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Records 1 to 4 of 9
Distinguished Alumnus Ben Klick to headline weekend of concerts at OC
Okanagan College Media Release

Ben Klick Jan 2017Okanagan College is kicking off 2018 with a weekend of musical entertainment featuring some of Kelowna’s outstanding local talent, including alumnus and award-winning country music artist Ben Klick.

A 2017 recipient of Okanagan College’s Young Alumni Award, Klick will once again bring his twist of modern country music to the OC stage following an incredibly successful year for the singer/songwriter. With a newly released single “That’s Who I Wanna Be” and fresh off receiving the 2017 Country Club Act of the Year Award at the 41st Annual British Columbia Country Music Association (BCCMA) Awards, Klick’s performance will headline the College’s annual Audio Engineering and Music Production (AEMP) show. 

Klick, and the supporting act “Under the Rocks,” will perform on Saturday Jan. 13 as part one of a two-part concert series put on by the College’s AEMP students.

“As part of our live sound module, we are given this opportunity to act as audio engineers and show the community what we have been working on,” says Nina Greschner, who is a student in the program. “This is a chance for us to work together as a team and get hands-on experience in a real life setting.”

On Friday, Jan. 12, the night before Klick’s show, two popular opening acts – My Dudes and Fated Sons – will hit the stage for the aptly titled Rock, Paper Scissors, ROCK! concert. The high-energy entertainers will be followed by headliner Rosebone, a local duo who bring a modern twist on a vintage sound and a unique style of storytelling through their songs.

The student organized concerts raise funds for bursaries for future AEMP students to attend the program and are curricula for one of the modules of the certificate program.

Doors to the lecture theatre at the Kelowna campus will be opening at 6:30 p.m. each of the nights, with the two-hour shows starting promptly at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 each ($10 with a valid student I.D.), and are available at okanagan.bc.ca/aemp
, and at the door.

 

Scholarship supports post-secondary transfer students at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Jake Tourand Dec 2017Merritt’s Jake Tourand moved to Kelowna to attend Okanagan College this fall with some significant help – $5,000 of it – thanks to the Irving K. Barber Scholarship Society’s Transfer award.


Tourand is among 163 post-secondary students in British Columbia who received a helping hand from the transfer scholarship which eases the costs for students transferring to another institution to complete their degree.

“This scholarship has made for an easy transition to a new school and new city,” says Tourand, who recently completed two years at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. “I was juggling two jobs while going to school and because of the award I didn’t feel the stress to find a job the moment I moved to Kelowna – I can focus more on school for once.”

Tourand is working towards his Bachelor of Business Administration degree specializing in Human Resources Management. U
pon graduation, he is looking forward to a career working with Indigenous people in a human resources or community-facing role.

Applications for the 2018 Ike Barber Transfer Scholarships are now available. To find more information and to apply, visit www.ikbbc.ca
.
College chefs help prepare for a flavourful Christmas
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College Chef Bernard Casavant, Chef Mike Barillaro and 14 culinary arts students are putting their talents and training to work as they help prepare a delicious community Christmas dinner.Chef B Dec 2017

When Chef Adam Relvas (owner of Relvas Catering and a College alumnus and Victory Life Fellowship volunteer), approached the College several years ago to help with the dinner, the College chefs saw it as a perfect opportunity to give the first-year culinary class an education in preparing the popular holiday-time bird.

“There’s nothing like giving students real-life training especially for an amazing cause like this,” says Casavant. “You should have seen the students’ eyes when Chef Mike and I wheeled out the cart with the 25 turkeys on it.”

The dinner is hosted by Victory Life Church at the Parkinson Recreational Centre and has been running for 14 years. Victory Life is anticipating it will help feed more than 500 people this year. Two dinner seatings are planned to serve the crowds, thanks to an endless team of volunteers.

“This entire event is made possible thanks to volunteers,” explains Casavant. “The turkeys were donated by Victory Life Fellowship and together with Chef Adam and the 14 students we’ve been making the stuffing and cooking the turkeys and Chef Mike worked his magic with the gravy.”

