Campus Life  

CANsave encourages local elementary students to give back

Okanagan College Media Release

Students in Grades 1-3 from Shannon Lake Elementary learned an important lesson in giving last week when they donated more than $2,000 to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation as part of their participation in Enactus Okanagan College’s CANsave program. CANsave April 2017

Five classes from Shannon Lake took part in CANsave, which is a financial literacy program developed by Okanagan College students to teach primary students the importance of saving for themselves, saving for their future and saving to help others in need. 

The Enactus team partnered with Valley First, a Division of First West Credit Union, to help further the students’ understanding of how saving can help others. Valley First’s sponsorship of the CANsave program allowed the students to have a larger impact on the charity of their choice, in this case the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. In addition to the $2,000 the students were able to give thanks to Valley First’s support, they also contributed more than $225 of their own money to support the foundation.

“Valley First is very proud to partner with Enactus Okanagan College to deliver financial literacy programming to over 100 classrooms and 2,500 students in the Okanagan in this school year,” says Marion Henselwood, branch manager at Valley First’s Vintage Hills branch. “It’s a testament to the high demand for financial literacy programs and the important role financial education plays in setting our youth up for success.”

In total, $30,000 will be donated to local charities through the CANsave program, with over half of that money already given to a wide range of local initiatives.

“We are so grateful to the students who chose to support the hospital through their CANsave fundraising,” says Chandel Christie, Annual Programs Officer at the KGH Foundation. “The students speak so maturely about money after participating in this program and it’s so inspiring to see how excited they are to donate the funds to help sick kids get better.”

CANsave has grown since its inception a year ago, and is now being used by teachers in every single province and territory in Canada, impacting almost 100 distinct communities. In the Okanagan, more than 2,500 students have completed CANsave this year, while that number exceeds 6,200 students nationally.

“The growth of CANsave has been an inspiring experience to be a part of,” says Cody Troutman, Enactus Okanagan College founding member of CANsave. “Our community partnerships have helped us grow the program beyond our expectations for the first year.”



Applied research RIPE with opportunity in the Okanagan

Okanagan College Media Release

Luke and Noah April 2017 RIPEA visionary Okanagan developer, a 17-year-old carpentry student and an electrical trades instructor/emerging researcher are sharing in the excitement of an applied research project’s outcomes at Okanagan College. Their project is one of many cutting-edge College-industry partnerships that will be spotlighted at an applied research Expo at OC next month.

RIPE (Research, Innovation and Partnerships Expo) is happening on May 9 at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus. The free event is an opportunity for employers, researchers and students alike to learn about how applied research is growing new partnerships and enriching the educational experience for students at the College.

David Chalk, a cyber security and innovation expert, will be giving a keynote speech that day titled “Innovation is Nothing New.” More information about the event is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/RIPEregister. In addition to Chalk, attendees will have a chance to speak with trailblazers like Andrew Gaucher, Lukas Skulmoski and Noah Dorsey.

Gaucher, president of GGroup and Catalyst Land Development and current president of the Okanagan’s chapter of the Urban Development Institute, approached the College about a year ago with an idea for a research project that would focus on a plug-and-play infrastructure system to make live, safe, connections between components of a housing system. Gaucher’s goal is to develop a system of modules that can be assembled - and disassembled – as a family’s housing needs grow, shrink or change. One of the challenges was to find ways to build safe utility connections between pre-wired modules that wouldn’t involve having to alter electrical panels, bringing in electricians or tearing walls or structures apart.

“To bring this idea of modularity to reality we need to think about making it easy for families to add another module to their home or take it away as things change,” says Gaucher. “Safe, reliable, dependable and easy connections are vital. And while you’d think there were already-developed systems that meet that criteria, I wasn’t able to come up with any. The idea is to move away from hardwiring all connections to the grid.”

Enter Lukas Skulmoski, an Okanagan College trades instructor and licensed electrician who discovered his research talents while completing his Master’s degree, and is now honing them while working on his Doctorate. With support from Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), through its community engagement grants, Skulmoski and Gaucher began research and scale prototype development.

