Inaugural OC4 Cyclosportif hits the road

oc4Okanagan College’s first public cycling event – the OC4 Cyclosportif – took place during the last weekend of June and went off without a hitch.

The event began in Salmon Arm and included an official start from the mayor. The weather was perfect, scenery spectacular, and aid station support was assisted by OC nursing student (Kyla MacPhail). Craig Smith (AACP) gave a rousing welcome at the Vernon campus while riders were enjoying enchiladas courtesy of Gumtree Catering. Saturday saw riders make their way to Kelowna on the brand new highway, where they had all four lanes to themselves.

The riders made their way to Penticton on Sunday where they enjoyed the sights along Okanagan Lake. Aid station support was provided by a nursing student, Erika Warkentin. Once at the Penticton campus, they were welcomed by volunteer Johann Funk (former OC sociology professor). All ten of the participants said they would be back next year, bringing more friends along.

College hosts Discover Trades BC

Okanagan College recently hosted a regional youth forum to promote trades to young people called Discover Trades BC.

The forum was an opportunity for everyone (representatives from government, local industry and educators) to get a better understanding of the youth initiatives in place now and those that are on the horizon, to brainstorm areas where gaps exist and areas for improvement as well as explore new ideas and other options with the main focus on transitioning K-12 youth into the trades.

"What a great forum this was and how optimistic it makes me feel about future possibilities," said Larry Espe, Superintendent of Transitions and Trades for the Ministry of Labour. “It was such a pleasure being a part of a conversation where partners from industry, colleges and schools respectfully questioned the barriers to common sense that exist in our system and then made some practical suggestions on how to move forward.”

College signs MOU with BCIT, deepening partnership  

haymouOkanagan College will be working more closely with BCIT in the near future after signing a Memorandum of Understanding that formalizes each institution’s commitment to explore and pursue joint opportunities to provide high-quality programming, complementary disciplines and applied research.

Broadly, the MOU is aimed toward further joint development in the areas of planning, partnerships related to programming and applied research, and capital planning.

More specifically, Okanagan College and BCIT have identified a number of areas in which they could benefit from collaboration.

Areas of interest include:

-    building sciences
-    sustainability education
-    fuel alternatives

-    water management

-    energy management

-    commercialization

-    entrepreneurship

-    intellectual property 

-    simulation for health programming

To read more about the partnership agreement between the College and BCIT, follow this link to a Public Affairs press release.

Yasmin and Rick Thorpe support SCMT student scholarships

thorpesStudents entering the Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) diploma program this fall at Okanagan College will now be eligible to apply for a new scholarship.
Longtime College supporters Rick and Yasmin Thorpe of Penticton are providing four $2,500 scholarships for students entering the program this fall, based on their financial need.
In making the announcement, Rick Thorpe described Okanagan College as a “great college with a world class facility for great Okanagan students.”
“We want students to know that there are opportunities for assistance and both Yasmin and I are pleased to be able to help a number of students,” he said. “We will work with the Okanagan College Foundation to award those students who have a goal, may need financial assistance, and who have demonstrated good academic results.”
The Thorpes have committed to continue their support to the program by providing two $2,500 scholarships in subsequent years.
For more information about the Thorpes’ contribution, follow this link to read a Public Affairs press release.

Camp OC kicks off

campocCamp OC officially started today in Kelowna at Okanagan College. Registrations for the popular kids’ camps have exceeded 900, which marks a new high for the program.

Seven camps will be running this week with a total of 130 kids taking part. The following camps got underway today:

- Mini Chef Academy
- Lost in Time – Dinosaur Adventure
- Extreme Survivor Challenge
- LEGO Motorized Mechanics
- Acting Academy
- School of Rock
- Babysitter Training

Please take the time to welcome our campers and ask them which camp they’re in.  Kids love sharing about their adventures.  For more information on Camp OC, please contact either Helena Jordo, or Lara Jennings in Continuing Studies.

2013 Convocation season comes to a close

vernonLast week Okanagan College celebrated the achievements of more than 1,250 students who graduated in two ceremonies – one in Vernon and the other in Kelowna.

