Update on return-to-campus planning


VCC students raise funds for Deaf seniors

Posted on June 7, 2021

Each year, the graduating class of Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) ASL and Deaf Studies program holds a fun and educational community event called Deaf Deaf World. This year, they couldn't gather together but still wanted to still make a community contribution.

During the month of June, our students have partnered with the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility to help assemble and deliver 100 gift hampers to Deaf and hard of hearing seniors in the Lower Mainland, and are aiming to raise $2,500 to buy gift cards and other essential items for the hampers.

The students are also seeking puzzles, used books, game books, magazines, colouring books, pencil crayons, playing cards, magnifying glasses, and phone stands/pop sockets to include in the hampers.

Donate here to help them reach their goal! Deadline for donations is June 20. If you have questions or material donations, please email

Download and share the poster [PDF]


Flyer thumbnail (click to download PDF)

Are you interested in learning American Sign Language and connecting with Vancouver’s vibrant Deaf community? Apply now to VCC’s full-time ASL and Deaf Studies program for September.













New VCC program teaches top trends in nail art and nail enhancements

Posted on June 14, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce a new Nail Technology program designed to meet the rising demand for manicures and pedicures for all genders.

The new, four-month, full-time certificate program will start in September 2021 and is accepting applications now. There are 16 spots available in the first intake and no prior experience is required.

As nail enhancements rise in popularity, so do return customers, as most styles require consistent upkeep.

"Nail spas are recruiting and training employees to keep up with the newest trends,” says VCC Nail Technology program assistant Gabriela Silva Paula. “VCC Nail Technology grades will be industry-ready and have many career choices from working in a busy spa to owning their own businesses."

With social media-fuelled beauty trends spreading faster than ever, nail spa clients are looking for trained technologists to recreate the latest nail enhancements. According to VCC’s industry insiders, for 2021, these include metallic nails, holograph-inspired, double French tip, and even animal prints.

And the jobs don’t stop at neighbourhood nail salons. "There are lots of employment opportunities in the spa industry as a manicure, pedicure, or nail care specialist, but also retail jobs in beauty supply companies or even in the film industry," says Gabriela.

Three manicure trend samples

Additional program options

In addition to VCC’s new full-time Nail Technology program, there is also a part-time program that will run Saturdays from 9 a.m to 4 p.m, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This flexible schedule is designed students who would like to continue working or have other daytime obligations.

For students and grads from VCC’s Esthetics and Spa Therapy program who have already received a full introduction to manicure, pedicure and gel polish, the Nail Technology certificate is an excellent option for those looking to expand their skills and specialize in nail art and other enhancements.

Apply now for VCC's new Nail Technology program starting this September.

Skilled trades workers supported to strengthen B.C.'s recovery

Posted on June 11, 2021

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) welcomes the announcement on skilled trades certification from the Government of British Columbia to strengthen the province's economic recovery post-pandemic. 

"Today’s announcement on skilled trades certification from the B.C. provincial government will directly benefit all VCC students enrolled in transportation trades programs by creating a framework that supports apprenticeship training, workplace and public safety, and provides the well-deserved recognition of the high-level of skill required for tradespeople to work in these industries," says Brett Griffiths, dean of VCC's School of Trades, Technology and Design. 

The province is launching a made-in-B.C. certification system to support higher-paying, more stable work for trades workers and to help build the foundation of a strong economic recovery.

The new skilled trades certification system will help deliver steady employment for people and address the demand for skilled workers in B.C. It will also create more opportunities for women, Indigenous peoples and those just starting their careers.

“Skilled tradespeople are building B.C., especially with the largest infrastructure investment in our province’s history already underway,” said Premier John Horgan. “This is a made-in-B.C. solution to ensure confidence that a highly skilled workforce is behind our recovery while providing good, family-supporting jobs that tradespeople can count on. By working together, we’re ensuring B.C. comes out of the pandemic stronger, with a recovery that reaches people across the province.”

Every other province in Canada requires tradespeople to be certified. B.C. removed that requirement in 2003. Without a recognized credential, it can be challenging for workers to transition between projects and industries, resulting in lost wages for workers and their families – especially for people who already face greater barriers to employment in the trades. Skilled trades certification will enhance the strong industry and safety training system, which includes partnerships with WorkSafeBC and Technical Safety BC.

Skilled trades certification will increase prestige for the trades, helping attract more people to trades careers. It will formally recognize the skills of current and future trades workers, helping them keep working as the economy and industry’s needs shift over time.

Apprentices will be part of a certified workforce that will build the infrastructure and provide the services that British Columbians rely on every day. Following public consultation, implementation will start with 10 initial trades from electrical, mechanical and automotive disciplines.

“Skilled trades certification recognizes the professionalism of tradespeople throughout B.C., and ensures equity-deserving groups and every person who wants a rewarding career in the trades can access the highest level of education and training,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “Similar to a post-secondary degree, a certified trades worker has a certification that is recognized by employers – just like teachers, lab techs, nurses and other certified workers. By recognizing the worker’s skill, we will attract more people into careers in the trades in order to help address labour shortages across a variety of trades.”

Based on recommendations from a 16-member stakeholder advisory working group Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training representing industry associations, labour, post-secondary institutions, Indigenous skills trainers and the Industry Training Authority, the 10 initial trades designated for skilled trades certification are:

  • mechanical: gasfitter Class A and B, steamfitter/pipefitter, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic and sheet metal worker;
  • electrical: powerline technician, industrial electrician and electrician (construction); and
  • automotive: heavy-duty equipment technician, automotive service technician and autobody and collision technician.

Once implemented, individuals in these 10 trades will be required to either be a certified journeyperson or a registered apprentice to work.

Quick Facts:

  • Approximately 73,000 job openings are expected in the trades in B.C. through to 2029. With 77% of these openings replacing retiring trades workers, skilled trades certification will help ensure the success of the individuals who will fill these roles, while continuing to build prestige around trades for those already working in them.
  • In 2003, the B.C. government eliminated compulsory trades credentialing system. This removed 11 compulsory trades and prescribed journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios.

  • Skilled trades certification will be implemented in phases after the public engagement process is complete. Once a trade has been designated for certification, individuals will have at least one year to either register as apprentices or challenge an exam to certify as a journeyperson, allowing uncertified workers to continue working while accessing any additional supports they may need to.

– 30 – 

Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim 

Marketing Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College

For skilled trades certification information, business cases and a public survey, visit:

Five skills to help you prepare for the future of work

Posted on August 7, 2020

Experts predict that the nature of work will change substantially in a post-COVID world. Are you ready for the changes impacting businesses? Check out the following courses, available online this fall to help you round out your skill set and prepare you for the future of work: 

Online documentation 
Working from home indefinitely? Learn how to maximize your written communication skills in an online environment from our industry professionals and be sure you are getting your message across

Memos, emails, reports
Master the art of a well-crafted email and hone your business writing skills for a digital environment. 

Web development and programming
Improve your digital literacy by learning a coding language. VCC offers courses in HTML & CSS, JavaScript, and Python. Coding and web development skills are in demand in the emerging digital economy. 

Leading a team through a crisis is tough. Courses in change management, problem solving and action planning, and building productive teams will help you and your team weather the storm and prepare for the next one.
Finance and accounting
Sound financial management practices are crucial to business success, especially during a crisis. Check out our introductory level courses in financeaccountingpayroll, and bookkeeping to ensure you have a solid understanding of business principles that are relevant in any field.

Browse through all the available Continuing Studies courses offered online this fall.

Q&A with James Strand: Discovering talent with Logic Pro X

Posted on December 15, 2020

Get to know James Strand, owner of In-Motion Talent, a successful agency in Vancouver for film, TV, and commercials for the last 25 years. James recently took the VCC course Logic Pro X: An introduction for songwriters and beat makers to support his company moving into the area of music placement and syncing. 

Share an interesting thing about your journey?
Music has always been a passion of mine and four years ago, I decided to take a leap of faith and learned to play piano and started to write music. I have been very fortunate in working with some very talented artists who opened my eyes to music and the possibilities out there. I guess you can say I am part of the “DNA club” (Dreams Never Age). 

What impact did your teachers at VCC have on your career path?
My instructor, Georges, taught me the fundamentals of Pro Logic X that allowed me to start programming music with confidence. This led me to writing and producing the song Cause it's Christmas that received radio play.

What was the best part about studying at VCC?
The evening hours and the small class size, hence the individual attention I got from the instructor.

How do you personally define success? 
I define success as surrounding myself with people who have the same drive and passion that I do, that allows me to make mistakes that will take me to a better place in work and life. 

What is your best piece of advice for someone starting out in this industry?
The best piece of advice that I could give is to be patient and to not rush things. 

Discover a new talent. VCC Continuing Studies courses are now accepting registrations for Winter 2021.


Hear from game-changing Canadian authors in VCC interview series

Posted on March 12, 2021

Updated June 7, 2021

Welcome to The Space Between. In this exciting new series presented by Vancouver Community College (VCC), Humanities department leader Larry Perras speaks with Canadian authors who are challenging the way we see our world and relate to the people around us.

Each of the three featured authors are leading the ever-evolving discourse surrounding gender, race, sexuality, and culture, and creating an open space of respect, compassion, and power.

Live interview sessions were between January and May 2021. Recordings of the interviews have been made available for a limited time only.


Avan Jogia ­– Jan. 22, 2021

Avan Jogia is truly a modern Renaissance man. An actor, screenwriter, a director and musician, an LGBTQ advocate, and a poet, Avan, the son of an Indian-British father and English-Irish mother, reflects a new voice in the poetry world, one that is contemplative, at times starkly real, but always authentic. His perspective as a man of a mixed racial background, thus the title of his collection, Mixed Feelings, is one that honours his heritage and shows clarity about the possibility of inclusive change.

Louise Bernice Halfe – March 24, 2021

Award-winning and highly respected writer and poet Louise Bernice Halfe, also known by the Cree name Sky Dancer, has been named Canada's new parliamentary poet laureate, the first Indigenous person to receive this title. Her books, Bear Bones and Feathers(1994), Blue Marrow (2004), The Crooked Good (2007), and Burning In This Midnight Dream (2016) have all received numerous accolades and awards. Sôhkêyihta features selected poems and was published in 2018. Her latest work Awâsis – Kinky and Disheveled will be released in the spring of 2021.

In our interview, we discuss how Louise Bernice Halfe’s work contributes to a greater dialogue about connection and resilience. One of the most striking aspects of her writing is the focus on language as witnessing and documenting, and language as a force of claiming and reclaiming identity. Her ability to convey historical atrocities while maintaining a beauty of language and ideological optimism provides a perspective that is decidedly unique in our often-unconstructive discourses about Reconciliation. 

Ivan Coyote – May 12, 2021

Ivan Coyote is the award-winning author of 12 books, the creator of four short films, and has released three albums that combine storytelling with music. Ivan often grapples with the complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity in their work, as well as topics such as family, class, social justice, and queer liberation, but always with a generous heart, a quick wit, and the nuanced and finely honed timing of a gifted storyteller. 

In their latest book, Rebent Sinner, Ivan takes on the patriarchy and the political, as well as the intimate and the personal in beguiling and revealing stories of what it means to be trans and non-binary today.

Discover your own writing potential through VCC’s Academic Upgrading and University Transfer programs.

Building service worker plus training at VCC

Posted on May 12, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to offer a specialized, no-cost Building Service Worker program to support recent immigrants experiencing difficulties securing employment.

Building Service Worker+ (BSW) is a 12-week, full-time Skills Training for Employment (STE) program that provides the classroom training, hands-on work experience, and certifications needed to secure employment in the building service field. Program graduates will have the qualifications required to secure employment as janitors, caretakers, custodians, building service workers, housekeepers, maintenance workers, or general helpers. 

Each cohort has 16 seats available. Upon completion, participants will receive a VCC credential and three industry certifications: WHMIS, Pool Operator Level 1, and SuperHost.

Funding for this program is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund.

Training schedule

Cohort 1: June 7 - Aug. 27, 2021
Cohort 2: Sept. 27 - Dec. 17, 2021
Cohort 3: Dec. 6, 2021 - March 11, 2022

(Schedule includes three weeks of work experience) 

Elegibility criteria

You may be eligible if you are:

  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person (under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, C. 27) legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Living in British Columbia
  • Unemployed or precariously employed (working in unstable employment or self-employment with irregular work).

Admission requirements

In addition to the above eligibility requirements, applicants must have:

  • English language proficiency of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 6 or above
  • The ability to commit to a full-time program for 12 weeks
  • No allergies to cleaning agents/chemicals
  • A clean criminal record 

Fees and other costs

All tuition is covered and at no additional cost to the employer or individual participant.

Important information

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, classroom training is scheduled to be delivered virtually via Zoom until further notice. Applicants must have access to a computer or a laptop with Windows 10, high speed-internet/Wi-Fi, and audio/video.

Application process

All eligible participants must attend an information session to apply for the program.

To register for the upcoming information session, please email Alena Worster at 


Alena Worster, Program Assistant
604.871.7000 ext.8751  



Virtual runway show a dream come true for VCC Fashion grads

Posted on May 19, 2021

Eleven students from Vancouver Community College's (VCC) Fashion Design & Production program showcased their 2020-21 grad collections as part of Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) held online this year from April 16 to 18.

In lieu of a physical runway, VCC Fashion students collaborated with VCC Graphic Design students to stream a virtual runway film featuring collections including kids wear, Mariachi-inspired designs, horror film-inspired creations, nature-inspired looks, and more.

In addition to the VFW showcase, VCC Fashion students Celeste Sudermann and Shadi Arastehmanesh had the opportunity to share their experiences on CBC's Early Edition with host Michelle Eliot. Listen to the full interview online.

For Celeste, the process behind designing her collection was about challenging her creativity using only the fabrics available from the VCC fashion lab and adding hardware material such as hinges and seat belts to her streetwear pieces. 

International student Shadi, who aspires to become an independent designer for bridal fashion and evening wear, found that she had to adapt her designs so her pieces could be worn for other occasions – especially after the pandemic had restricted celebrations such as weddings and parties.

fashion, models

Shadhi's collection, titled Turquoise Treasure, is a women's evening wear collection inspired by the Victorian era of the 1800-1900s, and is marked by transformative details in the sleeves, collars, and skirts that are meant to mix and match with four different dresses. See more of her work on Instagram @shadi_arastehmanesh

Learn more about all 11 students from the 2020-21 Fashion Show or watch the virtual runway on Facebook Live.

Express yourself by bringing garments to life. Sign up to learn more about the fashion industry in a free online information session.

VCC Japanese class finds fluency and friendship during COVID-19

Posted on June 2, 2021

Ema (絵馬) plaques inscribed with wishes and prayers hanging on a Japanese shrine

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies offers dozens of part-time evening language classes, including Arabic, Cantonese, French, Mandarin, Korean, and more. While most students sign up to dabble in a language for vacation travel, business, or personal interest, becoming fluent is a much bigger endeavour.

For one special group of VCC students, learning Japanese has become more than hobby, and their instructor is willing to take them as far as they want to go.

Typically, Continuing Studies language programs offer two or three levels before enrolment declines or students begin to travel for language immersion. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, many would-be world travellers have remained in Canada, including eight Japanese language students who have pursued their immersion right here at VCC.

Rika Knox is a native Japanese speaker and experienced teacher who began as an introductory Japanese instructor at VCC in 2006. Over the past few years, Rika has developed a special connection with her VCC cohort, guiding them through not only Japanese 1 to 3, but continuing to build and customize the curriculum up to Japanese 6.

“When I am teaching at the beginner level, it’s the first door to the Japanese language and culture, so I like to make a good impression and create long-term motivation and interest,” she says.

Mission accomplished. These eight language learners have continued to advance together in their knowledge of both the Japanese language and culture, as well as build a supportive community.

Japanese 6 cohort 2021

“Connecting virtually has been a bright spot during these dark times,” says longtime student Dean. “We’re all so different in terms of ages, occupations, and backgrounds, but we share something meaningful in common: the love of the Japanese language and culture.” 

“I have been very grateful for the Japanese classes during the pandemic,” says classmate Kathy. “As a retired person, nearly all of my usual social activities and volunteer shifts were cancelled. It was wonderful to have a regular Japanese class to add structure to my days.”

One of the world’s most complex and fascinating languages, Japanese is made up of two different “alphabets” (hiragana and katakana), plus thousands of Chinese-origin characters (kanji) which are all used in combination.

Class member Joey appreciates the challenge. “I think people would find that learning Japanese is surprisingly fun,” he says.

Rika also believes learning this remarkable language is worth it. “The Japanese language is so very connected to our culture, as well as our hospitality and our spirituality,” she says. “The words have greater power beyond just communication.”

Would you like to connect with VCC’s diverse language community? Do you dream of learning a language not currently offered? Connect with us by visiting VCC Languages or emailing

Students needed to meet the growing demand for apprentices in Canada

Posted on June 2, 2021

Original version published in The Georgia Straight

Did you know that Vancouver Community College (VCC) offers 14 trades apprenticeship programs that combine on-the-job training with classroom learning? If you prefer hands-on experience instead of spending your time buried in a textbook, then apprenticeship training may be the right choice for your post-secondary journey. Along with gaining invaluable career experience, most apprentices also get paid while they learn, and many graduate debt-free.

Isabelle Maheu, a communications advisor at Employment and Social Development Canada, recently told CBC News that there is “still limited awareness about the wide range of opportunities in the skilled trades.”

“Many youths don’t tend to readily view trades as a first-choice career and apprenticeship is not always promoted to youth as a pathway to rewarding and well-paying jobs,” she added.

According to a recent report [PDF] put together by Statistics Canada and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, Canada needs to attract 167,739 new apprentices over the next five years in order to keep up with current demand. Because of the skyrocketing need for trained apprentices, now is the best time to start a program that interests you. 

VCC apprenticeship programs can be started during high school, after graduation, or at any point in a person’s career. 

After finishing an apprenticeship program, graduates will receive their Certificate of Qualification. This designation is otherwise known as a “ticket” and is recognized by employers across B.C. Grads can also challenge the exam to earn a Red Seal Endorsement, which allows their trade credentials to be recognized anywhere in Canada.

Popular apprenticeship pathways at VCC

The latest trade to get added to VCC’s apprenticeship list is the Hairstylist Apprenticeship pathway. Students with a passion for hair will learn the latest techniques in cutting, colouring, styling, shaving, chemical treatments, and extensions while earning a B.C. trade certificate. The pathway is made up of two levels and programs start on a regular basis with the next intake in August 2021.

Those applying for a spot in the program must be 16 years of age or older, or a high school graduate. If a student has not yet graduated, marks from the Hairstylist Apprenticeship can be converted into high school grades.

Other apprenticeship programs at VCC can help students become automotive collision repair technicians, automotive glass technicians, automotive service technicians, bakers, cooks, and more.

Most apprenticeships take four years to complete, with students spending about 80 percent of their time on the job, earning an income. Depending on the trade, apprentices must be prepared to attend full-time classes at VCC for four to seven weeks for each apprenticeship level.

Many apprentices are also eligible to receive the Apprenticeship Incentive from the Government of Canada. This can be up to $2,000 for men and $6,000 for women.

VCC has pre-apprenticeship (foundation) programs in many popular trades for those who want to get a head start while still attending high school classes. For example, VCC now offers a combined Automotive Collision and Refinishing Foundation to give post-secondary or high school students a taste of both trades.

Meet our experienced trades instructors and ask all the questions you want at an upcoming free information session.

VCC Spring 2021 Student Awards recap

Posted on May 31, 2021

On Friday, May 28, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to celebrate the success, hard work, and achievements of students in a virtual Student Awards ceremony. The event was held on Zoom for donors and recipients, while friends and family were able to tune in through Facebook Live.

Elder Jean Wasegijig opened the ceremony with a territorial acknowledgment and welcome and was followed by remarks from VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel.  

"Twice a year, Student Awards are given to honour you – our students, for your hard work, commitment and lifelong learning path that you've chosen here. Pursuing a career or learning a new skill or a language during a pandemic is nothing short of remarkable, and I want each and every one of you to know that we are all proud of you." – Ajay Patel

Deans then presented the names and bios of award recipients from the following schools:

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
  • School of Trades, technology and Design
  • Centre for Continuing Studies
  • School of Instructor Education
  • School of Arts and Sciences

Student Awards video feature

Each year, VCC Foundation selects one or more Outstanding Student Award recipients to highlight in a video feature. This spring, we shined the spotlight on Angela Mawbey, recipient of the Dental Reception Coordinator scholarship, and Beatrice Antica, recipient of the Student Success Team Award for Excellence.

Special music alumni performance

In past virtual ceremonies, a group of VCC Music alumni produce a rendition of classic hits such as Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone. Many thanks to Georges Couling (keyboard, producer, and editor), Jimmy Baldwin (guitar), Catherine Hiltz (bass), Daniel Ruiz (drums), and Elaine Shepherd (vocals) for their interpretation of Ed Sheeran’s Photograph.

This Award ceremony could not have been done without the generous support from our many donors. Thank you for continuing to give the gift of giving. Learn more about how you can support VCC students in need.

A message from the VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement Department and VCC’s President

Posted on May 28, 2021

The discovery of the 215 Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation children buried at a former Indian Residential School in Kamloops is a sad and stark reminder of the trauma that continues for Indigenous residential school survivors and their families. Our healing is not complete and our collective work in supporting this healing is far from over.

The damaging and lasting impacts that the residential school system continues to have on First Nations people, their families and communities cannot be understated. We have to face our history, not just acknowledge it.

Today, we call out to our Ancestors for care and healing for the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and for all the Indigenous families and communities across Canada that have lost their children.

This news is difficult and deeply emotional. For those who need to talk or get support the National Residential School Crisis Line for former students can be accessed 24-Hours a day at: 1-866-925-4419


VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement Department



We at VCC are deeply saddened to learn of the recent discovery of 215 children buried at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

I would also like to echo words of healing from VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement Department, and the reminder that our work towards reconciliation and truth is not done.

VCC is resilient in our commitment to the work of Truth and Reconciliation, as we face such a dark history, that we are painfully reminded of today.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College


Five VCC students compete for national titles at Skills Canada 2021

Posted on May 25, 2021

Winning chocolate box by Katie Rempel, Skills Canada BC

Earlier this year, Vancouver Community College (VCC) celebrated multiple gold-medal performances in the Skills Canada BC virtual provincial competitions. Now, VCC’s champions in baking, autobody repair, and car painting will showcase their talents at the Skills Canada 2021 Virtual National Competition.

Instead of travelling across the country to a single host city, this year, our students will follow COVID-19 guidelines by competing remotely and safely at VCC campus facilities from May 25 to 30.


Comfortable and confident in VCC’s campus baking labs, competitors Noeka Nimmervoll (secondary) and Katie Rempel (post-secondary) will tackle the demanding requirements designed to find the best student baker in the country. 

To follow her golden performance at provincials, Noeka will be making 16 French macarons, two identical Povitica breads, and a decorated bar cake.

Our post-secondary champ Katie will need to produce 20 hand-dipped chocolate bonbons, a decorated chocolate presentation box, and a two-tiered celebration cake. Both competitors must creatively reflect the theme “Enchanted Forest.”

Autobody repair 

Meanwhile, in VCC’s autobody repair shop, provincial gold medallists Keagan Behiel (secondary) and Noah Kew (post-secondary) will be aiming for the title of Canada’s top student technician.

With judges expecting perfection, both our competitors will conduct a plastic bumper repair followed by a measuring and damage analysis project. Noah will then go on to complete a sectioning project.

Car painting

Finally, over in VCC’s high-tech downdraft paint booth, one more secondary winner, Emmett Thompson, will be showcasing his hard-earned car painting skills through tasks including prepping, masking, refinishing, colour tinting, and more.

Skills Canada event June 15

While individual virtual competitions will not be live-streamed, all competitors, classmates, friends, family, and fans are invited to join the Skills Canada Virtual National Competition virtual fair on Tuesday, June 15 for highlights, games, prizes, and a closing ceremony starting at 3 p.m. PDT. RSVP NOW >

Watch VCC’s social media feeds for updates on our national competitors and share your support online using the hashtags #myVCC and #SCVNC2021 or by mentioning @myVCC @vccautobody, or @vccbaking on Twitter and Instagram.

Are you interested in the exciting world of skilled trades? Join one of VCC’s upcoming free information sessions to find a rewarding, hands-on career that’s right for you.


VCC jewellery students inspire through public window displays

Posted on May 19, 2021

From Saturday, May 29 until Sunday, June 13, Vancouver Community College (VCC) Jewellery Art and Design students will be presenting their annual showcase in a new and innovative location – outdoors.

Typically a champagne-and-canapés affair in VCC’s Downtown campus atrium, last year’s jewellery show was shifted to a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While indoor gatherings are still restricted this spring, VCC’s Jewellery Art and Design students were inspired to utilize the large glass walls of VCC’s Broadway campus building B, displaying their famously creative jewellery vignettes inside the building while inviting the public to view them safely from outside.

Twenty-four displays of student-designed and handcrafted pieces will be featured along the building’s covered walkway, which is accessible from East 7th Ave. and Glen Dr.

“It will be viewed from outside the building, and will be well-lit, so visible anytime of the day or night," explains Karin Jones, VCC Jewellery Art and Design instructor and department leader.

Guests are also invited to follow the VCC Jewellery Facebook page to see photos and share comments.

Participating Jewellery Art and Design students

Graduating students

Leah Lang Instagram grey @westcoastmetalproject
Raquel Campos Instagram grey @raquelale
Tam Rueter Instagram grey @anchierrajewellery
Angela Thien Kim Nguyen Instagram grey @atkimndesigns
Michael Hill Instagram grey @michaelhilldesigns
Kourosh Mirabian Instagram grey
Sayeh Nourbahksh Instagram grey @sayehnourjewelry
Chera Kim Instagram grey @ouri_fine
Kelsea Balata Instagram grey @kelseabalata
Jing Yang Instagram grey @echpo.aul

First-year students

Aimée Taylor Instagram grey @ameli_jewellery
Iris Lo Instagram grey
Clemence Beurton
Sebastian Penner Instagram grey @allparsleyeverything
Evan Matthews
Weiwei Li
Monique Huynh Instagram grey @moniquehuynhjewelry
Jill Vickers-Kealy Instagram grey
Tata Sadeghi
Kale Needham Instagram grey @triplefivejewelry

Are you coming to VCC’s parking-lot clinic for your COVID-19 vaccine? Pop across the street after your “jab” for some creative inspiration and picture yourself wearing beautiful jewellery again soon!

Interested in expanding your hobby or making jewellery as a career? Learn more about VCC's two-year diploma in Jewellery Art and Design and apply now for September.

Vancouver ranked best city for youth to work in Canada

Posted on May 11, 2021

It’s a great time to be in Vancouver. According to the 2021 Youthful Cities Urban Work Index, Metro Vancouver achieved the highest ranking in Canada as a place for youth aged 15 to 29 to live and work. 

The project considered 76 indicators, grouped into 11 different topics, to rank cities across Canada on things that matter most to youth. 

Youthful Cities 2021 categories

Of the 27 cities considered, Metro Vancouver was ranked first overall, in addition to achieving the top score in the categories of Equity and Inclusion, Public Transportation, and Public Health. 

Youthful Cities 2021 rankings chart

At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we’re thrilled about this ranking and proud to play a major role in preparing youth to take part in B.C.’s promising workforce.

Explore VCC’s wide variety of certificate, diploma, degree, and apprenticeship programs now and establish your future in the best city in Canada! 

For the purposes of this index, “Metro Vancouver” included our many friends in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, West Vancouver, and White Rock.


New mental health training tool for B.C. post-secondary faculty and staff

Posted on May 11, 2021

When it comes to mental health and wellness of post-secondary students, staff and instructors are often the first point of contact for those seeking help.

That’s why Vancouver Community College (VCC) welcomes the introduction of a new training initiative, Capacity to Connect, which provides basic mental health and wellness knowledge for post-secondary faculty and staff to support students in distress.

Developed by BCcampus and introduced on May 11 by the B.C. government, Capacity to Connect is another important tool for post-secondary institutions to support our future workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

“This past year has been tough for all British Columbians, including post-secondary students who have had to deal with so many disruptions and unexpected challenges,” says Anne Kang, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. "Capacity to Connect means faculty and staff at our post-secondary institutions will have easier access to the tools and skills they need to provide intervention and help."

