OC apprentice scores silver at Skills Canada National competition

McLaren, Pfob, VanlerbergAn Okanagan College-trained carpenter was recognized among the best in the country at the recent Skills Canada National competition (SCNC). Lukas Pfob, a Level 4 Carpenter apprentice, brought home the silver medal in the carpentry competition at SCNC, which took place in Edmonton on June 4-5.

The challenge required competitors to build an intricate play house from scratch in just 12 hours spread over the course of two days. The medal was his first at Nationals and fifth overall at Skills Canada competitions, including consecutive gold medals at Provincials the past two years.

Pfob was joined by two other OC students at Nationals. Vernon’s Bradley Vanlerberg competed in the Aerospace Technology category and Kelowna’s Conner McLaren competed in the Automotive Service category. All three students won gold at the Provincial Skills Canada competition on April 18.

Read the full story here.

Vernon Trades Training Centre gets a boost

Kalamalka Rotary donationThe Kalamalka Rotary has stepped forward with a major gift to support amenities for students in the new Trades Training Centre, which is currently under construction at the College’s Vernon campus. 

The club contributed $25,000 from its Annual Dream Auction to support the centre. The money will help the College outfit men’s and women’s locker rooms in the $6.2-million, 13,450 square-foot facility which is slated to open in August.

The gift also marks a significant milestone in the fundraising campaign for the project. 

Click here for the full story.

New student awards created thanks to annual donation

New Car Dealers donationThe New Car Dealers Foundation (NCDF) of British Columbia is helping future OC automotive and business students with $10,000 in new annual student awards.

There are 29 new car dealer members in the Okanagan including six dealerships operated by Sentes Automotive.

“We’re always looking for more technicians. We know the value of the Okanagan College program, we’ve hired grads in the past and we’re thrilled to support it,” says Sentes Automotive Group General Manager Adam Rich.

Each annual award ranges from $1,000 to $2,000 and the NDCF presented the first set of awards this April. 

“These awards are unique in that they will open doors for trades students while also supporting the next generation of business professionals pursuing careers in the automotive sector,” says Kathy Butler, Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation.

Read the full story here

Open house for new Health Sciences Centre

Construction is fast approaching for the new $18.9-million Health Sciences Centre at the Kelowna campus and all employees and students are invited to be part of the process and attend open house information sessions.

Preparation for construction is slated to begin the week of June 25 and the design process and engagement with the Construction Management team is already well under way. Employees and students will have a chance to learn more about the project including parking, landscaping and designs during the information sessions held on June 19 and 20 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Centre for Learning atrium under the Centre for Dialogue. The project is anticipated to be completed in late spring 2020. 

If employees have any questions or concerns, please direct them to the Central Okanagan Regional Dean’s Office.


Graduation inspires OC student to think locally and globally

Jennifer MeyerJennifer Meyer was one of nearly 500 students who graduated during two convocation ceremonies held at the College’s Kelowna campus on June 2. She is entering the workforce with a new perspective and big plans for how she can put her skills to work to benefit others in the Okanagan. 

Meyer enrolled and completed her Associate of Arts degree at the College and bridged to the four-year Business degree program which saw her study abroad and hone her skills as an Accounting student. The time away found her thinking about how she could apply her blossoming business skills to good use when she returned to Kelowna.

“This is my hometown and I’m really passionate about making an impact here,” says Meyer. “My time in the School of Business gave me a chance to gain a more global perspective but it also inspired me to look more closely at how I can drive change right here at home.”

During the convocation ceremonies, Patrick Waunch, CEO and President of Rambow Mechanical Ltd, and retired MLA Rick Thorpe were officially named Honorary Fellows – the highest honour bestowed by the College. Mollie QuilQuil Sneena Bono will receive the honour at the Vernon Convocation ceremony on June 26.

Read the full story here.

Enactus OC project helps elementary students become authors

QP Elementary student authorsA class of Grade 4 students at Queen’s Park Elementary in Penticton are some of the region’s newest published authors thanks to an initiative by the College’s Enactus team.

Over the course of three days, students learned about the theme of transportation – past and present – and were tasked with working in groups to envision and write about future modes of transport. Enactus project leaders and business students at the Penticton campus, Carrie-Ann McAlpine and Christie Reid spent three days in the classroom working with students to write and illustrate their own stories.

“We wanted to develop a fun, hands-on way for the students to think about reading and writing – and something that ultimately could help teachers make literacy more exciting and tangible,” says McAlpine. “Our aim was to transport them into the mindset of an author.”

Read the full story here.

