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December 9, 2019

2019, A Year in Review

As a federal election year, we knew that politicians, elected and aspiring, would spend most of 2019 hammering home key messages to voters. What we heard was that the government wanted to ensure Canada’s growth was inclusive and forward looking, focusing Budget announcements on “supporting the middle class and those struggling to join it,” disruption in the labour market – with a new Canada Training Benefit for those looking to develop new skills – and taking urgent action on climate change – Canadians showed up en masse across the country for the Fridays for Future school strikes for climate.

With these topics on the radar, this was a particularly important year for colleges and institutes to prove what they’re made of. In no particular order, here’s how we saw it: 

From our standpoint, colleges and institutes leading the way on climate action, labour market disruption, and middle-class growth– helping communities and small businesses to innovate, providing Canadians with necessary skills, and supporting students from diverse backgrounds in pursuing their educational and career goals. Stay tuned to see more in 2020.

Conference keynote and registration!

We can’t wait to see you in Montreal for our upcoming 2020 Connection Conference focusing on strengthening our collective intelligence and are happy to announce our first keynote speaker: Bina48, one of the world’s most advanced social robots!

Using video-interview transcripts, laser-scanning life-mask technology, artificial intelligence, and face- and voice-recognition technology, Bina48 was created to demonstrate the first step in the Terasem Hypothesis, which states “a conscious analog of a person may be created by combining sufficiently detailed data about the person (a “mindfile”) using future-consciousness software (“mindware”).

Dont miss this unique conversation! Join us in Montreal from May 3-5. Register now!

On top of this keynote, this year’s event will engage topics in six streams: Governing Excellence, Wiring for Student Success, Hacking Education, Embodying Sustainability, Driving Innovation, and Going Global.

CICan reaction to the Speech from the Throne

CICan’s President and CEO, Denise Amyot had the pleasure of being invited to attend the reading of the Speech from the Throne that opened the first session of the 43rd Parliament of Canada last week. Overall, this was an encouraging Speech from the Throne as it touched on many priorities identified by colleges and institutes including support for students, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, support for entrepreneurs and SMEs, and further investments in infrastructure and innovation.

Read our full statement for more information.

Looking for artists!

For the seventh year in a row, we are inviting students from colleges and institutes across the country to submit their artwork to the 2020 Student Art Showcase. This year, a winner will be selected in each of the following six categories:

  • printmaking;
  • textile, mixed media, or sculpture;
  • photography;
  • digital Illustration or animation;
  • painting; and,
  • drawing.

Each winner will receive a monetary prize of $350!

The winning artists will have their artwork displayed at our offices and will receive recognition on our website and in various association publications. Final voting will take place during the CICan 2020 Connection Conference, May 3-5 in Montreal!

Submit your artwork! The deadline for submissions is March 20, 2020.

Share your expertise in lifelong learning at our upcoming symposium

Share your innovative approaches and strategies for skills development at the upcoming National Symposium on Continuing Education! This interactive event will gather leaders in continuing education to discuss emerging themes in lifelong learning, including trends in the labour market, innovative models and approaches, and institutional readiness. 

Proposals should be aligned with the overall theme of the symposium, Responding to Employers’ Needs – New Collaborations for New Skills. Submit a presentation before January 9. 

The event will take place in Toronto, ON, from February 6-7, 2020. Join us, register now!

ImpAct’s new advisory committees get to work

Our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and our vision of “Better Futures for Peoples and Communities” through ImpAct is expanding with the first meeting of two new advisory committees!

Five college and institute presidents and directors general joined us as part of the ImpAct Presidents Advisory Committee (IPAC) and, in order to include the voices of a younger generation in our sustainability work, the Impact Student and Alumni Advisory Committee (ISAAC) brought together 15 college and institute students of diverse backgrounds from across the country.

The two committees will help determine ImpAct’s journey to support our members in collaborating for a healthy, inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable Canada.

New SAGE partners in the Caribbean

The Skills to Access the Green Economy (SAGE) program is pleased to announce the colleges and institutes selected through its first call for proposals:

  • In Belize, Vancouver Island University will work in partnership with Parkland College and the Marine Institute of Memorial University in the sustainable agri-forestry and fisheries sector;
  • Dominica, Algonquin College will partner with Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture in sustainable building technologies;
  • In Grenada, the Marine Institute of Memorial University will work in partnership with Nova Scotia Community College in coastal and fisheries management;
  • In Guyana, College of the North Atlantic will work in partnership with Durham College and Mohawk College in renewable energy;
  • In Jamaica, Niagara College will partner with College of the North Atlantic in climate-smart agriculture; and,
  • In Saint Lucia, Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture will work in partnership with Algonquin College, also in climate-smart agriculture.

Congratulations to all selected applicants!

Please note that this will be the last issue of Perspectives in 2019. Regularly scheduled publication will resume on January 13.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that in 2019, we had the pleasure of welcoming eight college and institute leaders to our offices in Ottawa to share successes, challenges, and strategies in post-secondary education? Thank you to David Ross, president of SAIT; Paula Burns, president of Lethbridge College; Karsten Henriksen, former vice-president of Nunavut Arctic College, now vice-president, academic at Lambton College; Daniel Giroux, president of Collège Boréal; André Gobeil, director general of Cégep de Chicoutimi; Mark Frison, president of Assiniboine Community College; Pierre Bédard, director general of Cégep de Matane; and Kory Wilson, executive director of Indigenous Initiative and Partnerships at BCIT. Each visit is incredible valuable to all of us at CICan. We hope to have more in the coming year – please let us know when you are in Ottawa!


The Cégep de Trois-Rivières announced the reappointment of Louis Gendron as director general. Having entered the position in 2016, Gendron will serve for an additional five years.


EFE Tunisia

EFE Tunisia Al-Najah is accepting applications for its call for proposals until December 13.

Distinguished Service Award

Presidents and directors general can nominate colleagues for the Distinguished Service Award until December 13. 

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.