Women in Trades Training program celebrates 1,000 student milestone

WITT 1000Okanagan College’s Women in Trades Training (WITT) program celebrated its first 1,000 students in a ceremony last week at the Kelowna campus. The Hon. Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, program alumni, current students, industry professionals, staff and special guests filled the atrium to honour the program that has been redefining success in the area of trades for more than 10 years.

Since 2009, WITT has trained approximately 100 women each year in exploratory trades programs as well as foundation pre-apprenticeships. The exploratory 12-week session exposes women to the tools of five to six different trades, allowing them to find their own area of promise.

“The women in trades program was designed to increase the number of female apprentices in the province of B.C.,” says WITT Program Administrator Nancy Darling. “It provides support to women to address some of the barriers for them entering careers in the skilled trades.”

For photos from the event, head to our Flickr gallery here. Read the full story here

OC’s Kelowna campus flies Syilx flag permanently

Aboriginal Flag Raising June 2019 2The Syilx Okanagan Nation flag has found a permanent home at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, after a historic ceremony last week.

The Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training joined representatives of the Westbank First Nation, Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) and Okanagan College last week for a flag raising ceremony recognizing the traditional unceded territories of the Syilx (Okanagan) people.

“Our people have had a long history of education with Okanagan College, which is being recognized and honoured here today,” says Westbank First Nation Chief Roxanne Lindley. “As our students walk these campus lands, I hope they feel pride in seeing our flag displayed, and our Nation represented. It is truly a day for celebration.”

“I often say there is no act of reconciliation that is too small,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Today, Okanagan College took steps to formally recognize the First Nations on whose land the College resides. Flying the Syilx Okanagan Nation flag demonstrates that Okanagan College is committed to relationships, respect and reconciliation. I hope to see more of this important work happening across the province.”

The flag formally signifies the College’s recognition of Indigenous peoples on whose lands the College resides. 

Photos from the event can be found here. Read the full story here 

OC pops the top on Technology Access Centre to benefit B.C.’s beverage industries

BCBTAC speakers 2019British Columbia’s wine, beer, cider, and spirits industries have a new source of support, courtesy of an initiative by Okanagan College and funding from the federal government.

Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport, the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, announced federal funding for 12 technology access centres on June 13 at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont. Okanagan College’s proposed BC Beverage Technology Access Centre (BCBTAC) is among them. With $1.75 million in federal funding over five years, it will be headquartered at the College’s Penticton campus and will be providing testing and business services and applied research assistance to the wine, beer, cider and spirits industries in the region and throughout the province.

“This is very exciting for the industries and for Okanagan College,” notes OC President Jim Hamilton. “We have developed a significant track record of training and support for the wine industry over the past quarter century and have been focused on how we could leverage college expertise and personnel to assist all these growing industries. The industry support for the proposal we developed has been phenomenal and the input that organizations, businesses and individuals provided was invaluable.”

Read the full story here. To learn more about the BCBTAC, click here.

Student relearns how to take steps forward

Kate Camire 2019After a motor vehicle accident that left her paralyzed and with no memory of who she was, Kate Camire was told that she would never fully recover. 

Fast forward 12 years to today when Camire will walk across the stage at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus after successfully completing her Medical Office Assistant certificate.

“I had a traumatic brain injury and was paralyzed on my right side,” explains Camire. “I had to relearn my name, how to read, how to spell, how to walk. After two years, I hadn’t improved much and the doctors said it was unlikely that I would make much more progress.”

But with determination, Camire relearned the skills she had lost, and worked hard to improve her memory.

Camire started taking first aid courses at Douglas College before eventually enrolling in OC’s Medical Office Assistant program (MOA).

Today, Camire celebrates, along with 133 other Vernon students, the end of her program, another hurdle she was able to overcome.

“Today means so much to me. It means I pulled off another success I didn’t think I could. I am absolutely thrilled,” says Camire.

Read the full story here.

Future esthetician pampered with OC Tuition Giveaway Contest win

Grace Hunter 2019Grace Hunter had no idea that attending Experience OC would pay off to the tune of $5,000.

The 16-year-old Clarence Fulton Secondary student knew her friends were attending the annual program exploration at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus. It was an opportunity for her to check out the Esthetics & Nail Technology Certificate program, which had caught her eye early on.

As a Grade 10 student, she hadn’t given post-secondary education too much thought, until her principal stopped into her class and told her she had won a $5,000 tuition credit to Okanagan College.

“It was so crazy. I didn’t even realize I had been entered into the draw just by attending Experience OC,” says Hunter. “I’m excited to apply and get started. This will go a long way to paying for my education.”

The Tuition Giveaway Contest runs from July to May, when high school students and others interested in going back to school can enter to win by simply attending recruitment events, going on a campus tour, or meeting recruitment staff.

Read the full story here.

