Students and donors celebrated

awards reception ioc 2017This past month, the Okanagan College Foundation held its annual awards receptions at the Vernon (Nov. 15), Penticton (Nov. 16) and Kelowna (Nov. 23) campuses. The annual receptions bring donors and their student award recipients together in celebration, gratitude and fellowship.

“Seeing donors and students come together to participate in the awards ceremonies are the moments when the 'why' of what we do becomes crystal clear,” says Kathy Butler, Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation. “We are grateful to our donors – their generosity empowers worthy students toward their future destinations.”

This year, across all four campuses, the Okanagan College Foundation presented 196 awards totaling $278,100 to 300 students. Together, Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Foundation have provided more than $500,000 in financial support to students in Fall 2017.

Jazz helps lift OC students’ careers to new heights

jazz award ioc nov 28A pair of Okanagan College students recently received a chance to jump start their careers as commercial pilots with major Canadian airline Jazz Aviation LP (Jazz).

Each year two students in the College’s Commercial Aviation program are recognized by Jazz for their educational achievements, safety and professionalism. Each student receives a $3,000 scholarship and enrolment in the Jazz Aviation Pathways Program (Jazz APP) which guarantees the student an interview with the company upon graduation.

jazz award 2 ioc nov 28

Paawan Miglani took home Jazz’s Safety, Professionalism and Diversity award last week, while classmate Aimee Wintle received the Safety and Professionalism award. Both Miglani and Wintle excelled on their Transport Canada written exams and industry flight tests and have a high grade point average. 

“Being part of Jazz APP is something I’ve been working toward since I started this program,” says Miglani. “I’m graduating soon and knowing I have an interview with such a renowned airline is huge. Also, the scholarship money is a big help because it’s going straight into my training with simulator sessions, flights and ground school.”

Read the full story here

Part-time viticulture courses launch in January

vittech pt iocThree new part-time viticulture courses starting early in the new year at the Penticton campus will offer budding grape growers greater flexibility as they train for careers in the vineyard. 

“By allowing students to take individual courses on a part-time basis, we aim to provide a more convenient means to explore this exciting field of study,” explains Jonathan Rouse, the College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “It will allow individuals, both experienced and new to viticulture, an opportunity to further develop a range of skills and knowledge that aligns with the needs of the wine industry.”

The courses will run Jan. 3 – April 26, 2018 and span three key cornerstones of viticulture – vineyard health and nutrition, irrigation and trellis systems and vineyard operations. Students can expect a blend of classroom instruction and practical experiences at local vineyards.

Learn more at

Sheet metal career paths on display at open house

sheet metal info night nov 28 iocThe need for skilled sheet metal workers locally and across B.C. has prompted Okanagan College to open the doors to one of its newest shops so potential students can test-drive the trade this fall.

A recent labour market sweep by BC Business predicted there will be call for 900 more sheet metal workers in B.C. over the next eight years. Sheet Metal Workers made the magazine’s list of 50 high paying jobs in the province, earning an average of $31/hr.

“This trade sometimes flies under the radar in people’s mind, but sheet metal is everywhere you look – homes, offices, schools, hospitals, restaurants – so there is endless work if you’re skilled in fabricating, installing or servicing ducts or anything with a sheet metal component,” says Brad Oliver, Chair of Mechanical Building Trades at the College.

The College is hosting a free public information night on Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6-8 p.m. in the Atrium of the Trades Complex. Students can tour the shop, chat with instructors and sign up to be a student for a day.

Read the full story here.

ECE students participate in National Child Day 

national child day iocEarly Childhood Education students presented their children’s rights displays at the National Child Day Luncheon, held at the Laurel Packinghouse on Nov. 17.  

Children's Rights were established by the United Nations in 1989 to protect children and challenge governments to make decisions that consider the needs of children.

The Conference Board of Canada’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist Craig Alexander was the guest speaker at the luncheon. He made the case that greater access to high-quality and affordable early childhood education is critical in reducing income inequality and poverty in B.C. and across Canada.

MLA Norm Letnick polled students for their input on ways to address the growing need for quality childcare and early education.

Building in the community

witt arion iocA class of Women in Trades Training (WITT) Gateway students in Kelowna recently completed custom shelving for Arion Therapeutic Farm, a non-profit wildlife habitat with playgrounds and nature trails for all ages and abilities.

Students put their blueprint reading and measurement skills to the test, and then used jig saws, tables saws and hand drills to build an innovative array of shelves. The four large shelves, which double as benches, were then installed in the workshop where supplies are stored for the farm’s numerous community activities. 


Markins support young learners

markins daycare iocA pair of former educators and longtime supporters of Okanagan College, Allan and Evelyn Markin, have pledged $2,500 to the new Little Learners Academy at the Penticton campus.

