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Scholarships support health-care training at OC’s Revelstoke Centre
Okanagan College Media Release

Study to be a Health Care Assistant (HCA) in Revelstoke and be confident that the community is there to support you.

Revelstoke residents taking the HCA program at Okanagan College beginning this September will get a financial boost, thanks to the Revelstoke District Health Foundation.

The Foundation is donating $12,000 to create scholarships to directly support Revelstoke residents who register as students in the program this fall. The HCA program provides training for one of the most in-demand positions in the province.

“The Revelstoke District Health Foundation is pleased to once more offer financial assistance in the form of scholarships to Revelstoke students accepted into the Health Care Assistant program at Okanagan College. The two past intakes have proved very successful and of great benefit to our community. We had no hesitation in participating with Interior Health and Okanagan College to support another great program,” says Margaret Zielonka, Acting Chair of the Revelstoke District Health Foundation Committee.

The intensive program runs for 26 weeks starting in September and will feature four months of classroom instruction and two months of hands-on practicum for students to learn within the health-care environment.

Up to 12 students will each receive $1,000 scholarships, as part of a partnership between the Revelstoke District Health Foundation, Interior Health and Okanagan College.
Tuition for the program is $3,261 and is student-loan eligible.

“Interior Health appreciates this generous contribution from the Foundation, which will ultimately have direct benefit to the people we serve. Health care assistants are in high demand in Revelstoke and this contribution ensures that local individuals are able to pursue their certification in Revelstoke,” says North Okanagan Long-term Care Administrator Josee Leclerc.

“It is also a vitally rewarding job because health care assistants are the people who often have the closest relationships with individuals in care or needing support at home.”

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. This demand is anticipated to increase even more after the Government of B.C. recently announced funding to increase staffing levels in long-term care homes for seniors, which aims to fund more than 900 health care assistants by 2021.

“The need for health care assistants is growing and employment opportunities for individuals with this training are plenty. We are grateful that the Foundation chose to support students who will ultimately become the faces of health care in the region,” explains Joan Ragsdale, Regional Dean Shuswap Revelstoke.

An information night is scheduled for Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Revelstoke Centre, 1401 1
st St. West. Students will meet program staff who can discuss the program and outline education financing options, admission requirements and supports for returning students. Information on Work BC funding eligibility will also be available.

Applications can be submitted online. For information, call 250-832-2126, ext. 8259 or visit


The Okanagan is RIPE with innovative applied research
Okanagan College Media ReleaseRIPE logo 2019

Does your business or organization have unique problems that need solving? Can eating bugs really help save the planet? How can you grow a new industry in your city?

Applied research may provide the answers.

From craft brewing to hydroponics, the Okanagan is RIPE with applied research projects and Okanagan College is helping to drive these projects, benefitting community members, entrepreneurs, students and business owners along the way.

To shine a light on applied research, the College is opening its doors to the community for its third annual RIPE (Research, Innovation and Partnerships Expo) event. The event is an opportunity for community members, industry, business owners, educators, researchers and students to network, hear about current cutting-edge projects and learn how to get involved with their own.

Dr. Peter Janele April 2019“On a local scale, applied research is about listening to your community to learn about obstacles or inefficiencies and then finding a sustainable solution and implementing real change,” explains Dr. Beverlie Dietze, Director of Learning and Applied Research at the College. “Applied research by Okanagan College employees is making a big impact regionally and globally.”

The event features a wide variety of workshops led by industry-leading professionals. Keynote speakers for RIPE 2019 include Dr. Peter Janele, PhD and Dr. David Waltner-Toews, BA, DVM, PhD. Janele will speak to applied research as a vital component of business development and prosperity in the Okanagan Valley.

“The results and impacts of applied research are all around us,” says Janele. “Our global efficiency has improved and we live in a vastly different and improved community, now, then say only a few decades ago.”

Waltner-Toews will bring scientific, cultural, ecological and value-laden perspectives to the idea of eating right in a world that has contradictory and ever-changing information about nutrition.
Dr. David Waltner-Toews April 2019
“They may not know it, but community members play a prominent role in applied research,” says Waltner-Toews. “They’re the end-users who help define the questions and provide information from their own experiences – which helps produce more resilient and more sustainable solutions.”

