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Health-care training in Vernon can kick-start new careers
Okanagan College Media Release

Health-care careers are calling, and Vernon residents considering change in the new year can dial in their options in early 2019.

An extra intake of Okanagan College’s Health Care Assistant program is scheduled for February, giving students in the North Okanagan direct access to training for one of the most in-demand positions in B.C.

“Now is a great time to become a health care assistant. The need for health care assistants within the Interior Health region is growing. There are many opportunities for individuals who have this training and one can choose to work in a team environment in long-term care or one-on-one with clients in home support. It is a great career choice for those who enjoy working closely with others, and those who like making a positive impact on the lives of others,” says Shalan Hundal, Health Care Assistant Recruitment and Marketing Project Lead, Interior Health.

The HCA program is also being offered as a dual credit opportunity with School District 22.

According to WorkBC, health care assistants have been identified as a priority occupation for the B.C. Ministry of Health. Average employment growth rates in this field are forecasted at 13 per cent to 2022, with no sign of slowing down. This demand is anticipated to increase even more after the Government of B.C. announced funding to increase staffing levels in residential care homes for seniors, which aims to fund more than 900 health care assistants by 2021.

“We’re hearing from our industry partners that employers in the Okanagan are desperate for health care assistants. Students will be making a living wage right out of school, in a profession that offers a variety of shifts, making it easy to find work that best fits their lives,” says Lisa Kraft, Associate Dean of Science Technology and Health for Okanagan College. “Most importantly, health care assistants find their work extremely rewarding. Graduates often tell us how much they appreciate the opportunity to have a significant impact on the quality of life for people in care.”

The College received $66,000 in one-time funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to support delivery of the program in Vernon, which will also enhance access for residents of nearby Armstrong, Enderby, Salmon Arm and Sicamous.

An information night for people to learn more about the Health Care Assistant program and field will be held on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. in Room D343 of the Vernon campus, 7000 College Way. The six-month intensive program runs for 26 weeks starting on Feb. 4, 2019, and will feature four months of classroom instruction and two months of hands-on practicum for students to learn within the health-care environment.

Applications can be submitted online. For information, call 250-545-7291, ext. 2309 or visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/hca.

 

Dean of Business creates award for global education
Okanagan College Media Release

Business students at Okanagan College will have the opportunity to take their education to new heights thanks to an award established by Bill and Kathy Gillett. Bill is the Dean of the Okanagan College School of Business.Bill Gillett Giving Tuesday Nov 2018

The Gilletts have committed $20,000 to create the Okanagan School of Business Dean's Scholarship. The scholarship will provide two annual awards of $2,500 to third- or fourth-year business students who choose to study at one of Okanagan College’s 16 partner institutions around the world.

“Business is global, and I think it’s so important for students to have a multi-cultural experience,” says Bill.

“There is no such thing as local anymore. In business you could be competing with foreign companies, you might have suppliers overseas or customers overseas. I'd like to help students gain a better understanding of the world, especially if they haven’t had that opportunity.”

Bill, who joined the Okanagan School of Business in 2017, has been travelling and meeting with Okanagan College’s partner institutions to learn more about their programs. He says he’s impressed by the quality of the faculty, as well as expanding options for students to receive a dual degree.

Okanagan College offers a dual degree program with FH Worms University in Germany. The partnership allows an Okanagan College student to study for three years at Okanagan College and one year at Worms, and receive a bachelor’s degree from both institutions.

The College also recently announced a new partnership with École Supérieure D’Agricultures (ESA) in Angers, France, which allows business students interested in agriculture or viticulture to study for five years and receive a bachelor’s degree from the College and a master’s degree from ESA.

The Okanagan School of Business is also exploring setting up new partnerships, including a dual degree program offered at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Finland.

“The Gillett’s gift to the College is truly visionary,” says Kathy Butler, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director. “Making it easier for students to study abroad provides them with a much deeper understanding of the world, and makes the world a smaller place.”

Bill made his announcement as part of Okanagan College Foundation's Giving Tuesday campaign. Giving Tuesday follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is a global day to remind people of the opportunity to participate in philanthropy, and to celebrate the positive effects that giving has on individuals and causes.

