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October 30, 2017

Celebrating college and institute alumni excellence!

Colleges and institutes attract highly talented and motivated students from a wide variety of different backgrounds – it’s no wonder that they move on to accomplish such incredible things. Artists, business-owners, musicians, politicians, writers, journalists, TV producers, film directors, and Olympic athletes are all among those who got their start at colleges and institutes.

This month’s category of our Canada 150: A National Anthology project is all about celebrating these successes – you may even recognize a few household names, like Former federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair, a graduate of Vanier College; Indigenous artist Alex Janvier, who studied at the Alberta College of Art + Design; and Sheridan College graduate, and Olympic gold medalist Donovan Bailey!

Take some time to explore, and let this showcase serve not only as inspiration to great achievements, but also as an example of the variety of career pathways that colleges and institutes can offer!

With the emphasis placed on hands-on learning, skills upgrading, international experience, and entrepreneurship, college and institute graduates and alumni go on to and develop and build innovative products. For example, this graduate of Okanagan College’s Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) diploma put the skills he learned to use and went on to build a net-zero home for his family. As part of the product design program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, another graduate watched wildlands firefighters in action, and later developed a Modular Accessory Carrying Harness (MACH), designed to better address the physical demands of the industry, and this former Medicine Hat College student invented a horizontal axis wind turbine to better generate wind energy on residential and commercial buildings. This graduate of Nova Scotia Community College’s Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) became a geomatics business owner and later developed a custom open-source geospatial solution for NASA.

Not only have college and institute alumni contributed to Canada’s innovation ecosystem, many are now successful entrepreneurs – like this New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD) Fashion Design grad who confidently creates beautiful garments inspired by 18th century fashion, and this NBCCD textile alumna who launched a jewellery business and is now selling her designs online. A graduate of Nunavut Arctic College’s Jewellery and Metal Arts program is now making jewellery from copper, silver, bone, and antler for her own line, Inuk Barbie Designs, and one Cégep de Sherbrooke graduate recently released his first album, and another now runs his own construction business. This former BCIT student and tech entrepreneur launched Wikiupedia, an app designed to share and preserve Indigenous history by crowdsourcing stories from across the country.

These are just a few examples of the outstanding college and institute graduates and alumni who are contributing to Canadian excellence in art, science, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Member News

An update from WFCP: Awards of Excellence nominations and Congress calls for proposals

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) is pleased to announced that it is now accepting nominations for its 3rd Awards of Excellence. The Awards recognize excellence in WFCP membership in seven categories – aligned with the Federation’s affinity groups – and will be announced in Melbourne, Australia on the occasion of the 9th Bi-Annual World Congress, from October 8-10, 2018.

The WFCP’s 2018 World Congress will explore how the profession and technical education and training sector can start Preparing for the Skills Future, Now, with sessions, discussions, and key notes reflecting on the impact of automation on work, societies, and peoples who face displacement as economies evolve. The Congress will be preceded by and Executive Leadership Workshop, and an International Youth Camp.

Calls for proposal for the Congress are now open, and registration will begin in December. To submit a proposal, and to learn more about the Congress, click here.

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.

Online learning growing among Canadian post-secondary institutions

On October 17, the results of the Canadian National Survey of Online Learning and Distance Education were released at the International Council for Open and Distance Education’s World Conference on Online Learning in Toronto, showing that online learning is now a core form of delivery of courses and programs in Canadian colleges and universities.

The survey found that almost all Canadian colleges and universities now offer online courses, which now constitutes between 12%-16% of all post-secondary teaching for credit; online-learning options provide students with greater flexibility; and two-thirds of institutions surveyed consider online learning extremely important for their future plans.

The survey was sponsored by eCampus Ontario, Contact North, Campus Manitoba, BC Campus, D2L, and Pearson Canada, and is the first such survey covering all Canadian public post-secondary institutions.

To view the full report, click here. The report is currently available in English, with French expected in November.

Canada announces Veterans’ Education and Training Benefit

As part of Budget 2017, the Government of Canada announced the implementation of a new Veterans’ Education and Training Benefit, which will provide funding towards college, university or technical education for Canadian Armed Forces Regular Force and Reserve Force Veterans with at least six years of military service.

As champions of continuing education, skills upgrading, and entrepreneurial workshops, colleges and institutes are poised to take a lead role in this initiative, and support veterans in achieving their education and post-military employment goals to become more competitive in the workforce.

The Canada Company’s Military Employment Transition (MET) program, developed to assist Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, Reservists, and Veterans transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce, can help position colleges and institutes as go-to institutions for skills upgrading through the Military Training Accreditation Project. Any college or institute seeking additional information should contact Dwayne Cormier, Director of Transition Services, Canada Company at

Working towards truth and reconciliation at CICan’s Indigenous Education Symposium

From October 25-27, CICan was pleased to hold its 2017 Indigenous Education Symposium in Thunder Bay. The event, hosted by Confederation College, brought together over 135 senior leaders, experts and practitioners in Indigenous education from post-secondary institutions across the country to share and explore strategies under the theme of “Advancing Reconciliation and Future Action on the Indigenous Education Protocol”.

Sessions included discussions on different experiences implementing the principles of CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol, and advancing the journey towards truth and reconciliation; and a presentation on pathways for Indigenous student retention and success from John Cook University in Australia.

CICan would like to thank all participants and speakers for attending, and showcasing the college and institute commitment to better serving Indigenous learners and communities, and to taking important steps towards truth and reconciliation. Thank you also to Confederation College for hosting and helping us organize this successful event.

Take part in CICan’s webinar on Women’s empowerment in education

Continuing its 2017-18 webinar series, CICan will be holding a webinar on “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.

Speakers will include Pam Stoneham of Durham College, Karen Craggs-Milne of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), and Leila Faraj of Collège Montmorency.

The webinar will take place on November 1, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. in English; November 8, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. in French.

To register, click here.

For more information on this issue, please see our report on Skills Development as a Mean’s to Women’s Empowerment.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that John Abbott College’s Nunavik Sivunitsavut program (Nunavik: Our Future in Inuktitut) delivers culturally relevant education for the youth of Nunavik? Designed in collaboration with four regional Nunavik organizations the program focuses on community engagement, cultural confidence, academic development and Imminik Illinianiq (Learning about oneself). The program’s first cohort began in August 2017. For more information about the program, click here.


Carlton Trail College, the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT), and College of the Rockies were pleased to announce new presidential appointments. Shelley Romanyszyn-Cross has been appointed President of Carlton Trail College, Ray Karasevich will become MITT’s new President and CEO after holding the interim title since May 2017, and David Walls will extend his terms as President of College of the Rockies until August 2020.

Olds College was pleased to announce a new Vice President, Development. With experience in fundraising at both NAIT and NorQuest College, Patrick Machacek will begin the role effective November 6.

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.