“If we as researchers and communities can get enough small actions, we can tip whole systems in new directions and there is no telling what the possibilities are.”

Attendees will be treated to a morning mixer, a panel discussion and can hear applied research pitch questions and connect and expand their own applied research opportunities.

Tickets are $25 and include lunch and refreshments. To view the event schedule, learn more about the workshops and to purchase tickets, visit

The event is being supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).


Okanagan College nabs seven medals at Skills BC
Okanagan College Media Release

Josh Burnell April 2019Winning gold usually means the hard work is done, but for Okanagan College Aircraft Maintenance Engineer student, Josh Burnell, it means it is time to buckle down.

Burnell and six other Trades and Technology students have returned home after podium finishes at the Skills Canada BC competition in Abbotsford last week.

Burnell performed a 100-hour inspection on a Rolls Royce Allison 230-C20 free turbine engine in only eight hours which won him the gold medal.

“I spent two months researching the engine as well as studying the Canadian Aviation Regulations,” explains Burnell. “During the competition I was pressed for time and had to work under pressure - finding part numbers and maintenance manual references. In the end all my hard work paid off and I won gold.”

Now Burnell will go on to compete at the 25th annual Skills Canada National Competition on May 28 and 29 in Halifax.

“The National competition will be massive and a lot more difficult than Skills BC was,” adds Burnell. “I am very excited to compete and to learn so much more than I already have. I will be staying after class every day until then, working with my instructors Hal Hobenshield and Lyndon Walker who will be mentoring me through the tasks that I will need to perform.”

Also earning a gold medal was Kendall Giesbrecht in the Automotive Service Technician program.Kendall Giesbrecht April 2019

“The competition was challenging but there wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before, so it was just a matter of staying relaxed and focused at the same time,” says Giesbrecht. “When they called my name as the gold medal winner I was so excited and very happy with the results. I’m really looking forward to the national competition…it’s a huge honour to have this opportunity.”

Skills Canada is the only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country with more than 550 competitors participating in over 40 skilled trade and technology competitions.

“Skills Canada offers an opportunity for students across the country to hone their skills in trades and technology,” says Teresa Kisilevich, Associate Dean of Trades & Apprenticeship. “The students compete against the clock and each other in an intense competition that also serves as an interactive and engaging environment for the students and instructors in the audience. A lot of hard work goes into preparing for this, and it’s great to see the learning in action.”

Also taking home medals from the provincial competition were Riley Nairn with silver for Heavy Equipment Service, Frank van Zandwijk with silver for IT Network Systems Administration, Cody Mayo with bronze for Heavy Equipment Service, Michael Parker with bronze for Refrigeration and Ryan Robertson with bronze for IT Network Systems Administration.


OC Coyotes bring hot bats to beat Dinos, now top the leagues
Okanagan College Media Release

After a midweek double header last week that saw the Coyotes split with the TRU Wolfpack, OC took to the road and headed to Calgary to play the University of Calgary Dinos for a four game set starting on Friday and ending on Saturday. The OC bats came alive over the four games as they outscored the Dinos 54 to 19 and banged out 69 hits.
Coyotes Brown April 2019
 Austin Brown
 Coyotes Hummel April 2019
Wyatt Hummel 
 Coyotes Monks April 2019
Tyler Monks 
 Coyotes Todo April 2019
Davis Todosichuk 

While the OC defense had some lapses and the pitching staff would not pitch to their capabilities, the offense just would not be stopped.

In game one on Friday, sophomore starting pitcher
Chris Wyslobocki went all seven innings allowing no runs, five hits, four walks and striking out eight batters. All but one OC batter who came to the plate recorded a hit, led by senior Jake Fischer and junior Noah Wood-Jolivet who were both three for five with two RBI. Seven other Coyotes each had two hits to add to the 21 in the game. OC won game one by a 13-0 score.

