Road closure update – rockslide

As day four of the closure of Highway 97 north of Summerland draws to a close, Okanagan College continues to monitor information shared by DriveBC and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure regarding the situation.

There are indications that the highway may reopen Wednesday, although that information has not been indicated on the DriveBC or Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure websites. The next update will be communicated through the College's alerts webpage by 6 a.m. tomorrow morning (Wednesday). 

If the road is open by that point, classes in the campuses will proceed as planned. Staff, faculty and instructors should communicate with their supervisors with regard to class and service continuity. In the event the closure persists, Okanagan College is investigating transit options for employees and students. In the interim, it is advised that you check DriveBC for updates offered there.

OC Culinary students impress at Canadian Culinary Championships

Chef Yannick LaSalle 2019 Canadian Culinary ChampionshipEleven of Canada’s top chefs competed in the Canadian Culinary Championships this weekend in Kelowna, vying for the title of Canada’s best chef.

The chefs battled through three rounds of culinary challenges but they didn’t do it alone – they each received a helping hand from their own team of OC Culinary and Pastry Arts students who impressed the chefs with their skills.

Chef Yannick LaSalle of Restaurant Les Fougeres in Chelsea, Quebec took home the title and was quick to thank his team of OC students. 

“At the moment I cannot explain how proud I am of the team,” LaSalle said in a media interview. “I just know the team and students worked really hard and they deserve every moment of this celebration." 

Students reveled in the opportunity to cook alongside and learn from the best. 

OC Culinary student Sevynn Bigattini, a Grade 12 dual credit student from Mount Boucherie, was interviewed by the Kelowna Capital News on her experience. She worked alongside chef Elia Herrera of Toronto’s Los Colibris Cocina Mexicana.

“Being at this competition, I’m speechless. Everything I’m seeing, like (to avoid) fingerprints on the plates, and little things like that to watch out for. I feel like I’m gaining so much so fast, it’s almost overwhelming,” Bigattini said in a media interview.

Students worked closely with competing chefs throughout two of the three events that make up the Canadian Culinary Championships (CCC): the Mystery Wine Pairing Competition and the Grand Finale Competition at the Delta Grand Okanagan Hotel.

“The opportunities this nationally recognized event affords our students are huge,” says Vincent Stufano, OC Culinary and Pastry Arts Manager. “Students work side-by-side with the competing chefs, soak in their knowledge and more often than not are offered jobs from their competing chef.”

The College also played host to the CCC’s second event, the Black Box Competition, which took place in OC’s kitchens in the morning and afternoon on Feb. 2.

Read more about the opportunities this championship brings to OC culinary students here.

College’s 12th Annual Business Expo & Employment Fair brings employment opportunities

Business expo image 2019

Okanagan College’s popular Business Expo & Employment Fair is back for its 12th year, once again connecting students and community members with an abundance of local, provincial and national employment opportunities. 

The event takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 6 in the Centre for Learning (E building) Atrium at the Kelowna campus from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to network with more than 60 local, provincial and national employers and even apply for positions as many exhibitors are hiring.

“This event is for everyone from all different industries – not just business – and would appeal to anyone living in the Okanagan region,” says Jamie Morrow, Okanagan School of Business Program and Event Coordinator. “It’s meant to connect those looking for work with those who do the direct hiring for their companies. Sometimes being in front of the right people at the right time is the edge you need in such a competitive job market.”

Students from all disciplines are invited to the event and faculty and instructors are encouraged to bring their classes down during the event, which takes place from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the Centre for Learning Atrium (E building). The Expo is also open to the general public.

Exhibitors from multiple industries – including municipalities, wine, law enforcement, hospitality, finance, construction, technologies, retail and more – will be present, ensuring there is something for everyone.

View the event poster to see a full list of attending exhibitors. If you have any questions, please contact Jamie Morrow (ext. 4726).

Read the full story here.


Broken leg sets in motion a love for physics

Brandon KaterbergIt’s hard to imagine a broken leg being a good thing, but that’s exactly how Brandon Katerberg describes a longboarding accident that led him to Okanagan College.

This got Katerberg thinking about going back to school and he soon enrolled in upgrading at OC's Penticton campus and came across a new passion shortly after: physics and mathematics.

“Okanagan College changed my perspective on what school was like, I used to hate school but at the College I felt at home,” says Katerberg, adding there is a mutual respect between professors and students that motivated him to try his best.

In high-school Katerberg rarely showed up to classes so it wasn’t until the College that he discovered he was skilled in sciences. Seeing this potential, Katerberg quickly changed his focus to science where he is excelling. In his past term, he received a 99 per cent in calculus, and a 97 per cent in physics.