Capacity to Connect is an open educational resource consisting of a two-hour training session that can be completed online or in person. Participants will gain a better understanding of their role in responding to students in distress and gain basic tools for approaching and referring students to campus and community resources. 

Key features of Capacity to Connect

  • Free, open education resource
  • How to recognize signs of distress, how to respond, and where to refer students
  • Resilience and wellness focus, including a wellness wheel self-assessment tool
  • A decolonized perspective on mental health and wellness
  • Scenarios representing B.C.’s diverse student population

Mental health supports for students

B.C. post-secondary students can access 24/7 professional counselling services through Here2Talk by:

Students calling from outside Canada can also dial 604.642.5212 (international calling charges may apply). Phone services are available in additional languages upon request.

VCC students may also access free, professional counselling services through VCC’s Counselling Services department.




Media release: Four colleges partner to deliver workforce training

Posted on May 3, 2021

VANCOUVER – Four colleges from across Canada have partnered to support economic recovery in their regions with the launch of a new industry training program in the supply chain sector, funded by the Future Skills Centre and developed by City School by Mohawk. 

Nova Scotia Community College, Mohawk College, Red River College and Vancouver Community College have partnered to deliver the Material Handling 4.0 pilot program, designed to help people transition into careers in the supply chain sector. The program builds upon the successful training model used by Mohawk College’s City School initiative in Hamilton, combining industry-driven training, individualized student support, and practical work experience to provide comprehensive training services to people who face barriers to employment and education.

Upon completion of the program, participants receive a micro-credential and employment services to help them successfully transition into long-term, stable employment.

The Material Handling 4.0 pilot program will provide participants with six weeks of industry-specific instruction and a two-week paid work placement, complete with wrap-around supports, such as child care, all required PPE and supplies for work safety, and referrals to support services (legal clinics, housing, health, etc.). This program will provide training for 243 people across the four participating colleges. Mohawk begins its first local cohort of the program today, and the partner colleges will launch their cohorts starting in Fall 2021.

Future Skills Centre (FSC) announced an initial investment of $1.95 million in the first phase of the program at Mohawk College in 2020 to develop and establish the program in the Hamilton area. Today, it is announcing an additional $1.1 million to expand the program to the three additional communities across Canada.

“As we continue to recover from COVID-19, our government is helping jobseekers up-skill and re-skill to fill in demand jobs. Mohawk College’s Material Handling 4.0 project is helping workers transition into new job opportunities within the supply chain sector,” said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough. “Further investments through the Future Skills Centre will allow new partnerships to expand the project’s reach and continue this important work.”

“Employers in the supply chain sector are suffering from labour shortages and disruptive technologies have left some workers behind,” said Ron McKerlie, President and CEO of Mohawk College. “The City School by Mohawk model has had proven success in creating pathways to meaningful employment in Hamilton over the past five years. We are grateful that our partner colleges have chosen to adapt this successful model to train people for supply chain job opportunities in their regions.”

“Thank you to the Future Skills Centre and Mohawk College for the opportunity to become one of the four colleges across Canada to train individuals for the supply chain sector,” says Ajay Patel, President and CEO, Vancouver Community College. “This program model, delivered by VCC in the heart of the city, aligns perfectly with our values of providing community-based education and training to those who need it the most.”

“We are pleased to support the expansion of this program,” said Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre. “We know that employers in the supply chain and material handling sector face labour shortages, while workers need to acquire different, more technical skills to meet the demands of this evolving industry. This learning model has demonstrated promise and fills a gap in the skills ecosystem around the need to connect post-secondary education with workforce development to support career advancement. Rolling out this program to strong partners in different regions will support workers, employers and industries to adapt effectively to these changes in order to thrive in the economy of the future.”

“We appreciate the investment from the Future Skills Centre in recognizing the importance of a skilled workforce in the much-needed function of materials handling,” said Pat Campbell, Vice President at Supply Chain Canada. Supply Chain Canada supports post-secondary institutions as they provide the full spectrum of education and training needed to work as practitioners and professionals. “Across warehousing and distribution, there is a chasm that needs to be addressed – especially now. And we’re glad to have the opportunity of expanding our existing partnerships with Mohawk College, Nova Scotia Community College, Red River College and Vancouver Community College as they take this important step to address a growing need.”

Material Handling 4.0 Background

  • Partnering colleges include Vancouver Community College (BC), Red River College (MB), Nova Scotia Community College (NS) and led by Mohawk College (ON)
  • 243 people across Canada will benefit from programming through this initiative
  • Investment totaling $3.05 million from the Future Skills Centre
  • The project will bring the City School model of community-based, tuition-free training to three new communities across Canada
  • Partner colleges were selected for their connections to the community, employers and the local opportunities within the supply chain sector
  • All participants will be provided with wrap-around supports, including a dedicated employment consultant for the program, provisions for child care services, PPE and appropriate referrals to support services
  • The program will train adults who are not currently enrolled in post-secondary education, who have been historically under-represented or under-served in their local communities
  • The program will consist of a six-week virtual training component, followed by a two-week paid placement with a local employer
  • Mohawk is set to launch its first cohort of Material Handling 4.0 to the Hamilton community in May 2021, with partner colleges following in the fall of 2021
  • Supported by FSC’s evaluation partner, Blueprint ADE, the program will also conduct research to understand the necessary conditions for replicating a community-based education model such as City School by Mohawk in diverse communities


About the Future Skills Centre

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success. We believe Canadians should feel confident about the skills they have to succeed in a changing workforce. As a pan-Canadian community, we are collaborating to rigorously identify, test, measure, and share innovative approaches to assessing and developing the skills Canadians need to thrive in the days and years ahead. The Future Skills Centre was founded by a consortium whose members are Ryerson University, Blueprint, and The Conference Board of Canada, and is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.

The Material Handling 4.0 project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre. Le projet Material Handling 4.0 est financé par le Centre des Compétences futures du gouvernement du Canada.

About VCC

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 55 years, offering post-secondary training in over 130 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses located in East Vancouver, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.

– 30 –

Media can contact

Danielle Libonati
Marketing Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College


Applications now open for VCC nursing programs

Posted on April 19, 2021

British Columbia needs health care professionals. Over the next ten years, WorkBC estimates there will be a need for over 19,000 registered nurses, 17,000 health care assistants, and 4,200 licensed practical nurses in the province.

In response to this need, Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program has now streamlined its application process to eliminate the need for waitlists.

In line with other B.C. institutions, VCC’s new BScN application cycle will reset yearly and no longer place applicants on a waitlist for future intakes. After a given year’s cohort is filled, any students not admitted will be required to reapply the following year.

This change will also provide our future health care professionals the flexibility to apply to other nursing programs or enter related VCC health care or bridging programs instead of waiting in academic limbo.

Applications for VCC’s Bachelor of Nursing program are now being accepted for the September 2021 intake. Application deadline is May 31, 2021 at 4 p.m.

Start your health sciences career now

There are countless options for those interested in a health care career. See the full list of VCC health sciences programs currently accepting applications:


Health Unit Coordinator
September 2021 - Currently filling

Medical Office Assistant
September 2021 - Currently filling

Medical Transcriptionist
September 2021 - Currently filling

Office Administration: Medical Office Skills (Continuing Studies)
May 2021 - Registering now
September 2021 - Registering now


Acute Care for Health Care Assistants
October 2021 - Currently filling

Health Care Assistant
May 2021 - Currently filling
September 2021 - Currently filling 

Health Care Assistant – ESL
September 2021 - Currently filling

Medical Device Reprocessing Technician (Continuing Studies)
May 2021 - Registering now
September 2021 - Registering now

Medical Laboratory Assistant
May 2021 - Limited space left
September 2021 - Currently filling

Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant (Rehab Assistant)
September 2021 - Currently filling

Pharmacy Technician
September 2021 - Currently filling


Practical NursingSeptember 2021 - Currently filling

Access to Practical Nursing
September 2022 - Next intake

Nursing (BScN)
September 2021 - Currently filling (deadline May 31, 2021)

Nursing (BScN) Advanced Entry
August 2021 - Full

Information is current as of April 19, 2021. Apply now to secure your seat in these popular programs.

Eddy’s story: A new wave in nursing

Posted on May 10, 2021

At multiple points in his life, Eddy Gooch took career aptitude tests and they all told him the same thing: he would make an excellent nurse. His father was in construction, however, and no one in his family had pursued post-secondary education in health care. “I thought nursing was beyond me,” Eddy says.

It was only after he had tried multiple other careers that Eddy found his way into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Vancouver Community College (VCC). Today, he’s not only eagerly looking forward to a nursing career, but also opening new doors for Indigenous representation.

Confronting colonialism 

Eddy knew from childhood that he was adopted at birth from the Cowichan Tribes, one of the largest Indigenous groups in British Columbia. Eddy adores his family and was raised to take pride in his heritage – unlike many adopted Indigenous children at the time whose roots and identities were left a troubling mystery. 

The term “Sixties Scoop” can be misleading, as it’s used to describe a period of (not one, but) four decades ranging from the 50s to the 90s in which thousands of Indigenous children were systematically placed into non-Indigenous families in Canada and the United States. Carried out in the name of “child welfare,” this practice is now regarded as a strategy to strip Indigenous people of culture and language and assimilate them into the North American (colonial) mainstream.

Eddy remembers nothing but care and love growing up. “My parents always expressed how lucky they were to have me,” he says. Despite his own happy memories, however, Eddy also understands the importance of his story in the context of reconciliation, which is why he’s joined the 2009 class-action lawsuit that continues to seek justice for Sixties Scoop survivors.

Medical motivation

While Eddy learned construction skills from a young age, his first career passion was cooking. He trained in French cuisine and worked as a cook for eleven years before sustaining a career-ending injury to his wrist. As Eddy fell back on construction jobs, his mother also became ill during this time and spent extended periods in hospital.

“It was the nurses who were always there,” Eddy says, remembering how he’d watch and admire their medical skills as well as the comfort and assurance they brought in such a difficult time. 

In 2018, when yet another construction job ended, Eddy finally began looking into nursing programs. Thanks to the high demand as well as academic and financial opportunities for Indigenous nurses in B.C., multiple schools were eager to have him. Eddy chose VCC due to the quality academic upgrading classes and the personalized support he received from VCC staff, particularly Indigenous Advisor Toni Gladstone. “It became about the community,” Eddy says. 

Pride in progress

Now finished the first year of his nursing degree, Eddy has become one of VCC’s most enthusiastic students. In addition to full-time study and clinical placements, Eddy continues to deepen his Indigenous knowledge and has worked as a student aide at VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department. In May 2021, Eddy was thrilled to join VCC instructor Maki Iwase and four other classmates to represent VCC on the national stage at the 2021 Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing Virtual Conference.

While nursing careers come in many forms, Eddy’s personal goal is to work in the emergency room, helping and comforting people in some of the most distressing moments in their lives. “I’ve had too much experience going to the emergency,” he confesses. “I would love to be on the team that makes people feel taken care of.”

Similarly, Eddy hopes his presence as a proud and compassionate Indigenous man in medical centres will further the goals of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and ease the historic fears that Indigenous people have of being racialized or treated with discrimination. “This is an early wave of Indigenous representation in health care,” he says, “and it’s phenomenal to be part of it.”

Take the leap into a health care career through VCC’s various nursing and health sciences programs, or connect with our Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department for personalized support.


VCC auto collision and refinishing hosts 2021 Skills Canada provincials

Posted on May 6, 2021

On Friday, April 30, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to host the auto collision and refinishing portion of the Skills Canada BC 2021 provincial competition.

A total of 19 VCC students from both post-secondary and Youth Train in Trades (secondary) programs participated safely, completing physically distanced tasks in VCC’s automotive repair shop at the Broadway campus.

Congratulations to our medallists for carrying on the long tradition of Skills BC victories for VCC automotive trades! See more photos >

Post-secondary Collision
GOLD – Noah Kew
SILVER – Gilbert Joshua Dichoso
BRONZE – Inveer Singh

Secondary Collision
GOLD – Keagan Behiel (Royal Oak Secondary)
SILVER – Shamahue Alam (John Oliver)
BRONZE - Maxine Santos (Total Education)

Secondary Car Paint
GOLD – Emmett Thompson (Earl Marriott Secondary)
SILVER – Jean Carlos Barcelona (King George Secondary)
BRONZE – Karl Dable (Britannia Secondary)

Can you picture yourself on the podium? Learn more about VCC automotive trades (including high school programs) by joining a free information session.


Good luck to VCC's Skills Canada BC 2021 competitors

Posted on April 27, 2021

Please join us in wishing all the best to the Vancouver Community College (VCC) students competing in Skills Canada BC 2021 this spring!

This annual provincial skills competition is normally held at the Tradex in Abbotsford, welcoming more than 600 competitors plus industry judges, as well as a public audience. The 2020 competition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year we’ve got our sights set on the podium again.

In the 2021 competition, multiple VCC students from various skilled trades programs will be competing safely in online challenges from their individual homes or schools, with proxy judges on site and official judges participating virtually.

Will VCC students continue to dominate in our famous skilled trades? Tune in to the Skills Canada BC social feeds to find out, and send your support to our students online using the hashtags #myVCC and #SkillsBC. Check back for updates on our medallists and go VCC!

Automotive collision repair – April 30 – See results


Gilbert Joshua Dichoso
Inveer Singh
Khang Do
Noah Kew


Kaisei Meighan
Behiel Keagan
Maxine Santos
Emmett Thomson
Romel Eyobe
Shamahue Alam
Steven Hayre
Kaiden Sao
George Babyuk

Car painting – April 30  – See results


Emmett Thompson
Alvin Sum
Michael Wong
Jean Carlos Barcelona
Karl Dable
Nathan Ram

Baking – April 17 – See results


Queenie Li Instagram grey @queenie_li16

  • Gold winner: 2018 Provincials
  • Silver winner: 2018 Nationals

Gabriela Robinson Instagram grey @gabi_bakes_

Yejin Park Instagram grey @yejimon_

  • Silver winner: 2019 Provincials

Katie Rempel


Noeka Nimmervoll (Eric Hamber Secondary)

Ethan Jireh Dunol

Think you might shine at a skilled trade? Connect with VCC instructors and ask all the questions you want at an upcoming free information session.

Related stories:


President’s Message: National Day of Awareness for MMIWG

Posted on May 5, 2021

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

Dear VCC community,

I would like to acknowledge, with gratitude, that we work, live, and learn on the traditional unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

Wednesday, May 5 is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. I ask you to join me in wearing red in remembrance of the Indigenous women, girls, and transexual and two-spirit individuals who have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada.

Also known as Red Dress Day, May 5 is an opportunity for all of us to acknowledge the systemic racism and violence against Indigenous women and girls all across Canada, which deeply impacts our Indigenous colleagues, their families, and our broader Indigenous community. 

At VCC, we acknowledge the pain and barriers many of our Indigenous students and colleagues face in our society, and our college is committed to decrease the number of murdered or missing Indigenous women and girls through education and advocacy, both in the classroom and in community.  

As we look towards VCC’s next chapter, our college will continue to focus on building community-based supports that foster safe, inclusive spaces for Indigenous women and girls, and educational opportunities that are easily accessible from all areas of the province.

Please join VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department in wearing red on Wednesday, May 5 to honour and raise awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Additional ways to participate include free webinars, social media campaigns, and a physically distanced gathering outside Vancouver City Hall.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

VCC student account updates: Important information

Posted on April 7, 2021

Updated April 15, 2021

During the weekend of April 9 - 11, Vancouver Community College (VCC) performed an important update to student online accounts. This update affects all student passwords and any files stored in the Office 365 environment.

What you need to know

Moodle access

Use the same password as login. 

SharePoint access

As a result of a technical limitation, SharePoint access previously provided to students by instructors could not be maintained, and will need to be set up again. This is a one-time action required to reconnect student accounts.

Address Book

Due to privacy updates, students will now see a blank Address Book in Office 365. As a result, students will not be able to use the chat function with other students in MS Teams.

Student password change

Passwords provide the first line of defence against unauthorized access to your computer and personal information. The stronger your password, the more protected your data will be from hackers and malicious software. Complex passwords have now been implemented for VCC students to be aligned with all VCC users. 

What is my password after April 9?  

Students will log in with a temporary password initially. The new, temporary password incorporates your previous PIN/Password and starts with ‘VCC’ and ends with ‘#’.

  • Temporary password format: VCC[student’s PIN/Password from April 8]#
  • Example: VCC012345# 

After initial login, students will be prompted to change their temporary password to include the following: 

  • Password length of minimum 10 characters 
  • Must contain upper and lower case letters
  • Must include at least one number
  • Must include a special character (i.e.  ! # $ % …) 
  • Must not contain account holder's first or last name 
  • Must not be one of the passwords previously used 

For detailed guidance, watch our Student Password Video Tutorial.

Going forward, use this updated password to log in to myVCC , Moodle and email.

Where are my files? / How to retrieve files

Any files stored in Outlook or OneDrive were not included in the update and must be retrieved within 30 days (starting April 9). Please see appropriate guides for file retrieval instructions: 

For detailed guidance, watch our Moving Outlook Emails Video Tutorial.

Thank you for your patience during this important upgrade to VCC systems. For questions or assistance, the VCC Help Desk can be reached by calling 604.443.8700 or emailing


David Blake: The relentless call of jazz

Posted on April 29, 2021

Most people would say they like music. They may even love it. When it comes to jazz musicians, however, they live it.

For recent VCC Bachelor of Applied Music grad David Blake, this devotion started young, as a typical teenage affinity to classic rock transformed into a lifelong passion for jazz guitar. 

In celebration of International Jazz Day (April 30), and as David gears up for his next chapter as a master’s student at New York University (NYU), he looks back on his complex journey and what it means to live and breathe this extraordinary genre.

The hard way

By the time David finished high school, jazz had already taken a firm hold. “I figured if I have to go to college, it’s going to be for music,” he says. “I knew I wanted to be a jazz guitar player but I didn’t really know what that meant.”

Despite having talent to spare, David struggled with post-secondary education. He remembers himself as an 18-year-old, failing most of his first-term courses at Capilano College (now University) and only showing up for ensemble practices. “I wasn’t ready for school,” he says. “I just had a bad attitude.”

Over the next decade, David continued to drop in and out of post-secondary music programs at both Capilano and the University of Toronto. “I’d hit a wall,” he says, remembering each time he quit out of frustration.

Even without a formal bachelor’s degree, David continued to grow into a strong and experienced musician. He credits much of his development to instruction and mentorship from certain Capilano instructors like Mary Jo Bischoff, Brad Turner, and Jared Burrows, David Occhipinti and Dave Young in Toronto, and his Vancouver jazz “heroes” Darren Radtke, Steve Kaldestad, and particularly Bill Coon.

In his pursuit of jazz, David naturally became a fixture in Vancouver’s music community. He recorded several independent albums and built a successful career around performing, teaching at the VSO School of Music, and curating popular concerts at the Tangent Café and for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Body and soul

Like many committed jazz musicians, David also made the occasional pilgrimage to New York City, immersing himself in its vibrant music scene and taking lessons with acclaimed guitarist Lage Lund. It was during one of these demanding (and expensive) trips, however, that David says he realized he was battling depression, and returned to Vancouver to seek help.

“It was many years of hard work and struggling,” David says of his treatment, but he’s grateful for the new perspectives it gave him, including a fresh take on school. “I was able to grapple with many of the issues that prevented my success, like struggling with authority and being afraid to ask for help when I needed it.”

Then, during a jazz workshop in the summer of 2019, renowned Canadian saxophonist Phil Dwyer suggested David pursue a master’s degree, and he surprised himself by considering higher education once again.

David soon applied and was accepted to a master’s program at New York University (NYU), but on one condition: that he complete the bachelor’s degree that had haunted him for over a decade. That’s when David approached VCC about finishing his Bachelor of Applied Music quickly, easily, and close to home. 

“I went into VCC thinking this is going be another grind,” David admits. “I was thrilled to find that VCC faculty were some of the most phenomenal university teachers I’d had ever had,” he says, endorsing Deirdre Morgan, Ken Morrison, and guitar instructor Daryl Jahnke in particular.

What is this thing called jazz?

Charmingly cool and self-deprecating, David will be the first to admit that his story is not the best example for up-and-coming music students. Yet after nearly 20 years of playing, teaching, and honing his craft, David’s appreciation for jazz is deep, intelligent, and infectious.

At the core of jazz is improvisation – making up music as you play – a technique rooted in African American music of the 1920s that by nature represented “freedom.”

“Improvising seems scary at first,” says David, “but it’s really not.” For aspiring jazz artists, David recommends simply listening to as much of the music as possible. “You need to know what you’re after – what it means,” he says.

Next comes practice, and lots of it. Once jazz chord progressions and scales are internalized, David says a musician can summon them without thinking. “They’re there because you spent the time,” he says.

After that, David approaches improvising as a natural process of creating tension and release – something he says we are very used to feeling already, as filmmakers, authors, even chefs play with tension and resolution in their creative expression.

Finally, comes commitment. From A+ students to restlessly creative souls, “nobody is going to get very far just learning a ‘little bit’ about jazz,” David says. “You need to become fairly obsessed with it.”

Please join us in wishing very best to Vancouver’s own David Blake as he heads to NYU this fall!

Explore your own musical potential in any genre through VCC Music programs and courses. Applications are now open for September 2021 with auditions in May and June.

President’s message: No place for anti-Asian racism

Posted on April 6, 2021

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

Dear VCC community,

I wanted to take the opportunity to share my deep sadness and anger over the recent and ongoing acts of hate and racism towards Asian individuals and communities across North America.

The tragic shootings in Atlanta were truly horrifying, and the violence we continue to see locally reminds us of the unacceptable discrimination our Asian friends, family members, students, and colleagues face every day. 

At VCC, there is no place for racism, discrimination, or hate-speech. It is especially during these difficult times that our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our own Asian students, staff, and faculty must be at its strongest. We are committed to working with our diverse community to ensure all voices are heard and everyone is protected and supported to live, work, and learn in a respectful, kind, and anti-racist environment. 

As members of an educational community, we have a shared responsibility to respond to these challenges by training the next generation with opportunities for learning and leadership.

A quote that is very important to me is from Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.  This is at the heart of the sacrifices my family made for my brothers and me, and I believe it is through education that we will advance reconciliation and win our fight against racism and injustice.

Nelson Mandela quote

For our students, if you would like to talk about the impact of these events on your life, I encourage you to reach out to our counselling department by booking an online appointment.

For our employees, Morneau-Shepell's call centres are available for you as well as your eligible dependents, 24/7/365 in 147 languages and six different formats.

As well, I invite you to explore our employee “Learning for Life” series at VCC for the following learning opportunities and resources:

  • Anti-racism Response Training (ART)
  • Intercultural Development Inventory
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for Students with Disabilities
  • Respectful Workplace Training

For further information and support, please see the list of community services below.

Also remember VCC’s “Safe Walk” program if you feel unsafe on campus or walking to your transit stop or car. Our security guards will escort you within a block of either campus to ensure your safety.

Please stand with me in solidarity with our Asian communities at VCC and across North America.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College



Fight COVID Racism
A platform that aims to allow individuals to share their experiences of racism, and tracks and records instances of Anti-Asian racism during COVID-19. Includes resources and support for individuals.

Asian Canadian Equity Alliance (ACEA)
A non-profit organization with a mission to confront bullying and harassment due to discrimination of one’s Asian heritage. Educates the public about racial, ethnic, and minority groups to explain the difference between stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and racism, and identify different types of discrimination. 

Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society
A registered non-profit charity with a mandate to advocate and provide support services for hate crime and systemic racism, as well as public education about institutional racism.

Canadian Anti-Hate Network
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network monitors, exposes, and counters hate groups.

Canadian Race Relations Foundation
Dedicated to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society.

POC in Play
An independent organization creating initiatives and events designed to increase the visibility and representation of People of Colour in the video games industry. The POC in Play team comprises of game industry professionals from a range of backgrounds and experiences, but who all share a passion to drive impactful change and open the door for more People of Colour.

Meet VCC’s Gladue report writing Instructor Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow

Posted on April 28, 2021

In 2020, the over-representation of Indigenous people in federal custody reached an all-time high, which means that Gladue report writers are needed more than ever to play an important role in reconciliation.

The first of its kind in Canada, Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Gladue report writing program was developed in collaboration with IndiGenius & Associates, a consulting firm dedicated to eliminating the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. Its founder, Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow, is a proud Ojibway and member of Whitefish River First Nation located on Manitoulin Island in Ontario.

Mark, who also teaches in the program, has a wide range of experience with Indigenous justice, including researching community needs within the justice system, developing and monitoring restorative justice programs, and participating in peacemaking and sentencing circles. Mark is also an Indian Residential School Crisis Line counsellor, and has over 17 years of experience as case manager with youth and adult offenders.

Mark has held several positions within Indigenous organizations, helping to develop and oversee First Nations justice programs. In addition to providing Gladue training and Gladue report writing services, Mark has worked consistently to ensure the courts and Indigenous people have a better understanding of the options for bail, incarceration, diversion, or reintegration back into the community.

Mark’s mission to improve the lives of Indigenous people also extends to his other initiative, Birch Bark Coffee Co., which donates a portion of proceeds towards clean water solutions for Canadian Indigenous communities. 

What are Gladue reports?

In 1996, Canada’s Criminal Code was first amended to require judges to consider alternative sentencing to reduce the number of Indigenous people in Canadian prisons. In 1999, a case involving 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. 

Gladue report writing is playing an important role in reconciliation. A Gladue report is a written document which tells a person’s “sacred story”, and identifies and suggests options to consider during sentencing such as addiction treatments, restorative justice, or other paths to address past trauma. It also aims to incorporate community members and the victim in determining a fit sentence, when possible.

Play a role in reconciliation. Register now for VCC’s unique, part-time Gladue report writing program starting in September 2021.

Q&A with VCC business and technical writing instructor Tamara Bailey

Posted on April 22, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) instructor Tamara Bailey talks about the fascinating and ever-changing profession of business and technical writing.

How long have you been teaching?
I have been an instructor on and off with the business and technical writing certificate program since 2006! I teach Technical Communication (TECW 1101) and Editing (TECW 1103).

What do you love about teaching?
Teaching is an opportunity for me to revisit and reevaluate the foundations of my profession. It’s also rewarding to see students get excited about how they can use what they’ve learned.

How did you learn the trade?
I’m always learning! I got my start through the Douglas College print futures program many years ago. Over time, I’ve honed my expertise on the job through trial and error, from observing skilled communicators, and a variety of both formal and informal learning opportunities.

The thing about a career in technical communication is that you are always learning new things: whether it’s about the subject you are writing about, your users and their needs, or the technologies that you use to craft and deliver your materials, which is always changing.

What's an interesting thing about your journey?
I’ve worked in the telecom, semiconductor, aerospace, and healthcare industries, and have produced many different types of materials for many different types of users. All these experiences have made for really interesting work, with lots of opportunities to learn and to grow, and lots of great folks to collaborate with along the way.

How do you personally define success?
In the context of my profession, when users have the right content at the right time.

What is your best piece advice for someone starting out in this industry?
Focus on understanding how to write for users. Being able to demonstrate that you can produce user-centred content, whether it is for a policy and procedure document, a knowledge base article or user guide, it is at the core of what you need to know. Technologies, tools, and even methodologies will change over time.

Discover which VCC Continuing Studies programs and courses can take your career in an exciting new direction. Register now for Spring 2021!!

VCC baking students claim top spots at 2021 Skills Canada provincials

Posted on April 21, 2021

Winning macarons by VCC Youth Train in Trades student Noeka Nimmervoll

Congratulations to Vancouver Community College (VCC) baking and pastry arts students for claiming two golds, two silvers, and one bronze medal in the Skills Canada BC 2021 provincial competition held virtually on Sunday, April 18.

In the 2021 competition, six VCC students from both post-secondary and Youth Train in Trades (secondary) programs competed safely in online challenges from their individual homes or schools. The post-secondary students were challenged to make intricate chocolate boxes and decadent truffles, while our high schoolers tackled bar cakes and macarons, all with dazzling results!

Chocolate box by Katie Rempel

Woodland-inspired chocolate box and truffles by VCC baking student Katie Rempel

We’re extremely proud to announce that VCC students claimed multiple top spots in both categories – a testament to their talent and commitment, as well as their quick adaptation to blended online and on-campus learning over the past year.

