Campus Life  

Trades Foundation program connects OC student to his passion

Orry Renwick with his kinetic chaotic cabinet.

Introduced to carpentry at a young age through the work of his father, Orry Renwick always kept his Dad’s favourite saying in mind.

‘I can make you that’ were words Orry and his brother would hear if they had an idea or a project. It became a frame of mind and more for Orry, who just completed Okanagan College’s Carpenter Joiner Foundation Program.  

“No matter the difficulty or skill level of a project, with the right planning and preparation you can build anything,” says Orry of the philosophy embedded in him by his father. “I’ve always loved the saying ‘I can make you that.’”

OC's Trades Foundation programs  are entry-level training programs for people with little or no experience and can begin your journey to a rewarding career.  Several start this summer. Click here for information.

To gain experience, Orry enrolled in the Carpenter Joiner Foundation Program at OC, learning about furniture, finishes, buildings and structures and beginning the journey of becoming a certified carpenter or cabinet maker.

“Our carpenter foundation programs are a great entrance into a career in woodwork,” says Stephen Speers, OC’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. ““Students learn a wide array of skills such as building science, wood frame construction, product assembly and more. With the variety of skills and knowledge gained during this program, graduates have the option to start an apprenticeship in the construction industry or finishing carpentry, giving them more career opportunities”  

Orry likely said ‘I can make you that’ a few times, building a few popular wooden games that his classmates and instructors enjoyed during the program. For his final project, Orry designed and built a kinetic chaotic cabinet for a dartboard from eight species of wood, most of it re-used from the scrap pile, and close to 100 corks.

“It was a huge undertaking, especially being a final project with a deadline” says Orry. “It was worth every step of the way and the feedback I’ve been getting from family, friends and colleagues has been pretty special. It is a special piece and I love it; I would do it all again.”

With his foundations as a carpenter or cabinetmaker now solidified and his confidence in his abilities increased, Orry is ready to put what he has learned towards his own business, Renworks Custom Woodworks, and the rest of his career in carpentry.

If you are interested in exploring a career as a carpenter, learn what Okanagan College has to offer here.

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