College's Culinary Arts students assist at Gold Medal Plates 

2017 GMPEleven of Canada’s top chefs faced off in the 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna last week and Okanagan College Culinary Arts students had a chance to step into the pressure-cooker of competition.

The Kelowna campus kitchen and cafeteria once again served as the arena for the popular Black Box competition – an Iron Chef style contest requiring chefs to assemble a dish from mystery ingredients unveiled only when the clock starts.

Chef Jinhee Lee of Calgary was victorious in the Black Box competition and ultimately took home the gold medal overall. Lee was assisted by OC Students Nicole Hoffard, Jessica Toma, Alessandra Schlosser and Samson Collins, along with Mt. Boucherie student Madison Archer. 

Watch video coverage of the Black Box competition here. Find photos and full results on the Gold Medal Plates website.

Tommie gold for OC's green buildings

Trades building exteriorThe College’s Kelowna campus Trades Complex, one of the most advanced and sustainable trades training facilities in the world, took home Best Environmental Initiative at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Okanagan Chapter Tommie Awards Gala on Jan. 28.

The Trades Complex is the College’s first campus building to win a Tommie and is one of two sustainability-focused projects the College was involved with that were honoured at this year’s ceremony.

The Wilden Living Lab, a collaborative project between the College and four community partners, was recognized with the FortisBC Award for Building Energy Efficiency at the gala. Built with assistance from 17 of the College’s Residential Construction students, the Living Lab is a real-world study on sustainable homebuilding – the only of its kind in North America. 

WLL ribbon cutting

On Jan. 25, the doors officially opened to the Wilden Living Lab, marking the completion of the 49th and 50th projects of the College's Home for Learning program.

MP Stephen Fuhr and Mayor Colin Basran joined Wilden founder Gerhard Blenk as he cut the ribbon alongside representatives from the each of the project partners - Okanagan College, UBC Okanagan, AuthenTech Homes and FortisBC. Researchers from UBC's Faculty of Engineering will now track and compare the energy efficiency of the two homes over the next three years.

“To be recognized in our community for two leading-edge environmental initiatives is very affirming,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “We pride ourselves on having set and achieved high standards for sustainability. The Trades Complex and Living Lab demonstrate how we continue to achieve that standard.”

Learn more on the Wilden Living Lab website.

New courses explore resistance and revolution

Amy CohenFrom protests over pipelines, to strife in Syria, to women’s marches for human rights, there seems to be increasing expressions of discontent making headlines around the globe and a timely new offering from Okanagan College will explore these types of issues - current and historical.

Resistance and Revolution is a program emphasis offered at the Salmon Arm campus within the College’s two-year Associate of Arts degree (transferable to B.C. universities) that will give students an in-depth opportunity to study the many ways that people around the world have fought and continue to fight social, political, colonial and economic orders.
“Whether it is the expression of solidarity we saw at Standing Rock over the Dakota Access pipeline or the ways dissatisfaction with politics and politicians are manifested in the U.S., we’re seeing that resistance is playing an ever-important role in the public agenda,” says professor Amy Cohen. “The protests following Trump’s inauguration are just further evidence of the trend.”

Courses in Resistance and Revolution will be offered beginning September 2017 at the campus. Click here for more information. 

Okanagan College Artisan Chocolate now available in Kelowna

chocChocolate lovers unite - the College's new chocolate is now available for purchase in the cafeteria at the Kelowna campus. 

Chefs Danny Capadouca and Bernard Casavant traveled to France in the summer of 2016 to work with chocolate company Cacao Barry to create Okanagan College Artisan Chocolate. They developed two exclusive chocolate recipes – Okanagan Noir, a 69.8 per cent smooth dark chocolate with intense cocoa flavour and a fruity finish and Kalamalka Karamel—a solid milk chocolate with a high cocoa content (45.1 per cent) with sweet notes of caramel and a smooth honey finish. 

The two chocolates will be used by students in the Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts programs. 

Both the Okanagan Noir and Kalamalka Karamel are available for purchase in 100g bags for $3.25 and 250g bags for $7.50. 

OC Board raises domestic tuition two per cent

Following a Board of Governors meeting on Jan. 31, Okanagan College announced a two per cent increase in domestic student tuition and a five per cent increase in tuition for international students. 

The decision follows policy set by the provincial government which limits fee increases to that amount.