The need for a child care centre has been on the couple’s radar since Allan was Campus Principal more than 15 years ago.

“The need for child care was acute and is still an obstacle for parents in the region,” explains Markin. “Affordable, accessible child care is essential to the educational system and a healthy society.”

Little Learners opened in September and is operated through a partnership between Okanagan College and the Penticton and District Community Resources Society. Registration is open to College students and employees as well as families in the South Okanagan.

Read the full story here.

Ridgeley-Ketchell receives Master of Arts

brenda ridgeley iocBrenda Ridgeley-Ketchell, Chair of Office Administration for the School of Business, completed her Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from Royal Roads University this month. She traveled to Victoria to receive her degree and attend two convocation ceremonies.

Ridgeley-Ketchell, who is a member of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, first attended an Aboriginal ceremony where she received her degree in the Blue Herron House, the area’s indigenous headquarters. Elders attended and notable drummers performed. The following day, she attended the University’s formal ceremony at the Royal Theatre in downtown Victoria. 

“This degree was life-changing for me,” says Ridgeley-Ketchell. “I would highly recommend it to any of my OC colleagues who want to learn about higher education.”

Ridgeley-Ketchell is among the first to graduate with this credential. Her cohort is a mixture of students from across Canada, the Middle East, Beijing and Africa. Since earning her masters, she has also become a member of the Board of Directors for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and an assessor for the Loran Scholarship Committee. 

Taste of India at Penticton campus

taste of india 2017 iocThe Penticton campus hosted the annual Taste of India luncheon on Nov. 7. It was a well-attended celebration of Indian culture and cuisine. Students, employees and community members enjoyed a delicious feast of samosas, butter chicken or cauliflower, tomato chutney and chickpeas prepared by Penticton Library Assistant Surandar Dasanjh.

OC employees served the food and current and former international students took turns at the DJ station, playing bhangara music for anyone who wished to dance.

Ashman joins AO board

ashman headshot iocCentral Okanagan Regional Dean Phil Ashman was recently elected to Accelerate Okanagan’s Board of Directors. He is one of three new board members for 2017 and joins tech leaders from the private and public sector across the region.

Ashman has been immersed in the Okanagan technology scene for more than 15 years and has steadily contributed to its overall development. 

“I’m privileged to have been elected as an AO Board member," says Ashman. "Okanagan College has been a strong advocate and partner of AO since its inception. I hope to continue strengthening that partnership by seeking potential collaborative opportunities between the College and the AO community throughout the Okanagan.”

Click here for information on AO and to view the full list of board of directors.

It’s Giving Tuesday 

Commonly known as Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28 is a nationally recognized day during which, after the two biggest shopping days of the year, people are encouraged to give back to the community, charities or organizations dedicated to making a difference in peoples’ lives. 

For those wishing to take part in Giving Tuesday, there are many opportunities to give back at Okanagan College and in the community.

Memorial awards were established this year in honour of OC employees Derek Cook and Norbert Heinzelmann and donations can be made through the Okanagan College Foundation. The Foundation is also currently fundraising for capital projects including the Penticton Child Care Centre, Vernon Trades expansion and Shuswap Powerhouse Initiative. Members of the OC community can also consider supporting an existing student award or creating a new award to help students start or continue their education.

Donations can be made through the Okanagan College Foundation’s Canada Helps page. More information is also available on the Foundation's website.

November 28, 2017, Vol. 11, Issue 42


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 that will be 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 and if the session you are attending is over lunchtime, please feel free to bring your lunch to the meeting.  

New employee cellular device policy 

A new policy outlining the appropriate use of College-provided cellular devices (any device with cellular connectivity, such as a smartphone or tablet) has been approved by the President and posted to the policies page. Employees who utilize College-provided devices as part of their job are encouraged to review the policy. Download the PDF here.

Kelowna Fitness Facility holiday hours

From Dec. 4 - 15 the fitness facility will be open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (it will be closed on weekends). The facility will close for the holiday break on Friday, Dec. 15 at 4:30 p.m. and will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 6 a.m. with regular winter semester hours.

New Facilities work order system launched

A new Facilities work order system has been launched. Requesters will access the new system via a new link in myOkanagan that will replace the existing one on the Employee Home Page, under Facilities Management Requests. First time requestors will be required to enter their name and contact information which will be remembered on subsequent visits. Contact Nicole Robertson or Judy Zachary if you have any questions or issues with the new system.

Workers’ Rights and Responsibilities

The Workers Compensation Act contains many Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (the Regulations) to protect workers on the job. Part three of the Regulations highlights workers’ rights and responsibilities. 

Workers may wish to exercise their right to refuse unsafe work when they encounter a risky situation, such as climbing a ladder to reach boxes on a high shelf. Proper ladder safety requires three points of contact at all times (both feet and one hand on the ladder), yet workers may try to lift heavy boxes off the top shelf with two hands while standing on a ladder. This balancing act is dangerous and injury may occur.

