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September 19, 2016

We expect to see more state-of-the-art facilities like Nova Scotia Community College’s Centre for the Built Environment (pictured) with these exciting infrastructure announcements.

Creating a more innovative Canada via the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund!

Over the summer, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) welcomed the Government of Canada’s early announcements regarding the allocation of funding through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) – a Fund outlined in the Liberal government’s first Budget, released in March 2016, that provides up to $2 billion over the next three years to support infrastructure projects at post-secondary institutions and affiliated research and commercialization organizations.

The conversation surrounding infrastructure enhancement and modernization needs at colleges and institutes is one in which CICan has been actively involved, having released the results of our latest member Survey of Institutional Capacity, Facilities and Equipment Needs in February 2016. The survey revealed that, in 2015, the average age of college buildings was between 41 and 50 years old, with maintenance projects totaling an estimate $1.6 billion for 800 fully planned projects, as well as up to 200 new construction projects, valued at $6 billion, waiting on funding.

Without the required funding, colleges reported being at or near enrollment capacity in high-demand programs such as nursing, engineering technologies, carpentry, plumbing and welding. Given the central role colleges and institutes play in communities across the country, infrastructure investments will generate an immediate economic boost for communities in the short term in addition to the long-term benefits to students and employers.

It’s with this data that CICan advocated for the creation of a dedicated fund, and we now welcome the announcement of investments all across Canada, with more still to come. The federal announcements concerning CICan members that we have seen so far are:

  • $14.57 million in funding for Northern Lights College towards the construction of a new training centre for the college’s skilled trades programs, which will replace the WWII-era structure currently in use;
  • $9.25 million in federal funding for College of the North Atlantic to support a modern facility for Heavy Equipment Industrial Trades programs;
  • An investment of $24 million at Seneca College to support the college’s Centre for Innovation Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) which helps grow the innovation capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the northern Toronto and York regions;
  • $21.68 million in funding for Humber College toward both a project at the college’s Centre for Technology and Innovation, and toward the implementation of Humber’s Integrated College Energy Master Plan;
  • $7.17 million in funding for campus facilities in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia – including the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) – to create an ocean innovation centre to bring together researchers, industry and post-secondary institutions;
  • Federal funding of $7.22 million toward the construction of a new trade education facility at NBCC Saint John campus;
  • $13 million in funding toward the construction of a new Centre for Collaborative Education at Durham College to replace the college’s aging Simcoe building;
  • A $6.9-million investment in NSCC’s Pictou Campus toward the construction of a Trades Innovation Centre;
  • Funding of $5 million toward the renewal of Collège Boréal’s campuses in Greater Sudbury and Windsor;
  • As well as $880,000 to Gabriel Dumont Institute for the expansion of the institute’s facility in La Loche, $117,500 to Carlton Trail College for the renovation of the college’s Punnichy facility, and $100,000 to Parkland College to have new systems installed at the college’s emergency services training facility.

With so many exciting projects planned by our members, CICan is thrilled by the more than $90 million in federal funding already allocated to colleges and institutes, and is eagerly awaiting more announcements over the coming months!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates as the Government of Canada announces more investments throughout the fall.

Call for Proposals: CICan is accepting submissions for its next Student Showcase


To follow the success of the Student Showcase at its most recent Applied Research Symposium in March 2016, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is organizing a larger Student Showcase, with a more interactive format, in the context of its upcoming Applied Research, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum.

The showcase, hosted by Seneca College on November 7, 2016, will highlight the impact of applied research, entrepreneurship and innovation experience on college and institute students.

Students will have the opportunity to explain how participating in an applied research project has equipped them with the skills they need as they set out in their careers while young entrepreneurs will be able to present their business and explain how the services provided by a college or institute supported their enterprise.

Participants will benefit from the opportunity to present their research project or business idea to a crowd of more than 100 people, and interact with forum attendees for community, government and private sectors. The showcase will also include a pitch competition for six (6) of the participants.

Applications must be made through a CICan member college or institute applied research office.

More information regarding the Student Showcase and guidelines for proposal submissions is available here. All proposals must be submitted by October 7, 2016.

We are all looking forward to learning more about the innovative and entrepreneurial initiatives taken by college and institute students!

CICan visits members to discuss international opportunities

Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) VP of International Partnerships, Paul Brennan, was pleased to have the opportunity, over the past few weeks, to visit three member institutions in Eastern Canada: the Cégep de St-Félicien, the Cégep de Chicoutimi, and New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) to lead sessions on international perspectives for Canadian colleges and institutes, and to discuss international possibilities through CICan.

Presenting to the college Boards, Senior Leadership and faculty, Brennan underlined the advantage of international opportunities for students, as every discipline that our member institutions teach is affected by both international challenges and opportunities in technology, health, the environment and business.

Lively discussions were also held on regional topics such as perspectives on international recruitment within Quebec, and establishing international priorities within the context of budget cuts.

Visits like these not only allows members to strategically plan their international activities, but also to ensure that, in conjunction with CICan’s international programs, such as Education for Employment – our international efforts are a benefit to all learners.

CICan members can help shape the future of standards development


CSA Group (Canadian Standards Association) is interested in hearing from colleges and institutes on strategies for standards development.

Accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), CSA Group works to develop standards in sustainability, safety, business and education. As institutions who work daily with these resources, input from colleges and institutes can be invaluable.

CSA Group has developed a survey to better assess how standards are accessed and used by colleges and institutes. If your institution use standards in curricula, teaches students about the importance of standards in their future careers, or helps make standards available to students, CSA Group would like to hear from you!

By completing the survey, colleges and institutes can provide their input on how to improve available resources and develop new ways of accessing standards to meet the needs of tomorrow.

For more information and to complete the survey click here. Survey respondents will be entered for a chance to win a $25 Starbucks gift card!

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that the Sustainable Smart House at Lambton College’s Lambton Energy Research Centre is net zero – meaning that all the energy the house uses is generated from inside? As well as generating solar, wind, geothermal energy, it also uses a unique process to convert excess energy into hydrogen, which can be stored and used to power other systems – like a “hydrogen tricycle.” Read more here.


Both St. Lawrence College and New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) were pleased to welcome new Chairs of their Boards of Governors. Michael Adamcyrk will chair St. Lawrence College’s Board of Governors, after having been a member of the board since 2012; while Susan Murchison will serve as Chair of the Board of Governors at NBCC. Murchison has served on NBCC’s board since 2011.

Gord Graham has been appointed Vice President, Academics & Students Services at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), after previously having held the position of Senior Vice President & COO of DMC Mining Services.


Canada’s 150th Anniversary! 

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

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.