim Fukushima.

Positive mental health for success

With approximately 70 percent of mental illnesses and addictions taking root in childhood and adolescence, getting a healthy start is vital. Help your child build skills and habits that will lead to future success in their personal and professional lives.

For guidance and support, visit LifeWorks online and login with the username: okanagan and the password: healthy. Alternatively, you can call LifeWorks toll-free any time, day or night, at 1-888-307-0590. 

View the August feature here.

Kelowna summer food services hours

Kelowna cafeteria

  • Closed for the summer

Kelowna Food Services

  • Fezziwig's: Mon-Thu from 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Fri from 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • DeBeans: Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Infusions: Aug. hours: open for dinner Tues-Fri 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. 


Remembering Harry McWatters

A celebration of life for Harry McWatters, wine industry giant and OUC Honorary Doctorate recipient, will be held on Friday, Aug. 9 at 1:30 p.m at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. 

The McWatters family has asked that donations be made to the B.C. Hospitality Foundation or the Alzheimer Society of Canada in Harry's honour.

Connections 2019

Aug. 20 and 21 – Don’t forget to register for Connections, the College’s 14th annual employee learning conference being held at the Kelowna campus on Aug. 20 and 21. Online registration will be open until Aug. 8.

View the workshop planner to see the sessions and register here.

Planting of the Seeds

Aug. 28-29 – Planting of the Seeds is a two-day professional development workshop at the Kelowna campus designed to support both new and returning faculty and instructors at Okanagan College.

Participants will be introduced to teaching and learning techniques that support their curriculum content, student learning outcomes, and student success. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in new ways of incorporating interactive, experiential learning into their teaching strategies. A full schedule, including workshop topics can be downloaded here.

The workshop is open to staff and faculty from all campuses.

The workshop runs from 8:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. each day and registration is required. Register here or by e-mail.

For more information, click here.


The Penticton Western News, Kelowna Capital News, Mirage News and Global News shared the details of Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan’s collaborative approach to improve services for the homeless.

The Daily Courier shared details on the new bursaries that will cover the cost of health-care assistant training.

The Revelstoke Mountaineer and Revelstoke Review shared 5 reasons why you should apply to the Tourism Management Diploma at OC today.

Vancouver Sun, Winnipeg Free Press, The Daily Courier, Kelowna Capital NewsOkanagan Weekend and Penticton Herald shared the news on the community’s loss of industry giant and OUC Honorary Doctorate recipient, Harry McWatters. Okanagan Weekend also shared details about the celebration of life. Penticton Herald shared an obituary. 

Vernon Morning Star shared the story of Kate Camire and her journey to graduating from the Vernon Medical Office Assistant Certificate program. 

Journal of Commerce and The Okanagan Weekend shared the details of CampOC’s carpentry camp for girls.

Academica Group shared details about OC’s Tourism Management Diploma program launching this fall in Revelstoke.

Penticton Herald shared details about OC's new tech program. 

Penticton Herald shared Dana Ingram's story of getting into the Office Administration Certificate program.

The Daily Courier shared how OC is offering more courses in the high-tech field to meet industry demands. 

Vernon Morning Star shared details from the Syilx flag raising ceremony in Vernon.

Vernon Morning Star shared that Gladys Fraser is the new board chair of the Okanagan College Foundation. 


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

To ensure the best chance for your submission to be 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 Aug. 20, 2019.