Their initial work opened the door to student involvement. Noah Dorsey, a Grade 12 student at George Elliot Secondary in Lake Country who is taking the carpentry pre-apprenticeship program at the College for dual credit, brought his skills to the table next.

“I was amazed that this opportunity to engage in applied research opened up for me,” says Dorsey. “Our carpentry instructor explained there was an opportunity to engage in this, and I volunteered.”

Dorsey built scale-size mock-ups to house the components so Gaucher and others can explore how the technology could be applied to real-world construction.

And Dorsey wasn’t the only trades student involved in the applied research project. Before Dorsey came onboard another student – Nicole Thompson - was also involved. She is an apprentice electrician who also has two Bachelor’s degrees. She helped Skulmoski research whether there were existing plug-in systems that might make the grade. They looked at modular housing systems from around the world, looked to the cruise-ship industry where cabins are put together in modules, but to no avail. The systems weren’t appropriate, would not meet Canadian Code requirements, or would require electrical professionals to connect.

Skulmoski’s research eventually led him full circle to a system used in Canadian heavy industry that meets the parameters for Gaucher’s ideas: safe, simple, usable by a homeowner, Code compliant, able to be connected and disconnected while the system is live, and weather resistant. It is a system used in some industrial systems, shorepower connections for large vessels and emergency equipment.

The team’s innovation solution has important features that prevent an arc flash that could prove fatal in instances where voltage and amperage are high enough. Now, with the electrical problems addressed, Gaucher is figuring out other construction and development issues.

“I really appreciate and value the support of the College, Luke, and Noah, and the federal government,” says Gaucher. “The opportunity to innovate and create or refine different approaches to housing needs is clearly here and it’s tremendous to have this kind of resource at our fingertips in the Okanagan.”


Kamloops writer wins UBC’s Okanagan annual short story contest

The 2017 Okanagan Short Story Contest winners, from left: Karen Hofmann, Michael Griffin, UBC Writer in Residence Renée Sarojini Saklikar and Cliff Hatcher.

The 2017 Okanagan Short Story Contest winners, from left: Karen Hofmann, Michael Griffin, UBC Writer in Residence Renée Sarojini Saklikar and Cliff Hatcher.

UBC Writer in Residence Renée Sarojini Saklikar unveiled the winners of the 2017 Okanagan Short Story Contest Tuesday night in the Great Room at the Kelowna branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.

The winning author, Karen Hofmann of Kamloops, took first place for her short story “The Island.” Cliff Hatcher, also of Kamloops, placed second with "A Certain Way With Furniture” while Kelowna’s Michael Griffin took third place for his story, "Poppy and Boo.”

“All three stories stayed with me and resonated their own individual strangeness: that quality that marks writing as something worthy of attention, for having been imbued with intention by its creator, crafted to persuade the reader of some urgency,” says Saklikar.

“That quality of strangeness is the highest compliment, that one writer can give to another, so I offer this to each story: commendation for a strange voice, for seeing the world a little off-kilter, in ways that disturb and unsettle.”

Along with the $500 prize money and bragging rights, Hofmann’s story will be published in the Summer/Fall edition of Vancouver-based subTerrain magazine. She also wins a one-week residency at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre. Second and third-place winners receive $200 and $100, respectively.

Also at Tuesday’s event, Saklikar announced new developments for the annual contest. For 2018, all three top cash prizes will double and a new category has been created for high school-aged writers.

“There aren’t a lot of opportunities for student writers in the country, but now we have a great crack at it here in the Okanagan,” says Assoc. Prof. Michael V. Smith, who teaches creative writing. “We hope we can make this high school category sustainable, so we can offer it every year.”

The Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation is co-sponsoring the 2018 contest, allowing FCCS to award larger winning purses—$1,000, $400 and $200—as well as the new award for the top short story by a high-school student ($200 prize).

