Sub Menu

Main Content

May 13, 2019

Inclusion: Colleges and institutes come together at CICan’s 2019 Conference!

Last week, leaders and educators from across the country gathered in Niagara Falls, ON for three days of panels, workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities during CICan’s Annual Conference! Hosted by Niagara College with the theme of Inclusion: A Recipe for Success, the event was representative of the Niagara region’s longstanding history of freedom and inclusion, serving as a meeting place for Indigenous populations and a key northern terminus of the Underground Railroad. Conference 2019 was part of a critical discussion in Canadian post-secondary education as we work towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, welcome newcomers to Canada, and create an educational environment that values diversity and is accessible to all learners.

We were so happy to welcome close to 900 conference participants this year – including international delegates from 17 countries! For those of you who weren’t able to join us, we’ve gathered some of the highlights in this week’s Special Edition of Perspectives:

Pre-conference Forum

Once again this year, delegates met immediately prior to the main event for the Pre-Conference Forum for Colleges and Institutes Serving Rural, Remote, and Northern Communities. Hosted by Georgian College in Owen Sound, ON the pre-conference event focused on Sustainability of Campuses in Small Communities and gathered more than 80 participants from across the country. Sessions at the pre-conference included key topics ranging from access and faculty retention to community development and entrepreneurship, with external speakers Corina Moore, President and CEO of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, David Trick, President of David Trick and Associates, and Nelson Rogers, Principal Consultant at Community Ingenuity. CICan member speakers included Yukon College, Coast Mountain College, Grande Prairie Regional College, and Cégep de Jonquière among others.

Opening Reception

Given this year’s focus on inclusion, we were thrilled to hear from Tarana Burke, who opened the main event on Sunday afternoon. As a Civil Rights Activist and the Founder of the #MeToo movement, Burke shared a powerful message of solidarity and support for those everywhere who have survived sexual assault and sexual harassment, and a call to action for all of us as educators to turn our institutions into spaces where students can learn, safe from the threat of sexual violence. An opening reception followed Burke’s keynote address. 

Conference Streams

This year’s conference was organized into six streams, each with sessions to pique the interest of every staff and faculty member on campus, from those involved in applied research, to Indigenization, to student services and mental health.

In the Leading Success stream, sessions tackled leadership and governance, including leading cultural change and planning for sustainability; while in Innovative Education, participants discussed topics related to teaching and learning for inclusion, including integrating applied research into curriculum, new approaches to technology, and work-integrated learning.

Sessions in the Student Success stream touched on topics such as making campus spaces inclusive for diverse learners and supporting students from enrollment to career placement; while Entrepreneurial Approaches stream participants discussed strategies in building entrepreneurial institutions and training future entrepreneurs.

Topics in the Future Ready stream included the importance of skills development for the future of Canada’s workforce; and finally, the Going Global stream presented sessions related to the international activities of colleges and institutes. View the full list of presentations.

Day One

The first full day of the conference began with a keynote from Luke Anderson, founder of StopGap, sharing the story of how his life changed forever, drawing attention to accessibility, and leaving us inspired to turn frustration into action by ensuring StopGap ramps are available everywhere.

Awards of Excellence

During this year’s Awards Luncheon on Monday, we presented 24 recipients with CICan’s 2019 Awards of Excellence!

The Awards recognize best practices from institutions across the country, as well as individual leadership and achievements. Awards were distributed in eight categories ranging from Excellence in Indigenous Education to Student Excellence, in partnership with TD Insurance, the exclusive sponsor of CICan’s Awards of Excellence. Congratulations to all recipients!

Each category was awarded a Gold, Silver, and Bronze honour. Gold winners in each category received a $1,000 prize from TD Insurance. Click here for the full list of award recipients.

Day Two: Business and Industry Breakfast

Tuesday kicked off with the Business and Industry Breakfast, representing the extensive range of vital partnerships and collaborations that colleges and institutes have undertaken with businesses in every sector. During this year’s breakfast, participants had the pleasure of listening to keynote Vikram Vij, Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur, who shared his story of immigrating to Canada and finding success in the culinary industry and challenged us to encourage our students to pursue their passions.

