OC launches new safety app

OC Safe app 2018A new Okanagan College safety app for students and staff has been launched.

The app was first suggested several months ago by the Kelowna Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) Committee as it had seen similar products at other institutions and felt creating an app would be very useful to both the College’s employees and students.

Shortly after receiving this recommendation a committee was formed who worked alongside the JOHS committee to provide input on the content, look and structure of the app. The committee was comprised of the College’s Regional Deans, representatives of Public Affairs, IT, Security and Crisis Management and Health and Safety departments.

“It has been an interesting, and educational process, and I’m grateful for the support and encouragement I received from our leadership team and the committees that worked so hard to make this a reality,” explains Mame McCrea Silva, Manager of Occupational Health and Safety Operations and Training. “It’s a proud moment for all of us.” 

The app provides immediate access to 911, campus security, first aid, emergency procedures, campus maps, support services and more. 

You can download OC Safe for iOS and android phones from the appropriate app stores.

Future business leaders soar at WCBC

WCBC teamBusiness students from across the country vied for the top spots at the Western Canadian Business Competition (WCBC) hosted at Okanagan College last weekend and a team from OC was celebrated for taking strategic planning to new heights.

Over the course of two fast-paced days of competition, student teams were tasked with running a complex business simulation – predicting all aspects of a hypothetical company’s trajectory over an eight-year timeframe. They then presented their best strategic solutions to a panel of judges. First-, second- and third-year business students competed at the junior level, while fourth-year students competed as seniors.

At the junior level, the host team from the College finished second to College of the Rockies and Langara College took the top spot at the senior level, besting teams from (second-place) McMaster University, Medicine Hat College and the home team from the College.

“The opportunity we get as OC business students to work together in team competitions like this is incredibly valuable,” says Madison Deutscher, who is completing her second year of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program with a specialization in Marketing. “It’s a great way to learn when to be a leader – when to speak up – and when to listen and support others in their ideas.”

This year marks the 29th time the Western Canadian Business Competition has run. The College has hosted for the past seven years. This year’s sponsors included Interior Savings and McDonalds.

Read the full story here.

OC team impresses at HRC West

OC HR team HRC West Case CompetitionOkanagan College School of Business students Mitchell Folk, Andrea Poznikoff and Jessee Regnier comprised the only B.C. team to make the finals of the prestigious HRC West Case Competition at SAIT earlier this month. 

HRC West is the first business case competition in Western Canada dedicated entirely to Human Resources. The trio, coached by Business Administration Chair Laura Thurnheer and Professor Roger Wheeler, placed fourth overall. The team was tasked with accessing a benefits/employee wellness package being considered by a fictional natural resources company in Alberta. The package was intended to boost productivity and occupational health and safety. And while they may not have won, the team from OC impressed the judges with their innovative approach.

“We took a more proactive approach and offered up other recommendations we felt would benefit the company and its employees more in the long run,” explains Folk, a third-year BBA student at the Kelowna campus. “The judges had positive feedback for us. I think they appreciated that we brought creativity and innovation to the challenge.”

“I came away from the competition with a lot of confidence,” says fourth-year BBA student Regnier. “It’s definitely enhanced the learning experience for me and I’ll incorporate even more information into my analyses in the future.”

Fourth-year BBA student Poznikoff also points out the confidence boost she and her teammates took away from hours of preparation with their coaches. “The work we did with Laura and Roger in preparation for to the competition was incredibly valuable. They invested so much time, energy and expertise and we couldn’t have done it without their support.”

FortisBC gives $42,000 to new trades training centre

FortisBC donationCanada’s largest private utility company is helping address the skills gap in the province through a generous gift that will support trades training at Okanagan College.

FortisBC has announced a $42,000 gift for the new Vernon campus Trades Training Centre. In addition to supporting the facility, the gift will also provide students with some state-of-the-art equipment and help the College deliver training on the latest techniques in energy efficient construction.

The gift from FortisBC includes a $20,000 donation toward the facility, bringing the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons – Building for Skills fundraising campaign closer to its $1-million goal.

An additional $10,000 gift-in-kind of gas meters will provide plumbing and electrical students with invaluable opportunities to train using equipment they’ll encounter in the workplace.

FortisBC’s Conservation and Energy Management group is also contributing $12,000 to support curriculum development that will allow the College to deliver training on energy-efficient construction techniques.

Read the full story here.

Coyotes ready to take the field

OC coyotes - pitcherAfter nearly a month off the field, the Coyotes dusted off their cleats last weekend to play four preseason games before their 10th Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) season starts on March 24.  