On Saturday, the Coyotes again scored in the double digits - 16 times on 19 hits. Senior
Davis Todosichuk would have a big game going four for six with a double and an RBI. freshman Brendan Luther and sophomore Trevor Mlait each went three for six, with Luther chalking up three RBI. The Coyotes stole eight bases in the game. On the mound, OC needed four pitchers to get the job done. Freshman starting pitcher Nick Lee struggled with consistency as he lasted only three innings, allowing two runs on four hits, walking four and striking out five. In relief, sophomore Alex Dawson threw 1.2 innings allowing two runs on two hits and walking three. Next on the mound was freshman Brett Reid who threw 2.1 innings allowing no runs, no hits, walking three and striking out one. Freshman Jayden Clayton closed the game, throwing two innings, allowing three runs on two hits and two walks. OC won game two 16-7.

In game three, OC continued to dominate at the plate, scoring 11 runs on 15 hits. Fischer and freshman
Massimo Peranio would rack up three hits each with Fischer driving in four runs. Freshman Nolan King had two hits and three RBI, while senior Jeremy Buckley would also have two hits and two RBI. Senior Trevor Brigden started on the mound and threw six innings allowing three runs on eight hits, striking out seven Dinos. Brigden sits at the top of the wins leaderboard with five and top of the strikeouts with 51. Junior Wyatt Hummel came in as relief and threw three innings allowing no earned runs, one hit and three strikeouts. OC won the game 11-4.

On Sunday, the final game of the series was played and it was back and forth early on, until OC took the lead in the eighth inning. On the mound, sophomore
Jesse Poniewozik threw five innings allowing four runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out three. Sophomore Gavin Barrett came in as relief but could not get an out before freshman Austin Brown took over. Brown would throw the final four innings allowing no runs, one hit and striking out five. On offence, Peranio had a huge game going four for five with two doubles and four RBI. Freshman Tyler Monks was three for five with two RBI, Todosichuk was three for three with a double and an RBI and Fischer would go two for four with three RBI to add to his league leading 23 RBI. The Coyotes were down by 8-6 going into the seventh inning, scoring one run in the top of the seventh, three in the eighth inning to take the lead and four in the top of the 9th to take a commanding 14-8 lead - the final score.

The Coyotes now have a record of 17-5, which all but guarantees them 1st or 2nd going into the championships. OC has a bye weekend to let their batteries recharge before their final six games. OC will play host to TRU on Wednesday May 1
st at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., which will also be their Senior Night where they celebrate their graduating senior players between games. Then they will travel to Lethbridge to take on the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs on May 3rd and 4th.


Former youth in care take advantage of free tuition program
Okanagan College Media Release

Forty-three former youth in care have accessed post-secondary education and skills training at Okanagan College, thanks to the B.C. Government’s Provincial Tuition Waiver Program.

Okanagan College is one of 25 public post-secondary institutions in the province with students that have benefitted from the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program. The program supports the transition into post-secondary by waiving tuition and mandatory fees and provides an increased chance for a positive employment outcome for former youth in care.

“We look forward to helping as many former youth in care as possible access higher learning at Okanagan College and find pathways into the world,” says Okanagan College President, Jim Hamilton. “This is an exciting initiative that is yielding results.”

The Provincial Tuition Waiver Program has increased by 326 per cent since it launched in 2017. As a result, 806 former youth in care are now studying all over the province in social work, academic arts, nursing, pre-medical studies, trades, business administration and graphic design.

About 7,500 children and youth are currently in the care of the Province or on youth agreements.

Post-secondary education is important in terms of getting jobs. According to the latest labour market projections, nearly 80 per cent of 903,000 jobs in B.C. that will be vacated or created between now and 2028 will require individuals to have post-secondary education.

To read the full story from the B.C. Government, click here
. To learn more about the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program, click here.


OC’s new fundraising director starts June 10
Okanagan College Media Release

Helen Jackman April 2019A new face will be leading Okanagan College’s fundraising efforts beginning June 10.

Helen Jackman will join the College as Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation and Director of Advancement. Jackman replaces Kathy Butler, who retired in late 2018.

“The College has a great reputation in terms of its service to the region and I know that a major reason is the community support it has attracted to help build campuses, programs and student supports. I’m excited to be stepping into the fundraising role at this juncture as the College continues to grow,” says Jackman, who is leaving her role as the Executive Director of United Way Southern Interior BC to join the College. “I’ve looked carefully at where I wanted to take my next career step. It had to be somewhere that I could devote myself to long-term, and something that would allow me to contribute to building the region I’m calling home. Okanagan College offered that opportunity.”