The breakfast also served as an opportunity to recognize the recipient of CICan’s 2019 Outstanding Partner Award, CEWIL Canada! CEWIL Canada is the lead organization for work-integrated learning in Canada and its mission, in partnership with post-secondary institutions, community members, employers and government, is to build the capacity to develop future-ready students and graduates through quality work-integrated learning. Since 1973, CEWIL Canada members from close to 100 post-secondary institutions across the country have worked in partnership to develop resources that promote the highest quality of post-secondary work-integrated learning programs. Kristine Dawson, Director, Co-operative Education, Career Services, and Work-Integrated Learning at Conestoga College and Chair of CEWIL’s Board of Directors accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Congratulations!

Farewell Dinner: A Magical Evening

To start the farewell evening, we recognized Red Deer College President Joel Ward with this year’s Presidents Leadership Network Distinguished Service Award!

Serving as president of Red Deer College (RDC) since 2009, Ward is recognized not only for his leadership, but for his outstanding contribution to Canada’s post-secondary system as a whole throughout his distinguished career. A former professor of marketing and international business, Ward served as Dean of the School of Business at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, before becoming Vice-President Academic and then President and CEO of Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba. He has also served as a member of CICan’s Board of Directors and currently sits on the Board of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council of Alberta and the Edmonton International Airport Business Advisory Committee. Congratulations Joel – this recognition is well deserved! The award was presented by Olds College President Stuart Cullum. Read the press release here.

The evening continued with the recognition of the very generous donation of $1 million from Paul and Gerri Charette towards a brand-new bursary program for students attending CICan member colleges or institutes, with a preference given to those studying in rural, remote, or northern areas. The new CICan Paul and Gerri Charette Bursary Program will provide financial support to college and institute students who demonstrate financial needs and face barriers to participating in or completing post-secondary education. Charette shared a story of how a $200 bursary changed his life in the hopes that this new bursary program will change the lives of many more students to come.

The closing event was also an opportunity to announce this year’s winners of CICan’s Art Showcase. Yves Galipeau, Directeur général of Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles and Vice-Chair of CICan’s Board of Directors awarded six prizes of $350 each to students from colleges and institutes across the country. View the winning artwork here.

A Word of Thanks

As always, CICan would like to extend its gratitude to all those without whom such a successful event would not have been possible!

Thank you to all attendees and exhibitors; CICan’s Board of Directors; and our Corporate Alliance PartnersBGIS, Cisco, and TD Insurance. A big thank you to our Headline Sponsor, Thoughtexchange; and conference sponsors Canarie, CMC Microsystems, Deloitte, D2L, EmsiFreeman Audiovisual, OCAS, and Scotiabank; and CICan’s exceptional team supporting the conference.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year at Conference 2020 in Montreal, hosted by a committee including Collège André-Grasset, Cégep André-Laurendeau, Collège Ahuntsic, Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne, Cégep John Abbott College, Collège LaSalle, Collège de Maisonneuve, Cégep Marie-Victorin, Cégep de Saint-Laurent, Cégep du Vieux Montréal, and Vanier College, with the theme Connection: Collective Intelligence!

Click here for photos from Conference 2019.

Register now for CICan’s upcoming leadership institute for Presidents!

Are you a president or director general of a college or institute interested in developing your leadership skills, gaining a better understanding of the trends impacting your institutions, and networking with your counterparts from across the country?

Don’t miss the CICan Leadership Institute for Presidents and Directors General this summer in Wallace, Nova Scotia!

Interact and share experiences with your colleagues to examine current and emerging requirements for presidents and directors general in a college or institute setting, as well as the leadership profile and essential skills for success, including:

  • key elements and challenges, including the multiplicity of presidential roles;
  • contextual issues facing Canadian colleges and institutes;
  • internal and external roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities of presidents; and,
  • the role of the president and the Board of Directors

The Leadership Institute will run from July 2-7, 2019. Register now!

