Wine Talks series back with international flavour

Steve Warner

The President of the Washington State Wine Commission is passing on a simple yet powerful message for the B.C., Oregon and Washington wine industries: co-operate.

Steve Warner has led the State Wine Commission since 2012 and is bringing his perspective on the opportunities and challenges in the wine industry to the Penticton campus on June 18, as part of the Wine Talks Series presented by Liquidity Winery and Okanagan College.

"There are challenges enough for each of the individual region's industries – interprovincial trade barriers for B.C. wineries are just one example – but there are opportunities abroad to establish the reputation for the entire Pacific Northwest wine region that should be seized upon," says Warner. "The Pacific Northwest has a growing reputation that we need to work together to build."

Read the full story here. Tickets for the fourth instalment in the Wine Talks series are $20. Click here to register online. 

Conference aims to generate ideas for ethical International Development

Finding the Good keynote speakersInternational Development scholars and practitioners from across North America will convene at the College’s Kelowna campus on June 8 and 9 for a first-of-its-kind conference – Finding the Good –that seeks to find real-world solutions to attack poverty, hunger, human rights and gender inequality around the globe.

The first day of the conference will offer thematic workshops, discussions and networking and the final day will see keynote presentations by renowned International Development professionals Chloe Schwenke and Michael Simpson (pictured above). Sessions will cover a host of topics from public-private sector partnership to women, gender and feminism to putting the Sustainable Development Goals – a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations in 2015 – into a local context.

“The idea behind Finding the Good is to create a space where scholarly insights and practical development work collide,” explains conference organizer Dr. Rosalind Warner, who teaches Political Science at OC. “Hopefully, the result will be solutions that improve the lives of people experiencing marginalization, discrimination and oppression.”

Read the full story here and watch a video here on the College's Facebook page of Warner explaining more about the conference.

OC grads ready to enter the world

Convocation ceremonyMore than 700 apprentices and foundation trades students received their credentials at Trades Commencement on May 17 and another 500 students in the Business, Arts, Science, Health and Computer Information Systems programs will receive their credentials on Saturday, June 2 at the Spring Convocation ceremony.

By the end of June, the College will have sent more than 2,000 graduates into the world to become nurses, engineering technologists, business leaders, computer programmers, educators, tradespeople and more. Among those students is Mitchell Burton who recently graduated from the C-Level Welding Foundation Certificate which he hopes will propel him into the welding industry and open the door to future training.

“Graduating has given me a huge sense of accomplishment and I can’t wait to hit the ground running in this industry and start laying down some roots in the region,” explains Burton. 

Click here to read more about Burton’s journey as a photographer of ten years who moved across Canada and traded in his camera for a welding torch at the College.

The ceremonies this weekend are two of eight convocation and commencement ceremonies the College will host this year. All ceremonies are live streamed to the Okanagan College Facebook page.


College alumnus featured in Knowledge Network episode

Shane KoyczanOC alumnus and Penticton-native Shane Koyczan is an internationally-recognized spoken word artist who has performed his poems all over the world and for high profile events like the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He will be featured in an episode airing tonight, May 29 at 9 p.m. on the Knowledge Network.

A powerful speaker, Koyczan often writes poems that address bullying, eating disorders and death. His most popular poem which has been considered an anti-bullying anthem, To This Day, has been viewed more than 22 million times on YouTube. His journey to reconnect with a father he never knew is the subject of the piece called Shut Up and Say Something airing on Knowledge Network. 

Click here to watch the trailer and be sure to tune to watch Koyczan’s journey tonight at 9 p.m. 

Bowman appointed to Knowledge Network board

Dr. Norah Bowman is one of three new directors named to the board of the Knowledge Network by order of the Lieutenant Governor of B.C. this month. 

Bowman, who is a professor of English and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at the Kelowna and Penticton campuses, will serve a term on the board ending Dec. 31, as will fellow new board members Sarfaraz Ahmed and Doreen Mary Manuel.