Okanagan College is celebrating Giving Tuesday to recognize faculty, staff and alumni who support its students and institution over the years. To learn more, click here
.

 


New agreement links Chinese school district, School District 23 and Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

MOC Signing Nov 2018A new partnership that spans the Pacific connects School District 23 and Okanagan College with one of the largest educational districts in one of the busiest cities in the most populous country on earth.

This week, School District 23 Superintendent Kevin Kaardal, Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton and Dongbiao Zeng, Director of the Education Bureau of Tianhe District, signed a Memorandum of Co-operation that will facilitate student and instructor exchanges and cultural development between the three partners.

The agreement follows on earlier agreements signed by the Province of British Columbia and Guangdong Province. The first sister provinces agreement was signed in 1995 and was followed by more detailed agreements in 2011 and 2016. The last inter-provincial agreement focused on two-way educational exchange and promotion.

“This commitment to co-operate opens the doors between ourselves and the Educational Bureau of Tianhe District,” notes Hamilton. “With this in place we can work to facilitate Chinese students from this region finding a receptive school district and college in the Okanagan, and our students finding educational opportunities in one of the world’s global economic nodes.”

“Our goal is to create cultural connections and paths that will strengthen our students’ sense of global citizenship,” says Kaardal.

The signing among the Central Okanagan School District, Okanagan College, and Tianhe is going to not only boost the synergy on research and development of high quality international education programs, but it will also help teachers and students from both countries to blend in each other’s education culture, in order to set up a new strategic education cooperation pattern,” explains Dongbiao Zeng, the Director of the Education Bureau of Tianhe District. “In recent years, Tianhe has been aiming at constructing a modern education system that matches the national core city status of Guangzhou. As the education quality escalates, Tianhe has become an industry model in not only Guangzhou but also South China.

The Tianhe District is one of 11 districts in Guangzhou city. Tianhe District’s population is estimated at 1.5 million people living in an area of 96.33 square kilometres. (In contrast, the Central Okanagan School District’s total population of approximately 180,000 resides in an area of approximately 2,861 square kilometres. The Okanagan College region serves approximately 400,000 people and covers 36,115 square kilometres.)

The Guangzhou metropolitan area has an estimated population of approximately 25 million and is one of China’s three busiest cities.

At the post-secondary level, the Tianhe district boasts 53 national, provincial and municipal research and education institutions under its jurisdiction. At the K-12 level, it has 312 institutes and 200,000 students.

The agreement between the three institutions was facilitated by AQG Education Science and Technology Consulting Co., Ltd. Of Guangdong.

 

OC Floral Design students help deck the halls
Okanagan College Media Release

Floral Nov 2018 2Eleven students from Okanagan College’s Floral Design program are adding a dash of holiday cheer to their studies, creating elaborate Christmas floral arrangements for the popular Homes for the Holidays tour.

The Homes for the Holidays event is a self-guided tour of seven private homes in Kelowna decorated for Christmas and featuring artists, tastings and music along the way. Homes are assigned teams – including florists, interior designers and event planners – who work together to style the house in the latest holiday décor trends.

“This is the first time Okanagan College has worked on this tour and so far it has offered invaluable training to students,” explains OC Floral instructor, Kathy Neufeld. “They’ve been required to work in a team with real clients, real deadlines and also real pressure.

“This is a high-profile community event where people go all-out. The exposure has been great for students and is really building their self-esteem.”

The team has been putting its talents to use decorating the historical G.D. Loane House located on Abbott Street. The house was built in the late Art Deco period in 1937 and is known for its innovative Streamline Moderne architecture.

“Each house on the tour works toward a specific holiday design theme set by the interior designer and all of our floral arrangements are based on that theme,” says Neufeld. “Because of the era the Loane House was built in and the architectural style of the house, our team decided to go with the theme of
The Great Gatsby.”

The tour begins tomorrow, Nov. 17, and students have been working towards this day for quite some time.

“The students and I have been working on this event for almost a month now,” explains Neufeld. “We’re preparing a plethora of arrangements including a ton of interior and exterior garlands, potted plants, outdoor planters, chandelier dressings, flowers for all rooms and of course, a Christmas tree.”

