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Princess Auto Foundation turns key on new trades bursaries at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Whether building a house or re-building a car, it all begins with a strong foundation of knowledge. A national foundation dedicated to supporting trades education has launched a new bursary fund at Okanagan College to give students a strong start.

The Princess Auto Foundation has donated $25,000 to establish an award fund that will enhance access and opportunities for students entering or continuing in Trades programs at Okanagan College.Princess Auto Foundation donation May 2016

“We are committed to helping students pursue skilled trades training at colleges across the country,” says Princess Auto Foundation Founder Bob Tallman. “We are delighted to work with Okanagan College to open doors for students in the Southern Interior.”

Tallman owns Princess Auto, which has grown to more than 40 retail locations across Canada since his father Harvey founded the retailer in 1977. Established in Manitoba in 2007, the Princess Auto Foundation has distributed over $4 million to 15 colleges in Canada to help students access trades training. Okanagan College joins two other B.C. institutions – BCIT and Camosun – on the list of those that have received support, to date.

“An integral part of Okanagan College’s mission to transform lives and communities is making education accessible,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We deeply appreciate Princess Auto Foundation’s investment in our students’ futures and applaud their leadership in enhancing access to trades training for students across the country.”

Tallman and his wife Cathy recently toured the College’s new trades training complex in Kelowna. He says the decision to support students in the Okanagan was a natural one, given the College’s vision for elevating trades careers in the minds of students and the public.

“We were inspired by the way the College celebrates tradespeople and recognizes the contributions they make in our communities,” notes Tallman. “The Princess Auto Foundation is proud to be a part of that vision.”

In addition to the Princess Auto Foundation, Tallman’s family also spearheads the Tallman Foundation, which provides full scholarships to post-secondary students in Winnipeg.

Classes are now in session in the College’s new trades facilities, following a three-year $33-million renovation and expansion project. The Okanagan College Foundation has raised more than $6.2 million towards its goal of raising $7 million to top up the province’s $28 million investment. The Foundation is aiming to raise at least $2 million for program and student support.

More information about the campaign and opportunities to get involved is available at