The foundation is a Calgary-based registered charity that supports emerging Western Canadian journalists and artists of all disciplines. It offers scholarships in perpetuity at SAIT Polytechnic and Mount Royal University and contributes to the Banff Centre’s Emerging Artists Intensive (Literary Arts) program. The foundation also sponsors the Writers’ Guild of Alberta's WordsWorth Creative Writing Residency for young writers.

The April 18 event also launched the 2017 PaperShell anthology of Creative Writing at UBC Okanagan.

The Okanagan Short Story Contest is sponsored by UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS), Kelowna Capital News, the Central Okanagan Foundation and subTerrain magazine.

More information about the Okanagan Short Story Contest can be found at: fccs.ok.ubc.ca/short-story


UBC professor curates international exhibit of African print fashion

Vlisco wax-print dress from the “Hommage à L’Art” collection, 2013. Inge van Lierop, designer. Courtesy Vlisco Museum, Foundation Pieter Fentener van Vlissingen, Helmond, the Netherlands.

Vlisco wax-print dress from the “Hommage à L’Art” collection, 2013. Inge van Lierop, designer. Courtesy Vlisco Museum, Foundation Pieter Fentener van Vlissingen, Helmond, the Netherlands.

African stylishness and cosmopolitanism, past and present, is on display in a major exhibition curated by UBC professor Suzanne Gott at the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Gott, an assoc. prof. in UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, is the lead curator for African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style and a co-editor and author of the accompanying book.

The exhibit at UCLA showcases the history and importance of African-print fashion, the international prominence of African designers and the changing grassroots designs of West and Central Africa’s individually commissioned local print fashions.

“In Africa, fashion is an art form that everyone participates in,” says Gott.

The exhibition shows how African-print cloth, created specifically for local consumers in the late 19th century, became fundamental for West and Central African fashion and an inspiration for 21st century African designers. There is an increasing interconnectedness between contemporary individually commissioned “popular” African-print fashions and African designers’ runway styles.

Senegalese rapper and musician Ibaaku wears a classic dashiki. Photo courtesy of Djibril Drame, taken in Dakar, Senegal October 2014.

Senegalese rapper and musician Ibaaku wears a classic dashiki. Photo courtesy of Djibril Drame, taken in Dakar, Senegal October 2014.

Gott has been researching women’s popular fashion in Ghana since 1990. While working on her PhD at Indiana University, she travelled to the city of Kumasi in Ghana’s Ashanti region for a year’s research with local seamstresses, tailors, and fashion-conscious Kumasi women. During the next two decades, she returned to Kumasi several times and in 2012 spent a full year in Ghana as a Fulbright scholar.

When Gott first came to Kumasi, she found that African-print cloth was not only fashioned into the latest styles but was also kept as a resource to pay for children’s schooling or businesses endeavors.

“African prints by the Dutch manufacturer Vlisco were the most highly valued, and women stockpiled these costly textiles as a form of wealth for the future.”

However, African-print production shifted to Asia after consumers’ spending power was significantly reduced in the 1990s by World Bank/IMF structural adjustment programs. Although many Ghanaian women can no longer buy more costly European- or African-manufactured prints, the greater affordability of Chinese-manufactured African prints has revitalized local African-print fashion.

“This has also stimulated a fashion boom of new runway-inspired dress styles among the younger African generation.”

The increasing use of the internet and social media by African youth is also creating new virtual African-print fashion communities in Africa and the diaspora.

African prints were initially developed by European manufacturers in the late 19th century, also produced in Africa since the mid-20th -century independence era, and are produced now in Asia. However, Gott notes they owe their existence to African patronage and the demanding tastes of their ever-fashionable consumers.

Gott brings her research into UBC classrooms, particularly in her third-year African Dress and Fashion course. Many students know little about this continent, she says, explaining that there is little documentation of African agency over centuries of trade with Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Her exhibit is at UCLA until late July and then travels to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Mint Museum in Charleston, and the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. For more information about African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style, visit fowler.ucla.edu/exhibitions/african-print-fashion-now


OC students notch 13 podium finishes at Skills Canada BC competition

Okanagan College Media Release

Five Okanagan College students have punched their tickets to Winnipeg, MB to compete in the Skills Canada National Competition next month, after gold medal-winning performances at the provincial competition in Abbotsford last week. The five gold medalists were joined on the podium by eight more OC students who earned four silver and four bronze medals, in categories spanning a host of trades and technology disciplines, from Aerospace Technology to Refrigeration.

