Auditions to open for Red Dot players production

fangirlHoly stage fright, Batman! Okanagan College’s Red Dot Players theatre troupe is seeking actors to perform in its sixth annual theatrical production, the comic book comedy A.K.A. Fangirl. Auditions will be held Nov. 4, 6, and 8 at the Kelowna campus lecture theatre.

This will be the inaugural stage production of A.K.A. Fangirl, which was written by playwright and Okanagan College English Professor Jeremy Beaulne. Uniquely, Beaulne will also direct the play.

“I'm a bit nervous about directing my own play. Ideally, a director should have some distance from the material being directed,” says Beaulne. “At the same time, I'm excited at the prospect of tackling some of the directorial challenges I built into the script.”

The play is seeking nine actors: five men and four women, with most of the actors playing more than one role. For a detailed character list and an audition schedule, visit Evening and weekend rehearsals will commence in January 2016, and public performances will be in March. Actors must be a minimum of 17 years old, and roles are on a volunteer basis.

Those interested in auditioning can email Jeremy to book an audition time. Actors will not be required to memorize any material prior to their auditions.

In addition to seeking actors, the production is seeking volunteers for the crew, including a stage manager, a costume coordinator, a prop coordinator, a sound designer, and a set designer.

Keldon Electric amps up Trades campaign 

KeldonKeldon Electric and Data Ltd. has pledged $50,000 to the Bright Horizons fundraising campaign for the Trades Training Complex under construction at the Kelowna campus. The donation will assist the College in constructing and outfitting a classroom geared towards training electricians and other skilled tradespeople.
“Keldon Electric and Data Ltd. feel privileged to support a facility where the majority of our workers are trained,” says Keldon Electric President Brian Yamaoka. “The College is a proven training facility that continually puts out skilled workers.”
The College launched the Electrician program in 2006, which is now one of the fastest growing trades programs in the province. In the last five years alone, the College has graduated 2,273 full-time equivalent foundation (pre-apprentice) and Red Seal apprentice electricians.

Say goodbye to corkage fees at Infusions restaurant

sarah mahOkanagan College’s Infusions Restaurant, which is open to the public during the day Tuesday to Friday for breakfast and lunch and evenings on Thursday and Friday, is putting an end to corkage fees on Okanagan wines.

This new development means diners can bring their own bottle of Okanagan wine to dinner and will not be charged as they pair it with the local, fresh menu that showcases the work of students in the Culinary Arts department, shepherded by Chef Stuart Klassen and the Culinary Arts Department Manager, Chef Bernard Casavant.

“Our goal is to entice diners and provide our students with the opportunity to prepare and serve quality meals,” explains Jonathan Rouse, the College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “Okanagan wines are a focal point for our programs, and we thought that eliminating corkage fees on the area’s product would be a way to support the industry, while at the same time providing our patrons another reason to visit Infusions.”

Rouse is quick to point out that diners don’t have to bring their own wine. “We still have a growing list of Okanagan-area wines that are available for purchase.”

The fall menu is a mouth-watering temptation, from a range of appetizers that includes a smoked duck and confit crepinette ($8, which is accompanied by a plum chutney, farm greens, yam chips and a cherry gastrique) to main courses that run through meat, fish and vegetarian choices (contemplate a sterling spring chicken breast - $20 - that comes with cranberry sage sausage, fall squash risotto, a loose parsley pesto, roast beets and rainbow carrots).

Reservations for Infusions are recommended – you can call 250-862-5455 or email

Penticton Speaker Series now underway

coeThe Okanagan College Speakers Series in Penticton is piquing curious minds, encouraging public dialogue and highlighting research and innovation in our midst.

From now through to December the public is invited to attend six scheduled talks. The presenting speakers will address a spectrum of interests including: uncovering the darkest corners of space, how GPS technology can help gauge sport performance even indoors, financial planning and the stock market, and demystifying the idea of a born criminal.

The Speaker Series takes place on Monday evenings at the Penticton campus lecture theatre from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is by donation, benefiting the College’s Emergency Student Bursary program. Parking on campus is complimentary for the events.

