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Support from regional media helps Okanagan College spread the word about trades training complex campaign
Okanagan College Media Release

Media outlets across the valley are helping Okanagan College to spread the word about the fundraising campaign behind the renovation and expansion of the $33-million Trades Training Complex at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus—and the added awareness has helped to bring in some life-changing support for students.

Global News, Shaw, Bell Media, Black Press, Daily Courier, and Castanet have donated over $385,000 collectively in advertising and media support to the Bright Horizons Building for Skills Fundraising campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise $7 million: $5 million for renovation and construction on the new three-storey trades tower along KLO Road, and $2 million for program and student support, which includes bursaries and other assistance to help students enter into trades programs.

“With a province-wide skills shortage projected across the trades sector, Okanagan College is renovating and expanding our facilities to train ahead of that need and help thousands of new tradespeople get job-ready,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We truly appreciate how the region’s media has bolstered our efforts to raise awareness about this project.”

Bell Media has donated over $158,000, Black Press has contributed over $77,000, Global Okanagan and Shaw have jointly contributed $100,000, The Daily Courier has contributed $30,000, and Castanet $25,000 in donated media support.

According to the campaign team, the media’s added support in sharing stories about the trades expansion has been crucial for showcasing how the community can get involved and the positive impact that their donations will have on future students. 

“When you consider that the new complex will be able to accommodate over 2,400 students per year, the ripple effect of those students entering the workforce, supporting their families, and contributing to our local economy is immense,” says Campaign Chair, Dennis Gabelhouse. “Our donors are contributing to that ripple effect—their donation is a direct investment in the future of a student working to attain his or her dream and build a rewarding life for themself.”

The Bright Horizons Building for Skills campaign kicked off in October and construction is currently in progress on the 10,000 sq. metre expansion and renovation. The new trades training complex is slated to open in Spring of 2016. The provincial government has committed $28 million to the project.

To learn more about the campaign’s current needs and opportunities to get involved, please visit

Quotes from media partners:Hamilton, Hinchliffe, Gabelhouse

“Global Okanagan and Shaw are thrilled to support more opportunities for students in trades,” says Derek Hinchliffe, Station Manager & News Director, Global Okanagan. “We are honoured to participate in this important community initiative and look forward to developing strong ties with Okanagan College.”

Derek Hinchliffe
Station Manager & News Director, Global Okanagan


Hamilton, Hill, McAuliffe, Gabelhouse

"The Capital News & Black Press are proud to partner with Okanagan College on the Bright Horizon's campaign. Trades are a vital part of this community and the communities throughout the province of B.C., this facility will provide opportunities to prepare skilled trades workers for years to come."

Karen Hill
Publisher, Kelowna Capital News


Hamilton, Armstong, Gabelhouse

"This is an exciting time at Okanagan College, and we're thrilled to help share this success story throughout the valley," said Terry Armstrong, publisher of The Daily Courier. "Expanding and renovating the Trades Training Complex into a modern, state-of-the-art facility is strengthening our valley's future. It's giving students access to some of the best facilities around, and we're so very pleased to offer our support."

Terry Armstrong
Vice President & Group Publisher
The Okanagan Valley Newspaper Group