Media Release: Making a child’s first dental visit fun

VCC welcomes children and their families to the 13th annual Tooth Trolley


‌VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is preparing to welcome children and their families to its 13th annual Tooth Trolley event from Tuesday, May 21 to Sunday, May 26.

With funding from the Telus Community Board, and in partnership with the Vancouver Trolley Company, VCC will open the doors of its Downtown dental clinic to pre-registered children and their families, offering them free dental assessments and preventive services. 

The fun begins when the old-fashioned trolley bus picks the children up, and continues when they are greeted by VCC “tooth fairies” – students from the college’s certified dental assistant (CDA), dental reception coordinator,  and dental hygiene programs. 

“Tooth Trolley provides children the opportunity to experience their first dental visit in a fun environment,” says Sofia Fung, instructor, CDA program.

Throughout the day, families will also attend seminars held by a public health CDA, participate in fun activities focused on nutrition and dental health, and receive a take-home bag of wholesome snacks and health care products before their return trolley trip.

About Vancouver Community College

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years, offering post-secondary training in over 120 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With campuses located in Downtown Vancouver, on East Broadway, and on Annacis Island, VCC offers hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.

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Video and photo opportunities available:

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019
Time: 10 - 11 a.m.
Location: VCC dental clinic, room 348, Downtown campus, 200-block Dunsmuir at Hamilton

Media can contact:
Reg Romero, Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7133  C: 604.612.6237
E: rromero@vcc.ca

Technology shapes this year’s jewellery student exhibition

Original jewellery displays draw inspiration from the surrounding world and beyond

Woman looking at jewellery display


See the artistry of 27 up-and-coming designers at the VCC Jewellery Art & Design Student Exhibition. The annual show runs from Thursday, May 23 to Thursday, June 13 and promises to offer a peek into the future of jewellery design.

Each year, students finishing first and second year of VCC's jewellery art and dessign program are given five weeks to create a collection for the exhibition. This show acts as a capstone project, showcasing the technical and design skills they have learned throughout the year.

Each student designs and creates five pieces within a chosen theme. The display is also an important part of the project, and each student creates a display-case “environment” in which to show their pieces.

This year, technology forms the basis of several collections, with jewellery that speaks to the ways it shapes our lives. One collection is inspired by 1980’s space art. Another features kinetic jewellery for fidgeting fingers, designed to soothe the anxiety felt by so many in the digital age. Other themes include “Monsters of the Deep”, “Otherworldly Flora,” and cultural influences from students’ Scottish, Persian, Chinese, and Mexican heritages.

“We believe the best way for young designers to set their line apart from other jewellery collections is to look outside of jewellery for inspiration,” says VCC jewellery art and design department leader Karin Jones. “The broad range of inspiration is reflected in the diversity of styles seen at our year-end show.”

This year’s exhibition begins with a gala opening on Thursday, May 23 from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring award presentations, canapés, and a cash bar. Each year, the gala opening is a who’s who of Vancouver’s jewellery world, as alumni, jewellery professionals, and industry leaders mingle with students, friends, and family.

This year will also be the fourth year that Wade Papin and Danielle Willmore, founders of Pyrrha Jewellery, present the Pyrrha Scholarship, the largest award given to a VCC jewellery art and design student, consisting of one year’s tuition plus mentorship from the successful duo.

Audience looking at jewellery, display case, single ring


The VCC Jewellery Art & Design Student Exhibition runs until Thursday, June 13 and is open Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Atrium at VCC’s Downtown campus. (Enter at Dunsmuir and Hamilton Streets).



New Vice President, Enterprise and International Development

Ajay Patel to lead International Education, Partnership Development Office, and Continuing Studies



Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ajay Patel as Vice President, Enterprise and International Development. This role provides strategic leadership to VCC's International Education department, Partnership Development Office, and Continuing Studies.

Ajay will be responsible for seeking and responding to entrepreneurial opportunities such as strategic partnerships with industry, community organizations, and government. His wealth of experience with multiple areas in post-secondary education will support VCC's new Strategic Innovation Plan, currently in development.

Ajay brings more than 15 years of experience in post-secondary education from Langara College, where he rose through the ranks in several positions from an instructor all the way to the VP, External Development. Over the past two years in the VP role, Ajay provided Langara with strategic leadership, the development of community relations, and partnerships that supported the college's vision and priorities.

At Langara, Ajay oversaw the renewal of the Continuing Studies business plan, the refresh of the college's 2020 Strategic Plan, the launch a comprehensive fundraising campaign, development and implementation of a risk mitigation plan for international education, and collaborated with the provost and academic leaders to foster relationships with research universities in the development of articulation agreements. Ajay Patel holds a Master of Human Kinetics, Coaching Sciences, from the University of British Columbia.


Learn more about the ways industry and community can connect with VCC through our Partnership Development Office.

Film re-release offers resources to fight Canada’s opioid crisis

VCC nurses featured in now-digital DTES documentary



This National Nursing Week, (May 6 - 12, 2019) Canada’s National Film Board (NFB) is re-releasing Bevel Up, an innovative documentary featuring the day-to-day work of street nurses who provide care for people who use drugs in Downtown Vancouver. 

Originally produced in 2007 with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), Bevel Up is a raw and impactful 45-minute film offering a first-hand look at street nursing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). Vancouver Community College (VCC) nursing instructor Caroline Brunt is featured prominently in the film, demonstrating non-judgemental, compassionate, and trauma-informed health care to people who use drugs.

“There was really nothing but love and support from people in the DTES,” says Caroline about the making of the film. “They kept telling us ‘people don’t understand us,’ and ‘this film needs to get made.’”

The re-release of Bevel Up is a timely effort to offer education to health care workers and the public in the midst of today’s unprecedented overdose crisis. The digital version offers greater online accessibility and additional learning resources, including bonus interview clips with health care practitioners and people who use drugs, as well as a 100-page Teacher’s Guide.

“The stigma exists today as it existed back in 2007,” says Caroline. “The issue of substance use will never go away. This film teaches how to accept, love, and care for people where they’re at.”

Bevel Up was created in collaboration with Canada Wild Productions Ltd. and directed by award-winning filmmaker Nettie Wild. The 2019 re-release was made possible with additional support by the British Columbia Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR), and VCC.


The public is welcome to attend a free screening of Bevel Up followed by a panel discussion on Thursday, May 9, 5:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Hospital. REGISTER HERE >

Please note: this film contains coarse language, open drug use, and subject matter that some people may find disturbing or triggering.


Do you have a heart for health care? Learn more about prerequisites, programs, and career options in VCC Health Sciences.

Evonne’s story: Cultivating community

Learn why working at VCC is more than just a job for this local environmental champion


If you're a VCC hospitality management student with a question about anything, you go to Evonne Strohwald. As department assistant, Evonne knows as much about the program as any instructor, and thanks to her unique blend of kindness and efficiency, she'll always find an answer.

When Evonne first came to VCC as a student, however, she says she was a different person. Looking for a better job to support her young child, she enrolled in the administrative assistant program, not even knowing how to type. The initial encouragement she received from a VCC advisor has remained with her to this day. "I still remember his face and leaving VCC feeling like I had a hope," she says.

After graduating, Evonne got a job in VCC's Continuing Studies department, then worked for the School of Instructor Education (SIE) before moving on to hospitality management. Over the past 24 years, she's not only become a major asset to VCC but also a champion in her community.

Part of the Klub

With a passion for protecting urban green spaces, Evonne has volunteered extensively for sustainability and environmental organizations including Evergreen and the Edible Garden Project. In her North Vancouver community, she leads by example, having raised chickens as part of the Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub (CLUCK) and converted her own front lawn into a neighbourhood flower garden.

Most recently, Evonne has developed her own eco-tourism destination on the Sunshine Coast featuring sleeping cabins, a flower farm, a goat pasture, and, of course, chickens. She also plans to open the land this summer to campers via the website campertunity.com.

Evonne says just being a part of VCC’s hospitality management department has given her the knowledge and confidence to pursue these projects. "It's endless what I've learned, even as an employee," says Evonne. "They want to see you succeed here. That's what makes the difference at VCC."

Get to know VCC's outstanding faculty and staff at our next open house. Register now for Experience VCC at the Downtown campus on April 24.

VCC shines at Skills Canada BC 2019 provincials

Skilled trades students earn 19 medals including two podium sweeps in Abbotsford


Congratulations to Vancouver Community College (VCC) students for winning 19 medals in the Skills Canada BC 2019 provincial competition held in Abbotsford on Wednesday, April 17. 

After weeks of preparation and training, all 38 members of Team VCC spent the full day putting their skills to the test in front of industry judges and the general public at the Abbotsford Tradex.

In the end, VCC’s auto collision and refinishing department swept the podium, earning gold, silver, and bronze in the categories of Automotive collision repair (post-secondary) and Car painting (secondary).

Students from VCC and associated high schools also earned gold medals in the areas of Esthetics (post-secondary), Baking, (secondary and post-secondary), Culinary arts (secondary and post-secondary), and Hairstyling (post-secondary). See the full list of medallists below.

Check out the photo album and share your support using the hashtags #myVCC and #SkillsBC as our winners head to Halifax for the Skills Canada National Competition on May 28 and 29.

Automotive service – post-secondary
Mitchell Eastman – SILVER

Automotive service – secondary
Alexander Nguyen (Britannia Secondary) – SILVER

Automotive collision repair - post-secondary
Ricky Guan – GOLD
Milton Javier Davis Flores – SILVER
Steve Bakirgis – BRONZE 

Automotive collision repair - secondary
David Zamora (Moscrop Secondary) – BRONZE 

Baking - post-secondary
Farzin Irani – GOLD
YeJin Park – SILVER 

Baking - secondary
Isaac Carswell (Sullivan Heights Secondary) – GOLD
Mandy Liu (Sir Charles Tupper) – SILVER 

Car painting - secondary
Reilly Ouwerling (Elgin Park Secondary) – GOLD
Antony Harrington (Victoria High School) – SILVER 
Mark Alcantara (John Oliver Secondary) – BRONZE 

Culinary arts - post-secondary
Anh Tran – GOLD 

Culinary arts - secondary
Julian Broda (Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary) – GOLD 

Esthetics – post-secondary
Nicole de Lima Girardello – GOLD 
Sierra Jin Lee – SILVER 

Hairdressing – post-secondary
Kennedy Pabuaya – GOLD

Hairdressing – secondary
Kala’i Seaman – BRONZE 


Can you picture yourself on the podium? Learn more about skilled trades at VCC by joining a free information session in the area of your choice. 

Media Release: Coast Capital supports higher ed for cognitively challenged youth

GPS program helps students with disabilities transition from high school to college

News-2017-CASE Students-0089-800

VANCOUVER – Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union has donated $20,000 to support Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Gateway to Post-secondary (GPS) program. The program provides an opportunity for cognitively challenged youth to bridge their education between high school and post-secondary.

The GPS program was developed in partnership with the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to prepare students for VCC’s industry-specific Adult Special Education programs such as Food Service Careers and Retail and Hospitality Careers. The program is customized to serve diverse learners needing to complete and/or advance their education and includes a mix of classroom and supported field activities.

“This funding addresses a significant education gap where education assistance for students with developmental disabilities drop off after high school,” says Ingrid Defert, VCC Community and Career Education (CACE) department head.

According to the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario, students with learning disabilities enroll in post-secondary programs at one-tenth the rate of the general population. Their post-secondary graduation rate is 3.6 per cent compared to post-secondary students without disabilities, who graduate at 62.1 per cent. 

“Student outcomes from GPS have been outstanding due to the experiential, hands-on learning that students participate in over the course of the program,” says Pan Neuman, VSB district resource teacher, secondary transition. “The program offers students a necessary bridge between high school and college life that facilitates a successful transition. Students, parents, and teachers at VCC often comment on how prepared the students are for college once they complete the GPS program.”

The $20,000 donation is provided by Coast Capital’s Youth Get It Community Investment program, which aims to empower Canadian youth to break down barriers in their journey to independence.

“Coast Capital Savings is committed to supporting youth in our local communities,” explains Maureen Young, Director of Community Leadership at Coast Capital Savings. “Through our Community Investment Grants, we are able to support youth-serving organizations like Vancouver Community College, who provide essential programming and support to local youth who need some extra help. We are thrilled to enable programs like VCC’s Gateway to Post-Secondary program that provide young people with access to resources and supports that help them navigate post-secondary education and find success.”

About Vancouver Community College

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years, offering post-secondary training in over 120 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With campuses located in Downtown Vancouver, on East Broadway, and on Annacis Island, VCC offers hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.

About Coast Capital Savings

Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s largest credit union by membership and B.C.’s first credit union to be granted federal credit union status.  An Imagine Canada Caring Company and a certified B Corporation in recognition of its social performance, the credit union invested $5.9 million into local communities in 2018, focusing on empowering and engaging youth. Coast Capital is one of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, and is a winner of the Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club designation. In 2018, Coast Capital was awarded the Corporate Responsibility Award at National Philanthropy Day by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Vancouver Island Chapter. It has 52 branches serving its 555,000 members in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Okanagan regions of British Columbia. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. To learn more, visit coastcapitalsavings.com.

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Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7538


Red Seal hairstyling opens door to higher pay and greater career mobility

Get recognized as a professional hairdresser anywhere in Canada

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

Many British Columbians don’t realize that in 2003, the B.C. government deregulated hairdressing.

This meant anyone could pick up a pair of scissors and work in this field.

But according to Emma Rasmussen, instructional assistant in the hairstylist certificate program at Vancouver Community College, this is expected to change now that hairdressing is recognized as a Red Seal trade.

“The Red Seal is recognized as the interprovincial standard of excellence in skilled trades,” Rasmussen told the Straight by phone.

She pointed out that this designation is a requirement for being a hairstylist in other provinces. And Vancouver Community College is offering a two-level Red Seal training program this year. This means graduates will be able to work as a hairstylist anywhere in Canada.

Level 1 involves 10 weeks of training, with intakes starting in May and September. Level 2 lasts five weeks, with intakes in April and July.

Rasmussen explained that a person needs to spend 3,600 hours of workplace training in the hairstyling apprenticeship program before obtaining the Red Seal designation.

She added that anyone who has already completed VCC’s hairstylist certificate program can use this as the equivalent of doing the Level 1 apprenticeship.

“You actually accumulate 900 hours in the hairstylist foundation program,” she pointed out. “Then you can go on to complete the hairstylist apprenticeship Level 2.”

The first thing a prospective student must do is register with the Industry Training Authority as an apprentice and obtain an ITA identification number.

About 80 percent of the time in a Red Seal hairstyling apprenticeship is spent in on-the-job training and about 20 percent involves classroom instruction. This enables students to earn money while pursuing their trade certification.

Level 1 involves 300 hours of classroom instruction at VCC’s Downtown campus and covers the foundations of hairstyling, including basic hygiene, sanitation, and disinfection practices, as well as the use and maintenance of tools.

In addition, Rasmussen said, Level 1 students receive an education in client services, hair and scalp care, basic cutting, hairstyling, colouring, chemical waving, and business management. At the end of Level 1, students take an ITA standardized written exam, and if they pass, VCC instructors recommend that they find a job.

This starts them toward accumulating the necessary training hours before returning for Level 2. “It’s building on the foundations taught in Level 1 but with more advanced technique and more advanced mastery of those skills that you learned,” Rasmussen stated.

These include learning about customized haircutting using specific tools and techniques, designing updos, performing more in-depth colour corrections, and resolving client concerns and complaints.

“One general misconception is that it’s an easy job and that hairstylists don’t require a lot of skill,” Rasmussen said. “There’s actually a lot of science and biology behind what we learn.”

She said that VCC hairstyling instructors all have been in the industry for at least 10 years and love what they do. The college provides them with professional-development training, which enables them to attend trade shows and take courses to stay on top of what’s happening in their field.

When asked what types of people thrive as hairstylists, Rasmussen replied that it’s ideal for those who are artistic, creative, and interested in fashion or visual arts.

“It’s an ever-evolving industry,” she said. “Like how fashion changes, so do hairstyles.”

She encouraged anyone interested in pursuing a Red Seal hairstyling certification to go to vcc.ca/hair for more information.

Interested in working as a professional hairstylist anywhere in Canada? Apply now for our full-time hairstylist apprenticeship program beginning in April 2019.

Jackie’s story: success in style

One hair design grad shares her path from varsity sports to Vancouver’s trendiest salons

The one thing Jackie Penev knew she wanted to do after high school was play volleyball.  After graduating, she entered an education program at a local college and made the varsity team. Only a few months into the season, however, Jackie developed a severe throat infection that prevented her from playing for the rest of the year.

“Without volleyball, I realized I didn’t feel passionate about school,” she says. After some reflection, Jackie understood that her true passion was hair design. “I would always braid my teammates’ hair at tournaments,” she says, “and I loved it.”

Jackie’s parents also fully supported her entering a certified trade. In fact, it runs in the family; her father is a Red Seal-certified electrician, and her brother a Red Seal-certified pipefitter and steamfitter. “They told me it’s easier to study something when you know exactly what you’ll be doing afterward,” she says. 

While researching schools, Jackie asked friends and acquaintances about hair design programs in Vancouver. They all recommended Vancouver Community College (VCC), so Jackie attended a free tour and information session at the VCC Salon & Spa. “The facility was great, the teachers were professional, and I could tell it was a place where they did things well.”

During the program, Jackie enjoyed learning in a busy salon setting and serving real clients. She also developed a special talent for the trendy bayalage hair colour technique. Only a few months after graduating, Jackie started working at Boccoli, one of her favourite high-end salons in East Vancouver. “It’s pretty much my dream job,” she says.

Looking back, Jackie remembers how things finally came to feel right. “Studying hair design at VCC was one of the most fun years of my life. It never felt like school, even the theory parts. I was passionate, I loved what I was doing every day and that made it all seem easy.”


Visit our state-of-the-art VCC Salon & Spa, meet instructors, and learn about VCC's hair design and skin and body therapy programs at an upcoming info session

Flourish Gala 2019 recap

VCC Foundation's third annual green-tie fundraiser celebrated alumni talent for a great cause



A fabulous night was had by all at the third annual Flourish gala, held on Wednesday, March 13 at the Vancouver Community College (VCC) Broadway campus. VCC's signature "green-tie" fundraiser has quickly become a popular evening where hundreds of alumni and supporters come together for one great cause.

This year's event featured 16 culinary action stations operated by prominent local chefs, 14 Okanagan wineries, a live band, silent auction, photo booth, fashion art competition, spa treatments, and a Nespresso coffee bar. Proceeds from the Flourish gala support student scholarships and awards through the VCC Foundation. This year’s contributions will serve students in our hair design and esthetics programs.

Flourish guests enjoyed innovative tasting plates from chefs including culinary olympian Poyan Danesh of Ocean Mama Organics, Top Chef Canada finalist Mark Singson, The Great Canadian Baking Show judge and VCC instructor Bruno Feldeisen, rising star Heat Laliberte of One Arrow Meats, and many more. For VCC baking, culinary arts, and hospitality management student volunteers, this was also a coveted opportunity to work alongside some of B.C.'s biggest names in food and wine.

We were privileged to have CBC personality Fred Lee return to emcee the event, while a VCC alumni band entertained the crowd with groovy energy. Among the generous selection of silent auction items were six original illustrations by VCC fashion students, all of which had been part of an online competition in the weeks leading up to the Flourish gala. Congratulations to winner Nataly Kingsley, who claimed the $750 prize.

This year's gala also marked the beginning of a new educational partnership with Nespresso Canada and a scholarship from Hy's Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar.

In his address, VCC president and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda shared the college's deep gratitude for the support of guests and alumni alike. “Your contributions help the students we serve," he said. "Your impact is wide-reaching and we're very proud of the excellence you all strive for.”

The VCC Foundation would like to thank the many other sponsors who contributed to the night’s success, including Loungeworks, Naramata Bench Wineries Association, Ocean Mama Organics, TD Insurance, White & Peters, Color Compass Corporation, Craftsman Collision, and The Georgia Straight.



See the photo gallery >


Want to make a difference in the life of a deserving VCC student? Learn about the many ways to give through the VCC Foundation.

Media Release: VCC brings Christmas in January to the DTES community

The 20th annual event brings a warm meal to our neighbours

 2018 Christmas in January 800

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

Vancouver Community College brings Christmas in January to the DTES community 

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The holiday season may be over, but on Saturday, January 20, Vancouver Community College (VCC) and The Salvation Army Vancouver Harbour Light will be giving a gift to their neighbours in the Downtown Eastside – a holiday-themed lunch with all the fixings. 

As we mark the 20th anniversary of Christmas in January, dozens of volunteers from VCC's culinary programs, Harbour Light staff, and the community will prepare and serve over 60 turkeys, hundreds of pounds of vegetables, and gallons of coffee. Over 1,000 people from the community will enjoy a warm, nutritious post-holiday meal served at 
The Salvation Army Vancouver Harbour Light, located at 119 East Cordova Street.

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VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years. We offer post-secondary training in over 120 programs including bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, and music. 

The Salvation Army Vancouver Harbour Light is one of the largest Salvation Army operations in British Columbia and has been serving Vancouver's Downtown Eastside community since 1953. The Salvation Army Vancouver Harbour Light continuum of care model supports individuals in achieving their goals, creating a foundation for recovery, and securing housing. 


For interview opportunities, media can contact:

Danielle Libonati
Marketing Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7531
E: dlibonati@vcc.ca   

Marianne Hicks
Manager of Community Resources
The Salvation Army Harbour Light
T: 604.646.6813
E: mhicks@harbourlightbc.com









Good luck to VCC's Skills Canada BC 2019 competitors

Let's hear it for our skilled trades students competing this week!


Please join us in wishing all the best to our Vancouver Community College (VCC) teams heading to the Skills Canada BC 2019 provincial competition on Wednesday, April 17!

The competition is held at the Tradex in Abbotsford and welcomes more than 600 competitors who will demonstrate their skilled trades for industry judges and a live audience. 

This year, many of the region's top secondary and post-secondary students will represent VCC in the areas of baking, culinary arts, hairdressing, esthetics, automotive service, automotive collision repair, and car painting. 

Send your support to our teams online using the hashtags #myVCC and #SkillsBC. Stay tuned for updates on our medallists and go VCC!

Automotive service – post-secondary
Mitchell Eastman

Automotive service – secondary
Alexander Nguyen (Britannia Secondary)
Alexander Pochoday (Britannia Secondary)

Automotive collision repair - post-secondary
Ian Woodward
Jiahao Chen
Milton Javier Davis Flores
Ricky Guan
Riley Knowles
Steve Bakirgis
Tobin Fitzl
Tyhree Nguyen-Serrano

Automotive collision repair - secondary
Jiahao (Johnson) Chen (John Oliver Secondary)
Maynard Reyes (Cariboo Hill Secondary)
Jefferson Sales (John Oliver Secondary)
David Zamora (Moscrop Secondary)

Baking - post-secondary
Farzin Irani
YeJin Park
Laurie Vestergaard

Baking - secondary
Isaac Carswell (Sullivan Heights Secondary)
Mandy Liu (Sir Charles Tupper)

Car painting - secondary
Aaron Comendador (McNair Secondary)
Antonio Aiello (Centennial School)
Antony Harrington (Victoria High School)
Lawrence Cabanayan (Sir Charles Tupper Secondary)
Mark Alcantara (John Oliver Secondary)
Reilly Ouwerling (Elgin Park Secondary)

Culinary arts - post-secondary
Anh Tran

Culinary arts - secondary
Julian Broda (Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary)
Isaiah Laxton

Esthetics – post-secondary
Abigail Fernandez
Nicole Girardello
Rosa Park
Sierra Lee

Fashion – post-secondary
Emmalyn McKenna

Hairdressing – post-secondary
Carmen Zhang
Kennedy Pabuaya

Hairdressing – secondary
Kala’i Seaman
Portia Meynders


Think you might shine at a skilled trade? Join us at our Experience VCC open house on Wednesday, April 24 to tour our Downtown campus and find the perfect program for you.

Experience VCC open house offers a taste of hospitality careers

Trying to choose a career? Learning about your options is a great way to start



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

As exciting as it can be to have the world at your feet, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. But if you’re unsure of which direction you’d like to take your career, finding out your options can be a really good place to start. 

On Wednesday, April 24 from 3 to 6 p.m., Vancouver Community College (VCC) is opening the doors of its Downtown campus (250 West Pender Street) to help prospective students understand the possibilities available to them should they choose to pursue further education.

The event, called Experience VCC, is open to the public and free to attend. More than 120 of the school’s programs will be represented, giving visitors a unique opportunity to meet faculty from university transfer, health sciences, trades, arts, and more in one go. Better still, attendees will have the chance to win $500 toward tuition, and anyone who applies to a program at the event doesn’t pay the $35 application fee (limited to one per person).

Monique Paassen, VCC’s department head of hospitality management, is a big advocate for talking to prospective students and their parents. She advises anyone who is interested in the programs to come to the open house to really get a sense of school life and speak to the teachers, students, and alumni, who will also be in attendance.

“We show people around and that’s the nice thing,” Paassen says. “It’s not just giving them another pamphlet. We really want to engage them and chat with them. It’s a wealth of information that we share.”

All four of VCC’s industry-recognized hospitality programs—hospitality management, culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and Asian culinary arts—will be highlighted at the open house. To showcase the college’s experiential learning style, Experience VCC will give visitors the chance to try some fun and interactive activities at “Passport to Hospitality” action stations.

In fact, VCC is so committed to helping students plan their studies that there are a range of additional support services and information sessions available so you can learn more. And that’s an ethos that Paassen is willing to take a step further. 

“I tell people that if Experience VCC is not enough to convince you, or you need more information, or you’re still not sure, come sit in a class,” she says.

Paassen also stresses the importance of knowing which jobs a program might lead to and there are many for a hospitality management graduate. And one thing that really puts VCC on the map is the relationship and support it has from the industry, which is always seeking skilled employees.

“The diploma is a two-year program full-time and it consists of 20 courses,” she explains. “We really train our students and we set them up for success with the goal of becoming a manager within the industry. And it’s not just through theory, it’s hands-on. We have our own kitchen and restaurant that the students have to run and operate like a usual restaurant.”




RSVP now for Experience VCC on Wednesday, April 24 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Downtown campus (entrance at Dunsmuir St. and Hamilton St.)

Explore the ever-changing world of dental technology at VCC

How hands-on learning is helping VCC dental techs secure jobs before graduation



Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver 

The dental technology industry has been changing dramatically, demographically, and technologically and the dental technology program at Vancouver Community College has revised their program to meet these demands.

“As in all professions, candidates interested in dental technology should embrace lifelong learning, a desirable trait allowing for adaptability to rapid changes in technology and materials,” says Ken Izumi, department head of the dental technology department at VCC.

“The new dental technology program was designed to reflect the ever-changing conditions of our industry and we are committed to continuing on this path.” 

VCC has recently committed substantial funds to create a new, dedicated dental technology computer room with a 3D scanner to enhance the students’ learning experience and give them valuable skills for the workplace. 

“Possessing skill sets in digital software and technology applications will enable graduates to assist and even train existing laboratory owners on how to maximize the use of their digital software and equipment,” says Izumi. 

Izumi says this program is especially suited for those individuals who are able to focus on tasks for extended periods of time and have an appreciation for accuracy, detail, and a sense of esthetics.

He adds that most students from this program have secured employment before graduation. 

“It is not unusual for students to be working part-time after school during their third and fourth semesters,” says Izumi. 

“Many of the VCC Alumni have become dental laboratory owners or key personnel in the laboratories.”

This is a five-semester diploma program and the next start date is September 2019. 

To experience which other programs VCC has to offer, be sure to check out the next free open house, Experience VCC, on Wedbesday, April 24 from 3 to 6 p.m. 

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet with department heads and tour program areas. 

Anyone who applies to a program during the open house will not have to pay the $35 application fee, and could also have a chance to win $500 towards their tuition.


Sign up now to join us on April 24 and meet instructors from all of VCC’s health sciences departments, get campus tours, and more.


VCC partnership with Musqueam advances early childhood education

No-cost ECCE program for Indigenous students honours culture while launching careers


When Christine Sampson moved to Vancouver 15 years ago from Prince Rupert, B.C., she trained and worked as a child care provider. Christine loves children and enjoyed her job, but full-time positions were scarce at the time. With a daughter of her own to support, Christine turned to retail jobs for a more reliable income, letting her provincial Early Childhood Educator certificate expire. 

While off work due to surgery in 2017, Christine, who is a member of the Lax kw’alaams First Nation, learned via Facebook about VCC’s early childhood care and education (ECCE) training program offered in partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band. With her daughter now grown up, Christine decided to revive her career. “It was time to get back to living life for myself,” she says.  

This training partnership, funded in part by the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education, offers Indigenous students the opportunity to first upgrade basic skills, then ladder into VCC’s ECCE certificate program, all at no cost and delivered in a familiar setting with a full range of supports. 

Another goal of the program is to provide licensed and culturally informed child care staff for future Musqueam residential developments.

Christine, now confident about finding full-time work, is currently completing her practicum at tə mem̓ən̓əsʔewtxʷ (The Children's House), Musqueam’s onsite child care facility. Here, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children are exposed to traditional languages, songs, stories, and art – a stark contrast to residential schools of the past. “We’re preserving culture,” says Christine. “I believe we all need to know where we come from. That’s why I enjoy this work.”


The Musqueam Early Childhood Care and Education Certificate (PDF) is offered at no cost to qualified Aboriginal learners. Contact Lina Sehgal at lsehgal@vcc.ca or 604.871.7000 ext. 8307 to register by April 23, 2019.

VCC fashion collections hit the runway

Eight students presented at at Vancouver Fashion Week

‌‌2019 fashion grad show 800

VANCOUVER – Eight students from Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) fashion program took to the runway during Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) Fall/Winter 2019 on Wednesday, March 20. This annual showcase is the culmination of two years’ hard work in VCC’s intensive, hands-on fashion design and production program

In the show, each student explored their creative inspiration through the technical skills they learned at VCC. The result was eight unique collections that ranged from ready-to-wear to evening wear to avant-garde and everything in between. Some of the themes and inspiration found in the collections include ‘the male peacock,’ ‘patterns in nature’, and baroque period influences.

“Our program allows graduates to pursue entrepreneurship or a career in a small or large apparel company,” says Andrea Korens, VCC fashion co-program coordinator. “Showcasing their collections at an event like Vancouver Fashion Week gives them the exposure they need to source potential customers and employers.” 

After spending countless hours on their collections, each year, VCC fashion students continue to thoroughly impress the industry and inspire the public. 


About VCC Fashion 

For over 30 years, VCC fashion programs remain some of the best in B.C. VCC’s Fashion Design & Production Diplomaprepares students for the real-world fashion industry by mimicking a fast-paced production process while teaching fundamental skills. Self-directed garment creation allows students to hone in on their craft and personal sartorial interests. The Fashion Design & Production Certificateis the only part-time fashion design program in Canada. Emphasis is placed on technical skills, creativity, and industry timelines. The Fashion Merchandising Associate Certificateis a one-year program that prepares students for the real-world fashion business through hands-on experience, fashion fundamentals, and theory. Non-credit fashion courses let students test the waters, upgrade, and develop required elements for design portfolios. 

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Media inquiries:

Danielle Libonati
Marketing Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7531
E: dlibonati@vcc.ca  


Fashion program inquires:

Sarah Murray 
Fashion Program Coordinator, Recruiting and Industry Relations
Vancouver Community College
E: smurray@vcc.ca





Nespresso national competition finds pastry prodigies at VCC

Six VCC baking students craft coffee-themed sweets for Nespresso Café Gourmand


After months of practice that put all their pastry training to the test, on Wednesday, March 13, six VCC baking and pastry arts students competed in the Nespresso Café Gourmand semi-final, held this year for the first time in Western Canada. 

Their challenge sounds simpler than it was: create two bite-sized pastries, or mignardises, to pair with Nespresso coffees. One pastry had to harmonize with a Nespresso “Master Origin” coffee from either Ethiopia, Indonesia, or India. The other was required to contain Nespresso coffee as an ingredient. 

Prior to the competition, our six VCC competitors attended workshops with Nespresso Coffee Sommelier Élyse Lambert where they learned the science behind coffee fermentation, roasting, and blending as well as professional tasting techniques and culinary tips. 

On competition day, family, friends, and fellow students gathered in VCC’s Downtown baking lab for a (literal) taste of the action. Each competitor had three hours to create six portions of their signature mignardises. The bakers then bravely presented their dishes to a panel of prestigious industry judges including Thomas Haas, Lukas Gurtner of Sonora Resort, Adam Chandler of BETA5, and Marie-Andrée Pelletier representing Nespresso Canada.  

In the end, the judges selected Level 2 apprentice Angela Wu as Vancouver’s semi-final winner. Second place went to Megan (Youngheon) Lee and third place to Sammy Zheng. Congratulations to all competitors including Joshua Nacar, Rea Lopez, and Joyce Peng (pictured below) on stellar perormances.

Following her victory, Angela will travel to Toronto to compete in the Nespresso Café Gourmand National Finale on Monday, April 1 against semi-finalists from George Brown College and Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ).

See more photos >



Think life would be sweet as a pastry chef? Come chat with VCC’s world-class baking and pastry arts instructors at our next Experience VCC open house on Wednesday, April 24.


VCC Outstanding Alumni Awards 2018 winners

Join us in recognizing VCC alumni for significant contributions to their industries and communities

Congratulations to Vancouver Community College's (VCC) most recent Outstanding Alumni Award winners! These are the latest in a long line of VCC alumni and others who have made significant contributions to their industries and communities. Honorees represent four categories and each winner stands out with unique stories of success, inspiration, and dedication.


Curtis Krahn, Community Contribution

Founder/Principal, Synthesis Design Inc.

An early start in drafting led to a career in architecture. Curtis opened Synthesis Design Inc. in North Vancouver in 1993, and has been designing residential homes ever since. Over the years, he has employed many VCC grads, and continues to stay connected with VCC’s CAD and BIM (Drafting) programs through the Program Advisory Committee and by offering tours to current students. Curtis is actively pursuing building methods that are more affordable, follow green building practices, and are less intrusive to neighbourhoods during the building process.


Jeremy Inglett – Changemaker

Co-director, The Food Gays

Jeremy has taken a VCC baking diploma and created a whole new paradigm for success in the field. Jeremy is a food blogger, photographer, and author. He is one of the duo behind The Food Gays, having created a virtual empire, complete with television appearances, books, and over 62,000 followers on Instagram. Jeremy’s success is blazing a new path in an ancient tradition.


Alan Matheson – Career Success

Musician, VCC music instructor

Alan is a professional and multi-talented jazz and classical trumpet player, a pianist, composer, conductor, and teacher. VCC students and faculty are extremely fortunate to have such a world-class expert on the history of jazz in their midst. In addition to teaching, Alan enriches the lives of countless music lovers by leading his own big band, nonet, septet, and trio, and writing arrangements for such jazz legends as Clark Terry and Bud Shank.


Kyoung Yong Lee – One to Watch

Clinical Informatics, Vancouver Coastal Health

Kyoung is a proud member of VCC’s very first Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) cohort. After VCC, she went on to complete a graduate degree at the University of Victoria in health informatics. Kyoung is demonstrating strong leadership in the development of health care in a way that empowers clients and addresses health inequities through the innovative use of technology. Most of her work focuses on treating older adults with chronic illnesses. Kyoung has presented her findings in a number of forums; she is definitely one to watch in the field of disease management for those with significant barriers to localized care.


Do you know a VCC alum or community member who deserves recognition? Learn about our awards nomination process through the VCC Foundation.

Counselling programs at VCC offer pathway for helpful people considering a career change

Transition into a new career and build foundational skills in counselling

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

Vancouver Community College makes it relatively easy for prospective students to determine if they’re well suited for a career in counselling.

A 12-week introductory course called Basic Counselling Skills is offered to anyone interested in the field, providing insights into client-centred counselling and offering foundational skills for most models of counselling and practice under the supervision of someone experienced in the field.

According to program coordinator Matt Stevenson, this course is a prerequisite for anyone who wants to enroll in a counselling certificate program. It’s offered on a part-time basis during days and evenings starting in April, September, and January.

“We market it as an opportunity for anyone who wants to do any sort of personal development or anyone who is working in a people-facing role,” he told the Straight by phone. “We feel that it’s very beneficial for anyone who wants to upgrade their communications skills.”

In September, VCC will launch its revised counselling-skills foundational certificate. It incorporates core aspects of certificate programs in addiction counselling and community counselling, which are being wound down.

“One of our mandates is to evaluate programs on a regular basis and update them as necessary,” Stevenson explained.

He said that the decision to bring them together came in response to discussions with people in the industry, who felt that it was important for graduates to be familiar with both components, in part because substance use and addiction are very prevalent.

The counselling-skills foundational certificate is offered on a part-time and full-time basis at VCC’s downtown location at 250 West Pender Street. Courses are offered in the evenings.

Depending on how quickly students want to finish, they can take between one and four courses per week, Stevenson said. “The full-time option enables students to complete our program in one year to get them in the field right away.”

Stevenson said that all the instructors are practising counsellors who are up-to-date with the latest developments in the field. And he noted that they bring real-life examples from their practice into the classroom.

VCC has made certain that the new program includes courses ensuring that students become familiar with traditional and contemporary Indigenous practices, as well as diversity, different cultures, and inclusion. Stevenson also said that VCC is looking at developing an advanced certificate with a focus on addiction. The average age of VCC counselling students is about 40.

“They have this desire, ultimately, to help people,” Stevenson said. “That’s what brings people into our program.”

He said some mature students were previously involved in manual labour but are looking for a new career that won’t take such a toll on their body as they get older. He said the school is aware that making the transition back to school after many years in the workforce can be challenging—and it tries to ensure that this takes place smoothly.

Some students are eligible for full funding through Work B.C., provided they meet its requirements for completion of the program within a certain time frame.

“It’s a great option for those students that qualify,” Stevenson stated.

VCC Continuing Studies also offers professional-development courses in counselling for professionals working in a wide range of fields, including youth work, settlement services, social work, and health care.

“We’ve had nurses who work with clients facing substance-use challenges,” Stevenson revealed. “They have contacted us in the past to see if they could take those select courses from our program to get that knowledge so that they can better serve their clients in their professional life.”

He added that some of these courses are prerequisites for those who are planning to enroll in a university master’s program in counselling psychology.

Are you ready for a career transition in the human care and family services industry, or interested in advancing your career in counselling? Apply now to gain the confidence you need in your role as a counselling professional. 

Get the tools to launch careers in CAD, BIM

VCC grad Christine Pimpao helps college keep programs up-to-date

Originally published in the Star Metro Vancouver 

At Vancouver Community College (VCC), learners in the area of study dealing with computer aided drafting (CAD) and 3D building information modelling (BIM) are receiving the latest know-how to enter various careers.

When she graduated from VCC in 2006, Christine Pimpao was one such student. Today, not only is Pimpao a project systems specialist, she is back at the college in a much different role.

"As an alumnus I was asked to sit on the Program Advisory Committee to give VCC advice about what’s happening in the industry and offer guidance to ensure the programs are completely up to date," she says. "That’s one of VCC’s strengths, ensuring courses are relevant and comprehensive."

At VCC, the CAD and BIM area of study — which covers the technology being used in residential and commercial architecture, public infrastructure and engineering — includes six full-time programs. Among these are architectural technician certificate, civil structural technician certificate, and computer aided drafting and building information modelling architectural diploma.

Pimpao says that while topics vary among programs, a staple she experienced during her studies, and which continues to be emphasized today, is practical application.

"Throughout the program, every project, every lecture, everything we did was to work towards a portfolio," she says. "It wasn’t just learning subjects, but creating a professional portfolio we could present to companies."

As a woman in a male-dominated field, Pimpao says VCC gave her the tools to confidently launch her career. She says today there is a shift in the CAD and BIM industries as more women are entering the field.

"As long as you have the type of solid understanding VCC offers, you’ll gain the respect anyone deserves,” she says. "Be confident because there are lots of opportunities."

To learn more about this area of study, attend VCC’s March 20 info session at 4 p.m. For more, visit vcc.ca/info.

Media release: 2019 Flourish Gala

16 culinary stations, 14 wineries, one great cause

flourish gala 2019‌‌

16 culinary stations, 14 wineries, one great cause 

VANCOUVER – Flourish, Vancouver Community College's (VCC) annual fundraising gala, is this Wednesday, March 13 at VCC’s Broadway campus. Proceeds from this event fund scholarships through the VCC Foundation that recognize hardworking and talented students; 2019 contributions will initiate a new scholarship for hair and esthetics students. 

“We are proud of our skilled students and the strong programming we offer in our Green Circle Salons-certified VCC Salon & Spa,” says Brett Griffiths, dean of trades, technology and design. “Flourish showcases many VCC programs with the end result helping deserving students.”

Guests will savour culinary delights from talented chefs such as David Hawksworth (Hawksworth Group), Poyan Danesh (Ocean Mama Seafood), Mark Singson (Top Chef Canada), Bruno Feldeisen (The Great Canadian Baking Show), Tobias Grignon (Rabbit’s Foot Supper Club), Jen Peters (Nextjen), Erin Vickars (Outer Shores), and many more. Also onsite will be 14 wine-tasting stations provided by the Naramata Bench Wineries Association, a live VCC alumni band, fashion elements, a silent auction, and much more. 

VCC is the largest culinary school in Western Canada and continually voted the #1 Professional Culinary School in Georgia Straight’s “Best Of” survey, meaning attendees know the food will be delicious. The gala's green-tie theme showcases VCC's brand while celebrating the spring season as well as student success, growth, and new beginnings.

With food, wine, fashion, live music, and dancing, Flourish promises to be a fun and memorable night showcasing the best of VCC and supporting student success.

Event details:
Wednesday, March 13, 7-10 p.m.
Vancouver Community College, building B, event space
1120 E. 7 Ave., Vancouver 

Visit vcc.ca/gala for more information.

Use promo code VCCCHEF for $50 off an individual ticket purchase

Flourish’s lead sponsors include: Loungeworks, Naramata Bench Wineries Association, Ocean Mama Seafood, TDI, White & Peters, Colour Compass Corporation, Craftsman Collision Limited, and The Georgia Straight. 

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For interview/photo opportunities, media can contact:
Danielle Libonati, Marketing Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7531

A taste of history: Introduction to Chocolate

New Continuing Studies course dives into the history of cocoa and top chocolate techniques



What’s your favourite type of chocolate? Have you ever wondered how it came to be? VCC instructor Caroline Griffiths shares a few flavourful facts ahead of her new evening course, Introduction to Chocolate, starting March 20.

The cocoa bean originated in Mexico (Mesoamerica), and was cultivated by Indigenous peoples for use in beverages and other rituals as far back as 1900 BC. In 1502, Christopher Columbus was the first European to find cocoa beans but he didn’t recognize their value at first, calling them “almonds.” 

Cocoa consumption soon caught on in Europe, however, and by 1580, the first chocolate factory opened in Spain. In 1617, chocolate was produced for the first time in Switzerland, and by 1679, France was manufacturing chocolate as well. It was Daniel Peter of Vevey, Switzerland who invented milk chocolate in 1865. 