Jackman is a relatively new arrival in the Okanagan, moving here with her family in 2017 to join United Way. Before leaving the United Kingdom, she was Chief Executive Officer of the Macular Society, a medical research charity, where she led multi-million dollar research campaigns and oversaw significant growth. Prior to that, she was Executive Director Programs at NESTA, where she built funding partnerships with government and industry. Jackman also recently joined the Board of the Journey Home Society, where she co-chairs the Advocacy and Education Committee.

“Helen has established significant connections in the Okanagan in the short time she has been here and has a CV that showcases her ability to lead as well as challenge herself and the teams she worked with,” notes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “I know she will relate well to the many donors who have well-established relations with the College and the Foundation.”

“I look forward to working with Helen and I know our Board is eager to continue to engage the communities of the region to help develop the learning opportunities at Okanagan College,” says Foundation Board President Sharron Simpson.


Black holes, time warps and zombie films: All part of learning opportunity at Experience OC
Okanagan College Media Release

What’s the deal with human violence? If you could warp time in a black hole, would you want to? Who started the trend of zombie cinema? Do forensic fingerprints ever disappear? How do you capture sound?

High-school students can ask those burning questions and more at Okanagan College’s Experience OC at the Penticton campus, set for May 8.Experience OC Pen 2019

The annual event invites students in Grades 10 and 11 to become a college student for a day, in a fun environment designed to help them explore the post-secondary world. Students can register in a variety of classes from chemistry, physics and arts, to trades, business and audio engineering.

“Post-secondary can be daunting if you don’t have a chance to explore the campus, meet instructors and tour buildings beforehand. Experience OC is the perfect opportunity for students to get a feel for Okanagan College,” says Eric Corneau, Regional Dean for the South Okanagan-Similkameen. “The Penticton campus likes to roll out the welcome mat to students so they can discover academic, trades and vocational programs that fit best with their interests and future.”

In addition to the hour-long classes, students will be treated to fun activities, snacks and refreshments. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Experience OC events are open to high school students and take place annually at the College’s campuses in Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon.

Students should speak to their high school counsellor to register. More information is online at
. Deadline for students to register is May 3.


Carpenter Foundation program builds skills and community in South Okanagan
Okanagan College Media Release

Carpentry April 2019The residential construction industry is thriving in the South Okanagan, and a carpentry program with extra supports for Indigenous students is underway in Penticton to help ensure a needed supply of skilled tradespeople.

In addition to addressing the industry demand for carpenters, the program will support important skills development for the community. The class – that started this month – will be working with Greyback Construction to build a home at Skaha Hills, among the many K’ul Group projects underway to support economic development of the Penticton Indian Band (PIB).

“We are excited to see the program back in Penticton, it is a great program and provides a unique opportunity to work with our community partners to continue building capacity in a dynamic and growing economic sector,” says Eric Corneau, Regional Dean South Okanagan.

Noah Bower completed the Carpenter Foundation program last year in Penticton, starting the program at age 17. He said he was always drawn to the diverse work in the field.

“When I was in high school, I did a bit of electrician training, but found that you did the same thing over and over and over. It was repetitive. But with carpentry, you’re doing different stuff like pouring concrete, laying out staircases and putting up walls. It’s fun and something different every day,” he explains.

As part of his program, Bower was able to obtain job site experience working on a house at Skaha Hills, which solidified his career path.

“It taught me a lot about carpentry and that I really like the work,” he says, adding that working with other professionals gave him a glimpse of what life after school would be like. “It showed me what to expect out of this industry.”

Bower, a member of the Osoyoos Indian Band, is confident in his career prospects. He is currently taking a two-week course to learn how to handle heavy mechanical equipment on the job site, diversifying his skills.

“If an equipment operator doesn’t show up one day, I want the ability to help out and run the equipment,” Bower says.

“I want to get all my trades tickets: electrician, plumbing and welding. I’d like to become a master of all trades and start a company that does it all, so you don’t have to call other companies for one project. When you’re building a house, you have to call different trades, but I think it would be great to have one company that offered everything. I should be able to accomplish that with the help of my band.”