The Coyotes played the Edmonton Prospects High School Academy three times and won two games and lost the third (10-3 win, 11-1 win and 8-10 loss) and also won a close game (2-0) against the Okanagan Athletics of the Premier Baseball League.

The last time the ‘Yotes were on the field was in Las Vegas and Arizona, playing 13 games against some of the top Junior Colleges in the U.S. The trip gave coaches a clear look at where the team was successful and what to work on before the preseason and CCBC season started.

“Our confidence has grown immensely since our trip,” says Assistant Coach Jared Johnson. “We competed very well with some top 10 ranked Junior Colleges and it gave us even more confidence. We believe this is our year to take home the CCBC Championship.”

On March 24, the Coyotes will face seven-time defending champions, the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs. Over the past few seasons, the Coyotes have given the Dawgs their best competition including giving them three of their four losses last season.

For more information on the team and game schedules, click here.

Camp OC expands learning and open for registration

Camp OC registration 2018Youth in the Okanagan will have an even better selection of summer camp opportunities to choose from this year, as the popular Camp OC returns in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Revelstoke.

The College’s Continuing Studies department has once again designed a host of week-long educational day camps full of interactive experiences, fun and adventure for youth. There are some exciting new offerings for 2018, including a crash course in “adulting” to prepare high schoolers for their transition into the real world. 

As in previous years, College employees are able to register their children and grandchildren at a 10 per cent discount, while on the Friday before a particular camp begins, employees can take advantage of a 50 per cent tuition waiver (with certain criteria being met, including if a camp has reached minimum registration, but not yet met the maximum). Review the criteria to learn more (also found in myOkanagan under OC Express Forms).

Visit the Camp OC website for more information and the full lineup of camps. If you have any questions, please email


Students recognized in special Aboriginal recognition ceremony

Aboriginal ceremony 2018Fourteen aboriginal students were recognized for their academic successes on March 17 at the 9th Annual Aboriginal Student Recognition Ceremony in Kelowna. 

The ceremony was well attended by students from all four campuses and their friends and families who witnessed the ceremony. Attendees were welcomed to the territory by visiting elder Grouse Barnes – of the Syilx territory – who gave a traditional prayer.

Keynote speaker Madelaine McCallum gave an inspirational speech and brought the audience to tears with her story of triumph through culture and dance. Multiple traditional dancers also performed as well as an Inuit throat singer.

Students were honoured with two traditional songs and were given a welcoming address from Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, Westbank First Nations Councillor (and Board of Governors Chair) Chris Derickson and Board of Governors Vice Chair Gloria Morgan.

Okanagan School of Business professor Devin Rubadeau was nominated for a special honour by fourth-year BBA student Jessica MacDonald. 

“Working with students like Jessica is very empowering and provides further encouragement for me to be the best professor and mentor I can be,” says Rubadeau. “Honestly, I was attending the event to support Jessica and had no idea I was going to be recognized – what an amazing surprise!”

Chef set to shine in new role

Chef B - new roleRenowned Chef Bernard Casavant has left the College and started his new role working with two of his long-time friends – “they’re really like family,” says Casavant – Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao as the Director of Operations for RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. Casavant will be overseeing the company’s four restaurants. 

Casavant, who started work as Culinary Manager at OC in 2014, has a rich history in B.C.’s culinary community. He is a member of the British Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame. In 1986, he was one of the first chefs in Canada to earn Chef de Cuisine Certification (CCC). In 1991, he became the first West Coast-born and trained chef to represent Canada in the prestigious Bocuse D'Or Competition, France, and has served as president of the Okanagan Chefs Association.

Beyond the kitchen, Casavant has also been a major force for improvement in the hospitality industry during his career and in promoting the farm-to-table movement throughout B.C.

Read the full article here.

NDP leader visits at Penticton campus

NDP leader Jagmeet SinghAfter a tour of the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence, students at the Penticton campus were treated to a motivational talk and Q and A session by federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh on March 9. 

Singh spoke about his own experiences with post-secondary education in law school and the battle with tuition. He explained that if he were to attend a Canadian law school today, he would have not been able to afford the tuition and argued that it might be possible to have free post-secondary tuition throughout Canada in the future. 

Students from Professor Ann Marie McKinnon’s Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies 100 class were among those who got to hear him speak. 

“Many of the students in my class are also in the Criminal and Social Justice Program and were very interested in asking questions about legalizing marijuana, drug costs and the social issue of overpopulation in prisons,” explains McKinnon. “Singh spoke on each student’s question and even gave a few students some tips on public speaking.” 

Pictured is Singh with student David Tulloch.

