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July 9, 2018

In Loyalist College’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis (ARC), students gain hands-on experience working with green technologies, including supercritical COextraction. 

Getting ready for the emerging cannabis industry

It’s official! On the evening of June 19, the Senate voted in favour of Bill C-45, or the Cannabis Act, making Canada the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalize recreational use and possession of cannabis. While some have heralded the bill as a historic accomplishment for the federal government, ending 90 years of prohibition, others have expressed concern over the practical details of implementation.

Provinces and territories have been told to be ready for the new law to come into effect on October 17, but what exactly does that mean and how can we ensure that Canada is ready to welcome a brand-new industry?

Colleges and institutes have been doing their part to ensure Canada is ready for the October deadline, making headlines over the past year for developing and implementing programs to train professionals in every aspect of the burgeoning industry.

  • The Niagara College program in Commercial Cannabis Production provides training in cannabis production including plant nutrition, environment, and pest control, as well as cannabis facilities management, staffing, and security.
  • CCNB’s Cannabis Cultivation Technician program, offered online or in the classroom, teaches cannabis production, plant propagation, flowers harvesting, and plant transportation.
  • Olds College’s Cannabis Production program includes introduction to general horticulture, crop growth and facilities, cannabis legislation, and cannabis production itself.
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic’s Cannabis Career training is a continuing study program delivered online, and includes plant production, marketing, sales, and facilities management.
  • The Cannabis Retail Specialist program at College of the Rockies includes training in plant anatomy and physiology, chemical components, and strain characteristics, as well as regulatory requirements, preparation techniques, and methods of administration.
  • Loyalist College’s Cannabis Applied Science (CSGS) program allows students to develop the in-depth skills needed to support cannabis product development and inform process optimization, including molecular biology of the plant and factors influencing the morphology, distribution and ecology and the cannabis plant.
  • And finally, Durham College’s Cannabis Industry Specialization Certificate offers both in-class and interactive online training to prepare professionals with prior business experience in the fundamentals of the emerging industry, including regulatory considerations, ethical issues, and quality control.

From cultivation and facilities management to sales and business fundamentals, these ground-breaking programs will ensure that Canada meets the workforce demand in all aspects of the emerging cannabis industry. In each of these instances, we also see evidence of the strength of college and institute relationships with their industry partners, the long list of which already includes Sundial, Terra Life Sciences, Canopy Growth Corp, MedReleaf Corp, GrowWise Health Ltd, Emblem Corp, and Zenabis.

But training is only the beginning, and we can soon expect to see innovative cannabis-related applied research projects aiming to refine or adapt products, services, technologies, and processes coming out of these institutions. Both Loyalist College’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis and Biopterre, the College Centre for Technology Transfer (CCTT) affiliated with Cégep de La Pocatière have received licenses from Health Canada to produce and cultivate cannabis for research purposes. One such research project from Loyalist College involves brewing an alcohol-free beer by replacing barley and grains with fermented cannabis!

We can’t wait to see where colleges and institutes take us next! In areas such as entrepreneurship, culinary arts, drug detection and enforcement, and mental health and addictions counselling, there is only room for growth in this new and emerging sector!

Demystifying Higher Education

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Higher Education Administration is the new online program created by the Centre for Higher Education Research and Development (CHERD) to introduce administrational professionals in the university, polytechnic, and college environments to the unique world of higher education. In this excellent addition to the onboarding experience, they will be provided with insight into the workings of the academic world, connect with colleagues from across Canada, and prepare to move forward in their professional career. Learn more at

LAST CHANCE to register for CICan’s Leadership Institute for Applied Research and Innovation!

Over the past 15 years, colleges and institutes have seen an exponential increase in their applied research activity, with corresponding infrastructure changes, new sources of funding, greater faculty and student involvement, and a dramatic increase in industry and community engagement. The intensive program of CICan’s Leadership Institute for Applied Research and Innovation will focus on the current and emerging requirements of the role of Applied Research Leaders in colleges and institutes and will explore the leadership profile and skills essential for success.