-    Oct. 26: Rob St. Onge, Energy Manager at Okanagan College, “Living Building Challenge – Lessons Learned”
-    Nov. 2:
Dr. Ken Tapping, Astronomer at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, “Puzzling Pluto”
-    Nov. 16:
Scott McMillan, CEO of XCo, “Wearables: Indoor GPS and the Future of Health Care and Sport Technology”
-    Nov. 23
: Jacinta Jay, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones, “Take Stock in the Market”
-    Dec. 7:
Jarkko Jalava, Criminology Professor at Okanagan College, “The Myth of the Born Criminal”

For a complete list of speakers and detailed topic descriptions visit:

October is Carpool Month

Share a ride this month with a colleague or two and participate in Carpool Month. Enjoy conversations on your way to and from work, find easier parking with carpool reserved spots on campus, save on fuel and mileage for your car, all while helping the environment and reducing traffic on the roads. Great prizes are available. For more information visit the website or contact Rob St. Onge

Conservationist provides a rare look into the Great Bear Rainforest coastal waters 

ianBased on his summer 2015 expedition, long-time Great Bear Rainforest resident Ian McAllister will describe his efforts to generate a more complete picture of the B.C. coast from both below and above the water. This will be presented in a public talk, Where the ocean meets the rainforest: exploring Canada's Great Bear Rainforest on Monday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus lecture theatre.
Using advanced filming techniques, McAllister and his team have captured some of the lesser known stories of right whale dolphins, blue sharks, salmon sharks and studied their relationship to the waters of what is now known as the Great Bear Sea of the central and north coast of British Columbia. McAllister has described this experience as “the most spectacular display of aquatic ballet I could ever imagine,” and hopes through the sharing of spectacular photography, videography and storytelling, he can continue to inspire others to protect this precious region.
Where the ocean meets the rainforest is presented in collaboration with Pacific Wild, and is part of the Science in Society Speaker Series (a joint project by Okanagan Science Centre and the Okanagan College), which is sponsored by the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Cooper’s Foods, Starbucks Coffee, and the Vernon Morning Star.
Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For tickets, call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644. To subscribe or obtain more information about the Science in Society Speaker Series, visit


OCAA honours Nickoli and Perrot

sareenaThe Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) presented its top honours to two Bachelor of Business Administration graduates at a cocktail reception hosted at the Kelowna campus on Oct. 15.
Sareena Nickoli, BBA 2001, was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award for her many years of volunteerism and fundraising efforts benefiting numerous non-profit organizations in the North Okanagan.
John Perrot, BBA 2003, received the Young Alumni Award for his remarkable career achievements and commitment to community service.
If you know an alumnus worthy of recognition, contact Katerina Hay for information on how to nominate them for an alumni award.

Janeka Greif takes top honours at Special Olympic World Games

janekaWith 18 medals adorning her neck representing five years competing in provincial, national, and international track and field events, 21-year-old Kelowna resident and Adult Special Education student Janeka Greif has defied the odds. The latest in her hardware collection are a silver and a bronze earned at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles this summer.

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby, doctors prepared Greif’s parents for the probability that their daughter would never be able to walk, and likely never speak. Not one to give up, she has proven the contrary.

Like many students this fall Greif is back on campus with a focus on a career beyond competition. She is in the midst of earning a Preparing for Access to Careers and Education (PACE) certificate from Okanagan College’s Adult Special Education department.

“Right now, I want to focus on my education and on my future,” says Greif. “Definitely something in sports, maybe in personal training or in nutrition. I needed to bring focus to my life, and I was inspired to come to Okanagan College where I could be set on that path. Taking the PACE program is a first step.”

Training for the Special Olympics World Games had Greif in the gym six days a week, two hours a day. She describes competing on the international stage as an incredible experience and the chance of a lifetime. During the two weeks spent in L.A. as one of 114 Canadian athletes (22 on the track and field team) she also attended an L.A. Angels baseball game, walked in the opening and closing ceremonies, and met pop superstar Justin Bieber.

The silver Greif earned was in the 4x100m relay where she was the anchor, and she earned a bronze in shot put.

This is the same perspective Greif is applying to her studies at the College. After the PACE program, she hopes to continue on to obtain a Supported Access to Modified Education (SAME) certificate.

“Special Olympic athletes can compete right up into their senior years,” explains Greif. “The way I see it, taking a few years off right now to get an education, that’s most important. I started the sport five years ago, so I know that with the right training schedule I’ll be able to get back into it, but now is the time to build a career.”

Cat Nicholson wins Campus Commuter Challenge

nicholsonDuring the Campus Commuter Challenge held in late September, 125 Okanagan College employees and students participated. This is significantly up from the 73 registered last year. In addition 14,562 km of alternate transportation (i.e. walking, public transit) were logged. Again a significant increase from the 6,500 km logged last year.

Congratulations to student Cat Nicholson from the Salmon Arm campus who has was rewarded for her participation in the Challenge and took home the top prize, a GoPro Hero.

Harding Award for Engineering motivates local student to reach for robotics career

matthewMatthew McCann was teaching English in Brazil when an unforgettable moment in the classroom inspired him to re-engineer his career path and trade the role of teacher for student.