The students were joined by two Okanagan College Floral Design alumni who came back to the classroom to help with the arrangements and offer mentorship.

“It’s so humbling to be invited back into the classroom to help with special projects like this one and also to talk with the students,” says Alana Pidwerbeski, a Floral Design graduate (2016) and owner of Wild Ginger Floral Design. “The floral business is changing and growing – especially in this city and all of the Okanagan weddings – and a lot of students are interested in opening their own small business. I enjoy sharing my experiences as a business owner with students and helping them along the way.”

Coincidently, the G.D. Loane House is owned by a former Okanagan College employee, Ron Lutz and his wife, Loy.

“It’s been a wonderful experience working with the College again, especially in such a different way,” says Lutz, who worked as an electrician for the College for more than 25 years. “This is our first time participating in Homes for the Holidays and it’s fitting that the College is making all of the floral arrangements. Our home looks amazing and it was such a pleasure working with the entire décor team.”

The event sold-out quite early and funds raised from the tour goes to support the Central Okanagan Hospice Association.

 

Awards a ‘tremendous relief’ for aspiring nurse
Okanagan College Media Release

Jenna Kellerman recently wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and B.C. Premier John Horgan to highlight the challenges for people living in poverty.Jenna Kellerman Nov 2018

Prior to starting upgrading at Okanagan College, Kellerman, a single mother of four boys, would never have dreamed she’d be advocating on issues to government leaders.

“Going back to school has given me the confidence and the voice to speak up,” says Kellerman. “It’s made me think from a different point of view. I’m not scared to speak up anymore, I am maturing as a person and finding my voice.”

Kellerman is currently completing upgrading in order to pursue her dream career as a Licensed Practical Nurse. While in the past, Kellerman wouldn’t describe herself as doing well in school, she’s worked hard to achieve high grades and set an example for her sons.

Her hard work is paying off in more ways than one. Kellerman is being recognized with two awards from the Okanagan College Foundation.

“It’s such an honour to receive these awards and a tremendous relief,” says Kellerman, adding one of the awards brought her to tears when she learned it came from professors at the College.

“These awards will go a long way in helping me pay for my education.”

Kellerman is one of 385 students who will be receiving scholarships and bursaries at three awards receptions hosted by Okanagan College. The first event takes place tonight in Penticton, followed by Vernon Nov. 15 and Kelowna Nov. 22.

The award reception is an opportunity for people in the community who set up scholarships to meet the students and learn first-hand how the financial support is helping them succeed in school.

In total, nearly $500,000 will be awarded to Okanagan College students.

“Community support means a great deal to our students and our institution,” observes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.

“Awards open doors for students and recognize their hard work and achievements. The support is also a signal of the value our communities place on a skilled workforce and how they are willing to invest in the leaders of tomorrow. We are grateful for the support.”

 

Reconciliation-themed conference coming to Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Past truths are inspiring future approaches to early year education.

Pathway to Truth and Reconciliation is a two-day conference scheduled for Nov. 23 and 24 at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus, and is open to anyone who works with children and families in the region and those interested in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.

“We want to provide this information for people who are working with children and families in the community, and those who want to know about the land they live and work on. Usually you have to go to Vancouver for these types of conferences, but we are really proud that we have so many local Indigenous leaders to showcase,” explains Leola McMillan, chair of the Early Childhood Educators of B.C. (ECEBC) North Okanagan Branch.

Mollie BonoLocal supporters of early years education and services came up with the idea following a presentation by Okanagan elder Mollie Bono, an Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College who was recognized for her long-time efforts to champion education, reconciliation and inclusivity in the region. Bono’s talk stirred a desire to gain more Indigenous knowledge.

“Mollie Bono’s stories were incredible, rich with history and information about the people, the land and traditional ways. That workshop was so inspiring to us that we wanted to share more and learn more,” adds McMillan.

Workshops include topics such as the Kalamalka Indigenous Garden, Okanagan oral history, songs, stick game to Jordan’s Principle, in addition to presentations from elders and scholars working with knowledge keepers and leaders.