See more photos and help us congratulate our winners using the hashtags #myVCC and #SkillsBC!

Post Secondary
GOLD – Katie Rempel (VCC)
SILVER – Yejin Park (VCC)
BRONZE– Queenie Li (VCC)
4 – Gabi Robinson (VCC)
5 – Alexa Wellnitz (La Salle College)

GOLD – Noeka Nimmervoll (Eric Hamber/VCC Youth Train in Trades)
SILVER – Jireh Jurado (Windermere /VCC Youth Train in Trades)
BRONZE – Yen-Nhi H (Burnaby Central)
4 – Bailee Montufar (Claremont)
5 – Angela Luo (Fraser Heights)
6 – Emma Torrao (Alpha Secondary)

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. 


Q&A with VCC health care instructor Signy Novak

Posted on April 14, 2021

VCC instructor Signy Novak with best friends Missie and Louie

Vancouver Community College (VCC) practical nursing instructor Signy Novak has been teaching for 12 years and still loves every moment of it. Lately, she’s begun teaching new courses through VCC Continuing Studies that focus on professional development in the constantly evolving area of medication management.

What do you love about teaching?

I really love connecting with students from various backgrounds and sharing with each other about both the course material and life experiences. It’s all about learning from each other. Each time I complete a course with a group of students, I walk away having learned something new and changed for the good. 

Could you describe the new Medication Course for Health Care Workers?

Medication Course for Health Care Workers helps those working in detox and recovery to learn the basic knowledge and skills required to provide medications safely to clients. The feedback so far is positive. We have great discussions in the class regarding medication administration challenges that come up with clients, and how to manage these situations. There is a great deal of learning that goes on through this sharing of students’ experiences. The students say the course really highlights the high importance of safe medication administration.

What's something interesting about your journey?

I was encouraged to go into teaching by a nursing manager who strongly suggested I apply to VCC. I am so very grateful to her to this day. I did not let fear of change hold me back, and completely changed my career path. I am grateful for the opportunity to teach every single day.

Find your ideal career in B.C.s health care system through one of VCC's many health sciences programs.


Student-designed T-shirt sale supports VCC scholarships

Posted on April 13, 2021

The popular graphic design T-shirt fundraiser for VCC Foundation is back. Choose from three original designs now available online at the VCC Bookstore

Congratulations to second-year graphic design diploma students Natalie Bocking, Mio Masaki, and Natalie Cano, who won a competition to create the illustrations for the shirts.

T-shirts cost $21.95, and all proceeds go to the VCC Foundation, supporting scholarships and equipment for deserving VCC students. In 2019, the campaign sold out of T-shirts, raising more than $500. So get yours today! Order now from the VCC Bookstore.

Curious about a creative career? Learn more about VCC's graphic design programs at an upcoming free information session.


Women in trades needed for B.C.’s economic recovery

Posted on April 13, 2021


Excerpt from Business in Vancouver article: Women seen as key to reducing B.C.’s labour shortage

As B.C. looks to pull itself out of its COVID-induced economic lull, the sectors expecting to be the economy’s major engines – mining, resources, construction, and transportation – are struggling with skilled-labour shortages that could be resolved quickly if industry leaders looked in the right direction, observers say.

The key demographic that could provide the answer, they say, is women. According to B.C. advocates, educators, and tradespeople, the potential for skilled female workers to offset the shortage of electricians, heavy-machinery operators, automotive repair technicians, and other trades is huge in a province needing to maximize its workforce.

Few people have a better view of this than Lindsay Kearns, outreach co-ordinator at the BC Centre for Women in the Trades (BCCWITT) and a 10-year veteran electrician.

“Isolation, discrimination and poor workplace culture have long been barriers for women to enter and stay in these great careers, and with the current skilled workers shortage, it’s time to start focusing on under-represented groups,” Kearns said. “I’m an optimist, and the shift is happening, but the change needs to start at the leadership level. Everyone has to buy in.”

Breaking the mould

Keith Mew, head of the auto collision department of Vancouver Community College’s trades training program, said interest from female students in classes such as his has been steadily rising, although still at a relatively low one out of 15 or 16 student ratio.

But Mew agreed that workplace culture remains a key barrier for many female tradespeople who have the skill to enter the field but soon find themselves overwhelmed by either overt sexism or covert discriminatory behaviours in certain work situations.

“100%, that’s an issue,” Mew said. “And it sometimes depends on the area where someone is working geographically – and the company that they are working for. One thing about the auto collision and refinishing industry is that there are some very large companies with great work cultures, and there are also some smaller shops that may not have the best.”

That’s why, Mew said, VCC offers additional support for female graduates. Mew checks in with alumni from time to time to make sure their post-graduation journey in their career fields is going smoothly. It doesn’t mean these women workers are getting preferential treatment, he said, but rather that their entry into the workplace is in on as even a playing field as possible.

“What I would say is – and what I say to all our students is – this only works as a career if you find joy in the act of working in a shop and performing tasks,” he said. “If there’s no joy in that for you – and it is a demanding job with long hours and stressful environments – it probably won’t be for you. But for women that come through, based on the challenges they face, we really try to support them with resources that we have ... because no one should be able to tell you that you are not allowed to pursue a career that makes you happy.”

One alumna, Kiara Reissner, said she has been relatively lucky. While she is the only woman working at Richmond Auto Body in North Vancouver, co-workers have been understanding and respectful, allowing her to concentrate on her job and career path.

“I feel that there’s not a lot of women who continue [in trades], but I would like to break that mould,” Reissner said. “I’d like to have an apprentice one day. It’s difficult to find women mentorship. We do have a woman teacher at the shop at VCC, and she’s a great mentor. But I don’t know too many others. But the guys have been great, too. I don’t feel like I’ve been set apart from them in any way. They include me in everything.”

Continue reading in Business in Vancouver >

Discover rewarding, in-demand trades careers through VCC's automotive, collision and refinishing, culinary, baking, and hairstyling programs.


Q&A with VCC creative writing instructor Kevin Spenst

Posted on April 6, 2021

What do you teach?
I teach Writing Sparks to Completion (CWRI 1123), a newer creative writing course that focuses on poetry but opens to other forms of writing.

What do you love about teaching?
I love how the classroom is a community writ small, a place where we test out, practice, and develop eloquences. It’s exciting to be part of that process. This means I could teach anything. I have, over the course of my life, taught business, drama, English Literature, and even yoga, but as I love poetry and creative writing the most, it’s what I’m most excited about teaching.

What is your current career?
I’m an author. My third book of poetry was published last year. Currently, I write reviews, conduct poetry interviews on co-op radio, give talks, and I’m working on my fourth book.

What is your best piece of advice for someone starting out in this industry?
Find a way to incorporate the craft of writing into the rhythm of your everyday life. For four years, I wrote a short-short story everyday. That helped get me started.

Who are your favourite authors?
James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and W.G. Sebald. Yes, the heavyweights!

What is your motto?
I do love Beckett’s “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Spark your creativity this spring with a wide variety of courses from VCC Continuing Studies.

New VCC program pushes the limits of pet fashion

Posted on April 1, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce a brand-new program that will elevate the creative industry in B.C. and take fashion design places it’s never gone before. 

Building upon current trends in dog and cat fashion, VCC is excited to support the next hot trend in pet clothing with a new Exotic Pet Fashion Design certificate.

For many, household pets have been our closest companions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and isolation has driven many pet owners to channel their inner McQueen, Westwood, or Versace towards their furry friends. Yet while social feeds abound with pups and kittens in argyle vests, prom dresses, and chenille onesies, the fashion market for exotic pets has remained virtually untapped – until now.

“At VCC, we don’t discriminate among people, and in the same spirit, we embrace and accept to all kinds of pets,” says animal apparel entrepreneur and Exotic Pet Fashion Design instructor Trixie Ruxpin.

Large rodent wearing pink dress

Taught by fashion influencers from the wildly successful Pet Fashion Weeks in Berlin, Paris, and Abbotsford, VCC’s program is a first for the global industry, while also hitting very close to home. “Humans have a foundational desire to dress up our pet family members,” says Trixie.

Working with exotic pet sanctuaries across Canada, VCC’s newest program teaches courses on measurement, textile selection, and pattern-making for a wide variety of fauna such as reptiles (iguanas, turtles), rodents (hamsters, guinea pigs), birds (parrots, canaries), as well as miniature pigs and hedgehogs. Optional workshops will be available in pet husbandry, and students will have weekly screenings for salmonella.

Fierce rooster and dapper hedgehog

Anticipating high demand for the new program, Trixie recommends that applicants have some previous sewing experience, a minimum of 5,000 Instagram followers, and excellent eyesight. “This kind of work can be quite intricate,” she says, recalling her smallest-ever design: a five-centimetre-long Baby Shark Halloween costume for a local public radio celebrity’s pygmy marmoset.

Depending on the success of the initial cohort, VCC anticipates expanding campus infrastructure to accommodate an aquatic pet fashion class, styling fish and various amphibians using the latest technical fabrics.

Learn more about this cutting-edge VCC program by emailing

VCC campaign and Scotiabank fund tools for tomorrow

Posted on March 31, 2021

VCC Loves Trades campaign logo


In recognition of VCC trades students, the VCC Foundation used the Red Seal Recognition event as a platform to launch the new fundraising initiative, VCC Loves Trades. This campaign will run in February of each year and support trades programs at VCC. In 2021, funds raised were dedicated to students and equipment needs in our transportation trades programs.

To attract further support for VCC students, Scotiabank, through its ScotiaRISE program, generously offered $5,000 in matching funds for gifts received before March 15, 2021. “We know that B.C.’s future will require Red Seal trades professionals to rebuild and sustain our economy,” said Stephen Gaskin, Senior Vice President, B.C. and Yukon Region, Scotiabank. The inaugural campaign wrapped on March 15, 2021, generating a total of $14,000 to seed VCC’s new Transportation Trades Equipment Fund.

“We extend our deepest appreciation to generous community partners, including The Deeley Group, ICBC, Kirmac Collision & Autoglass, Lordco, and long-time donors, Bill New and Guff Muench for ensuring that we fully utilized Scotiabank’s generous matching funds," said VCC Foundation Executive Director, Nancy Nesbitt. "Providing students with access to the tools they’ll need and use in the future definitely promotes their job readiness and employability.”

VCC also welcomed a generous equipment gift from Craftsman Collision to the auto collision, refinishing, and paint programs which will fortify training needs of students for generations to come. Color Compass Corp. and BASF are also partnering with VCC to meet specialized, in-demand training needs.

Learn more about the VCC Foundation. We thank all our generous donors for their commitment and support. If you would like to make a donation to support student success at VCC, please visit our giving page.

Critical reminders about COVID-19 safety at VCC

Posted on March 31, 2021

A message from the VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

In recent weeks, an increase in COVID-19 infections has brought British Columbia’s caseload to the highest it’s been so far in the pandemic. Many of these cases involve faster-spreading variants of the virus, causing the need for extra vigilance. 

On Monday, March 29, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced multiple new restrictions affecting workers, schools, exercise facilities, restaurants, and more. Vancouver Community College (VCC) is urging all students and employees to follow these restrictions closely for the safety of our community.


Daily self-assessment

Due to increased provincial health restrictions and tracking measures, all employees (admin, staff, faculty) are now required to complete a daily self-assessment ( each day you are physically on any VCC campus. 

  • This is in addition to the weekly Pre-Screen Questionnaire. 
  • The daily assessment is a self-check, and does not need to be submitted to VCC.
    • However, a negative assessment needs to be communicated to your supervisor.
    • Students will continue with the assessment process via Moodle and their instructors.

Masks are required in all indoor public settings and workplaces

  • This applies to common areas where people circulate freely, such as hallways, stairwells, elevators, etc. 
    • Enclosed office spaces are exempt where physical distancing can be maintained. 
    • The mask requirement does not apply to people unable to wear a mask or put on or remove a mask on their own.  

Working from home

VCC employees who are able to work from home are strongly encouraged to do so. Do not come to campus if you don’t have to. For the small number of staff and instructors who must be on campus, please pay extra attention to physical distancing, mask-wearing, and hand hygiene.

If any VCC students or employees feel sick or display any sign of illness, they must stay home. The same applies to children in school K-12.

Confidentiality and privacy

It is important to remember that COVID-19 is a confidential health matter. There are processes in place to protect the rights of all our employees' and students' privacy in accordance with the Provincial Health Officer guidelines.

If you hear about a student or colleague being in contact with COVID-19 or contracting COVID-19, it is important to remember that this information is protected by privacy laws and should not be shared.

Local health authorities are responsible for contacting any and all people who may be impacted by a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.


Social gatherings 

Indoor social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble are prohibited.

Up to 10 people may gather outdoors with COVID-19 protection layers and physical distancing. Do not gather with several different groups. Stick to the same people.


  • All events and gatherings as defined in the PHO Gatherings and Events Order are suspended until further notice. 
    • NOTE: this does not apply to educational activities offered by post-secondary institutions to deliver and/or support student learning and development, as safety precautions are already in place.  
    • Please note the previously announced allowance for indoor religious gatherings and services has been suspended.


  • All non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province, or outside your health authority.
  • Essential travel within B.C. includes:
    • Regular travel for work within your region
    • Travel for medical appointments and hospital visits


All restaurants, pubs, and bars in British Columbia are to be closed for indoor dining. However, please continue to support VCC culinary students and alumni in Vancouver’s vibrant restaurant industry by ordering takeout or eating outdoors.

For the latest updates, please bookmark and check VCC’s COVID-19 information site regularly.

VCC announces new Vice President, People Services

Posted on March 30, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) president Ajay Patel is pleased to announce that Kate Dickerson will join the college as the new Vice President, People Services.

Kate brings over 20 years of experience providing leadership and strategic direction in all aspects of human resources management, including working with boards, employers’ associations, unions, and government. For the past three years she has been the Executive Director of Human Resources at E-Comm 911.

“We are very excited to have someone as seasoned as Kate join our team at such a crucial and exciting time for VCC,” says Ajay. “Her experiences with employees, stakeholders, and partners in challenging industries like emergency response and the health sector are a huge asset for us as we look to reinvigorate our Strategic Innovation Plan and move our Campus Master Plan forward. I am pleased to have Kate join our college family on our journey as we chart VCC’s future.”

Thanks to 13 years of experience at Vancouver Coastal Health, Kate is well-versed in navigating the challenges and dynamics of a complex organization. She has introduced progressive HR programs and policies, and negotiated agreements with multiple unions in health care and in emergency services.

“We are impressed with Kate’s sense of collaboration and her leadership experience with all levels of employee groups. I can’t think of a better fit for VCC at this time,” adds Ajay.

Ajay would also like to thank Chemistry Consulting who conducted the search, the members of the recommendations committee, which included stakeholder groups from across the college, and Tania Dong in VCC People Services.  

Kate begins her new role on May 3, 2021.

Welcome aboard!


Further Universal Design with RHFAC accessibility training

Posted on March 31, 2021

Patrick White has a clear plan of what he wants to accomplish – and Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) Training program is helping him achieve it.

Patrick’s goal is to become a preeminent Universal Design consultant, making the built environment inclusive for all. He’s always had an affinity for architecture and, having been a wheelchair user for 20 years, he often sees the built environment in ways others do not.

“The older I got, the more I wanted to use my career to make a difference,” Patrick said. Patrick’s background in accessibility and architecture, along with his lived experience, made him the perfect fit to become an RHFAC Professional.

His timing couldn’t be better. The federal government launched the Accessible Canada Act in 2019 and created Accessibility Standards Canada, an organization led by a board of directors, the majority of whom are persons with disabilities. As one of the organizations’ six pillars, it recently announced plans to make buildings in Canada more accessible for all.

Accessibility assessors working at VCC campus

The next advancement in architecture

Environmental sustainability has been a key consideration in architecture for more than a decade, so it makes sense for accessibility to be the next step. “You can’t really have sustainability if it doesn’t extend to people,” Patrick says. “A building needs to be able to sustain the changing needs of Canadians.”

“Let’s also consider the fact that it is people who are finding solutions to environmental issues,” he adds, “but they cannot accomplish this if they are unable to – literally – get through the door.”

Patick believes that, thanks to RHFAC training programs, more people will become aware of this connection. He also hopes it will add more people with disabilities to the work force and allow more people to enjoy spaces they normally wouldn’t because of the barriers involved.

VCC’s Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) Training is a registered program counting towards Continuing Education hours for architects, engineers, and more. When you earn your Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certificate, you are qualified to rate and certify sites for meaningful access under the RHFAC program.

VCC and RHF logos

Help make Canada more accessible for all by becoming an RHFAC Professional. Register now for May or September 2021.

Welcome to VCC – Winter 2020

Posted on January 1, 2020



Welcome new and returning students to Vancouver Community College! Let's make sure you have a great start. See below for information and resources to help you now and 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 questions, find one of our friendly Peer Helpers wearing a VCC T-shirt.

Student email

Get access to your myVCC student email:

  • Log in to and click the "Email" icon.
  • 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 please 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 and interactive carnival meant to help new and returning students learn about life at VCC. Join us for music, games, snacks, and prizes while getting to know classmates and staff, and learning about the many on-campus services available to you.

Welcome Days will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21 at the Broadway campus and Wednesday, January 22 at the Downtown campus.

VCC Welcome Days collage, musicians, cotton candy, hot dogs, games

Student services

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

Student services

Eat, shop and more

VCC also offers breastfeeding rooms and prayer spaces, please check with campus security for location information.

Student SIN numbers required

Starting in the 2019 tax year, the Canada Revenue Agency requires all post-secondary institutions to collect Social Insurance Numbers in order to issue Tuition and Enrolment Certificate (T2202) tax forms.

VCC students have already begun receiving official communications by email. Please update your SIN numbers by logging into myVCC or through our secure online form. Learn more >

Safe and respectful campus

VCC expects students to conduct themselves responsibly and respectfully. Please review the Student Code of Conduct policy and procedures, and learn about your rights and responsibilities.

Smoking and cannabis use

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 respectful manner. This includes being free from the effects of any intoxicants (including cannabis) while in class, on campus, or offsite. Learn more >

Let's connect

Follow VCC on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to stay up to date on college news like campus closures and other stories and announcements. Feel free to send us messages and questions, or share your own photos and stories using the hashtag #myVCC.

Instagram-icon-grey‌   Twitter-icon-gray‌   Facebook-icon-grey


The benefits of learning online

Posted on August 6, 2020

The majority of VCC Continuing Studies courses and programs scheduled to start in the Fall 2020 term will proceed using online learning and alternative delivery modes. At a time like this, you may want to consider the many benefits that learning online offers:

  • Learn from anywhere, including the comfort and safety of your home, local park or patio, while following public health guidelines.
  • Easily access and interact with your instructors, who are subject matter experts and industry practitioners in their fields.
  • Stay connected with your classmates and instructors and be part of an online learning community using platforms such as Zoom and Moodle.
  • Spend this time learning a new skill, advancing your professional skills, or continuing with your career education.
  • Work at your own pace. This means less intensity and less pressure.
  • Hone essential skills and become more self-motivated, a trait that will make you stand out in the workplace.
  • Take this opportunity to become more tech-savvy. Learn to navigate the course lectures, download materials, interact with others online, and communicate well digitally. These are essential skills in today’s work environment.

Check out all of the newest courses available to take online here. To view the full selection of courses and programs download the Fall 2020 Guide.

· Antiviral Cleaning: An Introduction to Disinfection
· Facility Management: An Introduction to this Exciting Profession

· Digital Marketing: An Introduction to the Fundamentals 
· Mobile Phone Photography 
· Volunteer Management 

· Addictions Counselling Advanced Certificate

· Launch and Build a Fashion Brand 
· Fashion Wholesaling
· Minimize Your Fashion Impact 
· Solving Fit For Online Customers 
· Branding Through Ornamentation 
· Product Line Architecture 
· Apparel Product Calendars 
· Product Briefs 

· Smart Home: An Introduction to Home Automation Technology 
· Microsoft Azure Fundamentals 
· Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam 
· 3D Studio Max Level 1 
· Revit Level 3 
· Digital Image Editing with GIMP 
· Software Product Management 
· Data Science I & II with Python 
· Let’s Talk About Death
· Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction
· Systems Change
· Urban Farming Essentials – Practical Resilience in Precarious Times
· The Work That Reconnects
· Local Economies
· Authenticity and Personal Mastery
· Leading Change in Teams
· Leading Change in Organizations
· Applied Leadership Project

· Advanced Writing Sparks to Refinement
· Writing to Heal Your Life
· The Nuts and Bolts of Fiction

Apply online now, attend an upcoming info session, or book an apointment with a program advisor

Top 10 VCC stories of 2019

Posted on January 7, 2020



How’s 2020 going so far? Get inspired for the new school year by reading 2019’s most popular online stories featuring VCC students, instructors, and alumni.

10. VCC partnership with Musqueam advances early childhood education 

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

9. VCC students rank high at WorldSkills Kazan 2019 

Two outstanding apprentices recognized for excellence on the global stage

8. Nespresso national competition finds pastry prodigies at VCC 

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

7. 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 

6. New Computer Systems Technology program opens doors to software careers 

Hundreds of tech industry jobs await grads from VCC’s newest program 

5. VCC shines at Skills Canada BC 2019 provincials 

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

4. Top Skills Canada performances launch VCC students onto the world stage 

VCC to compete in baking and culinary arts at WorldSkills 2019 in Russia

3. VCC will train Gladue report writers to advance justice for First Nations

New certificate program helps move Gladue reporting toward a national standard

2. VCC announces new Dean of Indigenous Initiatives 

Clayton Munro joins VCC to advance Indigenization of academy, space, and culture

1. Immigrant women find "Sewmates" in new VCC business program

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


Stay up to date on what's happening in the VCC community year round by visiting


Jolene’s story: making the grade in auto collision and refinishing

Posted on March 22, 2021

It takes years to learn a trade. Most Vancouver Community College (VCC) trades apprentices alternate between studying and on-the-job training for four years before fully starting their careers. It’s a major journey and a huge accomplishment. But what happens next?

After finishing her apprenticeship and earning her Red Seal in 2019, VCC automotive collision and refinishing alumna Jolene Orr began to notice some changes at work. “When you’re an apprentice, you get told to do this or that. Nobody asks for your opinion,” she says. “I went from being just a kid in the shop to having respect.”

Today, working as a painter at New Profession Collision in Richmond, Jolene now finds colleagues turning to her for professional advice on paint colours and finishes. “It surprised me a little bit,” she says.

Jolene Orr with vintage porsche in paint booth

Artistic license

Before entering the automotive collision and refinishing field, Jolene’s main interest was visual art, but career prospects weren’t promising. When her father recommended painting cars, she took an introductory course and loved it immediately. “I painted one bumper and that was it!” she says.

Jolene went on to attend VCC for automotive paint and refinishing apprenticeship training, and was extra pleased with the program’s hands-on learning, great instructors, and solid reputation. Even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Jolene’s high-calibre skills kept her working. After she was reluctantly let go by a dealership last year, Jolene found her current job right away. “Everyone says the best painters come out of VCC,” she says.

In her new job, Jolene is also happy for the chance to do more custom painting, such as the vintage Porsche 9-11 she got to work on recently (pictured). Looking ahead, Jolene says her future will be all about auto paint, and hopes to someday work as a paint company rep, mixing colours and working on custom projects around the region.

For now, however, Jolene is enjoying her expert status in the shop. For apprentices out there, she says simply doing good work is the best way to earn respect. “Show them you know what you’re doing,” she says. “The proof is in the pudding.”

Jolene Orr in paint booth with black porsche

Discover your future in transportation trades at VCC. Join an upcoming free info session or attend the next Experience VCC virtual open house to learn more.


May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust ensures students of all abilities continue learning during COVID-19

Posted on March 26, 2021

The Vancouver Community College (VCC) Foundation is pleased to recognize a 
new donation of $125,000 by the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust that supports VCC’s Adult Special Education programs and provides COVID-19 relief to Deaf, hard of hearing, and visually impaired students.   

Replicating a previous donation in support of VCC’s Adult Special Education programs, the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust is providing $100,000 over two years (2021-2022) to help VCC keep tuition one of the lowest for programs of this kind in Canada. The funds also help greatly in maintaining the variety and quality of VCC’s unique, job-focused training in areas such as food service, retail and hospitalitycomputersfinance management, and more.  

Advancing accessibility in remote learning 

This year, an additional $25,000 will help students in VCC’s Deaf and hard of hearing and visually impaired programs continue learning effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VCC offers an extensive range of courses in Braille and using blindness-related technology, and is the only public institution in British Columbia to maintain in-house American Sign Language interpreting servicesAs a result, students frequently relocate to the Vancouver area from other regions to attend VCC. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic has limited in-person learning and access to campus-based equipment and services, many of our Deaf, hard of hearing, and visually impaired students have struggled to continue their studies. This additional funding from the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust will be used towards urgently needed technology and resources that are essential to students who are now learning remotely. 

The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust is a U.S.-based non-profit that recognizes the dignity and potential of every individual. One of their top priorities is to strengthen supportive services for adults and youth with intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities, enabling them to live independently, gain economic security through employment, and engage in their communities. 

Learn how you can support the success of all VCC students through the VCC Foundation. 

Langley high school kitchen turns out future chefs

Posted on March 25, 2021

There’s a new take-out option coming to Langley.

Starting now the public can pre-order gourmet takeout and meal kits crafted by Langley students in the Walnut Grove Secondary Professional Cook program.

Supported by the Industry Training Authority (ITA), the tuition-free Youth Train in Trades Professional Cook 1 (PC1) program allows high school students in the Langley School District to cook with a Red Seal chef, while operating a restaurant.

“Youth Train PC1 is the level one of the professional cook program with [Vancouver Community College], and it’s the level one of the Red Seal program to become a professional chef,” explained Laura Dawe, the VCC chef who teaches the WGSS program.

VCC tuition is paid by the local district for Langley students registered in the program.

In addition to training alongside a professional chef, students will learn how to operate a restaurant.

One Season is our restaurant that we’ve opened here at Walnut Grove [Secondary] to have the students do their service component of the program, so part of their teaching in PC1 is to learn cafeteria service to the public,” Dawe explained.

In past years, the public could book reservations at the school’s restaurant, giving the students a chance to interact with paying customers. “So this year, instead of having the public come in and dine-in in house, we’re actually offering a fully to-go menu,” said Dawe. 

Continue reading in the Aldergrove Star > 

Did you know that B.C. high school students can get a head start in trades training as early as Grade 11? Learn more about Youth Train in Trades programs.

Vancouver Community College hosts COVID-19 vaccination clinic alongside testing site

Posted on March 25, 2021

In continued support of our province’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to offer space for Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) to host vaccination clinics during Phase 2 of B.C.’s Immunization Plan.

VCC’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic is located alongside the current outdoor COVID-19 test collection site at the Broadway campus (Impark Lot #865, 7th Ave. E at Glen Dr.).

According to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, these kinds of opportunities to ramp up B.C.’s immunization programs will likely lead to a careful return of some activities that have suspended, such as small social gatherings and kids’ camps. As was also announced recently, B.C. colleges and universities are to begin preparing for a full return to on-campus learning in Fall 2021.

Who is eligible to get immunized?

During the current phase of B.C.’s Immunization Plan, the province plans to immunize approximately 400,000 people from March to mid-April 2021.

Information on who is eligible and when to book a vaccine is available at

Eligible seniors and Indigenous peoples are now invited to call VCH’s appointment booking phone line at 1.877.587.5767.

VCH is appealing to family members, friends, neighbours, and social services agencies to help reach eligible seniors in the community.

Please only call the VCH appointment line if you are eligible to book your vaccination now.

COVID-19 testing

Although immunizations have begun, please remember that COVID-19 is still a threat to our community, and we must continue to follow all active PHO orders and restrictions.

Anyone in the VCH region with cold, influenza, or COVID-19-like symptoms, however mild, can be tested for COVID-19. Use the B.C. COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool or call 8-1-1 to see if you need to be tested. Locate a test collection centre or get more information via the BC Centre for Disease Control website.


VCC Continuing Studies brings the strength of industry into the classroom

Posted on March 24, 2021

At Vancouver Community College (VCC), most of our Continuing Studies instructors spend their days working and their evenings teaching. This means instructors from early childhood education to medical device reprocessing bring real-world examples and case studies into the classroom.

