Sub Menu

Main Content

March 6, 2017

College and Institute Potential in Full Bloom

The end of winter is officially in sight! The first day of spring is a mere two weeks away, which means that, soon, trees will be budding and flowers will be blooming. After a long Canadian winter, spring is a great reminder of the opportunity for growth, in all aspects of Canadian society.

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth’s recently outlined its recommendations for unleashing Canada’s economic potential, including an “Unleashing the Growth Potential of Key Sectors” report, which identified agriculture and agri-food among the most important industries to develop. This was music to our ears, as Canada’s colleges and institutes have long been a crucial part of building a strong agricultural sector, from incorporating new approaches to training to address the challenges of tomorrow, to developing innovative agri-technologies to improve production.

Our members champion a unique approach to development based on removing obstacles to growth through collaboration. A prime example is Durham College’s Horticulture – Food and Farming program, which has adopted the concept of field-to-fork. This cross-over approach involves collaboration between multiple faculties to teach all aspects of food production – from harvesting, storage and processing, to packaging, sale and consumption. Similarly, Lakeland College’s crop technology diploma program uses Student-Managed Farms (SMF) to teach students about running agri-businesses as well as dealing with real-life challenges affecting the agriculture and agri-food sectors.

Many agriculture programs also attend to current hot topics with a view to future growth. For example, Fleming College’s Sustainable Agriculture Co-op program incorporates principles of environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and community health; while, Algonquin College’s Horticultural Industries program is designed with aspects of sustainable urban agriculture and food production to help provide solutions to future obstacles such as the reduction of arable land. Similarly, Yukon College’s teaching and working farm – created in collaboration with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation – is building a sustainable source of fresh food to address issues of food security in the north.

These innovative approaches to agricultural training are just the beginning of the story for colleges and institutes. Agricultural research is already taking place at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), that – in collaboration with the City of Surrey, the John Volken Academy (JKA), and educational partners – has unveiled twin high-tech greenhouses known as BioPods, an initiative designed to use technology to improve healthy food production and maintain sustainable food supplies. The Cégep de Victoriaville is also leading social innovation in farming with its Centre d’innovation sociale en agriculture (CISA), a facility designed to support the transfer of farming knowledge between generations. The potential of this technology is limitless in a globalized world!

These are just some of the ways that colleges and institutes are leading us into a growing season with unlimited potential!

Member News

Assiniboine Community College agribusiness students celebrate success after annual Agribusiness Plan Competition

Northern College celebrates most recent Indigenous graduates of the college’s mining program

Yukon College now offers level-four electrical training – the level required for Red Seal certification

Fleming College partners with Trent University on campaign to encourage communication around sexual consent

Keyano College to offer online mindfulness training to faculty, staff, and students in support of mental health

NorQuest College student association announces $1-million pledge towards Maximizing Opportunities campaign

Lambton College partners with local industry on youth education program to address skills gap in Sarnia-Lambton

Okanagan College to open new $40,000 Indigenous garden

BCIT and Humber College launch one-of-a-kind virtual-town healthcare education partnership

College of the North Atlantic establishes new Workforce Innovation Centre with support from provincial government

NAIT to host second annual Solar Trade Show to showcase solar technologies

Le Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles met en place deux nouveaux projets au Sénégal

Une présentation des nombreux succès à l’échelle internationale du Cégep Édouard-Montpetit

La Cité devient membre associé de l’Agence universitaire de la Francophonie

Des étudiants en Arts, lettres et communication du Cégep André-Laurendeau exposent à Paris

Félicitations à Kim Bouchard, du Cégep de Saint-Félicien, récipiendaire de la médaille académique 2015-2016 du Gouverneur général du Canada

Un diplômé du Cégep Limoilou fait partie des finalistes pour deux postes d’astronautes de l’Agence spatiale canadienne

CICan 2017 Conference update!


Conference 2017 is fast approaching which means that there are only two weeks left for Early Bird registration. The deadline is March 15th, 2017.

To take advantage of these deals, register here.

Be social and network with the CICan 2017 Conference app. For app download instructions click here. For any other questions contact Bruce Landry here.

Globe and Mail publishes new special on colleges and institutes

In partnership with CICan, the Globe and Mail recently published its latest College and Institute Special, this time focusing on clean-tech and going green. The newspaper insert features amazing stories of green campuses, curriculums, communities, research, and culture at colleges and institutes across the country! Be sure to check it out!

Download a digital version here, or read the stories on the Globe and Mail website here.