OC was the best in the province in the areas of Automotive Collision Repair, Automotive Service, Carpentry, Culinary Arts and IT. Brendan Battersby, a second-year student in the College’s Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (NTEN) program won gold in IT – Network Systems Administration. Kurt Breton, a level 4 apprentice earned gold in Automotive Service, while Lukas Pfob, also a level 4 apprentice, took the top spot in Carpentry. Siobhan Detkavich, a dual-credit Culinary Arts student at Okanagan College and Southern Okanagan Secondary School, came away with Gold in the Culinary Arts (Secondary) category.

Skills BC Provincials 2017Andreas Roth, a level 3 apprentice, won gold in Automotive Collision Repair – a category swept by OC. Roth was joined on the podium by Caleb Loewen who brought home the silver medal and Marcel Kaemmerzell, who earned bronze.

“As a first time competitor, I did everything I could to prepare ahead of time, but it was definitely a new and unique experience for me,” says Roth. “I’m really excited for nationals. I am going to practice hard and try my best for another good result in Winnipeg.”

Roth and his fellow Collision Repair competitors were evaluated on their skills across a variety of tasks, including welding, plastic and metal repair, and damage analysis over the 6.5-hour competition.

Collision Repair instructor Danny Marques said while preparation plays a big role in students’ success, it is their ability to perform under pressure that is the determining factor on competition day

“We couldn’t be prouder of these three students – and all the students who represented OC and themselves so well at the competition,” says Marques. “As coaches, we obviously try to mentor the students as much as we can, but ultimately they are the ones competing and it’s their ability and motivation that sets them apart.”

Overall, Okanagan College students captured a dozen medals at the competition, which was held on Wednesday, April 5 at The Fraser Valley Trade & Exhibition Centre in Abbotsford. Other institutions that took part included Vancouver Island University, BCIT, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Camosun College, Northern Lights College, University of the Fraser Valley, Riverside College, Thompson Rivers University and Vancouver Community College.

Okanagan College students placed as follows:
Brendan Battersby – IT – Network Systems Administration
Kurt Breton – Automotive Service
Lukas Pfob – Carpentry
Andreas Roth – Automotive Collision Repair 

Jason Clair – Electrical
Caleb Loewen – Automotive Collision Repair 
Tijana Nelson – Cabinetmaking
Brandon West – Heavy Mechanical

Marcel Kaemmerzell – Automotive Collision Repair
Patryk Norek – Automotive Service
Bryce Mackay – Aerospace Technology
Rob Cordonier – Refrigeration

Gold medalists earn a berth to the National Skills Canada competition on May 31-June 3 in Winnipeg. The national competition attracts more than 500 competitors who compete in 40 contest areas. The program was launched in 1994, and is the only national multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country.


Okanagan chefs ready to get their Soup’s On for a good cause

Okanagan College Media Release

Some of the valley’s top chefs will be putting their best ladle forward this month at the inaugural Soup’s On events – public soup tastings held in Kelowna and Vernon and presented by Enactus Okanagan College.

Soup’s On has run successfully for the past two years in Salmon Arm, which prompted OC students to serve up the initiative in other communities.

“What started out as a simple idea at an Enactus meeting really came to life and was embraced by the community in Salmon Arm,” explains Soup’s On project coordinator and Enactus Okanagan College member Alexandra Jacques. “I am so honoured and thrilled to have two more communities in the Okanagan jump on board.”Enactus OC Soup's On April 2017

The first event is taking place at 6:30 p.m. on April 27 at Okanagan Spirits’ Vernon location, presented by Prospera Credit Union. Tickets are $25 each and available at participating restaurants Eatology, Kaals Naan Stop, Kal Sports Bar, Intermezzo, and Sir Winston's Pub. Proceeds will benefit the Upper Room Mission and Okanagan College students.