Four of the 11 students enrolled in the current intake are PIB members, and they received culturally informed supports including mentorship, Elder support, visits from Aboriginal industry speakers, assistance with math and English requirements, and nutrition breaks. Those supports were funded by the Industry Training Authority.

“The Carpenter Foundation program has been a popular program in Penticton in recent years. The 2019 intake was set up to include a pathway to support PIB students to participate through the Key to Employment bridging program with Indigenous Community for Leadership and Development,” explains Steve Moores, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship.

The next intakes for Carpenter Foundation are August (Kelowna) and February 2020 (Salmon Arm and Revelstoke).

To find out more program details, visit
 or contact 1-877-755-2266.


Mature students benefit from confidence and credentials
Okanagan College Media Release

Maria Otting knew something had to change.Maria Otting 1 April 2019

Having relocated to Salmon Arm, she found herself in need of a new work environment – but quickly realized she had plenty of experience working in offices, but not the credentials listed in ads.

“I noticed a lot of the jobs I was interested in wanted the Administrative Assistant Certificate,” she recalls. “I had years of experience, but didn’t have formal training. I just trained on the job.”

Otting investigated the program, and realized that she was familiar with some course material as a result of her experience – but the program also touched on subjects like payroll and accounting that would broaden her skills.

“I realized that this was something I could do without leaving Salmon Arm, it’s only 10 months and then I can get working,” she says. “I’m really glad I made the decision to go back to school, I’m learning so much.”

Turns out, Otting wasn’t the only one considering a change later in life.

“There’s a lot of mature students in our program. There are stay-at-home moms who have come back after being out of the workforce for a number of years, and people just simply upgrading their skills. We fit right in with the students right out of high school, and everybody gets along,” she says. “It’s great being a mature student. You feel a little bit more confident because you have those life skills and you’re just ready to dive in, get to it and learn.”

The Shuswap has proven very attractive to mature students, with demographic reports indicating the average age of students at the Salmon Arm campus is 27 years old – compared with 25 in Vernon and Penticton.

“Adult learners have unique needs, from financial aid, child care, and academic requirements, and the Salmon Arm campus has built a supportive network that helps remove barriers that prevent people from returning to education,” says Joan Ragsdale, Regional Dean Shuswap-Revelstoke.

Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus is holding a seminar called Returning to Education on Wednesday, April 24 to help mature students investigate their options. Instructors will provide an overview of specific study areas, helping people make decisions about what program is the right fit for them. Staff will outline academic requirements and available options for upgrading, in addition to financial aid supports available. WorkBC will also be on hand to discuss funding eligibility.

Returning to Education will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 136 of Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus, 2552 10th Ave. NE, beside the Shaw Centre. For information, call 250-832-2126, ext 8259, email or


Housing help needed for new tourism program students


The advent of Okanagan College’s new tourism management diploma program means there is significant need to accommodate students who will be arriving in Revelstoke to take advantage of the unique learning opportunity this fall.

“This program will be drawing students from within the region, across B.C. and Canada, as well as from around the globe,” explains Joan Ragsdale, OC’s Regional Dean for Shuswap-Revelstoke. “We know what the housing situation is like in Revelstoke, so we’re reaching out now to the community to ask for their help.”

The College, Tourism Revelstoke, the City of Revelstoke, and area employers such as The Regent Hotel, the Best Western, and Revelstoke Mountain Resort are collaborating to ensure that international students especially can find homestay opportunities, to help them integrate with the community. The goal is to find 15 homestay opportunities at approximately $800 per student.

This is an opportunity for our community to show its support for the local industry. These students will be the tourism workers who live, work and learn in Revelstoke. We’re excited that this program will help our businesses secure these future skilled workers,” notes Meghan Tabor, Tourism Revelstoke’s Marketing Director.

The need for the program, and the human resources it will attract, is one that resonates with industry.

“Tourism is one of the biggest growth sectors in the province,” explains Peter Nielsen, VP Operations for Revelstoke Mountain Resort. “Workers are in demand.”

Nielsen is one of the many local tourism experts who has worked with the College over the past year to ensure the program would hit the mark – for students and for those who’ll be hiring them.