The Knowledge Network is a B.C.-based viewer-supported public broadcaster. Funded by an annual operating grant from the Provincial Government and donations from viewers, it’s mandate is to support lifelong learning for children and adults by providing commercial-free programming through its broadcast channel, websites and apps. The network also invests in documentaries and children’s programs produced by independent filmmakers to bolster the province’s independent production community.

May 29, 2018, Vol. 12, Issue 10


Convocation Ceremonies volunteers

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). 

  • 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 view the invite.

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 information 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 workshops schedule and click here to register.

Camp OC registration

Camp OC is a series of week-long education day camps full of interactive experiences, fun and adventure. Class sizes are small and taught by professional teachers and educators and is a great place to engage kids and youth in their interests and passions such as engineering, arts, science, culinary arts, trades, computers and technology.

College employees are able to register their children or grandchildren at a 10 per cent discount and then on the Friday before their particular camp begins, employees can take advantage of a 50 per cent tuition waiver. Review the criteria to learn more about discounts, visit the Camp OC website for more info and full lineup of camps. If you have any questions, please email

Kelowna campus store special thank you sale

The OC Kelowna Campus Store is having a special thank you sale for all employees next week from June 4 – 8. Please stop in and see the many new items recently received in stock. All staff will receive 25 per cent off their next purchase of any regular priced branded clothing or giftware and will receive 50 per cent off of the lowest marked clearance priced clothing or giftware.

Course material requests from faculty deadline

The Campus Store is looking for fall semester adoptions. Please email Gord Stefansson with your course material needs for the fall 2018 semester and if possible let him know if you will be using any online resources that may be available for the text you choose. Please submit your material needs by Tuesday, June 5 to ensure your materials will be available for the first day of classes.

OC Foundation auction items for bid ends June 1

The 24th Annual Charity Golf Tournament has wrapped and there are a few items remaining from the silent auction. The Okanagan College Foundation is opening up bidding to employees and general public and bidding will follow a blind auction format. Items include everything from gift certificates to artwork to furniture. Click here to view items, descriptions and to download bid forms. All funds raised support students at the College. Bidding is open until Friday, June 1 at noon.

May 31 deadline for Family Award applications

Applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Okanagan College Family Award, designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) College employees. This round of applications is for programs or terms starting between April 1 and Aug. 31, 2018.

Click here for full award criteria and application form. All applications must be date-stamped at the Student Services Administration office in Kelowna or at the Campus Administration office in Penticton, Vernon or Salmon Arm by May 31. For more information, contact Financial Aid and Awards via email or phone at 250-862-5419.

Motorhome and vehicles for sale

The Okanagan College Foundation and Supply Management, in conjunction with the RV department and Automotive Service Technician department are presently offering several motorhomes and vehicles for sale. Click here to view for sale items, descriptions and bidding deadlines.

Employee golf tournament

June 11 - Registration is now open for Okanagan College’s fun co-ed golf tournament. Registration is $40 and includes 9-holes at Michaelbrook Golf Course in Kelowna and a burger and fries (chicken or veggie options available). Register as a group (4, 3 or 2 players) or as a single and the committee will place you with a team. RSVP to Angelika March as soon as possible.

New Kelowna cafeteria hours

Starting on Monday, June 4, the Kelowna cafeteria will be open Mon-Fri from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. The cafeteria will be closed for the summer beginning on June 14.

Joint Occupational Health and Safety May reminder

As outdoor temperatures rise, the chances of suffering from heat stress or illness also increase. The environment, the work and the person are three main factors that can cause heat stress disorders such as exhaustion, heat stroke, cramps and heat rash. Feeling hot or cold depends on air temperature, objects nearby, relative humidity, air circulation (ventilation), physical exertion and clothing. To prevent the signs and symptoms of heat stress, you can try to reduce physical exertion and reduce the humidity in the air with a fan. Alternatively, you could reduce exposure time and increase the number of rest breaks or simply retreat to a cooler part of the building with air conditioning. If a heat stress incident occurs, report to your supervisor immediately or call security at 6699 from any campus phone or dial 250-862-5401.