Cocoa production today

Today, the Ivory Coast supplies 30 per cent of the world’s total cocoa, leading the rest of the world by over half a million metric tons with a total crop of 1,448,992 tonnes. Ghana has the sec­ond largest cocoa plantation in the world.

A tropical environment with an average temperature of 26 to 28°C and high humidity is required to grow cocoa. The trees take about three years to produce fruit, and for the first few years, the young trees need to be grown under cover. The cocoa flower buds only remain open for four days and it takes about five months from a flower being pollinated to develop into a fully ripe pod.  

Know your chocolate

Do you know what the shelf life for chocolate is? For both white and milk chocolate it’s six to eight months. Dark chocolate can last for up to a year. Also, chocolate with fat content below 33 per cent is best suited for decorations, dessert mousses, shavings, and ganaches while chocolate with fats above 33 per cent is best suited for desserts, fillings, enrobing, and molding.

Ready to learn more? Registration is now open for VCC’s new Introduction to Chocolate course. Join us Wednesday evenings starting March 20 to learn top techniques for working with one of the world’s favourite and most in-demands foods.

Other new VCC Continuing Studies courses starting in Spring 2019 include: 

Baking and Hospitality


Business Communications

Creative Writing

Early Childhood Care and Education


  • Personal Pattern Making 2: Tops and Dresses


Building Service Management


Learn something new. Pick up the Spring 2019 Continuing Studies course catalogue at any VCC campus, download the PDF, or explore the full selection of Continuing Studies courses online. 



Immigrant women find “Sewmates” in new VCC business program

Sewing collective builds up women’s confidence to do business in Canada



Shiva Kharajiani immigrated to Vancouver from Iran in January 2017. Even though the city was beset by ice and snow, she was thrilled to be here. “It felt good. Very good,” she says. 

Within a month, Shiva had enrolled in English as an Additional Language classes but her only social connections were still her husband and teenage daughter. In Iran, Shiva ran her own dressmaking business. She was eager to continue her profession but didn’t know where to begin. 

It was through her daughter’s school that Shiva learned about the Make It! Sewing Business Program, a new, no-cost opportunity delivered jointly by Vancouver Community College (VCC) and DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society with funding by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Set up via VCC’s Partnership Development Office and offered at the Downtown campus, the Make It! program is designed to help immigrant and refugee women create and operate a sewing business collective. 

In October 2018, the Make It! program’s first 12-member cohort started daily, part-time courses in communication, business, and sewing skills. Childminding and transportation were available. By Christmas, the women had produced an original collection of handmade bags and hosted their first public craft sale. 

“In my country, I established my business but I didn’t know about the Canadian market,” says Shiva. “Now I know how to find customers and what they need. This is a big opportunity for me.”

Their first phase complete, the collective, under the brand Sewmates Craft, continues to produce and sell bags and accessories while meeting regularly at VCC for business, production, and marketing planning. 

A pattern for success

Make It! program facilitator and DIVERSEcity employment specialist Florence Kao draws on both her professional experience and hobby sewing skills to lead the group. “I would be sewing at home anyway. It’s what I love to do,” she says. 

Florence, who has worked with newcomers for over nine years, sees great potential in business programs that are intentionally designed for women. While community sewing circles or cooking groups offer valuable social connections, there is little to no business training. Likewise, typical small business programs expect participants to come with refined, professional skills, such as cooking or landscaping. According to Florence, even immigrant women with past work experience often lack the confidence needed for entrepreneurship in Canada. “They don’t realize what they’re capable of,” says Florence. 

By combining skills training and business management in a safe and supportive space, Make It! offers the best of both worlds. “We help women connect, communicate, and get their confidence back,” says Florence.



Follow Sewmates Craft on Facebook or Instagram to know about their upcoming sales and see their latest products including coffee “huggers” and patterned zipper pouches. 

Want to buy or distribute Sewmates Craft products? Connect with them via email at sewmatescraft@gmail.com.


Our current Make It! session is working with women who want to refine their cooking skills and start their own business. Download the brochure


Meet other inspiring immigrant and refugee women from the VCC community:


Top five Valentine’s Day gift ideas from VCC Salon & Spa

Our expert instructors share five hair and skin care products worth falling in love with

When you fall for a beauty product, that relationship that can last a lifetime. This Valentine’s Day, VCC Salon & Spa instructors are letting us in on their long-term love for five hair and skin care products.

Whether you’re shopping for a special someone or boosting your own beauty routine ahead of the big day, check out these top picks, all available for purchase at VCC Salon & Spa.



AG Fast Food $24 

Recommended by: Keeleigh, VCC Salon and Spa program assistant

Silk and keratin proteins work together in this super popular leave-on conditioner. Fast Food adds moisture deep into the hair cuticle for strong, silky hair that stands up to everything February throws at it!   

Salon tip: Use a quarter-sized amount and apply to damp hair focusing on the ends. Comb through.


Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Styling Oil $22.50

Recommended by: Emma, VCC hairstyling instructional assistant

Tame frizz for a smooth, shiny, Valentine’s Day selfie-ready look with this keratin-rich styling oil.  

Salon tip: Start with a minimal amount and apply to hair focusing on ends. Add more if needed. 



Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant $80

Recommended by: Paula, VCC skin and body therapy instructor

Natural rice bran is the secret ingredient in this fresh exfoliant that helps to smooth and even out skin tone. Highly recommended after a box of chocolates.

Spa tip: Use daily after cleansing to unclog pores and get rid of dry skin.


Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer $74

Recommended by: Tyra, VCC Salon & Spa business manager

Prevent sun damage and aging with this SPF-30 powerhouse primer. Skin is left looking smooth, feeling hydrated, and loving you back. 

Spa tip: Mix with your moisturizer for a light tinted coverage.



Eminence Stone Crop Hydrating Mist $44

Recommended by: Chika, VCC skin and body therapy instructor

Hydrate and calm irritated skin with this fresh, fragrant toner. A gentle bouquet of stone crop, aloe, and bearberry help leave your face clear, invigorated, and free of impurities.

Spa tip: Use morning and night after cleansing to keep your skin hydrated.



VCC Salon & Spa Gift Card

Honourable mention

Can't choose? Go with a VCC Salon & Spa gift card, redeemable for VCC Salon & Spa services including manicures, pedicures, facials, massage, hairstyling, and more.


Do you love helping people look and feel their best? Learn more about VCC’s hair design and esthetics programs at an upcoming free information session.


Student T2202A tax forms available

Updated 2018 Student tax forms (T2202A forms) for VCC students are available.  To access your tax receipt, go to myVCC

Enter your student ID number and your password. Then click on 'login' to proceed. For first-time users, your initial password has been set to your birthdate in the format MMDDYY. For example, if your birthdate is Jan. 25, 1975, your password would be 012575. If you have logged in to the system before you will have set up your own password. If you cannot remember your password, go to "To Reset Password" 

myVCC login box

If you need help accessing your tax receipt, please follow the steps described in the T2202A Frequently Asked Questions document. If you have any questions about your tax form please email T2202aHelp@vcc.ca with your question and student ID or call 604.871.7000, ext. 7002.

Transforming kitchen culture at VCC

Three generations of chefs share the benefits of balance and a legacy of culinary respect


As a young chef in Switzerland, VCC honorary alumnus Bruno Marti recalls a men-only kitchen culture of intimidation and competition where apprentices did their assigned work and little more. Bruno, who began cooking as a teenager, tells stories of spying from a staircase just to learn the recipe for his chef's coveted Café de Paris butter.

A few decades later in Delta, B.C., Bruno had established his famed countryside restaurant La Belle Auberge and earned a reputation as one of the region's top culinary mentors.

At seventeen, VCC culinary arts student Scott Jaeger was one of Bruno's first apprentices. While Scott admits to conducting investigations of his own to unearth certain recipes, he also considers Bruno to be one of the most generous chefs in the business. "He would help us out in a heartbeat," says Scott.

For Bruno, departing from a cutthroat kitchen was ultimately due to his love of cooking. "If you're not happy, you're not a good cook," he says. "I was happy mentoring. Eventually your apprentices make you look better, too, so why would you not?"

Today, in his own Burnaby fine-dining restaurant The Pear Tree, Scott carries on Bruno's mentorship tradition, which, continues to diverge from the stereotypical "cook culture" of overwork and burnout. Scott says his apprentices' enthusiasm is what keeps him striving for excellence. "Young chefs are what keep me alive and wanting to do this," he says.

Award-winning VCC alumna and The Pear Tree apprentice Leah Patitucci has already worked in several notable restaurants throughout her training, including Hawksworth and Temper Chocolate & Pastry. She finds that if a kitchen has a good teaching environment, everyone contributes. "It's a family feel," she says.

The chefs also agree that, during any labour shortage, a restaurant's culture plays a major role in retaining good staff. Alongside openness and respect, Scott also believes in finding smarter ways to cope with a sparse workforce, like adjusting opening hours rather than simply asking employees to work harder. "You need a balance," he says. "I want everyone to still love what they do at the end of the day."


Meet VCC chefs in person and learn about your options for a culinary career at our next open house, Experience VCC, on Wednesday, April 24 at the Downtown campus.

Inclement weather reminder

Where to check for campus closures and important safety information

Vancouver Community College (VCC) has a plan in place to ensure a timely and coordinated response to inclement weather. Please note that VCC will remain open during normally scheduled hours unless weather conditions pose a hazard to public safety.

Campus closures

VCC considers many factors when deciding to close the college. These include public transportation availability, road conditions, and forecasts.

VCC’s director of safety and security determines if the college will close. 

In the event of a campus or college-wide closure, VCC will inform the community prior to 6:30 a.m. for morning/daylong closures, 11:30 a.m. for afternoon closures, and 3:30 p.m. for evening closures.

Where to check

VCC's homepage www.vcc.ca is the official source for college closure announcements. Look for an information banner across the top of the page.

Unexpected campus closures and other emergency messages will also be shared through:

VCC Alerts
Our emergency safety response system. It is highly recommended to sign up for VCC Alerts to receive email and/or text message notifications.

Social media
A message will be posted to VCC’s official Twitter account (@myVCC).

Local media
VCC will send an advisory to local radio and TV stations. Recommendations: CKNW 980 (AM) and News AM 1130 (AM)

A message will be recorded on VCC’s general phone line (604.871.7000).

Campus digital signage
An alert will be posted on campus digital signage, which is visible from major campus entry points.

How to start your health care career in 28 weeks

Learn how you can help fill the need for health care assistants in B.C.


Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

Over the next 10 years, WorkBC predicts more than 18,000 health care assistant jobs will be created. At Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) health care assistant program, students are prepared for this field in just 28 weeks. 

“In addition to the demand being caused by our aging population, the field isn’t subject to seasonality or economic booms and busts, and there isn’t a lot of room for automation to affect it,” says Lisa Beveridge, the acting leader of VCC’s continuing care department. “That creates a lot of job security.” 

Delivered through a combination of classroom and lab components, clinical experience in a complex care facility, as well as a community practicum that consolidates the application of learning into care-giving practice, the program places a heavy emphasis on experiential learning. 

“The program includes lots of engagement, discussions, and creative problem solving so students gain the ability to think critically and work in teams, which is important in health care,” says Beveridge. “There are two floors at VCC devoted to a lab environment with real equipment and we also use simulation technology, which is a good transition between classroom and helping real people.”  

Practice makes perfect 

VCC is currently in the early stages of exploring whether there is an opportunity to use virtual reality to offer students more occasions to practice communication or organizational skills prior to their clinical components.

“We’re excited to start looking at what is possible,” says Beveridge. “This is an example of the high standards we have in terms of the quality of care we seek to teach students to provide.”

According to the B.C. Student Outcomes Survey Results 2013-2017, more than seven out of 10 VCC health care assistant students find employment within two months. Additionally, 96 per cent of students said the program helped them develop skills in speaking effectively, analyzing and thinking critically, and working effectively with others.


Nurses and doctors are part of a much larger health care team. Explore the wide variety of health sciences career options at VCC.

How to make the most of Lunar New Year – with Chef Barry Tsang

Secrets to surviving Lunar New Year for restaurant guests, chefs, and home cooks alike


For Asian families around the world, Lunar New Year is the ultimate holiday filled with family gatherings, feasts, travel, gift-giving, parades, fireworks, and more.

In Vancouver, we’re all fortunate to get a real taste of Lunar New Year festivities, but as with any major holiday, things can also get a bit hectic. Luckily, Vancouver Community College (VCC) Asian culinary arts department head Barry Tsang has some expert tips for making the most of the celebrations.

Book smart 

According to Barry, it’s not uncommon for groups of up to 40 people to descend on Chinese restaurants during the holiday period, especially on Lunar New Year’s Eve. “Some restaurants will be serving 600 to 700 people a day,” he says. “Your servers may not have much time for you, and your food will be cooked in a hurry,” he says. 

Chef Barry’s inside tip? Pick another day. Two or three days ahead is smartest, or even Lunar New Year itself. Days to avoid are New Year’s Eve as well as the few days after Lunar New Year. Especially in Canada, where we don't have a national holiday, the day itself is even more flexible. “It’s most important to have family all together,” he says.

Be ready for the rush  

For kitchen and restaurant workers, Barry advises preparation of epic proportions. “Order extra,” he says. Then cut, process, and marinade as much as you can ahead of time. 

Having worked in the industry for 38 years, Barry compares an unprepared kitchen to a row of dominoes. “One piece goes down and the whole thing falls apart,” he warns. 

Barry says communication is also key to conquering a holiday rush in any restaurant. This includes communication not only between cooks but also with the front of house. “It doesn’t matter how busy you are,” he says. “If you’re communicating and you’re well-prepared, you won’t panic.”


Learn more about the deliciously symbolic Chinese foods served on Lunar New Year so you can order like a pro. Another option is to avoid restaurants altogether by cooking something yourself. Try the recipe below for Chef Barry’s sautéed shrimp (虾), which sounds like “ha” in Cantonese and symbolizes laughter and joy.


Sautéed Shrimp

Chef Barry Tsang



A)  oil
      20 pcs shrimp meat (size 21/25, peeled and deveined)

B)  3 tbsp shallots (fine diced)
      3 tbsp carrots (fine diced)
      3 tbsp celery (fine diced)
      1 tbsp garlic (minced)

C)  5 tbsp ketchup
      2 tbsp sugar
      1 tsp Vietnamese chili sauce

D)  1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine

E)  2 sprigs cilantro



1.  Add oil to hot wok and sauté until 50 per cent cooked. Strain oil and set aside.

2.  Add oil to hot wok and sauté first. Add and sauté until thickened. Then add A, sprinkle in D, and toss until cooked.

3.  Garnish with and serve.


Do you have a passion for authentic Asian cooking? Learn more about VCC's professional, five-month Asian culinary arts program starting in February or September.





The winter CS flyer is out!

Check out the new offerings from VCC Continuing Studies

‌‌VCC Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the following new offerings for winter and beyond:CS Flyer winter 2017 cover

Makeup and Hairstyling for Indian Bridal
ECCE Workshop: Exploration with Clay
ECCE Workshop: Introduction to Ethics
ECCE Workshop: Partnership with Families
ECEBC Professional Development: Ethical Journey
Hairstyling Level 1 for Evening, Bridal and Photoshoots
• Interpreting
Introduction to Practice for Non-Registered Healthcare Workers
Make a Copper Plate in a Day
Make a Ring in a Day
Portfolio Development: Photo Shoot
Stone Setting in Jewellery 1- Bezels
Stone Setting in Jewellery 2- Pave Setting


If you’re ready to upgrade your skills, change careers or prepare for a promotion, you’ve come to the right place. VCC Continuing Studies offers more than 40 certificate and diploma programs, scheduled during the day or in the evenings for maximum flexibility.

The CS fall 2016 flyer is out!

Check out the new offerings from VCC Continuing Studies

‌‌VCC Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the following new offerings for Fall 2016 and beyond:CS fall 2016 flyer cover image

• En Español, Por Favor
Fashion Design & Production Diploma
• French for Seniors
• French through Theatre
Hairstyling for Makeup Artists 1
• Interpreting
Introduction to Practice for Non-Registered Healthcare Workers
Make a Copper Bowl in a Day
Make a Ring in a Day
Makeup and Hairstyling for Indian Bridal
Positive Guidance Strategies Workshop
Raising Bilingual Children Workshop
• Renal Dialysis Technician Citation
• Samsung Appliance Repair Technician
Separation Anxiety in Young Children Workshop
Supervised Jewellery Workshop


If you’re ready to upgrade your skills, change careers or prepare for a promotion, you’ve come to the right place. VCC Continuing Studies offers more than 40 certificate and diploma programs, scheduled during the day or in the evenings for maximum flexibility.

Indigenous art at VCC

Learn more about VCC’s Indigenous art collection in this self-guided tour

VCC’s Indigenous art collection is a celebration of the culture, traditions, and values of our Indigenous community. These works are intended to create a welcoming space for Indigenous students while enriching and inspiring the lives of everyone at VCC.

Learn more about our collection here, or use this article to direct your self-guided tour.

Red-feather-left-100 Begin in building A, East Broadway entrance‌


Birch Bark Biting Waneska Wake Up 
2011, Pat Bruderer with framing and lighting by Shain Jackson
Birch bark framed in salvaged old growth cedar and LED lighting
Location: Building A, level 4, opposite counselling office 



The Runner
2011, Debra Sparrow
Plexiglass, sandblasted and frosted
Location: Building A, level 4, adjacent to elevator 



Raven Brings the Light, Heiltsuk
Toni Gladstone, Gordon Gladstone, Gerry Baker 
Glass and wood 
Location: Building A, level 4, adjacent to elevator, north wall of lobby 


 Red-feather-left-100 Take elevator to level 2 and make your way to building B‌



2011, Kelly Cannell
Bronze casting
Location: Building A, level 2, south end of walkway, mounted in pavement 



Coastal Journey
2011, Kelly Cannell
Kiln slumped and sandblasted glass with carved western red cedar frame
Location: Building B, level 2, adjacent to security office 


Red-feather-left-100 Take elevator or stairs to level 3 



Water Blessing (left)
2011, Black Pinto Horse, Monte Yellow Bird, Senior 
Oil on canvas with cowry shells and simulated elk’s teeth 
Location: Building B, level 3, between room 3225 and 3226

Sweet Buffalo Medicine (right)
2007, Black Pinto Horse, Monte Yellow Bird, Senior 
Oil on canvas with cowry shells and embroidery floss 
Location: Building B, level 3, between room 3225 and 3226 


Red-feather-left-100 Take elevator or stairs back to level 2‌



Elders Hands
2011, Jackie Traverse 
Acrylic on canvas 
Location: Building B, level 2, opposite room 2229a 



Doors and Archway
2010, Aaron Moody 
Yellow cedar 
Location: Building B, level 2, on folding doors of Aboriginal Gathering Space, adjacent to room 2232 



Cedar Salmons
2010, Shain Jackson 
Red cedar plywood with abalone inlay 
Location: Building B, level 2, on concrete columns at the Aboriginal Gathering Place 



Canoe and Paddles
2005, Aaron Moody, Shane Point 
Red cedar 
Location: Building B, level 2, opposite room 2232 at the Aboriginal Gathering Place 


Red-feather-left-100 Continue your tour on level 2‌



2010, Ray Natraoro 
Yellow cedar 
Location: Building B, level 2, inside room 2232 at the Aboriginal Gathering Place 



First Quarter Moon
2008, Burton F. Amos 
Location: Building B, level 2, inside room 2232 at the Aboriginal Gathering Place 

Red-feather-left-100 Go to the main stairs to see the next three pieces‌



A Dance for Streams, A Gift of Life 
2010, Jerry Whitehead 
Acrylic on canvas 
Location: Building B, level 2, at the top of the main stairwell 



New Direction 
2011, Robyn Sparrow 
Wool, mounted in cedar display case 
Location: Building B, level l, adjacent to room l23l, near the bottom of the stairwell 



Our Salish Sea Waterways 
2011, A collaboration of Pamela Baker and Shain Jackson 
Sandblasted aluminum, acrylic and LED lighting 
Location: Building B, level G, adjacent to revolving doors 


Thank you for showing interest in VCC's Indigenous art collection! Learn more about supports for Indigenous students at VCC including program advising, scholarships, bursaries, and on-campus Gathering Spaces by visiting VCC Indigenous Services


Call for nominations

It's time to recognize an outstanding VCC alumnus. Nominations are open until Jan. 30

The Outstanding Alumni Awards were established to recognize the outstanding achievements of our graduates and non-alumni who have made a significant contribution to VCC and/or the local community.‌

It is time once again to nominate your favourite VCC grad in one of the following categories:

  • Career Success
  • Changemaker
  • Community Contribution
  • Honorary Alumnus (not a VCC grad, but one who has contributed to the VCC community or the community at large)
  • One to Watch

The nomination submission deadline is January 30, 2019. Simply fill out the online form and upload any supporting documents.

Winners will be announced in February 2019 and celebrated at an Outstanding Alumni Awards ceremony on March 13, 2019 immediately prior to the Flourish Gala.

If you have any questions or need to send supplemental documentation separately, please email Nancy Nesbitt.

VCC community honoured by jewellery and gemmology industries

Congratulations Donna Hawrelko and Ruby Rue on well-deserved awards

It’s been an exciting few months for jewellery and gemmology at Vancouver Community College (VCC). Join us in congratulating VCC instructor Donna Hawrelko for being internationally recognized by the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) for her work in gemmological education and training. In December, VCC student Ruby Rue also won a coveted jewellery scholarship thanks to an inspiring, original design.

Read more in the stories below, originally published in Jewellery Business magazine. 


VCC’s Donna Hawrelko honoured for gemmological excellence

A Canadian gemmology expert is being recognized for her work by the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA).

Donna Hawrelko, president of the Canadian Gemmological Association (CGA), is one of four recipients of AGA’s 2019 Antonio C. Bonanno Award.

The accolade recognizes Hawrelko’s accomplishments in supporting gemmological education and training, as well as her commitment to her students and to furthering gemmological knowledge in Canada and worldwide.

“This award means so much to me,” said Hawrelko. “Being recognized by my peers is such an honour and I am so grateful for the acknowledgement.”

The recognition comes only a few months after Hawrelko—a gemmology professor at Vancouver Community College (VCC)—received an Award for Excellence in Teaching at CGA’s 60th anniversary conference.

“The last few years have been momentous for gemmology in Canada,” Hawrelko added. “Last year, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of CGA, and now we are kicking off 2019 with this great honour.”

Hawrelko will be recognized alongside this year’s other Bonanno Award winners (Alberto Scarani and Mikko Åström of Magilabs, along with researcher Dr. Karl Schmetzer) at the AGA Annual Dinner Gala in Tucson on February 6.




Vancouver student wins 2018 Vaccaro Family Scholarship

When second-year Vancouver Community College (VCC) student Ruby Rue was crafting her submission for this year’s Giovanni Vaccaro Family Scholarship, more than one kind of ‘Starry Night’ was on her mind.

The theme for the 2018 competition, ‘Starry Night’ carries a slew of different meanings for different individuals, and Rue drew on this in her design. Titled ‘Eventide Glow,’ her sterling silver piece reflects humans’ longstanding fascination with the stars and incorporates different techniques to imply versatility.

This outside-the-box thinking seemed to resonate with the judges, as Rue took home the scholarship for 2018. In recognition, she will receive a $3000 prize, while VCC’s jewellery art and design program will receive $1000.

“I’m very honoured and excited to receive this award,” Rue tells Jewellery Business. “It feels like a real encouragement to continue making jewellery and will be a great help paying for tools to help me realize my future designs.”

She counts her experience in other art forms (such as welding and film), as well as the influence of her parents, among her inspirations as an artist. After completing her final year at VCC, Rue aims to launch her own jewellery line and studio, distributing her pieces both online and in local stores.

When asked what advice she would offer to students who are new to the industry, Rue’s message was simple: keep at it.

“I would say just do not give up. There are a tonne of things to learn and it may feel overwhelming at the start, but it gets easier,” she explains. “Also, do not be afraid to get help from someone else—you cannot be an expert at everything.”


Learn more about the exciting world of gemmology and jewellery design at an upcoming free information session at VCC.


VCC’s Asian culinary arts program feeds demand

Expert training and modern kitchens prepare VCC grads for industry


Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

From perfectly rolled sushi to the crisp vegetables and tender beef of a good stir fry, students at Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Asian culinary arts program are learning the tips and tricks of Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Thai, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Korean, and fusion cuisine.

It’s an art, says the school’s Asian culinary department leader, which gives students an in-demand skill set.

“There are so many Asian restaurants opening in the Lower Mainland and even supermarkets with Asian kitchens, such as Safeway and T&T Supermarket, are increasingly coming to me to look for students,” says Barry Tsang. “We also get students who simply want to learn Asian cuisine as a hobby.”

Offered at VCC for more than 40 years, Asian Culinary Arts is the only full-time program of its kind in North America. Twenty weeks in length, it features a concentrated delivery in a modern, fully equipped commercial kitchen. The program is divided into lectures and hands-on training, with students learning about 150 recipes — which are served in the school’s cafeteria — by the time they graduate.

“I always tell my students the only difference between our kitchen and a real kitchen is that I can’t curse,” jokes Tsang. “Their training is very realistic and each day they are doing something new because they rotate roles to ensure they experience all the techniques.”

While learning to prepare and cook meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables, students acquire the know-how of cooking methods including stir frying, pan frying, deep frying, broiling, braising, and steaming.

Proper use, handling, and care for different equipment and woks are also covered, as are health and safety, sanitation standards, B.C. labour standards, and food costing.

“I want students to understand their rights as professionals in this industry, which is why the curriculum goes beyond cooking,” says Tsang. “I want to ensure they are well rounded.”


Apply now to our five-month, full-time Asian culinary arts program starting in February or September.

The Winter 2018 Continuing Studies guide is out!

New offerings feature courses in makeup artistry, culinary arts and accessibilty training

‌‌VCC Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the following new offerings for January and beyond:

· Adobe Illustrator for Interior Design: Level 1
· Art of Henna/Mehndi 1
· Art of Henna/Mehndi 2
· CGA Diamond Grading
· Creative Writing – The Personal Narrative
· Cucina Italiana – Culture of Italian Cuisine
· Cucina Italiana – Pasta
· Cucina Italiana – Pizza, Bread & Italian Pastry
· Cucina Italiana – Gourmet Gelato
· Cucina Italiana – Italian Wine & Food Paring
· Ethics and Fiscal Management for Volunteer Managers
· Fashion Show Production
· Introduction to Industrial Sewing Machines
· Introduction to Revit
· Leadership and Management for Volunteer Managers
· Mend, Transform, Renew
· Microsoft Outlook: More Than Just Email
· Mutual Performance Evaluations
· Orientation, Training and Supervision of Volunteers
· Physical Assessments for Nurses
· Pojagi Workshop
· Policies and Procedures for Volunteer Managers
· RHFAC Accessibility Assessor Training
· Risk Management for Volunteer Managers
· Samsung Appliance Repair Technician – Professional Pathway
· Social Media: Marketing and Branding
· Volunteer Management Foundations
· Volunteer Recognition and Retention



If you’re ready to upgrade your skills, change careers or prepare for a promotion, you’ve come to the right place. VCC Continuing Studies offers an extensive range of diplomas, certificates and courses, scheduled during the day or in the evenings for maximum flexibility.

The Fall 2017 Continuing Studies catalogue is out!

New offerings feature courses in fashion production, interior design, volunteer management and more

‌‌VCC Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the following new offerings for September and beyond:

· Adobe Illustrator for Interior Design: Level 1
· Board Development
· CGA Diamond Grading
· Ethics and Fiscal Management for Volunteer Managers
· Event Planning for Volunteer Managers
· Fashion Show Production
· Introduction to Industrial Sewing Machines
· Leadership and Management for Volunteer Managers
· Mend, Transform, Renew
· Mutual Performance Evaluations
· Orientation, Training and Supervision of Volunteers
· Pojagi Workshop
· Policies and Procedures for Volunteer Managers
· Risk Management for Volunteer Managers
· Samsung Repair Technician – Entry Pathway Program
· Volunteer Management Foundations
· Volunteer Recognition and Retention


If you’re ready to upgrade your skills, change careers or prepare for a promotion, you’ve come to the right place. VCC Continuing Studies offers an extensive range of diplomas, certificates and courses, scheduled during the day or in the evenings for maximum flexibility.

Top 10 VCC stories of 2018

A look at the year’s most popular online stories featuring VCC students, instructors, and alumni



Happy New Year, VCC! Let’s celebrate by taking a look back at 2018’s most popular online stories featuring our students, instructors, and alumni.


10. The top five things we love about nursing

During National Nursing Week, we shone the spotlight on this time-honoured yet ever-changing profession 


9. VCC wins big at Skills Canada BC 2018 provincials

VCC students earn 18 medals including two podium sweeps at BC’s biggest skills competition


8. VCC cooks up national gold at Skills Canada 

Culinary apprentice Carmen Rosa shares her path to the podium and a promising career


7. Theatre production supports VCC’s Deaf, hard of hearing, and visually impaired

A presentation of Love, Loss and What I Wore by award-winning screenwriters and authors Nora and Delia Ephron supports VCC students with disabilities


6. New program teaches the skills to rate building accessibility

The Rick Hansen Foundation is guiding VCC students to rethink building design to create truly accessible spaces


5. Heat’s story: Blazing trails in food and business 

VCC alumnus and Indigenous chef Heat Laliberte shares his journey from foster care to culinary entrepreneur


4. B.C. government announces $1.5 million for disability career programs 

A visit from The Honourable Melanie Mark announces funding to further diversity in education, trades training, and the workforce


3. The many faces of Adult Basic Education 

As VCC celebrates one year of tuition-free ABE, we shine a light on some of our most inspiring students


2. Sacred stories: Gladue program responds to a decades-old call for justice

How a new VCC pilot program is promoting healing and progress for Indigenous offenders


1. Women’s work: meet the new generation in automotive trades 

VCC’s automotive refinishing technicians talk trades, trends, and workplace culture


Stay up-to-date on what's happening in the VCC community year round by visiting vcc.ca/news

Q&A with VCC gemmology student Erica Dentinger

Experience the journey from jewellery to gemmology through the eyes of a student



Get to know VCC gemmology student Erica Dentinger.

What brought you to the Gemmology program at VCC?
I found out about the gemmology program when I was already enrolled in the jewellery art and design program. Gemstones are my favourite part of jewellery, so I wanted to focus on that.

Why did you choose VCC?
I chose VCC because I have taken a few courses over the years and have been happy with the education. Bonus being that this program is offered in the best city in Canada and my hometown.

How would you describe your experience here?
My experience with the gemmology program has been great! I went in thinking I knew a lot about gemstones but I quickly realized there was so much more to learn. My favourite part of the program has been hands on learning with real gemstones and equipment like microscopes. (Instructor) Donna Hawrelko has been an enormous help with her wealth of knowledge, not just of gemstones
but the entire industry.

Anything unusual you’ve learned during the course of your studies?
I learned that there is an opalized dinosaur fossil!

Tell us about your designs
I use colourful gemstones in interesting shapes and design jewellery around them. I’m constantly amazed at the earth’s ability to create what are essentially beautiful rocks, so I like the focus to be on the natural beauty of gems.

What are your goals after the program?
My ultimate goal is to open my own jewellery store with a focus on gemstones. I hope to travel abroad to seek out ethical and eco-friendly gems straight from the source.


VCC offers four different Gemmology and Jewellery industry certifications as well as an assortment of part-time courses. Join us at upcoming info session to learn more.


CS Winter 2019 Guide 800‌‌ 

Where's my class? Winter 2019

Look up start dates and classrooms for programs starting in Winter 2019

 Welcome to VCC! Use this chart to look up start dates and room numbers for your first day of school.

Program Start Date Campus Room
Administrative Assistant  Jan. 2 DTN 622
Automotive Collision Repair  Jan. 8 BWY Building B, G222
Automotive Service Tech – Harmonized Foundation   Jan. 7 BWY Building B, 1212
Nursing (BScN) – Year 1  Jan. 2 BWY Building B, 2227
Baking and Pastry Arts  Jan. 7 DTN 216
Graphic Design – Year 1   Jan. 7  DTN 819
Graphic Design – Year 2  Jan. 7 DTN 914
Hairstylist  Jan. 3/7 DTN  201 (Salon and Spa) 
Health Care Assistant  Jan. 7 BWY Building B, 2209
Health Unit Coordinator  Jan. 7 BWY Building B, 4219
Hospitality Management   Jan. 2 DTN 112 (Auditorium)
Pharmacy Technician  Jan. 7 BWY Building B, 3212 
Practical Nursing  Jan. 2 BWY  Building B, 1208 
Professional Cook 2 (42614)  Jan. 7 DTN 320B 
Professional Cook 2 (42686)  Jan. 7 DTN 306
Professional Cook 2 (42697)  Jan. 7  DTN  316B 
Professional Cook 2 (42708)  Jan. 7 DTN 316A
Skin and Body Therapy (40680)  Jan. 3 DTN 201 (Salon and Spa)
Skin and Body Therapy (40663)  Jan. 7 DTN 201 (Salon and Spa)

Q&A with VCC makeup artistry grad Kelly Bui

Learn how to make your mark in the ever-changing field of makeup artistry



Get to know VCC makeup artistry graduate Kelly Bui.

What is your current job?
I am currently a freelance makeup artist. My main focus is on bridal and commercial makeup.

Share an interesting thing about your journey.
Prior to being a paid artist, I did a lot of free work to help build my portfolio. I volunteered to do makeup whenever I had spare time. This gave me the opportunity to gain valuable experience and to meet some of the most amazing people in the industry. It also led to paid gigs and referrals. Even now, I do volunteer and trade work in my spare time as it challenges me to work with different people in different kinds of environments. Hard work does pay off so don’t give up on something you love.

What was the best part about studying at VCC?
I liked that the tuition fees were affordable. I enjoyed the smaller class sizes which allowed me to have more one-on-one time with the instructors and I was able to get to know my classmates so we could learn tips and tricks from each other.

Where on campus was your favourite place to take a break?
Since I took mostly night classes, my favourite place was the cafeteria. I’d go there to grab a coffee before class and would sit there with my iPad and browse the internet for inspiration.

What would people be surprised to know about being a makeup artist?
People would be surprised that there are so many different career paths: freelance, film, special FX, blogger, celebrity makeup artist, counter work, and more. I still find myself taking additional courses or training to enhance my skills. Makeup is always changing, and keeping up with trends is always fun.


Register now for VCC's Makeup Artistry Certificate or an assortment of part-time professional development courses.


CS Winter 2019 Guide 800‌‌ 

Are you ready for a career in volunteer management?

VCC instructor Milena Santoro describes this fun and rewarding career


Article by VCC instructor Milena Santoro

Does this sound like you? Friendly, outgoing, lover of challenges, flexible, helpful, organized. If so, then you might be a perfect fit for developing a career as a volunteer manager.

Volunteer management can be a part time or a full time job. Professional volunteer managers instead can have paid employment on a regular basis with non-profit organizations and educational or care facilities. Another aspect of volunteer management is helping to organize special events, fundraising and gala events, sports gatherings, and games or conventions. As a volunteer manager, you will be involved in developing community relations and community building.

The skill set you need will be as varied as your work and possibly involve developing proposals, recruiting and screening volunteer applicants, training and orientation supervision, evaluation, and reporting. Applying for grants and administrative tasks is also often part of the job description.

The job is multi-faceted and comes with huge personal rewards. You will have countless opportunities to interact with volunteers who are giving of their time and energy because they too are friendly and like being helpful. You will help these amazing volunteers reach their full potential through many positive experiences.


VCC’s volunteer management certificate offers the knowledge and skills needed to start you on this exciting and fulfilling career path.


CS Winter 2019 Guide 800‌‌ 

Welcome back! Winter 2019

Get the tips and information you need to succeed at VCC in Winter 2019



Welcome to Vancouver Community College. Whether you’re starting a brand-new program or you’re back for another term, we want to make sure you have the information and resources you need to succeed throughout your studies.

Where's my class?

Know where to go on your first day. Use this chart to look up your building and room number on the first day of school.

If you have any questions, just find one of our friendly Peer Helpers. They’ll be around campus wearing "VCC" T-shirts.

myVCC student email

Get access to your own myVCC student email:

  • Log in to my.vcc.ca and select "Email" to access your student email.
  • If it's your first time logging in, your password will be your birthday (MMDDYY).
  • Important notifications may be sent to this email address, so it's a good idea to check it regularly or forward your myVCC email to your personal email account.

You can also use myVCC to look up grades, order transcripts, access tax forms, and receive campus news and alerts.

Welcome Days

Welcome Days is a fun, interactive opportunity for all students to ask questions and learn about life at VCC. Enjoy music, games and snacks, and win great prizes while getting acquainted with classmates, staff, and all the on-campus services.

Welcome Days will be held from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at the Broadway campus and Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the Downtown campus.


On-campus services

VCC offers a wide range of services to help you meet your educational goals and make the most of your time at college.

Student services

Eat, shop + more


Cannabis on campus

As many of you know, cannabis is now legal for non-medical use in Canada. VCC is committed to providing a safe working and learning environment, and the well-being of our students and employees is always our first priority.

VCC expects all students to be fit to perform their learning activities in a safe and secure manner. This includes being free from the effects of any intoxicants (such as cannabis) while engaging in educational activities at one of our campuses or at an offsite location. Learn more >

Safe and respectful campus

VCC expects students to conduct themselves responsibly and respectfully. As such, students are required to be familiar with the student non-academic code of conduct. Please review the student code of conduct policy and procedures.

Talk to us


Follow and engage with your college online via VCC's official social media accounts. Mention us in your posts or use the hashtag #myVCC to share your talents, your projects, or even just the view from your classroom. 



VCC offers a promising path to apprenticeships

Tyhree Nguyen-Serrano shares how she started with the basics in auto collision repair


Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

From Nov. 4 to 10, British Columbians celebrated Apprentice Recognition Week — an opportunity to acknowledge the hard-working and talented tradespeople and apprentices who participate in formal apprenticeship training. 

One of those apprentices is Vancouver Community College (VCC) student Tyhree Nguyen-Serrano, who is making her way through the various levels of automotive collision repair technician apprentice training. 

“Everyone at VCC is so nice and supportive, which makes things so much easier,” says Nguyen-Serrano of her experience. “Overall, it’s been a great experience.” 

While various apprenticeship opportunities exist at VCC, Nguyen-Serrano entered through ACE IT (now called Youth Train In Trades) — a dual-credit program that enables secondary school students to earn high school graduation credits and the opportunity to receive credit for the first level of the technical training in an Industry Training Authority program, which may lead to apprenticeship. Through this pathway, Nguyen-Serrano completed the eight-month automotive collision repair technician - high school program. 

“This program leaves you with a career and without ACE IT, I honestly don’t know where I would be,” says Nguyen-Serrano. 

The automotive collision repair technician - high school program is divided into two levels and contains a number of modules grouped into major competencies, during which students use modern equipment and techniques to gain industry-appropriate skills. 

It culminates in an eight-week industry work practicum and gives students the opportunity to not only gain 480 hours of work-based training credits towards Level 1 apprenticeship but also to write the Level 1 technical exam.

“We had a combination of theory and hands-on practice,” says Nguyen-Serrano, who is now back at VCC completing the five-week automotive collision repair technician apprentice, which advances apprentices’ skills in repairing a wide variety of auto body surfaces. 

“There are demo vehicles and you get to use all the tools you find in real shops, so they do a great job of preparing you for the real world.”


See our on-campus repair shops, meet instructions, and ask questions at an upcoming free Autmotive Trades information session. Sign up now.

Fall 2018 Student Awards recap

VCC hosted its bi-annual student awards ceremony to celebrate student's academic excellence

On Friday, Nov. 30, Vancouver Community College (VCC) hosted its bi-annual Student Awards to recognize and celebrate the academic excellence of many talented, hardworking, and deserving students enrolled in a wide range of programs.

The morning and afternoon ceremonies took place at the Broadway campus event space, where the VCC Foundation distributed 189 scholarships and awards valued at over $131,000. These awards are meant to encourage and support students in their journey to academic and career success. The award ceremonies and following tea reception also provide an opportunity for the student recipients to meet with and thank donor representatives in person.

Many of the financial awards are funded by generous donors wishing to acknowledge students who demonstrate leadership in the classroom or in their community. A number of award recipients have also overcome significant personal obstacles and financial barriers to pursue their studies.

At every Student Awards, one recipient is selected for a video profile. This fall showcased Daniel Liu, a student in the Baking and Pastry Arts program. The scholarship is funded by Snow Cap Enterprises, a longtime donor and supporter of VCC, and is awarded to a student who excelled in the Baking and Pastry Arts apprenticeship program.

View the full photo gallery of this year's Student Awards ceremonies on VCC’s Flickr page.


Learn more about how VCC supports students with financial aid including bursaries, awards, and scholarships by browsing through our Online Awards Guide. To make a gift toward VCC scholarships, bursaries, and other initiatives, email give@vcc.ca or visit our online catalogue of gifts.

Fall 2018 Convocation recap

VCC celebrated its fall 2018 graduates on November 20


One has to endure challenges at work, home and in life. You may feel down, have doubts about yourself, but one must be strong to fulfill your dreams.” – Doreen Wong, Auto Collision

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to announce the graduation of 1,146 dedicated and hardworking students on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. Over 500 supportive friends and family members filled the seats at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre before the start of the ceremony at 1 p.m.

Degrees, diplomas, and certificates were awarded to the following areas:

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
  • School of Trades, Technology and Design
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Continuing Studies
  • Library and Teaching & Learning Services

Valedictorian Russell Jang, graduate of the Food Service Careers program, addressed his graduating class with an empowering message:

“In life there will be challenges and adversities, but remember to acknowledge others for supporting you in your journey. Most of all, remember to enjoy those moments that bring you fulfillment and satisfaction.”

Russell was determined to succeed in his program and in the food service industry, while overcoming personal barriers. He worked hard to expand his comfort zone and strengthened his social skills to achieve that. His positivity, leadership and commitment paid off – Russell is now a team member at Tacofino Venables.

After the procession of graduates, VCC alumna Doreen Wong offered some words of wisdom to the class of 2018.

“Regardless of your age or gender, you must not let anyone tell you that you are not good enough. You are here today in this graduating class because you have succeeded in your training and your accomplishments are recognized.”

Doreen is a trailblazer for women in trades, being one of the first women to receive qualifications in the auto collision industry. As an instructor in VCC’s auto collision and refinishing prep for over 10 years Doreen has been a role model for so many young women in trades.

View the full photo gallery online.

Watch the video recording online.

Congratulations to our VCC Grads! Learn about the perks and benefits you now receive as VCC alumni.

Cannabis use on campus

Important information for students regarding the legalization of cannabis


As many of you know, cannabis is now legal for non-medical use in Canada. VCC is committed to providing a safe working and learning environment for our college community members, and the well-being of our students and employees is always our first priority.  