“When we have instructors who work in the industry, students gain a deeper understanding of how they will experience the workplace. The result is more practical, work-ready assignments and projects,” says Janet Chee, VCC office administration and paralegal program coordinator.

Being entrenched in industry also means our instructors bring valuable connections to the classroom. They engage guest speakers that provide unique perspectives and a deeper dive into topics, and offer support beyond the classroom such as providing tips on associations to join, places to volunteer, and job opportunities.

Success by design

Before a student even ends up in a classroom, VCC Continuing Studies engages with experts to help identify industry needs and what skills are essential for program graduates to start working immediately.

“Subject matter experts bring a wealth of knowledge and industry experience to the program discussion. As they engage with each other, the ideas start to fly. That’s when I start to get excited and feel confident in knowing that we are going to create an amazing program,” says Sid Khullar, VCC trades and technology program coordinator.

Finally, as students near the end of their programs, many find themselves connecting directly with their industries during a practicum. These work placement opportunities allow students to see first-hand how the workplace operates, and to activate their classroom learning in an industry setting.

“Practicums are great for furthering developing a student’s industry network,” says Sarah Murray, program coordinator for VCC’s fashion and counselling skills programs. “By the end of their programs, students’ networks will include not only instructors, but also guest speakers and practicum supervisors. Knowing people in the industry is so important to finding a job.”

Set yourself up for success this spring. See the VCC Continuing Studies courses now open for registration.

Planned power outage – March 28, 2021

Posted on March 23, 2021

VCC will be undergoing a planned power outage on Sunday, Mar. 28 from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Broadway campus building A. This outage will cause a temporary shutdown of the following:

  • Internet (from any on-campus computer)
  • VPN (Global Protect connections)
  • VCC websites including,,, and
  • Any electronic appliances in Broadway building A

During the outage, VCC’s Office 365 portal will remain accessible from off-campus devices. Visit and log in with your VCC credentials to access the following services:

  • Email (Outlook)
  • MS Teams
  • Online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • OneDrive

For assistance, please contact the VCC Helpdesk at 604.871.7000 ext. 8700, but please note IT Services will be unavailable during the outage period.

For questions about campus buildings or electronic appliances, contact VCC Facilities at 604.871.7000 ext. 8555 (Mon-Fri).


Five reasons an IT career may be in your future

Posted on March 22, 2021

Information Technology (IT) is the backbone of the digital economy. From financial transactions and e-commerce to entertainment and raising awareness for social causes, our daily lives rely upon the successful provisioning, maintenance, and management of IT infrastructure.

IT specialists are in demand. Check out the top five reasons to launch your IT career at Vancouver Community College (VCC):

1. Employer-developed programs

VCC’s new IT Operations Professional program was built with feedback from employers, subject matter experts, and students. Students will be ready to launch a career in IT with a strong foundation in computer hardware, software, networks, and security.

2. VCC grads are career-ready

B.C.’s technology sector is growing fast. There are an expected 4,700+ jobs openings for computer network technicians and user support technicians. There are no shortage of job opportunities, from help desk, to desk-side support, and into third level support for various areas of IT management. These are among the high-opportunity occupations in B.C. offering some of the best openings over the next 10 years.

3. VCC programs are hands-on 

At VCC, students are trained by engaging in experiential and hands-on learning to manage incidents and resolve issues related to IT Operations, including applications and infrastructure components.

4. Good money

IT technicians earn higher than average wages. According to WorkBC, the average wages in this sector are approximately 75 per cent higher than the B.C. industrial average.

5. There’s always something new 

VCC understands that IT is a forever-changing environment that offers incredible work experiences in a fast-paced atmosphere. Being able to produce new solutions and staying on the cutting-edge of technology is satisfying and rewarding. If you are a lifelong learner, IT is the career for you.

Find your future. Learn more about VCC’s IT at an upcoming free information session or our Experience VCC online open house.


VCC Fall 2019 Student Awards recap

Posted on November 28, 2019



On Friday, Nov. 22, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to celebrate over 200 deserving students at our Fall 2019 Student Awards ceremonies.

During the morning ceremony, VCC’s interim president Ajay Patel, along with deans, instructors, and awards donors presented a variety of scholarships to individual students from VCC’s School of Health Sciences, School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business, and School of Trades, Technology and Design.

The afternoon ceremony honoured students from VCC’s Centre for Continuing Studies, School of Instructor Education, School of Arts and Sciences, and VCC Music.

"Throughout my education, I was fortunate enough to receive several bursaries, and I know first-hand what a difference awards like these can make," said Ajay in his welcoming speech. "Someone who is touched by a gift, goes on to give."

This term, 202 awards were given out with a combined total of $155,431.

Following each ceremony, students, friends, and family members were invited to a tea reception offering the chance to celebrate alongside donors and VCC faculty and staff. 

Official photos

View the photo galleries of the Fall 2019 Student Awards ceremonies. All attendees are invited to download and share their photos. 


Student Awards video feature

Each year, VCC Foundation selects one or more Student Award recipients to profile in a video feature. This fall, the honour went to culinary arts students Katherine Aguilar, recipient of the Santiago Cuyugan Award of Excellence; Jacqueline Guadalupe Muñoz Hererra, recipient of the International Wine & Food Society Award; and Phuong (Anne) Nguyen, recipient of the Cactus Club Café Above and Beyond Award. 


Did you know? In honour of #GivingTuesday, VCC Foundation has committed to match the first $20,000 in new donations between Tuesday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. LEARN MORE >

Bees, flowers, and sustainable fashion blossom at VCC

Posted on October 15, 2020

Mason bee hovering next to habitat tube


Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to welcome some helpful new members to our campus community – a colony of mason bees! 

Unlike honeybees, who build complex hives and work together in large numbers, mason bees are solitary but effective pollinators that live in small, reed-like tubes. Mason bees are non-aggressive and do not make honey, instead eating the pollen they collect.

VCC’s new mason bees and their custom-built houses were the result of a special sustainability project led by VCC science instructors Klaudia Jurkemik and Jacqueline Shehadeh. The initiative was made possible thanks to VCC’s Environmental Community Action Team (ECAT) and the Eco-College Small Grants program that provided up to $500 for winning sustainability proposals in late 2019.

Want to see the bees in action? Two of the mason bee homes in VCC’s Broadway campus courtyard have plexiglass sides, which allow the colony to be viewed by the community and used for educational purposes in our Biology classes.

Mason bee house at VCC Broadway

Garden bed upgrades 

To keep our bees happy and our urban ecosystem thriving, additional recipients this year’s Eco-College Small Grants have worked to keep flowers and vegetables growing at the Broadway campus. 

Thanks to the funding, mathematics department assistant and volunteer gardener Jotie Grewalson was able to re-soil and clean the courtyard beds, while student Xianan Bai planted a variety of perennial flowering bulbs including allium, gladiolus, and lilium. “I wanted our garden to be beautiful for a long time,” says Xianan.


Xianan planting bulbs and red gladiolas


Fighting fast fashion

Our final group of Eco-College grant winners approached the idea of “green” a little differently – by looking deep inside our closets. In their proposal, VCC Adult Special Education students in the Managing Your Money (CCED 0608) class wanted to call attention to issues surrounding “fast fashion” and textile waste. In doing so, they researched key statistics for an information campaign that would encourage the VCC community to reduce, reuse, and recycle their clothing.

In collaboration with VCC Graphic Design, the grant winners produced a series of posters and flyers that were launched at VCC Fashion’s “Clothing Mend-It" event in March 2020 and subsequently distributed across VCC campuses. 

Two poster images: Buy Less Wear More and Reduce, Repair, Reuse.

Poster design "Buy Less Wear More" by Kylie Woo
Poster design "Reduce, Repair, Reuse" by Lera Matsumura

Read more about how VCC continues to integrate energy conservation and sustainability into campus culture. 

Student T2202 tax forms available

Posted on February 23, 2021

Updated 2020 Student tax forms (T2202 forms) for VCC students will be available as of Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021.

Note: your Social Insurance Number (SIN) must be included in your student record in order for a T2202 tax form to be issued. Please ensure your SIN has been submitted

How to access your T2202

  • Go to myVCC.
  • Enter your student ID number and your password. Then click 'Submit' 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, enter your password. If you cannot remember your password, select "Password Help").

myVCC login box

  • Select the “Pay fees/Tax Forms" panel on the welcome screen.
  • Under the "Personal Information" tab, select "My Tax Forms (T2202)", then "T2202 Tax Credit Form".
  • Select the tax year you would like to print. (Select “printable T2202 form” to get the official form that is used for filing your taxes.)

If you need help accessing your tax form, please follow the steps described in the T2202 Frequently Asked Questions document. If you have any questions about your tax form, please email with your question and student ID.

Shape your path with new courses from VCC Continuing Studies

Posted on March 11, 2021

A message from VCC Continuing Studies dean Adrian Lipsett

What’s your dream career? What opportunity or interest have you been wanting to explore? In times such as this, we tend to avoid this line of inquiry for the sake of keeping our heads above the waves.

And yet, even amid this uniquely challenging period, each of us has the opportunity to pause, reflect on our current trajectory, and consider how we can bring about increasingly positive changes in our lives.

For those inclined to improve their own professional journeys, VCC Continuing Studies is exceptionally poised and ready to serve. Our mandate is to support our community through courses and programs specifically designed to help learners craft new possibilities for their lives. From pursuing new career options to generating additional and exciting revenue streams, our course and program offerings provide the needed boost to equip you for your future success.

One of the unique features of our programming is our focus on flexibility. Programs and courses are offered in the evenings to fit around the working professional’s schedule; offerings for those wishing to enter a new field are often structured in as short a time as possible to hasten the start of your new career; and as a result of ongoing uncertainty with the pandemic, our coursework in general has been adjusted to enable you to study from anywhere, while still ensuring you retain access to essential support services here at VCC.

Our students also enjoy the rich diversity of our offerings. From fashion, counselling, and medical device reprocessing, to early childhood education, business, and technology, VCC Continuing Studies provides you with a broad spectrum of specialized, industry-supported, and interest-driven opportunities for you to study.

As we continue to add to and improve upon our scope of programming, we invite you to explore our catalogue to find what best aligns with your own future goals. Our staff is available to answer any questions you may have and to assist you with registration.

This is a time to explore and benefit from new opportunities, to craft a new path forward. Start shaping your new path today.


New courses and programs – Spring 2021








Adrian Lipsett
Dean, Continuing Studies
Vancouver Community College

VCC Continuing Studies dean Adrian Lipsett












VCC Fashion shines in the community

Posted on March 13, 2021

The world of fashion has many faces. Top designers can produce works of art worth millions of dollars. Fast fashion gives us cute styles for less, but can take a toll on workers and the environment. Yet clothes are essential – we all need something to wear!

At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we take a people-centered approach to the fashion industry, emphasizing ethics and sustainability alongside creativity and innovation. Did you know that, as a standard part of VCC fashion programs, students work on charitable projects in the community?

For the past three years, VCC Fashion has operated a holiday sewing factory. We have made tote bags to welcome temporary modular housing residents, adult bibs and wheelchair bags for seniors in care, and COVID-19 masks for homeless youth. These projects are student-led; they do everything from pattern development to sewing to textile surface design.

VCC Fashion also supports the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre by producing a fashion show as part of their annual Herstory in Focus fundraiser. Staff and students from both VCC’s design and merchandising programs host styling workshops and runway walk classes, and help with choreography and backstage management.

In the fashion design and production program, our fashion cycle 5 class creates business attire made completely from donated fabric that, in turn, is given to charities such as Dress for Success, YWCA Career Zone, and the Harvest Project.

Fashion is about beauty, and at VCC, we do our best to foster the beautiful side of our industry by giving back and producing grads that will continue making positive change.

Come learn about trend movement and adoption, and participate in creating a trend word cloud at our next Fashion Cycles webinar. SIGN UP NOW >

Get your questions about VCC’s fashion programs answered during online open office hours with program coordinator Sarah Murray. LEARN MORE >

VCC partners with Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre to offer basic education courses

Posted on March 10, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to partner with Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre to offer tuition-free basic reading, writing, and math upgrading classes to our neighbours in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Start dates

April 2021 (then monthly) 

Class schedule

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - 12:30 to 3 p.m.


VCC’s Basic Education program welcomes students who want to refresh and build skills for personal, training, education, and employment goals. During COVID-19, students may participate in person or online.

Classes are held at Ray-Cam, 920 East Hastings St., Vancouver.

Admission requirements

This program is for adults (16 years or older) who speak English fluently.


  • Math
  • English reading and writing


This program is tuition-free. 

Support services available through Ray-Cam

  • Child-minding is available
  • Meals for students
  • Technology and other supports available

Sign up now

Contact: James Ash at Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre
Phone: 604.220.7277

Info sessions will begin on March 2, 2021.

We respectfully acknowledge that we work and learn on the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlilw̓ ̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh First Nations).


President’s message: Expect a return to campus in September 2021

Posted on March 8, 2021

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

Dear college community,

I’m pleased to share that on March 8, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training Anne Kang announced that the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), Dr. Bonnie Henry advised all B.C. post-secondary institutions to begin planning for a return to safe, on-campus teaching and learning in September 2021.

“I’m encouraged by Dr. Henry’s advice that a return to in-person instruction can be done safely this fall for all students, staff, and faculty. In fact, it’s important to do so for people’s well-being,” said Minister Kang. 

This announcement is an outcome of the demonstrated leadership of the post-secondary sector in responding to COVID-19, including adopting new health and safety protocols and quickly adapting to remote learning. It is an exciting and eagerly anticipated step forward in our journey together through the pandemic.

What happens now

While this is encouraging news, please keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and we must continue to follow all active health guidelines in order to realize this goal.

Looking ahead to September, VCC's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will immediately convene a Campus Recovery Working Group to ensure a safe, robust, and comprehensive process for returning to on-campus activities that adheres to the province’s Go-Forward guidelines [PDF].

It is important to note that VCC has continued to operate essential learning activities safely on campus during the pandemic, and we have every confidence that, over the next six months, we will be able to plan for a safe return in the fall.

As this is new information, the EOC will share plans and details as they become available.  

Let’s do this together

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult and stressful time for everyone, including VCC students, faculty, and staff. This past year has challenged all of us in ways we could never have expected. We know that young adults have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic — as evidenced by worsening mental health, increased financial instability, and concerns over diminished future prospects.

The safe return to VCC campuses will benefit everyone’s health and well-being. That’s why it is vital that we resume delivery of our programs and robust educational experiences for our students.  

Many students, faculty, and staff are eager to return to campus, while others may be feeling a bit anxious. Please be assured that at every step, we will be working with Dr. Henry and all our partners to make sure the right measures are in place to keep people safe.

A return to on-campus learning is excellent news for VCC, as well as for the economic health and strength of our communities and province. We need to get back to doing what we do best: delivering innovative, experiential learning for life.

VCC has shown that we can do amazing work in difficult times. In the year ahead, we will continue to do so. On behalf of the VCC Board of Governors, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and admiration to all VCC employees and students for your hard work and perseverance during the past year. Brighter days are ahead.


Best wishes,  

Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College


Make Census Day count on May 11

Posted on March 9, 2021

Statistics Canada has announced that Canada’s next Census Day is Tuesday, May 11, 2021. All Canadians are invited to take part in this important event.

Held every five years, the census counts every person in Canada and collects basic information about age, sex at birth, gender, official languages and family relationships. The long-form questionnaire gathers further details about income, education, religion, ethnic origins, Indigenous identity and languages, and more. A number of random households (about 25 per cent of the total) will receive the long-form questionnaire instead of the shorter version.

Census information is vital for planning programs and services at the national, provincial, territorial and local levels. Data are used by organizations, businesses, municipalities, governments, and Indigenous communities across Canada.

Census jobs for students

Statistics Canada is currently hiring. There are 32,000 census job opportunities across Canada that are ideal for students seeking both non-supervisory positions (enumerator) or supervisory positions (crew leader).



Provincial Health Officer letter to B.C. post-secondary presidents

Posted on March 8, 2021

On March 8, 2021, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry sent a letter to all B.C. post-secondary presidents, acknowledging their institutions’ leadership and contributions in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 over the past year, and endorsing a safe return to on-campus learning in September 2021.

In the letter, Dr. Henry shared concerns about the well-being of post-secondary students and stressed the importance of colleges and universities in young peoples’ lives. Aligning with B.C.’s vaccine rollout plan and the Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector, Dr. Henry supports a “safe and complete resumption of campus teaching, learning, and research” this fall.

Read the full letter [PDF]



Pastry practice: behind the scenes with Team VCC

Posted on May 24, 2019

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to be sending a solid team of competitors to the 2019 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC), happening Monday, May 27 to Wednesday, May 29 in Halifax, NS. 

Earlier this week, we visited the top-secret Skills Canada practice sessions happening inside the VCC bakeries. Meet two of our most talented and promising pastry artists:



Clarissa Roque

Team Canada candidate – WorldSkills 2019

Clarissa is a Level 3 baking and pastry arts apprentice who is no stranger to intense competition. Having participated in Skills BC “just for fun” in Grade 10, Clarissa soon found herself repeatedly topping the podium in the secondary school category. 

This year, with three SCNC appearances already under her belt, Clarissa will be trying for an opportunity to represent Canada at WorldSkills 2019 in Kazan, Russia. 

Clarissa, who inherited a love for baking from her parents, brings to the competition deep creative skills in drawing and sculpting, a sophisticated flavour palette, and remarkable organization and focus. “Competitions are really stressful but somehow I kind of like the stress,” she says.

During the WorldSkills Team Canada trials in Halifax, Clarissa will have to produce seven different types of pastries in 14 hours over the course of two days.



Farzin Irani

Baking competitor – SCNC 2019

Farzin is a Level 1 apprentice who started the VCC baking and pastry arts program in April 2018. After high school, Farzin first entered a science degree program but switched to baking after only one semester. “I took the risk and fell in love with it,” she says.

In addition to having great organization skills and extraordinary attention to detail, Farzin stands out by using Persian flavours like saffron and rosewater that she grew up enjoying. “I don’t want to use the same things as everyone else, like strawberries,” she says. “I use flavours that I like and I know well.”

Since January, Farzin has been going above and beyond her coursework to train in the VCC kitchens multiple times per week. She appreciates the helpful feedback offered by her instructors, as well as their willingness to work with her after hours. 

During the SCNC competition in Halifax, Farzin will have to produce five different types of pastries in a single, eight-hour session. 


Did you know you can begin a baking apprenticeship while still in high school? Learn more about the Youth Train in Trades program offered at VCC.

VCC students rank high at WorldSkills Kazan 2019

Posted on August 30, 2019



For the first time, two Vancouver Community College (VCC) students have ranked among the best in the world in their skilled trades.  

After six days of Olympic-esque ceremonies and intense competition, WorldSkills Kazan 2019 wrapped up on Tuesday, August 27 in Kazan, Russia with VCC baking and pastry arts apprentice Clarissa Roque placing 5th out of 23 competitors in her category, and VCC culinary apprentice Leah Patitucci placing 11th out of 48.

Of the 32-member Team Canada competing in Kazan, 14 were also awarded Medallions of Excellence for their work, including Clarissa and Leah. In total, over 1,300 young professionals from 63 countries and regions competed in the event. 

Over the past two years, both Clarissa and Leah have continuously won their way into higher and higher levels of competition, starting with regional Skills Canada competitions, then provincials, nationals, and finally earning spots on WorldSkills Team Canada 2019.

In addition to school and work, both competitors spent countless hours training in VCC kitchens alongside chef instructors and other culinary experts and coaches. Both students also generously gave their time to local media for news and radio interviews (see more below). 

Upon her return to Canada, Leah will continue her work in fine dining at The Pear Tree Restaurant in Burnaby, B.C., and Clarissa will continue perfecting her craft at Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie.

Please join all of VCC in congratulating these women for their outstanding performances on the international stage, and stay tuned for more stories from Russia! 




Baking with the best: Clarissa Roque earns top recognition at WorldSkills

Posted on January 29, 2020



At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we’re extremely proud of our skilled trades competitors, whether they’re aiming for medals in regional, provincial, or national competitions. Every two years, however, the WorldSkills competition offers a chance for ultimate international recognition. 

After countless practice sessions and advancing through multiple levels of competition over the past two years, in August 2019, VCC baking and pastry arts apprentice Clarissa Roque found herself on the way to WorldSkills 2019 in Kazan, Russia. 

The 37-hour journey included stops in Montreal, Frankfurt, and Moscow, before arriving in the riverside city of Kazan. Clarissa and the rest of Team Canada (including VCC culinary arts competitor Leah Patitucci) spent the next few days settling in and sightseeing. Then, following an Olympic-like opening ceremony, the baking battle began. 

Gearing up 

Over four days, Clarissa was required to create hand-piped and hand-dipped chocolates, marzipan figurines, a two-tiered buttercream cake, petit fours, a plated dessert, and a sugar showpiece – all representing Formula One Grand Prix racing. 

When the theme was revealed only three months prior to the competition, it sent Clarissa and her instructors into creative action. “It was bizarre,” she says, “I didn’t even know what Formula One was!” Nonetheless, she got to work researching the rules, traditions, and symbols of this international car racing tournament. In the end, Clarissa’s creations included an ingenious “tire” cake, a buttercream winner’s wreath, sugar cars, and even a marzipan groundhog (Team Canada’s mascot) wearing a little racing uniform.


The stress test

Clarissa knows from experience that competitions never go exactly as planned, even on the international stage. In Kazan, a near-disaster came on the first day of competition when her induction stove stopped working. “I was doing sugar work,” she says. “It’s a good thing I noticed right away.” In the end, the stove replacement put her behind schedule by about an hour, but she stayed focused and, with only an extra 10 minutes granted, still completed on time.

“I always get nervous, no matter how many times I do something,” says Clarissa, “but I know now more of what to expect.” During practice sessions at VCC, instructor Wolfgang Dauke‎ would bring up all kinds of scenarios – including equipment failures – to help Clarissa troubleshoot. 

Any chef will agree that unexpected situations crop up in kitchens and bakeries regularly. Thanks to her Skills experiences, Clarissa says she’s now prepared for nearly anything in her day-to-day work. “I feel like I can handle more crisis situations because of the competitions.”

World class

Clarissa’s personal goal was to finish in the top 50 per cent of WorldSkills competitors. In the end, she surpassed her own expectations by placing fifth out of 23 in the Pâtisserie and Confectionery category, and was also awarded a Medallion of Excellence for earning a total score above 700.

“The medallion meant a lot to me,” she says. “I’m happy with everything I made. I’m also very proud that I didn’t back out.”

At only 19, Clarissa has a world of opportunity ahead of her. Thanks to travelling and competing internationally, she’s started to dream of working abroad. For now, she’s enjoying her work in one of Burnaby’s finest chocolate and dessert shops, Chez Christophe

At the end of a busy day crafting (and tasting) impeccable chocolates and sweets, however, even Canada’s most promising pastry artist needs a break. “Sometimes I just cannot look at any more chocolate,” she says. “I crave steak, fried chicken, anything salty and meaty – especially if it’s cooked by someone else!”


Help us congratulate Clarissa! Join VCC’s annual Flourish fundraising gala on Wednesday, Feb. 5 where she’ll be receiving an Outstanding Alumni Award in the “One to Watch” category. Tickets still available >



Learn more about VCC's wide range of baking programs including Youth Train in Trades, specialized certificates in baking or pastry artsapprenticeship levels, and part-time courses


VCC receives Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™

Posted on April 22, 2020


Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that our Building B at the Broadway campus is now officially certified through the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program, which recognizes meaningful access for people of all abilities. Some of the areas rated include accessible routes to the main entrances, accessible outdoor parking lots, proximity to transit, wayfinding, emergency systems, and more. Building B is now listed on the RHFAC Registry and will be displaying window decals at the entrances.

“This achievement is a proud accomplishment for VCC and speaks to our values of being accessible and inclusive for everyone,” says Ajay Patel, VCC president and CEO.

RHFAC aims to improve the accessibility of the built environment for people with vision, hearing and mobility disabilities – the places where we live, work, learn, and play. RHFAC is a national rating system that helps both owners and tenants measure the accessibility of their buildings and sites based on a consistent methodology, and promotes increased access through the adoption of Universal Design principles. 

Rick Hansen Foundation Vice President, Access and Inclusion Brad McCannell offers his congratulations. “This is a testament to your commitment to ensuring meaningful access for students, staff, and visitors of all abilities," he says. "We are proud to partner with VCC and this certification means that students, no matter their physical ability, have equal access to learning.” 

Beyond our buildings

In addition to earning this prestigious certification, VCC is proud to have trained many of the RHFAC professionals in Vancouver through a one-of-a-kind educational partnership formed in 2016.

Patricia Short, the main RHFAC assessor who rated Building B, is both an alumna of VCC’s Provincial Instructor Diploma program (PIDP) and an RHFAC Training instructor, who helped to develop the RHFAC Training curriculum. “VCC has shown great commitment to this program, right from the beginning. I am proud to be a member of this community,” she says.

Since its launch via VCC Continuing Studies, RHFAC Training has since expanded to five other post-secondary institutions across Canada. Over 1,250 sites have been rated across Canada thus far, with over 800 achieving RHF Accessibility Certified or Certified RHFAC Accessibility Certified Gold status. 

VCC is currently completing the rating process for Building A at the Broadway campus, and the Downtown campus will be rated once physical distancing measures are lifted in British Columbia.   


Are you ready to help Canada become more accessible? VCC’s two-week, 48-hour Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) Training course runs in both the Spring and Fall terms at VCC. 


VCC receives second Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™

Posted on July 27, 2020


Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that our Building A at the Broadway campus is now officially certified through the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program, which recognizes meaningful access for people of all abilities. Building A, constructed in 1983, was VCC's first building at the Broadway campus, and is home to VCC's automotive trades programs, international culinary arts, academic upgrading, university transfer programs, and more. 

Areas assessed include accessible routes to the main entrances, accessible outdoor parking lots, proximity to transit, wayfinding, emergency systems, and more. VCC's Broadway campus buildings are now listed on the RHFAC Registry and will be displaying window decals at the entrances.

Building B, which is home to VCC's health sciences programs, Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department, and serves as a public event space, earned VCC's first RHFAC certification in April 2020. Evaluation of VCC's Downtown campus is also planned in the near future.

Access for all

RHFAC is an organization that aims to improve the accessibility of the built environment for people with vision, hearing and mobility disabilities – the places where we live, work, learn, and play. RHFAC has created a national rating system that helps both owners and tenants measure the accessibility of their buildings and sites based on a consistent methodology, and promotes increased access through the adoption of Universal Design principles. 

VCC is also proud to have trained many of the RHFAC professionals in Vancouver through a one-of-a-kind educational partnership formed in 2016.

Since its launch via VCC Continuing Studies, RHFAC Training has since expanded to five other post-secondary institutions across Canada. Over 1,250 sites have been rated across Canada thus far, with over 800 achieving RHF Accessibility Certified or Certified RHFAC Accessibility Certified Gold status. 


Are you ready to help Canada become more accessible? VCC’s two-week, 48-hour Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) Training course runs in both the Spring and Fall terms at VCC. 


Introducing Transformative Learning – new courses for positive personal change

Posted on August 19, 2020

Two-sided image of urban garden and woman hiking a mountaintop


What about your life do you wish you could transform? Are there elements of today’s world that you wish you were better prepared to face?

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies is pleased to launch a new program area – Transformative Learning – featuring courses designed to help people thrive in an evolving world and reach their fullest potential in health, wellness, careers, and relationships.

"The world around us is rapidly changing. That’s why it’s important to build a knowledge base around critical topics and develop methods for embracing our unknown future,” says Transformative Learning program coordinator Sarah Murray. 

Browse the new courses for Fall 2020 below or attend an upcoming free information session to learn more about this exciting new program area from VCC Continuing Studies.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Learn to live the mantra “stay calm and carry on.” Discover ways to understand your triggers and acquire the skills and practices needed to manage stress. 

Work That Reconnects
Strengthen your relationship with our world by developing compassion, connections, and hope through a series of interactive practices.

Systems Change
Discover how to map a system, identify leverage points, dismantle silos, and envision a system that can lead to positive change.

Let’s Talk about Death
Open a dialogue about dying and develop a set of end-of-life resources by uncovering new and traditional approaches to death. 