Graduates included degree, diploma, certificate and Continuing Studies students from Vernon, as well as diploma, certificate and Continuing Studies students in Kelowna.

Among the graduating students was the province’s first class of Practical Nurses who completed the new curriculum for B.C.

lapointeThe Summer Convocation ceremony also included recognition of Barry Lapointe as an Honorary Fellow of the College. Lapointe is the CEO, Founder and Past-President of Kelowna Flightcraft.

The next Convocation to take place at the College will be the winter ceremony in January.

Students complete new tourism and hospitality program

More than two dozen students have now completed the Employment Skills Access Bar, Wine and Service Industry Training program – a new offering funded by the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement. The seven-week program provided successful participants with six industry recognized certificates, including two Okanagan College certificates.

bwsi“The contract proposed Okanagan College service 24 students - this target was exceeded, as 29 individuals participated in the program. We are pleased to report that nine of the participants are now employed,” said Program Coordinator Jen Hamilton.

To learn more about upcoming Employment Skills Access programs, please contact Continuing Studies.


Top accounting students to attend premium event at KPMG HQ

Two Okanagan College accounting students have been selected to travel to
Toronto to attend KPMG’s Executive Look event coming up in August.

Amanda Wright, a third-year Bachelor of Business Administration student
based in Kelowna, and Vernon student Amanda Dacko, who is completing her
second year, went through a multi-pronged selection process to join 100
top performing students from across the country to attend the event.

KPMG holds this conference each year to connect the best and brightest
student leaders with members of the company's executive and management

This marks the second year in a row that Okanagan College students have
been selected to attend events with top Canadian chartered accounting
firms. Last year, two students took part in the Deloitte National
Leadership Conference, which resulted in employment offers.

OCAD update – new Chair and Co-Chair

stoltzTanis Stoltz has stepped into the role of Chair of the OCAD group, working with newly elected Co-Chair, Susan Moran. OCAD is the Okanagan College Assistants Development team and most of the OCAD members report directly to a member of the Leadership Team.

OCAD’s goal is to connect with the various faculties and departments to share issues and discuss best practices within the College as well as work closely with various departments to streamline processes and implement changes to procedures. Please contact Tanis Stoltz if you are interested in presenting at an OCAD meeting.

Salmon Arm students recognized

studentsAt the Salmon Arm Campus Awards Night on June 12 three young men received scholarships, much to the delight of their families. All had parents, grandparents or sponsors working at the Salmon Arm Campus.

Alex Idzan won the Rocky Johnston Entrance Scholarship. His father Ivan Idzan and grandmother Debbie Idzan work in the College’s Salmon Arm library.

DaVin Kim, an international student from Korea, won a SASCU scholarship - his homestay sponsors are Alan and Star MacGregor (Star is retiring from the College’s Salmon Arm campus library).

Haydn Melin won a Salmar Community Association Scholarship. His mother is an Okanagan College math and physics instructor in Salmon Arm and Vernon. 

July 2, 2013 Vol. 8, Issue 7


Terry Fox Run to take place in Kelowna – Sept. 15

The annual Terry Fox Run will take place at the Mission Sports Field in Kelowna and employees are encouraged to join the Okanagan College team in support of cancer awareness and research. The free event includes a 1.5, 5 or 9 km walk, bike or run. Angie March in the Regional Dean’s office is organizing the College’s efforts – please contact her for more information at 4501.

The Balance Sheet

Okanagan College’s Employee and Family Wellness Program provider PPC Canada has issued its monthly newsletter, the Balance Sheet. This month’s edition features information on disability management. Follow this link to read the PDF.

Ryga goes digital

Okanagan College professors Corinna Chong and Sean Johnston have completed the process of converting Ryga, the Department of English’s literary journal, to a digital format. Issue #6 of Ryga is now online at

This issue features poetry and prose by Ben Ladouceur, L.S. Bassen, Kim Goldberg, Melissa Kuipers, William Alton, and Heather Davidson.  