The dinner is open to everyone; the driving belief is that no one should be alone on Christmas. Those attending will be treated to a flavourful turkey dinner with all the trimmings, gift bags, door prizes, games and live entertainment.

For more information, visit www.victorylife.ca/christmas-day-dinner
.

 

Prestigious scholarships propel Okanagan College students to study abroad
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College’s Grace Oswald and Kira Johnson are among 29 students in British Columbia that are fulfilling their dreams of studying abroad thanks to the Irving K. Barber Premier’s International Scholarship which awards students between $6,000 and $10,000.

Grade Oswald Dec 2017“I’m supporting myself through school so winning the award was big news,” says Oswald who was awarded $7,500. “It’s the biggest scholarship I’ve ever won and I feel like I’ve got financial freedom to take in more of the culture now.”

Oswald is currently preparing to embark on an exchange program to Finland in January where she will study for six months at
Jyväskylän University of Applied Science. The scholarship money is helping her realize a future in the tourism industry.

Growing up in Milk River, a small town in southern Alberta and notably home to the Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Oswald found a passion for meeting new people and experiencing other cultures at a young age.

“I grew up next to the park and worked at its visitor centre which is actually the first point of contact in Alberta from the U.S. border, so I got to talk to Americans all day long about interesting things to see in the province and Canada in general,” says Oswald. “It was the best job I’ve ever had and made me realize how much I love talking with people and having the opportunity to be an ambassador of my country and help influence people’s experiences.”

Oswald’s zest for people and tourism quickly led her to enrol in Okanagan College’s Bachelor of Business Administration program in Tourism and Hospitality Management.

“I knew this was the right career path for me and I think one of the best ways to truly understand tourism is to become a tourist yourself – which is why I wanted to study abroad so badly,” says Oswald.

Okanagan College has exchange partnerships with 22 post-secondary institutions in 16 different countries spanning four continents – a draw that attracts many students, including Kira Johnson.Kira Johnson Dec 2017

Johnson, like Oswald, is also working towards her Bachelor of Business Administration degree. She was awarded the maximum scholarship amount of $10,000 to help complete her third year of study in Germany at the Berlin School of Economics and Law.

For Johnson, studying abroad has been a long-time goal as her aspiration is to work in the international education field.

“I’ve been involved with international education since high school,” says Johnson. “I started working alongside my school districts International Coordinator and even developed a program called The Peace Program that helps exchange students make friendships with local students and helps Canadian students make international friendships.”

Johnson loves the Germanic lifestyle and language and is keen to learn how post-secondary institutions in Germany go about promoting their international exchange programs.

“When I graduate I’d like to work as an International Coordinator for a school district or a post-secondary institution,” says Johnson. “So I’m really interested in seeing how Germany encourages their students to study abroad and bring that information back to Canada.”

By being an international student Johnson is hoping to get a deeper understanding of international education.

“You’d be surprised that some of the most difficult things about being an international student are actually some of the smallest things like returning an item to a store, opening a bank account or finding a cell phone plan,” explains Johnson. “I’m hoping that by experiencing these challenges first hand, I’ll be in a better place to help other international exchange students in the future.”

Thanks to the financial award, Johnson will get the opportunity to explore Germany’s exchange programs, travel to different cities and take in more experiences outside of the classroom.

 

College’s child care centre sets a first in sustainability
Okanagan College Media Release

Penticton is now home to one of the most energy efficient daycares in the country.OC Little Learners Daycare Dec 2017

The new Little Learners Academy, located on Okanagan College’s Penticton campus, is Canada’s first Passive House certified child care centre, earning the sought-after designation last month at the NetPositive Symposium hosted by Passive House Canada in Vancouver.

The project is being recognized locally with news that it has been named a Silver Finalist for the 2018 Tommie Awards in the category of Best Environmental Initiative in Construction (Residential or Commercial).

The project was announced by the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development at a groundbreaking event in November 2016. Less than a year later, the centre is operating in full swing, complete with 37 children using the facility.

News that the child care centre received official certification from the Passive House Institute (Passivhaus Institut) in Darmstadt, Germany is welcome for the College, which has built a strong reputation as a leader in sustainable construction.