Trivia night a big success

Trivia night 2018The Okanagan College Alumni Association welcomed 10 teams for its annual “Are You Smarter Than an OC Student” trivia night on Wednesday, March 14 at the Kelowna Campus.

Teams battled through several categories of trivia including pop culture, sports, music, film, Canadian history and College Matters. In the end, it was the Reprobates, a staff team including Ross Tyner, Ryan Ebner, Randy Newton, Fran Kelly and Jennifer Heppner who were crowned victorious.

The event raises funds for student awards at OC and provides a relaxed environment for alumni, employees and students to connect over great food and drinks, while enjoying a little friendly competition. Teams enjoyed delicious appetizer platters from OC Food Services and prizes were awarded for 1st place, runner-up, and early bird registration.

“I look forward to attending this event every year,” says Kara Kazimer, President of the Okanagan College Alumni Association. “It’s great to see the mix of attendees that come together to support such a great cause.”

Salmon Arm helps students stress less

The Stress Less Fair, sponsored by the Salmon Arm Campus Life Committee, took place on March 13 and encouraged students to focus on de-stressing. 

Students had a blast playing games, spending time with the St. Johns Ambulance therapy dogs, eating healthy snacks and learning about success strategies and stress release activities they can do on their own time.  

March 20, 2018, Vol. 12, Issue 6


Deadline extended for Alumni Award Nominations

The nomination deadline for the Annual Distinguished and Young Alumni Awards has been extended until Friday, March 23 at 4 p.m. If you know of an OC or OUC alumnus who demonstrates excellence in leadership, environment, business, industry, public or community service or support of the College, you still have time to nominate them. For more information and to nominate someone, click here.

Campus Store closures

The Okanagan College Campus Stores will be closed on the following dates for year-end inventory:

  • Salmon Arm Store – March 27 – 29
  • Vernon Store – March 27 – 29
  • Penticton Store – March 27 – 29
  • Kelowna Store – March 28 - 29

All stores will reopen at their regular time on April 3.

Fitness Facility closure

The Kelowna campus Fitness Facility is closing over the Easter Long Weekend starting on Thursday, March 29 at 8 p.m. and will reopen Tuesday, April 3 at 6 a.m.

Convocation 2018

Faculty and instructors are invited to participate in the Convocation and Commencement ceremonies by leading graduands in the processional. If you are planning to attend a ceremony, please email Michelle Lowry noting the ceremony you wish to attend. If you require regalia, please include your height and highest credential awarded (i.e. 5’11” MSc, U of Calgary).

  • Trades Commencement – Thursday, May 17 at 3 p.m.
  • Spring Convocation – Saturday, June 2 at 10:30 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m.
  • Vernon Convocation – Tuesday, June 26 at 4:30 p.m.
  • Summer Commencement (CS grads only) – Wednesday, June 27 at 6 p.m.
  • Summer Convocation – Thursday, June 28 at 6 p.m.

For more information, visit the website or click here to view the invite.

Board of Governors and Education Council Election update

Three candidates have been declared elected by acclamation to the following roles:

  • Amanda Pope, Support Staff, Education Council
  • Danny Marques, Faculty Portfolio, Trades
  • Devin Rubadeau, Faculty, Board of Governors

Elections will be held for the positions outlined below. More information on the candidates can be found on the Elections page here. Please note that all faculty and vocational instructors can vote in all elections for faculty seats. 

Campaign period ends March 23

Election March 26 to April 4

EDFP-1: Education Council Faculty – Business
Lehmann, Sylvia
Sawatzky, Roberta

EDFP-2: Education Council Faculty – Arts
Fratiloiu, Raluca
Newitt, Christopher

EDFP-3: Education Council Faculty – Science/Technology
Douglas, Kevin
Neykov, Vlado

EDFP-6: Education Council Faculty – Foundational
Krebs, Amanda
Morcom, Jessica

EDRF-3: Education Council Faculty – North Okanagan
Alejandre, Rocio
Boehm, Arthur

BS3-1: Board Support Staff
Edwards, Blake
Whitten, Carla


OC Campus Stores One-Day Sale

March 21 – All Campus Stores are having a March Madness one-day sale tomorrow. All clearance items are half off the lowest ticketed price and regular priced clothing is 40 per cent off. As an extra bonus, the featured item is a free t-shirt with the purchase of a unisex quarter zip fleece pullover for only $22.49. View the sale poster here.

Renowned photojournalist to give free public lecture

March 22 – Renowned photojournalist, animal rights activist and author Jo-Anne McArthur has travelled the world documenting the use and abuse of animals and is coming to the Kelowna campus to present We Animals: Stories of Love and Liberation

The event is co-hosted by Okanagan College's English Department and UBCO’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies and is being held in the Kelowna campus Lecture Theatre at 7 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Shona Harrison or UBCO’s Dr. Jodey Castricano.