For a university transfer arts student taking a full load of lecture courses, the increase will amount to approximately $65.28 per year, rising to $3,342.54.

For a student taking a six-month (24-week) electrical foundation program, tuition would increase by $51.73 to $2,638.29.

A year’s arts tuition for an international student will increase to $12,978 from $12,360.


OC Business students triumph at international business competition

OC Team at QueensFourth-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) students Madison Blancher and Adrianna Knuth were among the School of Business students celebrating one of the College’s best ever showings at Canada’s oldest and most prestigious case competition. 

Okanagan College’s School of Business notched three podium finishes – including a first-place and two runner-up finishes – at the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.) held at Queen’s University. 

Coached by Dr. Robert Groves and Roger Wheeler, Blancher and Knuth took first place in the Human Resources category, besting finalists from Simon Fraser University, Concordia University, McGill University, Saint Mary’s University and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

The Accounting team comprised of BBA students Kyla Bernardo and Kirsten Pitzoff placed second (coached by Adrian Fontenla and Randy Newton), as did the Management of Information Systems (MIS) duo of Jared Hubner and Anthony Peterson (coached by Dr. Glen Coulthard). The Debate team (coached by David Cram and Devin Rubadeau) also put in a strong effort, although they failed to crack the top three.

“All of us at the School of Business are extremely proud of our students who competed and the professors who volunteered as coaches,” says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of Okanagan College’s School of Business. “These amazing results speak to the effort, dedication and commitment of both the students and professors. They all represented Okanagan College and themselves with professionalism and poise on a competitive, international stage.”

Read the full story here.

UBC professor advocates the benefit of exercise for healthy aging

Gareth JonesDr. Gareth Jones, professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development at UBC Okanagan, will reveal the latest research from his lab on Parkinson’s disease, frailty and exercise to enhance and preserve physical function in a public talk as part of the Science in Society Speaker Series. The presentation will take place at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus in the lecture theatre on Thursday, Mar. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in a talk entitled "Is Exercise the Medicine for Successful Aging?"
Admission to the lecture is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advanced tickets call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644. To subscribe or obtain more information visit the Science in Society Speaker Series website.

Denesiuk, Derickson re-elected as OC Board Chair, Vice Chair

Connie Denesiuk Chris DericksonConnie Denesiuk has been re-elected as the chair of the Okanagan College Board of Governors. Chris Derickson has also been re-elected to the position of Vice Chair.

Denesiuk has served on the College Board since 2012, and has an extensive background in serving the province's K-12 system as a school district board chair, as a trustee and as president of the B.C. School Trustees Association. She was also a director of the Canada School Board Association.

"It's a real honour to be entrusted by my colleagues with the responsibilities of this position and to serve a great institution in this role," says Denesiuk who is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Leadership degree at Royal Roads University.

Derickson's tenure with the College Board of Governors began in 2014. He is a councillor with the Westbank First Nation. He holds a degree in law from UBC, and is currently completing a Masters of Business Administration in Aboriginal and Business Leadership at Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business. 

The terms for the two positions run until Jan. 31, 2018. 

10th Annual Business Expo & Employment Fair brings career opportunities 

2017 Business ExpoOkanagan College students had the chance to meet and mingle with employers from more than 50 businesses from across the Okanagan Valley and beyond at the 10th Annual Business Expo and Employment Fair on Feb 1. 

Organized by the Okanagan College School of Business and OC Student, Graduate and Co-op Employment Centre, the event takes place annually at the Kelowna campus and gives students and community members the opportunity to speak to and network with employers regarding career opportunities.

A number of regional and national companies who are looking for staff throughout Canada, as well as an array of employers looking for Okanagan-based employees were present, with some firms interviewing and hiring on-the-spot. Participating employers included CIBC, City of Kelowna, FortisBC, Investors Group, Metro Vancouver, PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., and TNG/Oakridge Accounting. 

“This event provides an excellent opportunity for anyone considering a new career or employment in the Okanagan,” notes Dr. Barry McGillivray, Okanagan College’s Associate Dean of Business. “By bringing industry experts together with those seeking jobs and careers we are able to offer a direct line of communication and networking for job seekers. It’s especially valuable for our students.”

Global News captured the event in this video

Moritz to assist with leadership in Penticton

The process to select a new Regional Dean South Okanagan-Similkameen is continuing.