Keynote speaker Monique Gray Smith, an award-winning author and leader, will present the “4 Blankets of Resiliency” concept she developed to support wellness of children and families (strong sense of self; family; community; and culture, language and connection to the land) and how these factors might be used to strengthen programming and services.Monique Gray Smith Nov 2018

“Everybody who is involved with the early years in any way understands that we have a responsibility to equip the next generation with the tools they need. The more knowledge we can share and acknowledge the past, we can then move positively towards the future with better outcomes for our children,” McMillan says.

Co-hosted by the ECEBC and Okanagan College, the Pathway to Truth and Reconciliation has taken shape from the contributions of multiple organizations on the planning committee: Children First BC, Success by 6, BC Aboriginal Child Care Society, Okanagan Nation Alliance, First Nations Friendship Centre, United Way North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap, Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs and NONA Child Development Centre Society.

“The Kalamalka Indigenous Garden is one example of how the Vernon campus of Okanagan College works with the community toward preserving local knowledge and traditional ways. Hosting this conference will support our commitment to working with and learning from the Indigenous community and enhancing ties with our Indigenous partners,” says Jane Lister, Regional Dean North Okanagan.

Registration is open until Nov. 22. Conference participants can register for one or both days, and discounts are available for Okanagan College students and ECEBC members. For information and registration, visit
www.okanagan.bc.ca/pathwayconference. 

 


Trades students put their skills to work building locker rooms for OC Coyotes
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will tip off their sophomore season later this month and they’ll do so with some new amenities thanks to the handiwork of their fellow students.

A class of 13 Grade 10-12 students from School District 23 were the first to contribute to the project, honing their framing and other carpentry skills recently in the space, which is under construction at Kelowna Christian Academy School located on Hollywood Road South.

That class is the first of its kind in the province – an all-female gateway to trades opportunity that is modelled on the Industry Training Authority (ITA) Youth Explore Trades Sampler program for high school students. The 19-week program (a collaboration between the ITA, school district and the college) provides youth an experience in various trades to help students identify their passion before continuing on to an apprenticeship.

Mackenzie Pachal is one of the students working on the project.

“We get to learn a lot about using different tools and about the different trades. It’s much different than school. It’s cool to be working on something that someone else will be appreciating,” she notes.

“This project is a great opportunity for these students to get some hands-on training and apply their skills out in the community,” says Steve Moores, the College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “I expect they will take a great deal of pride in knowing their efforts are benefiting their fellow students. It’s a real win-win for everybody involved and our students and instructors jumped at the chance to be a part of it.”

“We’re very grateful to the Industry Training Authority and the school district for their support in helping us make this first all-female gateway program a reality – along with Tolko, Home Depot and several others who have provided support and materials. The school district approached us to get the ball rolling in an innovative way to engage an all-female cohort and we’re thrilled we were able to work collaboratively to make it happen.”

“Supporting women in trades is so important in building a sustainable and strong workforce in B.C.” says Shelley Gray, interim CEO, Industry Training Authority. “We’re so proud of the girls of School District 23 for trying their hands at skilled trades and contributing to their community and Okanagan College. Creating safe and welcoming environments for girls and women interested in exploring trades is a great way to get them started.”

Others from the College’s Trades and Apprenticeship department will also play a role in finishing off the project. Electrical, plumbing and carpentry/joinery students and instructors will rotate through in the coming days.

When completed (the College is aiming to have the project wrapped by the end of December) the space will boast locker rooms for both the men’s and women’s teams and a coach’s/meeting room.

The OC Coyotes will play their home openers at Immaculata Regional High School on Nov. 16. The games will mark their first official regular season play as part of the Pacific West (PACWEST) Conference.

“The OC Coyote men’s and women’s basketball programs are built on and dependent on local support and this is no exception with the entire project being constructed by OC Trades students,” explains Dino Gini, President of the Okanagan College Basketball Society.

“Supporting our community is our top priority because the community has supported us since our program’s inception. Working with the College Trades departments and their students is just another example of our program working with our future community leaders. We are looking forward to inviting the community in to join us to officially open the facility to the current and future players and coaches when the time comes.”