Katerberg’s achievements have also amassed three student awards from the Okanagan College Foundation. Katerberg says these funds have been instrumental in helping pay for his first full semester, where he is taking six courses.

Read the full story here.

OC students featured in College art exhibit

OC art exhibitOkanagan College students have their original artwork on exhibition in the Kelowna campus library from Feb. 7 - 13 as part of the Conceptualizing Masculinities poster and art exhibition. 

The work on display was produced from a second year Men and Masculinities course, cross listed between the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and Sociology programs at OC. 

“Students have been reading the work of gender researchers very closely,” explained the course’s professor, Emma Lind. “There are many different models scholars use to explain and study gender and masculinity. This exhibition is an opportunity for students to apply the ideas they’ve read about, illustrating both their usefulness and their limitations.”

Conceptualizing Masculinities includes original design, art, and craft produced by students to broaden our understanding of both knowledge and gender. Everyone is welcome to view the exhibit.

OC Culinary students part of sold out community event

Culinary photoOC Culinary and Pastry Arts students are once again stepping up to the plate for a good cause, making food for 220 community members this Friday, Feb. 8.

The College’s Kelowna campus is playing host to the Central Okanagan Hospice Association’s (COHA) Fundraiser event on Feb. 8 which is aimed at raising funds towards their signature fundraiser, Swinging with the Stars. To date, COHA has raised more than $1.6 million over 10 years. The Kelowna General Hospital has a dance team in the competition and are running this particular fundraiser.

Okanagan College students will be catering the entire event, serving up five unique food stations including a gnocchi, teriyaki flank steak, smoked salmon, grilled cheese and tomato soup shooter and a dessert station. 

“This is a great community event for a great cause and OC Culinary is happy to be involved,” says Chef Mike Barillaro.

The Culinary and Pastry Arts department has donated items, including a dining experience for eight at Infusions, to the event’s silent auction and is even supplying an ice sculpture to match the events theme, Las Vegas.

“For all of our support, the Kelowna General Hospital's dance team, Team Operation Dance, has donated $1,000 to our Learner Awards Fund which goes toward sending students on experiential learning opportunities," says Barillaro.

OC donor leaves behind a legacy of supporting students across Canada

Ron JoyceRon Joyce, best known as the co-founder of Tim Hortons, passed away on Jan. 31.

In addition to being hailed as a Canadian business icon, Joyce was a generous philanthropist to educational institutions across Canada.

In 2015, through the Joyce Family Foundation, he donated $250,000 to Okanagan College. This gift created bursaries for trades students in financial need and supported the creation and administration of the Trades Success Centre, which provides invaluable academic support to trades students at the Kelowna campus.

2019 Employee Excellence Awards nominations

Employee Excellence logoNominations are actively being accepted for the eighth annual Okanagan College Employee Excellence Awards. 

Employees can take this opportunity to nominate their peers for making a difference to students, their colleagues, and the institution across nine categories:

  • Career Achievement
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Key Directions
  • Leadership
  • Scholarly & Creative Activity
  • Service Excellence
  • Strong Start
  • Teaching Excellence
  • President’s Award

Nominations will be accepted until Friday, March 15. Finalists and recipients will be recognized at a celebration event on Wednesday, May 15 from 2:45 – 4:45 p.m. (details about the event will be shared in future updates). All nomination forms are available on the Employee Excellence Awards website.

The organizing committee also encourages employees to share examples of their own or their colleague’s milestones (completed a credential, been published or have received an award from an external organization) from the past year. The Milestones form can be located here.

Feb. 5, 2019, Vol. 12, Issue 27


Kelowna Health building construction: additional noise

Kelowna campus students and staff, please note that as part of the ongoing construction of the new Health Sciences Centre, the contractor will be commencing shoring/underpinning work on the existing foundation of C building.

This will mean some additional noise at times. The contractor will attempt to keep noise disruption to a minimum.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Regional Dean's office

Healthy Heart and Mind – Employee and Family Assistance Program

February is Heart and Stroke Month. One of the most important things you can do to keep yourself healthy is take care of your heart. If you could use help starting a new exercise routine or need assistance maintaining healthy habits, read this month's online feature which includes online links and a Health and Well-being Toolkit.