June 25, 2019, Vol. 13, Issue 7


The President’s Selection Policy 

After the consultation process, the President’s Selection Policy was revised and approved by the Board on May 29th. The revised policy is #C.2.5 and is posted here.

College Pension Plan news

The BC Pension Corporation is pleased to tell you that the Aug. 31, 2018 actuarial valuation, indicated the College Pension Plan (plan) funding ratio is 106.1 per cent. This means the money projected to be available for future pensions (actuarial assets) exceeds the projected costs of paying for those pensions (actuarial liabilities).

Please read the board communique for more details for employees who are College Pension Plan members.

June is "Take care of your brain" month

Regardless of your age, or gender, it is always a good time to think about keeping your brain healthy. Remember, your mind and brain need TLC too. 

For guidance and support, visit LifeWorks online and login with the username: okanagan and the password: healthy. Alternatively, you can call LifeWorks toll-free any time, day or night at 1-888-307-0590.

View the June feature here.

Website project update 

Public Affairs and Information Technology are working on a complete redevelopment of the Okanagan College website; everything from the back-end infrastructure to the forward-facing design and user interface will be transformed in the coming year. Website best practices are shaping the development including: consistency of information, responsive design, web accessibility, usability, search engine optimization (SEO), reading comprehension of the audience, and analytics.

A lot has been accomplished since the project kicked off in August 2018, including considerable stakeholder engagement, user testing and internal training. OC departments and staff are key partners in this project, and we encourage you to read more about the project, timelines and what work departments should do now to prepare for the transition. 

Safety inspections

Okanagan College is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace and learning environment for all members of the OC community. Workplace safety inspections are an opportunity to prevent incidents and injuries from occurring. Your local Joint Occupational Health & Safety (JOHS) Committee members will be performing safety inspections over the summer. Please expect visits in your work area in the next few months. You are encouraged to participate with the inspection process should your schedule allow.

The goal of these inspections is to:

  • Address any health and safety concerns
  • Identify existing or potential hazards
  • Remedy serious hazards or unsafe work practices immediately
  • Seek and implement corrective action

You can get in touch with JOHS Committee members by visiting:

Kelowna Campus Fitness Facility

The Kelowna Campus Fitness Facility will be closed on Monday, July 1 for Canada Day and will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 2.

Reminder: the new summer hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Education Technology new contact info 

Phone: ext. 5461 or 250-862-5461
Location: B120
Summer Hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Contact for help with:

Education Technology:

  • Integrating technology in the classroom
  • Online course planning and delivery
  • Faculty development
  • Classroom technology ideas


  • Course building and management
  • Activity ideas – quizzes, cloze, forums, questionnaires
  • Gradebook
  • Connecting with Moodle mentors

Kelowna summer food services hours

Kelowna cafeteria

  • Closed for the summer

Kelowna Food Services

  • Fezziwig's: Mon-Thu from 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Fri from 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • DeBeans: Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Infusions: July hours: open Tues-Fri for lunch 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. and dinner 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. July 2 - closed. 

Vernon Convocation

June 25 – Vernon Convocation will take place at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre at 4:30 p.m. 

Kelowna Summer Convocation & Commencement

June 26 & 27 – Continuing Studies certificate grads will cross the stage on June 26 at 6 p.m. Diploma and certificate grads will graduate on June 27 at 6 p.m.

All three ceremonies will be livestreamed on OC’s Facebook page. For more information visit  

Nancy Ankerstein’s retirement party

June 26 – Join in to say farewell to Nancy Ankerstein as she prepares to retire. Ankerstein will say goodbye to colleagues on June 26 between 2 – 3:30 p.m. in the Trades Boardroom (T115B) at the Kelowna campus. 


Vernon Morning Star and Kelowna Daily Courier shared the exciting news about the future Vernon esthetician who won the tuition draw.

OC alumnus is preparing to bike across America. Kelowna Capital News and Summerland Review shared the story. 

Castanet, Revelstoke Review, Kelowna Capital News and Penticton Herald shared the details about the exciting announcement of the $1.75 million BCBTAC that will be at the Okanagan College Penticton campus. Castanet followed up with the story. 

InfoTel News LtdKelowna Daily Courier and Kelowna Capital News shared the details of the Syilx flag raising ceremony held at OC’s Kelowna campus last week.

Castanet, Penticton Western NewsKelowna Daily Courier and Kelowna Capital News shared the exciting news of 1,000 Women in Trades trained.

Skies Magazine, Global News and Castanet shared KF Aerospace’s announcement to build an aviation-themed exhibition and conference centre that will house 15,000 square feet of training space for students at Okanagan College.

OC alumna Christina Ferreira takes over ownership of the Wine Country Half Marathon. Kelowna Daily Courier shared the news.


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

To ensure the best chance for your submission to be 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 9, 2019.