“Sustainability is one of Okanagan College’s core values, and building the first Passive House child care centre in Canada is a milestone to celebrate,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “We are pleased to be part of creating an innovative space for the next generation of learners and take pride in continuing to be a leader in green building practices.”

Passive House is a performance-based, voluntary, international construction standard for energy-efficient buildings that developed in Germany in the 1990s. It is widely recognized in Europe and the building standard is quickly gaining popularity in North America due to its long-term cost savings and reduced carbon emissions.

In real terms, the Passive House construction and design means the Little Learners Academy is predicted to use approximately 90 per cent less energy than a building of its size and scope conforming to standard building practices.

“Every detail, from the orientation of the building in relation to the sun, to the angles of the roof, was meticulously considered and designed,” says Chris Allen, Principal at Landform Architecture, who was part of the project team along with the design builder Ritchie Contracting & Design, BC Building Science and Archineers Consulting Ltd. The project also involved consultation from students in the College’s Sustainable Construction Management Technology program.

In the construction of the centre, Ritchie Contracting used innovative techniques and specialized materials to minimize heat loss and maximize heat retention in order to meet the rigorous Passive House energy model. This included the use of highly insulated walls with widths up to 18" thick, highly efficient windows and doors, external shading, and advanced mechanical systems.

A by-product of using these sustainable construction methods and materials is a quiet, draft-free environment with improved air quality for the centre’s young learners.

Though Passive House buildings are estimated to cost 5 to 10 per cent more in construction than a traditional build, Allen notes the savings that come from increased energy efficiency outweigh the up-front costs and protect the building owner from future price shocks in the market.

The project’s commitment to sustainable construction doesn’t stop at Passive House design.

The centre is also built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standards, a popular green building certification program. The goal of the centre is to meet net zero energy (to produce as much energy as it consumes) by including solar technology and monitoring systems.

The Little Learners Academy isn’t the first green building on the Penticton campus to achieve national recognition. The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence was named the most sustainable post-secondary building in the country in 2016 by Corporate Knights magazine, and was one of only three buildings in North America to be featured by the New York Times as an example of a carbon-neutral post-secondary facility.

The new child care centre is expected to eclipse the Centre of Excellence’s impressive energy-efficiency record. The Centre of Excellence uses 72 kwh/m
2 of energy annually and Little Learners is modeled to use only 43.8 kwh/m2. In comparison, an average Canadian child care centre uses 250 kwh/m2 annually.  

 

Collaborative program opens doors for Indigenous trades students
Okanagan College Media Release

Cameron Jack CCW Dec 2017Cameron Jack was just 17 when he first stepped into the carpentry shop at Okanagan College. Two years and two levels of apprenticeship training later, Jack is inspiring others around him to follow in his footsteps while he continues down the path of a family member who inspired him.

A member of the Okanagan Indian Band, Jack is one of eight students who completed the Construction Craft Worker (CCW) 2 Aboriginal Journeyperson Preparation program this month. He and his peers were recognized in front of family, friends and community members at a ceremony in the Trades Complex on Friday, Dec. 15.

“For the me the highlight of the program has been seizing the opportunity to become a mentor,” says Jack. “I’ve been able to be a role model for some friends who are now going to the College for trades and culinary arts. I’m really proud I was able to inspire them to do that because the College has definitely made a difference in my life and I’m excited to see the impact is has on theirs as well.”

Jack and his fellow students represent seven distinct bands and First Nations from across Western Canada – from the Adams Lake Indian Band, Neskonlith Indian Band, Okanagan Indian Band, Ulkatcho First Nation and Westbank First Nation in B.C., all the way to the Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan and the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba.CCW2 Dec 2017

Friday’s ceremony closed the loop on a two-year educational journey for Jack. This time last year, he was crossing the stage in the very same spot to pick up his CCW Level 1 credential (he was among the second class to graduate from Level 1 of the program since it piloted in February 2015). It also brought into focus for him a much longer tie to the trades within his family.

“My great grandfather built the house we live in by hand,” notes Jack. “So it means a lot to me to be on the same path as he was.”

The 19-year-old won’t have to wait long to begin his new career. With both credentials under his toolbelt, Jack will start work with local construction company Wibco in the new year – a connection he made during his training this fall.