This Leadership Institute will take place from July 28th – August 2nd in Vancouver, BC.

This institute is designed for those in the role of manager or new director in applied research offices who seek leadership development for their current position, research division staff, and individuals from other areas of the institution who aspire to leadership positions in applied research or are interested in learning how to better lead their department and institution in applied research and innovation initiatives.

Register now!

CICan’s celebrated leadership institutes draw on the latest management concepts and experience to prepare participants to successfully lead in the college and institute system. Click here for a full list of all upcoming Leadership Institutes.

A year-end update from CICan

2017-2018 was a very busy and productive year for CICan, launching new programs and promoting member interests in Ottawa, with big gains for the college and institute sector in Budget 2018. We are extremely proud to share our 2017-2018 Annual Report, highlighting some of the wins and opportunities we have been able to create for our members. To read the report online, click here.

CICan was also pleased to welcome three new members to its Board of Directors, as well as a new Chair and Vice-Chair.

  • Michel Tarko, President and CEO of the Justice Institute of British Columbia will be taking over the position of Chair from Liane Roy, President and CEO of the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB), who served on the Board for seven years.
  • The Board also selected Yves Galipeau, Director General of Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles as its new Vice-Chair.
  • New directors include Riel Bellegarde, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT);  William Radford, President and CEO of College of the North Atlantic; and Carmen Abela, Managing Director of WindReach Consulting Services Inc., who was elected as one of four public directors.

CICan is also happy to announce that current President and CEO Denise Amyot has accepted a second five-year mandate as the head of the national association. Among her tasks, Denise Amyot will oversee the implementation of a new strategic plan that will lead the association into 2024. Make sure to have your voice heard on the plan!

Take the Imagine the Future online quiz

In April, CICan launched a consultative process to renew our Strategic Plan for 2019-2024. So far, we have held seven incredibly successful consultations with members across the country, including one at CICan’s national conference. Thank you to everyone who participated, and a big thank you to our consultation hosts: Nova Scotia Community College, Collège LaSalle, George Brown College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, NorQuest College, and British Columbia Institute of Technology!

You can continue to make your voices heard by taking a quick online quiz here and sharing your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #ImagineCICan!

The new Plan will be launched on April 1, 2019. For more information, contact Sarah Moreault at and stay tuned for updates!

EFE-PA announces results of second round of Call for Proposals

CICan’s Pacific Alliance Education for Employment Program (EFE-PA) is pleased to announce the results of the selection process for the second round of institutional partnerships for the Sustainable Development and Skills for Employment in the Extractive Sector.

We received 12 proposals including 17 CICan member institutions for four projects. The partners in Colombia and Mexico were impressed with the quality and number of proposals submitted by the Canadian colleges and institutes.

The selected institutions will collaborate with local partners to provide greater socio-economic opportunities in a sustainable and inclusive extractive sector in the Pacific Alliance countries.

The EFE-PA team would like to thank all applicants. For more information on the program, click here and follow EFE-PA on Twitter at @CICan_EPE_AP.

Finalize your institutional agreements for the Mitacs Accelerate Program

The Mitacs Accelerate Program pilot for colleges and polytechnics has been launched and is currently accepting submissions for institutional agreements with colleges and institutes! The summer period is a perfect time to finalize and sign these agreements so that, in the new academic year, your institution is ready to develop Mitacs internship projects for your students in collaboration with industry or community research partners.

Mitacs has emphasized the importance of engaging with their Business Development representatives to validate project concepts and develop proposal applications.

We encourage all member institutions to take advantage of this exciting program in this pilot phase and demonstrate its importance for increasing work and research integrated learning opportunities for college and institute students!

KEFEP’s Regional TVET Forum in Kenya

From May 29-31, CICan’s Kenya Education for Employment (KEFEP) program team, in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission in Kenya and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa, was pleased to host a 3-day regional TVET forum in Nairobi, Kenya.