Only Yes Means Yes workshop

March 26 and 27 – A free workshop about the law of sexual assault and consent is being offered at the Kelowna campus on March 26 from 1:30 – 4 p.m. (Rm. S103B) and from 5 – 7:30 p.m. (Rm. S103B) as well as on March 27 from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Rm. S103B). The workshop topics include legal and ethical understandings of consent, systems and steps in the justice system, legal and non-legal options for adults who have experienced sexual assault and examples of legal cases where myths about sexual assault came into play.

Click this link to reserve your free spot in any of the workshop sessions and view the event poster here.

Animation Open House

May 4 – Join us on Friday, May 4 from 5-8 p.m. at the Okanagan Innovation Centre to learn more about Okanagan College’s new Animation diploma program. Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of animation. This is a free event (RSVP not required) and open to everyone. Join us for networking, music, tours and students’ end-of-year showcase. View the event poster here.

Save the date for RIPE

May 8 – The Research and Innovation Partnerships Expo (RIPE) returns to Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on Tuesday, May 8. Join this all-day event showcasing applied research projects, resources and opportunities at Okanagan College featuring OC researchers, community/industry partners and guest speakers. For more information about participating, please email Learning and Applied Research.


The 35th annual Spaghetti Bridge Building Competition at Okanagan College took place on March 2 at the Kelowna campus. The Vernon Morning Star and Sicamous' Eagle Valley News shared highlights.

Chef Bernard Casavant is on the move from the College and has joined Raudz Creative Concepts as Director of Operations. Maxine Dehart’s column in the Capital News, the Salmon Arm Observer, Castanet and the Okanagan Weekend shared the news.

Food & Wine Trails Magazine reported on substitute OC Culinary instructor, Jeremy Luypen, on his new role as Executive Winery Chef at Summerhill Pyramid Winery.

The Vernon Morning Star took note of the OC Board of Governors approval of a two per cent hike in tuition and other mandatory fees for domestic students and a 5.9 per cent increase for international students.

Terry Flannigan, Ph.D, former director of development for Okanagan University College, shared his opinion in the Daily Courier and Castanet about the College’s need for a gymnasium. Flannigan was also joined by Public Affairs Director Allan Coyle on CBC news for a live interview.

The Okanagan College Coyotes are kicking off their season on March 24 and the Daily Courier and KelownaNow shared details about their preseason games.

Okanagan College Spanish Level III student, Mirella Maria Di Marcello, passed away on Sunday, March 4 at the age of 54. The Okanagan Weekend and the Capital News remember her in the obituaries.

The Black Press Career Fair, hosted at the Okanagan College Kelowna campus gave hundreds of attendees the chance to learn about the 130 programs offered by the College. The event caught the attention of the Capital News and the Revelstoke Review.

The Okanagan College Enactus team won two first-place and one third-place finishes at the recent Regional Exposition. The Capital News and Lake Country Calendar shared the news.

The Lake Country Calendar and Salmon Arm Observer caught up with OC Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship Steve Moores to talk about the Industry Training Authority's renewed focus on engaging young people and women in trades and technologies.

The Okanagan College Students' Union (OCSU) hosted their annual International Women's Day events and Castanet caught up with OCSU council member Alex Starker to hear about the events.

Dragons' Den auditions were recently held at the College's Kelowna campus and the Capital News dropped in to talk with some participants. 

Penticton Western News, Castanet and the Capital News shared the news that NDP leader Jagmeet Singh stopped by the College's Penticton campus to tour the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence and talk with some students.

Award-winning Canadian photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur is coming to the College's Kelowna campus to give a free talk and the Capital News took note.

Vernon Morning Star shared the news that FortisBC donated a $42,000 gift for the new Vernon campus trades training centre.

The 2018 Western Canadian Business Competition was held at the Kelowna campus from March 9 - 11 and the Capital NewsE-know, Salmon Arm ObserverCranbrook Daily Townsman and Prince George Citizen gave competition details.

KelownaNow shared event details about the upcoming 39th Annual Business Reception presented by BDO and hosted at Okanagan College. 

With help from the Vernon Upper Room Mission, Enactus OC served up the inagural Soup's On event and the Vernon Morning Star and Castanet provided event details.

The Barrie Chamber of Commerce issued a release which recognized a number of outstanding women in Barrie, Ontario for business excellence, including OC BBA student Brittany Gallagher who won the Woman of the Year - Young Entrepreneur for her business, Barrie Splash On Water Park. 


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 April 3, 2018.