VCC expects all students to be fit to perform their learning activities in a safe and secure manner.  This includes being free from the effects of any intoxicants (such as cannabis) while engaging in educational activities at one of our campuses or at an offsite location. As a member of the VCC community, you should be aware of the following:

• Students who appear to be unfit to safely perform their educational activities may be removed from the learning environment for their own safety and for the safety of others.

• Students who are unfit to safely perform their educational activities must notify their instructor that they are unfit to safely perform their activities.

• Students who are unfit to safely perform their educational activities may be in breach of college policies such as the Student Code of Conduct.

VCC community members are also responsible for being aware of the legal regulations surrounding the use of non-medical cannabis. Further information can be found at this on VCC's website, or on the BC Government website. 

Students who are medically authorized to use cannabis due to a chronic or disabling condition should contact the Disability Counsellor at disabilityservices@vcc.ca, or by calling 604.871.7000, option 2, to discuss appropriate accommodations.

Continuing Studies Winter 2019 guide out now!

Learn about VCC's new Introduction to School-Age Care course


A lot of great things can happen in the hours after school lets out and before the workday ends. For many kids from working families, after-school care programs fill this gap and play an important role in their learning and development. 

Studies show that children who have access to after-school programs with caring, responsible adults:

  • develop critical thinking skills,
  • develop social and emotional skills,
  • have meaningful self-direction social time with friends,
  • feel a sense of well-being and belonging as result of having access to a consistent, caring adults and learning community,
  • are able to take part in exciting and fun group games, creative arts activities and community field trips and events, and
  • have access to nutritious snacks.

Unlike the field of early childhood education, there is no standardized training for school-age care professionals. Most often, organizations develop internal training for the new employees or hire people with varying profiles and levels of education.

VCC’s Introduction to School-Age Care course, launching in January, is your starting point to one of the most comprehensive school-age care programs available. 

Participants in this course will gain broad-based, foundational knowledge required to work successfully in school-age programs. Key concepts include child growth and development, three school-age domains (group games, self-directed social play, and creative/fine arts), curriculum/program development, care and guidance best practice including elements of the British Columbia Early Learning Framework. 

The course is taught by VCC instructor Tyler Summers who has been working in school-age care for two decades and is the executive director at Jericho Kids Club Child Care Society and a member of the School Age Child Care Association of British Columbia. 


Other new VCC Continuing Studies courses starting in Winter 2019 include: 

Business Communications
Google AdWords Training
Visual Analytics with Tableau

Creative Writing
Writing Sparks to Completion
Mystery and Crime Writing

Early Child Care and Education
Introduction to School-Age Care

Personal Pattern Making 1 – Bottoms

Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) – Wine Sommelier Level 1
World of Breads

Jewellery Repair


Electronic Discovery and Litigation Technology

Personal Finance
Building a Stock Portfolio
Financial Literacy 101
Understanding the Stock Market

Designing Infographics with Google Tools
Google Fusion Tables: Creating Interactive Visualizations and Maps
Introduction to Logic Pro
Introduction to Python Programming
Photoshop Level 1 (Mac)

Pool Operator


Learn something new. Pick up the Winter 2019 Continuing Studies course catalogue at any VCC campus, download the PDF, or explore the full selection of Continuing Studies courses online. 


CS Winter 2019 Guide 800‌‌ 

Experience VCC grand prize winner is Liza Marie Rivero

We caught up with Liza to learn what's in store


Thank you to all who attended our Experience VCC open house in October and filled out our survey. Our winner for the grand prize of $500 in VCC tuition is Liza Marie Rivero. We caught up with her to find out what she has planned next.


Congratulations Liza! Tell us about how you first heard about Experience VCC and why you decided to attend.

I first heard about the event when VCC recruiters visited our high school to talk about post-secondary options and that we could learn about different programs at Experience VCC. It sounded really fun and interesting so I decided to attend and see for myself.


What did you enjoy the most at Experience VCC?

The people who were present at the different stations were friendly and interactive. I also liked the Passport to Hospitality section where you could decorate your own cookies and customize your crepes.


What do you hope to study at VCC?

Cooking and baking really interest me. Growing up, my mom used to own a beach resort in the Philippines and I would help out with the reception while she would cook. After I toured the facilities here at the college I could see myself working in the kitchens along with all the other students. 


What do you enjoy the most about culinary and baking?

I really like designing food, like the art of plating and decorating desserts. During my food classes, I remember feeling proud of an assignment where there was no recipe and you could make your own thing. I enjoy the freedom of being innovative and creative. 


What do you do outside of cooking?

Music has been a big part of my life. My grandmother used to be a music teacher, so I grew up making music as well as singing. I also enjoy playing badminton in my spare time. 


What are your hopes for the future?

I would like to work in upscale restaurants, perhaps in Italian cuisine. Someday, I would like to own a restaurant, so studying and going into business is something else I'm considering. Helping my mom at the beach resort is another option. 


What excites you the most at the prospect of starting at VCC?

Meeting people with similar interests, who dream big, and being able to learn from them. 

Missed Experience VCC? Stay connected for details on our next open house in Spring 2019 or register now for an upcoming program info session

College calls on cell phones for innovative language learning program

Pilot project to involve 600 students

The future of education will have a familiar ring to it when Vancouver Community College (VCC) launches education program delivery by cellular phone (mlearning).

VCC will be providing language learning to 600 students who otherwise may not have access to classrooms due to distance or waitlists.

In partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the project starting this November will test mlearning as an alternative to traditional education.

“In 2018-19, IRCC will provide $32 million in funding for as many as 100 service delivery improvement projects across Canada,” said the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “Understanding newcomer needs and developing innovative approaches, as the Vancouver Community College has done, is what IRCC’s new Service Delivery Improvement funding stream is all about.”

The immediate goal of the VCC project is to provide language learning to refugees and immigrants currently on the waitlist to attend VCC’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Participants will be able to learn on a cellular phone on their own schedule and pace using the Cell-Ed English language training platform.

“We believe in innovative technologies that create more access to education,” said VCC President Dr. Peter Nunoda. “Although we’re the first college in B.C. to deliver mlearning, it has a proven track record in the USA, Europe and Africa. Many people are comfortable with the use of cellular phones. And they’re more accessible than computers ”

VCC has partnered with Cell-Ed, an experienced, award-winning provider of mlearning, to enable learners access to courses anywhere and anytime. The program will also allow participants to connect with supportive coaches through face-to-face workshops and the phone to provide additional learning support.

The program will be evaluated after two test phases of approximately 300 students each. The pilot project is expected to be completed by April 2020.

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Media can contact:

Tanis Sawkins
Director, Partnership Development Office
Vancouver Community College
604-871-7000, ext. 8350

VCC Continuing Studies creates convenient pathways

Learn more about VCC's fashion merchandising and makeup artistry programs

fashion merchandising 800 

‌As originally posted in The Georgia Straight

Vancouver Community College has been delivering career education for more than 50 years, including through its continuing-studies division. In an effort to increase accessibility, it has decided to offer three of its eight courses online for those seeking a fashion-merchandising-associate certificate.

“Textiles is currently online,” fashion-programs coordinator Sarah Murray told the Straight by phone. “Fashion forecasting is going to be offered online for the first time in the winter. And the fashion merchandising course will be offered online in the springtime.”

She pointed out that students can take the eight courses—including fashion marketing and promotion, fashion retail management, fashion styling, history of fashion, and retail buying—in whatever sequence they prefer. Students take two courses per term and they can receive a certificate within a year.

“It’s particularly good for people who are working in the retail industry already and are looking to move up,” Murray said. “Whether they want to work at head office or be a manager or supervisor, this program is great for that.”

That’s because it provides a comprehensive overview of the business side of the fashion industry. It’s a sector that will face far more demand for workers in the coming years, according to the 2016 B.C. Alliance for Manufacturing report on the B.C. apparel industry. It forecast that the industry will lose 37.8 percent of its workers through attrition by 2025.

Murray said that some of the greatest demand will be for people who are knowledgeable about merchandising and e-commerce.

As part of VCC’s philosophy of learning by doing, fashion-merchandising students work with local designers to develop marketing plans. Students also organize a photo shoot in their styling class, lining up models, hair and makeup artists, and photographers.

These can be included in the students’ portfolio when they go looking for jobs. “It’s less than $3,000 to get the certificate,” Murray said. “It is a valuable item to have on a résumé because I do think it helps you move up the ranks.”


It’s not the only style-oriented continuing-studies program. Justin Ewart is program coordinator for the makeup-artistry certificate. There are seven courses offered, but students only need to complete five of them to graduate.

The four required courses are makeup-artistry fundamentals, evening and bridal makeup, fashion and photography makeup, and freelance and career development. Electives include airbrushing makeup, theatrical makeup, and film-and-television makeup.

In a phone interview with the Straight, Ewart explained that it can be done part-time. On average, it takes a student just less than a year and a half, though they can stretch it out to five years if they register for one course per term.

“In the fundamentals course, they learn to identify different skin tones…and how to apply makeup to them, as well as identifying different face shapes, eye shapes, and lip shapes and how to do proper application to them, or even correction to them,” he said. “We teach them how to cover a blemish.”

In addition, students learn how to properly highlight a cheekbone or nose, as well as how to give clients a more defined jawline and adjust the shape of someone’s eye.

“If you take a brush and do the eyeliner down, it’s going to pull down the eye,” Ewart said. “If they angle the eyeliner up, it’s going to lift up the eye.”

He noted that this certificate program can lead to freelance makeup work, as well as employment in the beauty industry. Prospective students should have a good work ethic, a willingness to market their skills, and an ability to work well with clients. “You have to be a people person—someone with a positive attitude.”

Entrepreneur training program to help newcomers Make It in Canada

VCC makes it possible for immigrant women to start small business

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is making it possible for women who've just arrived in Canada to use their skills and start a small business.

Make It!, a social entrepreneurship project aimed at refugee and immigrant women, began this November with 10 women working together to improve their sewing skills, make products that are marketable and gain basic Canadian business knowledge. VCC is partnering with DiverseCity community resources society in Surrey, B.C., which has been supporting refugees and immigrants for 40 years.

The 10-week project will use a fully equipped lab with industrial sewing machines at VCC’s downtown campus as a maker-space. The ‘collective’ will operate a group business for income generation and work experience. Following this first project, a second will be launched for those interested in food preparation, using VCC’s commercial kitchen. Products for both projects will be sold through VCC’s and other retail outlets.

The project, funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, aims to provide the English language and essential skills training to make it as an entrepreneur in a social enterprise model.

“In 2018-19, IRCC will provide $32 million in funding for as many as 100 service delivery improvement projects across Canada,” said the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “Understanding newcomer needs and developing innovative approaches, as the Vancouver Community College has done, is what IRCC’s new Service Delivery Improvement funding stream is all about.”

The learnings from these two projects will be shared to support similar projects at other colleges.

 - 30 -

Media can contact:

Tanis Sawkins
Director, Partnership Development Office
Vancouver Community College
604-871-7000, ext. 8350

Support VCC students this holiday season

Join the movement dedicated to giving back

VCC is inviting you to participate in Giving Tuesday on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by supporting VCC Foundation. Join the movement dedicated to giving back this holiday season and help fund VCC scholarships and bursaries.

In support of this global movement, VCC Foundation will match the first $10,000 in gifts. This is an exceptional opportunity to double the impact of everyone’s gifts.

Ways to give:

  • Donate at vcc.ca/makeagift - Double your impact, VCC Foundation will match your donation dollar-for-dollar.
  • Coffee by donation - On Tuesday, Nov. 27, Blenz at VCC Broadway will host a Drip Coffee by Donation Day. All funds raised will be added to VCC's Giving Tuesday total.

Take a selfie or pose for a photo and post it to your social media page using the hashtag #VCCGivingTuesday. The VCC Foundation will share your posts on their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

Give the gift of giving this holiday season and change a student’s life! 

Bakers obtain their Red Seal - and a possible raise

VCC's three level apprentice program is ITA certified

2018 VCC Baking student rolling 800

‌As originally posted in The Georgia Straight

Anyone who has watched The Great British Baking Show knows how difficult it is to create complicated layer cakes filled with a multitude of ingredients. And that’s one reason why the Industry Training Authority B.C. includes bakers in its Red Seal certification program for skilled trades.

Those interested in pursuing a career as a baker can become licensed by going through the three-level baking-and-pastry-arts apprentice program at Vancouver Community College.

According to VCC instruc­tor Esther Kosa, people who want to become Red Seal bakers must first register with the ITA and obtain a trade worker’s identification number. This sticks with the person for the rest of their life.

Graduates of an ITA–approved training program, such as the one at VCC, can apply for credit toward meeting the technical requirements. Kosa explained to the Straight over the phone that those in VCC’s 11-month baking program take their apprentice level one exam at the end. If they pass, VCC instructors suggest they go out and find a job before taking the next step toward becoming a Red Seal baker.

That’s because they need a sponsor (often an employer) to be admitted into the level two apprentice course.

“After doing that, then they would go back out, work for another year and get more experience, and then come back for level three,” Kosa said.

The ITA requires that Red Seal bakers possess a specified set of skills, which are taught by VCC in each stage of its apprentice program. At the first level, students learn how to make basic pies, cookies, pastries, and bread. It is offered every January. They must also be capable of basic cake-decorating.

At the second level, which is offered in February, students are challenged to create more elaborate baked goods. “Perhaps they’ll make different types of pie,” Kosa said. “Instead of a blueberry pie, they would go with a chiffon pie or a cream pie. Basically, we require a little bit more understanding and a different method of making different types of pie.”

Level two students are also challenged to temper chocolate and might be asked to make more advanced mousse cakes. They’re also required to make wedding cakes.

“Level three will concentrate more on the advanced side of things—ice creams, more advanced wedding cakes, and more in-depth chocolate stuff,” Kosa revealed.

2018 VCC Baking students piping 800

Students work in VCC’s food labs, which have a deck oven, a convection oven, and, in some cases, a rack oven that rotates fully. Kosa said that each lab also has long wooden tables, which each accommodate two students. The school can take up to 18 apprentices in each program.

One of the differences between the apprentice program and The Great British Baking Show is the equipment. Some of it is much larger at VCC—including a 75-litre mixer—than anyone will ever see on the TV show.

“We teach the students how to do individual stuff as well as larger production stuff,” Kosa said. “That’s so they’re not surprised when they go out in the industry.”

She pointed out that Red Seal bakers can receive higher pay, depending on where they’re employed. And this certification has potential to open up opportunities to work in the hospitality sector, particularly in hotels.

“I believe that in our city, there are very talented people who are willing to teach,” she stated.

She added that sometimes having a trade certification can lead to jobs in other countries.

“One of our instructors used to work for Fairmont and she was able to go to Scotland and work there for a while,” Kosa said. “It does open up a lot of ways to travel if people put their time and effort into learning.”

Learn more about VCC's baking and pastry arts programs and join us at an upcoming free info session.

Campus Master Plan - Ideas Fair

You're invited to provide input on a long-term vision for VCC’s campuses


Please join us for the launch of VCC’s Campus Master Plan process.

What’s happening?

VCC is embarking upon an exciting process of creating a Campus Master Plan. We want to hear from you about your aspirations and priorities for the future of the campuses. Neighbours, community and industry partners, students and VCC employees are all welcome.

The Campus Master Plan process kicks off with a drop-in Ideas Fair planned for the Broadway campus (Building B event space) on Oct. 9 and Downtown campus (atrium) on Oct. 10. The sessions run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. We will be providing information about the project, presenting our background research to date, and asking for your input. Spend a few minutes to take part in either of these events, one the first of several opportunities throughout the process to provide your feedback.

What is a Campus Master Plan?

The plan will create a framework to guide decision making about the development of VCC’s facilities and infrastructure during the next 20-30 years. DIALOG, a Canadian design and architectural firm, was awarded the master plan contract during the summer and will lead the 18-month project.

The master planning process will specifically identify, clarify, and shape the long-term vision for VCC’s Broadway and Downtown campuses. The intention of the plan is to address how things such as technology, retail integrations, and employer linkages impact the campuses and programs, while staying true to VCC’s unique identity and history.

“It is critical that the college charts a bold path to ensure it continues to remain sustainable and relevant in the future,” says VCC President and CEO Peter Nunoda.

“The VCC Campus Master Plan marks an exciting new beginning, where everyone will have a unique opportunity to become involved in shaping the future of VCC’s campuses. Starting in the fall, our staff, students, neighbours, community groups, industry partners, and the provincial government, will be asked to participate in a variety of ways.”

Join us and share your ideas for the future of VCC

Broadway campus
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 11 am. – 2 p.m.
Event Space, building B

Downtown campus
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.




Talking shop with auto trades grad Sarah Jin

On choosing trades, making the grade, and staking her claim in the industry



When Sarah Jin started VCC's Automotive Service Technician (AST) program in 2013, she didn't even know how to open the hood of a car. At the time, Sarah had simply noticed her university-educated friends were struggling to find work, so she decided to try automotive repair. "I figured fixing cars would be good to know, even if I didn't go into the trade," she says.

By the end of VCC's eight-month introductory program, Sarah's hard work and study skills had propelled her to the top of her class and she was offered an apprenticeship at VCC instructor Mike Coard's own business, L&S Toy Shop.

Four years later, Sarah has earned her full trade ticket and is now the shop manager, dealing with everything from customer service to payroll, as well as doing repairs. "She's good. She's really good," says Mike. "I'd give her the shop today if she wanted it."

Sarah brushes off the praise. While not currently interested in becoming a business owner, she also knows she could do it. "I'm at a loss when I'm not working," she says. "It's nice to go home and be able to say ‘I did that.'"

Thus far in her career, Sarah says she has felt nothing but respect and support in this male-dominated field. She's aware that there are still unwelcoming workplaces out there, and is grateful to have found her place in the VCC family tree. "I'd definitely like to see more women in the trade," says Sarah. "More shops like this would be nice."


Read more about transportation trades at VCC

Media release: Vancouver Foundation gift supports Deaf and hard of hearing

$150,000 gift expands career opportunities for Deaf and hard of hearing in trades and technology



VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Community College (VCC) has accepted a generous gift of $150,000 from the Vancouver Foundation to support the expansion of employment training programs for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. 

This gift will enable VCC to design and offer bridging programs that provide Deaf and hard of hearing students with accessible, certified trades training in four major industries: food services, transportation trades, salon and spa, and technology.  

Deaf and hard of hearing individuals experience significantly higher unemployment rates than the general population for numerous reasons including lack of access to job training. 

“When a program can be tailored towards the needs of Deaf and hard of hearing students, it offers them the opportunity to fully participate through group activities and class discussions. VCC continues to develop important programs that are instrumental to Deaf and hard of hearing people’s lives. These types of programs prepare the students for the workforce,” says Linda Franchi, PhD, Head of Counselling Services at Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH). 

VCC has championed Deaf education in B.C. for over 40 years, working with community service partners and local businesses to educate potential employers on the benefits of hiring a Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind individuals. Through VCC’s current Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Job Readiness program, students have participated in internships at nearly 100 businesses across Metro Vancouver, with many moving on to full employment.

About the Vancouver Foundation 

The Vancouver Foundation is Canada’s largest community foundation, working throughout B.C. to harness the gifts of ideas, money, time and energy to build a lasting legacy: healthy, vibrant, and livable communities. VCC is proud to partner with Vancouver Foundation to develop greater opportunities for people of all abilities.

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Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Marketing and communications officer
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7538

Disaster simulation during ShakeOut teaches students life-saving skills

VCC's Great ShakeOut earthquake drill on Oct. 18 involved more than the usual "drop, cover, and hold on"


For 275 health sciences students at Vancouver Community College (VCC), the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill on Thursday, Oct. 18 involved more than the usual "drop, cover and hold on."

Following the drill, which also tested the college's emergency notification system, students from eight areas including nursing, medical lab assistant, occupational health assistantdental hygiene and dental technology re-entered select areas of the Broadway campus which had been staged to look as though a disaster had occurred.

This was VCC's third annual college-wide disaster triage training, which involved about 45 "casualties" displaying life-like wounds and injuries and scattered across the third and fourth floors of health sciences Building B. 

The realistic-looking injuries, or moulage, were provided by VCC's makeup artistry instructors, who started at 7:30 a.m. making wounds, burns, and blood as believable as possible.

Some actors had lacerations or shards of glass protruding from their bodies. Others lay unconscious or acted disoriented or distraught. All of this happened in dark rooms and hallways where power was cut and furniture strewn across the floor. Chaotic audio effects added to the overall atmosphere. 

Bachelor of Science in Nursing student Martina Gueorguiva, who did the simulation for a second year running, says that for many of the students, the experience was eye-opening.

“It makes you realize you won’t always have the supplies or resources in the moment,” she says. “Here, the focus was to work together to sort, assess what’s going on, and see who needs help first and who can be delayed.”

Linda Glatts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing instructor and one of the coordinators of the disaster simulation, says these scenarios are meant to teach the importance of teamwork in a crisis situation and how to collaborate among various health care professionals.

“It stimulates thinking,” says Glatts. “What’s even more valuable is debriefing immediately after the exercise."

In debriefing rooms, facilitators and health care students reunited with their "casualties" and discussed together how a scene was handled. "Feelings, action, and thinking are explored to add to the whole learning experience,” says Glatts.

“A lot of it is about building interpersonal relationships,” she adds. “Having that presence and reassuring casualties that ‘I’m here with you’ is what we hope they can get out of this experience.”

The sight of a disaster-stricken campus had an impact not only on the simulation participants, but also the greater VCC student body who had completed the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill only minutes before.

“I walked in and it looked so real it almost scared me,” said one student passing by. “I think I need to go get my earthquake kit together at home.”

See more photos of VCC's ShakeOut BC disaster simulation.  


Do you see yourself working in the health care sector? Learn more about VCC's Pre-Health Sciences program and find out if careers like nursing, pharmacy technician, or medical lab assistant are right for you.



The 2018 Continuing Studies Spring guide is out!

New offerings feature courses in health, technology and writing

‌‌VCC Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the following new offerings for April and beyond:

· Creative Writing: Sparks to Completion
· Creative Writing – The Personal Narrative
· Cucina Italiana – Culture of Italian Cuisine
· Cucina Italiana – Gourmet Gelato
· Cucina Italiana – Italian Wine & Food Paring
· Cucina Italiana – Pasta
· Cucina Italiana – Pizza, Bread & Italian Pastry
· Early Childhood Care & Education: ECCE Post-Basic Diploma
· Health: Renal Dialysis Technician Citation
· Interior Design: Introduction to Revit
· Languages: Russian 1
· Makeup Artistry: Art of Henna/Mehndi 1
· Makeup Artistry: Art of Henna/Mehndi 2
· Nursing: Physical Assessments for Nurses
· Paralegal: E-Discovery and Litigation Technology
· Rick Hansen Foundation: Accessibility Assessor Training
· Technology: Microsoft Outlook: More Than Just Email
· Technology: Social Media: Marketing and Branding 


If you’re ready to upgrade your skills, change careers or prepare for a promotion, you’ve come to the right place. VCC Continuing Studies offers an extensive range of diplomas, certificates and courses, scheduled during the day or in the evenings for maximum flexibility.

Media release: Disaster simulations at VCC

Health sciences students to participate in community emergency training

Shakeout simulation 800

Disaster simulations following ShakeOutBC

Vancouver, B.C. – On Thursday, Oct. 18, 275 health sciences students from Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be participating in a college-wide disaster triage training through 16 simulations including 45 “casualties” with life-like wounds and injuries. The simulations will begin immediately following the ShakeOutBC earthquake drill and a full evacuation of the college. 

“The importance of this Interprofessional Education (IPE) simulation is to assist the health science students in understanding the importance of working within teams where collaboration is essential in responding during a disaster,” says Meridy Black, instructor, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN).

“Many people know they should plan for the ‘big event’ but few people do it,” says Shirley Clarke, instructor, BScN. “This event will heighten the awareness of the need for preparation, self-reliance, and cooperation.”

Interprofessional simulations such as this are based on the IPE and the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL). This is a foundation for achieving safe, high quality, accessible, patient-centered care. VCC plans for this to be a building block to disaster preparedness for the entire college, then outward to our community.

Video, photo, and interview opportunities available:

Date: Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018


10:18 a.m. Shake Out drill followed by full evacuation of college

10:40 a.m. Disaster triage simulations lasting approximately 50 minutes

Location: VCC Broadway campus, 1120 E. 7th Ave., Building B with simulations on 3rd and 4th floors


Media can contact:

Danielle Libonati
Marketing Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7531



VCC faculty concerts a must-see for local music lovers

VCC’s Off Broadway series is back with new genres and unbeatable ticket prices



Vancouver Community College's (VCC) Off Broadway faculty concert series is back for a second year, offering a rare opportunity to see outstanding, professional faculty musicians perform on their home stage for an unbeatable price. 

Each concert is open to the general public and the series features a variety of music styles from jazz to classical to electronic. 

All shows will be held at the VCC Broadway auditorium and begin with a 10-minute lecture introducing the genre and musicians, followed by a 45-minute concert.  


Purchase tickets

$10 General admission 
$5 Students and seniors

FREE for VCC students (with valid VCC student ID) 

Kate Hammett-Vaughan Trio­ – Friday, Oct. 12, 2018
Introduced by Gerald van Wyck
Kate Hammett-Vaughan, vocals
Alan Matheson, piano
Paul Rushka, bass

Sharon Minemoto and Natasha D’Agostino – Friday, Nov. 30, 2018
Introduced by Ken Morrison
Sharon Minemoto, piano
Nathasha D’agostino, voice

Electronic Music Alumni Showcase – Friday, Jan. 18, 2019
Curated by Peter Hannan
Featuring VCC alumni:
Tiffany Calderbank
Tomas Valenzuela
Braedon Lim
Nicholas Marriott 

Adrian Verdejo and Company – Friday, March 15, 2019
Introduced by Deirdre Morgan
Adrian Verdejo, guitar
Mark McGregor, flute
Dory Hayley, soprano

David Branter and Saxophilia – Friday, April 12, 2019
Introduced by François Houle
Julia Nolan, soprano saxophone
Kris Covlin, alto saxophone
David Branter, tenor saxophone
Colin MacDonald, baritone saxophone
Woith special guest Shirley Diamond, alto saxophone 


Read more about VCC’s hands-on, collaborative approach to music education and the musicians who make it come alive:



Theatre production supports VCC's Deaf, hard of hearing, and visually impaired departments

Get tickets now for this limited performance Oct. 28 and 29



Love, Loss & What I Wore is a benefit performance in support of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH), Visually Impaired (VIP), ASL and Deaf Studies, and Interpreting Services (IS) departments at Vancouver Community College (VCC).

This staged reading will not disappoint! Proving that great entertainment never goes out of style, the presentation of Love, Loss and What I Wore by award-winning screenwriters and authors Nora and Delia Ephron (based on the book by Ilene Beckerman) comes to Presentation House Theatre stage for two evenings only.

Like a long heart-to-heart with your best friend, this intimate and engaging collection of stories meanders from musings over wedding-day attire to a rant about loathing a purse and everything in between. Odes to first bras, cowboy boots, and outfits that made our mothers cringe, LoveLoss and What I Wore evokes funny memories and poignant stories about tyrannical dressing rooms, painful heels, comfy Birkenstocks, and having to choose between the two!


Love, Loss and What I Wore
Dates: Sunday, Oct 28. and Monday, Oct. 29
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Presentation House Theatre
333 Chesterfield Ave., North Vancouver
(3rd. St. W and Chesterfield)
Tickets: $30 adults, $15 students/seniors
For questions, please contact Marcia Tanaka at 778-227-2000.
ASL interpreting will be provided.
Funds raised from ticket sales and a rummage sale following the performance will go towards scholarships for Deaf, hard of hearing, and visually impaired students at VCC. 
Cast (in alphabetical order)
Nicola Cavendish
Kathy Daniels
Dolores Drake
Tai Grauman
Anna Hagen (Monday Performance)
Jenny Mitchell
Suzie Payne (Sunday Performance)
Programs will be available for download soon.
Presented by special arrangement with Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

Experience VCC open house adopts hands-on approach

Passport to Hospitality event lets attendees interact first-hand with VCC programs and instructors




Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

With its Experience VCC event on Oct. 24, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is re-imagining the standard open house structure by offering experiences that showcase its offerings in ways that reflect the school’s hands-on nature.

And while attendees will be able to explore 120 programs at Experience VCC through workshops, demos, and entertainment, those who are especially interested in a hospitality career will gain a unique passport.

“The Passport to Hospitality event will explore where a career in hospitality can take students,” says Monique Paassen, head of VCC’s Hospitality Management department, of this particular aspect of Experience VCC.

“Attendees will get their ‘passport’ at the door and then collect stamps by visiting activity stations hosted by our department as well as the culinary arts, Asian culinary arts, and baking and pastry arts departments.”

Each activity station, says Paassen, will offer attendees an interactive way to learn about the programs, interact with faculty and alumni, and get their hands dirty.

For example, while in past years attendees were able to sample a pastry made by baking and pastry arts students, this year they may have the opportunity to decorate one or learn to properly set a table at the hospitality management station.

“We wanted to do something different that would really get the attendees involved and engaged so they understand our approach to teaching from their first interaction with us,” says Paassen, whose department offers both a two-year hospitality management diploma program and a four-year Bachelor of Hospitality Management option.

“If they fill their passport, they will have the chance to win prizes.”

Experience VCC, which takes place at the Broadway Campus from 3 to 6 p.m., will also allow attendees to explore the campus, meet students, and talk to instructors about programs in arts, sciences, certified trades, university transfer, and more.


Skip the line on Oct. 24 and RSVP for Experience VCC today.



Lin’s story: a world of opportunity in hospitality management

Join VCC alumna Lin Tang on her journey to the top of the global hotel industry



Lin Tang is the kind of person you'd want managing your finances. She’s good with numbers, a strategic thinker, and a natural problem-solver with an associate degree in business and a background in statistics.

Early in her career, however, Lin found that her skills were perfectly suited to another industry altogether – hotel management.

Lin was in the middle of a university statistics program when she realized she enjoyed her part-time hotel job more than her studies. “I was sitting in the lab and I had no clue what my T.A. was talking about,” she says. “At that moment, I figured this is not what I wanted.”

Lin then began researching post-secondary hospitality programs and found that Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Bachelor of Hospitality Management (BHM) program was the best fit. “I wasn’t interested in tourism. I wanted to learn hotel operations, cost controls, and accounting. That’s why I chose VCC.”

Keeping the peace

Thanks to her past jobs as well as practicum experiences in the BHM program, Lin has also discovered a special talent for dealing with “drama.”

During a recent windstorm and power outage, Lin remembers running the halls with flashlights, reassuring panicked guests, and carrying luggage through stairwells. “It was so fun!” she says.

On another occasion, her hotel’s computer system was unexpectedly cut off, leaving the staff without access to bookings, accounts, or even housekeeping schedules. “We had over 350 rooms and did everything manually,” she says, smiling. “I’m so glad that I went through that. Now, whatever happens, I know I can handle it.”

Going global

Today, Lin works as a reservation agent at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre – a part of Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain. Lin’s long-term goal is to move into hotel revenue management. “This is it,” she says. “This is the industry I’ll spend my life in.”

Lin’s other passion is travelling, so getting employee discounts at more than 6,500 properties in 127 countries is a definite perk. “I really enjoy my staff benefits,” she says.

Lin feels that the academic knowledge and industry connections she gained at VCC have set her up for success. Now with 12 years of hotel experience, she’s excited about the future. “Right now, I feel like I have so many opportunities,” she says. “It’s just up to me to figure out what I want to do next.”

Where can a hospitality career take you? Find out at Passport to Hospitality, a series of interactive workshops (with prizes!) at our Experience VCC open house Oct. 4 at the Broadway campus.


Five ways VCC supports international students

Studying overseas can be life-changing. Learn how VCC helps international students thrive in Canada and beyond


It takes unique and courageous individuals to learn a foreign language, leave their families, and travel overseas to pursue an education. At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we’re proud to educate about 1,500 international students annually from over 40 countries. We value the many things they teach us as well—about their lives, their goals, their cultures, and the world outside our city.

As one of British Columbia’s longest-standing public colleges, VCC is committed to supporting international students in many ways:



1. Extensive student support

At VCC, international students can access many services to support their cultural and academic transition:

  • VCC’s international office offers daily drop-in advising hours to answer students’ questions and address concerns.
  • Highly trained VCC staff have the ability to assist international students with topics ranging from new student orientation to medical insurance, educational planning, and working in Canada.
  • In select international programs including Hospitality Management and Canadian Business Management, English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors are available in-class to provide language and cultural support at no extra cost.
  • VCC has recently launched the position of Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) to help students with immigration-related inquiries.



2. Competitive tuition fees

Studying in Canada is widely considered to be more affordable than many other English-speaking countries (e.g. United States, United Kingdom, Australia). At VCC, any increases to international tuition over the past three years have matched domestic increases (to a maximum of two per cent).



3. Students get jobs

VCC’s interactive, career-oriented programs are taught by highly qualified instructors with experience and connections in their respective industries. In class, students learn practical, hands-on skills, becoming fully qualified to enter the workforce upon graduation. VCC’s cohort structure also assists students in making personal and professional connections in Canada.



4. Great campus services

Life is good on VCC campuses. Thanks to our wide variety of trades and professional programs, the whole community benefits daily from affordable, fresh-made food in our cafeterias, bake shop, and restaurants. Students can also receive professional hairstyling in our on-campus salon as well as discounted dental care, automotive service, and more. See the full list of free and low-cost services at VCC.



5. Location, location, location

We love our city! Located in the heart of Vancouver, VCC is accessible by public transit from across the region. Many of our classrooms have beautiful mountain views and our students enjoy quick access to beaches, hiking trails, and parks. Alongside its natural beauty, Vancouver boasts clean water, a mild climate, high-quality health care, safe public spaces, and world-class arts, entertainment, food, and shopping.

Vancouver is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable places and was named one of the 20 Best Student Cities in 2018 by QS World University Rankings.


Ready to start your VCC journey? View the full list of programs for international students or connect with our international office by emailing study@vcc.ca.

VCC programs with space available

It's not too late to apply! See which great VCC programs have space available for you in Winter 2019



Considering college? Don't wait! These great VCC programs still have space available for Winter 2019. Apply online now or learn more by attending an upcoming info session or speaking to a program advisor.

(Updated Oct. 1, 2018)

Applied Business and Office Administration

Administrative Assistant

Executive Assistant

Legal Administrative Assistant (February 2019)

Medical Office Assistant (March 2019)


Baking and Culinary

Professional Cook 1 + Catering

Professional Cook 2

Asian Culinary Arts (February 2019)



 Graphic Design Certificate/Diploma


Hair, Esthetics and Makeup


Esthetics Certificate


Health Sciences

Acute Care for Health Care Assistants (April 2019)

Health Care Assistant 

Pre-Health Sciences



Hospitality Management Diploma


 Transportation Trades

Automotive Collision Repair Technician 

Automotive Service Technician



VCC road trip: Recruiters Q&A

Say hello to Leigh and Danielle, VCC’s representatives hitting the road in B.C. this fall

Have you met our recruiters? Every fall, representatives from dozens of B.C.’s post-secondary institutions hit the road, visiting high schools and community organizations across the province. For many students, these visits are key opportunities to learn about their post-secondary options, gather valuable information, and ask questions. 

This year, we’ll be checking in with our Vancouver Community College (VCC) recruiters and sharing photos using the hashtag #VCCRoadTrip. Watch for us in your community and follow @myVCC on Twitter to stay in the loop.

Start here by getting to know Leigh and Danielle, VCC’s representatives on the road:


Danielle Gannon

What’s your favourite place in Canada?
The North Beach of Haida Gwaii, looking over to Alaska.

What’s the best road trip song of all time?
Never Going Back Again by Fleetwood Mac (played twice in a row because it’s so short!)

Where is the farthest place you’ve ever travelled?
Tanzania. I spent my 21st birthday on a camping safari, and since we had no cake, my friends filled a bucket with sand and stuck the candles in that instead.

What are you most excited about this school year?
I’m excited to meet all the high school students of the Lower Mainland! I’m also looking forward to expanding our reach and going to schools we’ve never visited before.

What is one thing that students should ask when they meet you?
Students should ask about more than admission requirements. That information is readily available on the website. I’d love to share what makes each program special and perhaps connect them with others at VCC for further exploration as they navigate their post-secondary options.




Leigh Wall

What’s your favourite place in Canada?
Newfoundland. My home province and the most beautiful place in the world.

What’s the best road trip song of all time?
Der Kommissar by After The Fire. It just gets me stoked.

Where is the farthest place you’ve ever travelled?
When I moved from Newfoundland to British Columbia, I drove through Canada and the U.S. That was the farthest road trip I’ve ever taken. There are so many incredible sights to see in North America.

What are you most excited about this school year?
Visiting high schools on the Sunshine Coast and parts of Vancouver Island that we have not attended in the past. I love introducing students to all the excellent programs and services that VCC offers.

What is one thing that students should ask when they meet you?
Ask about the awesome things that our current students and grads are doing. Our programming goes way beyond obtaining a degree or diploma.




Can’t wait for the recruiters to visit? Get a sneak peek of our 2018-19 Viewbook (PDF), browse all VCC program areas, or join an upcoming free information session

Amir’s story: finding refuge

Adult Basic Education student Amir Taghinia shares his journey from refugee detention to the classrooms of VCC



Amir Taghinia has accomplished a lot since arriving in Vancouver as a refugee only 10 months ago. He’s found a place to live, started a full-time job, enrolled in school, learned to cook, and even goes to the gym.

His sponsors and friends are duly impressed. For Amir, however, it’s not enough. After spending almost five years facing danger and uncertainty on a remote Pacific island, his new status in Canada is no excuse to sit back and relax.

Amir says he’s always been a “troublemaker.” Growing up in Iran, he was considered a political dissident by the time he was a teenager. “I like to question things,” he says. “I want to change things that don’t work.”

At only 15 years old, Amir fled Iran and went to Malaysia. A few years later, he travelled to Indonesia, and from there to Australia, hoping to claim asylum under United Nations regulations.

No man is an island 

Instead of starting a new life in Australia, however, Amir was shipped to Manus Island, a detention centre off the shores of Papua New Guinea, where he joined 1,500 other men from around the world. 

“They fed us disaster food,” he says. “There was no hygiene. The dorms were overcrowded, filthy, and mouldy. It was a tropical, humid island with 35 to 40-degree heat. We were fenced in and they treated us worse than animals.” 

Amir says he and his fellow detainees were harassed and beaten regularly. Some were even killed, yet the Australian guards faced no repercussions.

Even under these conditions, Amir emerged as a leader, staging protests and helping people write letters. At one point, he smuggled a cell phone into his dorm and gave a live interview on Australian radio. Afterwards, he was put in solitary confinement for 14 days.

In researching his options for escape, Amir eventually discovered Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. He then connected via Facebook with a Canadian immunization nurse who had previously worked on the island. Soon, her whole family became involved in sponsoring Amir to come to Canada.  

Strong and free

In November 2017, Amir landed in Vancouver as a full Canadian resident. Within days, he was giving interviews to Australian news. By February, Amir was ready to return to school – something he had not done since he was 15. 

To start, settlement organization MOSAIC referred Amir to Vancouver Community College (VCC) for an assessment. Despite his limited education, Amir, now in his mid-20s, tested at Grade 11 English, entirely surpassing the need for English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Within two months, he had also upgraded from Basic to Grade 10 math through VCC’s self-paced Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs. “My teachers really assisted me to find my way,” he says.

Despite these accomplishments, Amir continues to struggle with trauma and institutionalization. “When you’re imprisoned for five years, it’s very hard to enjoy freedom anymore,” he says. 

Amir says his transition to an independent life has also felt isolating. “On that island, I had 1,500 people that were constantly in contact with me, needing my help." he says. "In Vancouver, people are so reserved.” 

Still, Amir looks ahead with hope. “It will be a matter of time,” he says.

With full high-school credentials on the horizon, Amir is now considering a university degree in law or psychology, with plans to continue fighting for refugees and human rights around the world. 


Everyone deserves an education. Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses are tuition-free in British Columbia as of September 2017. Learn more at UpgradeBC.ca.

Read more about The Many Faces of Adult Basic Education.

The many faces of Adult Basic Education

As VCC celebrates one year of tuition-free ABE, we shine a light on some of our most inspiring students



For most families, “back to school” is a happy ritual marked by new clothes, fresh school supplies, and reunions with friends. For many other Canadians, however, education was a fragmented or even detrimental experience, with some having never gone to school at all.

This September, Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Adult Basic Education (ABE) departments are proud to offer these learners tuition-free upgrading courses for the second year running.

Did you know that VCC has been offering adult upgrading since 1949? That’s when the then-Vancouver Vocational Institute launched programming to help World War II veterans re-enter the workforce. Ever since, VCC’s ABE English, math, science, and humanities classrooms have continued to mirror a world in crisis and help people in transition. 

In the late ‘70s, Vietnamese refugees came to get the skills needed to work in their new home. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, VCC instructors remember an influx of Jamaicans fleeing poverty caused by a failing economy. Today, many ABE students trace their roots to Syria, Iran, Nigeria, and other conflict zones. Many others are Indigenous residential school survivors or long-time Canadians trying to keep pace with a changing job market.  

“Our classrooms are an incredibly diverse cross-section of Canadian society today,” says Andrew Candela, department leader for Basic Education at VCC. “These are some of the most hardworking and persistent students we have. It’s inspiring to see them dedicate themselves to something that we really take for granted.”

“Eliminating tuition for these programs gives people a viable pathway to change their lives,” says Andrew, adding that increasing numeracy and literacy has shown to improve health outcomes and incomes, while reducing the need for policing and first-response services.

Every student has a story

This fall, as VCC celebrates the one-year anniversary of the B.C. Government’s decision to eliminate tuition for ABE and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, we’re shining a spotlight on some of our most inspiring students. Read their stories:



Amir’s story: finding refuge

Amir Taghinia has accomplished a lot since arriving in Vancouver as a refugee only 10 months ago. He’s found a place to live, started a full-time job, enrolled school, learned to cook, and even goes to the gym. For Amir, however, it’s not enough. After spending almost five years facing danger and uncertainty on a remote Pacific island, his new status in Canada is no excuse to sit back and relax. READ MORE >



Alicia’s story: new to nursing 

When Alicia Bruyere’s mother suffered a stroke, it was a nurse’s kindness and open communication that made her hospital stay bearable. This experience inspired Alicia to pursue nursing herself. She already had a full-time job, however, and no idea how to change careers. READ MORE >



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Legal administrative assistants in high demand

Learn how this five-month program is filling much-needed roles in B.C.'s legal industry



Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

With a growing demand for legal administrative assistants in the Lower Mainland, now is the time to enroll in Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) legal administrative assistant program, says the head of the school’s business department.

“Law firms and employment agencies are scrambling to fill positions,” says Helen Roberts. “We have job postings that we send to our graduates and recently we’ve had twice as many job postings as we’ve had graduates. I don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon.”