The Kelowna event is happening two days later on April 29 at 5 p.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning at Okanagan College. Attendees will have a chance to sample culinary creations by The Curious Cafe, Basil and Mint, FSH, La Cucina, Westcoast Grill, Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar, Bonfire Restaurant, Bouchon's Bistro, Sturgeon Hall, Little Hobo Soup and Sandwich, Train Station Pub, Whiskey-Jacks Pub, Central Public House, Xchange Kelowna and Bliss Bakery and Bistro. Hot and cold beverages will also be served at the event, provided by Pulp Fiction Coffee house and Big Surf Brewery.

Tickets for the Kelowna event are $20 and available online. Visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/soupson for more information. Proceeds from the Kelowna event will benefit the Central Okanagan Food Bank and will also aid Okanagan College students.

Foodies take note: attendees will once again be invited to sharpen their pencils and don their judge’s hat. Like previous Soup’s On events in Salmon Arm, both the Kelowna and Vernon events will follow a people’s choice format.

“Throughout the event, attendees have the opportunity to score each soup and vote for their favourite,” explains Jacques. “At the end of the night, the chef whose soup earned the most votes will take home the Soup’s On trophy.”

Enactus Okanagan College is a student run non-profit organization. Through events like Soup’s On, Enactus OC students raise funds to support their entrepreneurial and philanthropic programs in the community. Examples include Silver Surfers, a program that helps seniors boost their comfort level with technology in order to stay connected with loved ones, and CanSave, a program that provides basic financial literacy to elementary school students.


UBC researchers connect common fats to a lazy lifestyle and diabetes

UBC Assistant Professor Sanjoy Ghosh.

UBC Assistant Professor Sanjoy Ghosh.

A UBC researcher is suggesting the types of cooking oils people consume may be sabotaging their efforts to stay healthy and avoid illnesses such as diabetes.

Sanjoy Ghosh, a Michael Smith Health Research Foundation Scholar and a professor at UBC’s Okanagan campus, has recently published research that concludes a high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) but not monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) can lead to sedentary or lazy behaviour, especially in women.

Ghosh says not that long ago, heart disease was supposedly caused by saturated fats—an idea that has become increasingly controversial in recent years. This thinking instigated the intentional removal of saturated fatty acids from most food supplies in favour of MUFA and PUFA. Essentially all fats in our ‘convenience’ foods like potato chips, energy bars, crackers or burgers use cooking oils like corn, sunflower and soybean and margarine—all rich in MUFAs and PUFAs.

So Ghosh now questions: can we blame our dietary fats at least partially for the physical inactivity that’s well documented in Canadian children and adults?

“Our study presents new ecological evidence that dietary PUFA is strongly associated with sedentary behavior among pre-teen girls and weakly associated with diabetes among adult women across Europe,” says Ghosh, recommending more trials and studies are done to confirm his findings.

Alarmingly, exposure to dietary PUFA can be identified early in life. In this analysis, a significant correlation was observed in sedentary behaviour of 11-year-old girls and PUFA in their diets.

Ghosh collaborated with UBC biologist and data analyst Jason Pither, the first author of the study, to examine data from 21 countries in Europe, specifically looking at pre-teen girls and then, in a second study, the blood glucose levels of adult women. In putting details such as the amount of time each week spent watching TV along with other filters -- like a country’s per capita GDP, urbanization, and even latitude -- they came out with a clear connection to the consumption of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and an increase in sedentary behaviour.

Such clinical findings come on the heels of a similar study from Ghosh’s lab in 2015 in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, which provided the first indication that omega-6 PUFAs we eat makes mice lazy. To read the full study, visit: jnutbio.com/article/S0955-2863(14)00247-2/abstract

“This data is extremely significant,” says Ghosh. “Nobody has made this connection and it’s time for an intervention. And if someone is beginning an exercise program without taking a close look at the fats, especially PUFA, they are consuming, or changing what they’re eating, then it might be doomed to failure.”

