Fest of Ale brews up support for little learners

Fest of AleThe non-profit wing of the Okanagan’s largest beer and cider festival is pouring its support into the new child care centre at the College’s Penticton campus. 

The Okanagan Fest of Ale Society announced a $2,500 gift for the recently-opened Little Learners Academy at their annual grant presentation and volunteer appreciation event on Oct. 12.

Mary Ellen Heidt, Chair of the child care centre campaign committee and member of Okanagan College’s Regional Advisory Board was on hand to accept the donation from Fest of Ale Society board director Shawn Goodsell.

The Society has a long history of supporting the College and community. For several years they have supported student awards, providing an annual $1,000 scholarship to a second-year Business Administration student at the Penticton campus.

At the event, the Society announced and distributed $60,000 in net proceeds from their 2017 festival to 20 charities in the South Okanagan. Since its inception, the society has gifted $637,660 to deserving community organizations. 

Applied research projects funded

Applied Research - wineHow do baby boomers differ from Generation Y when it comes to picking out their preferred pinot?

It’s a question a pair of OC researchers will seek to answer as one of two new applied research projects to receive federal funding.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has awarded Lee Cartier and Svan Lembke of the Okanagan School of Business $46,385 to undertake a project examining generational differences towards wine purchases. The research is being conducted in collaboration with the BC Wine Institute which will also contribute $30,000 to the project.

Trades instructors Luke Skulmoski and Sean Jarvis have been awarded $23,995 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to develop a device for counting used recyclable aluminum beverage containers for a Vernon-based business.

Learn more about applied research at the College here.

Coders take note: $4,000 tuition award up for grabs

Drupal - Acro MediaOkanagan College and Acro Media, a Kelowna-based company with international recognition, have partnered to develop a new Drupal Web Developer certificate program at OC.

To help draw out talent for the program, Acro Media is hosting a coding contest that will award one lucky applicant a $4,000 tuition award toward the program. In fact, Acro Media is guaranteeing everyone who successfully completes the certificate a job interview upon graduation.

Drupal is an open source content management system that is at the heart of seven million websites globally. The new certificate program that will train future software developers will be offered weekday evenings, beginning Jan. 8.

“The Drupal Web Developer certificate will give students the knowledge, practice and experience to find great jobs and careers in the Okanagan,” says Dennis Silvestrone, the College’s Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training.

For more information, visit To read the full article, click here.

Electrician program gets surge of support from industry leader 

Bartle & GibsonA leading Western Canada company, Bartle & Gibson Co. Ltd., has announced a $37,500 contribution to support the electrical and plumbing and piping trades programs at the Kelowna Trades Complex.

Bartle & Gibson President Robert Whitty presented a cheque to Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship and Kathy Butler, Executive Director, Okanagan College Foundation at the grand opening celebration of their new West Kelowna showroom and distribution centre on Nov. 3. 

“We are very grateful for this generous gift to our students, programs and facility,” explains Moores. “When a well-respected company like Bartle & Gibson makes the choice to invest in skills training, it instills confidence in our students knowing the industry supports their educational choices.”

The Canadian-owned plumbing, heating and electrical products distributor is providing both a cash donation to support the tool room that serves the Electrician program’s three labs and pledged an in-kind donation to provide products, tools and equipment to electrician and plumbing and piping trades students.

Read the full story here.

36th annual Career Fair fun for all

Career Fair 36Hundreds of people came to the 36th annual Career Fair at Okanagan College on Nov. 5.

From operating the flight simulator to watching the Fire Department use the Jaws of Life, the day was full of entertainment.

Approximately 50 businesses were in attendance and more than 120 College programs were on display for prospective students to view. Attendees were treated to tours of the award-winning Trades Complex and the health, science and engineering technology labs.

Prospective students and their families were also able to take in two special presentations which included topics on setting goals and the top 15 points to know before starting post-secondary education.


Hisdal stays active for Remembrance Week

Howard Hisdal - Remembrance DaySome may have noticed Professor Howard Hisdal, Chair of the History Department, on Shaw Cable television this week. Hisdal’s lecture, “An Okanagan Regiment takes the Centre of Vimy Ridge,” originally given at the Penticton Museum last April, was broadcast nightly by Shaw Cable.

The Remembrance Day week was a busy one for Hisdal. He talked on the “History of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps 1940-2015” for the Society for Learners in Retirement on Nov. 3 and for the Missionwood Retirement Resort on Nov. 6.  He also spoke at the Okanagan Military Museum on Nov. 9 and gave the Vimy talk again with the new information that he had learned at the Vimy at 100 Conference at Wilfrid Laurier University in May. 