Taking just five months to complete, VCC’s legal administrative assistant program requires applicants to have finished the college’s administrative assistant program or have administrative assistant experience. This prerequisite allows the program to dive right into topics relevant to the legal realm.

“We essentially cover six topics: law office management, the court system, corporate law, conveyancing, litigation, and family law,” says Roberts. “We also teach about wills and estates. The program is very hands-on and students work on simulated files to complete the documents they will encounter once they graduate.”

In addition to hands-on practice through assignments, students are exposed to the industry through field trips to the B.C. Supreme Court and to a law firm office, through guest speakers, and a unique opportunity to interact with legal professionals during a job skills seminar day.

Students also complete a two-week practicum to put their skills into practice in a real-world setting.

“The job skills seminar day is a really valuable experience because students get to ask these professionals about careers and job searches while networking,” says Roberts. “And, of course, practicum ties it all together. We want them to be as workplace-ready as possible so the transition into the field is as smooth as it can be.”  


Apply now for the next intake of VCC’s legal administrative assistant program starting on Feb. 4, 2019.


Jacqueline’s story: climbing the luxury ladder

Her resume includes FIFA, Holt Renfrew, and Nordstrom, but this VCC grad started by going back to the basics

News-Jacqueline-MOBILE-292In her home country of Korea, Jacqueline Yang had built up an impressive resume. Already a media personality and entrepreneur, in 2002 she served on the Organizing Committee for the FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan, where she was responsible for coordinating the schedules of international dignitaries and VIP’s.

It was this position that solidified Jacqueline’s next career goal: to work in the luxury industry serving high-end clientele.

‌In 2004, however, Jacqueline immigrated to Canada for her children’s education. Career-wise, this meant starting over in more ways than one.

A class act

In Vancouver, Jacqueline soon found work with fashion retailers Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew. Yet even though she regularly exceeded sales targets and won awards, she knew she needed to improve her English before taking her career to the management level.

With professional advancement in mind, in 2010, Jacqueline first earned her Canadian high school prerequisites in Vancouver Community College's academic upgrading program, then entered the eight-month intensive administrative assistant certificate program, graduating in 2013.

Throughout her studies, Jacqueline was also a regular visitor to the VCC Learning Centre, which offers free, daily tutoring and career services to all VCC students. “I am so grateful for the tremendous support I received at the Learning Centre,” she says. “It hasn’t been easy learning a new subject in English, especially after many years of working.” 

As Jacqueline began to apply for jobs, VCC’s tutors remained by her side, helping to fine-tune her cover letters and resumes, even edit her LinkedIn profile. When interviews started happening, the tutors would rehearse questions and answers with Jacqueline until she felt comfortable and confident.

Back to business

After graduating, Jacqueline’s was soon hired at a dental corporation. She excelled at managing several clinics, but still held on to her career goal of returning to the world of luxury.

With eyes on the fashion industry, Jacqueline soon began attending local fashion events and worked hard to build connections in Vancouver’s high-end retail scene.

It was only a matter of time before Jacqueline caught the eye of the hiring team at Vancouver’s new, then unopened Nordstrom department store. Now a sales associate in the designer handbag department, Jacqueline is not only back to interacting with VIP clientele, but thanks to her English and administrative skills, she’s well on her way to a management position.

We wish Jackie all the best in her continued rise to the top!


All VCC students have access to free tutoring to help with academics and career transitions. Learn more by visiting the VCC Learning Centre



Clinton’s story: from trauma to triumph

One student’s journey of healing through education, encouragement, and VCC’s Aboriginal community


‌It’s not easy to hear Clinton Rivard talk about his childhood. Born in the small Northern B.C. community of Fort St. James, Clinton grew up in an Aboriginal family plagued by drug and alcohol abuse. Even so, he considers himself to be among the lucky ones. “Many of my friends have ended up homeless,” he says, “but I’ve always had a house key, and I’m really grateful for that.”

Now in his mid-thirties, Clinton is a promising student in VCC’s health unit coordinator program. When he speaks, you can tell he was a smart kid. He brims with proud stories of his parents and grandparents surviving the residential schools era. Sadly, generations later, his own life would also be scarred by tragedy.

A fresh start

At 14, Clinton witnessed what he calls a “traumatic incident” in his home. After giving statements to police and recovering from the initial shock, he soon realized the experience had affected him so deeply that he had lost his ability to concentrate in school. Before entering Grade 8, he dropped out in order to seek psychiatric help.

It took more than a decade of therapy and healing, both with Aboriginal medicine people and professionals as far away as Washington State, before Clinton was ready to resume his education.

Determined to leave Northern B.C., in 2010, Clinton began researching colleges across the province. His criteria were simple: quality adult upgrading courses, a variety of career programs, and close to public transportation. “I sold everything I had and moved to Vancouver specifically to come to VCC,” he says.

A naturally compassionate person, Clinton envisioned a career in health care, possibly nursing. Having no high school education, however, he knew he had plenty of work ahead of him.

Clinton was already enrolled in math and English upgrading courses when he met one of VCC’s Aboriginal advisors one day in the hallway. He then learned about Aboriginal Gateway to Health Careers, a program offered jointly by the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) and VCC that gives academic and career support to Aboriginal students pursuing careers in health care.

“The Aboriginal Gateway program was awesome,” says Clinton, “not only for the extra skills training but also for introducing me to other like-minded Aboriginals. Some of them are my very best friends now.”

With a new support network, Clinton finally regained the focus needed to let his intelligence shine. Despite his Grade 7 education, Clinton’s initial assessments already placed him in Grade 9 math and Grade 11 English. Another testament to his perseverance, it took less than one year for Clinton to achieve all the high school-level grades required to enter VCC’s health unit coordinator program. In November 2015, Clinton was awarded both the Karl Vetter Scholarship and the HSBC Bank Canada Aboriginal Scholarship for his effort and achievement.

Lighting the way

Having recently completed a practicum at UBC Hospital, Clinton is now participating in the hiring process for Nursing Unit Assistant positions with Vancouver Coastal Health.

While pleased with how far he’s come, however, Clinton prefers to draw attention to his peers, like others in the Aboriginal Gateway program as well as his friends and siblings.

“Some have been through even more than me,” he says. “And they’re now finishing social work degrees, nursing degrees, they’re elected representatives for their First Nation bands, they’re raising awareness about missing and murdered Aboriginal women.”

As for Clinton himself, he simply hopes to further the inspiration. “A lot of good people I met along the way have held their light up high for me in my darkest times," he says. “Now hopefully I can add my light to help others find their way."


VCC welcomes learners at all levels of education and from every walk of life. Learn more about tuition-free Adult Basic Education (ABE) and other upgrading options.  


Lesley’s story: from home-school to health science

One student’s story of braving an academic institution for the very first time


Meeting Lesley Miller, you’re immediately struck by her intelligent eyes, quiet confidence and strong, healthy demeanor. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she’s studying health and nutritional science.

Like many young people diving into post-secondary education for the first time, Lesley’s face lights up as she talks about her chosen field—the biochemistry of foods and how diet relates to the aging of cells and chronic diseases. Speak to her for a few minutes, and you can’t help but share her anticipation to start a Bachelor of Science program in Food, Nutrition and Health at the University of British Columbia this fall.

Unlike many students, however, Lesley’s path did not follow a straight line from high school to university. In fact, her educational journey took its first of many twists and turns before she was even old enough to choose the course.

Out of the system

With mixed feelings, Lesley describes growing up in Ohio where she and her brother were home-schooled. Even though her father had worked as a schoolteacher, Lesley remembers her parents disapproving of many aspects of the American public school system, and wanting to give their kids the freedom to focus on their own talents and interests. “There was method to the madness,” she says.

Even today in the state of Ohio, however, home-schooled students do not automatically obtain a recognized high school diploma. And so, following a lifelong love of books, reading and school supplies, at the age of 17, Lesley finished studying without any official documents or transcripts. While she still had the option to write equivalency tests and obtain a GED, Lesley remembers being confused about the process, as well as insecure about entering an academic institution for the first time in her life.

Food for thought

While still in her early 20’s, Lesley ended up moving to Vancouver with her husband who works in the film industry. “We just packed up the car and said ‘Here we go! We’re moving to Canada!’”

Only a few years into her new Canadian life, however, Lesley’s father passed away, much too young, from cancer. According to Lesley, her father’s death had a major impact on the whole family. While there was no way to know what specifically caused her father’s illness, Lesley, her husband and her mother all experienced it as a wake-up call to drastically improve their food and lifestyle choices. It was then that Lesley also developed her passion to study the relationship between food systems, nutrition and health. “It changed me forever,” she says.

With a newfound drive for learning, Lesley immediately began looking into Bachelor of Science programs specializing in nutrition. When talking to university advisors, however, Lesley soon learned that most admissions systems had no way of accommodating someone without official high school records to submit. “They weren’t really sure what to do with me!” she says. “And so, I came to VCC.”

After speaking with a VCC program advisor, however, Lesley says she was instantly encouraged and relieved. “It was the first time that I didn’t have to explain myself,” she says. “Everybody here comes from a different place. There are so many types of students, filling in holes, taking the classes they need. I just felt accepted.”

Tiny steps, big results

It’s been about a year and a half since Lesley first entered the self-paced Academic Upgrading/High School programs at VCC. She’s worked especially hard in mathematics and sciences—areas that never received much focus at home. Through courses both at VCC and at Langara College, Lesley has now earned the credentials needed to enter university and been accepted to UBC’s Bachelor of Science program in Food, Nutrition and Health.

When asked how she feels about tackling subjects like calculus and chemistry at a university level, Lesley doesn’t hesitate for a moment. “I’m excited,” she says, laughing. “It’s like a big demon that I will slay!”

Looking back on her winding, decade-long journey from home-school in Ohio to university in Vancouver, Lesley finds she’s gained a unique and valuable perspective. “It’s taken me this long to really become comfortable with obstacles,” she says. “So you want something? The first thing you need to do is break the process down into tiny little steps and start with the smallest thing. Don’t let obstacles overcome you. Overcome the obstacles.”


VCC offers programs for students of all skills, abilities and levels of education. Learn n more about academic upgrading courses including Grade 12 diploma and university transfer

Chieko’s story: pathway to a caring career

A new Canadian’s experience in love, language and finding her professional purpose

News-Chieko-400Chieko Thomas was in Vancouver on a student visa in 2010 when she popped into her local Starbucks one day for a caramel macchiato. When a caramel macchiato arrived on the counter, she grabbed it. A handsome stranger then kindly let her know she was holding his drink.

A few years later, the two were married, living in Vancouver and Chieko was preparing for a new career that was closer to her heart than she ever expected.

Having studied business administration in her home country of Japan, Chieko’s first step as a Canadian resident was to find similar work here. A friend recommended VCC’s Medical Office Assistant (MOA) program, but when Chieko spoke to an advisor, she learned that her English skills didn’t quite meet the program’s Grade 12-level requirement.

There were two options available. She could either study independently for a few months and take a placement test, or enroll in ESL Pathways, a program specifically designed to teach natural communication skills for academic and business environments.

“I thought that might be better than taking a one-time exam,” says Chieko. “Exams make me nervous!”

After only a few months in ESL Pathways, Chieko managed to achieve the program requirement of Canadian Language Benchmark level 8 in all areas (reading, writing, listening, speaking). In March of 2015, she proudly entered VCC’s Medical Office Assistant certificate program.

Seeing success

In her MOA class, only Chieko and one other student were non-native English speakers. Of course, everyone was required to write essays and do front-of-class presentations. “It was intimidating the first time,” says Chieko, “but the things I learned in English Pathways really, really helped me.”

While medical office assistants are in demand in many areas, when it came time for her practicum, Chieko specifically requested a placement in an ophthalmologist’s (eye surgeon’s) office.

“I’m passionate about helping people with eye problems,” she says, “because I know what it’s like.”

Chieko explains that her husband Neil has lived with the painful effects of a misshapen cornea (the transparent part of the eye covering the pupil) his entire life. By the end of 2015, he will have had nine cornea transplants. “His immune system keeps rejecting the new corneas,” Chieko explains. “It’s ironic. It’s like he’s too healthy except for his eyes!”

While somewhat out of the ordinary, Chieko’s instructors found her a placement at West Coast Retina Consultants, where she has since obtained a permanent job.

Now in a rewarding career, Chieko reflects on the work it took to learn English for the Canadian workforce. “If I didn’t take English Pathways, I would probably still be struggling to qualify for business courses,” she says. To others considering studying ESL for career advancement, she offers some simple encouragement. “If you are ready for a commitment and study hard, I know, you can achieve so many things.”


VCC’s ESL Pathways curriculum prepares students to confidently use English in academic, professional and social settings. Learn more about the ESL Pathways program.


Michelle's story: from the military to math class

An accomplished Canadian Forces veteran shares her career transition through VCC

Michelle Chase University TransferMichelle Chase always knew she would have a military career, not only because her family has a long tradition of serving, but she was always drawn by the personal challenge and the opportunity to see the world.

"I can't even remember all the places I've been," says Michelle of her 21 years in the Canadian Army. She recalls operations that ranged from domestic natural disasters like wildfires and ice storms, to Olympic Games security, to the civil war in Syria where she specialized in communication electronics and first aid with the B.C.-based 39 Canadian Brigade Group (CBG).

Of course, being a soldier for over two decades takes a physical toll. "Your knees are the one thing that's going to take a beating," says Michelle, describing routine fitness tests that involve carrying 25 kg of gear, dragging fellow soldiers, and digging trenches. In March of 2015, Michelle accepted a medical retirement with the outgoing rank of sergeant.

The word "retired," however, is not something you'd immediately associate with Michelle. At 40 years old, she has a bright, youthful energy and is eager to start her next chapter. After only one month of medical leave, she had already researched potential career paths, and decided on the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ultrasound) diploma at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

To enter this program, however, Michelle needed high school-level prerequisites including Math 12, which she is currently completing here at Vancouver Community College (VCC).

"At first it was a little scary!" says Michelle about studying again for the first time in over 20 years. She was quick to adapt, however, and in spring 2016 even won VCC's Elizabeth MacLeod award, which recognizes progress and achievement in mathematics.

"The staff here are honestly some of the best staff I've ever come across in anything - not just in a school environment but in any organization," she says. "They really know what they're doing, and they really care."

Michelle is happy to have served her country and is proud of her military career, but is also excited about having a new purpose. "In the army, your basic trade is to survive and be able to fight battles," she says. "Now I'm really looking forward to doing something in the medical field. After spending 21 years of my life learning how to take life away, I want to spend the rest of my life helping to give it back."


VCC offers basic education, upgrading, and university transfer programs for all ages, abilities, and levels of education.



Alicia’s story: new to nursing

Indigenous student Alicia Bruyere shares how she found the courage to return to school and renew her career



Sometimes, one nurse can make a world of difference. When Alicia Bruyere’s mother suffered a stroke in 2012, it was a particular nurse’s kindness and open communication that made her hospital stay bearable. This experience even inspired Alicia to pursue nursing herself. 

Alicia already had a full-time job, however, and no idea how to change careers. She had a high school diploma, but realized she needed to upgrade numerous courses to enroll in post-secondary nursing programs. First, she tried online upgrading but found it too difficult to tackle alone. “I just needed to be in a classroom environment,” she says.

For Alicia, school also held some bad memories. Born in the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, Alicia spent only a few years there before moving to Vancouver as a small child. She remembers always being proud of her Indigenous heritage, which led to teasing and conflict in her elementary school.

Years went by, and Alicia clung to her dream of becoming a nurse, but still hadn’t taken any steps. “I was just too scared,” she says. “I honestly didn’t think I was smart enough.” It wasn’t until 2017, when Alicia lost her job of 16 years, that she found the courage to try again. 

This time, Alicia reached out to VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department and got the help she needed to enroll in tuition-free Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs.

In less than one year, Alicia went from Basic math to earning top grades in pre-calculus as well as advanced chemistry and biology courses. In May 2018, she received the Shirley Joseph First Nations Achievement Award for academic progress, enthusiasm, and leadership. 

Alicia now has one term left before she can apply to VCC’s practical nursing program. “Being here, I’ve gained so much confidence,” she says. “And I’ve proven to myself that I can be an ‘A’ student!” 

Looking ahead, Alicia hopes to specialize in long-term or palliative care, and eventually earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). “When people are in the hospital, they’re scared or angry,” says Alicia. “If I can help them get through that time in their life, I want to do that.” 


Did you know? VCC offers priority access for Indigenous students in nursing and other health sciences programs,  as a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action relating to post-secondary education and career training. Learn more by connecting with Indigenous Education and Community Engagement.

Read more about The Many Faces of Adult Basic Education or visit UpgradeBC.ca for more information on tuition-free adult upgrading. 


Media Release: RBC supports Transportation Trades Sampler program at VCC

Introducing a unique, no-cost introductory trades training program for B.C. youth



Vancouver, B.C. – RBC Foundation has donated $25,000 to support Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Transportation Trades Sampler program. The new program provides an opportunity for high school students to try VCC’s various transportation trades programs over the summer break.  

This unique program was developed in partnership with the B.C. Industry Training Authority (ITA), the Vancouver School Board, and Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre to offer younger learners exposure to trades programs such as automotive collision repair, automotive refinishing, automotive service, and heavy mechanical trades. 

“The Transportation Trades Sampler program provides the opportunity for youth to experience VCC’s first-class training in four of the top 15 in-demand trades in B.C.,” says Brett Griffiths, dean of VCC’s School of Trades, Technology and Design. “We are grateful to receive this funding which will allow youth to participate at no cost.”

The donation is provided by RBC’s Future Launch program, which empowers Canadian youth to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow. 

“The success of RBC Future Launch goes beyond just financial investment. It’s about supporting our community partners to create programs like the VCC Transportation Trades Sampler program; to provide youth with technical skills that will empower them for the jobs of tomorrow,” says Martin Thibodeau, RBC Regional President of British Columbia.

Upon successful completion of the program, youth obtain a forklift operator certification and the opportunity to transition into a number of ITA foundation training programs. 

About Vancouver Community College

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years, offering post-secondary training in over 120 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, and music.

About RBC Future Launch

RBC Future Launch is RBC’s commitment to empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. Over the next 10 years, RBC will dedicate its knowledge, skills, and resources to help young people access meaningful employment through work experience, skills development, and networking. RBC is working with educational institutions and partners in the private, public, and social sectors to co-create and provide access to long-term solutions.


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Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7538

Welcome to VCC

Get the tips and information you need to start Fall 2018 right



Welcome to Vancouver Community College. Whether you’re starting a brand-new program or you’re back for another year, we want to make sure you have all you need to succeed.

See below for tips and information that will help you now and throughout your studies.

Where's my class?

Know where to go on your first day. Use this handy chart to look up your building and room number on the first day of school.

If you have any questions, just find one of our friendly Peer Helpers. They’ll be around campus wearing "VCC" T-shirts.

myVCC student email

Get access to your own myVCC student email:

  • Log in to my.vcc.ca and select "Email" to access your student email.
  • If it's your first time logging in, your password will be your birthday (MMDDYY).
  • Important notifications may be sent to this email address, so it's a good idea to check it regularly or forward your myVCC email to your personal email account.

You can also use myVCC to look up grades, order transcripts, access tax forms, and receive campus news and alerts.

Welcome Days

Welcome Days is a fun, interactive opportunity for all students to ask questions and learn about life at VCC. Enjoy music, games and snacks, and win great prizes while getting acquainted with classmates, staff, and all the on-campus services available to you.

Welcome Days will be held from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at the Broadway campus and Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Downtown campus.


On-campus services

VCC offers a wide range of services to help you meet your educational goals and make the most of your time at college.

Student services

Eat, shop + more


Safe and respectful campus

VCC expects students to conduct themselves responsibly and respectfully. As such, students are required to be familiar with the student non-academic code of conduct. Please review the student code of conduct policy and procedures.



Online learning takes apprenticeships to the next level

New, flexible options for automotive collision repair keep apprentices on the job longer



Did you know that formal apprenticeships have been around for centuries? In the Middle Ages, an apprentice would even live in a master craftsman’s household for seven years before setting out on their own.

Today, thanks to industry standards and educational programs, the life of an apprentice isn’t much different than that of any other worker. With Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) online learning programs, apprenticeship training is also now more efficient than ever.

Automotive collision repair instructor Robin Popow is a pioneer of online trades training at VCC, having launched his first online curriculum in 2004. “There wasn’t even broadband internet across B.C. back then,” he says.

Over the years, these efforts have resulted in an online, video-enhanced curriculum for automotive collision repair Level 1 which is currently being used in high schools outside Vancouver as part of the Industry Training Authority’s (ITA) Youth Train in Trades program.

In February 2018, VCC launched a similar option for Level 2 apprentices currently working in shops across the province. While Level 2 apprentices normally spend five weeks in class, VCC’s new Flexible Learning program was delivered online for 20 weeks followed by one final week at VCC (soon to be two weeks).

‌‌‌The main benefit for both apprentices and employers participating in this program is maximizing time spent on the job. “Vancouver is just so expensive,” says Robin. “It’s travel, lodging, and loss of work, too. One of my students is a single dad. There’s no way he can take five weeks off.”

Another apprentice, Kaleb Hennicke, completed the Flexible Learning program in June 2018, spending the majority of his time on the job at Carstar/TC Valley Collision in Courtenay B.C. “I worked all day and got paid,” says Kaleb. “It was great. Everyone I worked with wanted to help me learn.”

While students are located in shops across the province, they still connect regularly online, not only with the instructor but also with each other. They keep journals, upload pictures and videos, and comment on each other’s work. “Two of the guys were from shops in my own town,” says Kaleb. “I got to know them and see where they worked.”

At 82 per cent, the Flexible Learning class average held up well against ITA’s provincial standard, and VCC now plans to offer the program annually.

According to Robin, online learning technology benefits on-campus classes too, with all students now doing quizzes on their smartphones and accessing course content on through screens right on the shop floor. “We’ve come a long way since 2004,” he says.



Considering a career in auto trades? Drop in at one of our regular, free information sessions or RSVP now for our upcoming open house, Experience VCC, on Oct. 24.

Where's my class? Fall 2018

Look up start dates and classrooms for programs starting in Fall 2018

 Welcome to VCC! Use this chart to look up start dates and room numbers for your first day of school.

Program Start Date Campus Classroom
ASL/Deaf Studies Sept. 4 BWY Building B, G222
Acute Care Health Care Assistant Oct. 31 BWY Building B, 2206 
Architectural Technician Certificate Sept. 4 DTN 714
Asian Culinary Arts Sept. 4 DTN 205C
Automotive Collision Repair Sept. 4 BWY TBA
Automotive Refinishing Prep Sept. 4 BWY TBA
Automotive Service Tech – Harmonized Foundation  Sept. 4 BWY Building B, 2206
Nursing (BScN) – Year 1 Sept. 4 BWY Building B, 1231 
CAD and BIM Technologies Architectural Technician Diploma Sept. 4 DTN  717 
CAD and BIM Technologies Civil/Structural Technician Diploma Sept. 4 DTN  717 
CAD Technician Citation Sept. 4 DTN   717 
Career Awareness Sept. 4 DTN  309
Civil/Structural Technician Sept. 4 DTN  725
Culinary Arts Professional Cook 1 – ESL  Sept. 4 DTN 305
Dental Assisting   Aug. 27  DTN  240 
Dental Hygiene – Year 1  Sept. 4  DTN  501 
Dental Hygiene – Year 2 Sept. 4  DTN  502 
Dental Reception Coordinator  Sept. 4  DTN  526 
Food Service Careers  Sept. 4  DTN  400 
Graphic Design – Year 1  Sept. 4  DTN  719 
Hairstylist (73616) Sept. 4 DTN  201 (Salon and Spa) 
Hairstylist (73615) Sept. 6 DTN  201 (Salon and Spa)
Health Care Assistant Sept. 10  BWY  Building B, 2209 
Health Care Assistant – ESL (73602) Sept. 4  BWY  Building B, 2230
Health Care Assistant – ESL (73605) Sept. 4  BWY  Building B, 2231
Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation   Sept. 10  ANN  Front Entrance 
Hospitality Management – Year 1 Sept. 5 DTN 321 (The Bistro)  
Hospitality Management – Year 2 Sept. 6 DTN 204 
Hospitality Management – Year 3 Sept. 5  DTN 321 (The Bistro) 
Hospitality Management – Year 4 Sept. 5  DTN  321 (The Bistro)
Jewellery Art and Design – Year 1  Sept. 4 DTN 162 
Jewllery Art and Design – Year 2 Sept. 4 DTN  142 
Job Readiness – Deaf and Hard of Hearing  Sept. 4  BWY  Building A, 2607 
Legal Administrative Assistant Sept. 4  DTN 618 
Medical Laboratory Assistant Sept. 17  BWY  Building B, 3205 
Medical Office Assistant  Sept. 4  DTN  629 
Medical Transcriptionist  Sept. 4  DTN  829 
Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant – Year 1 Sept. 4  BWY Building B, 4205
Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant – Year 2  Sept. 4  BWY  Building B, 4210 
Practical Nursing  Sept. 4  BWY  Building B, 1228 
Professional Cook 1 + Catering Oct. 22  DTN  305B
Professional Cook 2 (72812) Aug. 27  DTN 207
Professional Cook 2 (72823) Aug. 27 DTN 205B
Professional Cook 2 (72834) Aug. 27  DTN  218B
Professional Cook 2 (72845) Aug. 27 DTN  237
Retail and Hospitality Careers  Sept. 4 DTN  311 
Skin and Body Therapy (70743) Sept. 4 DTN 201 (Salon and Spa)
Skin and Body Therapy (70771) Sept. 6 DTN 201 (Salon and Spa)
Steel Detailing Technician Certificate  Sept. 4  DTN  718
Visual Communications Design Sept. 4  DTN 819 


Want to show your new campus to family and friends? Everyone is welcome to join us at our free open house, Experience VCC, on Oct. 24 from 3 to 6 p.m. 

New courses offer social media instruction at convenient times

Evening and weekend courses in online marketing offer new skills for busy entrepreneurs



Originally published in The Georgia Straight 

Social media and analytics are transforming the business world. 

Fortunately, Vancouver Community College is making it easy for entrepreneurs and their staffs to make use of these applications at affordable prices.

This year, VCC Continuing Studies has launched four introductory courses offered at times that won’t intrude on the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday work schedule. And they all take place at the Downtown campus, which is easily accessible via the Expo Line and various bus routes.

Social Media: Marketing and Branding is a one-day course being offered on two Saturdays: September 29 and November 24.

Program coordinator Sid Khullar says that it will touch on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.

“It helps people learn how to create consistent messaging for your brand promotion,” he explains. “It’s well-suited for individuals who have their own business who want to expand into the social media realm.”

The second new course, Google AdWords Training, is offered over five consecutive Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m., starting Oct. 24.

“[Google AdWords] is a pay-per-click model, so anytime somebody clicks your advertisement, then you pay,” Khullar says. “It also provides geographic controls, so you can have your advertisements targeted to a local area or you can make it available across the globe.”

The third new course, Visual Analytics With Tableau, takes place on five consecutive Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m., starting on Oct. 11. Tableau enables users to create interactive dashboards, graphs, and illustrations.

“You can produce meaningful visualizations,” Khullar says. “You can quickly navigate into the details within that big picture.”

He points out that Tableau is quite heavily used in marketing, journalism, health care, geography, and other fields.

The fourth new offering, Introduction to Python Programming, takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. over five Tuesdays, starting on Oct. 23. According to Khullar, Python is relatively easy to learn in comparison to other programming languages, and it can be used on social-networking sites.

A fifth course, SEO and Google Analytics, has been offered before. SEO stands for “search-engine optimization”, and this course takes place on five Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m., starting on Sept. 19.

Khullar points out that all the instructors are working professionals in the fields in which they teach. He adds that students' evaluations have been positive and they enjoy face-to-face interactions with the faculty.

"We try to keep the courses affordable so that anybody—whether it's a personal hobbyist who wants to expand in knowledge or somebody who is being sponsored by an employer or Work B.C.—is able to engage in this learning," Khullar says. "We want to make sure it's accessible to a wide segment of the population."


Learn something new. Choose from hundreds of Continuing Studies courses in business, design, languages, and more in our Fall 2018 catalogue

Italian cuisine and culture come to Vancouver Community College

Also new: Accessibility training in partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

Our town has been blessed by Italy before. Chefs such as Tuscany-born Umberto Menghi and Calabria-born Pino Posteraro have set the bar high for Italian cuisine in Vancouver.

But early in the new year, local residents will have a chance to learn from Italian masters in the kitchens at Vancouver Community College’s downtown campus.

That's because VCC will accept another batch of students for Cucina Italiana-Italian Master Class Series, which is offered through VCC continuing studies.

The dean, Gordon McIvor, told the Straight by phone that students are not only going to learn new culinary skills, they’ll also get the full-meal deal when it comes to Italian culture, courtesy of charismatic head chef Giovanni Trigona.

"These courses are really designed more for the entertainment value as opposed to training people to become chefs," McIvor acknowledged.

News-Italian-Master-Class-pizza-EMBED-300VCC has partnered with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada West to offer five three-hour evening classes over a five-week period. They focus on the culture of Italian cuisine from a specific region.

Each evening is devoted to a region’s pastapizza, breads, pastries, the pairings of Italian wine and food, and even gourmet gelato. There’s a 20 per cent discount for those who enroll in all five courses, though they can also be taken individually.

"Giovanni has a lot of energy," McIvor said. "You’re really getting a very authentic experience."

VCC's senior program coordinator of continuing studies, Claire Sauvé, told the Straight by phone that what sets the Italian Master Class Series apart is how it weaves together traditions, customs, regional history, and Italian food.

"There are certain classifications of ingredients from Italy, depending on their regional authenticity," Sauvé explained. "An even higher measure of authenticity is if the ingredients come from a particular region and have been 100 per cent prepared in that region. So they are really focused on regional delicacies."

McIvor attended a session this fall in which the chef insisted that dough be left to sit out for 18 hours before students could start kneading it. McIvor also recalled how it felt having flour poured over his hand and hearing the chef talk about its consistency.

He was delighted by how much joy there was in the room during the class, which he described as "highly interactive."

"It's almost like a party," he recalled. "If people are looking for an active evening, I think it’s something they would enjoy."

‌Accessibility assessors will be trained at VCC

The Italian Master Class Series reflects how staff in the VCC continuing studies can seek partnerships before embarking on new programs.

"It's not just about us creating a course from scratch," McIvor said. "It's really about engaging with people who have the subject-matter expertise and the curriculum and us delivering it and making it accessible to people from where we sit."

Along the same lines, VCC continuing studies will offer an Accessibility Assessor Certification Training course in the spring in partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation.

‌"The training is to become an accessibility assessor—to go into buildings and assess how accessible the buildings are," Sauvé said.

This can involve measuring the width of stairways or doorways and making recommendations to engineers about any retrofitting that needs to be done. But it also incorporates accessibility for people who are hearing or visually impaired, those who have companion dogs, and even people with strollers.

"It's a holistic view of accessibility," Sauvé noted.

McIvor noted that the Accessibility Assessor course will take place in a large room at the Broadway campus.

Obstacles will be created there and students will rely on wheelchairs to navigate around them and around the campus. They’ll also find their way while blindfolded and walking with a cane.

"A lot of buildings in Vancouver and all across Canada are required to be retrofitted," McIvor said. "The Rick Hansen Foundation is trailblazing this. We're going to be the 'train the trainer' spot for Canada, and the goal in the long term is we roll this out across Canada and people come here for training."


See what other new and unique courses VCC Continuing Studies has to offer. Programs start year-round.



New Continuing Studies workshops explore children’s play and behaviour

From superhero play to childhood trauma, new ECCE workshops help parents and educators alike



A toddler ties a cape around his shoulders, thrusts a fist into the air, and dashes into action as the world’s newest superhero. This classic (and unavoidable) act of “playing superhero” helps kids feels strong, positive, and engage in physical activity. But how much play fighting is actually OK? And what should parents and teachers do when a toy turns into a weapon?

According to Vancouver Community College (VCC) Early Childhood Education program coordinator Katarina Jovanovich, superhero play has both benefits and challenges. “There are debates on how it affects the development of young children,” she says. 

In Superhero Play, one of four new Early Childhood Education (ECCE) workshops to be offered in Fall 2018, parents and educators can learn to notice red flags and use handy techniques to keep their little heroes flying in a positive direction. 

Other new ECCE workshops this fall include The Need for Unstructured Play, exploring the ways in which free play promotes independent learning; Inclusive Trauma – Informed Process, teaching ways to identify and address emotional trauma in children; and Mistaken Goals of Young Children’s Behaviour, offering the latest research on interpreting and managing challenging behaviours.


Other new VCC Continuing Studies courses starting in Fall 2018 include: 

Creative Writing
Writing Sparks to Completion

Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) – Wine Sommelier Level 1


Electronic Discovery and Litigation Technology

Google AdWords Training
Introduction to Python Programming
Visual Analytics with Tableau

Building Service Management
Pool Operator


Learn something new. Pick up the Fall 2018 Continuing Studies course catalogue at any VCC campus, download the PDF, or explore the full selection of Continuing Studies courses online. 



VCC delivers skills needed to work as licensed pharmacy technician

Pharmacy tech Despina shares how she found her perfect career through VCC's industry-leading program



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Pharmacy technician Despina Staikos had always had a passion for science, so it made sense for her to enroll in a university biochemistry program.

But after a while, she concluded that this wasn’t going to lead to a career, so she left university and found a job as an assistant at a pharmacy. That’s when she realized she could develop a career in that industry.

Staikos heard great things about Vancouver Community College (VCC) from her peers, so last year she enrolled in the 30-week, full-time certificate program to become a regulated pharmacy technician.

Prior to her graduation in July 2017, she did her practicum at Royal Columbian Hospital. She quickly found a job at Vancouver General Hospital and also works at the B.C. Cancer Agency.

“We had this prestige being VCC students because people in the field know that VCC students are held to a really high standard,” Staikos says. “We receive a really high level of education.”

Pharmacy technicians are licensed by the College of Pharmacists of B.C., so Staikos is permitted to prepare, process, compound, and conduct final checks on prescriptions. She can also take patient histories.

“I absolutely love what I’m doing right now,” she says. “I’ve never had a bad day at work.”

One of her VCC instructors, Wayne Rubner, says the program consists of 22 weeks of classes and an eight-week practicum. There are 20 seats for each program, with one running from September to April. Another starts in January, and a third intake occurs in May.

Rubner points out that about 60 percent of the students’ training is activity-based, with much of this taking place in simulated community and hospital pharmacies at VCC’s Broadway campus.

“We’ll do some theory in the morning, and then in the afternoons they’re in the lab filling prescriptions and preparing intravenous medications like they would do in a retail pharmacy like London Drugs or a hospital pharmacy like St. Paul’s,” Rubner says. “What we try to do here is set up our learning environment to be a simulated workplace as much as possible.”

There's also an eight-week practicum in a community or hospital pharmacy. This hands-on education gives students the skills to ensure products are prepared safely and accurately.

Rubner and other instructors in VCC’s pharmacy technician program are pharmacists; the program advisory committee is made up of employers and people who accept students on practicums.

“They meet with us a couple of times a year and give us feedback on things they would like us to teach more of or something new that has come up,” Rubner says. “So we can keep our program current and relevant.”

The pharmacy technician program is part of VCC’s School of Health Sciences.

“You can come into our program directly from high school if you meet all the entrance requirements,” Rubner adds.

Staikos says that all of those who graduated with her had no difficulty finding employment in the field. And she’s happy to report that there are opportunities at the B.C. Cancer Agency to branch out into different specialties, such as being a technician for clinical trials or drug evaluations.

“Right now, I’m in the process of being trained to mix chemotherapy, which is something that is really interesting to me,” Staikos reveals. “So I’m going to build on that and see where that takes me in the next five years.”


Visit our campus and chat with VCC instructors and students in health sciences, culinary arts, auto trades, and more. Register now for our Fall 2018 open house, Experience VCC, on Oct. 24 from 3 to 6 p.m. 

VCC makes hairstylist study more accessible

New option for hairstylists offers a streamlined path to B.C. trade certification



Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver. 

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is giving aspiring hairstylists the opportunity to enter a formal hairstyling apprenticeship through a compressed 10-week in-class structure.

“With the traditional apprenticeship route, you’d take a 10-month foundation program, find a salon in which you’d gain the required apprenticeship hours then come back to VCC and take Level 2 training, continue to get hours and take your Red Seal testing,” explains Lucy Griffith, VCC’s department leader of hair design and skin and body therapy programs. “With this new option, you find a salon sponsor first, complete 11 weeks in class, go back to the industry and continue working, and come back for Level 2.”

The option, says Griffith, will appeal to a wide range of learners, including those who wish to start earning money right away, those who have other commitments and will appreciate the streamlined 10-week format, and those who may not live in Metro Vancouver but wish to come to the area to complete their training before returning to their community to complete the 3,600 required on-the-job hours.

“It really makes education accessible to so many different kinds of learners,” she says. “Additionally, salons that sponsor apprentices receive grants from the government as an incentive to helping students enter the trades, and apprentices receive a $1,000 grant each time they complete an aspect of their apprenticeship training for a total of $4,000.”

With the route leading to a trade certification from B.C.’s Industry Training Authority and the Red Seal of endorsement, graduates, in addition to traditional roles in salons and barbershops, may work across Canada in roles within film, education or entrepreneurship. “As a Red Seal, you show that you have the highest amount of education a hairstylist can get,” says Griffith. “We have an 83 per cent employment rate upon graduation, so there is definitely a need for stylists.”


Learn more about hairstylist apprenticeship at VCC by attending a free information session at our Downtown campus. 


Sacred stories: Gladue program responds to a decades-old call for justice

How a new VCC pilot program is promoting healing and progress for Indigenous offenders



It’s been a problem for decades. The numbers show it clearly. Indigenous people are greatly overrepresented in Canadian prisons. While some continue to ask why, others like Leesa Van Peteghen are working hard to make a difference. 

Leesa works in the small community of Lytton, B.C. as a Program Manager for the Lytton Restorative Justice, Prevention and Education Program. Serving the surrounding First Nations, her job involves everything from relationship workshops and counselling referrals to working with the RCMP, victims, and offenders – including writing Gladue reports. 

It was over 20 years ago, in 1996, that the Criminal Code was first amended, requiring judges to consider alternative sentencing to reduce the number of Indigenous people in Canadian prisons. Then, in 1999, an appeal of a murder conviction against a 19-year-old Cree woman named Jamie Tanis Gladue established “Gladue” rights, requiring judges to recognize the historical trauma that continues to affect Indigenous offenders in Canada. 

Despite these milestones, Gladue rights are still rarely considered today, and federal incarceration of Indigenous people in Canada has risen almost 40 per cent since 2006. 

According to Leesa, writing a legal report that addresses someone’s full personal and cultural history can be an enormous and heartbreaking task. Telling this “sacred story” is also not something that busy lawyers tend to do. “It’s an honour,” she says, “and it takes a lot for an offender to trust somebody.”

To address the urgent need for trained Gladue report writers in Canada, in January 2018, VCC partnered with IndiGenius and Associates to launch a pilot Gladue report writing program, the only college program of its kind in Canada. Leesa, one of the first graduates, says she’d been searching for something like it for six years, and travelled regularly from Lytton to attend the sessions at VCC.

News-Leesa-edited-232Leesa emphasizes that a Gladue report isn’t a “get-out-of-jail-free card.” Rather, the document identifies options to consider during sentencing such as addiction treatments, restorative justice, or other paths to address past trauma. Leesa is also working towards making Gladue reporting mandatory for all Indigenous child welfare cases so that every option for family reconciliation is made available.

‌‌From Leesa's perspective, it's when people lack a sense of belonging that they commit crimes. “A lot of Indigenous people don’t even know their traditional ways until they’re in jail,” she says. “Generations of residential school have trained them to keep their culture hidden, but that belonging is exactly what they need.” 

Leesa, who herself grew up in Edmonton and has Cree, Métis, and Russian roots, says she relates to the trauma that runs deep in her new community. She freely shares her own story of childhood abuse, foster care, and self-harm, followed by addiction, depression, cancer, and the loss of two children. 

Through it all, however, Leesa continued to build a successful career working in prisons, security, education, and law enforcement. Recently, she’s received glowing praise for her Gladue reports from local lawyers. Leesa also believes that she’s found her own sense of belonging working in Lytton and serving the community. “When you get on a healthy path, in order to stay healthy, you need to help other people,” she says. “That’s why I do this. I have faith that anyone can turn their life around.”


To learn more about VCC’s Gladue report writing program, please contact Tami Pierce, Director, VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement at 604.871.7000, ext. 7288 or tpierce@vcc.ca.



VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement

Adrianna's story: a pathway to pastry arts

Heat’s story: blazing trails in food and business

VCC hosts Soaring Indigenous Youth Career Conference

Clinton’s story: from trauma to triumph






Loud and proud, Queer as Funk make Motown their own

VCC music grad Alison Gorman finds a musical home in Vancouver’s hottest, queerest band



Alison Gorman is the trumpeter for Queer as Funk, a seven-piece cover band who market themselves as: “Vancouver’s hottest, queerest band.” And when the Motown pop/neo-soul septet plays the Commodore Ballroom Aug. 3 it will be more than a point of pride, Gorman says. It will be a political act.

“It’s going to be a big, sweaty beautiful dance party. Furthermore, there’s something important about taking a space like the Commodore on a Friday night on Granville Street and filling it with queer bodies and queer allies.”

Granville can feel intimidating, Gorman says.

“I walk through the world and more often than not I get misidentified as a guy,” she says. “It’s not something that I’m complaining about because it in some ways can afford me a certain amount of invisibility.”

But LGBTQ folks without that measure of invisibility end up hearing catcalls, which is bad enough, Gorman says, but worse are creepiness-laced comments that leave people feeling unsafe.

“We want all of our straight allies to come out and celebrate and be proud,” Gorman says. “It’s important that we get to know each other.”

To help create that familiarity, Queer as Funk will likely pepper their setlist with newer hits like “You Are the Best Thing,” by Ray LaMontagne, soul classics by Aretha Franklin and Etta James, as well as standards from the Motown catalogue.

When discussing Motown – the label that boasted Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and The Marvelettes – founder Berry Gordy, Jr. said the music was for: “white and black, blue and green, cops and the robbers.”

Choosing to play music that was accessible to everyone was a conscious decision, Gorman says.

“You can’t not dance,” she says.

Gorman first arrived on the North Shore at 13. Sipping her coffee, Gorman describes sitting in the band room at Balmoral Junior Secondary School after moving to North Vancouver from Ottawa. At her old school she’d lobbied to play trumpet because she didn’t want to lug a trombone around. Then she’d learned a scale and not much more.

At Balmoral the music other kids were playing seemed beyond her.

“I wanted to quit,” she remembers.

But her mother – as mothers often do – presented an alternative. She signed Gorman up for the North Vancouver Youth Band under the premise Gorman could quit after two months if she didn’t like it.