Kenya EFE program Request for proposals


CICan is pleased to formally announce the release of the Kenya Education for Employment program (KEFEP) Request for Proposals (RFP). This marks the culmination of the inception and planning effort and the beginning of a the very exciting partnership implementation phase of KEFEP.

The purpose of the RFP is to establish five (5) institutional partnerships with a total of ten (10) Kenyan national polytechnics. The deadline for submissions is March 24, 2017. Click here for more information.

Planning for Canada hosts alumni event


The Planning for Canada pre-arrival initiative held its first-ever event for Ontario alumni on February 28, 2017. Hosted by program partners George Brown College and COSTI Immigrant Services, this was a long-awaited opportunity to welcome program graduates to Canada in person, to re-engage them in the Planning for Canada continuum of services, and to encourage them to continue striving for success.

Over fifty alumni and twenty partner representatives were in attendance, resulting in a high-energy day full of connections and a shared sense of purpose. Many participants commented that the event reinvigorated them to achieve their settlement goals. Alumni appreciated the opportunity to connect, network, and learn more about services available to newcomers in Canada.

Other highlights of the day included:

  • an inspiring keynote presentation by Luis Horacio Nájera, the PEN Canada-George Brown Writer-in-Residence;
  • a panel discussion on Canadian employment and workplace culture;
  • a speed-dating style Q&A session with Planning for Canada partners;
  • a discussion on how to strengthen Planning for Canada’s services; and,
  • a LinkedIn profile photo booth for alumni.

Funded by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), CIIP delivers the joint pre-arrival initiative Planning for Canada with the Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) Program. CIIP is managed by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan); COA is managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

News from the UNEVOC network


The UNEVOC North American cluster has published its latest newsletter. This special edition focuses on this week’s UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development and the special conference to be hosted in Ottawa. All three Canadian UNEVOC centres, who are also CICan members, will be highly visible during the whole week to provide concrete examples of their national and international initiatives when it comes to education for peace and sustainable development. You can read it here, on CICan’s web-site.

For some background information, as you may already know, CICan is part of the UNEVOC network and was designated as the pan-Canadian UNEVOC centre and lead for the North American Cluster of UNEVOC centres.

2017 PSG-EFE Senegal Forum: A big step forward for institutional autonomy


The 2017 Forum on Private Sector Growth through Education for Employment (PSG-EFE), co-organized by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and the Ministry of Professional Education, Learning, and Craft (ministère de la Formation professionnelle, de l’Apprentissage et de l’Artisanat – MFPAA) was held February 15-17 in Dakar, Senegal. Senegalese Minister of the MFPPA, Mamadou Talla, was present during the Forum.

Bringing together over a hundred participants representing partner institutions in Senegal, participating Canadian colleges, the MFPAA, the private sector, and professional associations, the Forum allowed for participants to share different facets of autonomy in professional and technical training institutions, and highlighted the high regard in which the MFPAA holds both the PSG-EFE and Canada’s contribution to the development of technical training in Senegal.

Over the course of three days, two Canadian community college CEOs, Liane Roy from the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) and Yves Galipeau from the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des îles, and Renaud Bellemare, Assistant Director of Studies at Collège Montmorency, presented three models of administrative, financial, and pedagogical autonomy in Canadian institutions in a discussion of essential issues and limitations. This was followed by team-based workshops that stimulated much debate and lively discussion.

The Forum also provided an opportunity to honour the excellent work of various Canadian-Senegalese partnerships. Senegalese and Canadian representatives worked together to provide wonderful experiences, including a cheese-tasting featuring cheeses produced by the Institut Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc in collaboration with the Collège Maisonneuve’s senior agribusiness technician certificate program.

Presenting three symbolic cheques (of several million CFA) to Senegalese educational institutions ended the event on a high note.

PSG-EFE program partners must now work to put these many reflections into practice as they pursue the development of technical education in Senegal.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) was recently awarded with an Open Education Award for Excellence? The Open Education Consortium (OEC) recognized JIBC’s “The Agora” project, developed in collaboration with the Universidad de Guadalajara. The project is an open faculty development program in student-centre and mobile learning. Congratulations JIBC! Read more about the awards here, and explore The Agora here.


The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) was pleased to announce the appointment of Sharmen Vigouret Lee as the new Dean, BCIT School of Health Sciences. Lee has extensive experience in the public health care sector as well as in educating and mentoring postsecondary students.


Canada’s 150th Anniversary! 

Submissions for CICan’s Canada 150 project are ongoing. Check out our Canada 150 website for more details.

CICan’s Leadership Institutes 

Registration is live for CICan’s 2017 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.