EFE-Pacific Alliance: Call for Proposals

The fourth round of Call for Proposals for Institutional Partnerships for CICan’s Education for Employment in the Pacific Alliance Program (EFE-PA) has launched! This program is funded by Global Affairs Canada and implemented in four Latin American countries (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru).

Round four includes partnerships for Educational success of learners and employability Support services with the following stakeholders:

  • Colombia – The Centro Minero du Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) régional de Boyacá and the Unidades Tecnológicas de Santander en Colombie – for Terms of Reference ToR-B.10;
  • Mexico – the Universidad Tecnológica de Campeche (UTCAM), the Colegio Nacional de Educación Profesional Técnica de Campeche (CONALEPC), the Universidad Tecnológica de la Laguna de Durango (UTLD) and the Colegio Nacional de Educación Profesional Técnica (CONALEP) – for ToR-B.11.

We look forward to your participation in these partnerships! The deadline to submit proposals for Round 4 is June 21st, 2019. Download the submission package here.

Register now for CICan’s upcoming leadership institute for Program Chairs!

Are you a program chair or manager responsible for a program area interested in developing your leadership skills, gaining a better understanding of the trends impacting your position, and networking with your counterparts from across the country?

Don’t miss the CICan Leadership Institute for Program Chairs this summer in beautiful Victoria, BC!

Examine current and emerging requirements of the role of Program Chair in a college or institute setting, as well as the leadership profile and essential skills for success, including:

  • key elements and challenges of the role;
  • the environmental context in which institutions currently exist;
  • moving from a program focus to a broader institutional focus;
  • senior management expectations and team relationships; and,
  • the value of mentorship.

The Leadership Institute will run from June 22-27, 2019. Register now!

Register now for the upcoming leadership institute for leaders in Applied Research!

Are you leading applied research at your college or institute? If you are a manager of an applied research office or research coordinator, this professional development opportunity will help you develop your leadership capacity, meet your counterparts from across the country, and gain a better understanding of the trends impacting your position!

Don’t miss the CICan Leadership Institute for Leaders in Applied Research and Innovation this summer in Halifax, NS!

Explore the current and emerging requirements of the role of Applied Research offices in colleges and institutes and will explore the leadership profile and skills essential for success, including:

  • the key elements and challenges of applied research offices in colleges and institutes;
  • the diversity and scope of college-based applied research across Canada;
  • strategic approaches and risk management; and,
  • funding mechanisms.

This Leadership Institute will run from July 3-8, 2019. Register now!

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Kwantlen Polytechnic (KPU) recently welcomed Indigenous high-school students on campus during its third annual Open Doors, Open Minds event? The event offered Indigenous youth the chance to meet current KPU students and faculty members, attend mock classes, and learn about programs and services offered by KPU with the goal of getting the young people inspired about their future!


The Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles was pleased to announce the appointment of Yolaine Arseneau as the cegep’s new directrice générale. With 15 years of experience at the cegep, Arseneau will assume her new role effective June 17.

Vancouver Community College welcomed Ajay Patel as the college’s new Vice President, Enterprise and International Development. Patel joins VCC from Langara College with more than 15 years of experience. Keyano College welcomed Tracy Boyde as Vice President, Infrastructure and Chief Information Officer (CIO). With over 30 years of experience, Boyde assumed the role on April 29.

University College of the North was pleased to appoint Dr. Lynette Plett to the role of Associate Vice-President of Access. Dr. Plett has more than a decade of leadership experience with the Government of Manitoba. Mohawk College was pleased to announce the appointment of Meg Houghton as Associate Vice President, Student Services. Houghton joins Mohawk most recently from Humber College and brings 19 years of experience leading student affairs.


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


Leadership Institutes

Register now for CICan’s 2019 Leadership Institutes.

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.