“Which was a lie,” Gorman laughs. “I knew that even then. We don’t quit things.”

She eventually studied music at UBC but had less than fond memories of performing in front of a faculty jury.

“They grade you and decide whether or not you’re worthy as a person,” she says. “That’s what it felt like.”

At the urging of a teacher, she switched to Vancouver Community College and found a contrast to the competitive pressure cooker of UBC. She also found a heap of bands in need of a horn player.

“Everyone is constantly asking you to play in their band,” she says, noting she connected with Queer as Funk keyboardist Luis “Babyface” Melgar through VCC.

Continue reading in the North Shore News >


Explore your musical potential in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Meet VCC music faculty and learn about upcmoing auditions at our next free information session

Heat’s story: blazing trails in food and business

VCC alumnus and Indigenous chef Heat Laliberte shares his journey from foster care to culinary entrepreneur



Heat Laliberte never wanted to be a chef. When he moved from rural Saskatchewan to Vancouver at age 20, his hobby was dancing. He was busy, too, touring with a hip-hop troupe and performing across the United States, but never earning enough to do it full-time. 

To make ends meet, Heat applied to be a server at Moxie’s Grill & Bar. They didn’t need servers, however. They needed cooks, and over the next decade, what started as a “side job” would become Heat’s profession, his passion, and his path to success.

As an Indigenous kid growing up in foster care, Heat remembers struggling with poverty. Raised in a non-Indigenous family, he feels that he also lost much of his cultural identity. In the end, even growing up and moving away only offered a brief escape. Shortly after Heat came to B.C., his 19-year-old brother was killed in a violent crime. A year later, his mother died of a drug overdose.  

At this point, Heat was working as a cook at the Westin Grand Hotel. “I wasn’t really going anywhere,” he says. That’s when his chefs suggested a trade certificate. “They had only the best things to say about the instructors and the programs at VCC.”

With no savings or family support, Heat began researching his options, eventually turning to the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) for help. Here, he received funding through their ACCESS Trades program to enrol in VCC culinary arts. “I was so broke,” he says. “I just really wanted that trade ticket. It would mean I accomplished something.”

A world of opportunity

Heat excelled in culinary school and apprenticed in some of Vancouver’s most upscale and demanding kitchens. He also enjoyed the competitive edge that came from being in class with cooks from other top restaurants. “You get to see their ideas and what they cook, and you’re all pushing each other to be more creative,” he says.

And culinary school was only the beginning. In 2016, Heat travelled to Brazil to work as head chef at USA House during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In February 2018, he worked as a private event chef during the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Korea. “There’s no way you could have told a 15-year-old me that I would be cooking all around the world,” he says. “I would have laughed.” 

Down to business

Today, Heat is pursuing a long-time interest in charcuterie, making and selling artisanal bacon under his own brand, One Arrow, available at Vancouver Farmers Markets

While some chefs may shy away from the risks of entrepreneurship, Heat is fulfilling a lifelong dream for independence. “I make everything start to finish and I love being able to sell it to my customers face-to-face,” he says. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

One Arrow’s Indigenous branding is also a deliberate decision by Heat to share his personal journey and cultural pride. “I want to show that I am an Indigenous entrepreneur,” he says. “There are so many barriers for Indigenous people – racial, financial, addictions. Too often, you’re a statistic. My brother was a statistic. I want to show that it’s possible for people to overcome these obstacles.” 




Learn more about the opportunities, support, and facilities available to Indigenous students at VCC by contacting our Indigenous Education and Community Engagement office.

Have a flair for food? Explore your options for a cooking career at an upcoming free info session and kitchen tour with VCC Culinary Arts.  

The Chef’s Table pop-up kitchen comes to VCC Broadway

Treat yourself to a unique, 5-course seasonal menu by VCC International Culinary Arts

Chef's Table will be running at the Downtown campus in the Bistro from April 19 - June 29 2016.

Click here to see current event information and menus.



‌VCC’s International Culinary Arts students are recreating the Chef’s Table at VCC’s Broadway campus!‌

This pop-up style restaurant is located at VCC’s Broadway campus in the Quizine Kitchen. Patrons will be seated at a communal dining table while VCC’s International Culinary Arts students create a five-course set menu before their eyes.


Running until Dec 18
Time: 6:30 p.m. seating
Cost: $45 set menu, $60 with wine pairings
Location: Quizine Kitchen entrance on Glen Dr. at E. 8th Ave.


To be added to the wait list, or to find out about future launches please call 604.871.7000 ext. 7333, email thechefstable@vcc.ca or sign up here.


VCC Student Awards recap: celebrating success

Recognizing talented and deserving students at our spring 2018 awards ceremony

Twice a year, Vancouver Community College (VCC) holds student awards ceremonies to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of talented and deserving students enrolled in a vast range of programs.

On Friday, May 25, the spring 2018 awards ceremony took place at VCC's Broadway campus where the VCC Foundation awarded in excess of $134,000 in scholarships and awards. VCC’s scholarships and awards recognize academic excellence and acknowledge students who demonstrate leadership in the classroom or in their community.

Dr. Kathryn McNaughton, Vice President, Academic, Students and Research was present to congratulate each student. "It is one of my favourite events of the year and I am honoured to represent VCC in recognizing our students' successes," she said in her address.

At each awards ceremony, the VCC Foundation highlights one award in a video presentation. This season's video featured the recipients of the Dr. Kes Chetty MOSAIC scholarship. Dr. Chetty was a compassionate man of integrity who was committed to social justice. These scholarships recognize students from a non-English-speaking country who are continuing their education in Canada. Having good grades is always an important part of student success, but these awards seek to recognize those who are kind and generous of spirit. The 2018 award recipients are Masoud Nabizadeh from Iran and Joanne Meng Yang from China.

With many donor representatives in attendance, the awards ceremonies provide a special opportunity for donors to connect directly with the recipients of their awards. It also provides a chance for students—and VCC—to thank the donors in person.


See the photo galleries:

May 25, 2018 – 9:30 a.m.
School of Health Sciences
School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
School of Trades, Technology and Design

May 25, 2018 – 1:30 p.m.
Centre for Continuing Studies
School of Instructor Education
School of Arts and Sciences


Learn more about the scholarships and awards available to VCC students by visiting Financial Aid

Interested in donating or establishing an award to encourage VCC student success? Connect with us via the VCC Foundation.

Award-winning ESL curriculum offers a better pathway to Canadian life

Emphasis on conversations and real-world scenarios sets VCC program apart



Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that its innovative ESL Pathways program was recognized as the Gold recipient of the Program Excellence Award from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). The award was presented in a ceremony in Ottawa on May 1, 2017.

In contrast with traditional English as a Second Language (ESL) curricula focusing on English literature and grammar, ESL Pathways was created as a practical, culturally sensitive alternative targeting real-world scenarios such as job interviews, informal conversations, and public speaking. 

The ESL Pathways program is the result of a provincial government-sponsored curriculum development project aimed at overcoming the known language and cultural barriers newcomers to Canada face in accessing employment and education.

“The Pathways program is more than an English course,” says student Atousa Eskandari. “It covers a diverse range of topics, including usual life, academic study, and the cultural workplace. The course content reflects the challenges every immigrant faces in a new country.”

The new curriculum is also fully aligned with the Canadian Language Benchmarks, providing a common standard of assessment and eliminating the need for re-testing in many other educational and professional settings in Canada. 

“Vancouver Community College is often the first place newcomers go when they arrive in British Columbia,” says VCC president and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda. “I am especially proud of this truly innovative way of teaching ESL— not only for its impact on our students and their confidence, but also for its positive contribution to society.”

VCC officially launched ESL Pathways in 2015 with 100 students and the program has grown remarkably since then. Currently in its fourth year, ESL Pathways has nearly 900 registered students and further growth is anticipated. Additionally, several other B.C. institutions have begun the licensing process for adopting the ESL Pathways curriculum. 


Read more


VCC cooks up national gold at Skills Canada

Culinary apprentice Carmen Rosa shares her path to the podium and a promising career


Ever since the Skills Canada regional competitions in early 2018, we’ve been following Team VCC from one podium to the next. 

After an incredible 18-medal performance at the Skills Canada BC provincials in Abbotsford on April 18, our winners headed to Edmonton on June 4 to compete for top spots in the country. 

With live video streaming across our campuses, the whole community watched as VCC’s Leah Patitucci (post-secondary) and Carmen Rosa (secondary) each won national gold in culinary arts. Meanwhile in the bakery, VCC’s Queenie Li (secondary) claimed silver, Clarissa Roque (post-secondary) took home bronze, and Tony Harrington (secondary) scored a bronze medal in car painting. 

We caught up with national gold medallist, recent Samuel Roberts Technical Secondary grad, and current VCC culinary arts apprentice Carmen to discuss her recent golden performance and find out what’s next for this rising star. 


How does it feel to be the best secondary school cook in Canada? 

It feels surreal, but when people congratulate me, it feels good. Like one day I’m living life and the next thing you know I’m 19 and I’m actually pretty good at something. It’s a successful feeling.


How long have you been cooking? 

I started about one year ago. I was a banquet server and then a dishwasher at a country club in Maple Ridge. Then one day I got an opportunity to help with the cooking. I started by peeling potatoes, then the chef let me do more stuff. I also learned that an apprenticeship would give me money for college, so I registered. 


What you picture yourself doing before this? 

Cooking is a big turn for me. I always wanted to be an event planner. I love organizing and being my own boss, having control of things. That’s why I like competition; it’s just me. I’m also good at art, and I’m a musician too, but not for a career.


What was it like to compete at a national level? 

In some ways, all the competitions are different, but they’re also the same. It’s a black box of ingredients and you usually do three courses. You get what you get, and you cook it according to the rules. 


Are cooking competitions as dramatic as they look on TV? 

I never watched a lot of culinary TV, but yeah there’s complications and drama. In Edmonton, I lost my courage a bit on the first day. I lost my mojo. I cut myself with a grater and I had to see the First Aid attendant. It was a small cut but I didn’t want to hide it. Then I forgot to put some garnishes on my salad and they docked points so that left me in third place. The second day I just said, “Let’s get this done.” 


How much training did you do? 

Overall it was about three weeks. The first two weeks, I took the train into Vancouver and practiced at VCC with Chef Mike Steele. It was overwhelming but Mike is so encouraging. He says if you make mistakes now, that’s better than on the stage. The third week, I trained back at SRT. It was nice and quiet there, and they also have the same kind of ovens they use in the competition.   


Are there more competitions in your future? 

I’ll be competing again at the Skills Canada nationals in Halifax in 2019. I’ll be up against this year’s silver winner and that determines who will be going to Kazan, Russia for World Skills, which is just a few months later. 


What’s next for your career? 

I’ll be at VCC for PC2 (Professional Cook 2) in September. Chef Mike made sure I got to know the community a bit during my training. It will be great to see all the other chefs there. 



Did you know high school students can start culinary arts apprenticeship training as early as Grade 11? Learn more about Youth Train in Trades programs via the B.C. Industry Training Authority (ITA).  

Meet VCC’s all-star chef instructors and see our kitchens in action. Sign up now for an upcoming free information session at our Downtown campus. 






Giving back to the community

VCC CAD and BIM technology students give back to the community


On Friday, May 11, 20 students from VCC’s Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) and Building Information Modelling (BIM) Technology program, along with project lead, Kelly Whitman, department leader, Bruce McGarvie, instructors Maurice Della-Savia and Ron Palma, and program coordinator, Timothy Conklin, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver.

Students from VCC's civil/structural, architectural, and steel detailing technician programs spent the day laying joists, building a deck, demolishing a shed, and then rebuilding a new shed, framing doors, and relocating approximately two tons of building materials. When complete, Habitat for Humanity and their many volunteers will have built six detached homes for families who are currently living in substandard housing, with a combined family income of $40,000 or less. When the families move from their Habitat for Humanity home, the organization returns 80% back to the family in order to aid help with purchasing their own homes.

Attend an upcoming CAD & BIM technology info session to learn how you can be employed in just 10 months.

If you’re interested in learning more about volunteering in your community, VCC offers a part-time Volunteer Management program.

For more photos, visit the CAD & BIM technology Facebook page.


Enter our VCC TV Facebook contest

Go Ahead. Live well...on a budget.

VCC TV Facebook contest

Calling all frugal guys and gals!
To celebrate our Live Well for Less video series, we're looking for your thrifty tips and tricks for living it up without busting your budget. Five winners will receive VCC summer kick-off swag bags filled with goodies such as sunglasses, T-shirts, a frisbee and a gift card to the VCC Salon & Spa or JJ's Restaurant.
One winner will have their tip turned into a video and will get their shot at the video's starring role!

To enter, submit your tip here with the #LiveWellForLess hashtag on our Facebook page.


Solid foundations: ShakeOut BC disaster simulation

Innovative and interdisciplinary earthquake drill the largest of its kind in B.C.


Traditionally, VCC's Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program taught disaster nursing like any other course – using mannequins in labs. But while the mannequins were perfect patients in everyday class, students requested that emergency scenarios be a little more… lifelike.

Nursing instructor and certified health care simulationist Shirley Clarke began by recruiting other students to be "walking wounded" in small-scale exercises. By 2016, her initiative had expanded to include VCC facilities, communications, counselling, and security departments. Today, the ShakeOut Health Sciences Interprofessional Education Team (IPE) orchestrates an annual earthquake simulation on a scale unlike any in the province.

Held immediately following the annual Great B.C. ShakeOut earthquake drill, VCC's ShakeOut disaster simulation involves a full evacuation of the Broadway campus, after which students from eight different health sciences programs re-enter to find multiple "casualties" with realistic-looking wounds and blood. Some are pregnant, unconscious, or experiencing seizures. The electricity is cut, elevators are off, windows are "cracked," furniture is toppled, and a loop of chaotic noise plays on loudspeakers, all to simulate the aftermath of a major earthquake.

Facilitators guide groups of students through the building where they must work together to triage the victims. "Students learn about each other's roles," says School of Health Sciences practice education coordinator Jo-Ellen Zakoor. "Our goal is to enhance communication between health care professionals."

Following its launch, VCC's ShakeOut simulation ran for a second time in 2017, more than doubling participation by faculty, students, and volunteers.



Find out if nursing is for you. Earn prerequisites while learning about the many roles in health care through VCC's Pre-Health Sciences program.

VCC updates sexual violence and misconduct policy

Furthering our work towards safe campuses with support and resources for all

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is committed to the prevention of sexual violence and misconduct and the promotion of an environment where everyone is physically and emotionally safe and treated with respect. VCC is committed to providing education to the College community about the prevention of sexual violence and misconduct and to assisting and supporting those who have experienced sexual violence and misconduct.

VCC has been engaged in work to address the prevention of sexual violence on our campuses since 2013 and has recently published an updated sexual violence and misconduct policy to align with the expectations and procedures set forth in Bill 23 – 2016: Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act. A working group made up of representatives from across the College, including students and faculty, assisted in drafting a policy and the accompanying procedures. The resulting draft was carefully vetted by legal counsel, ensuring that the final policy addresses all relevant aspects of the legislative requirements. The feedback received as a result of this process has informed the final policy.

VCC’s commitment is to ensure our campuses are safe, that everyone knows their rights and responsibilities when comes to sexual violence and misconduct, and that support and resources are available for all.

For more information on the sexual violence and misconduct policy and procedures, please contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim 
Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T. 604.871.7000 ext. 7152
E. frasoulkim@vcc.ca

A fresh look for graphic design at VCC

Revamped program focuses on web design, entrepreneurship, and client service

News-2017-Visual Communications-0049-800


Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver. 

In Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) recently redesigned graphic design program, students are being equipped with the latest industry knowledge to ensure they are employable as soon as they graduate.

“The central components of the program are print and web design as well as a focus on entrepreneurial learning and technology,” says Lorena Espinoza, department head of the graphic design program. 

“What’s evolved is that we now have a stronger focus on web design and web is blended throughout the program. It is the ecosystem of a graphic designer and you can no longer talk about web in isolation. We’re also focusing on multiplatform thinking.”

The two-year diploma program prepares students for the industry through seven key foundational pillars: conceptual thinking, workforce, studio practices, client interaction, client-centred project, curriculum and flexible pathways. In fact, says Espinoza, it is the only program in Western Canada in which students take on real-world clients.

“Client-driven programming is really important at VCC and it gives students the opportunity to become more confident in their skills,” she says. “Because our program is very community-based, we also have many opportunities for students to get the most out of a practicum they complete at the end of the program.”

With the first cohort of students having graduated from the redesigned offering, Espinoza says she is already seeing success stories. Hot Soup Marketing Group, for example, has hired two students who completed their practicum with the company, while another student is already working in marketing development at the Vancouver Opera.  


Learn more about graphic design at VCC by attending a free information session at our Downtown campus. 


Spring 2018 convocation recap

Celebrating the success and achievement of 1,300 VCC grads on June 19, 2018



"The key to feeling fulfilled is to recognize that you are a contributor for the betterment of this world."

- Nelly Gomez, BScN

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to announce the graduation of more than 1,300 hardworking and dedicated students on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. The ceremony took place at 1 p.m. at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with more than 500 friends and family members in attendance.

Distinguished guests present were The Honourable Bruce Ralston, B.C Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient Nelly Gomez; and representing Tsleil-Waututh Elder Deanna George, her daughter Carleen Thomas.

Areas of awarding degrees, diplomas, and certificates included:

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
  • School of Trades, Technology and Design
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Continuing Studies
  • Library and Teaching and Learning Services

Following the Presentation of Graduates, valedictorian Eiji Yoshikawa addressed the Class of 2018 with an unforgettable speech. A retired professional boxer, filmmaker, writer, and nonviolence advocate, Eiji came to VCC to study cosmetology. His goal is to provide hair and skin care services to boxing gyms in the Philippines, where many competitors live in poverty.

During his address, Eiji shed his graduation gown like a boxer entering a ring. Then, to surprised cheers from the audience, Eiji leaped across the stage and demonstrated a routine of handstands, punches, and push-ups.

“The heart is your power,” he said, after returning to the podium. “When you believe in yourself, the power of the heart is bigger than the universe.” 

He then challenged his classmates to use their power to give hope to those who are less fortunate. 

“Everyone is against bullying, but if you’re not taking any action to work on it, you’re part of the bullying system. The world will not be destroyed by tyrants and dictators. It will be destroyed by those who keep their mouths shut.”




See the full photo gallery.

Watch the video recording.


Congratulations to our VCC grads! Learn about the perks and benefits you now receive as VCC alumni.


Korean Culinary Competition reveals fresh talent at VCC

Celebrating food, flavours, and friendship at VCC's second annual Korean cooking challenge


A delicious and exciting time was had by all at Vancouver Community College's (VCC) second annual Korean Culinary Competition held at the Downtown campus on June 14, 2018. Competitors included VCC culinary arts students, professionals, and hobby cooks who were challenged to prepare Korean-style dishes composed of rice, vegetables, and meat or seafood.

Beginning at 2 p.m., the 14 contestants had 90 minutes to complete their composition before presenting to a panel of judges including Korean Consul General Gunn Kim, Chef Eric Lee of Damso Restaurant, VCC culinary arts department leader Collin Gill, assistant department leader Ysabel Sukic, and instructor Sung-Hee Ahn.

“The contestants had the challenging task of preparing everything in 90 minutes.” said Collin. “There was exceptional talent and it was impressive to see the level of creativity and diversity of dishes presented tonight.”

In the student category, the first prize ($800) was awarded to Wonseok Kim, the second prize ($300) to Jaesang Lee and third prize ($100) to Riley Takeo Hooge.

In the professional/hobby cook category, the first prize ($800) winner was Choongwoo Lee, the second prize ($300) went to Myounghoon Lee and third prize ($100) was awarded to Jeongkyu Cha.

Meanwhile, members of the public had a chance to get hands-on and prepare kim bap, a vegetarian-based sushi roll, with the guidance of a demonstrator.

VCC would like to thank the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, Chef and Co Canada, as well as VCC’s culinary arts and hospitality management departments for their partnerships in this outstanding event.

View the full photo gallery.


Fascinated by the foods and flavours of Asia? Learn tradititional techniques and modern skills in VCC's Asian Culinary Arts program. 

Adrianna's story: a pathway to pastry arts

How Indigenous education helped one baking student find her future


When Adrianna Scotchman is baking, she can't help but smile. Seeing her at work in the kitchen of Vancouver's True Confections dessert café is a joy. It's hard to imagine her in any other job.

Two years ago, however, Adrianna wasn't so confident. She'd baked birthday cakes for her nieces and nephews, but hadn't yet chosen a career. As an Indigenous young person from the T'it'q'et First Nation near Lillooet, B.C., she had seen many of her friends drop out of school to start families or care for struggling relatives, but was determined to take a different path. 

When Adrianna moved to Vancouver in her mid-20s, her sister urged her to take a professional baking course offered at the Musqueam Indian Band office. "You've always wanted to bake," her sister had said. "You have to do this!"

Launched in the fall of 2016, VCC's Pathways to Baking and Pastry Arts Program – Indigenous Perspectives was designed for Indigenous students with enthusiasm for the trade, but with various barriers to formal education. The program is taught by VCC instructors and offered both on-campus and in Indigenous communities, using a curriculum that reflects individual student interests as well as Indigenous cultural contexts.

"If it hadn't been for that program, I don't know where I'd be," says Adrianna, who has now completed Level 1 of her provincial trade certification at VCC. In the bakery, her favourite task is decorating and she dreams of one day crafting spectacular wedding cakes. "I love to get everything looking pretty," she says.


Learn more about the supports and services available to Indigenous students at VCC including funding, scholarships, elder support, and more by visiting VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement

Read more stories about VCC's local partnerships and connections in the 2018 VCC Community Report.

B.C. government announces $1.5 million for disability career programs

New funding to further diversity in education, trades training, and the workforce


Vancouver Community College (VCC) was pleased to welcome The Honourable Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and The Honourable Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to the Broadway campus today. Following a classroom tour, Minister Mark announced $1.5 million in funding for B.C. post-secondary institutions to develop career programs for students living with disabilities. 

“Today’s announcement is about students at the centre,” said Minister Mark in her speech to over 100 VCC students, faculty, and disability advocates in attendance. “We have to break down barriers, open up doors, and create opportunities and a sense of belonging for people to succeed and thrive.”

VCC’s funding will include $75,000 for a pilot program called Access to Baking and Kitchen Careers that will provide students on the autism spectrum with specialized training for in-demand jobs and lasting employment. “This accessibility funding will change the lives of students across the province,” said VCC president and CEO Peter Nunoda. 

Representing VCC students with disabilities at today's announcement was Russell Jang, a recent graduate of Food Service Careers, one of VCC’s existing Community and Career Education (CACE) programs. As part of the program, Russell completed a practicum placement at Tacofino Restaurants, where he now works full-time as a prep cook.

Tacofino hosts an ongoing rotation of VCC practicum students and has hired a total of five CACE graduates thus far. Human resources manager Taylor Chobotiuk has nothing but praise for the diversity that these students bring to their kitchens. “This relationship is so meaningful to all of us,” he says. “Everyone in the world has a different way of learning, and we try to adapt to each individual we hire. For myself and for our chefs, we’ve gone from being managers to being teachers, and that’s a really great perspective to have.”


Left: Hon. Shane Simpson, Dr. Peter Nunoda, Hon. Melanie Mark, Elder Deanna George, and students
Right: Russell Jang and Taylor Chobotiuk


Related links:


Dr. Peter Nunoda joins Innovate BC board

VCC’s president appointed by B.C. government to promote tech sector growth

‌Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, has announced that VCC president and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda has been appointed to the board of directors of Innovate BC. Ralston made the announcement at the #BCTECH Summit on May 14.

Innovate BC is an expansion of the former BC Innovation Council with a mandate to guide and promote growth in the province’s technology sector.

Peter will join a diverse team of 11 experts in research, academia, and entrepreneurship, along with Innovation Commissioner Alan Winter on the Innovate BC board of directors. Peter’s appointment was based on his past research and expertise in Indigenous history, as well as his leadership at VCC in creating industry partnerships and furthering technological innovation.


Learn more about entering the tech sector opportunities at VCC:

The top five things we love about nursing

This National Nursing Week, we’re shining a light on this time-honoured yet ever-changing profession

This National Nursing Week (May 7 – 13, 2018), we at Vancouver Community College (VCC) are shining a light on this time-honoured yet ever-changing profession. Here are the top five things we love about nursing:



1. Nurses literally save lives

Nurses go through a lot of studying and training; typically four years for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). The job can also be demanding, exhausting, and emotionally draining, but nurses around the world will tell you that nothing is more personally rewarding than the work they do.

“I’ve saved lives,” says VCC alumna and licensed practical nurse (LPN) Sarah-Zoe Pichette. “You go to bed knowing that you’ve been productive and you’ve been a good person every day.”



2. Nursing is so many things

Just as the nursing uniform has evolved from aprons and caps to scrubs and sneakers, the profession itself has also expanded into countless areas.  

Today, nurses can specialize in psychiatry, neuroscience, community health, paediatrics, gerontology, or emergency care, to name only a few. Nurses can also choose practice settings that range from hospitals and schools to research labs, disaster sites, refugee camps, the military, and even cruise ships and resorts.  



3. Nurses won't be replaced by robots

While many workers out there may be wondering if or when their jobs will be taken over by automation or artificial intelligence, nurses can rest assured they’ll always be needed. Predictions indicate that jobs requiring empathy, human interaction and dealing with unpredictability will be safest from the “robot workplace invasion.” 



4. Nurses are good for our health

Nurses have a massive amount of knowledge about the human body, and it isn’t confined to their hospitals or clinics. A nurse’s knowledge and experience will naturally extend into his or her family and wider community, whether by treating scraped knees, giving nutrition advice, or even offering guidance for addiction treatment options.

“Nurses don’t just go to work and come home,” says VCC nursing instructor Sarah Desbiens. “Nurses are part of an international community of people committed to health and wellness.”



5. Nursing can start (and take you) anywhere

You’re a natural caregiver, you’re not afraid of hard work, and you’re thinking of getting into nursing. What next? 

VCC’s 32-week pre-health sciences program is a combination of introductory biology, chemistry, mathematics, and other courses specifically designed to introduce learners to a wide variety of health sciences careers before they choose an individual path. 

For those already working as accredited health care assistants (HCA) or resident care attendants (RCA), VCC offers a condensed, 13-month curriculum that recognizes past training and experience while earning a Practical Nursing diploma.

Nursing doesn’t have to be a final destination, either. According to Sarah, nursing opens doors to further degrees in education, leadership, research, administration, and others. Many nurses also go on to attend medical school or law school. “Nursing is a great ticket into a great job,” says Sarah, “but it can also be a jumping-off point into so much more.”


Read more about National Nursing Week and join us in celebrating VCC’s health care professionals.



Smoking on campus policy: updated policy notification

Please be aware that VCC has a new smoking on campus policy

Effective immediately: Please be informed that last week VCC President, Dr. Peter Nunoda accepted the revisions to college policy B.3.8: ‌Smoking on Campus. The policy has been updated to identify new modes of ingestion (vaping and e-cigarettes) and identifies designated smoking areas on each campus, thus restricting smoking in any other areas on college property. Please review the revised policy for full details, as well as potential actions for repeated violations. 

VCC at the TD International Jazz Festival

Your guide to VCC music alumni and faculty at Vancouver's 2018 Jazz Fest

It’s that time of year again; when venues across the city welcome world-class musicians to their stage as part of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. This year's Jazz Festival takes place from Friday, June 22 to Sunday, July 1 including free concerts at Granville Island, David Lam Park, and downtown Vancouver. Over half of the 150 musicians and bands performing throughout 10-day festival involve VCC music alumni, faculty, or current students. Here is your official VCC guide to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2018:


Friday, June 22 

Russ Botten Quartet
Frankie’s Jazz Club
(Joe Poole, alumnus) 


Saturday, June 23

Air Stranger
Railway Stage
(Sebastian Chamney, Colin Sankey, Ashley Ashrafian, Riley Johnson, alumni)

Aryad & Francois Houle Trio
Civic Plaza
(Francois Houle, faculty)

David Blake Quartet
Robson Stage
(Joe Poole, alumnus) 

Enemy Pigeon
Robson Stage
(Kevin Romain, Roisin Adams, Dominic Conway, alumni)


Sunday, June 24

BM4 with Jennifer Scott
Robson Stage
(Brad Muirhead, alumnus / Bernie Arai, faculty)

Camaro 67
Georgia Stage
(Jimmy Baldwin, Tim Sars, Brendan Krieg, alumni / Georges Couling, alumnus and current faculty)

The Malleus Trio
Robson Stage
(Dominic Conway, Geordie Hart, Ben Brown, alumni) 

Lynn Valley Village
(Robin Layne, Chris Couto, Malcolm Aiken, Niho Takase, alumni) 

Natasha D’Agostino Quartet
Robson Stage
(Paul Rushka, Bernie Arai, faculty)

Ndidi O
Georgia Stage
(Skye Brooks, alumnus)

Star System
Georgia Stage
(Skye Brooks, alumnus) 


Monday, June 25

Steve Lloyd Smith Quartet
Performance Works
(Joe Poole, alumnus)


Tuesday, June 26

Duo Trio
The China Cloud
(Francois Houle, faculty / Skye Brooks, alumnus)


Wednesday, June 27

The Big Coast
Railway Stage
(Patrick Barnett, Guy Wilkins, Arthur Delahooke, Devon Clarke, alumni)

Kids’ Table Quartet
The China Cloud
(Jeremy Page, Kenton Loewen, alumni)

PJ Perry Quintet
Frankie’s Jazz Club
(Joe Poole, alumnus)


Thursday, June 28

Pugs and Crows
Performance Works
(Ben Brown, alumnus)


Friday, June 29

Elisa Thorn’s HUE
Granville Island
(Justin Devries, alumnus) 

Fond of Tigers
The Imperial
(Skye Brooks, alumnus)

Keith Bennett and Miles Black
Presentation House
(Joel Fountain, alumnus)

Ken Vandermark, Kenton Loewen, James Meger
The Ironworks
(Kenton Loewen, alumnus)

Peregrine Falls
The Imperial
(Kenton Loewen, alumnus) 

Sam Taylor Quintet
Frankie’s Jazz Club
(Paul Rushka, faculty)

Sick Boss
The Imperial
(Jeremy Page, alumnus)


Saturday, June 30 

Coco Jafro
Civic Plaza
(Sangito Bigelow, Chris Couto, Dominic Conway, alumni)

Hard Rubber Orchestra
Performance Works
(John Korsrud, faculty /the band rotates members; faculty members who have played in this band include Alan Matheson, Rob McKenzie, Francois Houle, David Branter, Bernie Arai, Jack Duncan; also alumnus Kerry Galloway)

Jillian Lebeck Trio
Performance Works
(Jillian Lebeck, Paul Rushka, faculty)

Only a Visitor
(Kevin Romain, alumnus)

Queer as Funk
(Alison Gorman, alumna)

Sam Taylor Quintet
Frankie’s Jazz Club
(Paul Rushka, faculty)

(Malcolm Aiken, Sangito Bigelow, Chris Couto, Theo Vincent, alumni)

(Bernie Arai, faculty)


Sunday, July 1

(Elise Boeur, alumna) 

Aeroplane Trio
(Skye Brooks, alumnus) 

Granville Island
(Robin Layne, alumnus)

BC Double Quartet
Performance Works
(Bernie Arai, Paul Rushka, faculty)

Black Gardenia
Granville Island
(Andrew Smith, alumnus)

Freedom Muzik
(Giorgio Magnanensi, faculty)

Jasper Sloan Yip
Granville Island
(Stephanie Chatman, alumna)

Kate Hammett-Vaughan
Performance Works
(Kate Hammett-Vaughan, faculty) 

Marianne Trudel and Francois Houle
Performance Works
(Francois Houle, faculty)

Nikki Carter, Clyde Reed, Kenton Loewen
(Kenton Loewen, alumnus)

Paul Plimley, Clyde Reed, Kenton Loewen
The Ironworks
(Kenton Loewen, alumnus)

Robin Layne Band
Granville Island
(Robin Layne, Malcolm Aiken, alumni)


Download the full festival guide.  


Are you interested in a career in music? Attend an info session on Wednesday, June 20 to learn about VCC's range of music offerings from community courses to diplomas and degrees.

Follow VCC Music on Facebook to get the latest news on performances, events, and auditions.  

Meet Experience VCC tuition winner Brian Chan

The winner of our $500 grand prize shares his plans for an exciting new career


Say hello to the grand prize winner from our recent Experience VCC open house! Brian Chan won $500 in VCC tuition after attending the event and filling out our survey. We recently caught up with Brian to find out what’s in store for him at VCC.

What do you do now?
Right now I'm in IT. I’ve been with the same company for almost nine years.

Why did you attend Experience VCC?
I’ve always loved cars. I’ve loved cars since I was a child. My current job is good but I recently started thinking I’d like to become an automotive service technician. I went to the open house, got a tour of the shop, and it was really exciting. 

Have you decided to go back to school?
Yes, but I didn’t decide right away. Winning the $500 was a big sign. I rarely enter contests. I wasn’t even thinking I would, but I figured why not? Another big sign came when I went on a trip to Spokane, Washington shortly after winning the draw.

What happened in Spokane?
I was in Spokane with my friends. I’d never been there before. We had just eaten at a buffet, we walked outside and there in the next parking lot were ten DeLoreans – my favourite car! They were all in town for the Spokane Lilac Festival. I didn’t even know about it. I told my friends, “Stop, stop, stop!”

You know Macklemore’s music video for the song “Thrift Shop?” There’s a DeLorean in it, and that exact DeLorean was right there. I met the owner, Faisal. I also met Shawn, the President of the DeLorean Club, and Toby, the owner of a DeLorean shop near Seattle. They are such a positive group who are always willing to have a conversation about their cars. I got all these great pictures. It was just crazy!

And now you’re ready for a career change?  
Yeah. At first, I wasn’t sure but now I know. Winning the cheque, then seeing all those cars and meeting the owners – there’s no way it was a coincidence. Everything just came together. I’m super delighted about this.

What are your hopes for the future? 
My goal is to buy a DeLorean. And now, if I become a mechanic, I would be confident to do it. Classic cars may have a lot of issues to sort out, but if I can fix it myself, that would be perfect.




Missed Experience VCC? Stay tuned for details on our next open house in Fall 2018 or register now for an upcoming program info session.

Media release: VCC's Tooth Trolley keeps kids smiling

VCC's 12th annual Tooth Trolley pulls up to the Downtown campus

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is preparing to welcome children and their families to its 12th annual Tooth Trolley event from May 23 to May 28. With funding from Chevron Canada and Telus Community Board, and in partnership with the Vancouver Trolley Company, VCC will open the doors of its downtown dental clinic to pre-registered children and their families from across Vancouver and Burnaby, offering them free dental assessments and preventive services. 

“Tooth Trolley provides children the opportunity to experience their first dental visit in a fun environment,” says Sherry Messenger, instructor, VCC certified dental assistant (CDA) program. “The fun begins when the old-fashioned trolley bus picks the children up, and continues when they are greeted by our tooth fairies – students from our dental hygiene, CDA, and dental reception coordinator programs.” 

Throughout the day, families will also attend seminars held by a public health CDA, participate in fun activities focused on nutrition and dental health, and receive a take-home bag of wholesome snacks and health care products before their return trolley trip.




Video and photo opportunities available:
Date: Monday, May 28, 2018
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Location: VCC dental clinic, room 348, Downtown campus, 200-block Dunsmuir at Hamilton

For interview opportunities, media can contact:
Kristy Neville, Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T: 778.772.1823
E: kneville@vcc.ca

Vancouver’s 2nd annual Korean Culinary Competition to take place at VCC

Amateur and professional chefs are invited to join the event on June 14

As originally posted in The Georgia Straight

Korean food is becoming a popular mainstay in Vancouver’s food scene—there’s probably always someone in your friend circle who is craving tofu soup, bibimbap (hot-stone rice bowl with various toppings), or haemul pajeon (seafood pancake).

The love for this Asian cuisine is real, so it’s fitting that a Korean cooking face-off returns to the city next month. 

In its second year, the Korean Culinary Competition hosted by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea and Vancouver Community College will take place at VCC (250 West Pender Street) on June 14 at 2 p.m. The public will be invited to try the dishes and enjoy food activities and catering from 3:30 p.m. 

Amateur and professional chefs (separated into two groups) are invited to join in on the food-centric event—each contestant will be allotted 90 minutes to whip up a tasty Korean food item, which will be judged for its taste and presentation.

Ingredients and essential kitchen equipment will be provided, but you can bring in your own rice cooker if need be (we think rice is a pretty important accompaniment for Korean cuisine).

First, second, and third place winners in each group will be awarded a significant cash prize. The first place professional competitor will be invited to a week-long trip to Korea to compete against other winners around the world (this particular cooking competition takes place in various countries), and will have the chance to travel to renowned restaurants around the Asian nation.

2017 korean culinary judges

The judges will rank each competing dish based on its taste and presentation.

“The reason we do this competition is to promote Korean food to foreigners, not just Korean nationals living in Canada,” said Kangjun Lee, Consul at the Korean Consulate, to the Straight in an interview at a local Vancouver restaurant. “Cultural affairs, especially food, are the gateway and connector between Asian heritages with local communities. With food, we don’t have any language barriers.”

The list of judges for this year’s event haven’t been confirmed yet, but we can expect to see Consul General Gunn Kim (Consul General of the Republic of Korea), Dr. Peter Nunoda (president, VCC), chef Collin Gill (department head, VCC Culinary Arts), and perhaps a local Korean restaurant owner/chef decide on the winning dishes.

If you’re not confident enough to join this year’s competition but still have a passion for Korean food, then check out the gimbab (Korean seaweed and rice roll)-making activity that will be happening from 3 to 4 p.m.

“We [Koreans] have a big presence in Asian communities, but we think politically and socially we are underrepresented,” said Lee. “There is still a long way to go to be proactively engaged with local communities.”

What better way to engage and interact with Vancouverites than with mouth-watering foods, right?


The cooking competition’s submission deadline is May 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. For more information and the online application, click here.


Loving my job

"I started pounding the pavement as soon as I finished college and got hired on the spot." —Caleb Lee, TESOL graduate

I'm Caleb Lee and this is my success story.

A few years after graduating from UBC, I decided to go back to school to learn how to teach English to speakers of other languages. And since graduating from VCC’s TESOL certificate program, it has been a rollercoaster ride from one event to the next. I started pounding the pavement as soon as I finished college and got hired on the spot at a local international school. I also got a few substitute teaching jobs at a number of different schools and learned more about teaching some of the finer points of English.

I also started picking up volunteer experience, helping out at conversation clubs for immigrant students and soon started volunteering at the Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC), where I helped out as a teaching assistant. Through my contacts there, I was able to get hired as a substitute instructor before applying for a regular position. Now, I teach a full-time ELSA for the Workplace course in the evenings.

Finding a job and place that you’re happy with isn’t easy in any profession, but with the right contacts and a love of the job, the world could be your oyster! Everything came together for me because I was available, the job suited me perfectly, and I was introduced to the right people.

Attend an upcoming info session



Caleb Lee - from an ESL student to a full-time ELSA teacher

New program guides students’ next steps

Pre-health sciences at VCC lets students explore options before choosing a specific career path

As originally posted in Star Metro Vancouver


Starting this September, learners who want to explore the field of health science before committing to further education and a specific career path will have the opportunity to do so when Vancouver Community College (VCC) launches its pre-health sciences program.

“The program ultimately helps students to succeed by preparing them for the next step,” says Debbie Sargent, the dean of VCC’s School of Health Sciences. “Because the program gives students exposure to options, it will benefit those who are thinking about health and aren’t sure which program would be best for them, (such as) recent high school graduates and those who are considering changing their current career path.”

During the 32-week program, students will gain an appreciation of professional roles and responsibilities in the health-care system while also acquiring the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to help them succeed in a health-science career that is best suited to them.

“Some courses offer foundational knowledge such as biology, chemistry and math,” says Sargent. “While others look at the roles within a health-care team, the importance of interprofessional collaboration, medical terminology and career planning. It’s a wellrounded introduction to health science.”

Delivered through a combination of lectures and practical learning, the program leaves room for hands-on application throughrole playing, field trips and group work. It also allows for flexibility, as some courses are presented in a hybrid format, which combines in-person and online learning.

Pre-health sciences grads will have the advantage of having two seats in eight VCC health science programs reserved for them. Among these are: health care assistant, practical nursing, health unit co-ordinator, dental reception co-ordinator, dental assisting – certified, pharmacy technician, medical laboratory assistant and occupational/ physical therapist assistant. In particular programs, there are also opportunities for exemptions from certain coursework that students complete in the pre-health sciences program.

Get ahead in healthcare. Learn the fundamentals of health care systems with VCC’s new pre-health sciences program. Learn more at an upcoming info session. Classes start in September. vcc.ca/health

Media Advisory: 12th Annual Fair in the Square

Join our neighbourhood celebration packed with live music, arts and crafts, a free BBQ lunch, and more

Fair in the Square logos

12thAnnual Fair in the Square ~ Sunday, May 27 in Victory Square Park


Vancouver, B.C. - Neighbours from around the city are invited to Fair in the Square in downtown Vancouver for a celebration packed with live music, arts and crafts, a free BBQ lunch, and more. Join us in Victory Square Park at Hastings and Cambie on Sunday, May 27, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m

Hosted by Central City Foundation in partnership with Vancouver Community College (VCC), this annual celebration of the downtown neighbourhood will feature live music, dozens of community groups with information to share, thousands of burgers and cupcakes prepared by students from the VCC culinary arts program, artists and artisans displaying and selling their wares, kids activities, contests, prizes and more.

These last couple years have been challenging for Vancouverites struggling to overcome the devastating opioid crisis and the lack of affordable housing. The Downtown Eastside has felt the losses and struggled valiantly in the face of these challenges. This year at Fair in the Square we will offer a space of respite, of connection, remembrance and renewal for all our neighbours. Fair in the Square will be an opportunity for neighbours to come together, to see the great things happening in the inner city, and to build hope. 

WHAT:         Fair in the Square, a celebration with free food, music, arts market and more

WHEN:         Sunday, May 27, 2018, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE:       Victory Square Park, Hastings and Cambie in Gastown, Vancouver

WHY:           Neighbours celebrating with neighbours

WHO:           Performers include folk/rock musicians Sarah Jickling, the East Van Marimba All StarsRumba Calzada, and Aboriginal ensemble M’Girl. 

About Central City Foundation: 

Central City Foundation has been bringing neighbours together to build hope in the inner city since 1907. By building housing and other capital projects, investing in social enterprises that create jobs and opportunities as well as funding hundreds of non-profit organizations, Central City Foundation has provided help and hope to our neighbours in the inner city community for 111 years.

About Vancouver Community College:

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years, offering post-secondary training in over 120 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades and music.