This research was recently published in the PLOSOne. Funding for this research was provided by the Egg Farmers of Canada, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Canadian Diabetes Association and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


New tool can help estimate genetically modified pollen spread

Rebecca Tyson’s research offers a new analytical tool which can provide estimates of how far bee pollen will travel. Photo credit: Bob Lalonde, associate professor of biology.

Rebecca Tyson’s research offers a new analytical tool which can provide estimates of how far bee pollen will travel. Photo credit: Bob Lalonde, associate professor of biology.

Food purists may have cause to celebrate thanks to a recent international study directed by the University of British Columbia. The study, which evaluated the spread of genetically modified (GM) organisms to non-modified crops, has implications from farm to family.

“Trying to figure out how far GM pollen will travel is really difficult,” says study co-author Rebecca Tyson, associate professor of mathematics at UBC Okanagan.

“It is important to have accurate tools to estimate this, so that unintentional cross-pollination of GM material to non-GM crops can be minimized.”

According to stastista.com, genetically modified crops in Canada are mostly located in Ontario and Quebec and consist of canola, soybeans, corn and sugar beets. More than 90 per cent of the canola grown in Canada is genetically modified.

Tyson suggests that the simplest way to minimize cross-fertilization between crops is to separate them. Up until now, the isolation distances have been somewhat haphazardly determined. Previous estimates have been based on two standard models, which either overestimate or underestimate pollen movement. The gap between these two distances makes prediction difficult and thus necessitates improved calculations, she explains.

Tyson’s research offers a new analytical tool which can provide a much-improved estimate of how far pollen will travel.

Along with colleagues from the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and Delft University (The Netherlands), she developed a mathematical model of pollen dispersal by bees, based on field experiments.

“Our results suggest that separation distances of several hundred metres, proposed by some European countries, is unnecessarily large but separation by 40 metres is not sufficient,” says Tyson. “Using our model, we can calculate and suggest separation sizes with better accuracy. For example, we have estimated that for a 0.9 per cent cross-pollination rate, the ideal distance of separation between two crops is between 51 and 88 metres, depending on crop size and type.”

These numbers are specific to particular crops and landscapes, she explains, but the predictive ability is the same.

“We believe that our model provides a more accurate assessment of GM pollen cross-pollination than previous models,” adds Tyson. “We are hopeful these findings will simplify the decision-making process for crop-growers and policy makers.”

This research was published in a recent issue of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Rebecca Tyson is an associate professor of mathematics at UBC Okanagan.

Rebecca Tyson is an associate professor of mathematics at UBC Okanagan.


Bickley claims back-to-back OC Half Marathon titles

Okanagan College Media Release

OC Half 2017 Bickley2Kelowna’s Brad Bickley returned to Okanagan College’s annual half marathon on Sunday and claimed his second title in as many years. Bickley placed first in the 15
th annual event with a finishing time of 1:13. Patrick Schryburt finished second at 1:17 and Jeff Vogt’s time of 1:19 was good enough for third.

In the female half marathon, three Kelowna runners took the top spots. Tracy Dayman was first (1:33), Heather Greig was second (1:40) and Carolyn Hawes finished third (1:43).OC Half 2017 Dayman2

In the 10 KM event Kelowna women dominated with the winning time posted by Jane Jones (44:56), followed by Rachel Garrett (46:40) and Laura Staniewski (47:15).

OC Half 2017 Mitchell2The men’s 10 KM was won by Michael Mitchell (36:32), followed by Quinn Middleton (37:53) and Michael Denman (39:42).

The half marathon relay event was won by team “Backadders” of Vernon. The five runners covered the 21.1 KM distance in a time of (1:40). Team members included: John Glennon, Brent Helland, Jeff Trca, Steve Broderick, and Brent McWillis.  

“Today’s race was what we’ve come to expect at the OC Half Marathon,” said Christine Ulmer, Race Director. “We had a competitive group of runners vying for the top spots and we also had an impressive group of recreational runners who enjoyed the course and all of the fun associated with running. We had a great group of volunteers and the food from Okanagan College’s Culinary and Pastry Arts at the finish line was a highlight for most of the people I talked to.”