Despite the format shift, Ryga still reflects the highest standards of content and design and is now even easier to access.

Help support Camp OC

With a record-breaking 900 registrations for Camp OC, organizers are in need of some supplies. Please pop by A149 and see James or Dana if you are able to contribute any of the following supplies:

- Empty toilet paper/paper towel rolls
- Egg cartons
- Empty coffee tins
 - Empty plastic 2L and 500ml pop/water bottles
- Spare art supplies:
scrap material, fabric,
inner tubes from car tires (or bigger)
- Colorful paint (latex)
Camp OC is also looking for children ages 0-6 for its Babysitter Camp. If you know of any moms or dads who want a few hours of free babysitting they can drop their kids off on Friday July 5, 10-11:30 am. Please contact Helena for more information.

College Ladies Golf Tournament

Join colleagues in Kelowna on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 5 p.m. at Michaelbrook Ranch for the Okanagan College Ladies Golf Tournament. Prizes, gifts, golf and dinner for under $40.  Contact Angie March for details at 4501.

Campus Store highlight

Pick up your cute and cozy Camp OC Bear at the Campus Store. The plush bears are sporting customized Camp OC T-shirts. These bears are available in both brown and white and retail for $12.99 each.

Women in Trades Conference - July 6

Okanagan College will host the Women in Trades Conference at the Kelowna campus on July 6 with presentations, keynote speakers and demonstrations. To register, visit


The Kelowna Daily Courier covered news of Barry Lapointe’s Honorary Fellow designation at the College’s Summer Convocation ceremony. Read more about the CEO and Founder of Kelowna Flightcraft and his special recognition in: For he’s a jolly good fellow.

The Business Examiner published a Public Affairs press release announcing the installation of a new spray booth for the College’s Automotive Collision Repair Program. Read more about the system and how it is training students on cutting-edge equipment while enhancing sustainability efforts in: Okanagan College boosts sustainability.

News that the College will be offering a new program in Pastry Arts made the pages of the Kelowna Capital News. Read more about the program, which begins this fall in: Pastry Arts.

Agur Lake Camp will host a grand opening on July 6. The wilderness camp, which is designed to provide access for people with disabilities, includes three cabins that were built by Okanagan College students in the Residential Construction program. Read more about the upcoming event in: Agur Lake Camp grand opening July 6.

The winner of Venture Okanagan’s most recent investors forum, Chris Priebe, was profiled in the Business Examiner’s latest edition. Priebe is launching a new company with support from the forum – he earned the $5,000 grand prize for his product, PottyMouth. Read more about Venture Okanagan, which is organized and operated by Enactus Okanagan College, and Priebe in: Chris Priebe launches new company.

Continuing Studies’ music jam camp was covered in the Kelowna Capital News after Public Affairs issued a media release about the upcoming event. Read more in: New course offers place for musically shy boomers to band together.

Registrar Jane Muskens’ regular School’s In column for the Kelowna Capital News covered two topics over the past few weeks. Jane explored a recent study that links higher levels of employment with certified job skills. She also wrote about the value of teaching as a career and used the College’s Trades Technology Teacher Education diploma program as an example. Read more in: Those who can, do, and those who can, also teach others.  

Rick and Yasmin Thorpe have contributed to a new scholarship for Okanagan College students entering the new Sustainable Construction Management Technology program. News of the Thorpes’ continued support for College students made the pages of the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: Longtime scholarship supporters step up for new program.

Okanagan College is making the most of a recent donation of photography equipment from Ute Koessler, a donor with a history of gifting items to the College. Koessler’s son Andreas was a professional and well known photographer whose equipment was extremely valuable. He passed away recently and his mother made the decision to gift his equipment to benefit students. Read more about the donation in: Okanagan College sharpens image.

Okanagan College’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence was mentioned recently in an article about CEI Architecture that appeared in Okanagan Life Magazine. Read more about the firm and their projects in: CEI Architecture.

A press release about the opportunities for graduates of Okanagan College’s Trades Technology Teacher Education diploma program made the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more in: Student can’t wait to teach trades.


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

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 16, 2013.