In the meantime, Charlotte Kushner, VP Students, announced that Yvonne Moritz, Dean of Science, Technology and Health, will be working in Penticton one-to-two days per week to provide leadership to the campus until a new or Acting Regional Dean is in place. For employees wanting to meet with Yvonne, please contact Jackie Dewar-Pine to make those arrangements.

Other Leadership Team members will also regularly be on the Penticton campus for their usual ongoing College activities and meetings. The Leadership Team will work together to ensure that campus and regional operations continue as smoothly as possible.

At this point a full-time “Acting” or “Interim” Regional Dean has not been appointed but Kushner will consider doing so in the near future, depending on the outcome of the current search process.

February 7, 2017, Vol. 11, Issue 22

Employee Excellence Awards – Deadline for nominations extended

In order to give OC employees adequate time to nominate their peers, the nomination deadline for Employee Excellence Awards has been extended to midnight on Monday, March 13. For more information about the awards, including award categories, nomination FAQs, and links to nomination forms, please refer to the Employee Excellence Awards Website

Electronic T4 slip program to roll out

Financial Services is excited to begin offering all employees access to their T4 slip(s) electronically in 2017. This process will be rolled out in two steps, completing in Fall 2017.
The first step is to obtain employee consent. We ask all employees to login to myOkanagan, click on Administrative Functions > Employees > Employee Tax Forms > Electronic Tax Forms Consent. Once you have read the information, please check off the consent box and click submit.
The second step of the process will occur later in 2017 when we enable the online T4. Once this occurs, employees will have access to your T4 slip(s) for all years, electronically.
If you have any questions about this process, please contact Vicki Pannell at extension 4312 or by email

Fitness Facility Family Day closure and Reading Week hours 

The Kelowna campus Fitness Facility will be closed for the Family Day long weekend stat holiday starting Friday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. We will re-open on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 8:30 a.m.

During reading week (Feb. 14-Feb. 17), Fitness Facility hours will be adjusted to 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The facility will be closed Saturday, Feb. 18 and resume regular hours on Monday, Feb. 20. 

New P.D. course offerings: Leadership and Change, HR Series 

Okanagan College has two new online courses: Leadership and Change Certificate and the HR Series. This composite of courses deliver valuable training from leadership skills to performance development and coaching. The courses are designed to enhance leadership competencies, provide strategies for effective change, improve workplace efficiency and increase employee recruitment and retention.  

Individuals who complete the series or certificate will be able to apply this knowledge to their workplace immediately and be agents of change.  These courses are eligible for tuition waivers.

For more information visit Professional Development for Supervisors and Managers.

Volunteer Literacy Tutor Program 

The Adult Academic and Career Preparation department offers educational upgrading courses for adult learners with a wide range of backgrounds and needs. Courses progress from fundamental English and Math to B.C. Grade 12 equivalency, enabling adult students to develop essential academic skills and complete pre-requisites for vocational programs, trades and university study. 

Through the Volunteer Literacy Tutor Program (VLTP), adult learners have the opportunity for free one-on-one support for their upgrading courses, as well as basic literacy and numeracy skills and ESL support.  

Volunteerism has been thriving in Okanagan College’s adult literacy program for over 25 years. Tutors and learners are regularly scheduled to meet weekly for 1 ½ hours. All ongoing supporting resources, including monthly literacy news publications, are provided. 

The VLTP offers tutors workshops and appreciation socials each academic semester, as well as training for new volunteers. 

Upcoming Events: 
Feb. 17 1-3 p.m. Valentine’s Appreciation Tea & Workshop (H123)
April 20 11:30 a.m - 1 p.m. Annual Appreciation Luncheon (Guisachan House) 
March 22-23 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. Spring Tutor Training for new volunteers (C120)
For more information please contact Laura Hill at local 4555 or by email

CCSSE surveys begin in February

Research shows that for many groups of students, the more actively engaged they are, the more likely they are to learn, to persist with their studies and to attain their academic goals.  

Beginning February, students in randomly selected classes at Okanagan College and many other colleges across North America will have the chance to share their views by participating in the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). 

Student engagement is one of the college’s key directions and the results from the survey will form part of the Performance Indicators that are presented to the Okanagan College Board of Governors. Student voices matter and participation in these surveys are a valuable measure for assessing the quality of educational practices and identifying methods for student success. 

