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Judgement of the Okanagan: Wine Talks returns to Penticton for a fifth year
Okanagan College Media Release

Speaker series brings Spurrier and McIntyre to the valley for state-of-the-industry chat.

Two internationally-known wine experts will share their thoughts on the Okanagan wine industry and uncork a discussion when they pop into Okanagan College’s Penticton campus next month.
Steven Spurrier Sept 2019

Steven Spurrier and Dave McIntyre will keynote the fifth iteration of Wine Talks on Oct. 28 in the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus. Tickets are $20 on Eventbrite and the event is open to the public.

Spurrier, who may be best known for his involvement in the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, also known as the Judgement of Paris, brings a breadth of knowledge specific to French wine.

Spurrier became a household name in the world of wine after the Paris Tasting, which he organized, unexpectedly skyrocketed the status of California wine and helped to shine greater attention on North and South American wine regions.

Prior to settling in the U.K., he opened L’Academie du Vin, the first private wine school in France. Spurrier has spent the better part of his life travelling as a wine merchant, sharing knowledge as a writer and speaker and serving as a consultant editor for the magazine
Decanter. He and his wife Arabella are the proprietors of Bride Valley Vineyard in Dorset, England.

Dave McIntyre is a freelance wine and food writer as well as wine columnist for
The Washington Post. In his section of The Post, one can find a diverse selection of reviews, interviews, and recommendations based on first-hand experience. Not only does McIntyre share his knowledge of wine, introducing novices and experts alike to the lexicon of wine terminology, but he is also a frequent blogger. Dubbed Drink Local Wine, his website serves as a place of learning about “wines from here, wherever ‘here’ happens to be.”

Dave McIntyre Sept 2019In a recent story with The Post, McIntyre highlights the Okanagan as “the most exciting wine region you’ve never heard of – but you will.” As a wine journalist, he brings to Wine Talks nearly two decades of combining passion for writing and food into edible food for thought.

“Sharing knowledge and inspiring collaboration is at the heart of what we do as a College,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “With every iteration of Wine Talks, it’s been heartening for us to witness industry experts and the public come together to spark questions and discussions that may yield new insights for the Okanagan wine industry.”

Wine Talks is presented by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Wine Initiative.

“The industry is growing and constantly evolving,” says event co-host Ian MacDonald, owner of Liquidity Wines and one of the founders of the Okanagan Wine Initiative. “Forecasts for the industry are not solely limited to what goes into the bottle but can be reflective of demographics, economy, and consumer demand.”

MacDonald adds that, “it’s crucial to reflect on where we’ve been, not only what we’ve done right but also what needs work. If we can put a pulse on what’s happening both globally and locally, we can navigate what we can do better in the future.”

Following the keynotes by Spurrier and McIntyre, there will be a question and answer period facilitated by John Skinner, proprietor of Painted Rock Estate Winery and another founding member of the Okanagan Wine Initiative.

“I’m looking forward to a lively Q and A, given the well-travelled expertise our two speakers bring to the table,” says Skinner. “I think this format offers a wonderful candid opportunity for open, honest and, hopefully, creative discussion. It’s going to be a great opportunity to talk about what we’re doing well in the Okanagan, what we can learn from other regions, while situating that discussion within the very unique challenges and opportunities of the Okanagan.”

“I think it’s a discussion that should interest those of us who make wine and those who simply love to drink and love supporting the local industry and hear where we’re going.”

 

Fact-checking carbon taxes: do they work?
Okanagan College Media Release

Are carbon taxes a tax grab, or effective public policy?

Kathryn Harrison Sept 2019Dr. Kathryn Harrison, a professor of political science at the University of British Columbia (UBC), will peel back the layers of this political issue as part of the Okanagan College Vernon campus’ Signature Speaker Series.

“Fact Check on Carbon Taxes: Do they work? Are they fair? Will they destroy the Canadian federation” will take place on Monday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the lecture theatre of the Vernon campus.