Inquiry Fair shares student work with community

Inquiry Fair 2018Students from SD 67 stopped by the College’s Penticton campus for the inaugural Inquiry Fair on June 5. For participants, it was an opportunity to learn about the important questions that youth are exploring.

The event featured 36 student projects covering a wide range of topics in science, business, reading/writing, culture, music, sport and fitness. Students shared their work with each other and had the opportunity to practice their presentation skills in front of parents, teachers and community members in a supportive and non-competitive environment.

After project presentations, students joined OC faculty for a series of interdisciplinary activities which emphasized the value of inquiry and teamwork.

Conference finds the good in society

Finding the GoodScores of international development scholars and practitioners from across North America converged upon the Kelowna campus on June 8-9 for Finding the Good, a conference aimed at sparking dialogue and devising real-world solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing marginalized populations and individuals around the world. 

The conference included workshops, discussions and networking, with a focus on developing a book project on the theme of Ethics in International Development. Sessions covered topics from public-private sector partnerships to sustainability to women, gender and feminism.

Day two of Finding the Good saw keynote presentations by International Development professionals Chloe Schwenke and Michael Simpson. Schwenke, a renowned LGBTQ+ scholar and advocate, spoke about new ways of addressing questions around human dignity and basic human rights in a rapidly changing world. Simpson, who is Executive Director of the British Columbia Council for International Development (BCCIC), led a discussion which aimed to put the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations in 2015 - into a more local context. 

The conference was organized by OC Political Science professor Dr. Rosalind Warner. Click here to learn more. 

Spoke Literary Festival comes to Vernon

The third annual Spoke Literary Festival is returning for the third year in a row to Vernon and the College’s Vernon campus will once again host a number of workshops designed to help writers of all levels put pen to paper. 

From Aug. 10-12, writers from across the region will learn how to hone their skills, craft prose and meet some of the biggest names in the Okanagan literary world. Participants will enjoy an opening reception at the Caetani Cultural Centre, two days of workshops at the College and a reading with the invited writers at the Vernon library. All invited writers are award-winning published professionals and include a poet, a novelist, a non-fiction writer, a former journalist, an interdisciplinary artist and more.

Those wishing to participate must register by July 31. Click here to register and learn more about the event and the presenters.

June 12, 2018, Vol. 12, Issue 11


ClassFinder is live and upgraded

ClassFinder for fall 2018 and winter 2019 is now live. The program has received an update and employees will notice a few changes to the display. Within a few weeks, another version of ClassFinder will be available inside myOkanagan. For students, it will be located on the Student tab – Online Services. A separate version will be available for staff to proxy being a specific student. This option will also be available in myOkanagan in mid-June. Stay tuned for more information.

Kelowna campus parking lot closure

Parking lot 17 (closest lot to the student residence building) at the Kelowna campus will be closed from June 22 – 25 for a special event. Click here for a campus map and parking lot locations.

High school volunteers in Kelowna and Vernon needed

Do you have a child or know one who is in high school? Camp OC is looking for high school volunteers and has approximately 65 volunteer positions available in Kelowna and Vernon. Volunteering gives students a chance to boost their resumes and chalk up volunteer credit hours that are required for graduation. Click here for more information and to sign up.

Succeeding at Work

For the month of June, the College’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) features Succeeding at Work. Success in today’s workplace means being a focused and productive self-starter, having strong communication skills and being a team player that others can count on. LifeWorks can help you thrive – visit online or call toll-free, anytime at 1-888-307-0590.

Kelowna hours for Meat Shop and Bake Shop

June 13 – This is the last day for Meat Shop. Sale begins at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday. After June 13, Meat Shop will be closed until January 2019.

June 22 -  Starting on June 22, Bake Shop will be held in Infusions B every Friday at 1 p.m. There will be no Bake Shop on July 27 or Sept. 7.

Motorhome and vehicles for sale

The Okanagan College Foundation and Supply Management, in conjunction with the RV department and the Automotive Service Technician department, are presently offering several motorhomes and vehicles for sale. Taxes not included.

All bids can be delivered in person to Okanagan College Supply Management, P Building - P111, Kelowna campus.

Connections registration open

Registration is open for the College’s 13th annual employee learning conference held at the Vernon campus this year and sessions are filling up fast. Connect face-to-face with colleagues from different departments and campuses while celebrating the strengths and diversity of the people who work here. Employees will enjoy a series of interactive and social activities, fun informative workshops and hear from OC President Jim Hamilton. Free bus rides are available to and from Connections from your home campus.