Urban Farming Essentials
Stock your pantry and your bank account with a combination of gardening tips, crop planning, and small business know-how.

Local Economies
Create a list of personal values you can use when shopping as you learn how to contribute to the re-establishment of our economic health. 

Get to know the benefits of online learning and see what else is new from VCC Continuing Studies this fall. 

VCC introduces Eco-College grants for sustainability initiatives

Posted on October 21, 2019



Inspired by the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan initiatives, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to introduce the VCC Eco-College Small Grants Program.

This program provides grants of up to $500 to current VCC students, instructors, and staff who wish to develop projects that help make the college greener.

The VCC Eco-College grants will be allocated to projects based on VCC’s Environmental Sustainability Strategies:

  1. Environmental purchasing
  2. Local food
  3. Energy efficient buildings
  4. Green transportation
  5. Zero waste
  6. Sustainability curriculum development
  7. Community activations
  8. Water conservation

How to submit

Proposals must include:

  • A completed VCC Eco-College Small Grant application form (PDF)
  • Applicant name, Banner ID, phone number, email address, role at VCC (staff, student, instructor, etc.)
  • Project concept, location, budget, and related Environmental Sustainability Strategy (see 1-8 above)
  • All student proposals must include a recommendation letter from a VCC instructor, staff member, program, or service area.

Proposals may be submitted in any format (document, video file, audio file, or in person). To book an in-person proposal session, please contact VCC’s Environmental Community Action Team (ECAT) by emailing

What kinds of projects qualify? 

  • Projects must be free, accessible, and welcoming to all.
  • Participants must not profit financially from the project.
  • Projects will not be supported retroactively.
  • Grant money may be used to pay people for services. Total honorarium(s) may not be more than $100 per project.
  • Applicants must have a current ID in Banner (VCC’s registration system).
  • Applicants may apply for only one grant per year.
  • Team/co-applicants are permitted to apply.
  • Project should be implemented between November 2019 and February 2020, although they may be ongoing.


All proposals must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019.

Selection process

A panel will determine the eligibility of grant recipients based on the following criteria:

  1. Alignment with VCC’s Vision Statement (VCC – the first choice for innovative, experiential learning for life)
  2. Alignment with VCC’s Environmental Sustainability Strategies
  3. Community engagement
  4. Fun

Winners will be announced Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Using your grant

Grant recipients will be assigned an ECAT liaison member who will help navigate VCC resources such as room booking, printing, marketing, security, risk assessment, etc.

If the project is going to take place in a common area of the college, the grant recipient must obtain appropriate permission and insurance prior to their project start date.

Grant recipients are responsible for managing the grant money. They will be required to keep expense receipts to account for all project costs. While some projects may continue year-round, it is expected that grants are spent and receipts submitted no later than February 15, 2020.

Grant winners will be required to supply a 300-word report and images of the project after completion.


Did you know? VCC has surpassed its sustainability goals by achieving $2 million in energy savings in less than 10 years.

COVID-19 updates from VCC's Student Service team

Posted on April 14, 2020

 Watch an American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message

Dear VCC student,

Over the past few weeks, we have seen the COVID-19 pandemic change how we learn, work, play, and live. Our collective response to these unexpected challenges has brought to light the strength, resilience, and heart of our college community. As we navigate through this, please know that VCC’s Student Service team is here to support you.


With information changing fast and coming from many sources, please bookmark VCC's new COVID-19 information site and check back frequently for the latest updates on student services, resources, and frequently asked questions.

Emergency funding

Information on relevant and helpful government and community funding can be found by visiting the resources page on VCC's COVID-19 information site. For information on VCC's Indigenous emergency assistance fund, please contact

International students

For international students, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has stated that the transition of Canadian post-secondary programs to online studies will not impact visas, study permits, or post-graduate work permits. If you have questions, please contact VCC International student support.

Studying from abroad

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is now allowing international students with study permits for programs starting in May or June to complete up to 50 per cent of their program online from abroad, before travelling to Canada. ‌


Campus and technology access

Need access to the Internet or a computer? VCC’s computer labs are available:

Downtown campus
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Learning Centre

Please bring VCC or government-issued ID and a letter from your program confirming your active student status. The computer lab can be accessed from the Dunsmuir St. entrance only, and by signing in with Security.

Broadway campus
Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Building B, room 2231

The computer lab in Building B can be accessed from the 7th Ave. entrance.

Libraries and tutoring

VCC's librarians are available! Chat online with them using AskAway, or get personalized help in English, Business, Math, Life Sciences, and Sciences from our Learning Centre tutors using Zoom. You can book your sessions via WCOnline

Get tips on resume writing, practice one-to-one interview skills, and explore careers online using Career Guidance

Disability services and interpreting 

As our classes shift to online and alternative delivery modes, VCC’s Disability Services and Registered Sign Language Interpreting teams are available to ensure your new learning environment and materials are accessible. Please get in touch by emailing or

Dispute resolution

If you have any concerns that you are being treated unfairly, have a specific complaint, or would like to appeal a grade, the Arbiter of Student Issues at VCC is an impartial, neutral, and confidential resource for you. The office provides information on student rights and responsibilities, and assistance with college policies and procedures. Please contact the Arbiter by emailing or calling 604.871.7000 ext. 7040.

Your health and well-being 

VCC's Student Service team cares about your health and well-being. It is very normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious at this time, with the heightened stressors that surround us. If this is your experience, VCC counsellors are just a call away. Check out your health and dental plan and student savings card at SUVCC's Green Shield Canada.

Very soon, LinkedIn Learning will also be available to VCC students, which includes many wonderful webinars on self care. Watch for a special announcement and stay up to date by checking your myVCC student portal


Student loans

Effective March 30, 2020, all British Columbia (StudentAid BC) and national (NSLSC) student loan borrowers will temporarily have their repayments suspended.


The Government of B.C. is introducing a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions, and freezing rents. 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

For eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19, the Government of Canada is offering temporary income support.  

B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

The Government of B.C. will provide a one-time payment to people who lost income because of COVID-19. 

Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)

Post-secondary students hired through SWPP may now access more flexible start dates and duration of placements. Students may also be permitted to work from home, and post-secondary institutions may access a wage subsidy.

Canada Summer Jobs Program

Up to 70,000 summer jobs will be created for youth between the ages of 15 and 30, thanks to more flexible hiring policies and increased wage subsidies.

We’re here for you

If you have any other questions or concerns, please connect with our Student Service Centre team by calling 604.871.7000, option 2. Please stay safe, take care of yourself, those you love, and those you don't know – we are all in this together.

Jane Shin, MEd MD
Associate Vice President, Student Success
Vancouver Community College

Social Insurance Number (SIN) now required for student tax forms

Posted on December 13, 2019



Starting in the 2019 tax year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires all post-secondary institutions to collect Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) for Tuition and Enrolment Certificate (T2202) tax forms (formerly T2202A).

VCC issues T2202 forms in late February each year. Students may download their tax forms by logging into myVCC

To ensure your T2202 form is successfully issued, please submit your SIN by updating your personal information on myVCC or via this secure, online form:



You must be logged into myVCC as a student to complete this form. 

Please do not email your SIN.

For more information about tuition and education tax credits, see the latest CRA update


Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have a SIN. How can I apply for one?

Apply for a SIN in person at your nearest Service Canada office. Applying for a SIN is free and applicants must present valid original primary identification. For more information about SIN applications, see the government’s SIN application guide.

I misplaced or can’t remember my SIN. How can I find it?

Your SIN is printed on your latest Notice of Assessment from the CRA. If this isn’t available, you can request a confirmation of SIN at your nearest Service Canada office. For more information on SIN confirmation requests, visit the government’s SIN application guide.

I do not want to share my SIN online. Can I submit it in person?

Our online form is secure and your SIN is protected by VCC’s privacy policies, however you may also visit VCC Admissions and Records to submit your SIN in person.

Who can I contact for more information?

Domestic students may contact VCC Admissions and Records at our Broadway and Downtown campuses. International students may contact VCC International at our Downtown campus.


VCC’s COVID-19 response has community at its core

Posted on February 26, 2021

Originally published in The Globe and Mail

Colleges and institutes across Canada have played a key role in the response to the coronavirus pandemic – collaborating to support students, communities, and industry while working to contribute to a just recovery.

In British Columbia, for example, Vancouver Community College (VCC) partnered with Vancouver Coastal Health to ensure its students were work-ready under COVID-19 conditions. At the community level, VCC made its Broadway campus parking lot available for coronavirus testing, collected and donated more than 60,000 items of PPE and partnered with the City of Vancouver to make more than 80,000 meals so far for vulnerable community members. To continue to equip their students to serve the organizations depending on their skills, VCC’s faculty and staff made a rapid shift to online course delivery, even in programs like culinary training and automotive repair that have traditionally been entirely hands-on.

“Many of our courses are very experiential, so we had to deliver as much as we could online, while also building a safety plan to bring students back in to give them those essential hands-on skills,” says Dennis Innes, the college’s dean of hospitality, food and business.

It was an immersive, exploratory experience on an urgent timeline, experimenting with how to deliver each learning component in an entirely new world. “Our Centre for Teaching, Learning and Research supported us in providing hands-on training online as much as possible, using technology like Zoom, Moodle, and GoPros,” says Mr. Innes. “We started creating videos of the work that the chefs and bakers were doing and playing with synchronous and asynchronous delivery. We’re now creating a virtual reality kitchen and recipes. 

While it was exhausting and difficult, it was also exciting for faculty and students to discover what worked well online, he says. This new depth of innovation was essential training for students who will work in industries that are now evolving in unpredictable ways. “They have a new toolkit for learning and collaborating online, and in self-directing learning and time management. They’ll be taking these foundational skills and techniques and innovating with them when they get into industry,” says Mr. Innes.

The college’s School of Health Sciences also had to transform its programs almost overnight in response to COVID-19 safety requirements and soaring demand for its graduates. “VCC is known for its students being hired immediately after graduation, but in the pandemic, they’ve become even more vital,” says the school’s dean Jo-Ellen Zakoor. “We had a group of LPN-BSNs who were close to completing, and we had to figure out how to get them into preceptorships. Once we did that in a safe way, the graduates were being hired almost on the spot.” 

COVID-19 has inspired powerful new collaborations between schools, the health authorities, the ministries of Advanced Education and Health, and the regulatory bodies under which the students will be licensed, Ms. Zakoor stresses. One example, a new collaboration between Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health, and VCC, the Health Career Access Program is designed to provide skilled caregivers to long-term facilities. “The student is hired by the health authority to work in a non-direct care role while they’re coming to VCC to take the health care assistant program in a modular way.” 

“Over the course of 2020, our team has risen to the myriad of challenges presented by this unexpected COVID-19 pandemic in ways that have consistently impressed me,” says VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel. “Our students, staff, faculty, and alumni contribute in profound ways to our economy and the welfare of our province. We don’t just train students to be successful in their careers – we foster citizens who care deeply about their communities. 

“Through all this, we have continued to provide the skills, experiential education, and support our students need to reach their career goals and contribute to their communities.” 

Join a community that cares. See VCC's wide range of programs accepting applications for 2021.

Katherine’s story: Cooking for a cause

Posted on March 3, 2021

Which women in your life have inspired your tastes and talents? Like many Canadians, VCC culinary arts student Katherine Aguilar remembers her mother and grandmother as the ones who passed on cultural recipes and flavours, and brought family together around the table.

Today, as a professional cook, Katherine continues to hold these values close as she connects food and people in her own unique and essential career.

Although she’d always had a passion for cooking, when Katherine came to Canada from the Philippines as a young teenager over 20 years ago, her focus was simply learning English and making it through high school. “It was hard for me to adapt,” she remembers.

After high school, on the advice of her parents, Katherine started a career in pharmacy technology. “I survived,” she says about her job, “but I mostly looked forward to weekends in the kitchen with family.”

Soon, Katherine joined her grandmother in making and selling the family’s famous lumpia (spring rolls) to make extra money. With secret family recipes in hand, she eventually opened a catering business, Palate Catering, serving traditional Filipino snacks and meals at community events.

At the same time, Katherine started a job as a dietary aide at a long-term care home in Abbotsford, but her talents did not go unnoticed, and she soon started cooking full meals in the kitchen.  

Lifelong learning

Between cooking full-time for seniors, running a catering business, and opening a Filipino fusion food stall (Star Burrito) at the Richmond Night Market, in 2019, Katherine decided to pursue formal culinary training and credentials. 

“It was scary at first!” she says about starting VCC’s culinary arts program after 15 years of working. “But now, I feel like I’m a teenager again. I never knew learning could be so fun and amazing.”

In 2019, after completing Professional Cook 1 Plus, Katherine won VCC’s Santiago Cuyguan Award of Excellence, recognizing her dedication to cooking and openness to diverse culinary influences.



In 2021, with her catering business and food stall temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Katherine decided that now would be the perfect time to complete Level 3 of Culinary Arts (Cook) Apprentice – the final stage of trades training before challenging the Red Seal examination. Even with a portion of the program now online, Katherine is pleased with her progress. “I’m glad I did it!” she says. “It refreshed my memory. It was the right time.”

A COVID-19 commitment

Throughout her schooling as well as the pandemic, Katherine has continued to work and apprentice at the long-term care home. “The pandemic has had a big impact on our work,” she says. “The elderly are prone to sickness, so we are very careful.”

Fortunately, as of February 2021, the facility had avoided any outbreaks, and Katherine, her colleagues, and all the residents have received full COVID-19 vaccinations.

When classmates ask Katherine why, with her advanced culinary training, she continues to cook for seniors rather than work at a fine restaurant or hotel, she recalls her grandmother’s values. “You don’t get to know people in a restaurant,” Katherine says. “I’m connected to the people I’m serving. I know who’s eating the food, and that’s why it doesn’t feel like work.” 

Look forward to your job. Learn more about VCC’s culinary arts programs at an upcoming free information session or our Experience VCC online open house.

VCC offers free Building Service Worker pilot courses

Posted on February 22, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to offer new courses to support cleaners and other workers in the building service industry during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The new Building Service Worker (BSW) foundation course provides comprehensive introductory training in custodial service including commercial sanitation, equipment, and disinfection.

A special antiviral cleaning/infection prevention online module is included in the foundation course but has also been made available as a standalone course for those currently working in the building service industry or those looking for additional training.

These courses are being provided tuition-free thanks to funding from the BC Government.

Class schedule

Building Service Worker foundation course (with antiviral cleaning module)
24 hours total

  • March 1-5 (online w/ instructor), 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • March 8 or 9 (off-site w/instructor), 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Antiviral Cleaning Module only (suited to building service workers or those seeking training on antiviral/antimicrobial cleaning in the workplace)
6 hours total

  • March 7 and 14 (Sundays), 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (online w/ instructor)

Topics covered

  • Safe Work practices
  • Tools and equipment
  • Dry/wet cleaning procedures
  • Chemistry of cleaning
  • Green cleaning
  • Specific cleaning for:
    • Carpets
    • Hard floors
    • Glass
    • Stairways
    • Walls
    • Washrooms
    • Food prep areas etc.
    • General antiviral cleaning

Admission requirements

This program is for adults (16 years or older) who reside in B.C. and are eligible to work in Canada. 

Fees and other costs

All tuition for these pilot courses is covered and at no additional cost to the employer or individual participant.


Upon satisfactory completion, participants will receive a Statement of Completion.

Important information

Students must be prepared to:

  • Participate in all days of training, as specified
  • Provide feedback on the course at the end of the pilot
  • Attend live online classes through a video conferencing platform, such as Zoom

Please ensure that you have access to a device (preferably a computer) with a stable internet connection.

If participating in the BSW foundation course (including ½ day hands-on training at an off-site location), in addition to the above, please ensure that:

  • You are available and prepared to attend a ½-day hands-on, in-person training at an off-site location on March 8 and March 9, 2021. (You will attend on only one of these two days, to be determined later.)
  • You will follow the COVID-19 protocols put in place by VCC and/or the off-site training location in order to receive hands-on training.

Apply now

To reserve your spot or for further information, please email

To learn more and ask questions, attend our next Building Service Worker info session.



New funding from PBC Foundation advances mental health services at VCC

Posted on February 24, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that Pacific Blue Cross (PBC) Health Foundation is donating $45,000 over three years to support student mental health initiatives at the college.

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, VCC’s counselling department made a dramatic shift to providing services remotely while continuing to offer full mental health supports and career guidance to VCC students.

During this stressful and uncertain year for post-secondary students, VCC’s counsellors served 1,006 clients through 3,024 sessions and delivered 134 workshops to a total of 3,086 students. 2020 also saw a rise in crisis counselling cases such as psychological emergencies or suicidal episodes due to mental health issues, trauma from assault, family violence, or other distressing events. 

Thanks to this generous funding from PBC Health Foundation, VCC’s first efforts will be to update hardware and software for VCC’s counsellors, allowing them to shift from using personal or aged equipment to faster, more stable, networked computers.

“Our counsellors are deeply committed to helping students, and this gift from PBC Health Foundation ensures they have the resources they need to do so,” says VCC Interim Associate Vice President of Student and Enrolment Services Clayton Munro. 

So far in 2021, VCC’s counselling sessions are on track to exceed the 2020 numbers.

Learn more about the types of counselling services available at VCC or book an appointment online.

BC’s Top Employer feature: VCC puts heart into the heart of the city

Posted on February 17, 2021

Originally published in The Vancouver Sun

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, much of the normal food distribution for impoverished residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside was abruptly disrupted. Over a 12-week period from April to June, staff from neighbouring Vancouver Community College (VCC) stepped into the breach.

Partnering with the City of Vancouver and with provincial government support, VCC’s culinary and food services departments worked tirelessly from campus-based professional kitchens to prepare 72,000 meals for those in need.

“It was a wonderful example of the VCC community living out its values,” says Ajay Patel, VCC president and CEO.

It wasn’t the only one. VCC students and employees raised $55,000 to provide bursaries for students impacted by the pandemic. And departments across VCC joined to collect more than 60,000 items, including masks, sanitizers, gowns, viral swabs, and cleaning supplies for Vancouver Coastal Health.

The community outreach took place even as VCC itself underwent a seismic shift in the way it delivers services to more than 15,000 students. 

Located in the heart of the city, VCC offers hands-on learning in the trades through on-campus facilities such as gourmet restaurants, an auto shop, and salon and spa. Having to switch to mostly online instruction presented some unique challenges. 

How, after all, do you teach someone remotely to repair or paint a car? VCC found a way. It introduced a new virtual reality (VR) program for welding and automotive painting, the first of its kind in Canada.

Working with a software engineering company in India, VCC developed a VR program that allowed students to practise welding and automotive painting at home before being brought back to campus, in a safe and staggered manner, to do the real thing.

“It’s just one of many examples of VCC instructors and support staff being creative and innovative in response to the pandemic,” says Patel. “They deserve all the credit for taking on the immense challenge of pivoting from applied, face-to-face learning to largely virtual instruction.”

Timothy Conklin, a program assistant with CAD and BIM – the VCC department that trains construction industry drafting technicians – says his team was one of the lucky ones; they already did most of their work on computers.

Still, he wasn’t surprised by the ability of colleagues to be flexible and nimble, with the strong support of VCC leaders.

Conklin recalls how, pre-pandemic, VCC supported his initiative to help train faculty and staff about suicide awareness and prevention.

“VCC recognizes everyone has something to contribute,” he says. “They give you the opportunity to innovate and lead.”

Learn how you can join the VCC community by visiting our Careers Portal

Lunar New Year greetings from VCC president Ajay Patel and Hon. Anne Kang

Posted on February 11, 2021

On behalf of Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) leadership team, I would like to wish our community a happy, healthy, and prosperous Lunar New Year. I extend well-wishes especially to our students and employees of Asian heritage to whom this time of year is most meaningful. 

At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all longing to gather around tables of delicious food with extended family and friends, but if we continue to keep our distance now, the sooner we will be able to meet in the future. Thank you for celebrating safely.

In the spirit of the Lunar New Year season and the Year of the Ox, please watch and enjoy this message from our new Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, Hon. Anne Kang. 



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

VCC joins prestigious list of BC’s Top Employers

Posted on February 16, 2021

Vancouver Commuinty College (VCC) has been recognized as one of BC's Top Employers. The organizers of the 16th annual competition announced the list Feb. 16, which includes employers such as Save-On Foods, City of Vancouver, and UBC.

BC's Top Employers is a special designation that recognizes companies and organizations in the province that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work.

"I am so proud of the employees and leadership at VCC and this award from BC Top Employers is well deserved," says Darlene Hodgson, Associate Director, Human Resources at VCC. "The VCC community is so special and our staff and faculty take a huge amount of pride in their work. It means a lot to us to be recognized in this way."

In this competition, participants are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. The annual competition is open to any employer with its head office in British Columbia. This is the first time VCC has entered.

"At VCC, we often focus on the achievements of our excellent students, programs, and graduates; this acknowledgement from BC's Top Employers is something we are very proud of and reflects the wonderful work all our employees bring to VCC every day," says Ajay Patel, VCC president and CEO. "It also speaks to the culture of care and community that makes VCC such a special place to work."

VCC's labour partners agree with the recognition for the college. "This honour speaks to our strong collective agreements, culture of collaboration, and dedication to doing our best for our students and colleagues," says Taryn Thomson, president of the VCC Faculty Association.

Stepping up in 2020

Employers were evaluated by the editors at Canada's Top 100 Employers using the same criteria as the national competition:

  • Physical workplace
  • Work atmosphere and social
  • Health, financial, and family benefits
  • Vacation and time off
  • Employee communications
  • Performance management
  • Training and skills development
  • Community involvement

For this year's competition, B.C.'s leading employers also stepped up with strong and comprehensive responses to keep employees safe and help protect the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The practical and timely responses we saw in British Columbia included organizing task forces and committees to spearhead organizational response and coordinate important tasks, such as safety and mitigation protocols for essential workers," says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. "Clear lines of communication and accountability have enabled these employers to create positive outcomes – even in the face of the pandemic's daunting challenges."

See the full list of BC's Top Employers and read VCC's feature story in the BC's Top Employers special magazine.

Congratulations to VCC’s Red Seal recipients

Posted on February 15, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Alumni Relations was pleased to honour this past year’s Red Seal recipients at a special online event held Thursday, Feb. 11.

VCC’s second annual Red Seal Recognition Event, which was hosted on Zoom, recognized the 229 alumni who earned a Red Seal endorsement between August 2019 and November 2020 in six different trades: culinary, baking, hairstyling, auto body and collision, automotive refinishing, automotive service, and heavy mechanical trades. 

A Red Seal is proof of excellence in certain skilled trades that is recognized by employers across Canada. A Red Endorsement (RSE) is earned at the end of an apprenticeship by completing a comprehensive examination.

Screenshot of VCC Red Seal Recognition Event participants

“A Red Seal is a literal badge of success. Wear it proudly,” said VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel in his welcoming message.

B.C. Minister for Advanced Education and Skills Training Anne Kang also addressed the group. “Trades training is as important as any academic accomplishment,” she said. “Tradespeople are in demand and highly valued by all British Columbians. The trades sector looks bright when I look at all of you.”

Trades sector representatives including Industry Training Authority (ITA) CEO Shelley Gray and Craftsman Collision president Rick Hatswell also shared words of pride and encouragement before each Red Seal recipient’s name was read aloud and displayed on the screen.

VCC Loves Trades campaign

VCC Loves Trades campaign logo

In further recognition of VCC trades students, the VCC Foundation also took the Red Seal Recognition Event as an opportunity to launch a new fundraising initiative, VCC Loves Trades.

The new campaign will run in February of each year and support trades programs at VCC. In 2021, funds raised will go to students and equipment needs in Transportation Trades programs.

To support the campaign, Scotiabank, through its ScotiaRISE program, is generously offering $5,000 in matching funds for gifts received before March 15, 2021. “We know that B.C.’s future will require Red Seal trades professionals to rebuild and sustain our economy,” said Stephen Gaskin, Senior Vice President, B.C. and Yukon Region, Scotiabank, who was also in attendance.

Support our province’s future trades professionals through the #VCCLovesTrades campaign today.

VCC collaborates to increase B.C. food on campus

Posted on February 9, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to announce a new collaboration with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training to bring more locally produced food to our campuses.

Feed BC is a provincial government initiative to encourage, inspire, and support a shift to more B.C. food in hospitals, residential care facilities, public post-secondary institutions, and other government-supported facilities.

As part of this collaboration, VCC joins eight other post-secondary partners who have committed to grow B.C. food purchases to reach at least 30 per cent of total campus food expenditures. 

“By emphasizing B.C. foods on campus, public post-secondary institutions are supporting campus sustainability goals and their students’ interests in local food options while also supporting farmers, fishers, food processors, and communities throughout the province,” says Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

As part of education delivery, VCC actively seeks out locally sourced food for educational purposes whenever possible and is working towards new opportunities with local producers. Considering VCC’s extensive culinary arts program, numerous food service outlets, and popular cafeterias, this initiative presents a great opportunity for the college to support B.C. agriculture and enhance B.C.’s food security and the sustainability of regional economies.

Did you know?

  • Food service purchases for all post-secondary institutions in B.C. is estimated at $40.9 million annually.


Student Q&A: The foods and festivities of Lunar New Year

Posted on February 9, 2021

To celebrate this Lunar New Year and the Year of the Ox, we checked in with students from Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Asian Culinary Arts program to find out how they're celebrating, and of course, what they're cooking.

Kevin Soo – VCC Asian Culinary Arts student

What do you remember most as a child about Lunar New Year?  

​Definitely the festive atmosphere and the food. Seeing the renowned lion dance, learning to write auspicious idioms and hanging them as decorations, receiving red envelopes, and eating all the snacks that are only made once a year.

How do you celebrate Lunar New Year today? 
Almost the same! A simple family dinner with my cousins and grandparents, though I am more appreciative of these dinners as opportunities to see family are sparse now that I'm working more.

What are your favourite Lunar New Year foods to cook or eat? 
Definitely the snacks. We only get to eat them once a year so I gorge on them. The two that stand out the most to me are the peanut pastry (gok zai) and sticky rice cake (nian gao). 

What traditional foods have you learned to cook at VCC? 
Lots! There are so many we learned at VCC. In regards to specific dishes cooked during Lunar New Year, though there are a few, I believe it is more of a symbolic ritual where certain ingredients are used rather than specific dishes being cooked. For example, fish is usually cooked as fish in the Chinese language is a homophone for surplus; a good luck wish for abundance. For Lunar New Year-related dishes, dumplings (Jiao Zi) and white turnip (radish) cakes were taught. Dumplings, for parts of China, are traditionally made together as a family so it was nice as my classmates/co-workers are kind of like my second family. 

What message do you have for anyone celebrating Lunar New Year during COVID-19? 
Wishing everyone a happy Lunar New Year! Best wishes for everyone's safety and health especially during this pandemic.

Gok zai peanut pastries

Gok zai (yau gok) fried peanut dumplings. Photo by Neodymium+Nd used under CC BY 2.0

Sally Wu – VCC Asian Culinary Arts student

What do you remember most as a child about Lunar New Year?
I love our big family reunions around Lunar New Year, seeing my cousins and getting red envelopes!

How do you celebrate Lunar New Year today?
All my extended family would get together at my Auntie’s house for a big meal!

What are your favourite Lunar New Year foods to cook or eat?
There isn’t one specific dish, it is more the abundance of mouth-watering food that makes the holiday!

What traditional foods have you learned to cook at VCC?
I really loved making dumplings! It is such a traditional food that an entire family can get together to make and talk at the same time.

What message do you have for anyone celebrating Lunar New Year during COVID-19?
Stay cheerful and safe! In order to have in-person gatherings next year, we must stay in our bubble this year to keep our loved ones safe!

Bean curd rolls by Sally Wu

Fu pei guen (bean curd rolls) made and photographed by Sally Wu – "A dish taught by Chef Barry I made at home."

Learn how you can join the only full-time Asian Culinary Arts program in North America.

Giving Tuesday campaign doubles December 2020 fundraising goal

Posted on February 1, 2021

The VCC Foundation is pleased to announce that the December 2020 Giving Tuesday campaign raised $23,000 in support for VCC students who have struggled financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This more than doubles the initial $10,000 donation-matching target.

Thanks to an additional holiday contribution from the Association of VCC Administrators (AVCCA), a total of $46,700 has been added to VCC's COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund.