“The federal Liberal government has imposed a carbon tax in four, soon to be five, provinces. The Conservatives have vowed to repeal the federal carbon tax if elected,” says Harrison. “The parties offer competing rhetoric on carbon pricing, such as whether carbon taxes work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, whether they’re fair or not, and whether they’re just a ‘tax grab’ from working Canadians that lets big industry off the hook.”

Harrison studies environmental, climate, and energy policy, federalism, and comparative public policy. She is the author of the book
Passing the Buck: Federalism and Canadian Environmental Policy and co-editor of Global Commons, Domestic Decisions: The Comparative Politics of Climate Change.

She has master’s degrees in chemical engineering and political science from MIT, and a PhD in political science from UBC. Before her academic career, Harrison worked as an engineer in the oil industry, a public servant for the Canada government and U.S. Congress, and a journalist.

Presented by Okanagan College, the Signature Speaker Series is sponsored by the Prestige Vernon Lodge and Uprooted Kitchen and Catering Co. Admission is $10, or free for Okanagan College students. Participants can register in advance online –www.okanagan.bc.ca/SignatureSpeakers
– or pay at the door.

 

A decade of quick wit: 3 Hr Short Story Contest is back this fall
Okanagan College Media Release

Could you write a short story in only three hours? What if you had to include a random phrase such as, “frozen fish sticks,” “dead hamster,” or “jumper cables?”

That’s what students in Grade 11 and 12, and those attending Okanagan College can expect when competing in the College’s Annual Short Story Contest on Oct. 19.

This year marks the 10th year of the contest, where students will compete to win tuition vouchers. By the time the hour glass runs out and this year’s winners are chosen, 40 students will have received a total of $15,000.Daniel Bergg Sept 2019

“I absolutely recommend the competition,” says last year’s overall winner Daniel Bergg. “I think it's an awesome format. Forcing oneself to focus on one thing for three hours is a pretty eye opening experience. It's just enough time to create something special, yet not enough time to overthink the details, or in my case catch all the grammar mistakes.”

Bergg is a second year student in OC’s Writing and Publishing program, a program he decided to enrol in after participating in the contest.

“At the time I was taking a lot of different classes and exploring some options. I've wanted to be a writer since I was little but I'd never been too serious about it, maybe due to a lack of confidence. Competing and winning gave me a lot of new confidence in my abilities. I might not be quite where I am today, studying writing academically, if I didn't take the leap and compete.”

And while the time constraints on participants are tight, the impact is vast, reflects Dr. Sean Johnston, contest organizer and Chair of the English Department at OC.

“More than 500 high school and college students have competed in the contest over the last 10 years,” says Johnston. “Each and every year the judges have been impressed with the creativity and depth writers are able to achieve in such a short time frame. We hope everyone has a great experience this year and that everyone who has participated over the last decade came away inspired to keep writing.”

The 3-Hour Short Story Contest takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the College’s Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton campuses. Writers will work on College computers and will not be able to access any pre-written materials or outside sources – print or online.

Four prizes of a $250 tuition voucher will be awarded, one for each campus winner. From the four campus winners, a grand prize winner will be chosen to receive an additional $500 tuition voucher. The grand prize winner will also have their story published in a limited fine-print edition by the Kalamalka Press.

The contest is free to participate in but can only accommodate a limited number of entrants. Those interested are encouraged to register online early. Deadline to register is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18.

To sign up or to view works by previous years’ winners visit okanagan.bc.ca/3hourwriting.

 

 

Foresight Cleantech collaborates with Okanagan College and UBC

Expanded initiative to support and grow clean technology industry in BC and beyond

Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan have established a new collaboration to create jobs and intellectual property, and grow the cleantech ecosystem in B.C. and Canada.Foresight oc ubc mou signing

Foresight is a not-for-profit Canadian company established in 2013 to help entrepreneurs form and accelerate cleantech companies in BC. Cleantech encompasses a diverse range of products, services and processes using renewable materials and energy sources, significantly reducing dependence on natural resources and substantially reduces emissions and waste.

A memorandum of understanding signed this week will see Foresight’s acceleration services provided to industry partners, along with testing, research and development services at Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan.

