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May 7, 2018

Na’tsa’maht: Colleges and institutes come together at CICan’s 2018 Conference!

Last week, leaders and educators from across the country gathered in Victoria, BC for three days of panels, workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities during Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Annual Conference! With the theme Na’tsa’maht, a word used in the Lekwungen, SENĆOŦEN, and Hul’qumi’num languages which loosely translates as “We Are All One,” Conference 2018 provided a meeting place where college and institute representatives and their industry partners gathered to discuss and share insights on the future of education delivery, community building, innovation, leading change and much more.

We were so happy to welcome more than 950 conference participants this year – including 100 international delegates from 15 countries – taking part in 70 panels and workshops over the three-day event! 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:

Opening Reception

Following the Pre-Conference Forum for Colleges and Institutes Serving Rural, Remote, and Northern Communities, and various networking sessions, Conference 2018 kicked off with a message from Parliamentary Secretary for Science Kate Young, who joined us to formally announce a new pilot project for student internships through Mitacs! Then we received an official welcome from Victoria-region federal and municipal-level politicians: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, and Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

Given this year’s Indigenous focus, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to hear from Chief Dr Robert Joseph, who opened the event on Sunday evening. Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation and Ambassador of Reconciliation Canada, Chief Joseph shared a powerful message of his experience in residential schools, and insights into the steps we can all take to work towards Reconciliation. An opening reception at the Royal BC Museum followed Chief Joseph’s keynote address.

Conference Streams

This year’s conference was organized into five streams, each with sessions that reflected an Indigenous perspective.

In the Student Experience stream, topics ranged from building green and inclusive campuses to creating pathways and reducing barriers for students; while in Leadership and Governance, participants discussed topics such as global trends in post-secondary education, and leaders from Indigenous institutions shared their strategies for taking action on Reconciliation.

Sessions in the Applied Research, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation stream tackled issues such as removing barriers to student entrepreneurship and social innovation, and strengthening the college and institute learning model through applied research; while International stream participants discussed partnerships in strategic enrolment and creating linguistically and culturally relevant programming.

Finally, topics in the Future of Skills stream included the importance of skills development for the future of Canada’s workforce, leadership through times of change, and strategies in navigating the digital shift. For a full list of presentations, click here.

Between sessions and during networking breaks, participants also had the opportunity to stop by CICan’s Imagine the Future Lab to share their vision for CICan’s future and help shape our new Strategic Plan. Visit the Imagine the Future website for more information on how to get involved.

Awards of Excellence

During this year’s Awards Luncheon on Monday, April 30, CICan was proud to announce the recipients of its 2018 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. 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, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of SheEO Vicki Saunders, who shared SheEO’s unique model for success in empowering female entrepreneurs and challenged conference participants to rethink how we can create environments where people can achieve more than they thought possible.

Business and Industry Breakfast

The Business and Industry Breakfast is an important part of the conference and is representative of 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 two keynotes Mark F Collins, President and CEO of BC Ferries; and Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, Executive Director of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC). Collins spoke to the college and institute partnerships vital to BC Ferries’ operations, and MacDonald-Dewhirst shared insights on how colleges and institutes can continue to play an essential role in innovation and skills development in the agri-food sector.

The session also included Olga Stachova, COO of Mitacs, who took the opportunity to announce details of Mitacs’ new pilot project for student internships – a pilot for which CICan has long advocated in partnership with Polytechnics Canada– and shared an amazing example of Sydney, a Camosun College student intern working with Conair Aerial Firefighting. All in all, it was a thought provoking breakfast!

The breakfast also served as an opportunity to recognize the recipient of CICan’s 2018 Outstanding Partner Award, Namir Anani! Anani, President and CEO of the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), has been actively engaged with colleges and institutes across Canada for many years, and has been an important voice in advocating for increased collaboration between the sector and their industry partners. Congratulations! View the press release here.

Farewell Evening

Tuesday evening was a spectacular affair with dinner, dancing, and entertainment to wrap up one of our largest and most successful conferences !

During the evening, Cambrian College President, Bill Best; Chair of CICan’s Board of Directors, Liane Roy; and CICan President and CEO, Denise Amyot had the pleasure of recognizing one of their colleagues with this year’s Presidents Leadership Network Distinguished Service Award! New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) President and CEO Marilyn Luscombe was recognized for her long and distinguished career in post-secondary education, occupying senior leadership positions at College of the North Atlantic and Selkirk College prior to her arrival at NBCC.

As the first President and CEO of NBCC, Luscombe’s leadership, vision, and passion have brought transformational changes and opportunities to the college, including new programs, increased research capacity, and new community service partnerships. She has also served as both member and Chair of CICan’s Board of Directors and has been involved in many national initiatives over the years including advocacy events and leadership institutes. Congratulations Marilyn – this recognition is well deserved! Read the press release here.

The Gala was also an opportunity to announce this year’s winners of CICan’s Art Showcase. CICan awarded five prizes of $350 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!

A big thank you to our Conference 2018 host, Camosun College, and to North Island College, host of this year’s Pre-Conference Forum.

