New partnership shines spotlight on film industry career opportunities

VFXA collaboration between Okanagan College and the Vancouver Film School is bringing about a weeklong boot camp designed to help participants learn industry software basics, production process and how industry professionals create visual effects, or VFX, illusions.

“The growing animation and VFX industry has created the opportunity for us to partner with the Vancouver Film School, says Dennis Silvestrone, Director, Continuing Studies and Corporate Training at Okanagan College.

"Bringing this unique training experience to the Okanagan is key in our efforts to continue to develop resources that support the growth and with the strong economic forecast for significant growth, now is a great time to be building a career within the industry."

Designed to boost portfolios of beginner to intermediate graphic artists and film artists, the course will see students complete a fully executed shot using industry techniques in a suite of different graphics and video tools.

The course runs from July 30 to Aug. 3 at the Okanagan Innovation Centre at 460 Doyle Ave., in Kelowna. 

For more details, read the full story here

Research trio advocate for more work on artificial intelligence security

YouryWhat if someone hacked a traffic sign with a few well-placed dots, so your self-driving car did something dangerous, such as going straight when it should have turned right? 

Okanagan College Computer Science Professor Dr. Youry Khmelevsky and a pair of fellow researchers are urging artificial intelligence researchers to invest more effort in system design and security to deal with hacks and security issues that have already happened.

A research paper, authored by Khmelevsky and his colleagues from France, Dr. Gaétan Hains, and Arvid Jakobsson was presented recently at an international conference held by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (the world’s largest technical professional society). The paper summarizes the research that has already been done into the threats and dangers associated with the machine-learning processes that underpin autonomous systems, such as self-driving cars.

Their paper also points to the needs to take research and tool development for “deep learning” to a new level. (Deep Learning – DL – is what makes facial recognition, voice recognition, and self-driving cars possible. DL systems mimic neural networks – like your brain – that can take data and process it based on information processing and communication patterns).

“Safe AI is an important research topic attracting more and more attention worldwide,” says Hains. “Dr. Khmelevsky brings software engineering expertise to complement my team's know-how in software correctness techniques. We expect to produce new knowledge and basic techniques to support this new trend in the industry.”

Read the full story here.

Record month on social media

Social media gradJune was a month for breaking records. The College's Facebook posts reached over two million people and more than 9,500 people visited to watch the livestream feeds of the six spring and summer graduation ceremonies that took place in May and June. 

Viewers tuned in from all corners of the globe, with many coming from India, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Jamaica. If you didn't have a chance to watch the ceremonies, you can catch up on all of the livestream videos here

New for this year, the College has made all student graduation and event photos available to view or download for free on the new OC Flickr page. Convocation photos from June 26-28 will be uploaded soon. 


Hawley unveils new book

Alix HawleyDr. Alix Hawley, a former OC English department member, is once again transporting readers into the world of American pioneer Daniel Boone with her new novel My Name is a Knife, the followup to her award-winning 2015 book All True Not a Lie in It.

The novel offers a glimpse into the life and dramatic end of the fabled frontiersman while also presenting the inner struggles of his wife Rebecca. Hawley will be appearing at Mosaic Books in Kelowna from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18 and at the Vancouver Writers Festival on Oct. 15-21.

All True Not a Lie in It drew national praise upon release, earning the 2015 First Novel Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. It was also long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller prize that year. In 2017, Hawley took home the CBC Short Story Prize for her story “Witching.”

More information about the book is available on Penguin Random House’s website.

OC graduate uncorks wine industry career

Linsay OgdenOC alumna Linsay Ogden received her credentials at the Summer Commencement ceremony on June 27 and has already stepped into a new career in the Okanagan’s booming wine industry. 

Ogden was one of approximately 140 students from an array of Continuing Studies programs who were recognized at the Summer Commencement ceremony and is among more than 2,000 graduates who received credentials from the College this year.

After working in the hospitality industry for several years, Ogden decided it was time for a change and set her sights on an administrative role. She enrolled in the College’s Introduction to Office Administration Certificate program. While in the program, Ogden decided to apply her newly acquired administrative skills in the wine industry.

“The hospitality industry definitely has some crossover with the wine industry and I’ve always been intrigued by that world,” explains Ogden. “I immediately started looking for ways to use my skills at a local winery and searching for job openings – it wasn’t long before I got one.”

Shortly before graduation, Ogden was hired as the Estate Coordinator for Black Hills Estate Winery.

Read the full story here.

July 10, 2018, Vol. 12, Issue 13


Elevator service interruption July 13-20

Kelowna campus employees note that maintenance to the elevators in the Centre for Learning (E building) will cause a brief interruption in service. From noon on Friday, July 13, until 8 a.m. on Monday, July 16, both elevators will be shut down for weekend repair work. 

On Monday, July 16, one elevator is expected to be operational by 8 a.m. (and will remain in service throughout the week). The other elevator will remain closed for repairs for the remainder of the week. Please anticipate some delays and additional noise while the work is underway.

During the times Friday-Monday when both elevators will be out of service, employees should plan to take the stairs to reach floors 2-5. If you anticipate any issues or require accommodation, please let your supervisor know.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience and understanding. If you require more information, please contact the Regional Dean's office.

New employee award open for applications

The Derek Cook Memorial Award for International Opportunities is now open for applications. Click here for full award details and click here to download the application form. Applications will be accepted until July 25, 2018.