With the theme of Current Research in TVET and How to Take it to Action, the forum hosted over 200 delegates from over a dozen countries to share their TVET knowledge and discuss how to translate that knowledge into tangible action to address youth unemployment. Speakers and presenters included Dr. Kevit Desai, Principal Secretary of Vocational and Technical Training in Kenya, H.E. Ms. Sara Hradecky, High Commissioner of Canada to Kenya, and Alain Roy, Vice President, International Partnerships, CICan, among others.

The forum also brought together many CICan member colleges and institutes, as well as local partner institutions from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and the Caribbean to discuss successes, challenges, and lessons learned from their various TVET projects. The forum provided them the space and time to share their successes and collaborate on potential lasting solutions to the similar challenges they face within their projects.

The KEFEP team was also pleased to take this opportunity to share program updates with Canadian and Kenyan partners, as well as present its annual report, workplan, and key findings from the its baseline report.

Celebrate World Youth Skills Day 2018 with UNESCO-UNEVOC

UN World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) falls annually on July 15 and aims to raise awareness of the importance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in helping young people find meaningful employment, and address UN Sustainable Development Goal #4.

With this year’s theme of Improving the image of TVET, UNESCO-UNEVOC invites organizations to take part by: organizing a local event around WYSD, participating in UNESCO’s Virtual Conference, or participating in UNESCO’s Skills in Action Photo Contest.

To encourage participation, UNESCO-UNEVOC has made promotional posters and materials available for download .

Join IRCC's Immigration Matters Campaign

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is currently working on a marketing campaign to show the benefits of immigration at the community level. The Immigration Matters campaign combines storytelling and facts to dispel common myths about immigrants and refugees, and promote positive engagement between Canadians and newcomers.

IRCC is looking to share stories of immigrants who are making a strong contribution to cities, towns and neighbourhoods across Canada. We know colleges and institutes play a critical role in welcoming newcomers and that you each have many such stories to tell. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the contributions of remarkable individuals while highlighting the role of colleges and institutes in building a more inclusive Canada. We encourage you all to respond to the call.

IRCC has put together a toolkit containing templates, tips and resources to guide submissions. Please direct questions to

Register for CBOC’s Education and Skills Symposium

Join the Conference Board of Canada (CBOC) for first annual Education and Skills Symposium 2018 from November 28-29 in Toronto and engage in interactive discussions around major challenges facing Canada’s education and skills development systems. Is Canada’s education system universally accessible, equitable, and representative of our country’s diversity?

The symposium program will include two streams—early childhood education and K-12, and PSE and adult/workplace learning—and will cover the following themes: Improving Access to Participation, Decolonizing Education, Supporting Learner-Driven Pathways, and Enabling School-to-Work Transitions.

This is an opportunity to connect with global, national, provincial and territorial, and local stakeholders from across the education and skills continuum. Register now with CBOC’s early bird rate by using priority code EESDL.

Please note that during July and August, publication of Perspectives will be reduced to once a month. Regular bi-weekly publication will resume in September.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Vancouver Community College (VCC) recently hosted the Flourish VCC Foundation Gala, which raised funds for culinary, baking and hospitality scholarships? The event featured dishes prepared by VCC students and chefs, and was featured in Air Canada’s En Route magazine!


Emily Carr University, Sheridan College, and Keyano College are all welcoming new presidents to their institutions. Dr. Gillian Siddall will take on the role of President and Vice Chancellor at Emily Carr University effective September 1, while Dr. Janet Morrison will begin her term as Sheridan College’s President and Vice Chancellor on August 7. Keyano College welcomed Dr. Trent Keough as the college’s new President and CEO on June 25.

Okanagan College, Mohawk College, and Douglas College announced new vice-presidential appointments. Curtis Morcom will serve as Okanagan College’s new Vice President, Employee and Corporate Services, Alison Horton will serve as Vice President Corporate Services at Mohawk College, and Brian Mackay will take on the role of Associate Vice President of Technology and Chief Information Officer at Douglas College.


Imagine the Future

Take the Imagine the Future online quiz to share your thoughts on CICan’s new Strategic Plan.

Leadership Institutes

Registration is live for CICan’s 2018 Leadership Institutes. Click here to register.

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.