Learning and Applied Research professional development workshops

Be sure to check out the professional development workshops being offered by Learning and Applied Research throughout each campus. Here are just a few of the upcoming workshops: 

  • Feb. 8 - Approaches to Data Analysis and Research Design (Kelowna)
  • Feb. 11 - Taking the Mystery Out of Applied Research; Beginning the Journey (Blackboard Collaborate Session)
  • Feb. 12 – Why the Positive Buzz Around Program Mapping? (BB Collaborate Session)
  • Feb. 12 – Using Applied Research to Support Student Learning (Kelowna)

Workshops run until Feb. 25. Click here to view the workshop schedule and email Learning and Applied Research to register for them in advance.

Experience OC – call for volunteers

Experience OC day is on Feb. 20 from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. The event invites all Grade 11 students from throughout the Central Okanagan to campus to experience what it’s like to be an Okanagan College student. Students sign up for classes that are hosted by more than 45 OC instructors and professors. Volunteers are needed to help with directions, registration and serving food throughout the event. If you are interested and available to help at any time during the event, please contact Blake Edwards at ext. 4469.

Derek Cook Memorial Award – applications close Feb. 15

OC established the Derek Cook Memorial Award for International Opportunities with the Okanagan College Foundation in March 2018. The Award is aimed at supporting employees wanting to advance internationalization at the College by pursuing a global exchange or international opportunity. 

Applications will be accepted until Feb. 15Click here for award details and criteria and download your application here.

New Human Resources client service assignments

Effective now, Human Resources has issued new client service assignments. Click here to view who the new HR Advisor, Assistants and Pension & Benefit Coordinators are for your department.

OC Family Award - new application process

Paper applications for the OC Family Award for employees are no longer accepted. Your family member (the student) will need to fill out their own application online through their myOkanagan Student Tab. To find the forms, have your family member follow this path to locate the application form: myOkanagan > Student Tab > Financial Aid & Awards Channel > Apply Online for Awards > Okanagan College Family Award.

Click here for information on the Family Award including application deadlines and award criteria. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid & Awards office at 250-862-5419.​

Submit a proposal to the OC Emerging Opportunities Initiative

The call for proposals is now open for the College’s Emerging Opportunities Initiative (formerly the Innovation Fund), which supports innovative activities throughout the institution.

Until Monday, Feb. 25, any employee may apply to this Initiative to support a project or activity that promotes innovation and applied research at Okanagan College.

Through this Initiative, the College has facilitated a wide variety of innovation, professional creativity and applied research projects undertaken by employees, either individually or as part of a team.

Employees should submit completed applications to their Dean or Director for review only (not approval). Once reviewed, the Dean or Director will then submit the completed application directly to the VP Education Office.

Follow this link for more information about the Emerging Opportunities Initiative and for more details about what to include in an application.

Your health and safety rights and responsibilities

Did you know all workers in British Columbia have four basic health and safety rights? 

Right #1 – You have the right to know about any potential hazards in the workplace. You have a right to training and information on machinery, equipment, working conditions, processes and hazardous substances.

Right #2 – You have the right to participate in the process of identifying and resolving workplace health and safety concerns. You can participate through worker membership on Joint Health and Safety Committees and reporting concerns to your supervisor or employer. Workers also have the right to participate in workplace inspections and investigations.

Visit the Health and Safety BC website for detailed information. Stay tuned for Rights #3 and #4 in the next issue of Inside OC.

Employee expense and mileage claims

Employees are reminded to submit their expense and mileage claims to Financial Services in advance of the end of the 2018/19 fiscal year.

Calling all support staff

A by-election will be held for a support staff seat on Education Council.

The term for this position starts late February and runs to July 31, 2020. Meetings are usually held at 4 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month excluding July and August.

At the same time, Educational Council is seeking a student from the North Okanagan and the Board of Governors is also seeking a student in by-elections to be held simultaneously. If you know an engaged and interested student, please point them to the Elections page in myOkanagan.

Elections: Feb. 10 – 15, 2019 in myOkanagan.

For questions, please visit the Elections page in myOkanagan, see or contact Inga Wheeler at ext. 4847.

Join the OC Social Committee

The Okanagan College Social Committee at the Kelowna campus is looking for employees to join their energetic team and help plan the College’s social events.

Each year the OC Social Committee organizes several events including lunchtime BBQs, pub nights, golf tournaments and the annual holiday party.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you could help with the OC Social Committee, please contact Carlyn Young (ext. 4920).

Kelowna fitness facility holiday hours

The fitness facilities at the Kelowna campus will be closed for the Family Day holiday starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15 and will reopen on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 8:30 a.m. In addition, the facilities will be open from Tue-Fri from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. during Reading Week (Feb. 19-22).

Wine, anyone?