“The sustainable education and research initiatives in this region are vital to the transformative clean economy that is emerging in British Columbia,” says Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight. “Foresight is delighted to work in collaboration with Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan to foster the growth of cleantech ecosystems, attract interest and investment in local startups, and maintain British Columbia’s strong leadership position in the cleantech industry."

The three-way collaboration also seeks to open doors for students and professors to engage with the cleantech industry through hands-on learning and research in the industry, to help ensure students can more easily tap into industry mentorship in the field.

“From an education perspective, there is great benefit to students and faculty members at both post-secondary institutions working closely with a local industry partners like Foresight, researching, innovating and implementing cleantech solutions right here in the Okanagan,” says Andrew Hay, Vice-President Education at Okanagan College. “Our students are getting exposed to real-world challenges and opportunities directly applicable to where they live, work and learn, which they can then choose to apply here or anywhere in the world.”

Rehan Sadiq, Executive Assoc. Dean of UBC’s Okanagan School of Engineering, notes that Foresight Cleantech is a natural fit with the ongoing collaboration between Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan.

“We see this as an important extension of services and supports available to our students, researchers and cleantech partners,” says Sadiq. “It will enhance initiatives such as our research clusters of excellence in green construction and biocomposites, the Fortis Smart Energy Chair, the Life Cycle Management Lab, new programming in resilient infrastructure management, and a range of other cleantech, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green construction projects.”

“By furthering collaboration with our peers, we’re pooling shared knowledge and experience, which industry can then leverage to build up the cleantech ecosystem in the province,” says Hay. “It’s great for students, it’s great for our two educational institutions and it’s beneficial for industry. It’s a win-win-win.”

 

OC’s Salmon Arm campus flies Secwepemcúl̓ecw flag permanently
Okanagan College Media Release

SA flag raising 1A Secwepemcúl̓ecw flag has found a permanent home at Okanagan Colleges Salmon Arm campus after a historic ceremony today.

Representatives of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, Splatsin Indian Band, Neskonlith Indian Band, Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band and Adams Lake Indian Band and Okanagan College gathered today for a flag raising ceremony recognizing the traditional unceded territories of the Secwepemc.

Reconciliation is about action, not words. Todays raising of the Secwepemc flag signals Okanagan Colleges commitment to the TRCs call to action,” said Kukpi7 Wayne Christian, Chief of Splatsin Band and Tribal Chief Shuswap Nation Tribal Council.

Okanagan College values and respects Indigenous culture and ways of knowing,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We also deeply value the relationships we continue to strengthen with Indigenous people in the region. Flying the Secwepemcúl̓ecw flag is just one way of acknowledging the Secwepemc on whose traditional territory we live, work and learn. Our students and staff will see this symbol of respect each day, raised as a step toward and in the spirit of reconciliation.”

SA flag raising 2Todays flag raising is the third ceremony recognizing Indigenous peoples in whose lands the College resides. The College raised a permanent ONA flag at the Kelowna campus in June and a permanent ONA flag at the Vernon campus in July.

Indigenization is about learning more about Indigenous knowledge, people and place,” says Juliette Cunningham, member of the Okanagan College Board of Governors. “The Salmon Arm campus is and has always been enriched by the sharing of culture that happens continually thanks to the dialogue and flow of knowledge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff, elders and community members.” 


At
the ceremony, dignitaries spoke about the relationship between the College and Indigenous people in the region. Louis Thomas, a Traditional Knowledge Keeper and Councillor for Neskonlith Indian Band opened the ceremony with a blessing.

The flag builds on the Indigenous physical presence at the Salmon Arm campus, which includes the Aboriginal Gathering Space that opened in fall of 2009. 

The ceremony was livestreamed on the Colleges Facebook page. Photos from the ceremony can be found on the College's Flickr gallery.

Sunny skies, great turnout for 11th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow at Okanagan College

powwow2019 flagsThe Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow once again drew a big crowd to Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus today. Hundreds of OC students and staff, dancers, drummers, elders and Indigenous community members and guests, gathered to enjoy the Powwow and mark 11 years of celebrating Indigenous culture through the event.               