The program was made possible through a partnership with BC Hydro and with support from the Okanagan Training & Development Council, Aboriginal Skills Employment & Training Services, Canadian Home Builders’ Association, New Relationship Trust, and Okanagan Kids Care Fund Society. The organizations provided tuition and books, tools, lunches, safety gear and transportation, meal allowances and accommodation, daycare support and living support for out-of-town students.

BC Hydro provided the funding for an Aboriginal Trades Transition Planner – a Red Seal electrician – who was on hand for cultural, academic and employment support. The students also worked with Aboriginal peer mentors, one-on-one tutors, Elders and the College’s Aboriginal Services team to keep up their grades and their spirits during the program.

“It has been incredibly rewarding for us to follow the achievements of the students in this program,” says Steve Moores, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College. “I’m very proud of the students, for their hard work and dedication, and am appreciative of BC Hydro and all of the employers and organizations who have invested in these students and in the program since it began.”

Opening doors to the workforce for Indigenous students from all over the province was one of the key factors that propelled BC Hydro to partner with the College on this intake and last fall’s intake of Level 1, notes Nadine Israel
, Indigenous Program Specialist - Southeast Region for ‎BC Hydro.

“By starting here and preparing candidates, working closely with the Indigenous communities, BC Hydro is being proactive in training our future workforce and the workforce needed by our many contractors and the communities we serve across B.C.

“It’s wonderful to see community members like Cameron and his fellow students seize those opportunities.”

More information about the Construction Craft Worker program is available at okanagan.bc.ca/ccwab

 


Vernon Trades campaign kicks off with big boost

campaign launchThe future is looking bright for a new trades training hub in the North Okanagan after Okanagan College kicked off its fundraising campaign on Monday with the announcement of two major gifts.

Vernon philanthropist George Galbraith announced a $250,000 pledge to the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons – Building for Skills campaign for the new Trades Training Centre at the Vernon campus. Immediately after, a second gift of $250,000 from Kal Tire was announced.

The $500,000 boost puts the Okanagan College Foundation well on its way to the campaign’s $1 million fundraising goal.

“It’s very rewarding to be a part of such an exciting initiative in our backyard,” says Galbraith, who is dedicating his gift and naming one of the trades shops in memory of his son Kieran.

Well-known in the community for his generosity, Galbraith sees his gift as an act of gratitude for the benefits he received raising a family and building a livelihood in the Okanagan. For him, it’s not about signing a cheque, it is about making a long-term investment in the future of the region. Galbraith hopes it will inspire others to contribute as well.

“The new centre will provide youth from our community the educational foundation and tools to be successful as they embark on their careers.”

The contribution from Kal Tire will see one of the new centre’s trades shops named for the company.

“We’re proud to support a new learning environment that will provide the highest quality trades training, and a promising career path for students,” says Robert Foord, President of Kal Tire. “This new centre will create a positive impact for our local economy and help keep qualified tradespeople in the North Okanagan.”  

The two contributions will support the completion 13,450 square-foot state-of-the-art centre on the Vernon campus that will have the capacity to train approximately 150 students per year. The project is being supported through the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. Through this fund, the province of B.C. is investing $2.9 million and the government of Canada has provided $2.7 million. The Okanagan College Foundation is fundraising for the remainder of the project cost and to provide program and student bursaries and scholarships that will help increase access to training.

Construction of the $6.2 million building is underway, with completion targeted for Spring 2018.

“Both George Galbraith and Kal Tire are renowned for their philanthropy and civic spirit,” says Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “Once again, they are supporting the community, this time through significant contributions to a leading-edge facility where Okanagan College students will train to become part of the solution to address the skills shortage in the province.”

At the launch event, the Okanagan College Foundation also announced a partnership with the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan (CFNO). According to Michael Tindall, Chair of the Bright Horizons Vernon campus campaign, the collaboration will give individuals and businesses the opportunity to make a donation to the campaign through the charity of their choice.

The first gift to the campaign was a $50,000 pledge from Vernon home building and renovation company Keith Construction, announced in May 2017.

For more information about the campaign or to donate, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.