The Okanagan College Alumni Association has special-priced wine for sale from St. Hubertus Estate Winery and Indigenous World Winery. Click here to view what is for sale and place your order by emailing

Proceeds from the sale of the wines go towards student bursaries and the alumni mentorship series.


Twelfth Annual Business Expo and Employment Fair

Feb. 6 – Join in for the 12th Annual Business Expo & Employment Fair on Wed, Feb. 6 from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Centre for Learning Atrium (E building) at the Kelowna campus.

The event is for all students from all programs and features more than 60 industry participants from a variety of local, provincial and national employers. View details and a full list of exhibitors here.

Film Series: Welcome to the Anthropocene: Now What?

Feb. 27 – Take part in a new film series about the Anthropocene era from 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 27 in Okanagan College’s Theatre. The film series will look into evidence and data around the Anthropocene, including climate change, environmental degradation, unsustainable water usage, deforestation and hothouse conditions and pollution. 

The film series is made possible through the generous support of OC’s Arts and Foundational programs, UBCO’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies and VegFund.

For more information, view the event posting on Facebook.

Mindful Meditation

Every Friday – Join Mindful Meditation every Friday of the winter semester from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. in room H116 A at the Kelowna campus. Mindful Meditation is about dedicating time for yourself to focus on what you are experiencing at the moment.

Classes are free to attend and no prior experience is necessary. Classes are led by Therapist Assistant Program Chair Dr. Brett Wade. For more information, visit the Okanagan College Meditation Group Facebook page.


Many news outlets reported on the Canadian Culinary Championships and Okanagan College’s heavy involvement – including students who worked alongside the competing chefs – in the event, which was held this past weekend in Kelowna. Media coverage came from Castanet, Daily Courier, Capital News, Okanagan Weekend, a second and third article by Castanet, KelownaNow, a second article from the Capital News, 100 Mile Free Press, a second article from the Daily Courier, and Global News, who visited OC’s kitchen to film interviews with participating students.

The Capital News shared details about OC’s upcoming Business Expo & Employment Fair.

OC Coyotes baseball player Trevor Brigden received national and international interest after a video of him pitching a fastball at 94 miles per hour (151 kilometers per hour) went viral. KelownaNow and Castanet shared details and video footage of Bridgen’s pitching power.

Innovate BC News, Capital News, Daily Courier and Globe Newswire reported on OC Honorary Fellow (2014) Raghwa Gopal who has accepted a new role as Innovate BC’s President and CEO. Gopal will leave his role of CEO at Accelerate Okanagan this month.

Castanet and the Vernon Morning Star profiled OC student Jenna Tulak who chose to pursue higher education at a later stage in life and recently received a student award from the Okanagan College Foundation to help her with her studies. 

Penticton Western News and Castanet shared OC student Brandon Katerberg’s story which saw him turn a broken leg into an academic career.

A new film series – presented by OC’s Arts and Foundational programs and UBCO’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies – is looking at the Anthropocene era and caught the attention of the Salmon Arm Observer and Vernon Morning Star.

The Lake Country Calendar and Capital News shared details in advance of a comedy and carnival night that took place on Jan. 25 in support of the Okanagan College Coyotes baseball team, Jr. team and Okanagan Athletics.

OC’s Gateway to the Building Trades for Women was featured by the Summerland Review for its unique program which offers women an 11-week exploratory program that allows them to try their hand at a variety of trades.

The Vernon Morning Star and Castanet shared Okanagan College’s winning results from the recent International Business Case Competition held at Queen’s University in Ontario. OC business teams were entered in four categories and earned a first-place finish and two runner-up finishes. Maxine DeHart also shared information in her column in the Capital News.

OC reported on an upcoming tuition increase which caught the attention of Global News, InfoTel News, Daily Courier, Capital News, Vernon Morning Star and Castanet.

The Daily Courier and Capital News reported on the OC Coyotes basketball teams’ losing weekend on Jan. 27 and 28. The article gave game details for both the men’s and women’s games which were all lost to Douglas College and provided PACWEST league standings. 

The Daily Courier reported on a smoking ban coming to Okanagan College this fall.

Maxine DeHart’s column in the Capital News shared information about former OC culinary instructor Stuart Klassen who recently accepted a new position at Kelly O’Bryans as the Executive Corporate Chef Trainer.

The Daily Courier shared information about the College's viticulture diploma program and some updates that are being made to courses.

OC second year business student and Kelowna Chiefs player Myles Mattila was featured in the Daily Courier for his and his team's mental health initiatives. Mattila is the founder of and is a nationally recognized mental health advocate.


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 Feb. 19, 2019.