Media contacts: 

Carla Shore
Central City Foundation  
P: 604.329.0975  
Danielle Libonati
Vancouver Community College
P: 604.871.7000, ext. 7531



Indigenous reconciliation dialogue May 7–10

Join us for a series of free workshops on reconciliation through education

In 2015, the Truth & Reconciliation Commission Canada released its final report on the history and legacy of Canada’s residential school system. The report, Honouring the Truth, Reconciling the Future, contains 94 Calls to Action to advance and sustain the process of reconciliation in Canada. At VCC, we recognize that the majority of these Calls to Action are directly related to post-secondary education. 

During the week of May 7–10, VCC's Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department will be hosting a series of workshops including a keynote presentation by Kevin Lamoureux, national education lead, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba. The workshops focus on reconciliation through education and include interactive sessions, circle dialogues, and presentations. Our path to reconciliation will be the focus of our week as we acknowledge and celebrate the good work of many people.

Please join us in one or more of these free events. Registration is required for all sessions.

We acknowledge that we are on the traditional, unceded and shared territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. 



Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. & 1 - 4 p.m.

Keynote presentation: Reconciliation in Education
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Curriculum Enhancement
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
1 - 3 p.m.

"River of Silence" - Film Screening & Conversation with Writer/Producer Petie Chalifoux
Thursday, May 10, 2018
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

A discussion with Tamara Starblanket, author of "Suffer the Little Children: Genocide, Indigenous Nations and the Canadian State"
Thursday, May 10, 2018
1 - 3 p.m.

VCC wins big at Skills Canada BC 2018 provincials

VCC students earn 18 medals including two podium sweeps at BC’s biggest skills competition

We are proud to announce that students from Vancouver Community College (VCC) and associated high schools earned 18 medals in the Skills Canada BC 2018 provincial competition held in Abbotsford on Wednesday, April 18.

VCC’s medallists emerged as top-skilled competitors in the areas of baking, culinary arts, hairdressing, esthetics, automotive service, automotive collision repair, and car painting. Congratulations especially to our VCC competitors who swept the podiums in baking (post-secondary) and car painting (secondary).

According to VCC Baking instructor Kimberly Tada, the secret to success is being fully prepared. "Our students were successful because of the level of commitment and dedication they demonstrated while practicing for this event. The support of the college, instructors, and instructional assistants to make the weekly practices possible was also a key ingredient." 

A total of 35 students represented VCC and its Youth Train in Trades programs at this provincial competition where more than 600 competitors demonstrated skilled trades for industry judges and a live audience. 

See the photo album and share in the celebration using the hashtags #myVCC and #SkillsBC.

Baking – post-secondary 
Clarissa Roque (@roqueclarissa) – GOLD
Kayla Wenzek (@kayla_vancity) – SILVER
Angela Wu (@tinypatissiere) – BRONZE

Baking – secondary 
Queenie Li – GOLD

Culinary arts – post-secondary
Leah Patitucci (@leah_patitucci) – GOLD

Culinary arts – secondary
Carmen-Rosa Bilodeau – GOLD

Hairdressing – post-secondary
Tanya Gatus – BRONZE

Hairdressing – secondary
Hanna Croswell – SILVER
Kayla Raymond – BRONZE

Esthetics – post-secondary
Alesha Johal – GOLD
Audrey Telek – SILVER

Automotive service – secondary
Mary Joy Siscar – SILVER

Automotive collision repair – post-secondary
Jason Sherle – GOLD

Automotive collision repair – secondary
Patrick Bucu – GOLD
Hajrudin Dzebic – SILVER

Car painting – secondary
Anthony Harrington – GOLD
Aaron Tagaca – SILVER
Rabin Rosario – BRONZE


Do you dream of being at the top of your trade? Explore your options in VCC's apprenticeship programs

VCC competes at Skills Canada BC 2018 provincials

All the best to VCC's 35 competitors at the Skills Canada BC provincial competition in Abbotsford

Please join us in wishing all the best to our VCC teams heading to the Skills Canada BC 2018 provincial competition on Wednesday, April 18!

Held at the Tradex in Abbotsford, the Skills Canada BC provincial competition welcomes more than 600 competitors who will demonstrate their skilled trades for industry judges and a live audience. 

This year, 35 secondary and post-secondary students will represent VCC as regional winners in the areas of baking, culinary arts, hairdressing, esthetics, automotive service, automotive collision repair, car painting, and heavy equipment service. 

Send your support to our teams online using the hashtags #myVCC and #SkillsBC. Stay tuned for updates on our medallists and go VCC!

Baking – post-secondary 
Yejin Park (@yejimon_)
Clarissa Roque (@roqueclarissa)
Kayla Wenzek (@kayla_vancity)
Angela Wu (@tinypatissiere)

Baking – secondary 
Queenie Li

Culinary arts – post-secondary

Leah Patitucci (@leah_patitucci
Corina Zoro 

Culinary arts – secondary
Carmen Rosa Bilodeau

Hairdressing – post-secondary
Tanya Gatus
Martin Tran

Hairdressing – secondary
Hanna Croswell 
Kayla Raymond
Morgan Hurlock (entered under Killarney Secondary)

Esthetics – post-secondary
Alesha Johal
Audrey Telek

Automotive service  post-secondary
Mackenzie Moulton

Automotive service  secondary
Mary Joy Siscar

Automotive collision repair  post-secondary
Eric Hennecke
Jason Sherle

Automotive collision repair  secondary
Tyson Bittner
Jaiden Black
Patrick Bucu
Hajrudin Dzebic
Taylor Grenier
Nancy-Anne Lawton
Blair Mangles
Carter Mulligan

Car painting  secondary
Anthony Harrington
Kenneth Kory
Jason Peers
Rabin Rosario
Aaron Tagaca
Lydia Terry

Heavy equipment service  post-secondary
Benjamin Pok
Colby Poss 


Think you might shine at a skilled trade? Join us at our Experience VCC open house on April 25 for workshops, demonstrations, and campus tours. 

MGHN receives Vancouver Fashion Week scholarship

VCC Fashion grad Meghan Buckley receives inaugural Optical Boutique scholarship

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Fashion grad Meghan Buckley, operating under the brand MGHN, was the recipient of an inaugural scholarship awarded last month at Vancouver Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018 by Sue Randhawa of The Optical Boutique.

Sue Randhawa is a notable Vancouver Fashion Week attendee and an advocate for self-expression through fashion. “I’m so impressed with the talent coming out of our city,” Sue announced. “I believe that you should go after your dreams, buck the system, do what you want to do. Congratulations Meghan, you deserve it.”

Sue surprised Meghan right after she showcased MGHN’s debut collection, I N I T I A L S. “I was shocked when Sue announced my name,” said Meghan. “Fashion Week can be overwhelming for a newcomer, so her words of encouragement meant a lot to me. I hope I can live up to them with the next collection.”

Meghan graduated from VCC’s Fashion Arts Diploma program (now the Fashion Design and Production Diploma) after having first completed a B.A. in psychology at the University of British Columbia. This background has given her a unique perspective, which often includes exploring the forces at work behind our thoughts and behaviours through visual or constructional elements.

Her creative brand MGHN takes a visually minimal and androgynous approach to design, striving to achieve both material and emotional comfort regardless of gender. “To me, clothing doesn’t need to be complex to be fashionable,” says Meghan. “It’s also important the clothes are compelling without needing to fit into traditional gender confines, which can seem outdated.”

MGHN’s debut collection, I N I T I A L S, showcased the brand's core design trademarks of oversized silhouettes, clean lines, and contrasting pop elements. The pieces took inspiration from the playful yet coherent style of team sportswear and recreational attire. Using repetitive motifs and consistent shapes, I N I T I A L S created a personal “uniform,” providing a base on which to consider the ideas of a changing identity and the isolating nature of self-doubt.

With the scholarship and Sue’s encouragement fresh in her mind, Meghan is already hard at work on her next collection. “I’m excited to see how the brand’s aesthetic will evolve,” says Meghan. “I think the best is still to come.”


VCC Fashion students design, prototype, produce, and market items in real-life retail environments. Visit our Downtown Vancouver design labs and learn more at an upcoming info sesion.

VCC Salon & Spa gets head-to-toe makeover

We're updating our style!


VANCOUVER, B.C. --  We’re updating our style!

This summer, Vancouver Community College is excited to announce a full-scale renovation project at the Downtown campus VCC Salon & Spa. These facilities are open to the public year-round and home to students training in the hair design and skin and body therapy certificate programs.

“We hope these fresh, beautiful surroundings will inspire a new level of creativity in our students, and in turn attract more people seeking high quality, low cost beauty services in downtown Vancouver,” says Julie Wright, department head, hair design. “We’ve never felt more excited for current and future students, as well as our valued clients.”
VCC has contracted Edifice Construction Inc. and Red Design Ltd. to custom build a salon and spa area that will be comparable to any high-end facility in the marketplace. The space will also maintain functionalities essential for learning.

What’s new:

  • Public salon and spa area with private treatment rooms
  • Walk-in spray tanning booth
  • Public retail space with top-of-the-line hair and skin care products
  • Separate training area for students


VCC salon and spa gets head-to-toe makeover


Wright adds, “Our facilities are now going to reflect what our programs already are: up-to-date and highly regarded in the industry. When students graduate, they will be well-positioned for success, though they may never want to leave.”

Staging of the renovations has been carefully planned to ensure daily training activities are not interrupted. The college has also implemented safety measures to keep the salon open to the public and protect nearby students, staff and pedestrian traffic. The construction zone is cordoned off and signage in place to restrict access. The site and work crews will be monitored by VCC Facilities Management and Safety and Security.

Renovations are underway and expected to be complete in the fall.

See our price list and book an appointment today:

Hair, call 604.443.8332
Spa, call 604.443.8334

For more information:

Laura Shand
Marketing and communications officer
Vancouver Community College
Email: lshand@vcc.ca

VCC skills training makes the cut

VCC's Salon & Spa will help "meet the growing demand for qualified hairstylists and spa professionals in B.C."

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Community College (VCC) students and staff today welcomed Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk to the newly renovated VCC Salon & Spa at the Downtown campus where he took advantage of his visit by getting a hair trim from one of the students.

“The newly renovated Salon & Spa will benefit current and future students at Vancouver Community College,” said Virk. “The new facilities and industry partnership will ensure that hair and beauty courses at Vancouver Community College are highly regarded within the industry.”

VCC is working to meet the growing demand for skilled workers and skills training and offers a range of advanced skills training programs including the popular hair design and skin and body therapy programs. The VCC Salon & Spa is open to the public year-round and home to students training in the hair design and skin and body therapy certificate programs.

“This salon and spa facility will provide comprehensive skills training to meet the growing demand for qualified hairstylists and spa professionals in B.C.,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond. “This is one more example of how government is working with post-secondary institutions and industry to ensure British Columbians are first in line for jobs today and in the future.”

“VCC recognizes the need for skilled workers in B.C., and part of meeting labour market needs includes attracting and retaining students for a range of industries, including hair design and skin and body therapy,” said Kathy Kinloch, VCC president. “VCC’s Salon & Spa provides high-quality, lower-cost services to the community, while the hands-on training our students experience ensures they are ready to enter the workforce and meet the needs of employers.”

The new salon features increased student and client capacity and students are looking forward to working and learning in the new facility.

“I have an amazing instructor, my fellow students are encouraging, and the program is a life changing experience. I would recommend it to anyone looking to make their dreams come true by gaining new skills to get a good job,” said VCC student Venessa Krishna.

By commercializing salon and spa services at VCC, the students benefit from having real life clients in addition to benefiting the local with affordable haircuts and generating revenue for the college.

VCC is known for providing a range of quality salon and spa services from its downtown Vancouver campus and is excited to welcome current and future students, as well as valued clients, to this new, high-end facility. Renovations began in June on the existing hair salon and spa, with completion expected in the spa area by late October.

Media contacts:

Dan Gilmore
Communications Manager
Ministry of Advanced Education

Kate Chandler
Vancouver Community College

Summer fashion tips from VCC style experts

Sizzling summer temperatures have reached Vancouver, and this season’s styles are hot enough to match the heat wave.


Sizzling summer temperatures have finally reached Vancouver, and this season’s styles are the only things hot enough to match this heat wave.

VCC fashion insider Sarah Murray, program coordinator for VCC’s fashion arts program, has seen summer’s trends firsthand on both the catwalk and the sidewalk, and recommends these as the five must-have items for summer:
Summer style tips

  • Crop tops
  • Florals
  • Full-circle skirts
  • Cutoffs
  • Luxe sweatshirts

Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to acquire these trends. Murray has a few tips for fashionistas looking to get their hands on these styles for less:

  • Transform an old T-shirt into a fab new cutoff or crop top with helpful DIY videos on YouTube. Watch VCC TV’s T-shirt hacking video to spiff up a worn-out favourite.
  • Hit the racks of your nearest vintage or consignment store, like Value Village, to find secondhand gems such as kitschy sweatshirts and floral dresses. Another VCC fashion insider offers up her tips for scoring bargains from your local thrift shop.
  • Take advantage of festival season. From the food truck festival to farmer’s markets, Vancouver is rife with festivals full of vendors hawking their wares. Shoppers with a keen eye can find great deals on items such as skirts, dresses and rompers. For a carefree summer hairstyle to match your new look, check out our video to help you achieve the perfect beachy waves.

A master of these flowy, bohemian looks is VCC alum and superstar swimwear designer Anna Kosturova. Her crocheted dresses and bikinis have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, the pages of major fashion magazines and are donned by many a fashionable celeb.



To celebrate the summer season, we’re giving away one of Anna’s latest looks: a hand-dyed silk coverup (seen above). To enter, please visit VCC’s Facebook page.

VCC Outstanding Alumni Award winners 2017

The five distinguished recipients share their unique stories of success and dedication

Vancouver Community College (VCC) has announced the winners of the prestigious 2017 Outstanding Alumni Awards.

These are the latest in a long line of VCC alumni that have made significant contributions to their industries and communities. Honorees represent five distinct categories and each winner has distinguished themselves with unique stories of success, inspiration, and dedication.

This year’s award winners include:

Jim Storie (Lifetime Achievement)

President and CEO (retired), The Vancouver Trolley Company
A preeminent figure in Vancouver’s hospitality, tourism,
and arts and culture scene.



Doreen Wong (Changemaker)
Faculty member, auto collision and refinishing, VCC
The only female instructor of auto collision in western Canada,
Doreen is a trailblazer for women in trades.




Nelly Gomez (Community Contribution)
Faculty member, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, VCC
Human rights’ activist / psychologist turned community
health nurse / instructor.



Neal Russell (Career Success)
President & General Manager, Protec Dental Laboratories Ltd. 
Dental technology graduate who founded one of the largest
and most successful dental laboratories in Canada.



Leah Patitucci (One to Watch)
Chef, The Pear Tree Restaurant
Award-winning Red Seal chef / baker who loves her craft 
and most recently was invited to participate on Culinary Team Canada.




The Outstanding Alumni Awards were established to recognize the outstanding achievements of our graduates and non-alumni who have made a significant contribution to VCC and/or the local community.

VCC joins important anti-violence initiative

VCC partners with WAVAW in an 18-month campus project to take action against gender-based violence.


Everyone has the right to feel safe.

VCC has become a proud partner in an 18-month campus project to take action against gender-based violence.

Under the leadership of Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) -- a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the root causes of violence -- a volunteer taskforce will be formed to help build awareness about campus safety issues and explore new ways to ensure VCC is a safe place to learn and work. The taskforce is expected to begin its work in the fall.

Throughout the spring and summer, WAVAW representatives will be around VCC campuses spreading the word about this collaborative safety project and inviting staff and students to get involved.

All faculty, particularly those in health services, transportation trades, and ESL, are encouraged to volunteer class time to discuss violence issues such as: dealing with sexual assault, gender-based discrimination in the workplace or gender-based violence and cultural differences.

To coordinate a class presentation or find out more information about volunteering for the taskforce email alana@wavaw.ca or call 604.255.6228, ext. 222.

Project funding is provided by Status of Women Canada.

Record participation at 2017 Baking Congress

VCC presented demos in feature area throughout the weekend event

Originally posted at World Bakers

Participation figures at BAC’s Bakery Congress 2017 Trade Show and Conference show an increase in attendance of more than 25%: 2,200 baking and food industry professionals took part in the two days of trade show and conference. About 35% more bakers and foodservice representatives joined the Congress, compared with the last time the event was held in Vancouver.

The show floor included baking industry products and services by Canadian and US companies representing domestic and international products and brands; however, the show also had a good number of direct international exhibitors that included companies from UK, Spain, Japan, France, China, UAE and South Africa. 

The sold out event and high participation figures in 2017 indicate a positive performance of the bakery business in Canada, especially independent bakery/cafe businesses including artisanal bakers, the organizer considers.

The event are location and timing also contributed to the event’s success: the downtown Vancouver Convention Centre appealed to the participants and proved to be very convenient in terms of access, hotels, evening engagements for business and personal meetings and entertainment.

(Baking and Pastry) students and instructors of Vancouver Community College and Vancouver Island University presented their demos in the feature area both days. Highlights included baked products production, desserts, sugar craft and various machine operations.

The event, organized by The Baking Association of Canada (BAC) was held April 23-24, in Vancouver B.C.

BAC is currently planning the next event, Bakery Showcase 2018, a two day trade show and conference to be held in April 29-30, at the International Centre, Toronto (Mississauga) Canada. 

New heavy duty training facility

Government announces funding for new training facility for VCC & BCIT

Exciting news was announced for VCC’s heavy-duty commercial transport students. Government is providing $4.5-million to move heavy-duty transportation programs offered by Vancouver Community College (VCC) and BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) into a new Motive Power Centre on Annacis Island (artistic rendering above).

Motive power programs train heavy-duty mechanics, transport trailer mechanics, diesel mechanics, commercial transportation mechanics, railway conductors and forklift operators.

When the Motive Power Centre opens to students in September 2014, it will focus on collaboration, innovation, and the efficient use of equipment and resources. At 142,000-square-feet, the facility sets a solid foundation for partnership opportunities with industry.

At 177 per cent utilization, VCC’s heavy duty and commercial transport programs will benefit from the larger space and new equipment; in addition to the hands-on-training in cutting-edge teaching facilities, learning and laboratory spaces.

“This new centre speaks to the value of collaboration and partnership within the post-secondary sector,” said VCC interim president Doug Callbeck. “The new facility will give our students the opportunity to learn in a state-of-the-art training environment, gaining the hands-on skills and experience they need for the jobs of tomorrow.”



Government announces funding for new training facility for VCC & BCIT.


The facts on adult upgrading and ESL grants

Do you qualify for grants to cover adult upgrading and ESL tuition fees?

Why do adult upgrading and ESL/EAL programs in BC now charge tuition? What kinds of assistance are out there? How do I access them? Read the Government of BC's important fact sheet below to get your answers.

FACTSHEET: Adult upgrading courses and grants

Public post-secondary institutions have the option to charge tuition fees, effective Jan. 1, 2015, to keep adult upgrading and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs sustainable and accessible, while providing support for low-income students.

The decision to allow institutions to charge tuition for adult upgrading programs was necessary to ensure sustainability of these important programs in the post-secondary sector. The ministry continues to subsidize the delivery of adult upgrading through the post-secondary institutions’ annual base operating grants.

Adult students who have the means to do so will be expected to contribute to the cost of the upgrading needed for further studies and entry into the workforce. Low-income students who cannot afford to pay will have access to grants that cover tuition and other education-related costs such as supplies, textbooks, transportation and childcare,

Government is providing one-time funding of $6.9 million in 2015-16 to help institutions transition to the new delivery model. The funding will give institutions the opportunity to plan for the changes needed if they decide to move to a tuition-based model.

Facts about adult upgrading:

  • Adult upgrading in post-secondary education focuses on literacy, basic education, academic upgrading, and employment preparation. Courses can include computer studies, education and career planning, English, science, mathematics and social sciences.
  • Adult upgrading had been tuition-free since 2008, when the Ministry of Advanced Education redirected $6.9 million in base funding to the public post-secondary system to partially compensate institutions for lost adult-upgrading tuition revenues.
  • Delivery costs have increased since 2008, and institutions have said they find it more difficult each year to maintain their adult upgrading courses on a tuition-free basis.
  • Institutions were able to start charging tuition as of Jan. 1, 2015; implementation is at the discretion of each institution.
  • Public post-secondary institutions delivered adult upgrading courses to 25,000 students and ESL to approximately 10,000 students in 2013-14.
  • Tuition fees for adult upgrading will be set by each institution up to a maximum amount of $1,600 per semester of full-time studies, or approximately $320 for a course that runs between three to five hours a week.

Facts about English as a Second Language:

  • The federal government, through Citizenship and Immigration Canada, provided funding for ESL programs and tuition at public post-secondary institutions until April 1, 2014.
  • ESL had been tuition-free since April 1, 2012. The tuition-free policy for B.C. was possible because $5.4 million from the Canada-BC Immigration Agreement supported the tuition for about 80% of the ESL students in the post-secondary system. A further $17.2 million from the agreement provided base funding for ESL programs.
  • ESL courses are accessed by immigrants who need to increase their English language skills for academic upgrading or to find jobs in the trades or professions they were trained for, before they decided to make B.C. their permanent home.
  • The federal government continues to fund tuition-free ESL for eligible immigrants through not-for-profit agencies and some post-secondary institutions throughout B.C.

Facts about Adult Upgrading Grants:

  • Upfront, non-repayable grants are available for low-income students attending adult upgrading courses, including ESL, at public post-secondary institutions.
  • Students who can show they need financial aid may receive a grant to pay for tuition, textbooks, supplies, transportation and childcare. Funding applications are available online at StudentAid BC or through public post-secondary institutions. Applications are made directly to the institution.
  • The annual budget for these grants increased by 33% to $7.6 million on April 1, 2015. The grants cover all, or a portion, of the costs of tuition, textbooks, supplies, transportation and childcare depending on the adult student’s income.
  • Students above the income threshold were previously ineligible for the grant. A more flexible approach means students who are 10% above the income threshold are now eligible for a grant to cover half of their tuition cost.
  • These changes are intended to support increased demand for financial assistance from low-income students taking upgrading or ESL.

Eighteen public post-secondary institutions deliver adult upgrading courses in British Columbia. All except the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology also provide ESL courses. The institutions are:

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Camosun College
  • Capilano University
  • College of New Caledonia
  • College of the Rockies
  • Douglas College
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Langara College
  • Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
  • North Island College
  • Northern Lights College
  • Northwest Community College
  • Okanagan College
  • Selkirk College
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • University of the Fraser Valley
  • Vancouver Community College
  • Vancouver Island University

The table below shows the maximum gross family income limits for Adult Upgrading Grant eligibility:

Family Size / Income Level 2014-15

1    $23,647

2    $29,439

3    $36,192

4    $43,941

5    $49,839

6    $56,209

7 or more    $62,581


Source: BC Government News

Media release: Hairstylist apprenticeship a new option for VCC trades

New hairstyling pathway offers on-the-job training and trade certificate

News-Hairstyling-Red-Seal-292VANCOUVER, B.C. – In celebration of Apprenticeship Recognition Week (Nov. 5 – 11, 2017), Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new hairstylist apprenticeship pathway and Red Seal Endorsement (RSE). 

Starting in January 2018, students will have a new, streamlined option to enter a formal hairstyling apprenticeship through VCC. As in other trades, the hairstylist apprenticeship combines approximately 80 per cent on-the-job training with 20 per cent classroom learning. This allows students to earn money and receive professional mentorship as they complete their education.

Following the new pathway, students will complete 11 weeks of classroom learning followed by 3,600 hours of on-the-job training to complete the two-level apprenticeship. This provides an alternative to the traditional 10-month hairstylist certificate and leads to trade certification from B.C.’s Industry Training Authority (ITA). 

“People want to work, and they want to work straight away,” says Lucy Griffith, department leader for VCC Hair Design and Skin and Body Therapy. “Especially in rural communities, people can’t come to Vancouver for 10 months of school. With this 11-week apprenticeship option, they can go back to their communities and into their salons while still earning hours and continuing their education.”

Upon completing Level 2 of the hairstylist apprenticeship, VCC students will now also have the opportunity to earn a nationally recognized Red Seal Endorsement (RSE), giving them the option to work anywhere in the country without re-examination for provincial licenses. VCC is currently the only college in the B.C. Lower Mainland to offer an RSE in hairstyling.

“A Red Seal is hugely important for your career,” says Griffith. “It shows what kind of education you’ve been through and recognizes all the work that goes into becoming a stylist. This puts the profession on the world stage and in line with other trades.”

As required by the ITA, hairstylist apprentices must demonstrate a wide range of skills including cutting, styling, shaving, chemical treatments, and sanitation as well as customer service, marketing, and business operations.

As part of the formal apprenticeship system, VCC hairstylist students and sponsor employers will also now have access to government financial supports such as the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) and the B.C. Training Tax Credit

About VCC Salon and Spa 

Hairstylist apprentices receive their training in VCC’s full-service luxury salon and spa using the latest equipment, techniques, and products. Located in Downtown Vancouver, the VCC Salon and Spa is the largest Green Circle Salon in Canada, recycling everything from metal and plastic to chemicals and human hair.


Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Marketing and communications officer
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7538

Win two tickets to Flourish!

Flourish: an unforgettable evening of Vancouver's best food, wine, and entertainment

UPDATE March 13, 2018: Warmest congratulations to the winner of the VCC Foundation's TAG AND WIN ticket giveaway! Kathryn Gidluck is duty manager (and VCC hospitality management alumna) at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Tickets are still available for VCC's signature, green-tie fundraising gala. Join us this Wednesday, March 14 for fabulous food, wine, music, fashion, and a silent auction. This year's proceeds will seed an award for an emerging female student leader in culinary, baking, or hospitality. PURCHASE TICKETS >


Original article:

Here’s how you and your date can attend Flourish – The VCC Foundation's annual 'green-tie' fundraising gala – for free!


How to enter: 

  • Visit the Flourish 2018 event on the VCC Alumni Facebook page.
  • In the discussion stream, tag a friend who you'd bring to the gala.
  • Contest closes on Wednesday, March 7 at 12 p.m. 

The VCC Foundation will randomly select one entrant to win two (2) tickets to the 2018 Flourish gala. The winner will be notivied via Facebook. Retail value of this prize is $400 [tickets are not transferrable and have no cash value]. Official rules and regulations.

What is Flourish?

At VCC's signature 'green-tie' fundraising gala, we celebrate our talented alumni and support current students while sampling culinary stations hosted by:

  • Hawksworth
  • Poyan Danesh
  • Jen Peters
  • Erin Vickars
  • Tobias MacDonald
  • Hamid Salimian
  • Bruno Feldeisen
  • Tret Jordan
  • Laura Dawe
  • Scarlet Gaffney
  • Andrew George
  • Dennis Green
  • Carol Chow
  • Karen Gin
  • Marlo Romey
  • Miki Arambulo
  • Shelome Bouvette
  • Sandy Chen
  • Esther Kosa
  • Nancy McRae

Be sure to check out the Cactus Club Café corner for a special menu item and cocktail creation.

Our VCC band will keep you jumping from food to wine station! Tom Arntzen is lead vocalist, backed by VCC faculty members Laurence Mollerup (bass), Bernie Arai (drums), Daryl Jahnke (guitar), and Sharon Minemoto (keyboard).

You’ll also enjoy tastings by 14 Naramata Bench Winery Association wineries. 


Enter to win our Tag and Win contest today or purchase tickets at www.vcc.ca/gala. We look forward to seeing you in your best 'green-tie' attire!

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Time: 7 - 11 p.m.

Location: VCC Broadway campus, Building B, 1120 East 7th Ave.

Congratulations to our Mayor’s Arts Awards winners

Four of VCC's creative community leaders have been recognized by the City of Vancouver

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that four members of the VCC community have been recognized by the City of Vancouver in the 2017 Mayor’s Arts Awards.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards recognize established and emerging artists who have made significant contributions, displayed excellence, or provided leadership in Vancouver’s creative sector.

News-Leah-Patitucci-145Leah Patitucci
Culinary Arts – Emerging Artist award

Leah Patitucci is a 20-year-old cook/pastry cook currently working at the Pear Tree Restaurant under Chef Scott Jaeger. Since entering the culinary world in 2012, Patitucci has completed her training at Vancouver Community College, earning her Red Seal Certification. Patitucci also studied baking and pastry arts.

Patitucci has also cooked at some of Vancouver’s top restaurants including Hawksworth and Blackbird Bistro, and spent two years at Temper Chocolate and Pastry, rising to the role of head baker. In 2016, Patitucci traveled to Germany with Culinary Team Canada as a pastry support member for the International Culinary Olympics. In 2016, she won the title of Vancouver Community College Student of the Year.

News-Artemis-Gordon-145Artemis Gordon
Dance award

Artemis Gordon is Artistic Director of the Arts Umbrella dance program. The program is now internationally recognized for producing graduates who dance in companies around the world such as Ballet BC, Nederlands Dans Theatre I & II, and Batsheva Dance Company.

Gordon has toured the Arts Umbrella Dance Company to the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, New York, and Montreal and fostered collaborations companies around the world. In 2015, Gordon secured the affiliation between Ballet BC and Arts Umbrella, extending the impact of international choreographers in Vancouver and increasing opportunities for young dancers in Vancouver.


News-Giorgio-Magnanensi-145Giorgio Magnanensi
Music award

Giorgio Magnanensi is an Italian Canadian composer of orchestral, chamber, and multimedia works that have been performed throughout Europe and elsewhere. He is also active as a conductor and live electronics performer.

As a conductor, he served in many permanent positions in Italy, and as principal conductor of the Vancouver New Music Ensemble since 2000. As a guest conductor, he has conducted in Europe, Japan, and Canada. Giorgio taught composition in various positions in Italy from 1984-1999, and lectured at the College of Music in Tokyo in 1996 and 1998. He is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Community College, and is the artistic director of Vancouver New Music.


News-Earle-Peach-145Earle Peach
Community Engaged Arts award

Earle Peach is a singer, songwriter, composer, conductor, arranger, teacher, and performer. He leads four choirs in the city: the Highs and Lows, a mental health choir; the Solidarity Notes Labour Choir; the Gathering Place choir, a free drop-in group; and InChoiring Minds, a community choir.

Peach hosts a monthly community coffee house in Mount Pleasant called Beats on Broadway. He teaches privately and records musicians for demos and albums. He has written extensively for choirs, folk groups, film, theatre, and dance. He performs with Barbara Jackson as a duo called Songtree, and also has a band called Illiteratty. Earle studied music at VCC.


Explore your options for a creative career. Meet VCC's award-winning chefs, bakers, musicians, and more at Experience VCC on Oct. 18.

A welcome shift in the industry

VCC instructor Doreen Wong reflects on 30 years in auto collision repair

News-Doreen-embed-292In the early 1980s when Doreen Wong, an instructor in Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) automotive collision repair technician program, decided to turn her love of cars into a career, she says that, as a woman, she faced various challenges.

Despite the negative reactions she received from some, Wong became a journeyperson certified in motor vehicle body repair, received her automotive paint certificate of qualification, and obtained her Red Seal designation. And, throughout her 30 years of industry experience, she says she has seen a welcome shift in the industry to one that is much more accepting and receptive of women.

“When I first started, a lot of men, even during job interviews, tried to turn me off from taking certain jobs, but I was stubborn and I really loved cars,” says Wong. “Eventually, I noticed an attitude shift and people became fascinated that I was able to do the job as well as anyone. Today, our female students are snapped up quickly. They are often very meticulous and detail-oriented and employers notice that.”

Since joining VCC’s Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing department in 2004, Wong has taught foundation and apprenticeship levels in-class, online, and via distance learning. She says no matter a student’s gender, she has the same words of wisdom for everyone.

“My advice is always to do their best but not be afraid to ask questions,” she says. “We want students to be well equipped when they enter the industry and that takes being curious and clarifying anything they don’t understand.”

VCC’s automotive collision and repair technician program offers training in a wide range of skills relevant to today’s advanced automobile collision repair industry.

Students learn the latest techniques in modern facilities with equipment they will encounter in the field.

The program is accredited for apprenticeship and graduates receive an industryrespected certificate.

Originally published in Metro News Vancouver (print edition)


Read more about the new generation in automotive trades. 

Women’s work: meet the new generation in automotive trades

VCC’s automotive refinishing technicians talk trades, trends, and workplace culture

On their first day of school in Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) automotive refinishing technician program, Meghan Kelsi, Aleah Simensen, Lydia Terry, Jolene Orr, and Jessica Jensen (pictured, left to right) each fully expected to be the only woman in the room.

Instead, there were five. “It was weird, all these women just kept funneling in!” says Jolene, 23, who came to VCC for her apprenticeship training, after already earning an auto body certificate from a private facility.

“I walked in and was like, yeah ladies!” says Aleah, 19, who already had five years' experiece working in a friend's auto body shop, and always knew this career was for her.

While this cohort may seem unique today (women represent only 4.5 per cent of Canada’s trades workforce), many colleges, government bodies, and industries are hoping to radically increase the number of women in trades in the near future.

One recent effort by the B.C. government is its Women in Trades labour market project, through which it worked with industry partners to identify barriers like bullying and harassment that prevent women from entering or staying in trades careers. It also offers solutions for improving workplace culture and increasing mentorship opportunities. 

Do women already succeeding in trades think such initiatives are needed? VCC’s auto refinishing techs say yes.

Talking shop

Meghan, 24, started automotive trades training while still in high school and graduated at the top of her class. She was nearly finished her third year of an automotive service technician apprenticeship when she decided her work environment was simply too hostile and switched into refinishing. “It’s easy to get jobs, but getting taken seriously and treated humanely—that’s a different story,” she says. 

Regarding the government project, Meghan believes it’s something that should have been done 50 years ago, but is glad it's happening now. The others agree, each sharing workplace stories ranging from getting ignored or stared at inappropriatel to being outright told that she belongs ‘in the kitchen.’

Lydia, 18, admits to having her work scrutinized more often than she’d like, but wonders if her age may invite more criticism than her gender. “I’m inexperienced, fresh out of high school,” she says. “I really don’t like to think it’s because I’m a girl.”

None of these issues is clear-cut, and women debate amongst themselves as well. How much of it is only generational? When exactly does joking around cross the line? Would a gay man have the same problems?

A new road

The women do agree that the work environment in trades can be tough for anyone. “You have to have a pretty thick skin, whether you’re a woman or a man. It’s how the trades are,” says Aleah.

It’s how they are now, anyway, and these women are prepared for it, but they also see change on the horizon. With a younger generation gradually taking over, they’re already noticing more acceptance and respect in the shop, and it’s at VCC where they see it most of all.

“I was extremely nervous to come here after what I’d been through,” says Meghan, “but they’re so good.”

At VCC, these five women say they’re treated like any other student, even regarded for their previous industry experience. They’ve had instructors support them in the classroom, intercede for them in the workplace, and they've made lifelong friends.

Above all, they love what they do. Refinishing and painting are highly suited to individuals who are aesthetically minded, creative, and detail-oriented. Many of these women's hobbies include makeup, drawing, or painting—all of which translated extremely well into the trade.

For all their experiences, these women would also still recommend an automotive refinishing career to any girl who was interested. Their advice is to start early, take advantage of high school programs where possible, talk to other women in trades, and stand up for yourself in general.

“If you’re unhappy and you don’t wake up every day excited to go to work, don’t go!” says Aleah.

“Yeah make a change,” says Meghan. “Your toolbox has wheels on it for a reason.”


Take a look inside our shop and see the future of automotive collision and refinishing at VCC.

VCC’s fashion program gives back to Dress for Success

VCC students put their fashion industry skills to the test for a good cause

News-Dress-for-Success-292Each year, students in Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Fashion Design & Production Diploma program participate in an activity that uses fashion to give back to the community. This year, the class chose to design and donate suites to Dress for Success Vancouver (DFS), an organization that provides professional attire, career services, and skills development for women entering or rejoining the workforce. 

“It might not be the part of the industry that gets the media attention, but the fashion industry is filled with examples of generosity,” said Andrea Korens, program coordinator, VCC Fashion. “We feel it is important to cultivate a sense of community-mindedness in our students.”

Using the skills they developed in their first 10 months at VCC, students designed, drafted, and constructed a four-piece business look specifically for a client of the charity.

The suits feature fabrics donated by Our Social Fabric and local businesses like Arcteryx, Plum Clothing, Jason Matlo, and Nicole Bridger. Both looks include a tailored jacket, dress pants, and a blouse. The designs feature materials like a navy crepe and a brown pinstripe, and wardrobe additions of a vest and a casual turtleneck.

This project is the final in a series completed during VCC’s first-year fashion cycle courses in which students experience a fast-paced production process including design, drafting, construction, marketing, and sales.

VCC Fashion’s partnership with DFS also highlights the organization’s longstanding service to the VCC student population. DFS has provided approximately 480 VCC students and graduates with job interview outfits since 2012.

“Dress for Success’ ability to assist recent graduates on their job hunt is a service we offer that often goes under the radar,” said Jennifer Halinda, executive director, Dress for Success Vancouver. “Working with VCC Fashion allows us to highlight this demographic, and those from VCC that we have assisted in their careers. The two beautifully designed suits were happily received by our client, Aerin Hack [pictured].”

“We are amazed by our students’ ability to create professional suits in their first year of studies,” said Korens. “For them, it’s a great feeling to be supported by generous industry donations, and then pay it forward.”


Want to use your fashion flair to benefit the community? Learn more about fashion diplomas and certificates at VCC.


Order baked goods online

Go ahead. Satisfy your sweet tooth.

VCC's Downtown campus bakery, Seiffert Market, will accept online orders from February 27 for a variety of fresh-baked products like cookies, tarts, pastries and sweet treats. 

As part of the program curriculum, baking and pastry arts students manage the bakery for a month. The online ordering system helps support the learning process.

Orders can be picked up at Seiffert Market on the third floor of the Downtown campus weekdays between noon and 5 p.m. Payment is accepted at the time of pick up.

Learning to fight the opioid crisis at VCC

Hands-on addictions counselling program takes the classroom into the community

News-opioid-crisis-292-smallA lot of dark, rocky years passed before Jeremyah Clark figured out what he truly wanted to do with his life: what his own experiences and predilections would make him good at. It turns out he is good at helping people—specifically, those struggling with drug addictions.

After all, the 29-year-old Comox, B.C., resident has a kind of expertise, stretching back to childhood. “I was addicted to mainly cocaine,” he recounts. “It became opiates in the end. I was using various forms of pills... Oxys and Percocets and that kind of stuff... did that for, well, my whole life.”

In 2013, Clark—who has been sober for the past five years—ended up in a psych ward at Richmond Hospital for two weeks, then a detox centre for another 10 days or so. When he left the facility, he sought counselling through an organization called Transitions. He began working as a support and outreach worker with the Turning Point Recovery Society, which provides residential support services to recovering addicts. “That was the job that changed my life,” says Clark. Admitting he’d been self-centred until that point, “it switched me from thinking about myself to thinking about others and giving back.”

That’s a drive motivating many of the students who register for the addiction counselling skills certificate program at Vancouver Community College (VCC), says program coordinator Matthew Stevenson. The average age of students in the program, a part of VCC’s continuing studies program, is 40. “A lot of them have been working for 20 or 30 years and they have decided they want to make a difference. Their passion is in helping people.”

VCC has offered an addiction counselling program since 1980. Over the years, reflecting the college’s growing emphasis on experiential learning, the program has evolved to give a greater dose of reality and practical learning to prospective counsellors.

Continue reading at Macleans.ca


Want to make an impact on your community? Explore your options for professional training and hands-on experience in VCC's counselling programs.

New program teaches the skills to rate building accessibility

These VCC students are rethinking building design to create truly accessible spaces

News-RHAF-Brad-292Brad McCannell remembers using a beautifully designed wheelchair-accessible washroom in a Vancouver public building. Everything seemed to be in place. But when he went to flush the toilet, McCannell, a quadriplegic who is Vice-President of Access and Inclusion at the Rick Hansen Foundation, discovered the flushing mechanism was a pedal on the floor.

"What was I supposed to do?" he says with a laugh. "I tried rolling over it with my wheelchair, but that didn't work. I thought, 'Wow, they came so close to universal accessibility and they dropped the ball right at the goal line.' "

It's those small but crucial details that make a big difference when it comes to designing truly accessible spaces. They are what individuals learn to look for in a new course created by the Rick Hansen Foundation. Launched this past fall at Vancouver Community College, the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program teaches participants the skills needed to gauge a buildingʼs accessibility and rate it according to a universal scale – akin to LEED certification. Following the course participants are able to take an exam, and conduct field experience to become designated RHFAC Professionals. The college will offer the next course in April.

Rating a building's accessibility doesn't just mean checking to see whether it has a wheelchair ramp and an oversized washroom cubicle. "Most access consideration today is for people using wheelchairs," explains McCannell, a course instructor and a design consultant for more than 25 years. "But we're less than 20 per cent of the population of people with disabilities."

The program is built around the idea of "meaningful access," a holistic approach that looks at all aspects of a site and takes into account a range of disabilities, including visual, and hearing impairment, as well as various mobility issues.

The two-week, 60-hour course begins by exposing participants to challenges posed by different disabilities. Students are sent out onto the VCC campus in small groups. Some are given wheelchairs; others are equipped with goggles and white canes to experience various levels of blindness. Some will better understand hearing loss through simulation. And the able-bodied get an idea of what it's like to have reduced mobility. "We take a tensor bandage and tape up your right knee so you can't flex it," he says. "And we do the same with your left elbow. Then we put you in oven mitts, give you a set of crutches and tell you to go open a door."

Continue reading in The Globe and Mail


Are you ready take accessibiltiy to the next level? Register now for RHFAC Accessibility Assessor Training.

Digital graphic design instructor becomes VP

Ashlea Spitz is appointed to VP Education for the NBGDC

Congratulations to VCC's own, Ashlea Spitz, who was recently appointed to the position of VP Education for the National Board of the Graphic Designers of Canada.

"It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce that Ashlea Spitz has been appointed to the position of VP Education for the National Board of the Graphic Designers of Canada. Ashlea is looking forward to spearheading the membership of new design students across Canada as well as allocating sponsorships and awards to our talented student members.  Ashlea's mandate is to increase awareness and ethics that surrounds a professional designer. Her expertise and teaching enthusiasm make her a great asset to the GDC community and graphic designers as a whole." says the GDC website.

Ashlea is instrumental in the instruction of VCC's digital graphic design (DGD) students, and we wish her the best in this new position.

Learn more about VCC's DGD program.

VCC students win big B.C. challenge

Real world training = real world success.

Vancouver Community College is all about real world training and tackling real world problems. So when it comes to tough questions facing B.C.'s burgeoning travel and tourism industry, VCC hospitality students are ready for the challenge.

And it shows.

Four students in VCC’s Bachelor of Hospitality Management degree program finished in first place at the 7th annual LinkBC Student Case Competition held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Oct. 27.

vcc hospitality management degree students win linkbc student case competitionEach year, hospitality majors from colleges and universities across B.C. gather to participate in the challenge where students put their heads together to solve tough problems facing their chosen line of work. VCC entered teams from the hospitality diploma and degree programs.