The two-year diploma program combines in-class learning with work placement opportunities. The timing of the work placements ensure students will be available when employers need their talents most during busy times of the year. And it is showcasing Revelstoke nationally and internationally as Okanagan College recruits the students.

While OC, Tourism Revelstoke, and employers are focused on homestay opportunities for students, they’re willing to talk to any landlords about any rental opportunities.

We want to see this two-year program – a pilot for Okanagan College – succeed and help reinforce Revelstoke’s reputation as an innovative, supportive community that is at the forefront of sustainable destination tourism,” explains Tabor.

 “From the location, to the access to tourism employers, to the quality of instruction at Okanagan College, all the components are there to set students up for success and help them distinguish themselves in tourism management roles,” says Nielsen. “I couldn’t be more excited to see the program roll out this fall – and to be able to tap into this new pool of talent before and after they graduate.”

Those interested in providing homestay or rental accommodation to international and domestic students can contact Danielle Tighe, Okanagan College’s Manager of Community Relations and Administration for the Revelstoke Centre. She can be reached at 250-837-4235, ext. 6515 or at


College celebrates a decade of recognizing Aboriginal students’ achievements
Okanagan College Media Release

Saturday, March 9 marked the 10
th Annual Aboriginal Student Recognition Ceremony at Okanagan College and students, educators and community members came together to celebrate students’ accomplishments and acknowledge those who inspired and supported them along the way.Isaac and Terbasket March 2019

“The ceremony is to recognize that these students are getting an education while still holding onto their Indigenous background and teachings,” says Jewell Gillies, Aboriginal Transition Program Advisor. “There are cultural teachings that we on the coast learn from the Big House that give us a sense of our identity, but we want our students to understand that they can carry that with them while they study here. We want to bring harmony to both places.”

The Big House, in the past, referred to literal big houses that sheltered up to four families of a clan. Today, they house ceremonies, decision-making, and discussions between nations and clans. “It’s a place where we inherit knowledge from our communities,” added Gillies.

The ceremony included performances by Metis Jiggers, Mary Ouillette and Jennifer Sharp, Powwow dancers, Arnold and Deanna Ackachuk and family, and Bailey-Marcellay-Thomas and Jayda Echeverria, and keynote speakers. Okanagan College President, Jim Hamilton was among those present to congratulate students.

“This event is always one of the highlights of the year for us at Okanagan College,” said Hamilton. “It’s an honour to be part of recognizing our students’ successes, and it’s equally heartening to see them turn around and acknowledge their instructors, family, friends and community members who have invested in their education.”

That sense of community and collaboration is something Okanagan College business student Wendy Terbasket says she has experienced during her time at the College.

“My people are making great strides for the betterment of their future and communities,” says Terbasket. “The College’s values are so in line with my own: everyone working together and working toward a common goal. It just feels so great to be at a school that is so accepting and supportive.”

Terbasket is among those students who nominated an instructor they felt significantly impacted them and deserved to be recognized. She nominated OC School of Business Professor Scott Overland.

“Scott has been a great sounding board for my concerns, not only about my post-secondary journey but also about the struggles in my community,” added Terbasket. “He’s always been so helpful and it is greatly appreciated.”

Instructors Teresa Proudlove, Laura Jockman, Richard Volk, Adam Craig, Stacey Grimm, Denise Boudreau, Dana Hurtubise, Tracy Riley, Diane Little, Katherine Bonell, and Matthia Vaillancourt were also honoured for going above and beyond for their students.

Present at the ceremony were honourary guests: Wilfred Barnes, Syilx Elder; Christopher Derickson, Councilor of the Westbank First Nation; Secwepemc Nation Dignitaries: Darrell Jones, Louis Thomas, Tammy Thomas and George William; Joan Wright, President of the Salmon Arm Metis Association, Jennifer Sharp and Nicole Skidmore; Loyal Wooldridge, City of Kelowna Councilor; Shelley Joseph, Reconciliation Canada; and Gloria Morgan, Vice President of OC Board of Governors and a former chief of the Splatsin Indian Band.


Hoopla: President’s Celebration of OC Coyotes Basketball
Okanagan College Media Release

Megan Blair Coyotes April 2019Okanagan College’s Coyotes basketball teams invite you to mix and mingle with the players, coaches and supporters at the third annual Hoopla fundraiser.