IT scheduled maintenance

IT Services has scheduled maintenance that will cause disruption in service for Banner and related services from 4 p.m. Friday, July 20 to 8 a.m. Monday, July 23. If you have any questions, please contact Jillian Stamp.

Downtown Kelowna Block Party – call for volunteers

The Downtown Kelowna Block Party is taking place on July 21 and OC recruiters will be on site representing the College. The high-profile event brings out more than 20,000 people and the recruitment department is looking for volunteers to help at the College’s booth.

If you are interested in volunteering or know of any students who might be interested, please contact Blake Edwards for more information.

CampOC needs your help

CampOC is well underway and is once again looking for your support. If you are able to donate any of the below items, please contact Isabel Su.

  • 16-ounce jars or vases
  • 4-ounce mason jars
  • 500 ml empty plastic bottles
  • Big round yogurt container lids
  • Any old calendars with pictures suitable for sketching
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Small cardboard boxes i.e. cracker boxes
  • Large or tall empty soup cans.

Summer food services at Kelowna campus

Coffee shops

  • Fezziwig's is open Mon-Thurs from 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • DeBeans is open Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Food Trucks return during the week from 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (approximately)


  • Open Tue - Fri for lunch from 2 - 4 p.m. and dinner from 5 - 7 p.m. View menus here.
  • Will be closed July 30 - Aug. 7 and Sept. 25-28 for curriculum purposes

The cafeteria is closed for the summer. ​ 

Bake Shop hours – Kelowna campus

Bake Shop sale will be held in Infusions every Friday at 1 p.m. There will be no sale on Friday, July 27 and Friday, Sept. 7.


SPOKE Literary Festival

Aug. 10-12 – The third annual Spoke Literary Festival is happening from Aug. 10-12 and the College’s Vernon campus will once again host a number of workshops during the festival including four writing workshops and two literary and social gatherings. Learn more, find speakers/presenters and register by July 31 on the website.


Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton sat down with Kent Molgat of KelownaNow to film a live interview about all-things Okanagan College. 

The Okanagan College Foundation added five new board members this month. The Salmon Arm Observer and the Daily Courier shared information about the new members.

The Osoyoos Times reported on OC alumnus and Nk’Mip Cellars winemaker Justin Hall who helped announce two new Meritage wines which were released at an event in celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Vernon OC Health Care Assistant Lonie Reimer recently graduated and shared her story with the Vernon Morning Star.

Maxine Dehart’s column in the Capital News congratulated former chair of the Okanagan School of Business, Laura Thurnheer, who recently began her new role as Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health at the Kelowna campus. The article also welcomed Curtis Morcom back to the College as the Vice President Employee and Corporate Services.

Local author and former OC student Andrew Buckley launched a new summer series of writing classes teaching participants how to write a novel. Castanet reported on the published author, whose inspiration to write came from OC instructor Tim Perrin who taught him in a screenwriting course in the late 1990s.

The Daily Courier shared information about alumni Brea Retzlaff and Drew Vincent who recently received the Okanagan College Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Awards.

OC English and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies professor Norah Bowman helped the BCGEU by participating in a panel discussion to address the housing affordability crisis in B.C. The Capital News and Daily Courier shared details leading up to the discussion.

The Vernon campus was commended by a Lake Country resident as a cost-effective and beautiful wedding venue. The Revelstoke Review and the Salmon Arm Observer shared the soon-to-be bride’s adventure of planning an Okanagan Wedding for under $10,000.

MP Stephen Fuhr penned a letter to announce former OC Foundation board member Bev Busson’s recent appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada for her lifelong commitment to public safety and service to citizens. The Capital News, Castanet and InfoNews shared his letter and information about Busson.

OC Level 2 apprentice culinary student Erin MacDougall received a shout out for her winning dish in the OC Road to Riccione competition in the Okanagan Weekend and in Maxine Dehart’s column in the Capital News.

Wines in Niagara and the Salmon Arm Observer shared opening details of TIME Winery, a new winery in Penticton. OC viticulture and winemaking alumnus Graham Pierce is the winery’s Director of Winemaking and has more than a decade of experience producing award-winning wines in the region. 

KelownaNow  and the Capital News caught up with OC Coyotes men’s basketball head coach Dino Gini to talk about the upcoming Okanagan College Basketball 3-on-3 Hoopfest on July 21.

Future OC student Madison Baxter was recently featured in Castanet for winning a $5,000 bursary. Baxter was among 45 Penticton high school graduates who received bursaries and awards from the inaugural David Kampe post-secondary bursary, which helps deserving students who might not be able to afford post-secondary education.

OC Honorary Fellow (2007) and Armstrong playwright Ken Smedley was featured in the Capital News for his play, The Rocky Mountain Prophet, which delves into the refugee crisis.

The Vernon Morning Star shared information on the third annual Spoke Literary Festival which helps budding writers learn to hone their craft. The writer’s fest takes place from Aug. 10-12 and is hosted at various venues around Vernon, including two days of workshops at OC’s Vernon campus.

ICON Okanagan magazine profiled OC Honorary Fellow (2012) Lane Merrifield alongside his sister, Renee Merrifield in an article entitled Family Ties.

Okanagan College hosted an info session at the Penticton campus for the Sustainable Construction Management Technology program. The Penticton Herald shared details about the session and the program.

OC professor Dr. Alix Hawley has released her newest novel My Name is a Knife, the follow up to her award-winning 2015 book All True Not a Lie in It. The Daily Courier shared information about her novel and two other local authors' books.


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 July 24, 2018.