Bike to Work Week on now

May 28 – June 1 – It’s not too late to register for Bike to Work Week. Click here to register, choose Okanagan College as your team and then start logging your rides and be entered to win some amazing prizes. If you’re on the Kelowna campus, you can store your bike in the new secure bike compound outside the south side of the Centre for Learning building. 

Salve making workshop

May 30 – Join us at the Kelowna campus on Wednesday, May 30 at 1 p.m. in the Indigenous garden behind the Centre for Learning building. This free workshop will have participants make and walk away with their own jar of comfrey and lavender salve. Spaces are limited. Please email Jewel Gillies or call her at 4498 to register.

Finding the Good conference

June 8 and 9 – Finding the Good is about bringing academics and practitioners together to share ethical international development ideas and practices to expand the space for communities to find the good in the current era.

Sessions will help to ignite and sustain an ecosystem in which dialogue between scholarly insights and practical development work will, ultimately, improve the participation of people experiencing poverty, social marginalization, discrimination, and oppression. 


  • The Sustainable Development Goals
  • Women, Gender and Feminism
  • Universal Values and Inclusion
  • Global Citizenship & Education
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Knowledge, Technology & Innovation
  • International Security

Click here for more information and to register your seat. Visit the Facebook event page.

After the first day of workshops have completed, keynote speaker Chloe Schwenke is hosting a book event at Infusions for her new memoir, SELF-ish: a transgender awakening. For more information on Schwenke's book and biography, click here. Copies will be available for purchase and she will be available to stay after the event to sign copies.


The College’s new Trades Training House opening at the Kelowna campus garnered media attention from the Capital News, Penticton Western News and the Daily Courier.

Three Okanagan College students who won gold medals at the recent Skills competition were named in Maxine Dehart’s column in the Capital News.

The Daily Courier ran two stories about the Trades Commencement that took place at the Kelowna campus on May 17: the first shared event details and the second caught up with carpentry student and student speaker Lukas Pfob about the messages he left for graduating students.

Two Okanagan College students and members of OC Students’ Union Jennifer Meyer and Courtney Kindlein spoke with the Capital News, Castanet and Global News about the need for student housing during a groundbreaking ceremony of a new apartment complex which includes a portion dedicated to student rentals.

The Vernon Morning Star wrote a comprehensive article about the new $6.2-million Vernon Trades Training Centre that will open its doors this summer.

KelownaNow and the Daily Courier shared details about the Okanagan College Coyotes basketball team officially joining as a member of the Pacific Western Athletic Association.

The Capital News shared details about the upcoming conference – Finding the Good – which will see International Development scholars and practitioners come to the College on June 8 and 9 to find innovative ways to advance world-wide human rights, social justice and more.

InfoNews shared MP Stephen Fuhr’s commentary on the current economy in Canada where he included the College’s Trades Training Centre grand opening as a success story that the economy is in a healthy position. Fuhr also brought the College’s thanks for the approximately $3 million in federal funding to Parliament, watch the video here.

The Vernon Morning Star shared news about a former Okanagan College social worker instructor Johanna Burko who was the recipient of the Jan White Memorial award from Vernon Women in Business earlier this month.

The Capital News shared event highlights from the recent Discover Trades Event held at the Kelowna campus.

The Vernon Morning Star shared information about the dual credit program that allows high school students to enrol in specific programs at Okanagan College while completing their Grade 10, 11 and 12 years.

The Legacy Guide shared a story of Oline Smith, now deceased, who realized the power of education and chose to support future students at Okanagan College by leaving a legacy gift.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow (2008) MP Richard Cannings won the Forest Products Association of Canada's 2018 Community Champion Award. The Penticton Herald shared information about Cannings winning the award.


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 12, 2018.