Degree students Khaled Attalaoui, Caitlin Cindric, Emma Dagg and Kathryn Gidluck put together a plan to recruit hotel employees in a sector that’s facing a shortage of 100,000 workers. Their case study won first place out of 16 teams.

"Earning first place at the LinkBC Student Case Competition is a prestigious accomplishment for our students and says a lot about the quality of our hospitality degree program at VCC," said Bob Aiken, VCC interim dean, hospitality and business programs. “We’re proud of all VCC students who participated.”

VCC is widely recognized as a leader in hospitality management training. In the Georgia Straight’s annual Best of Vancouver issue released in September, VCC was chosen as the region’s top institution for career training in travel and tourism.

Photo courtesy of LinkBC, an organization that works with tourism and hospitality programs in the province to strengthen B.C.'s competitive edge as a tourist destination.

Funding announcements launch Apprenticeship Recognition Week at VCC

Minister Shirley Bond announces investments in youth trades and apprenticeship innovation


On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Vancouver Community College (VCC) welcomed Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour to the automotive collision & refinishing shop on the Broadway campus for some special funding announcements as part of Apprenticeship Recognition Week (Oct. 31 – Nov. 6, 2016). 

Minister Bond’s first announcement highlighted a $15 million investment for equipment in youth trades programs, such as Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE IT), which allows students to start their trades training while still in secondary school, thus allowing them a faster route into apprenticeships and the workforce.

A grant of $16,400 was then announced for an innovation pilot at VCC, in which the traditional two-week technical training for level 1 auto glass technicians will be redesigned to include online self-directed studies, thus reducing apprentices’ time away from work to two days.

The presentation concluded with statements by Gary Herman, CEO of BC’s Industry Training Authority and Dr. Peter Nunoda, president and CEO of VCC.

“By recognizing tradespeople, we honour the dedication these students have to their craft and the commitment to their industry,” said Dr. Nunoda. “Red Seal certification is the sign of true excellence, and funding like this is a great support.”


News releases:

B.C. government invests $15 million for trades equipment in schools

Innovation pilot enhances apprenticeship experience at Vancouver Community College


Learn more:

VCC Transportation Trades           

VSB Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE IT) programs


Carlos’ story: a smart calculation

Learning English was only the beginning for this new Canadian and his college career

News-Carlos-292As a new immigrant to Canada from Cuba, Carlos Suarez’ first goal was to learn English. Like many newcomers eager to start their Canadian lives, he was a quick study. After only two years in Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) English as an Additional Language programs, he had brought his language skills to a university level and was ready to choose a career path.

Originally, Carlos considered nursing—he had always enjoyed health sciences and his sister had studied in VCC’s Health Care Assistant program—but when a friend shared her plan to become a pharmacist, Carlos developed an interest in the field as well.  

Before starting a pharmacology degree, however, Carlos needed to earn prerequisites in math and science, which he was able to do through VCC’s Adult Upgrading and University Transfer programs. By this time, Carlos had been away from these subjects for almost a decade, and picking them up again wasn’t easy.

Carlos says the high school math courses in his home country focused on skills needed for everyday life, while Canada’s curriculum is more academically focused. He found calculus particularly challenging at times and would struggle to finish his homework. That’s when he learned he could access free tutoring at the VCC Learning Centre (VCCLC), and began visiting regularly.

“I wanted to know, what’s the math that I’m learning good for?” he says.

In the end, Carlos says the VCCLC tutors offered different perspectives that let him understand the material better. The math he was doing, for example, could be applied to everything from computer programming to quality assurance.

Carlos completed his final VCC course in the summer of 2017. Soon after, he was accepted into a health sciences program at Langara College.

Carlos says he found VCC’s University Transfer process to be quite easy, and he’s especially excited to continue studying microbiology and biochemistry as he pursues his dream of becoming a pharmacist.

“I’m now the mathematician of my family,” he says. “I’ve learned that it’s always possible to get back into learning.”


Need a hand? Visit the VCC Learning Centre at either the Downtown or Broadway campus for free academic tutoring and career support. 

Connor Sperling wins the 2017 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship

VCC culinary alumnus wins national black-box competition

News-HYCS-Connor-292Congratulations to Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Chef de Partie and VCC culinary arts alumnus Connor Sperling on winning the 2017 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship culinary competition.

After emerging as a finalist in the Vancouver regional heat earlier this year, 26-year-old Sperling went on to wow the judges at the national final held Oct. 14 at George Brown College in Toronto.

The scholarship competitors tackled a black-box challenge, in which they were required to produce a main course and dessert from lobster, rack of lamb, rutabaga, banana, maple syrup, buttermilk, and pine mushrooms.

Sperling’s winning dishes included parsley crusted lamb, butter poached lobster, farro lobster risotto, and vanilla grapefruit parfait with buttermilk emulsion and maple banana purée. Sperling's grand-prize efforts have earned him $10,000 and a stage (culinary internship) at an acclaimed international restaurant.

About Connor Sperling

Sperling’s culinary career began as a teenager washing dishes and helping in various Vancouver kitchens. Deciding to further his career, he enrolled in culinary school at Vancouver Community College where he won the Culinary Arts Student of the Year Competition in 2013 and graduated with top honours. That same year, Sperling travelled to France to support Vancouver’s Chef Alex Chen, who competed in the 2013 Bocuse D’or in Lyon.

He then completed an apprenticeship at La Belle Auberge under the legendary Chef Bruno Marti, and went on to work for Chef Hamid Salimian at Diva at the Met.

As part of the opening team of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster, Sperling has played an integral role in the success of the Vancouver restaurant since 2014. “He’s a dedicated and passionate individual who has great poise and focus. He leads by example and has a very bright future ahead of him,” describes Chef Roger Ma, Chef de Cuisine of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, who attended the national finals to show his support. 


Come see where great chefs start. Sign up now for an upcoming info session and kitchen tour by VCC culinary arts.



Top 10 VCC stories of 2017

A look at the year’s most popular online stories featuring VCC students, instructors, and alumni

Happy New Year, VCC! Let’s celebrate by taking a look back at 2017’s most popular online stories featuring our students, instructors, and alumni.


10. Congratulations OHI Top 30 under 30 winner Taka Li

VCC culinary alum stands out in Ontario’s competitive food scene


9. Jackie’s story: success in style

One hair design grad shares her path from varsity sports to Vancouver’s trendiest salons


8. VCC's revamped culinary program focuses on active participation

New curriculum features international techniques, flexible timetable, student reflection


7. Riwaz’ story: a new path to university

One VCC student’s last-minute decision leads to a future on the cutting-edge of engineering


6. Marvin’s story: hitting the road to a new career

He’d been to college and had a good job, but cars were calling


5. Kirsten’s story: music for life

After rediscovering a childhood talent, one VCC student finds classical piano is more than lessons


4. VCC partners with Emily Carr University of Art + Design

New Creative Art Pathway (CAP) program provides customized English language programming 


3. VCC and Rick Hansen Foundation team up to help make Canada accessible for all

A new partnership will benefit students interested in improving accessibility in public settings


2. Japanese baker inspires mothers to pursue their dreams

It was a table that changed the life of pastry chef Hitomi Syvertsen


1. Jefferson's story: from curious kid to molecular mastermind

With the skills of a chef and the mind of a scientist, he may just reinvent food as we know it


Stay up-to-date on what's happening in the VCC community year-round by visiting vcc.ca/news

Fall convocation recap

Event highlights and valedictorians

Congratulations graduates!

Convocation is a special day where we recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by our graduates.

Photos from the fall event can be found on VCC's official Flickr account.

Here's a short recap from our fall ceremonies:

  • VCC celebrated over 1,400 graduates with three ceremonies.
  • The amazing VCC convocation band was comprised of five current and/or graduating students from VCC's music program: Jason Smith, Adam Kerby, Nial Harvey and Max Ley.
  • Winners from our Outstanding Alumni Awards were honoured.
  • Three valedictorians represented their fellow graduates during the ceremonies: ‌Michelle Lum, Mandy Sze Nga Yeung and Naomi Phillips.

Michelle Lummichelle lum valedictorian image for news item november 2014
Michelle is a graduate of VCC’s dental hygiene diploma program.
After completing the certified dental assisting program at VCC, Michelle worked as a certified dental assistant while continuing her education and pursuing a career in dental hygiene.

"I've worked hard to continue my education and pursue a career in dental hygiene. Since graduating from this program, I've already found a job in a dental office as a registered dental hygienist. My next step is to complete my dental hygiene degree and work towards my goal of becoming an instructor."

Representing: School of Health Sciences and School of Transportation Trades



Mandy Sze Nga Yeung2014 nov valedictorian mandy sze nga yeung convocation
Mandy is a graduate of VCC's baking and pastry arts certificate program.
After graduating from university with a degree, Mandy decided to pursue her true passion - pastry.

“I've always had a passion for food and am so happy I chose this path. I had a wonderful experience competing in both the B.C. and national skills competitions. I'm excited to be working in this field and hope to one day travel the world and learn new pastry trends and techniques.”

Representing: School of Hospitality and Business (hospitality programs), and School of Music, Dance and Design.



Naomi Phillips2014 nov valedictorian naomi phillips convocation
Naomi is a graduate of VCC's administrative assistant program.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from university, Naomi came to VCC and completed the administrative assistant program.

"I chose to attend VCC to gain practical skills and build more confidence in my professional competencies. I'm now working towards completing VCC's legal administrative assistant program. I'm grateful VCC has given me the opportunity to be prepared for what lies ahead."

Representing: School of Arts and Science; School of Hospitality and Business
(business programs), School of Language Studies, Centre for Continuing Studies and Contract Training, and
Centre for Teaching, Innovation and Applied Research (School of Instructor Education)

List of programs currently accepting applications

Apply early to avoid disappoinment. VCC is currently accepting applications for the following programs (start dates vary): 

Transportation tradesBusiness and hospitalityHealth sciencesMusic, dance and design
Auto refinishing prep technician Administrative assistant Denturist - Year 1 Digital graphic design
Automotive collision repair technician Asian culinary arts Denturist - Year 2 Hair design
  Baking and pastry arts - pastry ESL Dental technology Jewellery art and design
    Skin and body therapy
  Applied business technology Dental assisting (distance studies)  
  Legal administrative assistant (full-time) Medical office assistant  
  Legal administrative assistant (online) Medical transcriptionist  

Executive assistant


Hospitality management diploma


VCC at the 2016 Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Over 30 of VCC's own musicians will be participating in the 2016 Vancouver International Jazz Festival

For over 40+ years, VCC's music department has been helping musicians from all walks of life hone their musical talent. It's not a surprise that so many of the musicians playing the Vancouver International Jazz Festival this year are VCC faculty members, alumni and current music students. The Vancouver International Jazz Festival takes place from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, July 3 at venues around the city, including free concerts at Granville Island, David Lam Park and downtown, by the Vancouver Art Gallery. With so many events taking place over the week, it will be hard to pick and choose who to see, so we've helped you narrow down your choices.

Friday, June 24

Rossi Gang (with alumni, Skye Lambourne, trumpet, Noah Gotfrit, bass, and Aaron Levinson, drums)
Friday, June 24, noon – Granville Island – Public Market Stage

Copilots (with alumnus, Karma Sohn, keys)
Saturday, June 24, 2:15 p.m. – Downtown Jazz – Georgia Stage

Alicia Hansen with Hiromi: The Trio Project (with alumni, Alicia Hansen, vocals and Ben Brown, drums)
Friday, June 24, 8 p.m. - The Vogue Theatre

Saturday, June 25 

Paul Keeling Ancient Lights Quintet (with faculty member, Bernie Arai, drums)
Saturday, June 25, noon – Downtown Jazz – Robson Stage

Longhand (with alumnus, Tyson Naylor, keys)
Saturday, June 25, 5 p.m. – Downtown Jazz – Robson Stage

Sunday, June 26 

Only A Visitor (with alumnus, Kevin Romain, bass)
Sunday, June 26, noon – Downtown Jazz – Robson Stage

Debra-Jean & the Dreams (with alumnus, Debra-Jean Creelman, vocals)
Sunday, June 26, 2:15 p.m. – Downtown Jazz – Georgia Stage

Monday, June 27 

Malleus Trio (with VCC music student, Geordie Hart, bass, and alumni Dominic Conway, tenor sax, and Ben Brown, drums)
Monday, June 27, noon – Granville Island – Public Market Stage

Marin Patenaude (with alumnus, Kenton Loewen, drums)
Monday, June 27, 8 p.m. – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
$79 - $140

Wednesday, June 29 

Tyson Naylor’s Tribute to Paul Bley (with alumnus, Tyson Naylor, keyboard)
Wednesday, June 29, 2:30 p.m. – Performance Works

Faculty member Giorgio Magnanensi, laptop/electronic,  alumnus Kenton Loewen, drummer, Chris Kelly and Sam King
Wednesday, June 29, 5 p.m. – Ironworks

Thursday, June 30 

Hildegard’s Ghost (with alumni, Roisin Adams, composer/keyboards, and Justin Devries, drums)
Thursday, June 30, noon – Granville Island – Public Market Stage

Common Grounds with Alan Matheson Septet and Pacific Baroque Orchestra (faculty member, Alan Matheson, trumpet/composer)
Thursday, June 30, 7:30 p.m. – Christ Church Cathedral

Friday, July 1

The Art Arntzen Quintet (with alumnus Art Antzen, banjo)
Friday, July 1, noon -Granville Island – Ron Basford Park Stage

Robin Layne Quartet (with alumnus, Robin Layne, percussion and marimba)
Friday, July 1, 12:30 p.m. – Granville Island – Railspur District Stage

Benoit Delbecq with VCC faculty member, Francois Houle (clarinet), Gordon Grdina and alumnus Kenton Loewen (drums)
Friday, July 1, 2:15 p.m. - Granville Island – Performance Works

John Korsrud’s Latin Ensemble (with faculty member, John Korsrud, trumpet)
Friday, July 1, 5 p.m. – Granville Island – Ron Basford Park Stage

Anita Eccleston (with alumnus Andrew Smith, guitar)
Friday, July 1, 5:30 p.m. - Granville Island – Railspur District Stage

Big Fate (with alumni Malcolm Aiken, trumpet and Dominic Conway, tenor sax)
Friday, July 1, 8 p.m. – Granville Island – Railspur District Stage

Saturday, July 2

Mattias Risberg and VCC faculty member, Francois Houle, clarinet
Saturday, July 2, 1:30 p.m. – Roundhouse – Performance Centre

Star Captains (with music student, Jim Black, guitar)
Saturday, July 2, 1:45 p.m. – Roundhouse David Lam Park Stage

Jennifer Scott Quartet featuring Dave Sikula (with alumna and former faculty member, Jennifer Scott, vocals/piano
Saturday, July 2, 2:30 p.m. – Performace Works

Ron Samworths’ Dogs Do Dream (with alumni JP Carter, trumpet and Tyson Naylor, keyboard/accordion)
Saturday, July 2, 3:15 p.m. – Roundhouse – Performance Centre
$10 (tickets at the door only)

Crane Wreck (with faculty member, Francois Houle, clarinet)
Saturday, July 2, 5:30 & 6:40 p.m. – Roundhouse – Exhibition Hall

Gordon Grdina’s Haram (with alumni JP Carter, trumpet, Kenton Loewen, drums, and facult members Jesse Zubot, violin, and Francois Houle, clarinet)
Saturday, July 2, 9 p.m. – Performance Works

Sunday, July 3

Sarah Kennedy Quintet (with alumna, Sarah Kennedy, vocals)
Sunday, July 3, noon – Granville Island – Public Stage

Camaro 67 (with alumni Jimmy Baldwin, Brendan Krieg, Tim Sars, and alumnus and faculty member, Georges Couling)
Sunday, July 3, 1:45 p.m. – Roundhouse - David Lam Park Stage

Bernie Arai’s Goat Logic (with faculty member, Bernie Arai, drums/composer)
Sunday, July 3, 5:30 & 6:40 p.m. – Roundhouse – Exhibition Hall

Jaclyn Guillou (with faculty members Jillian Lebeck, piano and Bernie Arai, drums)
Sunday, July 3, 8 p.m. – Frankie’s Jazz Club

Delhi 2 Dublin (with alumnus, Jaren Freeman-Fox)
Sunday, July 3, 8:45 p.m. – Roundhouse - David Lam Park Stage

Mary Halvorson / alumnus JP Carter/ Tommy Babin/ Skye Brooks
Sunday, July 3, midnight – Innovation Series – Ironworks Late Night


To learn more about VCC's music programs, please attend one of our info sessions

Stay connected with VCC's alumni newsletter! Hear about exciting news about VCC alumni, contests and new partnerships. 




Skilled Trades and Technology Week

VCC is consistently recognized as one of B.C.'s top trades schools.

It’s Skilled Trades and Technology Week in Canada and at Vancouver Community College we know there are no tricks of the trade, just the right tools for the trades.

Trades and technology programs at VCC include baking and pastry arts, Asian culinary arts, professional cooking, hair design, esthetics, digital graphic design, drafting, transportation trades, and networking technology.

Here are just a few recent highlights of successes in VCC’s trades training areas:

  • VCC opened a brand new Salon & Spa for students to train in hair design and esthetics
  • VCC was recognized in the Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver issue for excellence in culinary arts training
  • Ten VCC students won the opportunity to compete at the Skills Canada trades competition in 2013
  • VCC won a Consumer Choice Award for best trade school in Vancouver, annual awards that recognize and promote business excellence across Canada

“We’ve always known VCC offers high-quality training in relevant, in-demand vocations,” says Sandra Bailey, dean, transportation trades. VCC is widely recognized for its commitment to student success, Bailey explains, adding that that many employers look for talented VCC graduates to fill positions. “Faculty and staff at VCC go the extra mile to deliver unparalleled, hands-on training.”

Baljinder Sabrao, a student in heavy duty/commercial transport foundation, characterizes the curriculum at VCC as practical and hands-on. “Our instructors explain technical terms and theory in a way we can understand, plus they help students map out their own specific career goals.”

Interested in a career in the trades? Sign up for an upcoming info session today.

VCC and Adler University partner to expand educational, health services

Adler University Vancouver is teaming up with VCC to expand opportunities for students.

VANCOUVER, B.C. - In the spirit of collaboration and shared community health goals, Adler University Vancouver is teaming up with VCC to expand opportunities for students.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed this week that articulates a commitment to explore partnership possibilities that improve health, educational advancement, and community connections. Among the agreement's initial goals is to establish at VCC Adler Community Health Services (ACHS) - a division of Adler University that, until now, was exclusive to its Chicago Campus.

"Adler Community Health Services is eager to begin impacting community health and wellness in the greater Vancouver region," said Kevin Osten-Garner, Psy.D., and executive director of ACHS. "We look forward to our collaborative pilot project at VCC that will expand mental health wellness for students."

Although the institutions vary in makeup, leaders have pinpointed several opportunities for VCC and Adler University Vancouver to collaborate, including, but not limited to:

  • Providing new flexible and client-centered ACHS services at VCC;
  • Developing joint funding proposals to support the new health services, and other shared initiatives;
  • Creating pathways for VCC graduates and employees to pursue advanced studies at Adler University;
  • Providing scholarships for VCC graduates and employees to study at Adler University;
  • Sharing community partners to extend the institutions’ reach and impact within greater Vancouver; and
  • Organizing and promoting seminars, conferences and workshops for faculty, staff and students.

"This partnership is especially wonderful because it's about students helping students," said Kathryn McNaughton, Ph.D., and VCC vice president — academic, students and research. "Adler University doctoral students will provide additional mental health support that we know VCC students will benefit from."

"We are excited about the potential of this pilot project at VCC that can complement the existing student services to further our joint commitment to better meeting the mental health needs of our students," added Jenelle Davies, Executive Director of Students' Union of Vancouver Community College.

Adler University President Ray Crossman, Ph.D., and VCC President Peter Nunoda, Ph.D., formally notarized the memorandum at a signing ceremony on Vancouver Community College’' Broadway Campus. Effective immediately, the agreement will remain in place for three years.

About Vancouver Community College

Vancouver Community College celebrates more than 50 years of inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals, offering post-secondary training in 125 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades and music.

About Adler University

Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952, it enrolls more than 1,400 students in master's and doctoral programs for social change through its three campuses: Chicago, Vancouver and Online. The Vancouver campus offers master’s degrees in Counselling Psychology, Counselling Art Therapy, Organisational Psychology and Public Policy and Administration, as well as a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. Adler University's mission is to continue the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist, by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities and advancing social justice.

VCC English tutor publishes guide for newcomers

New book offers Vancouver life and culture tips in English and Chinese

News-Kari-book-292‌Congratulations to Kari Karlsbjerg, English tutor at the VCC Learning Centre, on publishing a new book, My New Life in Vancouver. Written with input and translations from former VCC student Yi Zheng, this book is a guide to life and everyday culture in Vancouver, written specifically for newcomers from China. 

Over the years, Kari has helped hundreds of Chinese newcomers to Canada learn English. Countless times, she’s seen that, while learning the language is important, it doesn't enable someone to fully participate in society. This inspired her to write a book assisting newcomers to meaningfully participate in local life in Vancouver.

The book has almost 400 entries about Vancouver schools, parks, clubs, and venues, tips about the local lifestyle (laid back), customs (what to expect in everyday situations), how to get around, pieces of advice from other immigrants (including Zheng), and many small English lessons and words of encouragement for taking on a new language and living in a new country.

Each entry in the book is presented in English and Chinese, so it will be a valuable guide to even the newest language-learners. 


Get My New Life in Vancouver on Amazon.ca and in select bookstores in Vancouver. 


VCC hosts Skills Canada BC Competition

Over 500 high school students came to watch the Skills competition and sample our programs.

VCC was excited to host the Skills Canada BC high school Automotive Service Tech and Junior Skills Spaghetti Bridge regional competitions. Gold medal winners have qualified and will compete at the provincial competitions held on April 9, 2014 at Tradex in Abbotsford.

Congratulations to the winners and participants! In the Automotive Service Technician – high school category, Justin To, Windermere Secondary, won Gold; Josue Perez, Killarney Secondary, won Silver; and Ajay Malik, Gladstone Secondary, won Bronze. In the Spaghetti Bridge – junior skills category, Templeton Secondary won Gold, Rockridge Secondary won Silver and Queen Mary Elementary won Bronze.


VCC hosts Skills Canada BC Competition



The Skills Canada BC regional event was also a wonderful opportunity to invite high school students to watch the competitions and take part in VCC’s second annual Try-a-trade event. Five hundred students from 17 different high schools sampled applied learning at VCC – including Automotive Collision & Automotive Refinishing, Automotive Service, Baking & Pastry Arts, Culinary Arts, Digital Graphic Design, Drafting, Hairstylist Certificate, Jewellery Art and Design (Diploma), and Esthetics Certificate. Students and teachers tried their freshly-manicured hands at welding, spray painting and tire repair. There were also opportunities to learn about Aboriginal education at VCC, interact with a science display, make marzipan roses and take the culinary challenge of turning a potato.


VCC hosts Skills Canada BC Competition 


Korean Culinary Competition reveals new stars at VCC

Mystery box tests Korean cooking skills of students and professionals alike

On Dec. 6, 2017, Vancouver Community College was pleased to host the Korean Culinary Competition, a black box challenge open to students, hobby cooks, and professionals.

Starting at 2 p.m., the 19 participants had 90 minutes to prepare three Korean-style dishes, all utilizing the mystery ingredient of oysters. Dishes were then presented to a panel of judges including VCC culinary department head Chef Collin Gill, Chef Eric Lee, Chef Sung-Hee Ahn, Korean Consul General Gunn Kim, and VCC president Dr. Peter Nunoda.

“I was honoured to be a judge and I thoroughly enjoyed tasting this amazing Korean food. It was a pleasure to experience the level of expertise from both students and professionals in creating these culinary masterpieces,” said Nunoda.

In the student category, first prize ($1500) was awarded to Ingyu Kim, second prize ($1000) to Minjoong So, and third prize ($500) to Denis Lim.

In the professional/hobby cook category, first prize ($1500) was awarded to Jessica Anamaria Tan of Haru Korean Kitchen, second prize ($1000) to Jinsu Yun of Miku Vancouver and Torafuku, and third prize ($500) to hobby cook Nancy Moon.

VCC recognizes and thanks the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation, Chef Poyan Danesh, VCC alumnus and Culinary Director of Ocean Mama Seafood, as well as VCC’s culinary and hospitality departments for their partnership in this outstanding event.





Want to shine in Vancouver’s Asian food industry? Get your start in VCC’s acclaimed 5-month Asian culinary arts program.

Fall 2017 convocation recap

VCC is proud to announce the graduation of almost 1,200 hardworking and dedicated students on November 23, 2017

"You're here today to celebrate your accomplishment. The Premier, John Horgan, and I are so proud of you. You are the future, you're innovators, you're our builders. You are going to service our community. So thank you so much for your sacrifice and your leadership."

- Honourable Melanie Mark
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Video address

Vancouver Community College is proud to announce the graduation of 1,195 hardworking and dedicated students on Thursday, November 23, 2017. This year’s fall convocation took place at 1 p.m. in a single ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Areas of study awarding degrees, diplomas, and certificates included:

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
  • School of Trades, Technology and Design
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Centre for Continuing Studies
  • Division of Library and Teaching and Learning Services

Valedictorian Melanie Bredo, Dental Reception Coordinator program, addressed the graduating class with a motivating message:

“Look at what we have all accomplished; the knowledge we have gained, the relationships we have developed, the confidence in ourselves to try something new. This sense of pride and accomplishment is something that I can only hope will carry us all forward and prepare us for whatever changes come in our lives. To the graduating class, I ask that you inspire change in others and enjoy the opportunities that will present themselves to you.  And to use those opportunities to lay the path for success."

VCC alumna Roshni Kashyap, an Outstanding Alumni Award winner, offered some heartfelt advice to this year's graduating class:

"Follow your passion, whatever it may be. Listen to your heart. Nothing comes easy, so work at it. Think big and you will be big. Make it happen for yourself. If I can do it, each one of you can do it too." 


Full photo gallery:‌‌

convocation fall 2017 gallery

Media release: VCC’s fashion program gives back to Dress for Success

VCC students put their fashion industry skills to the test for a good cause

News-Dress-for-Success-292VANCOUVER, B.C. – Each year, students in Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Fashion Design & Production Diploma program participate in an activity that uses fashion to give back to the community. This year, the class chose to design and donate suites to Dress for Success Vancouver (DFS), an organization that provides professional attire, career services, and skills development for women entering or rejoining the workforce. 

“It might not be the part of the industry that gets the media attention, but the fashion industry is filled with examples of generosity,” said Andrea Korens, program coordinator, VCC Fashion. “We feel it is important to cultivate a sense of community-mindedness in our students.”

Using the skills they developed in their first 10 months at VCC, students designed, drafted, and constructed a four-piece business look specifically for a client of the charity.

The suits feature fabrics donated by Our Social Fabric and local businesses like Arcteryx, Plum Clothing, Jason Matlo, and Nicole Bridger. Both looks include a tailored jacket, dress pants, and a blouse. The designs feature materials like a navy crepe and a brown pinstripe, and wardrobe additions of a vest and a casual turtleneck.

This project is the final in a series completed during VCC’s first-year fashion cycle courses in which students experience a fast-paced production process including design, drafting, construction, marketing, and sales.

VCC Fashion’s partnership with DFS also highlights the organization’s longstanding service to the VCC student population. DFS has provided approximately 480 VCC students and graduates with job interview outfits since 2012.

“Dress for Success’ ability to assist recent graduates on their job hunt is a service we offer that often goes under the radar,” said Jennifer Halinda, executive director, Dress for Success Vancouver. “Working with VCC Fashion allows us to highlight this demographic, and those from VCC that we have assisted in their careers. The two beautifully designed suits were happily received by our client, Aerin Hack [pictured].”

“We are amazed by our students’ ability to create professional suits in their first year of studies,” said Korens. “For them, it’s a great feeling to be supported by generous industry donations, and then pay it forward.”


For interviews, high-resolution photos, or fashion show opportunities, please contact:

Sarah Murray
Program Coordinator Fashion, Recruitment and Industry Relations
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 8668

Danielle Libonati
Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College

Learning while working with real customers sets VCC apart

Metro News explores VCC’s next-level apprenticeship opportunities

Originally published in Metro News Vancouver 

From Nov. 5 to 11, the British Columbia government will recognize the contributions of apprentices and their employers to the province’s economy and labour force with its annual Apprenticeship Recognition Week.

Vancouver Community College (VCC), says the school’s dean of trades, technology and design, plays an important role in the apprenticed trades being recognized by facilitating a range of apprenticeship opportunities.

“We have apprenticeships in the transportation, hospitality, and hair, esthetics, and makeup trades,” says Brett Griffiths. “And what really differentiates VCC from other training providers is that our apprenticeship programs offer experiential learning that is customer-based.”

Students in the hairstylist apprenticeship, for example, practice their skills in a full-service salon, while baking and pastry arts and culinary arts apprentices provide food services at the college’s campuses, and students in programs such as automotive collision repair service vehicles through VCC’s auto shop.

“Because our students interact with real customers, it allows them to take their technical training to the next level by gaining soft skills. That is a huge advantage for our grads to have,” says Griffiths.

Apprenticeship training, says Griffiths, differs from full-time programs because of its workplace-based entry. To enroll, students must be working in the field in which they want to apprentice, be sponsored by their employer and complete the training under their employer’s guidance. And while the length of an apprenticeship varies by trade, the outcomes are typically the same. 

“Generally, the goal of apprenticeships is to acquire a greater level of technical training, which usually results in higher pay,” he says. “Additionally, many apprenticeships are a pathway to a Red Seal designation — the benchmark set out by the Industry Training Authority for skilled trades of professional practice in various industries. The Red Seal allows you to work across Canada, so it provides a lot of portability.”


See which VCC programs allow you to "earn while you learn" as a registered apprentice.

VCC Student Awards - Fall 2017 recap

Celebrating academic excellence and community leadership among VCC's best and brightest

Twice a year, Vancouver Community College (VCC) holds student awards ceremonies recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of talented and deserving students enrolled in the vast range of programs offered at VCC.

On Friday, Nov. 17, the fall awards ceremony took place at VCC’s Broadway campus where the VCC Foundation awarded in excess of $163,000 in scholarships and awards. VCC’s scholarships and awards are established to recognize academic excellence and to acknowledge students who demonstrate leadership in the classroom or in their community. Many award recipients have overcome significant obstacles and financial barriers to pursue their studies. These awards help encourage and support students in their journey to academic and career success.

Each time VCC hosts student award ceremonies, one award is selected to video profile. It is difficult to single out one generous donor, or one deserving student, as VCC is blessed with a wealth of deserving and amazing student and donor stories. This season, we profiled Rose Brooks, a student who has taken ESL Pathways, the Administrative Assistant program, and now the Medical Office Assistant program. Her award comes from Dr. Jennifer Prosser Wade, and honours a student who has overcome major life challenges to pursue their academic goals. 

With many donor representatives in attendance, the awards ceremonies provide a special opportunity for donors to directly connect with the recipients of their awards and the chance for students—and VCC—to thank the donors in person.

For more information on VCC’s financial awards including bursaries, scholarships and financial aid, visit our Financial Aid and Awards page including our Online Awards Guide. To make a donation, email give@vcc.ca or visit our online Catalogue of Gifts.


See the full photo galleries from all student awards ceremonies on VCC's Flickr page.

Samsung Tech Institute a fast-track into appliance repair jobs

New entry-level VCC program an ideal starting point for Samsung appliance repair training

What’s behind the sleek glass walls of Vancouver Community College's (VCC) Samsung Tech Institute? Find out at our next info session at the Broadway campus.

After establishing a successful training program for experienced technicians in early 2017, VCC's Samsung Tech Institute is now opening its doors to newcomers to appliance repair with a 14-week, full-time Entry Pathway program starting Sept. 5, 2017.

"Our goal is to have job-ready grads at the end of the 14 weeks," says Sid Khullar, program coordinator. "The appliance repair industry is in need of technicians and with this training, we’re able to fast-track our students into in-demand jobs."

The Entry Pathway program has no technical prerequisites. With admission requirements of Grade 12 English and Grade 11 Math, the program is ideal for students of all backgrounds, including those new to Canada.

Entry Pathway students get hands-on training on major appliances at the Samsung Tech Institute. The program covers everything from customer service essentials to gas appliance service certification, with a focus on Samsung products.

The Samsung Tech Institute is only one of two in Canada, and the only one of its kind in Western Canada. As a leading major appliance brand in Canada, Samsung is offering three $1,000 scholarships for the Entry Pathway program. Scholarship application deadline is August 31, 2017.


All info sessions will be held at the Samsung Tech Institute (room 2602) at VCC’s Broadway Campus.

Learn more about the program and RSVP for an upcoming info session at vcc.ca/Samsung.

Samsung and VCC set to open first Samsung Tech Institute in Western Canada

Launching this October

samsung tech appliances newsSamsung VCC logo header


In a move designed to foster innovative approaches to continuing education, Vancouver Community College (VCC) and Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. have entered into an educational partnership to bring the first Samsung Tech Institute to Western Canada.

The new program named Samsung Tech Institute - Appliance Repair Technician - Entry Pathway will train VCC students to understand, diagnose, and service select Samsung home appliances. Students will be officially certified Samsung Product Technicians upon their graduation from the program.

The Samsung Tech Institute will aim to increase the number of qualified Service Technicians and Samsung brand ambassadors within Canada for Samsung home appliances, including Samsung’s newest microwaves, refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, washers and dryers.

The program is scheduled to launch in October 2016 at VCC’s Broadway campus.

RSVP to the next information session.



Media release: VCC’s 30th anniversary of Fiat Mode to be held at VFW

Nine students will showcase their men’s and women’s wear collections to a crowd at Vancouver Fashion Week

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is celebrating 30 years of fashion at Fiat Mode by showcasing the incredible talent, creativity and skills students have developed through experiential training at VCC. On Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. graduates from VCC’s fashion arts diploma program will showcase their collections on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week (50 E. Pender St, Vancouver).

“The creativity and energy witnessed each year at VCC’s annual graduate fashion show captures Coco Chanel’s belief that fashion goes well beyond clothing. It’s about expressing individuality. It’s about being in tune with one’s environment. It’s about taking an idea, using technical know-how, and turning a concept into something concrete,” said Sarah Murray, co-program coordinator, fashion. “We’re proud of our grads and it’s thrilling for us to share their hard work and creativity.”

Nine students will showcase their men’s and women’s wear collections to a crowd of 500 fashionistas, media outlets, industry representatives, and proud family and friends.

“We are delighted to complete 30 years of Fiat Mode on such a high,” said Andrea Korens, co-program coordinator, fashion. “The collections this season feature detailed and intelligent design, often highlighted with hand embroidery and surface design elements.”    

VCC's fashion arts program ran from 1986-2017 and has graduated students like Sports Illustrated swimsuit designer Anna Kosturova and those who have gone on to work for major brands like Arcteryx and Aritzia. In 2016, VCC launched a new fashion design & production diploma program in response to the needs of the fashion industry and to ensure VCC students continue to be the most sought after graduates. These students will be recognized and celebrated under a new banner succeeding Fiat Mode in 2018. 

Fiat Mode 30 is open to the public. Tickets are available at vanfashionweek.com/event/

Photo and interview opportunities available on-site post-show:

Date: Wednesday, September 2017
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Vancouver Fashion Week Media Lounge (Upstairs at the Chinese Cultural Centre, 50 E. Pender St.)
More info: vcc.ca/fashionshow

To RSVP for the show and for interview opportunities and high resolution photos, please contact:

Sarah Murray
Program Coordinator Fashion, Recruitment and Industry Relations
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 8668


- 30 –

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years. We offer post-secondary training in over 120 programs including bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades and music. 


Best of Vancouver 2016

Georgia Straight readers have chosen VCC for culinary, languages and CS!


Vancouverites have spoken.

In the Georgia Straight’s 21st annual Best of Vancouver issue, Vancouver Community College was the Readers Choice winner as the #1 professional culinary school in the Lower Mainland.

Voters in the online survey also selected VCC among the top three places to learn a new language and best college/school/university for continuing education in the region.

Many VCC alumni have been recognized as well, check out the growing list below:

Best local classical ensemble: #2 Turning Point Ensemble
VCC faculty members Francois Houle (clarinet), Marc Destrube (violin)
Best local band (signed): #1 Mother Mother
VCC alumni Ryan Guldemond, Jasmine Parkin, Jeremy Page
Best local band (signed): #2 Dan Mangan
VCC alumni John Walsh, Kenton Loewen
Best local band (unsigned): #2 Two Apple Tobacco
VCC alumnus Jordan Kling
Best custom jewellery store: #2 Era Design
VCC alumna Rosemary Bartram

Best local jewellery designers: article
VCC alumna Kara Koo and Anita Sikma Design


Chef's Table tickets are now sold out

VCC’s International Culinary Arts event runs Oct. 24 - Nov. 17

Chef's Table is now SOLD OUT - thank you for your support!

VCC’s International Culinary Arts students are bringing the Chef’s Table pop-up kitchen to the VCC Broadway campus.

When: Oct. 24 - Nov. 17, Tuesday - Friday 
Time: 6:30 p.m. seating
Where: Quizine Kitchen - VCC Broadway Campus cafeteria, 1155 East Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. (Entrance at Glen Dr. and 8th Ave.)

$30 for a five-course menu designed by Chef Hamid Salimian.

$45 for the five-course menu, paired with a selection of B.C. wines. 

Sign up here to receive future culinary updates, including Chef's Table releases.


Open Door Group relocates to VCC’s Downtown campus

New WorkBC satellite office to deliver employment services on-site at VCC

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Open Door Group, a registered charity, recently opened the doors to three new WorkBC Employment Services Centres in the Downtown Eastside, including a satellite office to deliver employment services on-site at the Vancouver Community College (VCC) Downtown campus.

The new collaboration provides many opportunities for VCC students and the neighbouring community. The employment centre is open to all local job seekers within the Downtown Eastside catchment, spanning the full distance from Gastown to Nanaimo Street. The move will increase access to direct employment services for those who frequent VCC.

Open Door Group is now located on the second floor of VCC, above the entrance at 250 West Pender St. The scope of services offered at the employment services centre includes one-on-one career counselling and case management, workshops, assessments, and job placement services.

Through the WorkBC program, Open Door Group also offers specialized services for job seekers who may face barriers to employment. These include persons with disabilities, recent immigrants, older workers, youth, and Indigenous People, among others. In addition to providing direct services, the employment centre staff advise job seekers on various skills upgrading and training programs, VCC being one of those providers. 

“At VCC, we are focused on improving opportunities at the college through partnerships with criteria based on what is good for our students, the community, and employers. This new collaboration is a great example of building strength by working with other organizations,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, VCC President and CEO.

“Open Door Group is committed to lifelong learning and career success for all individuals,” said Tom Burnell, CEO of Open Door Group. “This move from one location to three locations allows us to increase access points to employment services in the Downtown Eastside, and continue serving the full range of diversity that exists within this community through strong partnerships with local businesses and organizations.”


VCC has been helping students reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years. With three campuses located in Downtown Vancovuer, on East Broadway, and on Annacis Island, VCC offers post-secondary training in over 120 programs including bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships in areas including culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trade, and music.

MarketSafe certification now available at VCC

Custom-designed food safety course supports market vendors & local business

News-MarketSafe-800"Farmers' Market" licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 courtesy of Flickr user NatalieMaynor


In Vancouver, eating local means getting our food from more places than just restaurants. As one of the world’s top food cities, our farmers’ markets, produce stands and home-based food entrepreneurs are also becoming big players in the local culinary scene. In support of this broadening industry, Vancouver Community College is excited to now offer MarketSafe, a course specifically designed to teach food safety outside of regulated establishments.

The 7-hour course will be taught by Peter Lee, a Certified Public Health Inspector and FOODSAFE instructor with over 25 years’ experience.

Before the MarketSafe program was developed in partnership with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets in 2010, Lee remembers market vendors who were overwhelmed by health and safety requirements, many of which only applied to restaurants. “I sympathized with them,” says Lee. “But now we have MarketSafe, which doesn’t get into too many restaurant requirements. It’s much more simplified.”

In addition to food handling, VCC’s MarketSafe course will also help aspiring food producers navigate all the forms and regulations involved in transforming a home-based project into a successful local business—something not part of the traditional FOODSAFE curriculum. “It really explains to operators what they need to do,” says Lee.


Do you dream of selling your baked goods or produce at a local venue? Get the knowledge you need to join Vancouver’s’ thriving food scene through VCC’s MarketSafe certification course. Apply now for courses April 18 and August 22, 2015.

President Nunoda’s appointment renewed

Dr. Peter Nunoda’s appointment as college president has been renewed for another three-year term

News-Peter-Nunoda-portrait-140Vancouver Community College’s Board of Governors is pleased to announce that Dr. Peter Nunoda’s appointment as the college’s President and CEO has been renewed for another three-year term. 

Since joining VCC on August 14, 2014, Dr. Nunoda has overseen the development of VCC’s five key success drivers, the Integrated College Plan, the five-year academic plan, and the new college vision. He also has built a strong management team to lead the college into its next 50 years of success.

Under Dr. Nunoda’s leadership, the college has returned to financial stability, moving from budget deficits to a small surplus in 2016. His focus on community and industry collaboration has resulted in successful new partnerships with organizations including the Rick Hansen Foundation, the Open Door Group, and Samsung.


Read Dr. Nunoda’s Bio

VCC auto students assist with taxi safety inspections

We like to call it cab class.


Do you know if the taxi you’re flagging down will be safe to ride in?

It’s an important question and that’s why Vancouver Community College's automotive service technician program teamed up with the City of Vancouver's taxi inspector and police from Vancouver and Delta to perform vigorous safety checks on rebuilt taxis. The inspections took place over a two-day period inside the Broadway campus auto shop.Automotive service technician students teamed up with the taxi inspector and police to perform vigorous safety checks on rebuilt taxis.

“We want students to get involved in the inspection process to help police, learn from police, and develop the same moral compass as certified technicians who wouldn’t allow a dangerous vehicle to hit the streets," says Jason Devisser, department head, automotive service technician program. “Real world experience is an important part of our curriculum.”

Students worked side-by-side with experts to look for things like brake or suspension issues and body work problems. Many vehicles that are written off are rebuilt into taxi cabs.

Police and the Vancouver Taxi Association added they are grateful that VCC is able to offer its full-service auto shop to help perform important services to keep the public safe.

VCC auto students assist with taxi safety inspections

We like to call it cab class.


Do you know if the taxi you’re flagging down will be safe to ride in?

It’s an important question and that’s why Vancouver Community College's automotive service technician program teamed up with the City of Vancouver's taxi inspector and police from Vancouver and Delta to perform vigorous safety checks on rebuilt taxis. The inspections took place over a two-day period inside the Broadway campus auto shop.Automotive service technician students teamed up with the taxi inspector and police to perform vigorous safety checks on rebuilt taxis.

