Trades Complex already earning accolades

SICA 2016Okanagan College’s newest building has only been officially open for a little more than a month but already it has garnered some major recognition.  

The renovated and expanded Trades Complex in Kelowna took home Best Overall Entry and Community Institutional Excellence Award at the 8th Annual Southern Interior Construction Association (SICA) Commercial Building Awards held in Kelowna on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016.

“Given the quality of entries and the size of the region, we were surprised to have won, but we are very pleased that our efforts to produce such a remarkable building were recognized by SICA,” explains Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “To me, the significance of this new building goes beyond the example of sustainability that it sets and the recognition of the importance of trades training. What is most important is the training and education that occurs within it as we prepare the workforce in a building that represents the future.”

The SICA awards celebrate the best of the best in commercial and industrial construction in the Thompson Okanagan and Kootenay regions. Other nominees in the Community Institutional category included the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, School District 83 Administration Office in Salmon Arm, the Splatsin Community Centre in Enderby, and the Summerland Branch Library.

Read the media release distributed by SICA here. More information about the new Trades Complex is available here.

Silver Surfers ride wave of support

silver surfer ioc smallOC business students are helping senior citizens amp up their computer technology skills and their work is getting a boost from Odlum Brown Limited.

The Kelowna branch of the investment firm donated $3,500 to Enactus Okanagan College to allow the student organization to grow the program.

“When I heard about the College students volunteering their time to work with the senior citizens to answer questions and allay fears about technology, I thought it was a marvelous program to support,” explains Doug Chambers, Kelowna Branch Manager for Odlum Brown Limited. “The students are well-organized, dedicated and since they started to pilot this program last year, the demand for their help has grown.”

College students Sam Jamieson, Rebecca Alfred, Daniel Alfred, and Meaghan Barnard launched Silver Surfers to address seniors’ feelings of isolation. Using step-by-step booklets created by the students, seniors are now learning how to use iPads to connect with loved ones through e-mail, Facebook, and Skype.

Read the full story here.

Celebrating 35 years of helping careers take flight

The region’s longest-running career fair returns this Sunday, offering visitors a chance to meet with employers and learn more about the educational pathways to their dream careers.

The 35th annual Career Fair will take place from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Kelowna campus, featuring approximately 40 employers, interactive demonstrations, information about Okanagan College’s programs, prizes and fun for the whole family. Admission and parking are free.

Visitors can check out a number of special presentations throughout the day, from a quick a tour of the universe presented by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada to an information session hosted by Steph Bodden, Okanagan College Recruitment and Events Coordinator, covering off the top 15 points parents and students should know before starting post-secondary.

Follow this link for more information about Career Fair.

Trades funding announced in Penticton

trades funding penticton iocMinister of Advanced Education Andrew Wilkinson visited the Penticton campus on Thursday, Oct. 27 to announce support for Trades equipment and programming.

An investment of more than $565,500 will fund the purchase of new trades equipment, including a natural gas oven for the refrigeration and air conditioning program. The funding will also benefit students in the automotive service, construction, heavy mechanic, plumber/pipefitter, sheet metal, welder and cook/baker programs.

“Trades students at Okanagan College are receiving hands-on experience with industry-standard equipment,” said Wilkinson. “Trades equipment has rapidly evolved and employers want workers who know how to use it. New trades-training equipment provides students with the opportunity to gets skills that are in demand for rewarding trades careers in a range of sectors throughout the province.”

Read the full story here.

Training leads to lift off for AME-S grads

Andre iocA group of Okanagan College students and alumni recently shared what it’s like to train for, and step into, one of the most in-demand jobs in the global aviation industry.

Andre Leroux is one of those alumni, but only a few years ago, he was a student in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) Structures program. He now plies his trade for KF Aerospace – an employer who will be in attendance at Career Fair on Nov. 6 – working on aircraft worth tens of millions, only steps away from where he trained at the College’s AME-S facility at the Kelowna airport.

“I get to work on some of the world’s most incredible aircraft, doing everything from routine checks to big conversions that would have blown my mind as a kid. It’s amazing.”

Those looking to follow in Leroux’s footsteps and become an AME-S technician can attend an upcoming info night.

Click here to watch a video profiling AME-S current students and recent graduates. Read more about Andre Leroux’s journey here.

Accreditation a source of pride for HCA students

hca iocStephanie Shuttleworth has long dreamt about a career in health care and thanks to new recognition for the Health Care Assistant (HCA) certificate program at Okanagan College, she is feeling more confident than ever about stepping out into the industry.