“Our women’s and men’s basketball teams have performed admirably and won a lot of respect both on and off the court,” says Jim Hamilton, Okanagan College President. “It’s been thrilling to see them develop as teams over the past couple of years, and to witness the time and energy they’ve invested in mentoring youth. This event is a great opportunity to celebrate the teams’ successes after their first season of official league play.”

The fundraiser takes place Thursday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning building at the Kelowna campus.

Attendees can participate in silent and live auctions, enjoy a cash bar with local VQA wines, beer and cider from Big Surf brewery, and savour gourmet bites prepared by the OC Culinary Arts students and staff.

Last May, after a year of exhibition games, coaches and members of the Kelowna College Basketball Society (KCBS) found out that the men’s and women’s teams would officially join the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST). Three Coyotes earned honours from PACWEST: Sapna Deo, Seth Blundell and Megan Blair.

Now, as their first season in PACWEST has come to a close, head coach of the men’s team, and president of the KCBS, Dino Gini, could not be more proud.Jeff Tubbs Coyotes April 2019

“In our first year, both teams made the playoffs, which is an incredible accomplishment,” says Gini. “It’s pretty surreal to think about how quickly our program has grown and how passionate the community is about supporting what we are doing. We are proud to have the OC logo on our chest.”

The Coyotes are also giving back to the community with a social campaign: Values over Victory. This project is driven by athletes to encourage children to showcase their values to the world both on and offline. The players have become peer-mentors, and visit classrooms around the community to talk to children about the importance of being responsible on social media.

“Teaming up with Values over Victory has given our program the opportunity to be a part of a positive movement that extends off the court and into our community,” says Jeff Tubbs, captain of the men’s team. “I’m extremely proud of our guys for taking ownership and giving back. We’re all looking forward to seeing some of the community at Hoopla, without them we couldn’t do what we do.”

Special guest speaker Tom Budd will also be at the fundraiser. Budd’s journey is one of healing and finding hope, and will talk of the value of giving while bringing attention to health and wellness.

“We are extremely honoured to have Tom as our special guest speaker,” adds Gini. “He is extremely motivational when it comes to his story about mental health and wellness.”

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite


Sex, Salmonella, and Beetles: Epidemiologist shares how eating bugs could save the world
Okanagan College Media Release

What do food, sex and salmonella have in common? How will eating insects help save the planet? Award-winning author and veterinary epidemiologist David Waltner-Toews will share his insights during an upcoming talk as part of Okanagan College’s Speakers Series.David Waltner-Toews April 2019

Waltner-Toews’s reading will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13 in the theatre at The Innovation Centre at 460 Doyle Ave. in Kelowna.

“Eating is our most intimate relationship with the world, and good intimate relationships require commitment,” explains Waltner-Toews. “We must ask of our food, ‘where were you before you came to my table, and where will you be tomorrow?’”

Waltner-Toews has published more than 20 books, including poetry, short stories, a murder mystery, six books of popular science, and several texts on ecosystem approaches to health. His most recent book,
Eat the Beetles!, challenges us to think about our attitude toward insects, and whether eating them might help solve the planet’s environmental problems.

A professor emeritus at the University of Guelph, Waltner-Toews was founding president of Veterinarians without Borders Canada, of the Network for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health, and a founding member of Communities of Practice for Ecosystem Approaches to Health in Canada. He is also the recipient of the inaugural award for contributions to ecosystem approaches to health from The International Association for Ecology and Health.

Waltner-Toews will be reading from his 2008 book,
Food, Sex and Salmonella: Why Our Food is Making Us Sick, and will answer questions about Eat the Beetles!, The Origin of Feces: What Excrement Tells Us about Evolution, Ecology, and Sustainable Society, and his other books.

This reading is presented by Okanagan College and supported by the Writers’ Union of Canada’s National Public Readings Program and the Okanagan Regional Library.

Admission is free, but space is limited so please register in advance on Eventbrite

Donations of non-perishable food or hygiene products will be gratefully accepted to help Okanagan College students in need as part of The Pantry food bank project at the Kelowna campus coordinated by the Okanagan College Students’ Union.