 

Penny Lane supports students with investment in child care
Okanagan College Media Release

Penny Lane Nov 2018A Summerland charity’s gift to the new child care centre at Okanagan College is helping give South Okanagan families peace of mind and access to quality child care.
 

The Summerland Charity Shop Society, which formally ran Summerland’s Penny Lane Bargain Outlet stores, announced a $5,000 donation to the new Little Learners Academy at the Penticton campus of the College.

“It’s challenging for parents to find child care,” says Orv Robson, Chairman of the Penny Lane Legacy Fund.

“Little Learners provides a solid start to learning for children and makes it easier for their parents to pursue the next step of their education.”

Putting youth and education is at the forefront of what Penny Lane does. In 2013, with the closing of its retail stores, the board of directors of the Society created the Penny Lane Community Legacy Fund with the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen. The fund invests in the community with a focus on youth projects.

According to Robson, supporting Little Learners fits in with their mandate to make access to education more equitable for youth.

“The Centre will be a benefit for students and families today and for years to come,” adds Robson. “It’s a gem for the Okanagan Valley.”

Penny Lane has a long history of assisting students at Okanagan College and has supported two student bursaries annually since 2011.

“Penny Lane continues to make an incredible impact in the region, and we’re very thankful to be receiving this generous donation,” says Mary Ellen Heidt – Chair for the Child Care Centre campaign.

Little Learners opened in September 2017 and is operated through a partnership between Okanagan College and OneSky Community Resources. Registration is open to College students and employees, as well as families in the South Okanagan.

 

Beyond prohibition: Cannabis, mental health and the public
Okanagan College Media Release

How will the legalization of cannabis affect mental health? What will the implications be for public health generally?

The next installment of Okanagan College’s Signature Speaker Series at the Vernon campus will address recent research on cannabis use and mental health, as well as what legalization will mean for public health.Zach Walsh Nov 2018

Zach Walsh, an associate professor at UBC Okanagan, will review recent research and explore the potential of cannabis to serve as a substitute for other psychoactive substances like alcohol or opioids.
 

“There is so much we don’t know about the use of medicinal plants,” says Walsh. “Refining medicines derived from cannabis and other plants will have a dramatic effect on the health of Canadians and people worldwide. How do we make the best use of these plants and combine them with other therapies to create better outcomes for people who are suffering?”

Walsh runs the Therapeutic, Recreational and Problematic Substance Lab at UBC’s Okanagan campus, which focuses on researching of the association between cannabis use, mental health and addictions. His ongoing research projects include evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for post-traumatic stress, examining the association between psychedelics and violence, and examining cannabis use trajectories among university students.

The presentation will take place in the lecture theatre of Okanagan College’s Vernon campus on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Presented by Okanagan College, the Signature Speaker Series is sponsored by the Prestige Vernon Lodge and Conference Centre and Basket Case Picnics Catering. Admission is $10. Participants can register in advance online – www.okanagan.bc.ca/SignatureSpeakers – or pay at the door.

 

Federal funding fuels OC research-collaboration in the Shuswap
Okanagan College Media Release

An Okanagan College research initiative involving two different Shuswap area companies is among more than 94 projects nation-wide that are being supported with $45 million from the federal government’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

The funding was outlined today at a press conference in Ontario, and work on the research projects in the Shuswap is already underway.

The Shuswap projects are focused on technology in agriculture and improving economic sustainability for existing businesses. $200,000 of federal grant money (over two years) is going to support:

  • research into means to reduce heating costs for greenhouses in cool climates, in order to allow them to operate economically longer or year-round (in partnership with Karen Dow, The Handmade Shop)
  • research into development for year-round greenhouse using low grade geo-thermal temperature control systems, either on grid or off grid (in partnership with Ernest Moniz, HighCroft Farm, Sorrento)
  • developing an automated control system for indoor vertical hydroponic farming (in partnership with Karen Dow, The Handmade Shop)

The funding for the projects flows through the NSERC-administered College and Community Innovation Program.

“On campuses across the country, colleges are building exciting research opportunities and at the same time helping companies enhance their products and processes, bringing promising ideas to the marketplace,” noted federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan, as she announced the projects publicly in Saint John. “With research areas ranging from advanced manufacturing to artificial intelligence, the projects being funded today will have real-life benefits for all Canadians.”

