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May 3, 2017

CICan’s Conference 2017 Round-Up!

Leaders and educators from across the country and delegates from 21 different countries once again gathered for three days of panels, workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities during Colleges and Institutes Canada’s annual conference – this year in the context of celebrating the contributions of colleges and institutes to Canada’s strength and prosperity on its 150th anniversary!

After a full day of pre-conference forums – on International; and on Serving Rural, Remote, and Northern Communities – and various network meetings, the event officially opened at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa with the first of three Keynote Speakers: iconic Canadian astronaut, Julie Payette, who spoke to the importance of collaboration toward outlooks for the future.

An opening reception at the Canadian Museum of History followed Payette’s keynote address – with the museum’s spectacular Grand Hall providing an introduction to the history, cultures and beliefs of the First Peoples of Canada’s Pacific Coast. What a great way to kick off the conference!

We were so happy to welcome the more than 800 guests, sponsors, and exhibitors in attendance, taking part in over 80 panels and workshops over the three-day event! For those of you who missed the event, we’ve gathered the highlights:

Conference Streams

Monday morning kicked off with opening remarks from Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu who spoke about the importance of post-secondary education for those looking to join the middle class, before conference participants separated into panels and workshops organized into six streams.

In the Leadership and Governance stream, speakers discussed trends impacting the college and institute sector, and shared leadership strategies, including a presentation on Keyano College’s journey through wildfire evacuations last summer.

In Teaching, Learning and Student Success workshops, participants tackled topics ranging from “open” technologies to student engagement and mental health; while Applied Research, Entrepreneurship and Innovation workshops discussed partnership and engagement strategies toward innovative growth.

Those who attended panels in the Indigenous Education stream had the opportunity to exchange views on Reconciliation in education and expanding prospects for Indigenous students; while those in the Serving Rural, Remote and Northern Communities stream tackled issues related to sustainability in isolated communities and capacity building in the north.

Finally, the International stream – officially opened by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Celina Caesar-Chavannes – discussed both contributing to global goals through international development, and creating international opportunities at home through refugee sponsorship.

“Industry Engagement, Partnership and Cluster Development;” “Fishing in a Small Pond: Applied Research in a Small Rural College;” and “Meeting the Challenge of Inclusion and Ethnocultural Diversity at Collège de Maisonneuve” were a few titles of the amazing presentations conference participants attended. For a full list of presentations, click here.

Awards of Excellence


During this year’s Awards Luncheon on Monday, CICan was proud to announce the recipients of its 2017 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 medal. Gold winners in each category received a $1,000 prize from TD Insurance. For the complete list of award recipients, click here.

The first full day of the conference rounded off with an address from our second official Keynote Speaker, award-winning author Lawrence Hill, who shared his inspiring journey as a writer.

CICan’s Reception on the Hill


On Monday evening, CICan was pleased to hold an evening reception in conjunction with Conference 2017 with over 300 Presidents and CEOs, Board Chairs and Government Relations leaders representing colleges, institutes, cégeps, and polytechnics from across Canada, as well as Senators, Members of Parliament, Diplomats and senior government officials in attendance.

Notably, Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne, was present and delivered remarks on the federal government’s support for international education and student recruitment. Senator René Cormier from New Brunswick also gave an eloquent speech on the importance of post-secondary education.

Following the presentation, CICan President and CEO Denise Amyot was pleased to announce to launch of a brand new outbound student mobility program that will allow Canadian students to pursue experiential learning opportunities in Brazil. For more information, please consult the full press release here. 

A Brazilian student recipient of CICan’s 2016 Canada-Brazil Scholarship Program (CBSP) was also present and spoke to his unique CBSP experience.

Business and Industry Breakfast


At the Business and Industry Breakfast on Tuesday morning, CICan was pleased to host Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, who spoke of importance of close collaboration between colleges, institutes, and their industry partners, before announcing the recipients of this year’s Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program grants, which included 25 CICan members.

The CCI program aims to increase innovation at the community and/or regional level by enabling Canadian colleges to increase their capacity to work with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For more information and a complete list of this year’s recipients, click here.

The Minister also took this opportunity to present CICan’s Outstanding Partner Award to Paul Charette, Chair of the Board of Directors of Bird Construction.

Formerly President and CEO of Bird Construction, Charette has long recognized the importance of producing graduates who are equipped to meet current industry needs, tirelessly supporting and championing college and institute education. He was also instrumental in forming CICan’s Industry-College Coalition, whose mandate is to enhance collaboration between colleges and industry to address ongoing skill challenges. Congratulations Paul!

Ms Amyot also took the opportunity to announce the launch of CICan’s Salt-Free Canada Project, which encourages members offering culinary, nutrition and dietitian programs to contribute to a cross-Canada Salt-Free Recipe Book! More information below.

The breakfast also gave attendees the opportunity to listen to Keynote Speaker, CBCDragon on Next Gen Den, Investor, and Business Expert Michael Hyatt, who delivered a thought provoking keynote on the future of technology and success.


Closing Gala

sadoThe Conference’s Closing Gala was a spectacular event with entertainment provided by DRUM!, a musical group featuring performers from Canada’s Aboriginal, Black, Celtic, and Acadian communities. What a great show!

During the event, Algonquin College President, Cheryl Jensen presented CICan’s Presidents’ Leadership Network Distinguished Service Award to George Brown College President Anne Sado, who was recognized not only for her remarkable tenure at George Brown College, but also for her outstanding contribution to the college and institute sector as a whole.