More information on CCSSE can be found on their website or by contacting Jan O’Brien, Manager of Institutional Research. 


Learning and Teaching Workshops

Workshops take place at the Kelowna campus in room B130, unless otherwise noted. For full course descriptions view the Winter 2017 Workshop Schedule.

Please note that seating for these sessions is limited. Please register in advance by email.

Feb. 20 –  MS Excel – Advanced, 10:30 - 11:20 a.m. BC288

Feb. 24 –  Why Rubrics Matter, 1-2 p.m.  

Mar. 8 – Effective Use of Library Research Resources12-1 p.m.  

Mar. 13 – An Evidence Review of Stress Reduction Techniques to Improve Overall Wellness, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  

Speakers Series: Drop-In Improv Session  

Feb. 20 - Much like the lives that we live, improv is fast, funny, and unpredictable – there is no script and sometimes the path is undetermined. In this speech, Issac Gilbert and Peach Gravy Improv will demonstrate the three philosophies of improv. These philosophies get the actors to help and support each other and survive the scene. The audience will also learn how actors use statues, emotions, and characters in improv.

The talk takes places at the Ashnola Lecture Theatre (PL107) on the Penticton campus at 7 p.m. 

More information on the event can be found on the OC Speaker Series website

Whistle Stop Yoga

Feb. 23 – The Okanagan Rail Trail’s Whistle Stop Yoga series returns to Okanagan College. All levels welcome; please bring your own mat. Admission is by donation, with proceeds going to the Rail Trail. The 60-minute class will take place in the cafeteria at the Vernon campus at 5:45 p.m.

Classics at the Classic

A recurring and increasingly prevalent theme in films is “the end of the world as we know it,” and Okanagan College’s Dr. Tim Walters has built a season of “Classics at the Classic” that feature nine dystopian and apocalyptic flicks. Now in its fifth season, the popular movie series returns to the Salmar Classic theatre (60 Alexander St. NE) in Salmon Arm. The not-for-profit series is part of the College’s second year university transfer course Studies in Reading Film. 

The full schedule of films is as follows: 

Feb. 27 – 7 p.m. Melancholia (2011)
March 6 – 5 p.m.  Blade Runner (1982)
March 13 – 5 p.m. 28 Days Later (2002)
March 20 – 5 p.m. The New World (2005)
March 27 – 7 p.m. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
April 3 – 5 p.m. To be announced. The choice of film will be voted on by the class. 


Okanagan College School of Business students will become celebrity servers for one night only at Boston Pizza to raise funds for Enactus, as reported in the Vernon Morning Star's article Enactus holds fundraiser

The Canadian Culinary Championships headlined the news this past weekend. The eagerly-anticipated event was reported on by Castanet in Best chefs go head to head, Kelowna Now in The Canadian Culinary Championships kick off in Kelowna, twice by The Daily Courier in Canadian Culinary Championships: A foodie's delight and Top chef a women for only 2nd time, The Okanagan Sunday in Kitchen magicians perform, and Country's top chefs vie for kitchen crown, featuring OC Culinary Arts student Justin Greenaway.  

Friday night's big event was a Mystery wine pairing followed by Saturday's challenge at Okanagan College that saw the Chefs tackle black box. You can follow Chef Jinhee Lee's path to the gold medal with stories from The Capital News and a video from Castanet

A variety of events taking place at the Vernon Campus were covered by The Vernon Morning Star, including Mariachi returns to warm up the Okanagan, and the article Women caring about their community on local charity 100 Women Who Care. 

Castanet let readers know that Seedy Saturdays are underway at the Penticton campus. 

KelownaNow let readers know about a major feature documentary pre-release coming to Kelowna in which a local couple stand alongside a number of major hollywood stars in exploring how healthier eating could save your life. The Daily Courier article Mountie credits diet with helping him beat cancer, Castanet's Eating you Alive on tour and the Penticton Herald's Mountie's diet subject of documentary film and Diet credited with helping cop beat cancer also shared word of the screening.

