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May 10, 2021

Who, what, when, where, why, and how?

We just wrapped up our biggest-ever experiment in virtual learning, and despite a few minor technical glitches, we hope you’ll agree it was a success! Our Connection Conference promised an immersive virtual experience to explore our changing narratives and reimagine the future of post-secondary education. If you missed it, here’s the who, what, when, where, why, and how report in eleven key conference figures. If you took part, did you leave inspired?

Who participated?

Over 1,500 college and institute leaders and partners from every province and territory across the country and from 25 countries around the worldthat’s an increase of more than 50% over 2019!

  • We promised to welcome more participants than ever before with this year’s unique virtual format, and this is definitely a win! Each and every participant has a role to play in changing the narrative to reimagine the future of post-secondary education in Canada.

What did we do? 

5 thought-provoking keynote speakers with unique perspectives on the future: Gerd Leonhard: futurist, founder and CEO of The Futures Agency; Tanya Talaga: journalist, author and CEO of Makwa Creative; Ollivier Dyens: founder and co-director of the Building 21 innovation laboratory; Thomas Frey: futurist, founder and executive director of DaVinci Institute; and Fabienne Goux-Baudiment: CEO of proGective.

60 live and pre-recorded presentations from colleges and institutes in 6 streams: Governing Excellence, Wiring for Student Success, Hacking Education, Driving Innovation, Embodying Sustainability, and Going Global.

Unique networking in 6 extracurricular activities and 8 thought forums on the biggest subjects of the year: challenges and opportunities in applied research; sustainability and prosperity in Indigenous, rural, remote, and northern communities; IT and security in a digital world; gender equality and student mobility in international education; decoding and dismantling racism; and action on the SDGs.

  • We hope you will take what you learned in your conversations and braindates back to your institutions as inspiration to strengthen the system!

We need to thank our 4 corporate partners: Avis Budget Group, BGIS, Field Effect and TD Insurance; and 13 conference sponsors: CIBC, ApplyBoard, CANARIE, Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security, ApplyProof, OCAS, Encore, International Experience Canada, PaySimply, Pearson PTE Academic, Emsi, IDP Connect, and Turnitin.

Who did we recognize?

27 institutions, teams, and individuals for their outstanding leadership and innovation in 9 categories during the first-ever livestream of our Awards of Excellence!

  • Congratulations to the gold-, silver-, and bronze-level recipients in each category: applied research and innovation, Indigenous education, sustainable development, internationalization, program excellence, and leadership excellence for managerial and non-managerial staff, faculty, and students.
  • Thanks to TD Insurance, the exclusive sponsor of the awards, and to the representatives from our member institutions who participated in independent selection committees to review nominations and adjudicate results. 

What comes next? 

We’re working on a hybrid model for next year’s conference in Halifax that keeps the best of both worlds: access for more participants from across Canada and around the world, and reconnecting in the ways that we know and love, in person!

  • Mark the dates: Apr 25 to 27, 2022! More details to come.

Perspectives LIVE: “Sustainability means intergenerational equity”

In the midst of an accelerating climate emergency, governments around the world have committed to bold targets to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However, global challenges like climate change and inequality require solutions that leverage the individual strengths of people from different countries, backgrounds, and identities in all their diversity. As community leaders, colleges and institutes must ensure the approach is intergovernmental, intersectional, and intergenerational.

What role is there for post-secondary institutions in fostering intergenerational equity in sustainability, and how can colleges and institutes help shape climate policy that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to flourish?  

Tune in to the next episode of Perspectives LIVE as our expert guests explore Canada’s climate commitments, progress towards achieving the global goals, and where work still needs to be done. Next Wednesday!

Become a delivery partner for a new micro-certificate to support the long-term care sector!

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate and expose shortages in long-term and home care, we are collaborating with colleges and institutes from across the country on the Supportive Care Assistant Program! Be a part of this national initiative by becoming a delivery partner!

The new program will help quickly address acute labour shortages in the long-term care sector and is part of our Building Capacity in Long-term Care project. The fully subsidized micro-certificate includes six weeks of online training and a four-month paid work placement.