Giving Tuesday 2020 kicked off with a donation from VCC counsellor Cindy Sestak. “I think it's wonderful the work you do and that there are these emergency bursaries available to the many students who are in so much need at this time,” she says.

The next round of VCC COVID-19 bursary applications has not yet been announced, however students are also encouraged to search VCC’s online Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide for additional funding options.

The road ahead

Over the coming months, VCC students will continue to face financial difficulties as the service economy slowly recovers.

VCC Administrative Assistant student Neriza Zano (pictured above) lost her job early in the COVID-19 pandemic, but continued with her studies from home. “Attending school during the pandemic was challenging,” she says. “It’s the simple things you miss, like getting handouts in class. I had to print all the resources at home,” she says.

After receiving her COVID-19 emergency bursary in mid-2020, Neriza says her financial burdens were eased, and she heartily thanks all the donors for supporting VCC students in difficult times. “I survived and graduated with a grateful heart."

To make a donation to VCC’s ongoing COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund or any other award, please visit VCC Foundation – Ways to Give or email

VCC’s culinary school cooks up another Golden Plates win

Posted on March 17, 2020

Originally published in The Georgia Straight

If you were braising racks of lamb with cherry reduction while your friends lived off of Kraft Dinner, you should consider attending Vancouver’s top culinary school.

This year, Vancouver Community College (VCC) won the title of “Best Professional Culinary School” in the Golden Plates 2020 awards. But the local college is no stranger to victory. VCC has been repeatedly honoured in the Straight’s annual Best of Vancouver and Golden Plates awards, which are chosen by the paper’s readers.

That’s because its culinary program gives students the opportunity to learn advanced techniques and theory from professional chefs while using innovative cooking technology.

Some of these modern kitchen tools include the DJ Food Décor Turntable for plating, the PolyScience Smoking Gun for infusing dishes with smoky flavours, and pressure-cooking machines.

Graduates from VCC culinary arts leave with plenty of experience when it comes to both casual and fine dining. This means that they’re able to make a delicious thin crust pizza but also a fancy chicken cordon bleu. The school also offers programs for those specifically interested in baking and pastry art.

Culinary students host the popular Chef’s Table Dinner Series, which occurs a few times throughout the year with ticket sales available to the public. During the exciting event, students prepare a five-course fixed menu with wine pairings for a group of 20 guests in VCC’s full-service on-campus restaurant – JJ’s. This provides students with kitchen experience in a restaurant setting to ensure that they feel confident entering the workforce as trained chefs. 

With highly regarded faculty members and state-of-the-art kitchens, VCC’s culinary school is where the next generation of talented chefs gets their start.

Learn more about life as a VCC culinary student by attending a regularly scheduled information session.

VCC assumes International Secretariat role of Asia-Pacific Student Exchange Network

Posted on January 20, 2021

VANCOUVER — Vancouver Community College (VCC) has become the International Secretariat of University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP), overseeing student and faculty mobility to and from those regions.

VCC takes over from Japan’s Toyo University to manage UMAP’s network of more than 600 colleges and universities in 36 countries and territories for a five-year term.

With this role, VCC, and the province, have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership in international education both within Canada and globally by encouraging increased student diversity, the development of global competencies among students and strengthened intercultural awareness.

Global Affairs Canada is providing just under $2 million to support both short-term, inbound scholarships for students from abroad into Canadian UMAP member institutions; and for short-term outbound scholarships, for Canadian students at UMAP member institutions in Canada into UMAP member institutions in and around the Pacific Rim.

These activities support all facets of Canada’s International Education Strategy, by increasing Canadian student outbound exchanges; by increasing the number and diversity of students coming into Canada; as well as, increasing the number and type of Canadian institutions that can send and receive international students. They also support exchanges of Canadian students who are typically underrepresented such as, Indigenous students, students from rural and smaller institutions, and students registered in vocational programs. 


Ajay Patel, President and CEO, Vancouver Community College

“We sincerely appreciate the foresight of Global Affairs Canada in supporting VCC as the new host of the UMAP International Secretariat. It not only positions Canada and British Columbia well, but it also exemplifies the diversity and strength of the Canadian academic landscape that a community college can lead student mobility in the most dynamic of global regions.”

Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

“I am thrilled to support the successful appointment of Vancouver Community College as the new International Secretariat for the UMAP Consortium and welcome the efforts of UMAP to strengthen institutional cooperation and educational mobility between countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region. This initiative will contribute to advancing our government’s International Education Strategy, by enriching our education engagement with a broad range of partners. It will also support Canadian education institutions’ internationalization objectives, strengthen bilateral relationships, and promote Canada’s international trade diversification efforts.”

Randall Martin, Executive Director, BC Council for International Education

“As Canada’s national secretariat for UMAP, we are excited to support VCC as UMAP’s International Secretariat, and we look forward to increasing accessibility and inclusivity of UMAP’s programming to all higher education institutions in Canada. VCC’s appointment recognizes not only Canada as a leader in Asia Pacific academic relations but B.C.’s leadership role in shaping programs and policies in international education.”

Quick facts:

  • The University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) Consortium is a voluntary association of institutions and government and non-government representatives of the higher education sector. It promotes student exchanges, field schools, and online learning opportunities amongst its more than 600 member institutions worldwide.
  • Currently there are 18 Canadian post-secondary UMAP member institutions, representing six provinces and one territory.
  • Based in Vancouver, B.C., Vancouver Community College (VCC) is a publicly funded college in operation since 1965. VCC’s five-year term as UMAP International Secretariat runs from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2025.
  • International student mobility and enrollment has been impacted by the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic and Canadian post secondary institutions continue to follow the direction of public health officials to ensure the safety of both local communities and students returning from abroad.



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Media can contact:

Karen Wilson
Executive Director
Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College

Chelsey Laird
Senior Manager
Marketing and International Initiatives
BC Council for International Education




Coast Capital helps break down barriers for special needs youth

Posted on January 19, 2021

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is delighted to announce that Coast Capital Savings has donated $18,500 to support VCC's Gateway to Post-secondary (GPS) program. Coast Capital has contributed $63,500 key funding towards the program over the past three years. 

GPS was developed in partnership with the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to help students with cognitive disabilities and diverse learning needs successfully bridge their education to post-secondary programs and/or industry. 

“The GPS program has opened the doors to many possible careers for students that they may have not been aware even existed,” says VCC Community and Career Education (CACE) department head, Ingrid Defert. “Many students transition smoothly from the GPS program into VCC’s industry-specific Adult Special Education programs in food service, retail, and hospitality. They also come more prepared and less anxious about college life because of the program.”  
Since the pilot launched in 2014, the program has served 80 students thus far.
“The program has been instrumental in breaking down barriers and give students with disabilities greater confidence and independence as they transition to post-secondary,” says Defert. “The key has been to familiarize students with post-secondary life as early as possible. Students tour VCC as young as grade 9 and stay connected until they graduate high school.” 

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 130 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses located in East Vancouver, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.

About Coast Capital Savings
Coast Capital Savings aims to help youth achieve what is important in their lives and build a strong financial future. We invest in programs that help young people build the foundation that will help them navigate life, achieve the education they need, prepare for the world of work and build their financial capabilities; all with a goal of contributing to a young person’s journey to becoming empowered and financially independent. We want all youth to have the opportunity to reach their full potential and have a particular interest in helping vulnerable youth who face more significant challenges.
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Media can contact:

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

VCC Fall 2020 Student Awards recap

Posted on November 23, 2020

On Friday Nov. 20, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to celebrate the success, hard work, and achievements of 194 deserving students in its second virtual Student Awards ceremony. The event was held on Zoom for donors and recipients, and broadcasted through Facebook Live stream for friends and family.

The ceremony began with a territorial acknowledgment and welcome from Edler Jean Wasegijig and a message of congratulations from VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel.

“During a pandemic, I know there have been unexpected moments and your journey has maybe been different than you imagined. Pursuing a career, or learning a new skill or language takes courage. It is no small accomplishment to continue learning and working towards your goals. But it is a testament to your resilience and leadership in the face of adversity that we can be here today and celebrate your accomplishments.” – Ajay Patel.

VCC’s deans then presented the names and bios of award recipients for the School of Health Sciences, the School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business, the School of Trades, Technology and Design, and the Centre for Continuing Studies. Award recipients for the School of Instructor Education, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Music were presented in a separate Zoom meeting room.

Student Awards video feature

Each year, VCC Foundation selects one or more Outstanding Student Award recipients to profile in a video feature. This fall, we honoured Kale Needham, a first-year Jewellery Art and Design student and recipient of the Positive Space scholarship, as well as Diana Jerezano, current health care assistant student and recipient of the Y.P. Heung Foundation Post-Secondary Award.

Special music alumni performance

As a unique touch to the ceremony, a group of VCC Music alumni revived a Sly and the Family Stone vintage hit “Everyday People” to set the tone for the afternoon.

Did you know? The VCC Foundation works hard to help students meet their basic needs each year. LEARN MORE >

5 ways to help you de-stress on campus

Posted on April 28, 2014

‌Being a student can be very stressful, especially during exams. It's important to take some time and take care of yourself.

In recognition of Canadian Mental Health Association's Mental Health Wellness week, VCC is hosting Mental Health Wellness day - an inspiring event offering free activities, expert speakers and helpful information from community agencies, counsellors and nursing students. Enjoy music and refreshments, as well as demonstrations of mind/body healing techniques. Make sure to join us at the event!

VCC also offers many services to help you unwind. Nimmi Takkar, the Student Union of VCC's (SUVCC) interim executive director, has provided her recommendations for five ways to help you de-stress on campus. Read on!

  1. Exercise – Take a free yoga class every Tuesday through SUVCC
  2. Eat well – Have a delicious meal at our student-run cafeterias
  3. Be well – Make an appointment and meet with the VCC Counselling department
  4. Get help – Get some one-on-one help from professional tutor at the VCC Learning Centre
  5. Relax – Get a relaxing service from the VCC Salon and Spa


Mental health wellness event news

Media Release: New funding from Scotiabank and the Diamond Foundation enable youth to try trades

Posted on January 18, 2021

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that the Diamond Foundation and Scotiabank have committed a combined total of $90,000 over two years to support VCC’s Transportation Trades Sampler program.

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 youth hands-on exposure to trades programs such as automotive collision repair, automotive refinishing, automotive service, and heavy mechanical trades over the summer break.

Thanks to a renewed donation from the Diamond Foundation ($50,000) and a first-time gift from Scotiabank ($40,000), VCC’s Transportation Trades Sampler program is able to continue providing these valuable opportunities for B.C. youth until 2022.

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

“The Transportation Trades Sampler program is an eye-opening experience for many young people as they try out four of the top 15 trades in B.C. and learn from experienced tradespeople. We are grateful for this funding; it allows us to start these students on a path to real success,” says Brett Griffiths, dean of VCC’s School of Trades, Technology and Design.

“By supporting experiential learning, The Diamond Foundation is giving at-risk youth the ability to make connections to career-life possibilities and post-graduation opportunities,” says Jill Diamond, Executive Director, Diamond Foundation.

“Through the launch of ScotiaRISE, Scotiabank’s new social impact strategy, we are proud to partner with The Diamond Foundation and Vancouver Community College to improve education and employment prospects for every future.” says Stephen Gaskin, Senior Vice President, Scotiabank.


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 130 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses located in East Vancouver, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.

About the Diamond Foundation

The Diamond Foundation has long played a pivotal and prominent role in Vancouver philanthropy. Created by its founders Jack (of blessed memory) and his son Gordon Diamond in 1984, its mission is to improve the quality of life for people in the communities in which the Diamonds live and do business. It donates to organizations and issues that strengthen Jewish community life in Greater Vancouver. The Foundation also seeks investments in local organizations and issues that target young people who do not have the same opportunities as other youth to develop to their fullest potential.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: "for every future", we help our customers, their families, and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products, and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of over 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.1 trillion (as at October 31, 2020), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.


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Media can contact:

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

VCC achieves $3 million in energy cost avoidance

Posted on January 18, 2021

As of September 2020, Vancouver Community College (VCC) has proudly exceeded $3 million in total energy cost avoidance in existing buildings since 2010.

While VCC had set the goal of reaching 45 per cent below 2010 levels by March 2021, the college has already well exceeded this goal with a 54 per cent reduction in energy intensity.

This represents actual energy savings of 51,400,000 ekWh, enough energy to power over 2,300 B.C. households for an entire year. VCC has also cut greenhouse gas emissions from both Broadway and Downtown campuses by nearly 70 per cent 
since 2010.

Reducing carbon footprint through innovative practices

As part VCC's overall Strategic Plan, the college has committed to seeking innovative and improved practices that reduce its carbon footprint. VCC has since undertaken significant projects to change the way energy is used on campuses. 

Major upgrades undertaken include LED lighting installation for exterior and parking lights, adding occupancy sensors and digital controls to campus classrooms, and implementing energy saving measures from continuous optimization programs for heating and cooling systems. These projects have, in part, helped keep VCC’s campuses well below median in terms of energy intensity when compared with similar post-secondary institutions in B.C.


Graph showing VCC's energy savings 2011-2020

Creating a culture of energy conservation

VCC has also worked to integrate energy conservation and sustainability into the culture on campus. VCC is part of BC Hydro and FortisBC’s Energy Wise Network program, which consists of both public and private sector organizations committed to saving energy through behaviour change and engagement. 

Over the years, VCC’s energy team has collaborated with IT staff to update computer settings to switch to energy saving modes while the user is away. VCC’s “Take the Stairs” campaign encouraged people on campus to skip the elevator, thereby saving energy and staying active. In early 2018, VCC’s Facilities Management Team launched an Energy Saving Ideas Competition inviting staff to submit their ideas for saving energy on their campuses.

A greener future

With the achievement of over $3 million in energy cost avoidance and the college handily meeting energy reduction targets ahead of schedule, VCC is proud to be making progress towards a greener future.


Download and read VCC's full Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP).

VCC partners with VCH to support access to COVID-19 testing

Posted on August 17, 2020

Vancouver Community College (VCC) was contacted on Friday by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), and the VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Departments of Safety/Security and Facilities have since been working with VCH to help meet the need for increased testing sites for COVID-19 in Vancouver.

Starting this week, our parking lot at the Broadway campus (north of building B, large lot) will be used by VCH for a new COVID-19 testing location. The Public Heath Office (PHO) has asked for more sites to be made available as a key part of their plan for increased COVID-19 testing and tracing.  

Testing locations allow for health care workers, essential service providers, and the public to easily and safely access a COVID-19 test without needing to leave their vehicle or enter a public building like a doctor’s office or health clinic.

VCC is proud to be a partner with VCH and the Ministry of Health, and to support all efforts to keep our communities safe and healthy. 

For staff, students, or visitors who need parking, there will continue to be street parking as available, and the east (paid) parking lot (beside building B) will remain available.

VCH will be working with our teams to ensure that strict safety measures are adhered to. As well, Vancouver Police will be attending the testing site to manage car traffic and pedestrian safety.

Once again, we would like to thank everyone in our VCC community for doing their part to help keep everyone safe and healthy. 

Stronger Together video

Frequently Asked Questions  

What is a testing location?

Testing locations allow for health care workers, essential service providers and the public to easily and safely access a COVID-19 test without needing to leave their vehicle or enter a public building like a doctor’s office or health clinic. This greatly reduces the risk of spreading the virus.  

Are testing sites a risk to the public?

No. Medical staff are on site, as well as police officers, to ensure that all health and safety protocols are followed. The public remains in their car during testing.  

When will the testing location be operating? 

VCH is working to have the VCC location up and running this week. It will run Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except statutory holidays). 

Can I access testing through the location at VCC?

Yes. The VCC COVID-19 testing site is open to health care workers, essential service providers, and the public (children over 12 years old). Learn more about COVID-19 testing in BC.

Who can I contact if I have questions about access to the parking lot?

Please contact Surinder Aulakh, VCC Director of Safety, Security and Risk at

What are microcredentials? VCC now offers Microsoft Office Specialist exam

Posted on March 11, 2020



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Anyone searching for a job online has come across postings that list Microsoft Office skills as a requirement for applicants, but how can a person know if they’re really comfortable using all of the applications, including PowerPoint, Access, and Excel? And how can an employer determine if a job seeker is truly proficient?

There is a new way to answer these questions, according to Sid Khullar, coordinator of the technology and trades program at Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies.

That’s because VCC has become a Certiport-authorized testing centre, which means it will begin offering a Microsoft Office Specialist exam option at the Downtown campus. The first test date is May 23.

“There is an increasing focus on microcredentials,” said Khullar. “Once a person gets certified, they can proudly broadcast their accomplishment with digital badges on their website, on social media, and on professional platforms like LinkedIn. Certiport offers those professional badges.”

Certification is job-applicant gold

Anyone who takes the test can validate their skills in any of the Microsoft Office 2016 applications, including Word. Khullar said certification of skills is becoming increasingly relevant in the digital economy, and hiring managers consider certification a valuable tool to screen applicants.

For those who feel they need to brush up on their skills, VCC also offers general courses in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. “These courses are not designed to prepare them for certification,” he said, “but they will certainly help people learn about the topics and help them prepare.”

Khullar suggested that the Microsoft Office Specialist exam could be suitable for a wide range of people, including students, administrators, and those between jobs. Not only can certification increase a person’s earning potential, it can validate one’s skills and increase self-confidence as well.

Khullar said it can also assure employers that a worker can complete certain tasks efficiently and accurately. That, in turn, boosts productivity and employees’ motivation.

Certiport’s Canadian partner is CCI Learning, which is providing VCC with vouchers to offer the test to students. For a limited time, Khullar said, the cost of the voucher and proctoring fee are included in the tuition fee of $89 (subject to change).

Getting technical

Microsoft Office Specialist is not the only area of certification that VCC is exploring. Microsoft Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud services that securely enables organizations to meet their business challenges, and VCC will be offering a course in cloud computing that will help prepare students to write the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) exam. This will also be available in May 2020.


Learn more about the many computer skills and information technology courses available through VCC Continuing Studies.

Sewing camps let kids explore fashion side

Posted on May 1, 2017

Christine Hambleton started sewing when she was 10 years old.

Her mom showed her how to use a sewing machine and she started making clothes for her little sister's dolls. By high school she was making clothes for herself.

After working as a paralegal at a law firm for several years, her interest in fashion and sewing drew her back to school and she completed the Fashion Arts program at Vancouver Community College. She then worked with a local fashion designer for three years before deciding to start her own business about two years ago.

Made By Me Sewing Studio in North Vancouver is equipped with sewing machines, sergers, an industrial straight stitch machine, ironing stations, and a large cutting table, plus cutting shears, pins and other basic sewing gear. In this large, open sewing space, Hambleton offers a variety of classes, as well as private birthday parties and day camps. When she opened the business, Hambleton was surprised to discover more kids than adults signing up for instruction.

"It's been amazing. It’s super fun. They are so positive and energetic," she says of teaching kids.

Kids and teens are more willing to try new things and are generally "fearless" when it comes to learning new skills., she adds. "They inspire me to try new things and find new projects for them."

After a successful series of Spring Break camps, Hambleton is once again offering half- and full-day summer camps for boys and girls ages eight and older. Each camp has a different theme and is tailored to different age groups. In the beach-themed camp participants make beach-related items like a tote bag, a swimsuit cover-up, and a sunglasses case. In the sleepover-themed camp, kids learn how to make things like pajama shorts, a sleep mask, a toiletry pouch, and a stuffie.

Continue reading in the North Shore News


Learn more about fashion arts at VCC:

VCC Outstanding Alumni Awards 2018 winners

Posted on March 20, 2019

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.

Welcome to VCC – Winter 2021

Posted on January 4, 2021

Welcome new and returning students to Vancouver Community College! See below for information and resources to help you now and throughout your studies in 2021.

News for students

COVID-19 safety on campus
Province-wide restrictions set in place by the Provincial Health Office late last year have been extended into January 2021. Please review safety measures and recommendations before coming to campus. READ MORE >

U-Pass update
As of January 2021, students will be billed for U-Pass on a term-by-term basis. Students with courses scheduled between January-April 2021 have had their U-Pass eligibility re-assessed and their accounts charged or credited based on schedule information as of Dec. 15, 2020. U-Pass eligibility status will be subject to re-assessments in case schedule information is changed. LEARN MORE >

Getting started at VCC

Access myVCC and your student email
Use the student portal to keep you informed as well as to look up grades, order transcripts, access tax forms, receive campus news and alerts, and access your VCC student email.

If it's your first time logging in, your initial password will be your birthday (MMDDYY). Check your VCC email regularly or forward your VCC email to your personal email account. You'll receive college notifications and communications from your instructors. LOG IN NOW >

Orientation to online learning
To help you transition to blended or online courses, we have created a guide with practical tips and resources that will support your academic success. Learn how to get set up, become comfortable with common technologies at VCC, identify effective strategies for learning online, and access free student supports. READ MORE >

Learn to use Moodle
Check out the following introductory video that will show you how to access Moodle from myVCC, find your courses, update your profile settings and send and receive messages. WATCH NOW >

Services for students
We offer a number of support services to help you during your time at VCC. Please note most in-person/face-to-face campus services for students are currently available online or by phone only. SEE LIST >

Student success workshop
Are you a new or returning student who wants to set yourself up for academic success in 2021? Between Jan 4-9, 2021, the Learning Centre is offering free technology help (for student email, Office, Moodle, Zoom) and online learning success workshops. All workshops are interactive and hosted on Zoom. REGISTER NOW >

Let's connect

Follow VCC on Instagram and Facebook Group to stay up to date on college news like campus closures and other stories and announcements. Feel free to send us messages and questions, or share your own photos and stories using the hashtag #VCCInternational.

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President’s message: Celebrating VCC’s contributions

Posted on November 23, 2020


Dear Friends,

I would like to acknowledge, with gratitude, that at VCC we work, live, and learn on the traditional and unceded territories of the  xʷməθkʷəyəm̓ (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlilw̓ ̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

I recently had the great honour of being appointed as Vancouver Community College’s president. In this position, one of my goals is to build awareness of the remarkable impact VCC has had, and continues to have, on our surrounding community and across the province.

When I arrived at VCC just over a year ago, I never imagined we would face such complex times in the post-secondary sector. However, over the course of 2020, our team has risen to the myriad of challenges presented by this unexpected COVID-19 pandemic in ways that have consistently impressed me.  

One thing I have learned in my tenure at VCC is that our work is integral to a robust workforce and healthy industry landscape in B.C. Our students, staff, faculty, and alumni contribute in profound ways to the success of our economy and the welfare of our province. We don’t just train students to be successful in their careers – we foster citizens that care deeply about their communities.  

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VCC’s leaders, employees, students, and volunteers have stepped up to make major contributions to the safety and resilience of our communities. Allow me to share some of these stories now.

Responding together to COVID-19

VCC hosts VCH public COVID-19 testing site
In response to a callout from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), VCC has offered its north parking lot at the Broadway campus to host a COVID-19 testing location.  

VCC staff make meals at Downtown campus for those in need
In partnership with the City of Vancouver, VCC’s Downtown campus training kitchens were used as a meal-prep and distribution hub for the creation and delivery of 80,000 meals to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents with barriers to food security.

?VCC donates 60,000 pieces of PPE to health workers?
Departments across VCC joined to collect and donate over 60,000 items including masks, sanitizers, gowns, viral swabs, and cleaning supplies to Vancouver Coastal Health. ? 

VCC distributes $195,000 in emergency funds to students in need?
More than 300 students from 40 VCC programs received support via VCC’s COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund, which distributed $195,000 in funding made possible through the provincial government and the VCC Foundation.  

VCC alumni contributing to the fight against COVID-19

  • Participants of VCC’s Make It! entrepreneurship program for immigrant women donated time, skills, and material to sew cloth face masks for many local, at-risk communities.
  • VCC international student Mariana Carneiro is donating 10 per cent of sales from her online jewellery shop,? Kaju, to the food bank.
  • VCC American Sign Language and Deaf Studies alumna and early childhood educator Jordyn Mitchell has been providing interpretive services and Kindergarten programming to the Deaf child of a local health care worker.?? 

I am humbled and inspired by the VCC community every single day, and I encourage you to watch this video to learn more about VCC’s response to COVID-19. 

Warm regards, 

Ajay Patel 
President and CEO 
Vancouver Community College  

Twitter logo grey 15 px @vccpresident

Find career opportunities within the dental field

Posted on December 17, 2020

Originally published on the Georgia Straight.

There is much more to a dental career than what you see at the dentist’s office.

If you’re looking for a fulfilling career within the dental industry but want to avoid working in patients’ mouths, consider becoming a dental technician. You’ll be able to improve the lives and confidence of others from a distance through collaboration with dentistry professionals.

Behind the scenes, dental technicians are kept busy designing and making dental devices like crowns and bridges, dentures, orthodontics, and sports and night guards. They are highly trained in the use of traditional and digital technologies to develop these essential devices.

High school students typically don’t dream of becoming a dental technician as it is not a common career. Most dental technicians are introduced to the profession through family and friends.

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is the only public postsecondary institution in B.C. that offers the unique Dental Technology Sciences program. After completing the 2.5-year diploma program, graduates can become self-employed or work for commercial dental laboratories.

Dental technicians are well-respected within the industry and are depended upon by the dental profession. As the dentistry field continues to advance and grow, countless job opportunities are created for VCC graduates. Dental technicians are regulated and licensed by .

According to the Dental Technicians Association of BC, the province currently has a shortage of skilled dental technicians, particularly in the areas of crown and bridge, ceramics, and orthodontics.

For the first time ever, VCC’s Dental Technology Sciences department is providing opportunities to audit the courses in the diploma program. Through auditing, an individual can expand their knowledge and skills in focused areas of study. This could include orthodontics, digital technology, or even biosciences.

“These courses can provide career pathways to improve your employment opportunities, remuneration, and lifestyle,” says department head Ken Izumi.

Audit students are expected to participate in the assignments and theory lectures of their selected courses. They will experience similar education, mentoring, and feedback as the full-time students but will not receive a credit grade.

To audit the courses included in VCC’s Dental Technology Sciences program, applicants need to be one of the following:

  • A Registered Dental Technician;
  • a Dental Technician Assistant;
  • eligible for a B.C. Licensure;
  • or have two years minimum experience in a dental laboratory or as a dental health professional.


The next audit courses within the Dental Technology program will start in February 2021. Contact  or  prior to the start date of the course you hope to audit.

To apply for the Dental Technology Sciences diploma program and for course information, .

A unique look at VCC's Fashion Design and Production program

Posted on December 4, 2020

In the first week of school, students are already designing a product that will be available for purchase from a local shop six weeks later.

This fast-paced production process helps students put into practice all their foundational learnings. Instructors Matthew Burditt (MB), Concetta Sciaretta (CS), and Allision Drake (AD) share what they love about the Fashion Cycle classes, a unique part of VCC's Fashion Design and Production program. 

What do you love about teaching the fashion cycle classes?

MB – I love the chance to watch the students really develop their creative prowess under realistic constraints.  

Why is this style of learning about fashion rewarding for students?

MB – The duality of the freedom to be inventive, paired with the introduction to industry requirements, creates a very dynamic learning environment.  Students learn about the intrinsic elements of product development/production in a relaxed and low-pressure way. 

CS – It is comparable to what happens in the garment industry, and they learn how time sensitive the job is. 

How does the combination of individual and teamwork foster deeper learning? 

MB  Students develop individual ideas and sample those ideas in tangible ways. Then they are asked to work closely with their team-mates to consider and combine other's ideas into their own and vice versa. They develop both solo and reciprocal projects without compromising their creative freedoms. 

AD – Having the support and feedback from your peers fosters deeper growth and understanding, mimicking a true industry work environment. 

How do the fashion cycle classes feed into the second year?

AD – The learning from all the fashion cycles in first year come together in a self-led final project. These experience result in collections that are creative and dynamic.

Do you see a future in fashion? Express your creativity while learning to adapt to modern times. Find out more at a free information session >


Addictions counsellors needed in B.C.

Posted on December 10, 2020

For many British Columbians, COVID-19 has turned into something much more than a virus. Since the onset of the pandemic, data indicates a rise in drug overdose events, with the B.C. Coroners Service recording over 100 deaths per month since March 2020, including a record-setting 181 deaths in June. 