Dancers and accompanying drummers from across the B.C. interior performed in a variety of dance categories including grass, fancy, chicken, jingle and traditional. This year, more than 800 students from various private, band and public schools were invited to attend the exhibition.

College and community members once again carried in flags during the Grand Entry, followed by Chiefs, Princesses, Elders, Powwow organizers and dancers. Elder Grouse Barnes of the Westbank First Nation provided the traditional welcome. Elder Richard Jackson Jr. of the Lower Nicola Indian Band reprised his role as Master of Ceremony, a role he’s held for the past 11 years, as did long-time Arena Director Noel Furgeson of the Canoe Creek First Nation.

The crowd also heard from Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, Director of Student Services for Okanagan College James Coble, Lauren Terbasket of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band and Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society Executive Director Edna Terbasket, who in 2017 was named an Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College.

  • View a photo gallery of the event here.
  • View recorded livestream of portions of the event here.
College to host 11th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow
Okanagan College Media Release

Powwow 19The Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow returns to Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on Thursday for its 11th year in celebration of Indigenous culture.

The Powwow is a high-energy, family-friendly event that draws participants from across the B.C. interior. Dancers and accompanying drummers perform in a variety of dance categories including grass, fancy, chicken, jingle and traditional.

The Powwow begins at 9 a.m. with a Grand Entry during which College and community members will carry in flags followed by Chiefs, Princesses, Elders, Powwow organizers and dancers. The Grand Entry also includes a moment of honour for veterans. This year, Elder Grouse Barnes of the Westbank First Nation will give the traditional welcome. 

“One of our key directions at Okanagan College is working with and learning from the Indigenous community,” says College President Jim Hamilton. “The Powwow supports Indigenization at the College and continues to be one of the most meaningful and well-attended events we have to celebrate Indigenous knowledge and culture on campus.”

Last year approximately 1,000 students, faculty and staff along with members of the general public took part. This year, more than 800 students from various private, band and public schools from across the interior have been invited to attend the exhibition. 

The Powwow is an excellent way to introduce students to the traditional knowledge and ways of doing of the Indigenous peoples of our region and a way to support and engage the community with Indigenous culture,” says Jewell Gillies, Aboriginal Transition Program Advisor.

We continue to add to the educational component and the local school districts see this as a great opportunity for students. We are excited to welcome those who havent experienced a Powwow before.”

Elder Richard Jackson Jr. of the Lower Nicola Indian Band will reprise his role as Master of Ceremony and Arena Director, a role he’s held for the past 11 years. This year, he will also be joined by various traditional dancers who will take time at intervals to explain the meaning behind various aspects of the Powwow and the history and origin of dance styles, for those who haven’t attended before.

Those who attended last year will spot a very special fixture on the field, back for its second year – an Eagle Feather Staff. 

At last year’s Powwow, Elder Jackson and Noel Ferguson of the Canoe Creek Frist Nation and Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society presented Okanagan College with the Staff to recognize the Colleges continued efforts to embrace Indigenous culture and support of the educational journey of Indigenous learners.

The Eagle Staff lead the processional at each of the Colleges graduation ceremonies this year and will continue to be present at major events.

Powwow attendees will be treated to a tasty lunch prepared by Deli City and can enjoy shopping at the many vendors on location selling jewelry, artwork, soaps, moccasins, jams, lotions and more. Additionally, there will be a 50/50 and a raffle draw available with proceeds going to financial awards for Indigenous students at OC.

The College has one of the fastest growing rates of Aboriginal student participation of any post-secondary institution in B.C. In 2018, the College provided educational programming to more than 1,800 Aboriginal students. 

The festivities run from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 in the Kelowna campus courtyard. Attendance is free and open to the public.

For those who cannot attend, portions of the event will be livestreamed on the College’s Facebook page.

Okanagan College, Mohawk College seek joint aerospace opportunities

A common connection with the aerospace industry and opportunities to co-operate and collaborate on programs and research have led two of Canada’s colleges to sign a memorandum of understanding that signals their intent to work together on new training and research initiatives that will benefit a growing industry.mohawk oc mou signing 450px

Mohawk College, in Hamilton, ON, and Okanagan College in B.C.’s Southern Interior, have signed an MoU that outlines a new joint commitment that could see cross-Canada opportunities for training, internships and cooperative education, as well as collaborative applied research and potential new programs.