“Many of my students were engineers who were looking to improve their English,” McCann says. “One day, I was just struck by their passion for their work. I realized that the projects they were working on in their communities really appealed to me. Their energy sparked my journey into Engineering.”

Two years later, after completing the Electronic Engineering Technology Program (ELEN) at Okanagan College, McCann got another jolt of inspiration when he learned he had been selected to receive the Yvonne and Norman Harding Award for Engineering.

Valued at $5,000, the award is the largest given out annually by the Okanagan College Foundation and is intended to assist students bridging the ELEN program to a university Engineering Degree Program.

For McCann completing the ELEN program means he can enter the third year of Electrical Engineering at the University of Victoria. Receiving the award has meant that he can complete the year without having to worry about finances.

“This award definitely takes a big load off my mind,” he explains. “But even greater is the motivational factor—the fact that Yvonne and Norman Harding have made this incredible investment in my future is very validating for me. It will push me to work as hard as I can.

“I hope in future I can give back and change somebody’s life like these generous donors have changed mine.”

The Harding Award for Engineering was established in 2007 through a donation of more than $100,000 to Okanagan College.

The creation of the award marked the first but not the last generous gift made by the Hardings in support of students at Okanagan College. In 2010, they gave $30,000 to support the creation of the Women's Resource Centre at The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Penticton.

Debbie Robert joins Okanagan College Foundation Board

The Okanagan College Foundation has a new director on its Board with news that Debbie Robert will serve the organization.

Robert now resides in Kelowna after calling Fort McMurray home for 32 years. She and her husband Leo are retired co-owners of L. Robert Enterprises Ltd., a heavy equipment rental/repair business based out of that region that employs more than 400 people.

Previously, Robert was appointed and served on the Keyano College Board of Governors for a six year term, and upon completion chaired the Keyano College Foundation Board of Directors for a further six years.

“Okanagan College plays such an important role in education and training throughout the valley. I look forward to joining the Foundation board to assist with current and future developments that will enhance the student experience,” says Robert.

Robert is an active supporter of Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Foundation. She is currently serving as Northern Projects Sector Chair for the Foundation’s Bright Horizons, Building for Skills fundraising campaign.

New faces on Education Council and the Board of Governors 

The election for Education Council and the Board of Governors concluded and here are the results:
Board of Governors (students)
Stephen Jung and Spencer Lupul (both by acclamation)
Education Council
Faculty-Central Okanagan (by-election)
Roen Janyk (elected)
Student-South Okanagan Similkameen
Connie Ramey (filled by volunteer)
Student-Central Okanagan
Nancy deMelo (elected)
North Okanagan
Sean Rossouw (by acclamation)

Oct. 20, 2015, Vol. 10, Issue 15


Connections survey is now live

The Connections planning committee would like your feedback to help in the planning of next year’s event. Please fill out the following survey to share your suggestions and ideas for future Connections conferences.

Rosalind Warner to headline next ILT Lunch & Learn

Dr. Rosalind Warner will present the next ILT Lunch & Learn series on Friday, Oct. 30 from 12 – 1 p.m. in room C368 at the Kelowna campus.

Rosalind, Chair of Political Science, will focus her political lens on the popular TV program Game of Thrones. She will review select video clips, quotes and themes, which will be sure to promote lively discussion around the popular program that is focused around love, betrayal, war and power.

Rosalind is encouraging those who attend to dress in costume. Please register online at:

OC Toastmasters – Open House Meeting 

Are you terrified at the thought of getting up to speak in front a group?
Are you comfortable getting up to speak but find that your message is not getting heard?
Do you have leadership aspirations or are you already in a leadership role but feel a need to sharpen your speaking skills?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Toastmasters may be for you!
If you are interested in learning more, the Okanagan College Toastmasters group is hosting an open house meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 12 – 1 p.m. in room C368 at the Kelowna campus.

If you are unable to make the open house but are interested in finding out more about Toastmasters, stop by one of the group’s regular meetings – also in C368 every Wednesday from 12 – 1 p.m. in Kelowna. Contact Rob St. Onge for more information.

Submit an article to the Fall ILT Newsletter

The Oct. 30 deadline is approaching to submit an article to the fall issue of the ILT newsletter. The theme is Applied Research: Collaboration & Community. For guidelines and more information, visit the ILT website.

Volunteer at Career Fair

Okanagan College’s Career Fair helps connect the community to insights about careers and education opportunities in the region. On Sunday, Nov. 1, hundreds of students, job seekers and employers will descend on Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus to explore their educational options, research potential career paths, and discover available job opportunities. 