When in doubt, employees should talk to their supervisor. As the employer’s representative, a supervisor has an important responsibility to address any concerns. After investigating the matter, supervisors will devise a safer method to complete the task. The procedure for refusal is covered in Section 3.12 of the Regulations.  

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 OC employees

Learning and Applied Research offers various professional development workshops for OC staff. 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 suggestions about the types of professional development workshops that you would like to see offered during the winter semester, please click here to submit your idea.


National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Dec. 6 is National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. A candlelight vigil is being held in Kelowna and Salmon Arm to remember women who have been victims of gender-based violence, including local women and the women killed on Dec. 6, 1989 in the Montreal Massacre during which a man walked into L'ecole Polytechnique and shot 14 women. The vigils are open to all as a way to remember and take action against gender-based violence. Please bring a candle and dress for the weather.

The Kelowna vigil will be held at the Sails (downtown Kelowna) at 6 p.m. The Salmon Arm vigil is happening at Okanagan College beginning at 3 p.m. with the candlelight vigil at 6:30 p.m.


Okanagan College’s School of Business is educating students on the legalities of Canada’s emerging cannabis industry. Martlet caught up with OC’s Professor David Cram who is teaching the course, entitled Special Topics in Management: The Business of Marijuana.

Past North Okanagan Regional Dean and Literature and Creative Writing Professor, John Lent recently performed at Vernon’s Jazz Society show and BC Local News took notice. 

Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Melanie Mark awarded 163 B.C. post-secondary students who are transferring to another post-secondary institution each a $5,000 scholarship. Two of the recipients are Okanagan College students and the Vernon Morning Star shared the story.

Market Wired shared the news of four B.C. colleges, including Okanagan College, that are now delivering the Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance program.

Okanagan band member and OC alumna Jenelle Brewer was profiled by the Vernon Morning Star for her achievements and recent nomination as Community Champion.

OC student and Kelowna Chiefs player, Myles Mattila, will be featured alongside his team on Sportsnet on Dec. 2 in support of mental health awareness and the Kelowna Capital News shared the news.

Okanagan College is hosting an open house for those interested in the sheet metal trade and it caught the attention of KelownaNow, InfoTel NewsThe Daily Courier and Okanagan Weekend.

A candlelight vigil is being hosted at the Salmon Arm campus on Dec. 6 for National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper has issued a public invitation and the Salmon Arm Observer took note.

Two Okanagan College Commercial Aviation students received a scholarship and interview with major Canadian airline Jazz Aviation LP and InfoTel News and KelownaNow shared the news. 

After losing her husband and son in a tragic plane crash two years ago, Michaela Chapman established an award in their memory. OC Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) student Deverick Clingwall received the award earlier this month and The Salmon Arm Observer shared the poignant story with its readers.

The Daily Courier’s Nov. 20 edition carried a letter by UBC Okanagan Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr. Deborah Buszard in which Buszard described the collaboration between UBCO and Okanagan College in serving students from the region and internationally over the past 12 years. 

Okanagan College’s Director of Public Affairs Allan Coyle also recently penned a letter that was published in The Daily Courier on Nov. 17. It offered insight into the College’s expansion of its programming array and track record of exceeding government enrolment targets for the past 12 years.

Okanagan Weekend ran a rave review of Audio Engineering and Music Production alumnus Ben Klick’s recent show at the Creekside Theatre in Kelowna. Klick was honoured with the Okanagan College Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Award earlier this year.

Okanagan College student Bailey McDonald stood up for her beliefs and her loved ones after her mother, who lives with fibromyalgia, received a nasty note on her vehicle decrying her use of a handicapped parking spot, despite being a valid pass holder. The story went viral on social media and also made the pages of The Vernon Morning Star.

Quail’s Gate Winery’s Marketing and Communications Manager Lindsay Kelm stepped into the role of chair of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society in November and also on the list of 2018 board members published by Okanagan Weekend was Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism and Associate Dean of Business Jonathan Rouse. 

The first 10 recipients of Vernon’s Top 20 Under 40 were profiled by Okanagan Weekend on Nov. 18 and making the list was Okanagan College Board of Governors member Riminder Gakhal who is a lawyer with Davidson Pringle.

Okanagan Weekend and The Penticton Herald remembered Rory McIvor, an OUC Board member who passed away on Nov. 17, for his decades of service to the Penticton community, both professionally and as an active volunteer and champion of many causes. 

Ballet and battle may seem an unlikely pairing but Okanagan College History Dept. Chair Howard Hisdal praised Ballet Kelowna in a letter to the editor of The Daily Courier for Acts of Remembrance, two evenings of performances dedicated to honouring those who fought in the First World War battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. 


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 Dec. 12, 2018.