The Okanagan College Half Marathon, 10 K and Relay is an annual not-for-profit event that raises funds to support student bursaries. Event sponsors include: Canadian Springs Water, the Kelowna Capital News, Save On Foods, Okanagan College Culinary and Pastry Arts, Starbucks, and the Orchard City Amateur Radio Club.

Aid stations were generously operated by enthusiastic volunteers from: Orange Theory Fitness, Spinco, Okanagan College Trades and Apprenticeship, and The Woman’s Place.

Complete race results will be available online: www.okanagan.bc.ca/halfmarathon.


UBC raises more than $75,000 at annual athletic scholarship breakfast

It was a morning of accolades, accomplishments and astonishments at the Valley First/UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast Friday morning.

Close to 350 people gathered for the 12th annual breakfast, which not only recognizes student accomplishments but also raises money for the student athlete scholarship endowments.

While the point of the event is to raise money, the gathered audience—including university officials—were caught off guard as student speaker Megan Festival announced her family will donate $25,000 to the Heat women’s volleyball team. Bidding a bittersweet farewell to university sports, the soon-to-be graduate thanked UBC for the many opportunities that came her way during her five years as a Heat athlete.

She joined the women’s volleyball team in 2012 and played alongside her older sister Jillian for two years. Both Festival athletes were an integral part of the volleyball team’s successes, and Director of Athletics and Recreation Rob Johnson was thrilled by the announcement.

“We are extremely thankful to the Festivals—most of all for trusting us with their wonderful daughters Jill and Megan for the past eight years,” he said. “And, having had the opportunity of getting to know parents John and Janette, while I was unaware of their plan to make a gift this morning, I am not surprised.

“They have been consistent and thoughtful fans and supporters of our program from the beginning, and this generous gift will help the program continue to thrive in the future. On many levels, our program is stronger from their involvement.”

It was a morning to shine light on the accomplishments of the athletes and UBC President Santa Ono took the opportunity to congratulate the student athletes, encouraging those in attendance to stand for a round of applause.

A self-confessed sports fan, Ono told the audience that athletics means more than scoreboards and trophies.

“There is nothing more powerful than athletics to bring an institution together,” he said. “It brings faculty, administration, and staff together and builds the spirit in our institution while bringing the community together.”

Ono took time to remark on this year’s accomplishments of the Heat athletes, which featured 34 academic All-Canadians, 14 National Scholar Athletes, two Canada West All-Stars, two Canada West All-Rookie team selections, and one CCAA All-Canadian. The women’s cross country team won the CCAA National Championship, the women’s volleyball team qualified for the Canada West Final Four for the fourth straight year, men’s volleyball had its best record since joining the U Sports, and both men’s and women’s soccer teams qualified for Canada West Playoffs.

“Our student athletes are wonderful ambassadors for the university,” he said. “They really have two full-time jobs between practicing, travelling, and competing at the highest level. They are the superstars in our institution and we couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Special guest at the breakfast, Doug Mitchell also had a strong message for the full house. Mitchell who has been an ambassador for all levels of sport, from amateur athletics to the National Hockey League, to Commissioner of the CFL to his current role as a board member of the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

“A university degree can open many doors for you, but it doesn’t give you the steps you earn when you play varsity athletics,” he said. “Learning to manage your schedule—between practices, travelling and keeping up with your academics—sets you at an advantage for the rest of your life.”

With the gift from the Festival family, more than $75,000 was raised at this year’s event, bringing the endowment total to over $800,000.

UBC President Santa Ono shares a laugh with the audience during the Valley First/UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast Friday morning.

UBC President Santa Ono shares a laugh with the audience during the Valley First/UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast Friday morning.

Pat Kennedy (left) chats with special guest Doug Mitchell at the Valley First/UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast Friday morning.

Pat Kennedy (left) chats with special guest Doug Mitchell at the Valley First/UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast Friday morning.


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