There has also been a marked increase in liquor sales. At the national level, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction reports that more than a quarter of Canadians increased their alcohol consumption in the early months of the pandemic. 

In these extremely challenging times, the need for addictions counselling professionals and related support systems is clear. “We’re really seeing what’s needed in the community right now,” says VCC Addiction Counselling instructor Andrew Stone. 

VCC has been offering programs in problematic substance use and addictions counselling since 1980, and will be launching a renewed Addictions Counselling Advanced Certificate, delivered entirely online, in 2021. 

The program, which can be taken part-time or full-time and completed in one to three years, employs an empathetic and holistic approach to substance use. The curriculum highlights the impacts of historic and systemic oppression, and incorporates Indigenous health models and cultural safety practices. 

Upon completion, students from a variety of backgrounds will have the tools to apply evidence-based models, approaches, and interventions in roles such as community support worker.

“The Addiction Counselling Skills Advanced Certificate teaches the current trends in addiction treatment and offers trauma-informed and hands-on learning taught by faculty working in the field,” explains VCC instructor Peta Schur. “It offers an excellent blend of practical knowledge, skill building, and self-development.” 

Do you want to support your community through addictions counselling? Learn more by exploring VCC Counselling programs or emailing for more info.


How to start a small business with confidence

Posted on December 9, 2020

As B.C.’s labour market continues to recover from the initial shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are starting to see the world of work from a new perspective. For some, job security may continue to be uncertain. Others may have discovered new skills, identified a need they could meet, or just loved the convenience of working from home, and considered starting a small business.
There are many motivations to becoming an entrepreneur, but starting out can be daunting. Fortunately, VCC’s small business courses offer an efficient way to gain the foundational knowledge and skills to start and grow a successful small business. 
Courses include:

To help your bottom line, we're now offering a $100 discount for students who register for all 10 courses at the same time. 

Starting later in the winter term, VCC will be introducing an Ecommerce Award of Achievement for entrepreneurs wanting to build their business online. Courses will range from creating websites to coaching to data analytics and more, so stay tuned!

Learn something new this winter. VCC Continuing Studies courses are now open for reigistration.



VCC convocation recap – Fall 2020

Posted on December 7, 2020

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, Vancouver Community College (VCC) held its first online convocation ceremony to honour the hard work, resilience, creativity, and success of 2,600 students from both Spring and Fall 2020.

The virtual graduation ceremony began at 1:30 p.m. with a territorial acknowledgment from Elder Deanna George, followed by a musical performance from M’Girl. The event was conducted on Zoom and streamed on Facebook Live for friends and family of the graduands. Separate Zoom rooms were set up to recognize students from the different Schools.

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

This ceremony also marked an important milestone for VCC as Ajay Patel was formally announced as the college’s president and CEO. Messages of congratulations from Melanie Mark, BC Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, as well as Jenny Kwan, Member of Parliament, Vancouver East, followed.  

As VCC’s Fall 2020 valedictorian, Medical Office Assistant graduate Charmaine Paragas addressed the Class of 2020 with words of wisdom, courage, and inspiration.

“Never let anyone dictate what you can and cannot do or achieve. Instead, I urge you to take those suggestions and turn it into the energy you need to set higher goals, to push yourselves further, and that will lead you to become the best version of yourself.”

 convocation, valedictorian, graduation

Daniel Park, graduate from the Professional Cook program, was presented with the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Award for his extensive work in multiple restaurants around the world. Cosmetology graduate Haruka Onishi was awarded with the Governor General’s Academic Medal for achieving the highest grade point average.

VCC Hairstyling and Design alumna Loni Yee, owner of The Collective Beauty Studio which donates ponytails for the charity initiative Wigs for Kids BC, addressed this year’s graduating class with the message:

"Many of you may have heard that 2020 is not a year to consider what you want, but to be appreciative of what you have. Please be kind, work hard, and success will come naturally."

 convocation, alumni, graduation

Watch the Fall 2020 convocation video online.

  • Zoom Room 1 (School of Trades, Technology, and Design, School of Arts and Sciences (including Music), School of Instructor Education)
  • Zoom Room 2 (School of Health Sciences, Centre for Continuing Studies)
  • Zoom Room 3 (School of Hospitality, Food Studies, and Applied Business)

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

Jessica’s story: Opening doors to pastry success

Posted on December 3, 2020

When Jessica Kruger arrived at Vancouver Community College (VCC) to study baking and pastry arts in 2018, she already had an English degree, event planning experience, and some quality baking skills on her resume. Any school would be lucky to have her. Still, Jessica says she struggled to find a professional baking program that would accommodate her wheelchair.

Even after speaking to VCC Disability Services, Jessica says they acknowledged it would be a challenge, but were up for it. “They were willing to listen to me and help problem-solve,” she says. 

Thanks to this opportunity, Jessica has gone on to make many peoples’ lives a whole lot sweeter, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As an athletic 15-year-old, Jessica had just started a summer job painting houses when she fell from a ladder and sustained a spinal cord injury. She returned to high school that fall in a wheelchair, went on to graduate, earn an English degree, and even play wheelchair rugby, all the while pursuing her hobby of baking and decorating cakes and cookies for friends and family. 

In choosing a career path, Jessica eventually decided that professional baking would bring the most joy both to her and to others. “I love helping people celebrate the special moments in life,” she says.‌

The Stubborn Baker nautical cookies and unicorn cake

At VCC, Jessica found the baking and pastry arts curriculum thorough and challenging. “I learned a lot,” she says, “not only about baking and pastry, but also about budgeting, safety, and professionalism, as well as working with people and challenging their mindsets.”

After graduating from the 11-month certificate program in 2019, Jessica felt fully equipped to either look for a job or start her own business. Yet she knew that finding a job in a professional bakery would pose fresh challenges. “The pastry industry doesn’t seem to know what to do with someone in a wheelchair,” she says. “I felt like I was being underestimated.”

And so, in late 2019, Jessica launched The Stubborn Baker, working out of a shared commercial kitchen to create unique and eye-catching cakes, cupcakes, and cookies for clients in the Vancouver area.  

The name “Stubborn” comes from Jessica’s own mantra of persevering through her disability and overcoming the many related barriers along the road to finding success in work and in life. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020 and began to affect many businesses in the hospitality industry, Jessica braced for the worst but happily found that orders continued to come in. “As larger parties got cancelled, it seems as though people were more willing to spend a little extra on custom cakes and treats,” she says. 

Jessica dreams of one day opening a storefront business, but for now, she continues to be motivated by baking ever more creative goodies and seeing the joy they bring. “There is nothing better than putting your heart into a project and seeing a positive customer response,” she says.

The Stubborn Baker Christmas cookies and baby cookies

VCC is excited to work with people of all abilities to achieve their goals. Contact VCC Disability Services before starting your program to discover what’s possible.

VCC Continuing Studies voted No. 1 in Vancouver

Posted on November 30, 2020

The people have spoken! We're pleased to announce that Vancouver Community College (VCC) has been voted Best School for Continuing Education in The Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver 2020 survey.

Congratulations to our hardworking Continuing Studies instructors and staff! VCC Continuing Studies offers a special selection of programs and courses designed for the working professional. More than 40 certificates and diplomas are available, with most classes held during evenings and weekends.

Read more in the feature story below, originally published in The Georgia Straight.

VCC Continuing Studies helps students invest in their future while relieving pandemic-related monotony

The pandemic has significantly changed the way that people work in B.C. The health-care and tech industries have been thriving, opening up thousands of job opportunities. Other sectors struggle to navigate the changes forced upon them by COVID-19, resulting in employee wage cuts and layoffs.

In terms of where and how people work, there’s been a massive shift from in-office positions to remote employment.

If you’re currently out of work or have an abundance of free time after your work-from-home shift ends, consider investing in yourself through education. There has never been a better time to return to school.

By now, we’ve all discovered that self-isolating from COVID-19 goes hand-in-hand with boredom and repetition. Instead of rewatching episodes of The Office or baking an excessive number of banana muffins, further your education through Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies

VCC Continuing Studies offers a multitude of upgrading courses and part-time and full-time programs that will help you gain employment in a high demand industry. Several of these courses can be taken online.

“Given our diverse and expanding scope of programs and courses, VCC is ready to help learners pursue their desired career goals in a format and schedule that suits their needs,” says Adrian Lipsett, dean of Continuing Studies at VCC.

It’s becoming clear that in 2021, businesses focusing on essential retail, working from home, and staying healthy are expected to drive the top occupations.

There will likely be an increased demand for workers within the health-care sector. Additionally, job security within the industry is very high as the aging population will continue to need care. 

VCC has a variety of part-time programs that can help you become a medical device reprocessing technician or a health care administrator.

VCC’s Office Administration: Medical Office Skills certificate will provide students with all of the information and skills required to succeed working in a clinic. Health care administrators are needed to help enroll patients, update records, and coordinate with insurance companies.

Graduates from tech and computer programming courses are in demand as many companies are adding ecommerce and remote work into their business models. According to Indeed/TechRepublic, cloud computing jobs increased by 55 percent between 2015 and 2019. There are currently 500 job openings in B.C. requiring Microsoft Azure.

VCC offers five Azure certification courses that will teach students how to master cloud computing. IT support along with installation, maintenance, and repair workers are also needed as mobile networks take on a critical role in our society. The IT Operations Professional certificate and short certificate will help those with an interest in information technology gain employment in the field. 

Graduates from the Business and Technical Writing program at VCC can go on to work as copywriters, editors, and fact checkers. This program will also give students a look into the creative side of business through digital marketing, social media, and public relations courses. Many businesses aiming to create an online presence often require assistance from a copywriter and/or marketing professional.

VCC’s Continuing Studies can help align your skills with a career you'll love. Register now for Winter 2021 courses. 

When there's snow, check online before you go

Posted on November 9, 2020

What to know about snow

As we gear up for the winter, we would like to prepare the VCC community in case of snow.

In the event the college closes due to inclement weather, employees and students will be asked not to travel to the campuses in an abundance of caution.

  • Employees working remotely will continue as a regularly scheduled day.
  • Employees who were scheduled to physically attend a campus will work remotely where possible.
    • Speak with your supervisor for direction.
  • Classes that are online will continue as a regularly scheduled day.  
  • Students who were scheduled to be on campus will be contacted by their instructor
    • Instructors will determine if a class can be held online, or if the class will need to be rescheduled.

Only CLOSURES due to weather will be communicated on the VCC homepage

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

Campus closures

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

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

In the event of a campus or college-wide building closure(s), 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 is the official source for college closure announcements. Look for an alert banner at the top of the page. If there is no alert banner, the college is open during normally scheduled hours.

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).

New part-time diploma perfect for Vancouver’s growing tech industry

Posted on November 24, 2020



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

While many industries are facing major business implications from the pandemic, others are experiencing a surge in demand. 

Even during these uncertain times, Vancouver’s tech sector continues to move forward, drawing global attention, increased investment, and top talent from around the world. These advancements go hand-in-hand with job opportunities for qualified graduates.

According to the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC), the tech industry within B.C. employs 100,000 tech professionals with approximately 75,000 working in Metro Vancouver.

The VEC also states that the Vancouver tech industry is growing at an average of six percent each year. This includes the local sectors focused on AI, Software as a Service (SaaS), social media, business intelligence, security and fintech (financial services technology), e-commerce, and web technologies.

Those interested in gaining meaningful employment within Vancouver’s tech industry can enroll in VCC’s Computer System Technology program.

The two-year diploma program is designed for prospective students who wish to work within the information technology industry. It’s a hands-on program in which students learn from the industry professionals and academic faculty.

Program graduates can work as mobile applications programmers, computer programmers, and network administrators.

To meet the needs of students, VCC has now made it possible to take the two-year program on a part-time basis, with a timeframe of five years to successfully complete the diploma. 

After graduation, students can continue their education at a local university to get a bachelor's degree, or continue at VCC with the Bachelor of Computer Systems Technologies program, which is currently in development for a January 2022 launch.

Like others at VCC, the Computer System Technology program features smaller class sizes to promote greater learning outcomes. Students enrolled in the program will get to learn in one of the new innovative computer labs at VCC’s downtown campus.

“We are seeing that our program is attracting students of all ages and experience,” says Reza Nezami, head of VCC’s Computer Systems Technology department. “They come with job skills and some of them need to juggle part-time work with education.”  

“We’ve now changed our program to make it more flexible for students to take the courses as it fits their schedule,” says Nezami.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • design, install and manage local area networks;
  • develop and design computer programs in various programming languages;
  • develop and design interactive web pages with multimedia components;
  • design and develop interactive mobile application for mobile devices;
  • install and configure computer hardware and software;
  • perform systems analysis and design;
  • develop apps for mobile devices;
  • provide end-user technical support services;
  • and troubleshoot and repair hardware problems.

Learn more about potential career paths into Vancouver’s fast-growing tech sector by attending a free, upcoming information session.

Support VCC students this #GivingTuesday

Posted on November 24, 2020


After the spending and consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, VCC Foundation invites you to start a season of giving. This Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), we want to call attention to Vancouver Community College (VCC) students – especially those who have lost their jobs to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VCC students are doing their part to keep our community safe as we live through COVID-19 together, but as the pandemic stretches on, challenges that were difficult in the beginning have now become critical. Post-secondary students across the province have been particularly hard-struck by unemployment. Most classes continue to be delivered online, which has also revealed the need for reliable and accessible technology, which many students do not have.

More and more students are looking to bursaries to ensure they can continue their education. If you can help a VCC student, make a donation today. 

How to give

In honour of Giving Tuesday, VCC Foundation will double our community’s generosity by matching the first $10,000 received in donations before December 31, 2020.

To donate, use the form below or visit the VCC Foundation donation page and select “GivingTuesday.”

Funds will be distributed via VCC’s need-based bursary application process. Thank you for anything you can give. 

Please spread the word

Celebrate your donation and/or encourage others to give by tagging us on Twitter or Facebook and using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.


Student Wellness Contest

Posted on November 2, 2020


How's the school year going so far? At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we're incredibly proud of the way our students have risen to the challenge of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. We're so impressed, we created a social media contest to show, share, and celebrate VCC students' wellness and success. 

Student Wellness Contest

Throughout the month of November, VCC will be posting a weekly wellness question on Facebook and Instagram. All currently registered VCC students are invited to respond by commenting and entering to win a $50 Superstore gift card!


  1. Follow VCC on Facebook or @myVCC on Instagram.
  2. Respond to our weekly wellness question in the Comments.
  3. Gain a bonus contest entry by tagging a friend to let them know about the contest!


  • Participants may enter weekly, with one entry per week on Facebook or Instagram.
  • Contest begins on Monday, Nov. 2 at 12 p.m. and ends on Friday, Nov. 27 at 11:59 p.m.
  • The winner will be chosen at random at 5 p.m. on Friday at the end of each week. A total of four $50 Superstore gift cards will be awarded throughout the contest (one per week).
  • Winners will be contacted via direct message (DM) on the platform on which they entered, and given instructions on how to claim their prize.
  • Submitted entries may be cross-shared on other social media channels or on the VCC Learning Centre or Library websites.
  • Comments that are deemed inappropriate, offensive, or defamatory will be deleted and the participant disqualified. 

Make the most of your student experience by reaching out to our Counselling services, access resources through our Library, get free, professional help from a Learning Centre tutor, or speak with an Indigenous advisor.

A fundraiser with benefits

Posted on November 13, 2020

Originally published on The Whig Standard

With the travel industry held hostage by the COVID-19 pandemic for too many months the culinary folks at Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel figured hey, have mouth will travel.

Six knockout dishes. Six high profile Vancouver chefs. Botanist restaurant’s Travel with Your Palate was an out of body trip for diners with some global wanderings. And proceeds went to The Vancouver Food and Beverage Community Relief Fund — what could be finer?

Some might say the best part of it was the $6,000 it raised for struggling workers but really, it was win-win. Guests fortunate enough to pay $148 had an exquisitely crafted meal and some time away from the pandemic. They were invited to donate more if they wished — which they did — and reservations sold out well before the dinner with a waiting list of hopefuls.

In the restaurant’s open kitchen, chefs Damon Campbell (executive chef, Fairmont Pacific Rim), Hector Laguna (Botanist), Phil Scarfon  (Savio Volpe), Scott Jaeger (owner/chef at Pear Tree until recently), Hamid Salimian (Popina) and Wayne Kozinko (Aritzia) had the cool and confident moves of chefs with credibility.

First up from the kitchen: Campbell created edible jewelry — an amuse bouche of tiny doughnut topped with Northern Divine caviar and gems of emerald chive puree, pearly creme fraiche and topaz egg yolk. Just enough for two dainty bites.

Scott Jaeger reminded us just how much his Pear Tree restaurant will be missed. His celeriac remoulade with Dungeness crab, julienne of apple, sweet cicely and mustard seed was divine.

Phil Scarfone’s butter roasted snails, heirloom corn polenta with chanterelle mushrooms was heaven and earth —  the corn polenta,  an angelic sigh and the buttery snails, earthily sensuous. He said he’d foraged the chanterelles himself.

As for Hamid Salimian, as culinary instructor at Vancouver Community College, he and his students create the most sublime student-run tasting menus on this planet — well, at least this continent. His dish on this occasion was spiced squab fesenjoon (Persian sauce with pomegranate paste, ground walnuts and spices) with salsify and as always, it was on point.


Considering a career in the culinary arts industry? Sign up to learn more at our next information session.

The business of clean: Building service workers are in demand

Posted on November 16, 2020

Vancouver office buildings against blue sky with clouds 

One thing we’ve all stopped taking for granted during the COVID-19 pandemic is cleanliness. While this virus has upended many careers, others, such as professional cleaners – or what the industry calls building service workers – are receiving some long-due recognition.

Vancouver Community College (VCC) building service and management instructor Barry Dallas appreciates that political leaders have recently acknowledged cleaning staff as frontline heroes. “They not only clean, but disinfect to keep us all safe,” says Barry. “This effort has not gone unnoticed.”

According to Barry, the building service industry has advanced over the years, and cleaners now often require specialized training and certifications before finding gainful employment.

VCC has been training and certifying building service professionals since 1987. Over the years, the courses have evolved with the industry and now cover topics including sanitation, disinfection, operation of industrial cleaning equipment, commercial cleaning, fire prevention, self-employment skills, and more.

According to WorkBC, over 12,700 job openings for building service workers are predicted in B.C. over the next 10 years, making it an attractive career option in an uncertain economy.

“Our alumni have been successful as public employees, private employees, and entrepreneurs,” says Barry. “A student can enter this profession with little experience and make a good living within a year.”

Do you see yourself working on the front line of cleanliness and safety? Learn more about VCC’s building service and management courses at an upcoming free information session.

VCC Continuing Studies offers courses that you can complete at home

Posted on May 21, 2020


Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Many students have had to put their education plans on hold due to pandemic-related college and university closures but Vancouver Community College (VCC) offers a valuable solution. VCC Continuing Studies has a diverse selection of online courses that students can take through the spring and summer.

“At a time like this, you may also want to consider the many benefits that online learning offers,” says Claire Sauve, dean of VCC Continuing Studies. “You can learn from anywhere, including the comfort and safety of your home, while following public health guidelines.”

With more than 60 different programs, the instructors at VCC teach students skills that can be utilized within numerous fields of employment. Whether it’s related to design, administration, business, health care, or human services such as the new Gladue report writing program, graduates from the college have the knowledge and abilities required to succeed.

“Now, as always, VCC Continuing Studies strives to connect everyone in our diverse city with high-quality, flexible, and practical learning opportunities with industry practitioners,” says Sauve. 

Several of the online programs offered through VCC can help you elevate the success of a business or support your future entrepreneurial endeavours. Students can learn essential leadership skills, finance basics, small business bookkeeping, how to proficiently market through social media, and more.


See the complete list of online programs offered this spring through VCC Continuing Studies.

VCC joins Microsoft in launching the Canada Skills Program

Posted on September 18, 2020


Vancouver Community College (VCC) joins Microsoft as the first public college in B.C. in the newly launched Canada Skills program. By offering affordable, instructor-led training, VCC is supporting the need for skills upgrading in this evolving digital economy. 

“At this critical juncture when people are looking to build a solid future in uncertain times, the opportunity to upgrade and learn new and in-demand digital and technology skills is imperative,” says Claire Sauve, interim dean, Continuing Studies. “VCC is delighted to be partnering with Microsoft on the Canada Skills program to prepare British Columbians for the future of work, with practical skills and certifications in data analytics, AI, and cloud computing.”  

VCC is launching the program by offering five components of Microsoft Azure training to start – Fundamentals, Administrator, Architect Design, Architect Technologies, and Data Scientist. Courses will begin online throughout October and November 2020. Free online info sessions are scheduled for those wanting to learn more. Register at


Media can contact:

Danielle Libonati
Marketing Communications Officer 



VCC student champions accessibility in national design competition

Posted on November 2, 2020

Poster design by Kylie Woo: Sign Hello

While Vancouver Community College (VCC) has always taken pride in welcoming learners of all abilities, it's our students who continue to champion accessibility in new and exciting ways.

In her winning entry to this year’s prestigious RGD Student Awards competition, VCC graphic design student Kylie Woo created a series of inspiring posters promoting American Sign Language (ASL) and awareness of the Deaf and hard of hearing community.

The posters, intended for the VCC Library, display common phrases that contain words like “speak” or “say” but replace them with the word “sign” and a corresponding ASL movement. In doing so, the posters challenge the viewer to understand familiar phrases from the perspective of a Deaf person, as well as recognize ASL as a widely used language.  

“I wanted my posters to be visually bold and strong while having a relevant message to raise awareness at the same time,” says Kylie. “As a designer, I learned many valuable lessons from this client project.”

Poster designs: Sign Out Loud / Let Your Sign Be Seen


National recognition 

Kylie’s posters were selected from over 800 entries from across Canada to win the $1,000 RGD Award for Accessible Design, which is sponsored by advertising and design firm BOLD.

“This is a very thoughtful campaign. I appreciate the research and thinking behind it. The use of colour, photography and bold typography create intrigue and drama,” commented competition judge Pia Nummi, Design Director at Canada Goose.

The RGD Student Awards program brings industry professionals together with emerging designers to promote excellence and encourage the highest levels of creativity and innovation.


Kylie Woo ASL poster designs rendered in office and brick wall

Find your career in creativity. Learn more about VCC graphic design programs at an upcoming free information session.

Defending against infection: The critical work of an MDRT

Posted on October 26, 2020


 VCC MDRT alumnus Brandon Jhong

Think of how many times you’ve washed or sanitized your hands this year. How about phones, doorknobs, and shopping cart handles? While we do our best in everyday life to keep COVID-19 from spreading, inside a hospital, disinfection is literally a full-time job. 

Medical Device Reprocessing Technicians (MDRT) have always played a crucial, behind-the-scenes role in surgical centres, but the profession has gained more attention recently due to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sandra Swanson is the Manager of the Medical Device Reprocessing (MDR) Department for Providence Health Care and a graduate of Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Medical Device Reprocessing Technician program. Sandra views her department as the “first line of defence” when it comes to infection control.

In order to prepare for unknown numbers of COVID-19 cases, this year, the MDRT department at Providence Health Care has taken on many tasks including purchasing additional airway instrumentation, setting up setting up “grab and go” intubation kits, establishing disinfection processes, and facilitating the development of personal protective equipment (PPE) carts.

“As demand for PPE became competitive, the reprocessing role of the MDR department was considered a strength,” says Sandra. “Demand for competent MDR technicians is really high right now.”

Additionally, as the BC Government proceeds with its plan to clear the backlog of an estimated 30,000 non-urgent surgeries from earlier this year, 59 new MDRT’s have been hired in the province since April 2020, with more recruitment expected.

A bright future 

Brandon Jhong first learned about medical device reprocessing when trying to decide on a career in health sciences. After graduating form VCC’s four-month program in 2019, Brandon started working as an MDRT at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

For Brandon, the best part of VCC’s MDRT program was the hands-on learning and supportive environment. “Through clinical practice, I saw exactly what the work environment is like,” he says.

As a new team member at Surrey Memorial, Brandon has enjoyed learning from his colleagues as well as mentoring clinical students from VCC. “Everyone is willing to share a helping hand,” he says.

Brandon is also excited about the future of his MDRT career, as more complex equipment and stricter standards are developed. “This field is constantly growing and expanding,” he says.

Learn how you can join health care’s first line of defence through VCC’s four-month Medical Device Reprocessing Technician program. 

Interested students are strongly encouraged attend a VCC information session including a working MDR department tour. To join a session, email

Celebrating Health Care Heroes: Q&A with Kayla Plett

Posted on October 13, 2020



At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we’re always proud of our Health Sciences students and grads, but this year, our pride has reached a whole new level. 

One of these COVID-19 Health Care Heroes is Kayla Plett. Kayla started in VCC’s Health Care Assistant program, then laddered into VCC’s Access to Practical Nursing program, graduating as a Licensed Practical Nurse in 2016. In honour of this year's Health Care Assistant Day (Oct. 18), we caught up with Kayla who now works as Care Coordinator at Rosewood Manor, a not-for-profit long-term care home in Richmond, B.C.

Can you describe the job you do right now? 

I work with the management team to oversee and supervise the care department. Some of my responsibilities include reviewing clinical care plans, investigating and reporting incidents, liasing with external health care providers, coordinating admissions, communicating with families, meeting and providing direction for staff, participating on the leadership team, reviewing and revising policies and procedures, recruiting and orienting new staff, and conducting performance appraisals. 

What motivated you to pursue health care in the first place? 

Growing up, I always had a heart for serving others and aspired to find a job where I could help people. Nursing was always something I considered as a career option as I thought about my future. 

As a child, my twin sister experienced many health problems and was hospitalized numerous times. While she went through these health challenges, I developed a passion for the health care field as I stood alongside her in the hospital and observed many amazing nurses and other healthcare workers making a positive impact during difficult times. When I graduated from high school, I decided to go into nursing because I knew that it would be a career where I could help people. I was very interested in human anatomy and physiology as well.  

How would you describe the importance of your work during the COVID-19 pandemic?

So important! I am a part of BC’s Health Heroes team and can be someone who makes a difference in these uncertain times. The people that we work with in health care are vulnerable as-is, and COVID-19 has added to people's stress and anxiety. I think it's important to have a positive attitude and remember that we all are in this together!

Why did you choose to study at VCC? 

I first attended the Health Care Assistant program at VCC as an entry job to work in health care. After my positive experience at VCC, I decided to continue my studies in health care and pursued practical nursing.

How would you describe your experience at VCC? 

Awesome! I really felt the instructors were supportive and provided a safe learning environment. I enjoyed class time in the lab where we learned new skills and were able to apply the theory that we learned. The instructors gave us a lot of time to practice and provided feedback so we could be proficient in the skills.

Both programs that I completed at VCC were organized and equipped me well to work in the health care field. The skills and procedures we learned were very detailed and instructors were particular, however it really paid off in the long run and gave me the confidence to perform those skills and procedures competently in a clinical setting. 

What are the most important things you learned at VCC? 

Providing person-centered care and making sure the patient/client/resident is always the priority, communicating among the interdisciplinary team, and the importance of following certain procedures or techniques without taking any shortcuts.

What are your career goals? 

To become a Registered Nurse. I am actually currently completing my BScN and will graduate next year.  

What motivates you? 

The people that I care for! I am passionate to provide the best care possible to every person that I look after and strive to make a positive impact on their health care experience.

What advice would you give someone considering a career in health care? 

If you have a passion for caring for others, then pursue a job in health care! Every day is a different experience, there is always so much to learn and it's so rewarding! There are many diverse opportunities when working in health care as well.

My advice to anyone in health care is never forget the reason you decided to pursue your career – helping others! Keep being compassionate and remember to put the patients/clients/residents first.

Learn how you can start your health care career in B.C. through VCC programs like Health Care AssistantPractical Nursing, and more

Second round of COVID-19 emergency bursaries now open

Posted on June 3, 2020



Thanks to generous donations from last month’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign, the VCC Foundation has been able to open a second round of COVID-19 emergency bursary funding, with $50,000 now available to VCC students in need of financial assistance due to the pandemic. 

This second round of bursaries is possible thanks to donations by longstanding supporters including Rick Hatswell of The Craftsman Group, motorcycle retailer Deeley Group, as well as both existing and new donors, including VCC alumni, employees, and community members. 

Who can apply?