Public Affairs needs volunteers to act as hosts and ambassadors from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. All volunteers will receive a gift and lunch.
If you are interested in volunteering or know of a potential exhibitor, please contact Michelle Lowry.

Roundabout Learning Series events

Oct. 21 – In “Introduction to project management” join Ryan Ebner who will introduce the first in a series of sessions to give you the tools needed for successful project management.

Learn the different phases of a project, and how project management skills can be applied to your work immediately to facilitate progress. The session will take place in room L103 in Kelowna from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 27, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Room L103, Kelowna campus.
Curriculum Development.
Facilitated by Beverlie Dietze, participants will be given an overview of a curriculum planning process. Course and program level mapping will be highlighted, and discussions on how the relationship between curriculum mapping and assessment strategies will be presented.

Nov. 10 - Dr. Dawn Mcarthur from the Child & Family Research Institute will facilitate a one-day workshop on how to write a successful research proposal. The workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in room A131 at the Kelowna campus.

The Roundabout Series is presented by IT Services and Learning & Teaching. Visit the website for more information, and email Ross McKerlich to register.

Flu vaccination clinics

It’s that time of year again and Okanagan College is offering employees the opportunity to receive a flu vaccination. The vaccine is offered as a service to Okanagan College employees only and participation is voluntary. Any questions regarding the type of vaccination or the after-effects should be discussed with your family physician. Please also see the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Info Sheet.

As in previous years, the College is paying 50 per cent of the total cost. Please bring a cheque with you, payable to Okanagan College or exact change only, for your portion of the vaccination, which is $9. 

If you plan on attending the flu clinic at any of the following locations, please complete the Seasonal Flu Vaccination Questionnaire & Consent form ahead of time in order to move the clinic along smoothly, except for the signature and date as those are completed when the nurse is present.
The clinics will be held as follows:
Date:     Wednesday, Oct. 28
Time:     10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Room:   Atrium, Centre for Learning
Date:     Wednesday, Oct. 28
Time:     9 to 11 a.m.
Room:   Sunoka PE A1E
Date:     Thursday, Oct. 29
Time:     1 to 2 p.m.
Room:   130
Date:     Thursday, Oct. 29
Time:     12 to 2 p.m.
Room:   E105
If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Klotz.

College Pension Plan

There have been a few changes to the College Pension Plan pension formula, early retirement reductions and contribution rates, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

Please follow this link to read more about these changes.

Open Access Week is underway 

Open Access Week is October 19-25.  At Okanagan College, you can learn about open access to research, knowledge, and data by visiting the table in the Center for Learning Atrium on Oct. 21 between 12 – 1 p.m.

Ever wondered if there are alternatives to requiring expensive course textbooks? On Oct. 22, listen to a lightning talk on Open Data from 12 - 12:30 p.m. and Open Textbooks from 12:30 – 1 p.m. in L103.

Enactus Okanagan College Farm Bag Fundraiser

Employees are reminded that Enactus Okanagan College is promoting the Farm Bag Fundraiser program to support local farmers in the Okanagan and to raise funds for its Enactus team projects. The student-run organization had a great first delivery earlier this month thanks to the strong support from faculty and staff at the Kelowna campus. 

Farm Bag provides monthly delivery of a 20 lb. bag of fresh, quality produce grown right in our own backyard. Not only do you get a great selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables, but you also get a recipe sheet with suggestions on how to prepare some great meals.
By participating in this unique program, you support local farmers throughout the winter months and you support the Enactus Okanagan team in its efforts to deliver projects that benefit our community.

The next delivery is Oct. 30 and the deadline to order is Monday, Oct. 26.

To sign up go to and follow the directions to sign up. Make sure that you select Enactus Okanagan College as your pick-up location so that it's delivered right to campus for easy pick-up! There are four delivery days left from October to January. You are able to set up monthly payments or do one lump-sum payment depending on what works best for you.

The Balance Sheet – focus on mental health

With World Mental Health Day and Mental Illness Awareness Week, October is a month that focuses on mental wellness. The College’s employee family assistance provider has issued a newsletter with information that may be useful to employees.
Anxiety is an issue many people have a degree of experience with. The first article in this month’s newsletter, “Tips on How to Feel More Comfortable in a Crowd” will discuss a few quick tips that help make social endeavours a little easier to manage – and enjoy.

The second article “Anxiety and Depression: Common Companions” focuses on the relationship between anxiety and depression, examining the potentially devastating combination of these frequently comorbid disorders. The presentation for this month will be “Addressing Anxiety” which offers some simple strategies to help us manage anxiety and regain control over our mental health. You can register for the webinar here.


