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November 28, 2016

An artist’s rendering of a hangar to be built as part of Centennial College’s Downsview Park Aerospace Campus project.

CICan members help grow aerospace industry

Colleges and institutes across the country are key players in the aerospace industry, partnering with airports, aircraft manufacturers and engineers to develop state-of-the-art facilities and technologies. In recognition of this strength, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) was proud to respond to federal consultations on this topic and to see both provincial and federal governments invest in growing this capacity with a recent announcement at Centennial College.

Federal Minister of Science, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan; Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynne; and Centennial College President, Ann Buller, were among those present Monday, November 21, 2016 as Centennial College officially broke ground on its new state-of-the-art Aerospace Campus at Downsview Park in North York, Toronto.

The $72-million project will include the historic de Havilland building – where 1,000 two-engine Mosquito bombers were built during WWII – and house three aerospace and aviation-related programs with an expected 900 students, allowing the college to strengthen ties with industry partners such as Bombardier. Ontario has committed $25.8 million to the project, while Ottawa is investing $18.4 million through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF).

The announcement of federal and provincial support for Centennial College’s aerospace program is timely given CICan’s submission to the Canadian Space Agency’s consultations on Space Research and the Innovation Agenda, which provided recommendations on how to best use the extensive network of colleges and institutes to advance Canada’s space research. The recommendations include capitalizing on and enhancing applied research strengths, the 763 specialized research centres and laboratories, 30 technology access centres (TACs), 49 college centres for the transfer of technology (CCTTs), and the strong business and industry partnerships at colleges and institutes across the country. For a full list of recommendations, view the complete submission here.

The Centennial College Downsview Park Aerospace Campus will join other facilities and programs at colleges and institutes across the country that have helped solidify, and will continue to grow, Canada’s expertise in the aerospace sector. Other centres of expertise include:

  • The École nationale d’aérotechnique, a campus at the Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, and one of the leading aerospace centres in North America. Through its expertise, the school offers three training programs in aerospace maintenance and technology. The campus is also home to the Centre technologique en aérospatiale, a technology transfer centre that realizes more than 200 projects annually in the aerospace industry.
  • College of the North Atlantic’s Gander, NL, campus, positioned itself as a North American leader in aviation training through federal investment and the international certification of its Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Technician (AMET) program in 2011. Through an international training partnership with Lufthansa Technical Training in Frankfurt, Germany, CNA graduates can obtain professional certifications from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as well as Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
  • Okanagan College has an ever-growing fleet of aircrafts that permits students to train with state-of-the-art equipment and learn the skills needed for in-demand occupations within the aviation industry. After expanding its Aerospace program in 2011, the college offers multiple Aircraft Maintenance Engineering apprenticeship programs in partnership with Northern Lights College, as well as a two-year Commercial Aviation diploma program, offered in conjunction with Okanagan College’s School of Business and the Kelowna Airport.
  • Confederation College’s Aviation Centre of Excellence (ACE), located at the Thunder Bay International Airport, has helped to meet the growing demand for qualified aviation professionals across the country and worldwide since 2003. The facility is comprised of two large hangars, classrooms, shops and labs, and is home to three full-time aviation programs in aerospace manufacturing, aircraft maintenance, and aviation management. Check out this video for more information.
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology’s (BCIT) state-of-the-art Aerospace Technology Campus offers five aviation and aerospace-related programs, taking advantage of the institute’s 40,000 sq. ft. hangar housing a variety of aircraft, including light and medium helicopters; and experienced professors who are also active industry professionals.
  • And Red River College’s (RRC) Centre for Aerospace Technology & Training (CATT), which operates through a successful partnership between RRC and StandardAero, is home to a variety of leading-edge laser and welding equipment specifically designed to address challenges that exist within the aerospace manufacturing sector.

These are just a few examples of the state-of-the-art facilities, innovation centres, and training partnerships that position colleges and institutes uniquely to respond to changes in the rapidly developing aerospace industry, making Canada an international leader.

Member News

Nunavut Arctic College launches highly-anticipated law program through partnership with the University of Saskatchewan

Vancouver Community College (VCC) partners with BMW Group Canada to train high-level automotive collision and refinishing technicians

Canada and Ontario invest $44.2 million in Centennial College toward the creation of a new aerospace hub at the college’s Downsview Park campus

Minister announces more than $4.3 million in funding for College of the North Atlantic’s Centre for Energy and Thermal Systems

Northwest Community College signs one-of-a-kind triple transfer agreement with Monash University in Australia

Canadore College partners with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) to allow increased access to transfer programs for international students

Fleming College’s School of Environmental and Natural Resources Sciences launches unique new Sustainable Waste Management program

Confederation College expands partnership with Fort William First Nation to create new opportunities for Indigenous learners

Northern Lights College renews articulation agreement with Northern Opportunities

Algonquin College and Cambrian College partner on innovative program to enhance Indigenous student recruitment, retention and success

Cambrian College becomes the first college in Ontario to partner with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR)

Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) explores further opportunities with Canadian colleges through visit to Holland College

La Cité lance un exercice d’apprentissage expérientiel interprofessionenel, son Exercice de simulation de désastre d’envergure 2016

Deux étudiantes en soins infirmiers du Collège Vanier remporte la 1ère place au 6th Annual Shanghai International Nursing Skills Contest (SINSC)

Des étudiantes en Soins infirmiers au Cégep de Sherbrooke remporte la 3e place du Concours international de soins infirmiers à Shanghaï

Onze étudiants du Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles participent au Forum international Science et société

Le Bureau international du Cégep de Sainte-Foy signe une première entente en Asie avec l’Université d’Hanoï au Vietnam

Getting ready for Conference 2017!