On the Friday just before Remembrance Day, Captain Hisdal (retired) was the guest veteran speaker at KLO Middle School. He was also the military history consultant for the Ballet Kelowna production of “Acts of Remembrance” that played on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

“I was busy, but it was a good busy,” said Hisdal.

Twelfth annual Pay it Forward charity drive returns

Pay it Forward 12thA warm coat, socks and winter boots are everyday items for most people, but for some in the Okanagan they’re not as common.

Cold weather has arrived in Kelowna and those experiencing homelessness at this time of the year are in great need of warm clothing. The Pay it Forward drive is operating from Nov. 14 -30 and Okanagan College employees, students and community members are invited to donate clean and gently used warm winter clothing for adults and teens.

“A small act for one person can be a big thing for someone else, which is the whole idea behind Pay it Forward,” says Sarah Comba, event organizer and OC alumna. “The face of homelessness in Kelowna is shifting. There are many working families who are struggling who may only be able to pay rent or heat their home, not both.”

To donate, please bring your item(s) and place them into any of the wrapped donation boxes throughout the Kelowna campus. Boxes are located in the CFL Atrium, Trades Atrium, The Pit, the Lab building and in residence. All items are donated to local charities.

View the Pay it Forward poster here. 

Memorial award fuels Okanagan College student’s education

Chapman Memorial AwardMichaela Chapman, a Vernon local, lost her husband and son to a tragic plane crash two years ago. Since then, she has been contemplating how she could honour their memory within the community.

She established the Chapman Memorial Award which enables Okangan College students in Vernon to reach their educational goals in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME-M) program.

“The College is virtually in our front yard and I thought it would be a good idea to support our region’s budding aviation professionals and help students carry forward in their education,” says Chapman. “Being married to a pilot and also knowing many pilots, I know how important it is for them to look after their airplanes and for the industry to have people with the know-how to take care of the machines.”

The award was recently given to OC's Deverick Clingwall, an exemplary AME-M student currently finishing the final 14 weeks of training at Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek. Clingwall has an extensive history in aviation and is working towards his commercial pilot license while completing his AME-M diploma.

Read the full story here.

Daykin leaving OC for role as SAIT VP

Roy Daykin - VP Employee, Corporate ServicesOkanagan College’s Vice President of Employee and Corporate Services is moving to Alberta.

Roy Daykin, who joined Okanagan College in 2014 in his current role, will be starting work at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in January as its Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Corporate Services. Daykin will continue in his role at the College until the end of December.

“Roy will definitely be missed at OC and in the sector in B.C.,” says President Jim Hamilton. “He has been a highly regarded member of our executive, helping to steer us through some significant issues and contributing strongly to OC’s growth.”

Cooking with local talent

Rod Butters - OC

Celebrated chef, Rod Butters, and his leadership team from Raudz Regional Table came to Okanagan College to teach a workshop to Culinary's new certificate class. The workshop marked the close of their six week introductory cooking course.

November 14, 2017, Vol. 11, Issue 41


Employee survey open

For the sixth time since 2007, Okanagan College is surveying its employees to learn more about their work experiences and environment. 

The survey, conducted by the College’s Institutional Research and Human Resources departments, is anonymous, online (although physical copies are available for those who feel more comfortable with pen and paper), and will be available to employees until Nov. 27.

“While it is a volunteer survey, we encourage all employees to fill it out,” says OC’s Director of Human Resources, Linda Heska. “Our Board and leadership are keenly interested to know how employees feel about their workplaces, about how they identify with the College, what they think could be improved, and what they like and dislike.”

Results will be disclosed to the employee community, once they are compiled. If you have questions about the survey, please contact Linda Heska (ext. 4419).

Academic Skills Workshops Fall 2017

Adult Academic and Career Preparation (AACP) is hosting a series of workshops aimed at helping attendees boost their critical reading and writing skills this fall. The workshops are held in room H123 at the Kelowna campus and are free. Drop in to as many sessions as you wish. There is no need to register in advance.

Find the full schedule here.

Professional development workshops for employees

Learning and Applied Research offers various professional development workshops for employees. Everything from exploring the pros and cons of digital learning and teaching, to conflict resolution, to Microsoft Office Suite training. 

Workshops will provide opportunities for employees to engage in sharing their knowledge and skills as well as gaining new perspectives on various topics that support them in their daily work.

If you have ideas or suggestions about the types of professional developmental workshops that you would like to see offered during the winter semester, please email your ideas.

Budget Town Hall meetings

All Okanagan College employees are invited to attend a Town Hall meeting on the proposed 2017-18 budget. There will be a session held at each campus led by Roy Daykin, Vice President Employee and Corporate Services.