News of the largest donation of equipment ever made to the College (a Jetstream 31 aircraft donated by the Swanberg family) made headlines in media outlets in the Okanagan. Read more about the donation, which is valued at nearly $700,000 in: College Flying High (Vernon Morning Star) and College gets giant new plane (Kelowna Daily Courier).

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Rod Butters was recognized this week as his restaurant RauDZ in Kelowna was named by Trip Advisor as one of the top 10 restaurants in Canada. Read more in the Daily Courier’s RauDZ named one of Canada’s best restaurants.

A Public Affairs press release about the success of Harding Award for Engineering scholarship recipient Matthew McCann was picked up by the Kelowna Capital News. Read more about Matthew’s educational pursuits and the generous donation made by the Harding family in Motivated to pursue robotics career.

It was a sweep for Okanagan College Culinary Arts at the Young Chefs competition on Oct. 8 in Kelowna. Alumnus and chef Sarah Maw won for her deep-fried coconut brie cheese ball. The College’s apprentice team (led by Chef instructor Danny Capadouca) also won for their chocolate ganache tart with goat cheese. The people’s choice award went to Okanagan College’s team, led by Chef instructor Leah Learmonth. Read more in the Okanagan Saturday: Deep-fried cheese stands alone at young chefs’ championships.

Audio Engineering and Music Production alumnus Ben Klick held his CD release party at Okanagan College earlier this month. Read more about Klick’s booming career and the launch party in: Artist sees his career “Klick” (Vernon Morning Star) and Ben Klick to hold CD release party at Okanagan College on Saturday (Kelowna Daily Courier).

The Kelowna Capital News carried a brief about the boost in enrolment numbers at Okanagan College this fall. Read more in: Enrolment bump up for Okanagan College.

News of Debbie Robert joining the Okanagan College Foundation made the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier: College foundation adds new member.

A Public Affairs press release featuring the achievements of Adult Special Education student and track and field medal-winner Janeka Greif was picked up by the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more about Janeka in: Medal-winning athlete takes time off to study at college.

Okanagan College Alumni Association Young Alumni Award winner Sareena Nickoli was recognized in the Vernon Morning Star among the third round of KPMG’s Top 20 Under 40. Read more in: Business professionals to earn recognition.

A press release promoting the Science in Society Speaker Series lecture by Dr. Richard Hebda was picked up by the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read about it in: Can we adapt to a changing planet?

Former Okanagan University College Board of Governors member and OUC supporter Theresa Arsenault was named as Business Leader of the Year by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. Read more about Theresa’s esteemed legal career and her association with Okanagan College in: Kelowna lawyer awarded for business contribution (Kelowna Capital News) and Arsenault up for balancing act (Kelowna Daily Courier).

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Lois Serwa published a brief in the Okanagan Saturday declaring her support for Ron Cannan in the federal election. Read more in: Now you know, they’re voting Ron Cannan.

Dr. Tim Walters, President of the Okanagan College Faculty Association, was quoted in the Vernon Morning Star discussing his views on why students appeared to be taking more interest in the October federal election. Read the article: Election stokes college kids.

Okanagan College’s Norah Bowman was cited in several Okanagan newspapers during the 2015 federal election. Bowman ran as the NDP candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country. Read the media round up for Bowman here: Parties have a lot to offer on health care (Kelowna Daily Courier), Liberal taunt draws feisty NDP reaction (Kelowna Capital News), Tory plan to help small business doesn’t include tax increases (Kelowna Daily Courier), Give Tories a spanking, voters urged at forum (Kelowna Daily Courier), Talking business at Lake Country forum (Kelowna Capital News), Lake Country candidates blast each other (Vernon Morning Star), Raucous crowd quizzes candidates (Vernon Morning Star), 2015 election riding roundup (Kelowna Daily Courier), and Day before the election finds candidates schmoozing, door knocking and fishing (Okanagan Saturday).  

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Dick Cannings (NDP) and Okanagan College Board of Governors member Connie Denesiuk (Liberal) represented their respective parties in the federal election race for South Okanagan-West Kootenay. Read their pre-election coverage round up here: Neufeld is odd man out on many issues (Osoyoos Times), Monday is now only remaining chance to vote (Osoyoos Times), Students grill candidates at Pen-Hi forum (Penticton Herald), Final push for votes (Penticton Herald), Down the homestretch (Penticton Herald), Cannings season (Penticton Herald), NDP takes Penticton (Kelowna Daily Courier), Connie proud of Liberal comeback (Penticton Herald), and Disappointment for Neufeld (Penticton Herald.)


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

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. 3, 2015.