“I volunteered in hospitals a lot when I was younger, so this is a career I’ve always wanted,” explains Shuttleworth, a student at the Kelowna campus. “A number of my friends completed the program and got jobs right away, so I felt confident it was the right choice for my future. The program already has a great reputation and so it feels good as a student knowing that we have this feather in our cap when we’re approaching employers.”

The program recently received a full five-year accreditation from the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry (CACHWR), the provincial body that oversees registration of HCAs in B.C.

“This accreditation will make the registration process smooth for our graduates, so they can start working as soon as possible—great news for them given the demand for HCAs right now,” notes Angela Godler, Chair of the HCA program.

Click here to read more about how this news will benefit HCA graduates.

Campus store new products and customer appreciation sale

campus store smallJust in time for fall weather, the Okanagan College bookstore has some cozy new apparel and accessories in stock. The Campus Store now carries MinxNY fashionable and functional accessories, including the Navajo Boot with phone pocket (as pictured) $39.99 each and the Fuzzy slipper sock with phone pocket $29.99 each.
The Campus Store will be holding its annual Customer Appreciation & Bargain Book Sale on Thursday, Nov. 24 at all locations: Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm and Vernon. Start holiday shopping early while enjoying coffee and goodies. There will be a great selection of general interest books starting at under a dollar. Receive 20 per cent off clothing and giftware and additional off clearance items (some exclusions apply).

Visit your local campus store today to check out the new MinxNY line as well as the great selection of gift items carried.


Scholarship recipients dine with the President

pres dinner 2016 iocPresident Jim Hamilton personally welcomed eight outstanding new students to Okanagan College at his annual President’s Entrance Scholarship dinner, which was held on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Infusions.

The students, representing each of the College’s four regions, earned the prestigious scholarships based on leadership and extensive contributions to their respective communities.  

The 2016 recipients included:

Shuswap / Revelstoke
Lindsay Booth – Associate of Science
Wallis Thomson – Associate of Science
North Okanagan
Hannah Mehain – Associate of Science
Sophie Sullivan – Business Administration
Central Okanagan
Joshua Clark – Criminal and Social Justice
Christopher Matte – Business Administration
South Okanagan / Similkameen
Brooklyn Cook – Associate of Science

Gopal and Manning are community leaders

gopoal ioc 2The third annual Community Leader Awards ceremony took place at Okanagan College on Monday, Oct. 24 and saw two members of the College community honoured for their contributions to the region.  

OC Foundation Vice President Raghwa Gopal was named overall Community Leader for 2016, while Doug Manning, former Okanagan College Board of Governors Vice Chair, received an honourable mention in the Above and Beyond category.

Presented by the Kelowna Capital News, and supported by a vast array of organizations throughout Kelowna and surrounding communities, the awards recognize the people whose efforts make the Central Okanagan such a great place to learn, work and live.

Read the full list of honourees here.

Mural in Assam’s honour unveiled

Assam iocA local auto dealer recently visited the Kelowna campus to unveil an automotive-themed tribute to his father who left a legacy of support for education and training in the Okanagan.

The student lounge in the new Trades complex now features a mural depicting a Ford GT50, honoring Norm Assam who founded Orchard Ford in 1983. Assam’s son Dan and daughter-in-law Tammy, were joined by Orchard Ford General Manager Trevor Pollon and Kelowna Ford Lincoln General Manager Dean Bradshaw in dedicating the mural.  

To the delight of automotive students and instructors, the Assams brought along the classic GT40 that was much beloved and driven by Norm in his retirement. Earlier this year, the Assam family announced a $100,000 pledge toward the Bright Horizons Fundraising campaign for the new building. Their support helped to renovate and outfit the new student lounge area now home to the mural.

“This beautiful car represents a lot of history for the Assam family and their legacy of serving the Okanagan,” said campaign Chair Dennis Gabelhouse. “Thank you to the Assam family for their generous support of students at Okanagan College.”

College welcomes Indonesian students on Okanagan tour

indonesian visitA group of high school students from Indonesia recently stopped by Okanagan College while on a tour of post-secondary institutions in the region, and the unique legacy of the cultural exchange dates back to long before any of them were born.

Twenty-two students from Tangerang in West Java, Indonesia explored the Kelowna campus on Monday, October 24. The students will spend two weeks in class at Mount Boucherie Secondary, getting a taste of life in Canada, before returning home.