Daykin will provide an update on some of the issues and opportunities facing the College during the upcoming fiscal year and staff will have the chance to ask questions regarding the budget information presented. The College’s budget will be presented to the Board of Governors for consideration at the end of March 2018.   

Kelowna campus – Thursday, Nov. 30 at noon (Trades Building Atrium)
Penticton campus – Thursday, Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. (PC133)
Vernon campus – Friday, Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. (E102/103)
Salmon Arm campus – Friday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. (Rm 134)

Coffee and cookies will be provided. If the session you are attending is over lunchtime, please feel free to bring your lunch to the meeting.  

Temporary portable building going up on Kelowna campus

Construction has begun to replace the temporary portable beside the P building on the Kelowna campus, currently assigned as offices for faculty and instructors, with a new larger portable positioned on the edge of Lot 15, between the H wing and the CFL. Challenges in setting up the services for the portable means employees won’t be moved into the new space until the first week of December at the earliest. Employees will be notified once a date for the move has been confirmed.

The new portable is being designed with a small meeting room, kitchenette, washroom and will be climate controlled to provide a comfortable work environment. New flooring is being laid and landscape panels around the workstations will be set up to establish some privacy. The outside will be painted once the weather permits.


International Education Week

The Kelowna campus is celebrating International Education Week on Nov. 14, 16 and 17. Students and employees are encouraged to come down to the CFL Atrium daily to take in sounds, tastes, refreshments and performances from around the world. 

On Friday, Nov. 17, starting at 12:30 p.m. students will be donning traditional clothing from their countries of origin for a fashion show.

OC Campus Store Annual Customer Appreciation Sale

The OC Campus Store is hosting its Annual Customer Appreciation Sale on Nov. 16.

Customers will enjoy up to 65% off select items, 25% off all regular priced crested clothing and giftware and bargain books start at just $0.99. Special merchandise has been brought in for the sale and all visitors will receive a coffee and goodies. 

View the event poster here.

Eighth annual 3-Hour Short Story Contest

The 8th annual 3-Hour Short Story Contest is returning on Saturday, Nov. 18 and will once again challenge writers to push their creative boundaries and produce a captivating narrative in a three-hour time frame.

Writers will be competing for glory and prize money towards tuition. Four regional winners will receive a $250 tuition credit and an overall grand prize winner will take home an additional $250 credit and have their story published in a limited fine-press edition by the Kalamalka Press.

Registration is open until midnight on Friday, Nov. 17 and is free to enter. Click here for more information.


Shane Koyczan, an Okanagan College alumnus and award-winning spoken word poet, performed in Kelowna and Penticton on Nov. 3 and 4. The Herald and Daily Courier shared news about his career and what his words mean to his fans.

The College hosted the 36th annual Career Fair on Nov. 5 and many businesses including Southern Interior Flight Centre (SIFC) showcased careers and educational pathways. Okanagan Weekend staff shared news of the Career Fair and The Daily Courier shared news on SIFC as one of the many employers in attendance.

The Daily Courier, Capital News and Electrical Business featured the recent Bartle & Gibson investment in the College's Trades Complex.

Howard Hisdal, a College history professor and former Captain in the B.C. Dragoons, spoke on the Okanagan's involvement in Vimy Ridge at various ceremonies. The Capital News profiled the story.

Women in Trades students got the opportunity to speak to former tradeswomen, Alice Smith, age 95, and Clara Savard, age mid-90s. The Okanagan Weekend reported on the interaction which was educational and inspiring. 

In memory of her husband and son who passed away two years ago in a plane accident, Michaela Chapman created the Chapman Memorial Award for a well-deserving Vernon AME-M student and InfoTel News took note.

The Capital News shared news about Okanagan College's upcoming 3-Hour Short Story Contest.

The Daily Courier took note of College business students participating in ChangeUP 3, a social change pitch competition.

Okanagan College representatives traveled to an education fair in Doha, Qatar on Nov. 7 and the Gulf Times shared the news.

Former North Okanagan Regional Dean John Lent was mentioned in an article about SvevaFest by The Vernon Morning Star. Lent narrated the award-winning film Sveva Imprisoned (which profiles renowned Okanagan artist Sveva Caetani) which screened at the festival on Oct. 29.

The OC Coyotes men's and women's basketball teams continue to thrill crowds at home and away during their inaugural season, and The Capital News and The Daily Courier each provided a quick recap of their season to date and their upcoming games.

B.C. wine industry pioneer Harry McWatters, who received an Honorary Doctorate from OUC in 2001, was profiled in Okanagan Weekend on Nov. 4, along with his daughter Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond. The father/daughter wine duo released four new wines this fall.


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 November 28, 2017.