“We want students to get involved in the inspection process to help police, learn from police, and develop the same moral compass as certified technicians who wouldn’t allow a dangerous vehicle to hit the streets," says Jason Devisser, department head, automotive service technician program. “Real world experience is an important part of our curriculum.”

Students worked side-by-side with experts to look for things like brake or suspension issues and body work problems. Many vehicles that are written off are rebuilt into taxi cabs.

Police and the Vancouver Taxi Association added they are grateful that VCC is able to offer its full-service auto shop to help perform important services to keep the public safe.

Local chef to compete in international cooking competition

VCC ACE-It program alumni ready to cross the pond

As originally posted in the Squamish Chief


Squamish resident Tristan Toderan’s passion for cooking will be taking him overseas for an international culinary competition. 

As a graduate of Vancouver Community College’s ACE-It culinary program, Toderan will be working alongside a classmate to compete as a team in the 2017 World Master Chefs Competition for Cantonese Cuisine in Hong Kong, as well as a culinary exchange in Guangdong, China. 

Together, Toderan and his partner will be preparing a tea-smoked crocker with soy caviar and a lemon-grass broth. Their dish will go in front of a panel of judges who will be assessing food prepared from teams all over the world. 

Because Troderan and his partner know exactly what they will be cooking, they have been busy practicing. 

Toderan explains that practice has paid off and the skills they originally struggled with – such as getting the deep-fried egg the perfect consistency to compliment the rest of the dish – have been solved.

Toderan began refining his cooking skills through the ACE-It program’s Culinary Arts division, which was offered to Grade 12 students at Howe Sound Secondary. He says that the ACE-It program was an amazing opportunity to cultivate his passion for cooking – Toderan recommends the program to curious high schoolers. 

After graduating high school, Toderan went on to attend Vancouver Community College’s level-two culinary arts program and specialize in Asian cooking. 

Toderan said that, for him, cooking Cantonese cuisine was fun and that he picked up techniques quickly. This led him to get noticed and eventually invited to represent Vancouver Community College at the World Master Chefs Competition for Cantonese Cuisine. 

When asked if he ever thought he would be cooking at a competitive level, Toderan explained that being invited to a competition of this caliber was unexpected and that he is super excited to be able to go to both in Hong Kong and China.

Cafeteria closures

The Downtown campus is getting an upgrade

The Downtown campus cafeteria will close on Thursday, September 21 at 1 p.m. It will remain closed for approximately six weeks.

Other options:

Asian kitchen

Run by students and instructors in the Asian culinary program, the Asian kitchen will re-open on September 25 for lunch service.

Hours of operation:
Monday - Friday
10:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

The Bistro

The Bistro offers a wide variety of salads, sharing plates, side plates, entrees, and desserts.
The current menu has a range of comfort foods for those cold wet days, and lighter fare for those hanging onto summer.

Hours of operation:
Tuesday - Thursday
10:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Dates: September 19 - November 30 (Closed October 24 - 31)

Call to place your take out order or reserve a table at 604.443.8352.

The Bistro is a licensed establishment. Reservations are recommended.


Beginning September 22, the cafeteria will continue to offer limited coffee and market items for the duration of the renovation. 

Hours of operation:
Monday - Thursday, 7 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Fridays, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Enjoy gourmet cuisine at a fraction of the cost of other fine dining restaurants. JJ's Restaurant is run by students and instructors in the culinary arts program.

Hours of operation:
Monday - Thursday
11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Dates: Opens October 2

Reservations are recommended 604.443.8479


Love to cook or entertain? Come check out our culinary arts and hospitality management programs! See us at Experience VCC on October 18. 

Premier Horgan expands tuition waiver for former youth in care

VCC is now among those post secondary institutions offering tuition waivers

Source: B.C. Government News

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Young people leaving foster care now will have access to free tuition at all 25 of British Columbia’s public post-secondary institutions, Premier John Horgan announced today.

“We want youth in our care system to know we are looking out for them and that we believe in their potential. That’s why we are expanding access to post-secondary education for youth aging out of care so they can thrive, not just survive,” said Premier Horgan.

This program – previously only available at 11 public post-secondary institutions – provides tuition waivers to former kids in care, who are less likely to have access to post-secondary education or training than young people who grew up with family supports.

“We’re in a position to make life better for young people who grew up without family stability,” said Premier Horgan. “By bringing down barriers to opportunity, and making advanced education more accessible, we can clear the path to success for these young people.”

Students accessing the program must be:

  • from British Columbia;
  • aged between 19 to 26 years; and
  • have been in care for a minimum of 24 months.

“Education can mean the difference between a life in poverty or a life of prosperity. It’s an important equalizer because when we lift people up, all our communities benefit,” said Melanie Mark, Advanced Education, Skills and Training Minister. “Giving former youth in care the opportunity to access post-secondary education and skills training along with the tools needed to complete their studies will empower them to thrive.”

“Young people who have been in care should have the same level of support as other young adults do – that’s why we are providing a stronger foundation for them to achieve their goals through the tuition waiver program,” said Children and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy. “Parents throughout British Columbia offer supports to their children after they reach 19. Youth in care need to know that we are looking out for them, too. That is why we are committed to further enhancing supports so we can be sure we’re helping all youth who age out, not just a few.”

The expanded tuition waiver program is the first of a number of improved supports government is developing for young people who have aged out of care.

“Former youth in care is a hard label to wear at times,” said Ruby Barclay, a fourth-year child and youth care student at Vancouver Island University. “Everyone says you learn a lot at university, but on top of the academic knowledge, I’ve also learned a lot about myself and my values and had the opportunity to explore my place in the world. Now my narrative is more than my past. I identify as a university student, professional and activist.”

The cost of waiving tuition will be covered by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training for the remainder of fiscal 2017-18.

Any eligible student who already has paid fees for September enrolment will be refunded.

A more comprehensive program, with wrap around supports, is being developed in partnership with the Ministry of Children and Family Development, as part of the 2018-19 budget process.

For more information on supports currently available for youth aging out of care, please see: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/supports-for-youth-formerly-in-government-care

VCC and Rick Hansen Foundation team up to help make Canada accessible for all

RHFAC Accessibility Assessor training begins on September 25

VANCOUVER, B.C. – A new partnership between Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) will benefit students and industry professionals interested in improving accessibility in commercial and public settings.

The Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program is designed to rate a given site or facility's overall accessibility against a national, universal scale. VCC will offer a two-week RHFAC Accessibility Assessors training beginning Sept. 25, to help people with disabilities, professionals already working in the field, or others interested in learning to analyze a site or facility for overall accessibility. Students are trained through interactive instructor presentations, in-class exercises, disability simulation experiences, reading assignments, and small and large group work. 

The training course will prepare students to become Accessibility Assessors and conduct ratings using RHFAC criteria. For those wanting formal accreditation, students must pass a written exam administered by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) after completing the course. Graduates will gain skills to become independent consultants to conduct RHFAC ratings and provide expertise in Universal Design, and support community education and awareness on the importance of accessibility.

“We know the importance of what a program like this truly means to people’s lives. With one of the highest population of students with disabilities in post-secondary in the province, we are acquainted with the wide range of mobility challenges people contend with on a daily basis. It’s wonderful to work with RHF to make a difference by training the professionals who will contribute to creating better facilities that work for everyone,” says Kathryn McNaughton, vice-president, academic, students and research.                                                                                                                                                  

“We’re very excited to combine the expertise of Vancouver Community College and the Rick Hansen Foundation to deliver this course as part of continuing education in B.C. Well-trained assessors are at the heart of the RHF Accessibility Certification program. It will bring new opportunities for anyone interested in creating more accessible built environments and help move access considerations into the normal design process,” says Brad McCannell, vice-president, access and inclusion, RHF.

The inaugural two-week training course still has spots available. To learn more, watch this video and to register, see RHFAC Accessibility Assessor training at VCC.


About Vancouver Community College:

VCC celebrates more than 50 years of inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals, offering post-secondary training in 125 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, and music.


About the Rick Hansen Foundation:

The Rick Hansen Foundation was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour, to continue raising funds and awareness to create a world without barriers for people with disabilities. Over nearly 30 years, RHF has made transformational change in raising awareness and removing barriers for people with disabilities, and funding research for the cure and care of people with spinal cord injuries. Today, the Foundation focuses on improving accessibility to create a world that’s accessible and inclusive for all.



Media can contact:

Amanda Basi, Manager, Accessibility Certification Program
Rick Hansen Foundation
778.296.1511, abasi@rickhansen.com 

Karen Wilson, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7429, kwilson@vcc.ca

Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification VCC logos



VCC university transfers open doors for prospective engineers

Courses are aligned with SFU and UBC to allow for easy transfer to second year

As originally posted in the Georgia Straight

Nowadays, one of the biggest challenges for Grade 12 students is obtaining high enough marks to get into university. A student’s average has to be in the mid- to high 80s for them even to be considered for the UBC engineering program, according to the UBC website.

The SFU website states that an average has to be in the high 80s for applied sciences, including engineering.

The dean of arts and sciences at Vancouver Community College, David Wells, says his school can help students who don’t meet those criteria to still achieve their career dream.

That’s because VCC offers a first-year transfer engineering certificate that prepares students to enter second-year engineering at both of B.C.’s largest universities.

“They have to do it within a 16-month period, but most times that’s quite easily achieved,” Wells told the Straight by phone.

He emphasized that the courses have been designed to align with what’s being offered at SFU and UBC. As long as students achieve the required grade-point average, they’re guaranteed admission to year two of these universities’ engineering programs.

“This relationship started with SFU about four years ago,” Wells explained. “It was really born out of their interest in having more students coming into the second year [engineering] because there was fairly significant attrition.”

He added that UBC also loses engineering students in second year because some find it “quite demanding” attending a large research university with large classes.

“That was the motivation to look at a guaranteed-transfer certificate,” Wells said. “We’ve, of course, developed it to align with SFU and UBC.”

One of the advantages of studying engineering at VCC is the price. Many of its courses cost less than $100 per credit hour, which is significantly lower than what’s being charged at B.C.’s research universities.

Most of the courses are taught at VCC’s Broadway campus, which is near the western terminus of the Millennium Line, but one is at the downtown campus to make use of computer-lab technology at that location.

Wells said there’s a good faculty mix of talented young PhDs with a great deal of energy experienced instructors who have “built tremendous competencies in supporting student learning”. And they don’t only teach university-transfer credit courses in engineering.

VCC also has a first-year university-transfer computing-science and software-systems certificate. There are also university-transfer certificates in environmental studies, arts, science, and health sciences. The credits can be applied not only to research universities but also to B.C.’s teaching universities, including Capilano and Kwantlen.

“There’s a lot of development work that we’re doing in the development of credentials, with the target of having students be really well prepared to transfer into degree-granting institutions,” Wells said.

The next information session is at 5 p.m. next Wednesday (August 23). For more information, visit .

VCC continuing studies embrace innovative, experiential learning

Hands-on approach shines through in counselling skills and fashion programs

As originally posted in the Georgia Straight


Two years after its 50th anniversary, in 2015, Vancouver Community College unveiled a new mission statement—“VCC: The first choice for innovative, experiential learning for life”.

The dean of continuing studies, Gordon McIvor, clearly takes the aims and values encapsulated in this slogan very seriously. McIvor noted in a phone interview with the Straight that this hands-on approach is not only reflected in the 23 programs under his jurisdiction but is also embodied on the cover of the  fall program guide. It features photos of students actively engaged in various pursuits.

Two programs, in particular, embody experiential learning: certificates in counselling skills and a diploma or certificate in fashion design and production.

The addiction counselling skills certificate is offered at VCC’s downtown campus, which is blocks away from Canada's first legal free-standing supervised-injection site.

“The reality of the Downtown Eastside and the fact that our program has a focus on addictions gives students an opportunity to really roll their sleeves up and work with high-risk populations,” McIvor explained.

It’s a self-paced part-time program offered in the evenings, which means students could take anywhere from a year to three years to complete it, though most finish in one-and-a-half to two years.

“Some students go many evenings a week,” he said. “Most of them are doing something else in the day and they might take one or two courses in the evening and they really go at their own pace.”

An intriguing aspect of the program is that students learn with the help of videos. This goes beyond simply listening to an instructor tell stories about their experience as counsellors.

"Students go into a private classroom with another student and actually videotape practice sessions," McIvor explained. "Students get a chance to think about what was said and view themselves with a potential client. It's really hands-on."

The community counselling skills certificate offers the same level of flexibility as the addiction-counselling program.

Claire Sauvé, a senior coordinator with VCC continuing studies, told the Straight by phone that this can prepare students for a wide variety of work, including working for homeless shelters, drop-in centres, immigrant-support agencies, and halfway houses.

“Some of the courses that are offered within the program are accepted as prerequisites in master’s-in-counselling programs at SFU, UBC, and Adler University,” Sauvé added.

The instructors all have active counselling practices, so they bring real-world experience into the classrooms. And according to Sauvé, some students who are in either the addiction-counselling or community-counselling stream end up completing the other stream because they have many classes in common.

So who is most likely to enroll in the certificate programs in counselling skills?

“We know, for example, the average age of a student in this program is 41 years old—predominantly female, definitely adult learners,” McIvor responded. “There may be a difference in addictions vis-à-vis the community counselling in terms of the gender makeup. Nevertheless, it is open to both groups of people.”

Meanwhile, the fashion and production diploma and certificate programs at VCC continuing studies have recently undergone a makeover to better reflect the school’s mission statement. “Students basically get five sales cycles during their diploma,” McIvor said.

They will make a bag, which is sold in a retail store, then they will design a T-shirt that is marketed online. Then they might create a whole fashion line for a nonprofit charity, and on it goes.

“It’s not just about designing clothes,” he said. “It’s the whole process of production, sales, and design together.”

It also enhances students’ understanding of e-commerce. Field trips to local clothing manufacturers help students understand what’s taking place on the factory floor.

The diploma program takes 18 months to complete and is offered full-time during weekdays. There’s an exit point midway for people who want to stop with a certificate, leaving them eligible to return to complete a diploma at a future date.

In addition to the diploma and certificate programs, VCC continuing studies also offers one-off courses for those interested in learning about everything from fashion illustration to corsetry to fashion-show production.

Kirsten’s story: music for life

After rediscovering a childhood talent, one VCC student finds classical piano is more than lessons

It was at the end of high school that Kirsten Jones quit playing piano. She had enjoyed her lessons as child, and even obtained Royal Conservatory Grade 8 before giving it up. “I just wanted to party,” she says. “I didn’t even think about piano again until I was 29.” 

It was then that a personal tragedy led Kirsten to rekindle her passion for music, and start a new life chapter in the process.

As a kid, Kirsten was especially fond of her piano teacher, a kind and eccentric young woman known for big jewellery, heavy makeup, and long fingernails. “She just ‘clack-clack-clacked’ along on the keys!” remembers Kirsten. “But she played unbelievable stuff. She let me see that you could still play classical piano and be a bit of a rebel.”

In 2013, Kirsten learned that her piano teacher had been murdered in her hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. After recovering from the initial shock, Kirsten says the news prompted her to buy a digital piano and take up playing again, as a tribute.

“I fell right back in love with it,” she says. Over the next few years, Kirsten worked through all her old piano books. She then decided to quit her job as a copywriter and pursue music full-time at Vancouver Community College (VCC).

“I really just applied here because it was close,” she says. “But then I came in for an info session and I loved the people.” When it came to the classical music industry, Kirsten says she always felt like an outsider, but not at VCC. “It felt more inclusive than other music programs.”

Now finished her first year of VCC’s two-year music diploma program, Kirsten looks back at a rewarding but also very demanding time. “It’s a really intense program,” she says. “You’re taught and critiqued by some of the top musicians in the country. I practiced more than I ever had in my life, and learned a lot about the importance of posture, technique, and moderation."

Thanks to her experiences at VCC, Kirsten has also discovered some new career paths that don’t necessarily lead to the classical music stage.

Kirsten already works with at-risk youth in her neighbourhood, and has seen first-hand the benefits of music therapy. “Sometimes they don’t feel like talking. Instead, you just bang on a drum or write a song. You use rhythm and melody to fill the void.”

With one year left in her diploma program, and now in her mid-thirties, Kirsten is eager to see what the next few years will bring.

“I’m starting a new story,” she says. “I may feel old. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but I don’t want to look back and think, ‘I wasn’t old! Why didn’t I just do it?’”

Get noticed. Learn how you can develop your individual style from top music professionals in VCC's music programs.

Riwaz’ story: a new path to university

One VCC student’s last-minute decision leads to a future on the cutting-edge of engineering

Riwaz Karki always knew he would go to university; it was just a matter of when.

First, he planned to take a gap year after high school—a popular decision among his friends. “We were done with school!” he says. “We just wanted to work, make a little money, and have fun for a year.”

As high school graduation neared in 2015, however, Riwaz had given it more thought and decided he was ready for university after all. By this point, however, most admissions deadlines had already passed, so he began looking at other options.

“I was always good at math,” he says. “I knew engineering was the best choice for me.” When he learned that Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) first-year university transfer engineering program still had spots available for the fall, he felt like he’d stumbled on a hidden secret.

“At VCC, there’s small classes, it’s easier to ask questions, and it’s not as expensive as university,” he says of the program, which allows students to transfer directly into second-year engineering programs across Canada. “Most high school students think they have to go directly to university,” he says. “Somehow, they don’t know there’s this option.”

Riwaz excelled at VCC and easily earned the credits needed to enter second-year engineering at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Fall 2016.

Although Riwaz is enjoying his SFU courses and doing well, he still admits that starting university took a lot of hard work and adjustment. He appreciates now more than ever the support he received at VCC, not only from the instructors but also his classmates.

“Most of my friends happened to be older than me, but we studied together all the time,” he says. “We’re all really good friends now. They’re my crew.” Two VCC classmates even accompanied Riwaz to SFU, while others ended up at schools like the University of British Columbia (UBC), the University of Victoria (UVic), and the University of Waterloo (UW).

Now looking ahead to his third year at SFU, the time has come for Riwaz to pick a specialization. According to him, most students will choose civil or electrical engineering. Riwaz, however, had something totally different in mind—biomedical engineering.

Compared to more established fields, Riwaz is excited by the advancements and innovations happening in the study of human body movements and neurology. “There is so much going on in the biomedical field that’s never been done before,” he says. “I guess I’m the kind of person who just always wants to do something new.” 


Take a new path to university. Learn how you can earn first-year credits in small classes at VCC and transfer to schools across Canada. 

Media release: Government announcement on Adult Basic Education and ESL tuition

Government to restore funding for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs

VANCOUVER – The provincial government announced yesterday that it would be restoring funding and removing tuition fees for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in British Columbia as of September 2017.

"We are happy to work closely with the provincial government to implement these changes,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, Vancouver Community College (VCC) president and CEO. “VCC’s ESL and adult upgrading courses are often the first steps on a pathway to a new career, a career change or a fresh start; and I am proud of our students and employees that work together to make this a reality.”

VCC is one of the B.C.’s largest providers of adult upgrading programs and its ESL Pathways program was recently awarded national recognition by Colleges and Institutes Canada. VCC’s adult upgrading courses are a key entry point for students seeking to re-enter the education system or complete prerequisites to enroll in post-secondary programs. VCC offers self-paced or class-based courses from basic skills up to Grade 12, including English, math, sciences, humanities and computer classes.

Media release: VCC to offer Gladue report writing program

Teaching legal skills to combat Indigenous discrimination in Canada’s legal system

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) and consulting firm IndiGenius & Associates have entered into a partnership to develop and deliver a Gladue report writing program, the first of its kind at a college in Western Canada.

Intended to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in Canada’s criminal justice system, Gladue is a principle that takes racism and systemic discrimination into account during sentencing.

A Gladue report is a pre-sentencing or bail hearing written report, which instructs judges to consider all available sanctions other than imprisonment that are reasonable, with particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders. It also aims to incorporate community members and the victim in determining a fit sentence. 

VCC’s Gladue report writing program will be designed for law students, lawyers, advocates, judges, Native Courtworkers, Indigenous community members, and anyone else interested in writing Gladue reports.

VCC is committed to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, as well as to fulfilling its commitment to the Indigenous Education Protocol through existing services and the development of unique programs.

“We are grateful to have the support and guidance of individuals who are dedicated to addressing the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in our court systems, which is critical to the success in the development of this program,” says David Wells, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences at VCC.

The program advisory committee overseeing the design and development of this program includes representation from Legal Services Society of B.C., Gladue Writers Association of B.C., Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General, Mediation Services, and VCC's Indigenous faculty and Elders.

“It is truly an honour to be part of a journey in creating curriculum for Gladue training with VCC, but also to see the potential to pave a path to set a national standard in Gladue training for our people,” says Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow, Founder & President, IndiGenius & Associates. “If we are to help our people who are facing incarceration, then we need to provide qualified expert Gladue writers that are recognized by the courts. 


VCC is committed to making Aboriginal education a priority through the signing of the Indigenous Education Protocol. The Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department leads the indigenization efforts on campus, and partners with Aboriginal communities and internal and external stakeholders to ensure Aboriginal students have access to educational programs and ongoing support throughout their post-secondary journey. 

IndiGenius & Associates was born of the passion to help Indigenous people and encourage a positive change in the justice system possessed by its founder, Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow. Mark and his team have extensive experience working with Indigenous people and communities in a range of justice and justice-related contexts. Mark has several staff that work closely with him using a multidisciplinary team approach to ensure Gladue reports are done effectively and efficiently and delivered to the courts in a timely fashion. In addition, Mark has secured many community partnerships across Canada and works closely with others who share a similar interest in Indigenous justice. 


Media can contact:

Tami Pierce
Director, Indigenous Education and Community Engagement
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7288
E: tpierce@vcc.ca

DGD students brewing up new designs

A rebranding project gets noticed by Pacific Western Brewery


Most graphic design students find themselves endlessly sitting in front of their computers agonizing over font faces and pantones. Vancouver Community College (VCC) digital graphic design (DGD) instructor, Ashlea Spitz wanted to challenge her students to think outside of the post-secondary box and understand the real world steps involved in the design process, all while still having fun.

Spitz’ 2015 graduating class was tasked with the assignment of redesigning the label of Pacific Western Brewing’s, Pacific Pilsner. The objective of the assignment was to capture the essence of the iconic blue and gold label, while re-establishing an emotional connection with consumers, both new and returning. The students were guided through the process of research (off campus), inspiration, design critiques and presentations. 

Spitz and DGD department head, Lorena Espinoza were thrilled with the results of the project, as was Pacific Western Brewery’s owner, Kazuko Komatsu. Komatsu surprised students at the DGD exhibition at the Roundhouse Community Arts Centre by gifting each student with a $100 cash award in recognition of their efforts, professionalism and creativity.

Learn more about how VCC can help you learn the skills you need to succeed in a creative career at todays info session; Monday, June 29, 5 p.m., in room 721 at the Downtown campus. Application fees will be waived for those interested, and portfolio reviews have been extended to July 20.  

Design credit: Vicky Chan (news item image),  Savannah Golding (left) and Thiago Crevatin (right).





Prominent CGA Gem Conference hosted by VCC

Top gemstone experts from around the world gather in Vancouver for industry conference and training



From Oct. 16 to 18, 2015, top gemstone experts from across Canada and around the world will gather in Vancouver for the 25th annual Canadian Gemmological Association (CGA) conference. Held at the Terminal City Club in downtown Vancouver, the 2015 CGA Gem Conference will welcome gemmologists, geologists, jewellers and goldsmiths as they participate in professional courses and seminars. The conference also hosts a gala dinner and graduation ceremony for newly certified FCGmA fellows from Vancouver Community College’s gemmolgoy industry certification programs.

The conference’s major educational programming is also operated via VCC Continuing Studies with all proceeds from registration fees supporting VCC gemmology students through the Vancouver Community College Foundation.

Courses of note include Geology of Gem Deposits (GEMM 8010), in which students will learn from three world-renowned geologists about the newest scientific techniques being used to analyze the formation of gemstones. In another anticipated course, Jade (Fei Cui) Identification and Valuation Workshop 2015 (GEMM 8011), Dr. Edward Liu from the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong presents techniques for the identification and valuation of this distinctive stone.

CGA president and VCC gemmology instructor Donna Hawrelko is looking forward to hosting this major conference in Vancouver for the sixth time since 1995. “There are some of the great, internationally recognized speakers coming, some of whom were also here in 1995,” she says. “We’re all looking forward to renewing old acquaintances and meeting new people. And having fun!”


Vancouver Community College has been offering Canadian Gemmological Association certification courses since 1985. Learn more about Gemmology and Jewellery - Industry Certifications at VCC. 

Success Story: Pig on the Street's Krissy Seymour

This food truck proprietor and VCC alumna shares her story.

Pig on the Street photoKristan “Krissy” Seymour didn’t always know she wanted to sling bacon street side — she just loved getting her hands dirty.

“I've always been a kinesthetic learner, so being in a hands-on-type career was very important to me,” she says.

Seymour, the co-owner of famed Vancouver food truck Pig on the Street, became a street staple back in spring 2012 as she and partner (in love and business) rolled onto the fledgling food truck scene in their bright pink van.

Jumping into the culinary world was a natural choice for this English expat. Originally born in Ottawa, Seymour moved as a child to Cornwall, England, and then to Vancouver just a few years ago with husband Mark after falling in love with the city on their honeymoon.

After spending a few years satisfying her wanderlust travelling across New Zealand, Australia and Europe, Seymour decided to take her love of food to the next level and enroled in the Culinary Arts program here at Vancouver Community College in 2001.

“I had a fair amount of [culinary] experience, but I wanted to get my techniques down and learn some different angles on cooking.”

During her time at VCC, one course in particular would serve her well in her future role as co-proprietor of Pig on the Street: butchery.

But her inspiration to start Pig on the Street came when she and Mark began craving bacon sandwiches on a camping trip in their Westy campervan. The two managed to convert the camper into a mobile bacon machine, and after winning a coveted City of Vancouver permit in the first round, Pig on the Street was born.

Since then, the couple and their bacon biz have been featured on Eat St. on the Food Network. Their bacon-slinging season begins again on April 20 and they can usually be found on the 700 block of Howe Street, near the Vancouver Art Gallery.

And although providing meals on wheels definitely isn’t a traditional culinary career, Seymour wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The food truck world is fun and challenging, but very rewarding. It's a tough business. We have learnt a lot since opening and I know we will never stop learning. But that's the fun of it, isn't it?


Get more information on VCC's Culinary Arts program.


VCC Culinary students cook to feed the homeless.

Charity lunch to mark International Chefs Day

‌This is the 12th year the B.C. Chefs Association, the Chinese-Canadian Chefs Association and the Hong Kong Canada Chef Club have put on a charity lunch to mark International Chefs Day, in tandem with similar events around the world.

Scotiabank Passions

READ MORE (The Province)

Santiago Cuyugan, the 2017 Savour Patissier of the Year

VCC culinary and baking grad earns top honours in Australia

As originally posted in So Good magazine

Santiago Cuyugan has been named the winner of the second edition of Savour Patissier of the Year, which took place in Foodservice Australia from May 28 - 30.

Cuyugan is a pastry chef/chocolatier, who has come to Australia from Canada a few years ago. He has competed at the IKA Culinary Olympics in 2012 and the inaugural Savour Patissier of the Year 2016 competition where he won the people’s choice award for his entremet. He is currently working at Bibelot in Melbourne.

The candidates had three days to demonstrate their experience and skills in éclairs, tarts, desserts, and entremets, for a shot at winning over $50,000 in cash and prizes, along with a trip to train at Ravifruit studio with Marike Van Beurden. The winner will also be taking a trip to Ghana, where they will visit a cocoa plantation, all thanks to Callebaut, a platinum sponsor of the competition.

The decision was not an easy one for the judges, made up of World Pastry Cup Winner, author and TV star, Christophe Michalak; the renowned Best Pastry Chef in the World, Jordi Roca; the popular Miami-based chef, Antonio Bachour; and Savour’s very own Paul Kennedy. “This year, finalists were world class and the level of skill that went into all of the creations was outstanding”, according to Kirsten Tibballs, head of the Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School and organizer of the event. “Each of the competitors plated up their very best in innovation, design, and flavor, and it was mesmerizing to watch the room of pastry chefs, each wholly concentrated on the task at hand”. Finally, the candidate with the highest score and also winner of the Entremets category was Santiago Cuyugan. The winners of the other categories were Alessandro Bartesaghi (Desserts), Vincent Denis (Tarts), and Joshua Cochrane (Éclairs).


Satiango completed VCC's baking and pastry arts program in 2010 and returned to finish the culinary arts program in 2012. Want to discover where your culinary career can take you? Join us for an upcoming info session

VCC takes quake drill to next level

It's the annual ShakeOut B.C. earthquake drill. But for health care students, the real drill has just begun

Shakeout Health IPE triage tag

Original article by Rafferty Baker / CBC News

The alarm sounds and Vancouver Community College's Broadway campus empties. Students and staff gather in a field across the road. Once they're given the "all clear" signal, they go back to their classrooms.

It's the annual ShakeOut B.C. earthquake drill. But for the health care students, the real drill has just begun.

Volunteers given realistic makeup wounds are strewn about the building's third and fourth floors. The actors do their best impressions of suffering earthquake victims and groups of nursing, dental hygiene and health-unit coordinator students are led from victim to victim.

"Some of it is very realistic," said VCC Health Sciences dean Debbie Sargent.

"We have casualties who have fractures, who have had seizures, who are pregnant and are experiencing cramping, people who have heart disease and have heart, chest pain. 

All kinds of disorders and casualties are being found by groups of students as they rotate between the two floors."

Shakeout Health IPE assesment

Trami Pham is a student in VCC's health unit coordinator program. Her forehead was adorned with a big gash and her shirt looked blood-stained. 

"I've got a head laceration," she explained, adding that she didn't feel her performance was especially convincing.

"I'm terrible. I'm pretending to be unconscious."

"I feel like it puts the [bachelor of science in nursing] students in a real life situation, rather than having, like, having to read off paper and imagine it," said Pham. "This way they actually get to experience it."

Shakeout Health IPE Trami Phan

Andrea Jung has been a practical nurse for 12 years, but she's back at school as a BSN student.

"It's been pretty real," she said of the training exercise.

"It is realistic when you look at the person's eyes and you can see that they're scared. For me, as a nurse, I just want to stay with them and help them, but this exercise is to triage," said Jung. 

"It's to see who is the most important person to attend to right away, who can be delayed and who's okay and just needs to be kept calm."

Shakeout Health IPE Andrea Jung

According to ShakeOut B.C., more than 800,000 people in the province took part in the annual drill this year. Worldwide, more than 50 million people participated.

But VCC decided to take the opportunity to step up the drill and provide the training scenarios for health-care students.

"It's a very practical experience for them to really understand and realize what could happen if there was a real earthquake or another kind of event," said Sargent.

"Shakeout B.C. is just a perfect, perfect exercise for people to gain awareness of what they need to do in case of an earthquake.

The practice makes it more real and helps them to be better prepared if there was an earthquake."

Jung agreed that the drill seemed helpful for training.

"it's been a really great exercise — not easy to go into a disaster," she said.

"It's something that I've never personally been through, but it's been a really good experience to see how I would feel, like, I'm feeling the panic, the heart rate racing and just, what should I do? Who do I go to first? It's been challenging but also fun."


See more

CBC Vancouver facebook video | Did you take part in #BCShakeOut?

CBC News 6pm


Can you picture yourslelf in a health care career? VCC offers industry-leading programs in nursing, dental hygiene, medical lab technology, and more. 


Top five entrees to try at Quizine Kitchen

Check out VCC's newest student-run restaurant at the Broadway campus.

VCC has recently opened its fifth restaurant, Quizine Kitchen, at the broadway campus. Like its sister restaurants at the downtown campus, it is student-run and super affordable.  The food is upscale-cafeteria style and the menu changes every few weeks. Here is the list of the top five items you must try:

  1. House Falafel, with pickled beets, cabbage, secret white sauce for $7
  2. Spicy Tuna Sashimi Burrito, with sushi rice salad, sriracha mayo for $7
  3. Foot Long Hot Dog (same as PNE) with 3- onion slaw for $7.50
  4. Fried Cod Taco, with cucumber slaw, green aioli, cilantro salad for $7.50
  5. Vegetarian grilled Portobello Mushroom and Gouda sandwich, with camelized onion, spinach and roasted garlic loaf for $7.50

Quizine Kitchen was recently featured in the Vancouver Courier.

VCC has four other student-run restaurants, JJ’s Restaurant for fine dining, The Bistro for sit-down casual, the Asian culinary arts counter and the downtown cafeteria.

Quizine Kitchen entrees

Career move: legal administrative assistant

You're already a great admin assistant. Take your next step into a law office


You’ve earned your administrative assistant certificate. Perhaps you’ve even spent a few years at a local company. You’ve got some great systems in place. Your files are in order, everyone’s calendars are up-to-date, the office is running smoothly. You’re really good at what you do. But is it time for something more?

VCC's five-month legal administrative assistant (LAA) program is open to candidates with previous office administrative assistant work experience or education. Courses provide skills in proper creation, editing, storage, and retrieval of legal documents specific to areas such as civil litigation, family law, corporate procedures, wills and estates, and conveyancing.

Our graduates are at work in firms across the city, including Fasken Martineau, Miller Thomson, and McCarthy Tetrault as well as at the Ministry of Justice and at several B.C. court registries.

Program fast facts:

  • 92 per cent of LAA grads have jobs within 4 months.
  • WorkBC predicts 2,300 new jobs for legal administrative assistants in the next eight years.
  • The median wage for LAA's in B.C. is $23.25 per hour.
  • VCC is one of only a few colleges that arranges practicums for LAA students. These two-week placements are included in the program timeframe and often lead to excellent references and jobs.
  • There’s still time to apply! Program intakes occur every February and September.

Want to learn more? Join our next information session.

Media advisory: Music 40th celebration

Join VCC as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of VCC's award-winning music program.

Media Advisory


For immediate release

Remembering a strong past. Celebrating a bright future.

VANCOUVER, B.C. – On Saturday, Feb. 28 Vancouver Community College (VCC) will celebrate the 40th anniversary of VCC’s award-winning music program. Hosted by CBC Radio One’s Rick Cluff, the exciting evening will include performances by legendary VCC music faculty, the Madrigal Singers, Bad Sneakers, and more!

“For more than forty years, VCC has been the music school of choice for a great many musicians.  All over the world and in a myriad of musical styles, graduates of our program have used the skills they learned at VCC to become artists and mentors in their own communities.  This is the continuing legacy of VCC music.” says Ken Morrison, department head, VCC music.


The event is open to the public. Tickets are available at vccmusic40.bpt.me

Date: Saturday, Feb. 28
Time: 7 p.m.
Tickets: $40
Vancouver Community College, Auditorium, room 2010, 1155 E. Broadway

More info: vcc.ca/music40

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For photo and interview opportunities, media can contact:
Kristy L. Neville
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7133 or 778.772.1823
E: kneville@vcc.ca

Chef tips: how to cook in small spaces

Local chefs offer great advice on cooking and eating in a small Vancouver apartment

News-Chef-Shelley-380Local artist John Ferrie’s live/work studio is an open-concept space that not only functions as a workspace and gallery; it’s also a place where, over the last 15 years, he has honed his cooking skills. It doesn’t matter that his kitchen is tiny. The painter is almost as passionate about what he comes up with in the kitchen as what he creates on canvas.

“My counter space is a foot and a half wide, but I love cooking and I’ve become really, really good at it,” says Ferrie, whose next show, If ONLY I Had a Helicopter, runs at the South Main Gallery (279 East 6th Avenue) in March. “I do this age-old thing: I follow a recipe. My signature dish is a roasted poblano and tomatillo chicken enchilada.”

Ferrie genuinely enjoys cooking and entertaining, but he’s motivated to eat at home in part because of the cost savings.

“Lattes and dining out: they’ll skyrocket your credit card into oblivion,” he says. “I try and make sure I always have food in the fridge. I’ll make a big Crock-Pot of chili or chicken noodle soup or taco mix so I’ve got those things as leftovers—so I’m not going ‘Oh, look, let’s just go here for a quick bite.’ I shop every day on Granville Island or at the farmers market or the little grocery store up the street.

“When I have people over for dinner at 6, I try and have everything prepped by 2,” he adds. “And dinner at my house means an appetizer, a salad, an entrée, and dessert.”

Create a mood and save cash

In a city where there are so many appealing dining options, it can be hard for Vancouverites to avoid the temptation to go to a restaurant several nights a week. It’s always nicer to have someone else do the cooking and cleaning. Dining out can be especially difficult to resist for people living in small spaces, who don’t have gourmet kitchens like you see on the Food Network.

The good news is there are plenty of things people can do to make cooking and eating at home a more pleasurable experience—while easing the strain on their cash flow.

Start by making the most of your own surroundings.

“The thing I really enjoy the most, sometimes more than the actual food, is creating the ambiance,” says Shelley Robinson, regional executive chef for Coast Hotels and chef instructor in the culinary program at Vancouver Community College. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money. I’ll go to IKEA and get nice, inexpensive dish sets and set a nice table with cool plates. Put out some place mats, light candles, put on some music, and make it relaxing. Part of why people go out is because they don’t like their space, it’s not comfortable. You can re-create that restaurant ambiance even if you have a small space. Clear the crap away, clear the clutter. Take the time to make the meal a pleasurable part of your day.”

Get rid of excess pots and pans

Having an organized kitchen will make it more likely that you’ll want to channel your inner chef.

“Minimizing is key,” says chef David Robertson of Dirty Apron Cooking School. “At the end of the day you can cook any meal anywhere in the world with two knives. Everything else is add-ons. Look at what’s in the knife drawer, and if there’s anything you haven’t used in three or four years, maybe it’s time for a garage sale or to give it to your neighbour.”


For more great tips from Chef Shelley and Chef David, see the original story in The Georgia Straight.


Love to cook or entertain? Come check out our culinary arts and hospitality management programs! RSVP now for VCC Info Night on April 20.


Media release: office assistants training for in-demand jobs

$250,000 in provincial funding for administrative training at Vancouver Community College

VANCOUVER – Up to 30 local people are getting classroom training and work experience as in-demand office administrative assistant workers, as a result of nearly $250,000 in provincial funding for Vancouver Community College (VCC).

Fifteen people have already begun training in general office administration and another 15 will be trained in medical administration. Participants attend 16 weeks of classroom training at VCC where general office administration participants learn about report writing, office procedures and records management, office software, payroll and meeting minutes taking. Medical administration participants will learn medical terminology, billing, medical documentation and First Aid so they can work in medical offices.

After the classroom work, learners receive four weeks of on-the-job experience at offices around Vancouver, then four weeks of job search support. This program is geared to people who may face barriers to employment but is not exclusive to them. The first group of participants includes immigrants, youth, persons with disabilities, single mothers and three people over age 55. All graduates of the program will receive Office Administrative Assistant certification, or Medical Office Assistant certification.

The project wraps up in May 2016.

Project-Based Labour Market Training helps groups of people with on- or off-the-job employment training and is a component of Community and Employer Partnerships, which were introduced in April 2012 as part of the Employment Program of BC.

To date, more than 900 job seekers have benefited from work experience and 195 projects have been funded throughout the province.

B.C. has reached a tipping point with fewer young people entering the workforce than older workers leaving it. That is why, through the B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint, government is re-engineering education and training programs towards a data-driven system ensuring that investment decisions align with the needs of our rapidly changing labour market so that more British Columbians have the skills they need to be first in line for in-demand jobs.

The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.


Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –

“Community and Employer Partnerships like this provide both work experience and classroom training that gives unemployed people valuable job skills that can lead to satisfying, sustainable employment. This project will provide up to 30 people who may be facing barriers to employment with the skills they need to succeed in our growing economy.”

Sam Sullivan, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek –

Vancouver, like a lot of B.C. communities, needs well-trained office workers. It’s an in-demand job that offers excellent career opportunities. I wish these workers the very best of success as they get ready to launch their careers.”

Kathryn McNaughton, vice-president academic, students and research, Vancouver Community College (VCC) –

“VCC is proud to work with the provincial government and to be a part of these students’ lives as they embark on their new careers. We have all the supports students need for success: caring faculty, practical learning, arranged practicums and job search. And, VCC’s student outcomes for landing jobs are among the highest in the province.”

Amanda, project participant –

“This program is such an unexpected chance of a lifetime opportunity and I'm so glad I'm able to take part in it. Since money is kind of tight right now I didn't think I'd be able to go back to school to ultimately get my dream job. But thanks to this funded class, here I am. I have little experience in the office and this program is very informative. The teachers are great, knowledgeable, and patient. Even though I have to wake up at 6 a.m. to travel to class every day, I still don't regret my decision to sign up.”

Rita, project participant –

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this new program at VCC. The course design is well-suited for someone like myself who is striving to transition back into an office position after being out of that environment for some years. I feel that with the up-to-date training, and particularly the certificate of completion, any participant in the program will have no trouble finding the job that they have been looking for. I personally feel confident that I will succeed in finding the career that I choose upon graduation.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
  • Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
    • Job Creation Partnerships
    • Labour Market Partnerships
    • Project-Based Labour Market Training
    • Research and Innovation

Who is eligible?

  • Businesses
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
  • Bands/tribal councils
  • Public health and educational institutions

Learn More:

For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP

For more information about Vancouver Community College:  www.vcc.ca

Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi

For more information on B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills

To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca

ESL update for students

As a result of changes in funding for ESL programming, VCC will be suspending ESL (CPE, Outreach, ELS and PACE) delivery effective mid-December 2014.

ESL Update Students

VCC offers two streams of ESL classes – ELSA/LINC and our other ESL programming (CPE, Outreach, ELS and PACE).

As a result of changes in funding for ESL programming, VCC will be suspending ESL (CPE, Outreach, ELS and PACE) delivery effective mid-December 2014. This change will not affect our LINC classes.

University Transfer and combined skills classes will continue to be offered (HCA/ESL, culinary arts/ESL and baking and pastry arts/ESL).

Classes and schedules for ESL delivery from September to December will be finalized in the next few weeks. VCC will be offering CPE 099 in September so that students currently in CPE 098 will have the opportunity to complete their academic Grade 12 equivalency.

VCC continues to offer basic and intermediate level English training for adult newcomers to Canada (also known as Language Instructions for Newcomers to Canada or LINC). Please check with ELSA-Net for eligibility requirements for LINC classes.

There are also a range of alternative programs and courses available for students to access in the community (see ESL Resources for Students below).

VCC continues to explore options to determine if we may be able continue to offer ESL beyond December 2014. We will continue to post updates for students on myVCC and on this site.


ESL Resources for Students

Information about alternative ESL courses can be found here.


VSB Continuing Education English as a Second Language Courses

You may also contact settlement/integration agencies in your area such as the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. to inquire about language services that they offer.  

VCC also offers a range of additional programs, including programs designed for speakers of English as an additional language who wish to receive practical training:

Health Care Assistant – ESL (Home Support/RCA/ESL)

Cooking ESL