The visit comes almost three decades after School District 23 Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rick Oliver took a group of Canadian students to Indonesia on an exchange trip in 1992.

"We are always happy to have students from other countries come to our schools,” said Oliver. “To be able to welcome our first Indonesian students in cooperation with Okanagan College is amazing. Opportunities like this one allow our students to develop an appreciation for other cultures and the world around them."

“It is great to see such talented students from Indonesia become familiar with the Okanagan,” says Skye Chataway from Okanagan College’s International Education office. “We were delighted to show them around the Kelowna campus, answer questions, and give them a brief glance at what a day in the life is like for Okanagan College students.” Follow this link to view a photo gallery from the tour. 

Tory Braun joins Public Affairs

tory braun iocThe Public Affairs bureau welcomes a new team member this month. Victoria (Tory) Braun joins as Marketing and Communications Specialist, taking over for Tyler Finley as Axelle Bazett’s maternity leave replacement.

Braun studied arts at Okanagan College before transferring to Simon Fraser University, where she graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Science and certificate in Cultural Resource Management. She has an extensive background in marketing and communications in the public and private sector, and volunteers her expertise on committees for Lake Country ArtWalk and the Kelowna Art Gallery.

Braun starts on Monday, Nov. 7 and will replace Finley as the go-to contact for Inside Okanagan College and College Matters; she can be reached by email or at local 4942. Finley now steps into a new role as the College’s Digital Content and Social Media Specialist.

Nov. 1, 2016, Vol. 11, Issue 16  

Kelowna campus fitness facility:
Remembrance day closure

The fitness facility at the Kelowna campus will close for the weekend at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10 and will re-open at 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 14.

MPP changes

The Municipal Pension Plan will be making changes to group benefits for retired members effective Jan. 1, 2017. Click here to read about the changes in the most recent member newsletter or visit the Municipal Pension Plan website for more information.


Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Week

Nov. 1-4 – In an effort to ensure Okanagan College is a leader in occupational health and safety, the Kelowna Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) committee is launching its first Health and Safety Awareness week, November 1-4.

The focus of this first annual OHS week is personal protective equipment (PPE) education and compliance. From 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. throughout the week, there will be an information table rotating through the C building, Trades Complex, and the Atrium in the Centre for Learning. Stop by to pick up information, ask questions, win prizes, and get some free swag. Everyone is welcome. Dates and locations:

Nov. 1 – Trades Atrium
Nov. 2 – C building, 2nd floor
Nov. 3 – Trades Atrium
Nov. 4 – Atrium in the Centre for Learning

Wine Talks.

Nov. 9 – Okanagan College and Liquidity Wines are partnering to offer Wine Talks: An International Perspective on Wine Marketing on Nov. 9 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. at the Penticton campus. The event will feature presentations from best-selling author Karen MacNeil (the Wine Bible) and Rob McMillan, EVP and Founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division. MacNeil will kick off the event and after a short intermission (and wine break, of course) McMillan will close the evening. Tickets to attend the event are now on sale at a special early bird rate. Click here to purchase.

AME-S Info Night

Nov. 9 – Those interested in learning more about the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) Structures program at Okanagan College can attend an info night on Nov. 9, from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at 5650 Aerospace Drive at the Kelowna Airport. Participants can meet instructors and tour KF Aerospace. Click here to learn more.

International Education Week

Nov. 14-18 – Celebrate global diversity at Okanagan College with international food, crafts and entertainment. Click here for a full list of activities.

Discover Africa’s Culture and Cuisine

Nov. 19 – Enjoy dishes inspired by African cuisine prepared by Okanagan College Junior Chefs with the mentorship of distinguished chefs of the Okanagan Chefs Association and Okanagan College. Saturday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. in the Centre for Learning at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus. Tickets are $75 and available here. Proceeds will be donated to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign and to the Okanagan Chefs Association to provide educational opportunities for junior chefs in our community. 

Winter Carnival

Dec. 8 – All Okanagan College employees are invited to get in the festive spirit and join the Winter Carnival beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8 in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning, Kelowna campus. Join for food and fun with colleagues. Click here for more information.

OC Holiday Season Party

Dec. 10 – The OC Social Committee invites all employees to attend the annual OC Holiday Season Party at Rusty’s Steakhouse and Lounge on Dilworth Dr., Dec. 10 beginning at 6 p.m. 