Okanagan College personnel involved in the Shuswap research include researcher Dr. Peter Janele and David Williams, who teaches in the Electronic Engineering Technology program.

“Local food security and a minimized carbon footprint is essential to resilient sustainability.” says Ernest Moniz, owner of HighCroft Farm in Sorrento. “Securing federal support and being able to work with an Okanagan College researcher and students to find ways to develop and operate geo-thermal year-round greenhouses is an exciting and valuable step in the right direction. We look forward to being part of creating low cost and small carbon footprint year-round food supplies for local communities in all areas of Canada.”

“Part of the challenge in operating a hydroponic farm is to manage the systems involved in the most efficient manner possible. The project we’re engaging in with Okanagan College researchers and students will help us develop an automated control system that ensures optimal air and water management for an indoor farm that is going to grow tomatoes, strawberries and lettuce commercially. Being able to tap into the College expertise with support through this grant is a real benefit for us.”

“This is research that demonstrates how Okanagan College can bring expertise and knowledge – and federal support – to bear on real world challenges and opportunities that will benefit business and impact the economic health of our region,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “I’m pleased this work is focused in the Shuswap and am looking forward to seeing what the results are. Important to us is the fact there are OC students involved, bolstering their education with research experience.”

The projects are projected to be complete within two years.

 

Small student-designed home boasts big sustainability features
Okanagan College Media Release

Dylan Roche Oct 2018Good things come in small packages — made even better when powered by passive energy.

Dylan Roche and his family are excited to move into their newly built home, designed by Okanagan College students as they completed their Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) diploma.

The Roche family home on Penticton’s Upper Bench might look typical from the outside, but its design is the result of applied learning at its best — students incorporating international best practices in sustainable construction to save energy in the scaled-down house.

The project came about as Roche and his family began to establish roots in Penticton, seeking a more sustainable way of living.

“When we were looking around in the Okanagan, a lot of vineyards seemed to have small amount of land for the vineyard, but large houses. We were looking for the opposite,” explains Roche. “We liked the idea of building something affordable but comfortable, that was easy to heat and live in.”

Roche had a connection with Brian Rippy, a professor in the SCMT department with 15 years of experience in sustainable design and construction management. Rippy provided consultation services while Roche and his family designed their winery building, incorporating LEED principles into the design so that the upstart vintner could optimize operations from the get-go.

“It can take a lot of energy to maintain consistent temperatures in a winery,” Roche explains, adding one facility he worked at in Oliver had utility bills of $3,000 a month. “We got a primer with the winery such that when we started working on the house, we wanted to integrate a lot of those ideas.”

Rippy recommended that the family home become a SCMT Diploma Capstone project for students, who are required to complete a real-world project and demonstrate skills and knowledge they gain in the program. Each team-based project has the potential to contribute to the economic, environmental and social well-being of the community. Students have two terms to deliver: the first to design a project that meets their client’s requirements, with the second term involving construction project management.

For program alumnus Aaron Spohr, the capstone project was daunting.

“My classmates and I realized quite quickly we had actual deadlines and this affected real people. The stakes were a little higher, and it was a real eye opener,” Spohr recalls.

With the Roche project, Spohr and his classmates facilitated design and managed procurement of materials, trades and quotes, as the Roches had their own contractor to build the project.

Applying what they had learned about sustainable construction, the students incorporated many Passive House principles into their work. A building standard certification developed in Germany, Passive House design strives for energy efficient buildings that are comfortable and affordable, using existing sun, internal heat sources and heat recovery ventilation. This can result in energy consumption reductions up to 90 per cent compared to typical building stock.

“We take a building that you would normally have, but wrap it in a sleeping bag so it is super insulated and take additional measures to ensure the building is airtight,” explains Rippy, adding that a high-performance air barrier and thick layer of rigid insulation is continuous around the entire building and two small heat recovery ventilation systems are used to exchange air with minimal energy loss.

Another significant factor in Passive House design is situating the building in the optimum location to take advantage of energy from the sun.