President of George Brown College since 2004, Sado is an exceptional leader with a track record of transformational results and commitment to her community, including doubling the college’s enrolment, and significantly increasing its physical footprint. She is also a tireless advocate for work-integrated learning and a strong champion for colleges and institutes’ employment-focused approach to post-secondary education. Congratulations Anne!

The Gala was also an opportunity to announce this year’s winners of CICan’s Art Showcase. Ms Amyot awarded five prizes of $300 each to students from colleges and institutes across the country. For a full list of winners, click 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; our Corporate Alliance Sponsors: Cisco, Emsi, Mark’s Commercial and TD Insurance; as well as Stream Sponsors Nelson, LinkedIn, and Pearson; the exclusive sponsor of CICan’s Reception on the Hill, Morneau Shepell; event sponsors Freeman Audiovisual, and Akran Marketing; and CICan’s exceptional team supporting the conference.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year at Conference 2018 in Victoria, BC, hosted by Camosun College: NA’TSA’MAHT – Working together as one!

For photos from Conference 2017, click here.


Member News

CICan launches Salt-Free Canada project

In keeping with the entrepreneurial and innovative activities of CICan members, the association was pleased to announce the launch of the Salt-Free Canada Project – an exciting opportunity will involve colleges and institutes from across the country – during its annual conference!

CICan is inviting members that offer culinary, nutrition and dietitian programs to join a cross-Canada Salt-Free Challenge – the creation of a Salt-Free Recipe Book.

The recipe book initiative builds on the Salt-Free Awareness Pilot Project founded in 2012 by Patricia Treusch – a strong advocate for creating awareness about the need for no-salt choices in public food service – in collaboration with Algonquin College’s Culinary Program. Treusch had students create recipes proving that meals without salt can be both creative and flavorful!

Who better to participate in this challenge than the future professionals of food preparation. Thank you to Algonquin College, Lakeland College, Cégep Limoilou, Niagara College, St Clair College, Vancouver Community College, Loyalist College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and CCNB who are already participating!

This exciting opportunity to showcase Canada’s future chefs is sure to make a difference in the health of all Canadians. Let’s do it together! More information on how to participate will follow in mid-May.

CICan launches fundmy150

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CICan recently launched the next step of celebrations for Canada 150: a new crowdfunding platform called fundmy150!

With fundmy150, students will be able to raise modest resources they need to grow their projects and get new ideas off the ground through crowdfunding – like an arts and crafts program that needs a bit of money for supplies, or a student-designed adult coloring book with printing costs.

This is a chance to support creative student ideas while giving back to the community. Spread the word on campus, in clubs, at the gym, between classes, through student associations – anywhere and everywhere – about this exciting opportunity! We have a poster for you and other resources available in our media kit.

We are so excited for the next stage of our Canada 150 celebrations – don’t miss out on your chance to get involved!

Five prizes awarded in CICan’s 2017 Art Showcase

The results are in for this year’s CICan Art Showcase! Over the past few months, Colleges and Institutes Canada invited members and students to submit original pieces of artwork for consideration in our 2017 Art Showcase.

Over 120 students submitted drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, and textile creations – the most we have ever had!

This year’s showcase awarded five top prizes in various categories.

Congratulations to:

  • Danielle Boer from Niagara College for Feeding the Needy in the Digital Illustration & Animation category,
  • Leah Probst from Fanshawe College for Embrace in the Drawing category,
  • Rachel Sylvia Meissner from Niagara College for Lake Michigan in the Painting category,
  • Lisa Clements from Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture for Bean the Sheep in the Photography category, and
  • Shinaid McGillivray from New Brunswick College of Craft and Design for Enchanted Mushroom Teapot Set in the Sculpture, Textile, & Mixed Media category.

The winner in each category will receive a cash prize of $300 and have their work displayed on the walls of CICan’s office in Ottawa. The three finalists in each category will also be displayed on our website.

We are grateful to our members and their students for all submissions, which help to bring out the spirit of our members in our office and inspire us daily.

Click here to view the winning artwork.

Contribute an innovation story!

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Governor General of Canada David Johnston, and Tom Jenkins, Chair and former CEO of OpenText and Chair of the National Research Council, recently launched Ingenious, a book celebrating hundreds of Canadian innovations that have made the world a smarter, smaller, kinder, safer, healthier, wealthier, and happier place. Now, the stories from Ingenious are serving as the launching point for a new crowdsourced digital storybook through Innovation150!

This versatile online platform is looking for Canadians to contribute, share, and explore stories of innovation that have influenced the shaping of Canada and the world. Colleges and institutes are key players in this innovation ecosystem – don’t miss this chance to share your stories! You can also share your stories in CICan’s Canada 150 Anthology!

For more information and to submit, click here.

CICan announces launch of national study on Program Advisory Committees (PACs)

CICan is pleased to announce the launch of a national study on Program Advisory Committees (PACs), a structured collaboration between colleges and institutes and employers that ensures the education and training provided by colleges and institutes respond to the current and emerging needs of the labour market and of communities.

The study provides an outline of the purpose, governance, structure, and functioning of PACs, as well as key insights into their success, and benefits that PACs’ ongoing efforts offer students, faculty, and the institutions themselves.

The study was made possible through financial support and strategic guidance from the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). The study was conducted by Knowledge in Power Consulting Inc.

To view to study, click here.


Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Nova Scotia Community College recently launched a Difference Dollars for Service Learning funding program, which encourages students to use the skills they’ve gained on campus to inspire social and economic development across the province? More than 25 projects were awarded funding totalling $50,000 through the program! For a complete list of supported projects, click here.


Vancouver Island University was pleased to welcome a new Executive Director of Human Resources. Dan VanderSluis will join the university after a lengthy career with the British Columbia provincial government.


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.