Enjoy a traditional holiday meal including dessert, dance to the tunes of Blue City Trio, featuring OC’s own Tom Esson, participate in a draw for prizes, a 50/50 draw and challenge someone to a game of pool at one of two reserved tables. All of this is included in your ticket price of $35. Those who purchase prior to Nov. 10 will be entered in a draw to win one of five $25 bar tabs which you can use during the party. Lots of parking is available at the venue and there is also an option to get a safe ride home for an additional cost.

Purchase a ticket from: Dawn Douglas or Katerina Hay (Advancement & Alumni), Angie March (Regional Dean’s Office), Gerry Born or Tanya Tarlit (Co-op Office), Carlyn Young (Registrar’s Office), Margaret Johnson (Executive Office), Jo-Dee Hecko (Faculty, ST&H), Lynda Dreaper (HR).


News of the milestone 35th annual Career Fair coming up at Okanagan College on Nov. 6 was broadcast far and wide by Okanagan Saturday and Castanet.

The announcement of funding for Trades equipment at the Penticton campus was shared by The Penticton Herald, The Penticton Western News, The Daily CourierCastanet and Global News, and AM 1150 Radio.

Dr. Kyleen Myrah, a professor with Okanagan College’s School of Business, was profiled as one of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 over 40 in the Oct. 26 edition of The Daily Courier. Myrah’s work in social enterprise recently earned her and fellow researchers Kerry Rempel and Cassandra McColman a prestigious grant from the Trico Charitable Foundation, among other honours; their story was covered by The Capital News and Castanet.

A recent talk by Dr. Rosalind Warner, Okanagan College Political Science professor, made the news and explored a very in-the-news topic as of late: the U.S. Presidential Election. Warner’s talk was covered by Global News and The Penticton Western News.

The two awards picked up by Okanagan College’s new Trades Complex at the SICA Commercial Building Awards gala on Oct. 27, made the pages of The Okanagan Saturday.

Nutech Safety Inc. announced a $30,000 donation toward the Trades Complex in October –  a gift which has helped to equip the building’s new First Aid room – as reported by The Capital News and Castanet.

The Kelowna Capital News shared interviews with Raghwa Gopal and Doug Manning as part of a special feature on recipients of the 2016 Community Leaders Awards; Gopal was named Overall Community Leader while Manning received an Honourable Mention in the Above & Beyond category.

Readers of The Capital News, Castanet, and The Osoyoos Times were riveted by word of the return of the 3-Hour Short Story Contest which returns at Okanagan College on Saturday, Nov. 5. 

Tim Walters, Okanagan College English Professor and President of the Okanagan College Faculty Association was profiled by The Daily Courier and The Okanagan Saturday in pieces about the Open the Doors Contest. The contest encourages students across B.C. to open up about their debt load. Word of the contest - open to students at institutions province-wide – was also shared in The Salmon Arm Observer.

A Vernon resident’s letter to the editor about the economic benefit of post-secondary to the community was published in The Vernon Morning Star on October 23.

Okanagan College Toastmasters Club President Moya Webb was touted as best of the best, along with fellow toastmasters from the region Gary Johnston and Dean Desroviers; these top speakers shone at a recent competition in Penticton, as showcased by the editors of The Daily Courier.

Juno-award winning musical group The Contenders will perform at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus on Friday, Nov. 4 as part of their Okanagan tour. Their arrival was trumpeted by The Penticton Herald and The Vernon Morning Star.

The popular Repair Café organized by the Regional District of the Central Okanagan returns to Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and readers of The Capital News and The Daily Courier were treated to an overview of what the event will offer. It will be housed in the Atrium of the Trades Complex and offers visitors free repair of small appliances or power tools and a free bbq lunch.

Students and parents of students with ADHD – and anyone wishing to learn more about ADHD and how it affects students in the transition from elementary school to high school to post-secondary – had the chance to attend a special presentation at Okanagan College held on Tuesday, Oct. 18, with news of the event being shared in advance by The Vernon Morning Star.

The Okanagan College Alumni Association's newest distinguished alumni – Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Heather Stewart and Young Alumni Award recipient Sarah Comba – were recently profiled in The Business Examiner for their contributions to the region.

Also showcased in The Business Examiner was a $15,000 donation by Gord Turner Renovations to the Bright Horizons, Building for Skills campaign in support of the new Trades Complex.


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


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 Nov. 15, 2016.