Okanagan College offers Aircraft Maintenance Structures Technician and Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) programs out of its Kelowna Aerospace Campus at the Kelowna Airport, as well as AME Maintenance training out of its Vernon Aerospace Campus. Mohawk similarly trains students in Aircraft Technician Maintenance, Aircraft Technician Structures and Avionics Technician programs, soon to be offered in a new training hub at Hamilton International Airport.

Both colleges conduct applied research. Notably, both colleges also have strong multi-faceted partnerships with KF Aerospace, a leading provider of aircraft maintenance and modifications in Canada. KF Aerospace has operations in Kelowna and Hamilton. OC has conducted aspects of its AME training in KF’s leading-edge hangars. Scores of graduates from both colleges have gone on to work for the company as technicians and engineers.

QUOTES:

“Mohawk College has had a growing commitment to the Canadian aerospace industry for years, with new credentials and a new state-of-the-art training centre both coming soon. Okanagan College has been a leader in aerospace training in British Columbia. It makes great sense for our colleges to find innovative ways to work together for the benefit our students, our programs and our industry partners.”         

– Paul Armstrong, VP Academic, Mohawk College

“We know there is both a global need for highly skilled aerospace professionals and an ever-growing call for applied research and innovation across the aerospace industry. Collaboration between OC and Mohawk College will help us pursue and advance joint applied research opportunities that will open doors to innovative learning and teaching opportunities for our students and faculty. It will also benefit our industry partners like KF Aerospace and others who are so supportive of hands-on training and research opportunities in this field.”

– Andrew Hay, VP Education, Okanagan College

“It’s great to see two forward-thinking Colleges like Mohawk and OC working together to create these types of research and training opportunities that align and support our needs in industry. As an employer, we couldn’t be happier to see partnerships like this that advance aerospace training and innovative thinking about the needs of today and the future.”

– Grant Stevens, VP Corporate Services, KF Aerospace

 

Is your brain feeling FIT? College introduces lecture series to spark curiosity and dialogue
Okanagan College Media Release

Emma LindResearching fatphobia, one of the up-and-coming subfields of feminist studies, Emma Lind uncovered an avalanche of material about the oppression and social shaming of people who are fat.

Lind, an Okanagan College instructor, is one of the experts sharing their research and knowledge by bringing provocative and challenging topics to a new series at the College. Her research spans topics such as body image, weight stigma in pregnancy care and queer women’s identities and she has worked on digital story telling projects with ReˑVision, The Centre for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph.

Fat is Not a Four-Letter Word, the course that Lind will lead, is part of the Fascinating Intellectual Topics series that begins this fall at Okanagan College. The series is comprised of two-day sessions that cover a range of subjects sharing a central theme of global citizenship.

“This area of fatphobia has had significant academic interest recently,” says Lind. “It’s something that people have rarely been given the opportunity to name. Learners will engage with provocative ideas and come away with a deeper understanding of how body image is embedded into the broader systems of power. The session will disrupt common assumptions about fat bodies and offer permission to question the messages everyone receives about their bodies.”

Lind’s course will take place Sept. 24 – Oct 1 on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Topics covered in the FIT series range from timely local concerns such as homelessness and urbanization in the Kelowna area to broader discussions on the impacts of climate change and diversity and inclusion. The 11 courses in the series were developed by professors and community experts, who partnered with the College with the goal of creating healthy dialogue and making a difference in the community.

“We want to bring important conversations to our community in a way that offers new perspectives to interested learners,” explains Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Continuing Studies at Okanagan College. “While society seems to be experiencing a hardening of perspectives, we want to create space for individuals to learn more about timely topics and share their views.”

“Learning is a healthy activity,” says Silvestrone. “The FIT series brings together a community of learners. Not only will we be learning, but the information shared can also contribute to tolerance and developing a more civil society.”

To see the full lineup of course offerings, dates and times, and to register, visit okanagan.bc.ca/fit.

 

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