 

Credit Union invests in next generation

SDCUA local financial institution has stepped forward with an inspiring gift that will yield great returns for families in the South Okanagan. 

The Summerland & District Credit Union (SDCU) announced a pledge of $5,000 to Little Learners Academy, the new child care centre at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus. 

A fixture in the Okanagan since 1944, SDCU has helped individuals buy their first car or home, start a new business, send themselves and their children to college, and save for their futures. Their contribution to the child care centre’s fundraising campaign will support another of life’s firsts – a solid start to education for young learners.

“A child care centre right on campus is a brilliant idea - both for students and the greater community,” says Kelly Marshall, CEO of SDCU, who says it is easy to get behind a project that clearly addresses a community need.

“People helping people is the essence of what we do,” he explains. “Our members aren’t account numbers, they are people we know – they are parents, students, and neighbours.  

“The relationships we build with our members gives us insight into the needs of the region. We see a demand for high quality child care in the South Okanagan and feel the new centre will be a community asset for years to come.”

The credit union has been a long-time investor in students at Okanagan College, with their philanthropic history dating back to 1989. In 2008, they established the Credit Union Foundation of BC – Summerland Credit Union Endowment, an annual bursary presented to a deserving student at the Penticton campus.

"Our sincere thanks goes out to the Summerland & District Credit Union for their support of our students and our growing campus," says Eric Corneau, Okanagan College Regional Dean South Okanagan-Similkameen. "Their gift will help to build stronger families and community in the region, as well as empower parents to pursue the education and careers they desire."

SDCU is a single branch, independent credit union serving Summerland and the surrounding area. With members across Canada and the world, Marshall notes the donation to the Penticton child care centre aligns with the company’s commitment to support initiatives that benefit all residents in the region.

“Our reach and membership goes beyond Summerland and we want to give back to the communities that support us,” adds Marshall. “We are excited to be part of a development that will fulfill the needs of so many families in the South Okanagan.”  

The new Little Learners Academy opened in September and is operated through a partnership between Okanagan College and the Penticton and District Community Resources Society (PDCRS). Registration is open to families in the South Okanagan, including College students and employees.

To make a donation or learn more about the innovative project, visit okanagan.bc.ca/give.

 

Kelowna Secondary School student wins tuition at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Gillett and Lambert CF tuition winner Dec 2017A Grade 12 student attended Okanagan College’s 36th annual Career Fair to learn more about post-secondary education and got more than expected after winning the event’s grand prize, a $2,500 tuition credit.

Kelowna Secondary School (K.S.S.) student Braeden Lambert has always had a passion for business and went to the Fair on Nov. 5 to research the College’s Bachelor of Business degree program.

“I want to open my own business one day,” says Lambert. “That’s why I went to Career Fair, to check out the program and its possibilities. I’ve heard good things about the College and the business school and really liked what I saw, so I decided to apply for it on the spot.”

The College’s Career Fair is one of the Interior’s longest running fairs and attracted hundreds of prospective students this year. Attendees were treated to post-secondary preparatory seminars, tours, activities, program information and draw prizes. Anyone who applied for a program at the Fair was entered to win the grand prize.

“It totally took me by surprise when I got the phone call telling me I won the tuition money – I felt like I won the lottery or something,” says Lambert. “It’s like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders because I don’t have to stress as much about my job or how I’ll pay for tuition – I can just focus on my school now.”

Lambert spends his free time enjoying the four-season Okanagan lifestyle and feels fortunate to be able to live at home while studying at the College.

“The fact that I can stay home and save money while getting a quality education is such an amazing opportunity that I know most don’t get,” says Lambert. “Also, the College is so familiar to me which makes moving into post-secondary much more comfortable.”

Last year more than 1,550 full-time equivalent students were enrolled in the Okanagan School of Business.

“This is an exciting time to study business in the Okanagan,” says Bill Gillett, Dean of the Okanagan School of Business. “With the rising tech sector and a strong climate for entrepreneurialism, the region has a wealth of strong business leaders and is filled with opportunities for success.”

Lambert is currently completing his final year at K.S.S. and will start classes at the College in September 2018.