Are you a student? Colleges and institutes across the country are now accepting applications for the new Supportive Care Assistant Program. Begin your career pathway to become a fully certified personal care provider!

Give young Canadians the opportunity to go global!

Help Canadian students, especially those that don’t typically participate in international study opportunities, acquire in-demand global skills through opportunities to study or work abroad with Global Skills Opportunity! We are currently accepting proposals for virtual, physical, and hybrid mobility experiences.

We’ve already provided funding to 47 colleges and institutes to implement 69 mobility-focused innovation projects through the Outbound Student Mobility Pilot’s Innovation Fund, and now we’re ready to launch the next phase of the project! Submit a proposal in English or French before June 30.

Funded by the Government of Canada as part of the new International Education Strategy, Global Skills Opportunity is the exciting next step in our Outbound Student Mobility Pilot with Universities Canada!

Interested? Attend our virtual information session on Tuesday May 18 for more information.

Back again: contribute to the green economy with Career Launcher

Career-Launcher’s Natural Resources Internships are back! Young workers, especially Indigenous youth, youth living with disabilities, and youth in northern, rural and remote communities, can get a head start in Canada’s natural resources sectors!

With new funding, qualifying employers – including colleges and institutes – can get up to $32,000 towards an intern’s salary and training expenses. Help mobilize an inclusive and skilled green workforce to advance sustainable practices.

New this year: shorter and part-time internships qualify!

Natural Resources Internships no longer have a minimum length requirement and can be part-time positions. Also, training offered at your institution during the internship can qualify for funding. Submit an internship before May 28! 

Contribute to stronger research on expanding student pathways

The roadmap to employment can take many different paths, and colleges and institutes play an important role in preparing graduates with job-relevant skills to reach their destination. We’ve heard from our members that non-standard and non-linear educational pathways are becoming more and more common, yet hierarchical views of education levels often disadvantage college and institute graduates and negatively impact their employment prospects and future salaries.

What roles do colleges and institutes play in the diverse learning pathways of Canadians and their occupations after graduation?  

Join us with Statistics Canada and its Centre for Education Statistics to share research on expanding student pathways.

Help us strengthen our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion

On our EDI journey, we are undertaking a comprehensive assessment of EDI policies and procedures within CICan and building a more complete vision of where we want to go. Submit a proposal to assist us as we learn, grow, and develop practices, policies and governance structures in line with both our commitments to EDI and to CICan’s strategic priorities to advocate, build capacity and drive knowledge.

Support youth employability in Kenya with Young Africa Works

New opportunities are available to help strengthen technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Kenya and give youth, particularly women, market-relevant skills to find fulfilling work through Young Africa Works-Kenya: Youth Employability through TVET with the Mastercard Foundation!

Colleges and institutes can apply for ten new institutional supporting 25 Kenyan TVET institutions over three years. Apply before June 7.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that CRISPESH, (Centre de recherche pour l’inclusion des personnes en situation de handicap), a CCTT in social innovation affiliated with Dawson College and Cégep du Vieux Montréal recently launched a new website sharing stories and experiences of disability from First Nations community members across Quebec? Nisidotam supports the social and professional inclusion of First Nations persons with disabilities, promotes an inclusive approach to support services, and provides resources are aimed at creating environments that are conducive to building self-determination and awareness.


Collège de Rosemont appointed Caroline Roy as its new director general effective June 2021. Roy has nearly 20 years of experience in the college and institute sector.

Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne also appointed a new director general. With more than 30 years of experience in post-secondary education, Pascale Sirard will take on the role effective July 1.


Nov 30 - Dec 1st, 2022
CICan on the Hill + Student Showcase
Ottawa, National Arts Centre
Dec 5 - 9th, 2022
Leadership Institute for French-speaking Managers
Quebec City, Château Laurier
Dec 5 - 7th, 2022
Perfectionnement pour les responsables internationaux
Québec, Hôtel Château Laurier
View more


Stay safe and healthy on campus. Download the COVID Alert app.

Visit Wellness Together Canada for free online mental health and substance use support.

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.