Registration for CICan’s Conference 2017 is open! The conference will run from April 30 – May 2, 2017 in Ottawa with a theme of “Celebration”. Click here to register.

Remember that 2017 will an exciting – and busy – year in the national capital. Hotels will fill up quickly, so accommodations should be booked as soon as possible. For a list of host conference hotels and travel information, please click here.

Looking forward to seeing you in Ottawa!

CICan launches Kenya Education for Employment Program


On November 10, 2016, during an official visit to Kenya, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Stéphane Dion, announced the launch of CICan’s new Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP), an $18.9-million initiative funded by the Government of Canada that will be implemented in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Education.

The Program will provide increased economic opportunities for graduates from technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions in Kenya through government, institution, and industry collaboration, and learning that is relevant to local skills demand. The KEFEP program will focus on agriculture and energy in order to provide employment and self-employment opportunities for youth while supporting greater gender equality, green economic growth and poverty reduction.

Specific programs have yet to be identified, but calls for proposals are expected to launch in mid-February 2017.

Off to a strong start, representatives from KEFEP, with CICan’s Improving Skill Training for Employment Program (ISTEP), attended the 2016 Getenergy Vocational and Technical Education Conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from November 22-23, 2016 – an event focused on advancing partnerships and best practices for skills development initiatives among government ministries, development partners, and major companies in the oil and gas sector.

Both ISTEP and KEFEP representatives participated in a well-attended panel on skills development opportunities, while the conference also provided a high-profile opportunity to showcase CICan’s impact on skills development in East Africa, facilitated interaction with numerous potential project partners, and solidified Canada’s role as the leading source of expertise for international TVET programs.

Ground-breaking Social Finance project moves forward with investors


The Government of Canada, private investors, and colleges and institutes have achieved an important milestone in their commitment to social financing for public good. With capital raised from three investors – Conexus Credit Union, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, and Dave and Pamela Richardson and Family, the Essential Skills Social Finance (ESSF) project is now moving forward with the delivery of essential-skills training to improve the skills levels of unemployed adult Canadians.

As the project intermediary, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is leveraging the principles of social finance through social impact bonds (SIB) to raise upfront capital from private investors who are looking to support societal good while receiving a financial return.

Essential skills are needed for both work and continuous learning, helping people evolve with their jobs and adapt to changes in the workplace. Improvements in literacy, numeracy and computer use for Canadians with low essential skills can create better employment outcomes, accelerate inclusive growth, and diminish social and economic disparities.

Four CICan members will serve as college service delivery providers for the project: Douglas College in British Columbia, Confederation College in Ontario, Collège Lionel-Groulx in Quebec and Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Saskatchewan.

Through this pilot project, the Government of Canada is testing whether a pay-for-performance model utilizing social impact bonds is an effective way to increase the essential-skills levels of unemployed or displaced Canadians currently seeking work, or additional education or training. For more information, click here.

The Rick Hansen Foundation launches Access4All Canada 150 Signature Initiative


Did you know that one of the biggest barriers that people with disabilities still face is the built environment – essentially all the places where people live, work and play? And for the 3.8 million Canadian adults (and counting) who are living with a disability, these barriers prevent them from being a part of their communities and participating fully in life.

To help break down these barriers, the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF), with support from the Government of Canada, is inspiring and empowering Canadians across the country to create a more accessible and inclusive Canada with its Access4All Canada 150 Signature Initiative.

Through this initiative, RHF will grant up to $30,000 to post-secondary institutions, schools and community groups across the country to help them undertake “Barrier Buster” projects in their communities to remove physical barriers and improve accessibility. CICan members have long been leaders in making facilities accessible to all staff and students, and may be eligible for grants through the RHF initiative.

Access4All will improve accessibility and inclusion from coast to coast, and create real and lasting impact for Canadians with disabilities.

To learn more about the Access4All Program and to apply for a grant, click here.

CICan members host Chinese college and institute delegation


From October 30 to November 18, a group of 18 Chinese college and institute Presidents and Vice-Presidents visited Canada as part of the PathPro Program Development Training.

PathPro Program is a comprehensive platform aiming to promote cooperation between Chinese higher vocational colleges, and institutes of higher applied learning in other countries.  It encourages Chinese institutions to fund a range of activities with Canadian partner colleges and institutes.

The delegation was hosted by four CICan member institutions: Centennial College, Humber College, Capilano University and Douglas College, where they learned from the expertise and international experience of the Canadian institutions. The delegation also had a chance to meet a dozen of CICan member institutions in the context of seeking potential partnerships and cooperation in but not limited to jointly-run programs, degree top-up, curriculum development, faculty training, and student exchanges.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that photography students at Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) can get a new understanding of a very old camera design with associate professor Mitch Kern’s “camera obscura”? The giant mobile pinhole camera allows students to experience how a camera works from the inside. Cool! Click here to read more in Maclean’s magazine’s Bright Ideas series.


The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has named James Rout as the institute’s new Associate Vice-President, Education Support and Innovation. Rout began his new role on November 14, 2016 after having served as the institute’s director of Library Services since April 2016.


Canada’s 150th Anniversary! 

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

CSA Group Survey

CICan members can still contribute to the development of standards. Click here to complete the CSA Group survey.

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.