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October 16, 2017

Lambton College‘s incubator, The Cube, is one of the unique spaces dedicated to entrepreneurship at colleges and institutes across the country.

Colleges and institutes celebrate Small Business Week 2017

From October 15-21 the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is celebrating Small Business Week 2017 with a series of events across the country to highlight Canada’s strength in entrepreneurship. Because colleges and institutes play a vital role connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow, CICan is taking this opportunity to showcase their important contributions to Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem!

Colleges and institutes help Canadian business be more productive, competitive, and innovative every day. Did you know that in 2015-2016, there were over 6,300 research partnerships between colleges and institutes and private-sector firms – and that 85% of those were small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises? Through these partnerships, entrepreneurs can access valuable innovation labs, specialized applied-research centres, and other resources across the country to grow their ideas into fully-fledged businesses.

Sault College’s new Institute of Environment, Education, and Entrepreneurship (iE3) is an example of the types of centres that make colleges and institutes vitals hubs for innovation and leaders in entrepreneurship. Similarly, Lambton College’s incubator, The Cube, offers workshops that help aspiring entrepreneurs lower the risks associated with launching a new product of business, and the C3 Estrie at the Cégep de Sherbrooke offers a unique experience in which students learn while being completely immersed in an entrepreneurial environment. Red River College also recently announced the construction of a new innovation centre to facilitate a unique approach to teaching that involves greater collaboration with business.

Examples like these are compelling evidence of the critical role our members play in Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem – which is why CICan recommended the federal government increase funding for applied research and innovation at colleges and institutes in our 2018 pre-Budget submission – to expand the possibilities for all entrepreneurs! View the full submission here.

Colleges and institutes also run a number of unique programs, initiatives, and community projects that not only seek to build an entrepreneurial spirit in their students and communities, but also provide the training and knowledge needed to turn ideas into successful businesses.

For example, Nova Scotia Community College offers free entrepreneurial resources, including workshops, presentations, business consulting, and community connections. Collège Boréal, also, recently hosted its third annual entrepreneurship contest La prochaine innovation, c’est la mienne! (The Next Big Innovation is Mine), in which students pitch their own business concepts and prototypes. Lethbridge College, last fall, invited community members to campus for a series of free business start-up workshops and entrepreneurship discovery programs; and, Selkirk College’s SME Applied Research & Technology Solutions (SMARTS) program encourages collaboration with local small businesses to support the development of technology to increase day-to-day productivity.

With such a range of resources available to spur entrepreneurship, it’s no wonder that colleges and institutes attract and train highly-motivated women and men, many of whom have gone on to start their own innovative businesses filling market niches. One former BCIT Interior Design student launched a company that paves commercial and residential surfaces with recycled tire rubber. Two students from Okanagan College also launched a business to provide acoustic treatments and analysis for commercial spaces.

Visit this month’s Canada 150 celebration page to read more about the amazing entrepreneurship stories coming out of Canada’s colleges and institutes, and help us celebrate Small Business Week!

CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol takes steps towards truth and reconciliation

As Canada continues on the path towards truth and reconciliation, CICan is pleased to see its Indigenous Education Protocol playing a supportive role. In June, BCIT became the protocol’s 50th signatory – a milestone we celebrated on National Aboriginal Day. Three more CICan members became signatories in the following months, bringing the grand total to 53. Congratulations Vanier College, St Lawrence College, and Keyano College!

Launched in December 2014, CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol provides a vision for how colleges and institutes can strive to improve their practices and better serve Indigenous peoples. It is based on seven principles that underscore the importance of structures and approaches to address Indigenous peoples’ learning needs and support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities. They include ensuring that governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples, reviewing curriculums to include Indigenous intellectual and cultural traditions and supporting students and employees to increase understanding and reciprocity.

CICan’s 2017 Indigenous Education Symposium, co-hosted by Confederation College is taking place on October 25-17 in Thunder Bay. It will build on the protocol and the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015), to highlight the role of post-secondary education institutions in achieving reconciliation. The Symposium is divided into six streams under the theme of “Advancing Reconciliation and Future Action on the Indigenous Education Protocol,” and will bring together over 100 senior leaders, experts and practitioners in Indigenous education from post-secondary institutions across the country. We hope to see you there!

For more information and to register, click here.

CCSIF program renewed under CCI

The Government of Canada is excited to renew the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) Grants – a project designed to foster social innovation by connecting the talent, facilities, and capabilities of Canada’s colleges and institutes with the research needs of local community organization – for 2017-18 with an additional $10 million over two years.

New this year, however, the program will be administered under the College and Community Innovation (CCI) program, managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Colleges and institutes are encouraged to submit an application using NSERC’s online application system. The deadline for submitting application is December 1, 2017. To apply, click here.

For those interested in learning more about the CCSIF program, NSERC will be hosting Webinars throughout the month of October. For details and to register, click here.

CICan launches new webinar on gender equality in education

Continuing its 2017-18 webinar series, CICan is pleased to announce the upcoming webinar “Women’s empowerment, gender equality, and the role of applied education and skill training.”

Following Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy, this webinar will discuss how Canada’s colleges and institutes can better align their programs to meet a more ambitious agenda in areas like improving access to education for women and girls, increasing women’s economic autonomy, eliminating systemic barriers to decent employment, stimulating women’s entrepreneurship, and promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights in education institutions and workplaces. This webinar will feature a mix of presentations and participant discussion, and will seek not just to inform but to build knowledge about emerging practices and approaches to this issue in international cooperation.

The webinar will take place on November 1, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. in English; November 8, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. in French.

Don’t miss: “Help your grads access valuable career opportunities” webinar, on October 18, will explain how CICan’s Career-Launcher Internships offer grads paid internships in clean technologies and natural resources, and how your institutions, grads, and local employers can benefit from this wage subsidy internship program.

To register for webinars, click here.

While there is no cost for the webinars, participants are requested to register as these webinars are exclusive to CICan members. Participants will be sent a link to the webinar prior to the scheduled time and date.

Submit your presentations for CICan’s 2018 Conference

Colleges and institutes across Canada will be gathering April 29 – May 1, 2018 in Victoria, BC, at the CICan “Na’Tsa’Maht” Conference!

This year’s conference will be divided into five thematic streams: Leadership and Governance; Student Experience; Applied Research, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation; International; and the Future of Skills.

Please use this link to submit your presentations. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 17, 2017.

For further information, please contact Gail Mulhall, Manager, Member Relations, at or (613) 746-2222 ext. 3115.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that the Cégep de Jonquière, in partnership with Desjardins du Saguenay, recently launched a program called My finances, my choices (Mes finances, mes choix)? The financial education program is aimed at young people and students to inform them rights and responsibilities when it comes to personal finance, and help them make good choices as consumers. Cool! For more information, click here.


College of the Rockies was pleased to renew David Walls’s presidency for second term. Joining the college as its seventh President in August 2013, Walls will continue to serve until August 2020. The college was also pleased to announce the election of Jesse Nicholas as Board Chair, and Cindy Yates as Vice-Chair. Both Nicholas and Yates have served on the College Board since 2014.

The Cégep Limoilou Foundation welcomed a new Guylaine Martin as the foundation’s new Director, effective September 25, 2017.

Red Deer College was pleased to announce the appointment of Shelley Ralston as the college’s new Vice President Corporate. Ralston has an extensive background in corporate leadership.


Canada’s 150th Anniversary! 

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

A new crowdfunding platform 

Crowdfunding options are available for students looking to launch creative ideas to give back to their communities through fundmy150. Read more here.

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.