Click here for the workshop schedule and click here to register.


Wine Talks

June 18 – Join in for the fourth instalment in the Wine Talks series featuring the President of Washington State Wine, Steve Warner. Warner will bring his wine expertise and is ready to open the discussion on the much-needed cooperation between the B.C., Oregon and Washington wine industries. Read the full story here. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

Info sessions for new OC Health Sciences Centre

June 19-20 – All employees and students are invited to attend open house info sessions taking place on June 19 and 20 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Kelowna campus Centre for Learning atrium, under the Centre for Dialogue.

Join the conversation on OC’s digital strategy

June 19 – 22 – Do you want to help shape the future of digitally enhanced learning and teaching (DELT) at Okanagan College? The College is exploring the future of DELT in preparation for a College-wide consultation process beginning this fall. All employees are invited to join in the conversation and share their ideas and perspectives about strategies for conducting consultations with employees and students at all four campuses as outlined below.

DELT consultation sessions

  • Salmon Arm – June 19, from 9 – 10 a.m. in room 134
  • Vernon – June 19, from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. in room E102
  • Kelowna – June 21, from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. in room S103B
  • Penticton – June 22, from 12 – 1 p.m. in room PC 122.

If you are not available to participate in the initial conversation, there will be a variety of consultation opportunities available for you to share your ideas and perspectives over the next few months. Further updates will be posted to College Matters. If you have any questions, please email Lara Jennings.

SPOKE Literary Festival

Aug. 10-12 – The third annual Spoke Literary Festival is happening in Vernon 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.


The College hosted two graduation ceremonies at the Kelowna campus on June 2 and the Lake Country Calendar, Daily Courier, The Okanagan Weekend and the Capital News shared convocation details and the story of OC student Jennifer Meyer who is looking to make a global and local impact after graduation.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow (2008) MP Richard Cannings was recognized by the Forest Products Association as Canada’s 2018 Community Champion. Paper Advance shared award details and all recognized industry partners.

The Okanagan Weekend shared the news about the new Okanagan College student awards from The New Car Dealers Foundation of British Columbia which is giving $10,000 annually to help students in the trades and business programs.

The Kelowna campus held its Discovery Day event on May 30 for Vernon students in Grade 9-12. Collision Repair Mag and the Vernon Morning Star shared details about the event, which gives students the chance to sign up for three to five courses from a variety of trades programs.

OC student Cindy Hernandez and her mother Maria Magdalena Souto were profiled in the Penticton Western News and Castanet, who shared their story of escaping a difficult life in El Salvador, moving to the South Okanagan and getting a fresh start to rebuilding their lives.

The Salmon Arm Observer profiled city councillor Alan Harrison, an Okanagan College alumnus from the early 1980s.

Vernon’s Kalamalka Rotary donated $25,000 toward the new Trades Training Centre at the College’s Vernon campus. The Vernon Morning Star gave details about the donation and how it will support the new centre.

Castanet and the Penticton Western News shared information about Connect 2018, a panel forum aiming to help immigrants work towards a career in the trades industry. The College hosted the event on June 9 and presented alongside YMCA Work BC, B.C.'s Industry Training Authority, Community Futures, BC Construction Association and HortEducationBC. 

The Salmon Arm Observer profiled the Launch-a-Preneur project which has been running in Salmon Arm since 2012. The project was launched by the College’s Enactus team and supports entrepreneurs by helping make their business ideas a reality.

The Daily Courier shared the news about a trio of Okanagan College students who won gold medals at the Skills Canada provincial competition and recently competed in the Skills Canada National competition. The Capital News featured one of the students, Lukas Pfob, who won silver at the National competition.

OC alumna Kayley Robb had her column featured in the Summerland Review where she spoke about weddings and how the certificate in floral design is helping her.

Corie Griffiths was named one of the Daily Courier’s 10 best high-profile individuals in the Okanagan Valley. Griffiths is a member of the regional advisory committee for Okanagan College and UBCO, sits on many local boards and is the director of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission.

The College’s Junior Coyotes U15 and U16 girls’ and boys’ basketball teams won gold medals in Vancouver on May 26-27. The Capital News gave game highlights and medal details.

Okanagan College business students Sophie Sullivan and Agustin Cisneros are currently working with Co+Lab and are preparing to launch their own clothing line in the upcoming months, a line that was incubated during their time as Entrepreneurship Co-op students this past winter.

Castanet reported on Summerland councillor and OC alumna Toni Boot who has declared her candidacy for mayor in October's municipal election.


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 June 26, 2018.