Thank you to all attendees and exhibitors; CICan’s Board of Directors; and our Corporate Alliance PartnersBGIS, Cisco, Mark’s Commercial and TD Insurance. A big thank you to the event’s Headline Sponsor, Thoughtexchange; keynote sponsors Intuit and Emsi, as well as our Business and Industry Breakfast sponsor, the Mental Health Commission of Canada; stream sponsors NelsonLinkedIn, Scotiabank, Canarie, and PTE Academic; event sponsors Freeman Audiovisual, and OCAS; and CICan’s exceptional team supporting the conference.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year at Conference 2019 in Niagara Falls, hosted by Niagara College, with the theme Inclusion: A Recipe for Success! Make sure you set aside May 5-7, 2019 in your calendar.

For photos from Conference 2018, click here.

Five prizes awarded in CICan’s 2018 Art Showcase

The results are in for this year’s CICan Art Showcase! Over the past few months, CICan invited members and students to submit original pieces of artwork for consideration in our 2018 Art Showcase.

Over 100 students submitted drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, and textile creations! Congratulations to the five top-prize winners:

  • Vivay Li from Capilano University for Neutral Collectivism in the Digital Illustration and Animation category,
  • Derek Obst from Centennial College for Do You Think They’ll Forgive Me… in the Drawing category,
  • Camille Lamoureux from Cégep Marie-Victorin for 43 rue Bernard Est, Mtl, Qc. in the Painting category,
  • Martha Liliana Prada Rojas from Conestoga College for Together in the Photography category, and
  • Ekaterina Vopiyashina from Alberta College of Art and Design for Self-portrait as a hare (cowardice) in the Printmaking category.

The winner in each category will receive a cash prize of $350 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.

CICan Pacific Alliance EFE Program launches second round of Call for Proposals

The team from CICan’s Pacific Alliance Program (PAP) is pleased to launch a second round of Call for Proposals for institutional partnerships in Colombia and Mexico. Through PAP, Canadian colleges and institutes will have the opportunity to develop and expand their international networks, share Canadian expertise in program development, bring new skills back home in order to internationalize their own curriculum, and improve the professional development of faculty and staff. Round 2 includes partnerships with the following institutions:

  • Colombia – Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) – Centro Minero Regional Boyacá – for Terms of Reference ToR-B.03– Supervision in Mining Work;
  • Colombia – Unidades Tecnologicas de Santander (UTS) – Bucaramanga for ToR-B.04– inEnvironmental Resources Technology;
  • Mexico – Universidad Tecnológica de Campeche (UTCAM) and Conalep Plantel 021 Ciudad del Carmen for ToR-B5– Mechanics and Industrial Electrical Mechanics; and,
  • Mexico – Universidad Tecnológica de la Laguna Durango (UTLD) and ConalepCentro Mexicano Frances 146 for ToR-B.06 – Renewable energies and Alternative Sources of Energy.

The deadline to submit proposals for Round 2 is June 13, 2018.

To download the submission forms and annexes, including Terms of Reference, and Program Implementation Plan (PIP) click here. A webinar video and Q&A session from the first round of Call for Proposals is also available to help interested parties complete their submission forms.

Help your grads succeed! In-demand, unique careers available

Are your soon-to-be graduates looking for engaging career options?

In-demand, unique careers are available for grads that want to travel, have ongoing professional development opportunities, great benefits, four weeks paid vacation to start, and access to free fitness centres on bases.

The Canadian Armed Forces are looking for college and institute graduates from a variety of disciplines including human resources, dental assistant and engineering to fill in-demand jobs like human resources administrator, dental technician, avionics systems technician, weapons engineering technician, and Army communication and information systems specialist.

Unique opportunities are awaiting your grads!

For example, dental technicians can provide dental care abroad in mobile dental clinics or onboard ships, and human resources administrators can sample a variety of work settings such as hospitals, military schools, recruiting offices or Canadian embassies.

Direct your students to apply for these in-demand jobs online or visit a local recruitment office.

Submit a nomination now for Canada's Volunteer Awards

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is pleased to announce that they are now accepting nominations for Canada’s Volunteer Awards! This is a great opportunity to recognize the important work of volunteers and to acknowledge that Canada would not be the same without them.

Awards will be presented in the following categories:

  • One (1) national award for individuals who have volunteered for at least 20 years;
  • Five (5) regional awards for young volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30;
  • Five (5) regional awards for individuals or groups of volunteers;
  • Five (5) regional awards to recognize businesses that demonstrate social responsibility; and,
  • Five (5) regional awards to recognize the contributions of not-for-profit organizations.

Award recipients will be recognized at a ceremony and will be able to choose a not-for-profit organization to receive a grant of $5,000 (regional awards) or $10,000 (national award).

Help highlight Canada’s volunteer culture! For more information and to nominate a volunteer, click here. The call for nominations for Canada’s Volunteer Awards is open until June 15, 2018.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Vanier College has been awarded the Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Education in recognition of the college’s Art In Science Project? The Art In Science project challenges students to creatively portray scientific concepts through the preferred choice of expressing, including visual arts, music, video, and computer simulation. Congratulations! Read more here.


Durham College was pleased to extend Don Lovisa’s contract as President for a third term until March 2021. Lovisa was first appointed to the role in 2008.

Thompson Rivers University was also pleased to announce its next President and Vice-Chancellor. Dr Brett Fairbairn will take on the new role effective December 1, 2018. Fairbairn brings years of experience in academics, strategic leadership, and relationship development to Thompson Rivers University.


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.