The College's new animation program garnered attention as a timely offering that responds to the Okanagan's growing film industry in Ready, set, action for Okanagan film industry

OC's own Moya Webb was featured in The Daily Courier discussing how Ted's talk inspires new member of Toastmasters

The Salmon Arm Observer explored the mental health challenges facing students and the supports available in Students weighed down by school stress

Okanagan College's new Trades Complex made a host of local media for taking home Best Environmental Initiative at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Okanagan Chapter Tommie Awards Gala on Jan. 28. The Capital News penned Green wins gold for Okanagan College, while Okanagan Life shared College's green buildings earn gold

Last week's announcement of a tuition increase at Okanagan College - a two per cent increase in domestic student tuition and a five per cent increase in tuition for international students - was shared by Global News, The Daily CourierKelownaNow, The Penticton Herald, The Penticton Western NewsThe Capital newsCastanet and

News of the tuition increase and the re-election of Okanagan College Board of Governors Chair Connie Denesiuk and Vice Chair Chris Derickon was carried in articles by The Capital News, The Penticton Herald and The Daily Courier which also ran news of the re-election and of students request for more counsellors at the recent Okanagan College Board of Governors meeting.

The Capital News was onsite to capture the 10th Annual Business Expo which gave students and jobseekers from the comunity a chance to network with more than 50 employers from across the region and beyond. The Daily Courier also ran a brief feature and photos in Business Expo and Employment Fair.

Okanagan College's partnership in a new Shuswap labour market study that looks at the needs of potential employees and employers was covered by the Salmon Arm Observer story Survey looks at labour market

The green building technology behind the recently opened Wilden Living Lab (two homes constructed with the help of students from Okanagan College's Residential Construction program) was profiled by The Okanagan Sunday in the article Latest Wilden project proves the availability of energy efficient design, Kelowna Now in Looking towards the future: The Home of Tomorrow, in Show homes ready for new families, by The Daily Courier in Living Lab Homes Opened and Which home is better?, CTV News in Testing the cost of energy efficiency, The Capital News in The tale of two homes, and by Castanet in Home of today vs. tomorrow.

In the wake of the Quebec City mosque attack, Okanagan College professor Norah Bowman was quoted in the Capital News article Candlelight vigil response to terrorist attack and Castanet ran the article Refugee family feels safe sharing local perspectives.

News that KF Aerospace is hiring 80 positions after a new contract for a hangar at the Kelowna International Airport in this Castanet article. KF Aerospace will be looking at graduates from Okanagan College's AME-S program, as well as candidates from across Canada.

The 18-month restoration of Okanagan College English Professor Shona Harrison's 1911 heritage home was celebrated in the pages of The Daily Courier. Harrison will receive a special achievement honour at the Heritage B.C. Annual Awards next week for her attention to detail in restoring the home.

Okanagan College School of Business students' strong showing at ICBC at Queen's University garnered the attention of media throughout the region including The Capital and The Vernon Morning Star

Castanet described a bright picture for post-secondary education in the Valley in their article Growth of higher ed, about the recent Chamber of Commerce presentation in Vernon by Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton and UBC Okanagan Deputy Vice Chancellor Deborah Buszard.

Okanagan College recently became only the second post-secondary institution in the world to have its own chocolate recipes, and the sweet news traveled far and wide thanks to coverage from CBC, Global News, KelownaNow, Castanet, The Capital and Blackpress TV

News of Former Regional Dean John Lent and bandmates performance at Okanagan College's Vernon campus on Jan. 27 was trumpeted by the Vernon Morning Star in Trio-guitarist play a game of musical chairs Friday.

Okanagan College was applauded at the recent Women in Wine for training local talent, as reported by The Daily Courier, Kelowna Now and The Capital News in Panel looks at women's roles in Okanagan wine industryThe future of wine is at Okanagan College and Filling a wine industry need

Salmon Arm Professor Terry Kosowick, was featured alongside his band The Cliff Jumpers in Band whistles Dixie at Vernon Jazz Club for their upcoming performance on 

English Professor Melanie Murray's book launch on Jan. 25 was reported on by The Daily Courier in Local author introduces us to Mrs. Robbie Burns.

Enactus Okanagan College students in Salmon Arm were among the founders of the popular Launch-A-Preneaur program - a Dragon's Den style competition - which ran for the fourth time in that community this month, as reported by The Salmon Arm Observer.

The Salmon Arm Observer let readers know about the dystopian film series curated by Okanagan College English Professor Dr. Tim Walters in the article College offers dark but delicious films.


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

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 February 21, 2017.