“The site itself was pretty wide open and flat, so from an orientation perspective it was ideal. It allowed us to put a lot of the principles we had learned about into practice,” Spohr says. “We were able to take advantage of the southern orientation to accept solar energy in the winter and reject it in the summer. Our modelling worked.”

The student team working on the Roche project was initially asked to design a tiny house or other movable living structures on the site, given the restrictions around agricultural land. As the design process unfolded, however, the Roche family came back to the students with a twist: their family was growing, expecting another child.

“It was really interesting and cool. It was a real-world application, and gave me and my classmates a taste of what to expect,” Spohr explains. “Building is not an assignment, where you are given the parameters and they never change during the design process. We had a client whose needs were changing. That means some rework has to be done, adjustments had to be made, and you have to deal with it. It was the perfect illustration of what we could expect in industry.”

The home is approximately 800 square feet, with living and kitchen space in the middle taking advantage of natural light from south-facing windows. The interior spaces are open to maximize daylighting and connection to the outdoors. Other features include insulated concrete forms for the foundation, low-emission finishes, high-performance windows, low-flow water fixtures and Energy Star appliances. The building is also considered net-zero ready, in that future additions of solar panels have been planned, which would make the building reach net zero energy.

Spohr had the opportunity to walk through and admire the house during the final stage of construction.

“It looks great. It looks exactly as we had designed it. A lot of the things we had hoped would make it in are here,” he says. “It’s a small space but it feels like it is big and efficient.”

Information about the SCMT program is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/scmt. 

 

Cannabis industry expert to present at College’s Career Fair
Okanagan College Media Release

Those attending Okanagan College’s Career Fair on Nov. 4 will get more than future career or educational insights, they’ll leave with knowledge about the budding local cannabis industry.Flowr cultivation room Nov 2018

Cannabis is now legal in Canada and the new legislation has brought new questions, that will be addressed in a session at OC’s Career Fair by industry expert Lyle Oberg, the Corporate Project Management Officer of Flowr, a local cannabis cultivator company located in Lake Country.

“We’re passionate about getting involved with Okanagan College because it helps bring our communities together and build for the future,” says Oberg. “Flowr is not going anywhere. We’re staying in the region, we’re looking for local employees and we’re only getting bigger.”

Oberg will give an hour-long presentation to current and prospective College students about cannabis career opportunities in the Okanagan at noon during the College’s Career Fair in Rm. E202 in the Centre for Learning (E) building.

“Ninety-five per cent of our employees are local and we have a substantial need for even more employees in a wide variety of positions,” explains Oberg. “That’s one of the interesting parts of this industry, we need office administrators, business people, cultivators, managers, trimmers, marketers, and more, all the way up to PhD researchers – this industry is really limitless.”

Flowr has been in operation for almost a year and within that time has already hired 120 full- and part-time employees and is preparing to double that number within the next six to eight months.

Attendees are encouraged to bring questions to the presentation.

“The Okanagan has been an epicentre of cannabis for years and I’m hoping to shed some light on the exciting careers you can have in this industry,” notes Oberg. “I imagine there are a lot of people out there with questions and I’m happy to take the time and really get to the bottom of things with them.”

Okanagan College made headlines last fall when it became one of the first in the sector nationally to implement a Cannabis course – The Emerging Marijuana Industry – through its School of Business. It now offers several courses through the Continuing Studies department including Growing your Own Cannabis, Pest Management, Cannabis Legislation, Business Fundamentals and more. An upcoming course on Cannabis Retail Sales is also being developed.

“This is a dynamic industry and the courses we have developed bring a unique hands-on educational experience for students – not just theory,” says Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training at Okanagan College. “Our goal is to provide education that is ahead of the curve and provides insight into this unfolding market.”

The College’s 37
th annual Career Fair on Nov. 4 offers high school and post-secondary students the opportunity to explore potential career paths and connect with more than 50 employers across a range of industries. It is the Interior’s longest-running career expo that attracts hundreds of prospective students every year.

Attendees are also treated to post-secondary preparatory seminars, tours, activities, program information and draw prizes. The event will run from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kelowna campus, 1000 KLO Rd.

Admission and parking are free for Career Fair.