Any VCC student can apply who:

  • is able to show financial need,
  • is registered in full-time/part-time studies at VCC, and
  • has no outstanding debts at VCC.

When to apply

Applications for the second round of emergency bursary funding opened on June 1, 2020, with a deadline of June 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. 

How to apply

Complete the Emergency Bursary application form and email it to‌.‌ 

More funding options 

To learn more about other financial help available to VCC students, please see the list of resources on our COVID-19 information page.

Students are also encouraged review VCC's online Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide, available through VCC Financial Aid

Read more about our student bursary and award recipients, and the donors who are helping them reach their goals.


Welcome back! Winter 2019

Posted on January 1, 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 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. 



Welcome to VCC – Fall 2019

Posted on August 30, 2019



Welcome new and returning students to Vancouver Community College! Let's make sure you have a great start. See below for information and resources to help you now and 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 questions, find one of our friendly Peer Helpers wearing a VCC T-shirt.

Student email

Get access to your myVCC student email:

  • Log in to and click the "Email" icon.
  • 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 please 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 and interactive carnival meant to help new and returning students learn about life at VCC. Join us for music, games, and snacks, enter to win great prizes, get to know classmates and staff, and learn about the many on-campus services available to you.

Welcome Days will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the Broadway campus and Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the Downtown campus.

VCC Welcome Days collage, musicians, cotton candy, hot dogs, games

Student services

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

Student services

Eat, shop and more

VCC also offers breastfeeding rooms and prayer spaces, please check with campus security for location information.

Safe and respectful campus

VCC expects students to conduct themselves responsibly and respectfully. As such, students are required to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct policy and procedures.

Smoking and cannabis use

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 prohibits smoking and vaping on all campus property, and 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 (including cannabis) while engaging in educational activities at one of our campuses or at an offsite location. Learn more >

Let's connect

Follow VCC on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to keep up-to-date on college news like student success stories, campus closures, and other announcements. Feel free to send us messages and questions, or share your own photos and stories using the hashtag #myVCC.

Instagram-icon-grey‌   Twitter-icon-gray‌   Facebook-icon-grey


Graphic designers connect to raise COVID-19 funds

Posted on August 4, 2020

VCC’s first-ever Connected by Design event turned out to be a big hit.

Despite not being able to network in person, the graphic design industry got behind the July 22 event resulting in 109 tickets sold and raising more than $1,000 for VCC’s COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund.

“Overall, the event was a great success and a nice spinoff from all the new work we've been doing with online learning in our department,” says Anne Emberline, department head of VCC Digital Media Design, which hosted the two-hour educational and social event on Zoom.

“We were happy to give our design community such a beautiful opportunity to connect and we’re looking forward to building the event with future iterations.”

The post-event survey confirms there should be a future for Connected by Design. Eighty-eight percent replied that they would attend the event again.

Attendees praised the event for its group discussions, digital painting demo, and speakers, including keynote Amy Balliett, founder of Killer Visual Strategies, an award-winning visual communication agency located in Seattle.

Read more about our student bursary and award recipients, and the donors who are helping them reach their goals.

Welcome to VCC

Posted on September 4, 2018



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 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.



LinkedIn Learning now available to all VCC students

Posted on May 28, 2020


Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased announce the launch of LinkedIn Learning as a complementary educational resource for registered VCC students. 

LinkedIn Learning offers an extensive collection of expert-led videos covering a wide variety of topics including technology tips, communication skills, creative expression, personal hobbies, and more.

Using an existing myVCC account, students can now access:

  • Thousands of topics. Choose from more than 5,000 videos.
  • Convenient learning. Access on your schedule, from any desktop or mobile device.
  • Personalized recommendations. Explore the most in-demand skills based on your experience.
  • Helpful resources. Gain and reinforce new knowledge with quizzes and exercises, and track progress.

VCC’s development of the LinkedIn Learning platform for students was already underway prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its launch was accelerated in order to provide students with a wider variety of resources as they study remotely. 

“LinkedIn Learning is a rich resource to complement educational learning, career development, and personal growth for our students. We are excited to offer all VCC students this unique opportunity to enhance their post-secondary experience for free, at the convenience of their own time and place,” says Jane Shin, VCC Associate Vice President, Student Success.

How to access VCC’s LinkedIn Learning 

1. Activate

Visit VCC’s LinkedIn Learning portal, and read and accept the VCC Privacy Policy.

2. Connect?

Connect your pre-existing LinkedIn account or create a LinkedIn account to get customized learning recommendations.

3. Customize

Select your interest areas to access customized content based on your skills, employment history, connections, and networks. 

4. Learn and share

Take expert-led video tutorials ranging from 10 minutes to multiple hours in length, at your own pace and on your own time, and display your progress on your LinkedIn profile. 

We’re here for you. VCC Student Services is working hard to ensure VCC students continue to succeed in their programs and courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Services include free tutoring, library services, counselling, and more.

Outage Report - MS Office 365 Environment

Posted on September 28, 2020

Monday Sept 28 2020 - 15:30 PST

Microsoft is reporting a widespread outage across the O365 platform.  This is preventing users from logging in to many services such as Email, Teams, Sharepoint etc.  Due to the cloud-based nature of the O365 platform, problem resolution lies with Microsoft.  Microsoft have published the issue and have communicated that they will be rolling back a recent change in their environment to correct the issue.

Updates planned to VCC’s steel detailing certificate

Posted on September 28, 2020

Screen image of steel construction software


As part of its modernization, the program offered by Vancouver Community College (VCC) recently changed its name from steel detailing to steel construction modelling.

“We made the name change to better reflect our focus on 3D modelling and what the industry is already doing,” said Ron Palma, a steel construction modelling technician instructor at VCC. “We also wanted to make the program sound more attractive to prospective students. Detailing sounded too much like washing cars.”

Palma says steel detailers/modellers don’t have a high profile and the nature of their work is not well known to everyone.

The technicians prepare detailed plans, drawings, and other documents for the manufacture and erection of steel members (e.g. columns, beams, braces, trusses, stairs, handrails, joists, and metal decking) that are used to construct buildings, bridges, industrial plants, and non-building structures. 

Aspiring detailers/modellers at VCC begin by learning basic drafting skills on AutoCAD. After completing that stage of their training, they move into the steel construction modelling specialty.

The program takes students through traditional steel detailing, such as creating various steel detailing drawings.

They learn about bolting, welding, and working with the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) Steel Construction Handbook and fabricator standards, and they apply the skills they’ve learned in class on various commercial and industrial projects.

After they’ve finished their training and obtained their certificate from VCC, most steel detailers/modellers find employment with steel fabricators, engineering firms, or independent steel detailing companies.

VCC’s 10-month Steel Construction Modelling certificate program, as it is now called, runs from September to June.

Palma says the revamped program, apart from the name change, will feature an increase in software training, from six to 13 weeks.

Continue reading in Journal of Commerce >

Learn more and ask questions about careers in drafting at our Expeirence VCC virtual open house on Oct. 6 and 7. REGISTER NOW >

Honouring and remembering Indigenous lives: Orange Shirt Day and Sisters in Spirit

Posted on September 28, 2020

Two-sided image: man wearing orange shirt, woman wearing red dress


A special message from VCC president Ajay Patel

Dear VCC community,

I would like to acknowledge, with gratitude, that we work, live, and learn on the traditional unceded territories of the x?m?θk??y??m (Musqueam), S?wx?wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and s?l?ilw??ta?? (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. 

Today, I ask you to join me in recognizing two important days: Orange Shirt Day (Sept. 30) and the Sisters in Spirit Vigil (Oct. 4). 

Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for all of us to acknowledge the physical, psychological, and cultural impact that the Residential School system had, and continues to have, on our Indigenous colleagues, their families, and our broader Indigenous community. 

Although the doors to Indian Residential Schools are now closed, part of our collective work towards Truth and Reconciliation is to recognize the trauma associated with our colonial-style educational institutions and systems, and alter them in a way that works to build trust and ensure safety for Indigenous learners. 

In the words of Justice Murray Sinclair, the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, “Education brought us here, education will help us get away from this.”

As we honour this day together, I invite you to watch this video from Toni Gladstone, our Senior Indigenous Engagement Advisor, as she shares her thoughts on Orange Shirt day and reflects on her own experience in Residential Day School. 

On behalf of the senior leadership team at VCC, I hope you will join us in wearing orange shirts on Sept. 30 as a way to honour of all those who were lost and those who continue to live with the impacts of the Residential School system.  

The Sisters in Spirit Vigil is another important date within this week. Annually, we pause on Oct. 4 to honour the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (#MMIWG) in Canada. These are daughters, mothers, sisters, wives, nieces, cousins, and friends of those in our community, and we must not forget the anguish of those who grieve them and the lost potential of the lives that were stolen. 

At VCC, we will continue our work towards creating safe and empowering environments for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis learners, particularly women and girls. I am so proud of our Indigenous Education and Community Engagement team, who actively works to support Indigenous learners. Their work helps to build relationships and create opportunities for learning and sharing together.

I strongly encourage you to learn more about Orange Shirt Day and the Sisters in Spirit Vigil using the links below.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

About Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day began out of the lived experience of Phyllis Webstad. As a child living in B.C., Phyllis was taken from her family and sent to a Residential School. One of her strongest memories was of having all her possessions taken from her, including her beloved orange shirt. Phyllis’ story has become a symbol of Truth and Reconciliation, and Sept. 30 is an opportunity to pause and reflect on the history of Residential Schools in Canada. 

About Sisters in Spirit

The Sisters in Spirit Vigil, held annually on Oct. 4, is a day where we honour the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (#MMIWG). The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has worked for more than four decades to document the systemic violence impacting Indigenous women, girls, their families, and communities. 

In 2019, the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was unable to determine an exact number of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people in Canada, but estimates are in the thousands, and the report labels this as “genocide.”


Future-proof your career with VCC technology programs

Posted on September 23, 2020

 Young Asian man using tablet and laptop computer 

Did you ever try to imagine what a COVID-19 lockdown would be like without technology? From online shopping to virtual meetings to Netflix and Instagram stories, digital technology has played a crucial role in keeping us connected and our society functioning over the past months.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the development of technology in countless fields. Most of these advancements are here to stay, which means new jobs are also in the making. 

The Government of BC’s Economic Recovery Plan places technology development and education at the core of a “resilient economy, ” and Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies interim dean Claire Sauvé sees this future fast approaching. “There are a lot of great opportunities right now to join this growing workforce; to re-skill or up-skill in technology,” she says. “These are directly employable skills.”

Check out some of VCC’s newest courses and programs designed to help you embrace the technology of today and be ready for tomorrow.

New Microsoft Azure credentials

VCC is proud to be the first public college in B.C. to offer Microsoft credentials in cloud computing – today’s leading trend for scalable, flexible storage and business operations that has proven to be an immense benefit during COVID-19.

Learn more about the new Microsoft Azure courses at VCC by attending an upcoming info session or the Technology session at our Experience VCC virtual open house on Oct. 6 and 7.

Digital business 

From restaurants to clothing boutiques, businesses small and large have turned to the digital world during COVID-19 to keep their products and services front of mind and available to customers. Part-time VCC courses like Digital Marketing (CMPT 1426), Facebook for Business (LERN 1420), and Solving Fit for Online Customers (FASH1125) offer expert, practical advice.

Learn more about these courses and more by attending the Business session at our Experience VCC virtual open house on Oct. 6 and 7.

AR/VR Design and Development

While still a great option for “escaping” into a fantasy world or video game, virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) technologies are also behind many key advancements (and jobs) in technical trades training, health care simulations, industrial design, and more. 

Learn all about VCC’s new VR/AR Design and Development program offered in partnership with Vancouver Film School by attending the Technology session at our Experience VCC virtual open house on Oct. 6 and 7.

Associate of Science in Computing Science

New high school grads or those seeking comprehensive training in computing science can now complete two years of university-level credits at VCC. Unlike first- and second-year lectures at major universities, VCC classes are kept small, with students benefitting from individual attention and support. Students can obtain an associate’s degree for entry-level technician or programmer jobs, or advance into the third year of bachelor’s degree programs at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, or other institutions. 

Learn more about this and VCC’s many other post-secondary pathways by attending the University Transfer session at our Experience VCC virtual open house on Oct. 6 and 7.

Let's talk about your future! Connect with a VCC program advisor by phone or Zoom to ask questions and plan your studies. 


International Week of the Deaf 2020

Posted on September 21, 2020



As a proud member of B.C.'s the Deaf and hard of hearing community, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to recognize this year's International Week of the Deaf (IWD) from Sept. 21 to 25, 2020.

IWD is a celebration of Deaf culture first launched by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in 1958. It is recognized annually by Deaf communities all over the world during the last full week of September. Activities and events take place that welcome the participation of all members of Deaf communities, including families of Deaf people, professional and accredited sign language interpreters, and peers.

"It's about gathering together, becoming united, showing that unity to the rest of the world, and promoting the human rights of Deaf people," says Mari Klassen, department head of ASL and Deaf Studies at VCC.

This year’s theme for IWD is “Reaffirming Deaf People’s Human Rights,” and participants are encouraged to learn more about Deaf culture and human rights through daily themes, including:

Monday, Sept. 21 – Sign Languages
Tuesday, Sept. 22 – Inclusive Sign Language Environments
Wednesday, Sept. 23 – International Day of Sign Languages – Sign Language is for Everyone!
Thursday, Sept 24 – The Legal Recognition of National Sign Languages
Friday, Sept. 25 – Equal Opportunities for All Deaf People

For more information, visit

View Mari Klassen's video message in ASL

Explore a new language and culture. VCC offers a certificate program as well as individual courses in ASL and Deaf studies




The future is cloud computing

Posted on August 11, 2020

Amazon, Google, Microsoft... these names need no introduction, but did you know that these technology giants offer much more than a shopping platform, a search engine service, or Office software? They are also among the top providers of cloud computing services for organizations around the world, from small businesses to large enterprises.

Cloud computing, which has quickly spread in recent years, is the use of computing resources, including servers, storage, software, computing power, over the internet (‘the cloud’). With virtualization technology, multiple virtual machines can be run on one physical server and the cloud computing provider can enable you or other clients to access the power of that server to run operating systems and applications, use software, utilize storage, perform analytics and intelligence, and much more, all through the internet.

The advantages are many. It offers flexibility – of computing power/storage/resources, elasticity – for scaling up or down your resource utilization, and automation – of resources and updates. All these benefits can result in efficiency of operations and lower operating costs for the business. As your or your organization’s needs grow, with cloud computing, you can add capacity on the fly. Cloud computing eliminates the cost of purchasing hardware and software, and the operating expenses related to running and managing IT infrastructure. In addition, data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity is easier and less expensive.

Cloud computing is on a global scale, with providers offering data centers across multiple geographic locations, thus reducing latency while complying with local laws and regulations. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, cloud computing services can provide valuable insights and intelligent models of the data for making informed decisions.

Whether you have a general interest in cloud computing, or are managing a team of technology professionals, the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals course at VCC can help you learn the fundamentals of cloud computing and prepare you for the AZ900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification exam.

If you're currently an IT professional or have fundamental experience VCC is proud to be the first public institution in B.C. to offer Microsoft Azure Architect TechnologiesMicrosoft Azure Data ScientistMicrosoft Azure Administrator, and Microsoft Azure Architect Design.

Join us for a free online infosession, visit to learn more, or email the program coordinator.

Sign up for our new email newsletter to keep informed on the latest computer and software courses at VCC.

Nominations open for VCC Board of Governors and Education Council

Posted on September 14, 2020

Take part in shaping the future of teaching and learning at VCC.

Nominations are now open for vacancies on VCC’s Board of Governors and Education Council.

How to apply

Please fill out a nomination form and email it to before 4 p.m. on Friday, September 25. 

Online voting will take place from 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7 until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact

Nomination forms for Board of Governors

Student – Broadway campus / Annacis Island

Student – Downtown campus

Support Staff


Nomination forms for Education Council

Student – Broadway campus / Annacis Island

Student – Downtown campus

Faculty – College-at-Large

Faculty – School of Arts and Sciences

Faculty – School of Hospitality, Food Studies, and Applied Business

Faculty – Student Services

Additional resources

See VCC's election rules [PDF]

Learn more about VCC's values, vision, and mission on our About page. 

VCC’s new, dedicated ECCE space promotes independent play and learning

Posted on February 26, 2020



If you’ve ever simply sat back and watched a small child interact with the space around them, you realize that learning is constantly happening. From hitting blocks together to picking up stones to sticking little fingers where they don’t belong, every action is building knowledge – blocks make noise, stones are heavy, water is wet.

One respected approach to early childhood education, called Reggio Emilia, embraces the environment as “the third teacher” and recommends free access to stimulating resources for uninterrupted exploration, play, and learning, promoting self-expression, communication, logical thinking, and problem-solving.

Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce the opening of a new, dedicated Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) space at the Downtown campus.

Formerly a typical classroom, the new space is split in two, with half composed of four mock learning areas (dramatic play, language and literature, science, and manipulative), and the other half serving as a classroom equipped with folding tables that are easy to move around. The setup of the room can change based on the content being taught. Some days, it becomes an art studio. Other days, it’s a storytelling circle, a music room, or a science lab. By integrating space design as an essential component of the ECCE program, it also encourages students to take initiative in their own learning and the construction of the environment.

Additionally, collaboration and partnership are important attributes of the ECCE profession, so two cohorts share the new space. Elements like sinks, cupboards, and bulletin boards allow other training crucial for child care, including organizing resources, working with families, documentation, and the creation of aesthetically pleasing classrooms.


Register now for individual VCC Early Childhood Care and Education courses starting in Spring 2020, or our two-year certificate or 15-month diploma starting in September.

What to know before coming to campus: Fall 2020

Posted on September 3, 2020



While most Vancouver Community College (VCC) programs and courses are being delivered off-campus during the Fall 2020 term, some students will be required to attend a VCC campus for in-class activities.

If you have been notified that you will be required to visit a VCC campus, review the following important information prior to your arrival on campus.

While we are happy to welcome you back to campus, students are required to follow all safety procedures as a way to help keep each other safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to give students updates through the VCC's COVID-19 information site.

If your class is on campus, please review the following topics:

Student self-assessment and Student IDs

  • Your instructor will send you a self-assessment survey via Moodle. Complete the survey before any visit to a VCC campus.
  • Bring your student identification card (VCC ID) with you
    • You will be required to show your VCC ID to security at the Downtown campus
    • You may be required to show your VCC ID to security while at the Broadway or Annacis

On-campus safety

To ensure the safety of all VCC students and employees, please:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands upon entering the campus and regularly throughout the day.
  • Limit your time on campus.
  • Maintain a two-metre distance from others, and respect all signs posted.
  • Avoid touching surfaces whenever possible.
  • Use proper respiratory hygiene practices.


Currently, approximately 30 per cent of washrooms at VCC are closed. Washroom availability will be based on ongoing campus occupancy. Open washrooms are clearly marked and located near high-traffic areas, central locations, and areas adjacent to elevators and stairs for ease of access.


Food service outlets including cafeterias, bakeries, and restaurants are closed. If you must spend a full day on campus, please plan to buy food elsewhere or bring a meal with you. Vending machines remain available. Please refrain from eating in classrooms.


The wearing of non-medical masks is recommended by the BC Centre for Disease Control, BC's Provincial Health Officer, and the Public Health Agency of Canada to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in instances where physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained.

To support the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors, it is strongly recommended that non-medical masks or face coverings be worn in all indoor common areas while on campus.

  • Common areas include building entryways, classrooms, labs, shops, washrooms, study areas, hallways, elevators, and stairwells.
  • According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, face coverings can also include a bandana, niq?b, scarf, or neck gaiter.

Masks and face coverings do not replace physical distancing, hand washing, and staying at home if you are sick as the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It is also important to remember that some people may have barriers that prevent them from wearing a mask. Whether someone is wearing a mask or not, all students and staff at VCC should be treated with respect. 

Learn more about how to access VCC student services remotely by visiting VCC's COVID-19 information site.

How to access free counselling and mental health services for students

Posted on September 9, 2020

Woman's hands with grey manicure holding iPhone outdoors


As post-secondary students hit the books this fall, Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the Government of B.C. want to ensure that students who need mental health support know how and where to get it. 

Launched in April 2020, Here2Talk is a mental health counselling and referral service available to all B.C. post-secondary students. The service offers confidential, free, single-session services by app, phone, or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I want anyone who feels alone or isolated or overwhelmed to know that it is ok to not be ok and that there is help for you when you need it,” says Melanie Mark, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

“Students experience high levels of stress and anxiety compounded by the pandemic,” says Judy Darcy, B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “No matter where they are, access to mental health services shouldn’t depend on where you live or the size of your bank account.”

How to access Here2Talk

B.C. post-secondary students can access professional counselling services by:

Students calling from outside Canada can also dial 604.642.5212 (international calling charges may apply). Phone services are available in additional languages upon request.

The Here2Talk service is operated by Morneau Shepell, and can support students dealing with challenges such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, pressure to perform, crises, racism, and relationships. Counsellors will also be equipped to refer students to local resources in their communities.



Indigenized VCC program launches careers in dental reception

Posted on September 8, 2020

VCC dental reception student Chantelle Davis in Aarm Dental office

A version of this story was originally published in Say Magazine

When Chantelle Davis started working for Aarm Dental Group in the fall of 2019, she knew a successful future lay ahead. “I had other job offers, but I knew my worth. I wasn’t accepting anything less,” says Davis.

Chantelle accepted her new dental reception position after graduating from Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Indigenous Dental Reception Coordinator program, which was designed in partnership with the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS).

“I now have financial freedom and am better able to support my family,” says Chantelle, who is from the Nisga’a First Nation. She adds that support provided by VCC and ACCESS helped her be interview- and career-ready.

This fully-funded, nine-month Indigenous program starts with the ACCESS-delivered Essential Skills program that strengthens proficiencies like reading, oral communication, and working with others. Essential Skills prepares students to immediately tackle course materials with the confidence and creates a classroom where you feel like family.

The program was limited to 12 students and included Indigenous elements, such as setting desks in a circle and dedicating a day to cultural activities. “Cultural Friday” began with a smudge, followed by an activity like going to a gallery or on a canoe trip, or making drums and cedar hats.

“The smaller class meant that when I got distracted, VCC was able to bring me back in,” says Davis. “I’ve been in courses where there were 300 students; it was easy to fall through the cracks.”

Fewer students and the flexibility to deliver the program to meet student needs enabled Michele Rosko, the program’s lead instructor, to offer individual attention.

ACCESS Director of Programs Gary McDermott also admires the success of this program. “This partnership proves a course can be reformatted to Indigenous standards ensuring Indigenous Peoples succeed in the classroom and workplace,” he says.

Learn more about Essential Skills and other career training opportunities through ACCESS by calling 604.251.7955 or visiting

Revised U-Pass BC program to resume in September 2020

Posted on August 25, 2020


Following consultations with participating Lower Mainland post-secondary institutions, Students’ Union representatives, Translink, and the Province of B.C., a revised U-Pass BC program will resume on Sept. 1, 2020.

U-Pass BC criteria

The U-Pass program was created to assist students with transportation costs to and from their post-secondary institution. As such, under the terms of the U-Pass agreement, all U-Pass programs follow a set of non-negotiable criteria. Students cannot opt-in or opt-out of the U-Pass program. 

  • Students who are in distance-only (online) courses will not be eligible for the U-Pass. 
  • Students who are in classes that require regular on-campus activity (i.e. at least once a week on campus) are eligible and will be assessed U-Pass fees. 
  • Students who are in clinical or practicum placements are eligible for the U-Pass during the months of their placement. 

U-Pass fee reassessments

VCC will update all U-Pass fee assessments made prior to Sept. 1 to ensure any U-Pass fees match student eligibility. 

Learn more about how to access VCC student services remotely by visiting VCC's COVID-19 information site

New VCC course reveals the power of creative writing to heal trauma

Posted on September 2, 2020



In one of VCC Continuing Studies’ newest courses, Writing to Heal Your Life, students are invited to discover the power of creative writing to navigate the challenges of loss, trauma, or illness. Through guided techniques, exercises, and reading recommendations, poet and author Renée Sarojini Saklikar will reveal how creative writing can help heal both the author and the reader. 

How can this course benefit those struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Using simple writing prompts and creative ideas, I’ve been exploring what “at home” means to those who might be facing all kinds of change both in their personal lives and in the world of work. In the course, we will design a writing practice that makes sense for each individual. 

How can writing together heal trauma? 

I invite folks to explore and write with me as a way to gain space for personal exploration. This course will give us the opportunity to look back on this time as both a window to our past and as a map for going forward. This refers to the idea that it is better to have something than to want more, as it will often leave you with nothing. 

What inspired this course? 

In developing this course, I have leaned into some of my personal favourites, such as the writings and wisdom of Louise Hay, Brené Brown, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Natalie Goldberg. I’ve used my hours alone during this pandemic to re-visit the teachings of these beloved authors and am looking forward to sharing them. 

How will the course be taught?

Our learning environment will be Zoom; we will use the “rooms” to create a sense of smaller gatherings and we’ll include time to mute microphones and cameras because it’s okay to connect in silence.

We’ll also take the time to check in with our own feelings and with those of others; to be gentle with ourselves, staying calm and kind and alert, all while exploring creative writing. 


Writing to Heal Your Life starts Wednesday, Sept. 16. REGISTER NOW >

Learn more about other creative writing courses available this term from VCC Continuing Studies: 

Fall 2020 welcome from VCC president Ajay Patel

Posted on August 31, 2020

VCC Downtown campus Dunsmuir building with logo and text overlay: President's Welcome

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year

First, I would like to acknowledge that we at Vancouver Community College (VCC) work, learn, and live on the unceded and traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations who have been stewards of this land since time immemorial. 

As president, I have the great honour to welcome back all our students, faculty, and staff returning from summer holidays, and to warmly greet the new students joining us at VCC this term.  

Earlier this spring, our college community connected, changed, and adjusted in many ways to the “new normal” of life during a pandemic, including how we deliver our programs and support our students, and where we do our work. 

While this September will be very different than the last, I know that together we will continue to rise to challenges and opportunities as we have these past months. 

I am proud that we will be providing the critical skills, quality education, and responsive support that our students count on to reach their career goals, and in doing so, contribute to the wellbeing of their families and communities. In our renewed commitment to student success, we will keep discovering new ways to define and deliver experiential learning for the thousands of our students who have chosen VCC.

We’re up to the challenge

I often think of VCC as a remarkable tree with our roots in the community. This pandemic may have shaken our branches, but our roots have grown deeper than ever, and our connections have strengthened, allowing us to contribute in ever more meaningful ways. 

At the outset of COVID-19, VCC donated 60,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local health care providers. These materials came from departments across the college, including our dental, esthetics and makeup, hairstyling, health, science, jewellery, and auto collision programs. In all, we collected 55,000 gloves and 5,000 masks, sanitizers, gowns, viral swabs, and other cleaning supplies to support Vancouver Coastal Health frontline workers, many of whom are VCC alumni.


Quote: This pandemic may have shaken our branches, but our roots have grown deeper than ever.


As regular food distribution halted for our neighbours in the Downtown Eastside due to the pandemic, VCC immediately answered the City of Vancouver’s call for help by opening our Downtown kitchens as a meal-prep and distribution hub. I am extremely proud of our staff who worked very quickly to orchestrate a meal and food delivery program that involved the creation of 6,000 nutritious meals each week. 

Today, you will see tents and health care workers in our Broadway campus parking lot. This is because VCC is collaborating with Vancouver Coastal Heath to increase COVID-19 testing sites across Vancouver. 

VCC cares about our communities, and our roots in Vancouver and the region run deep and strong.

We have shown that we can do amazing work in difficult times. Thank you for your contributions every day that make our college and community better. I know that this fall and in the year ahead, we will continue to do great things together. 



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College


VCC Outstanding Alumni Awards 2019 winners

Posted on February 6, 2020

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 our community. Each recipient stands out with unique stories of success, inspiration, and dedication.


Loni Yee – Community Contribution

Founder, The Collective Beauty Studio

Loni Yee graduated from VCC as a hairstylist in 2005, then went on to open her own salon, The Collective Beauty Studio, in Steveston Village. Here, Loni specializes in modern approaches to cut, colour, and styling. She also facilitates donation of ponytails to Wigs for Kids BC. Last month, Loni’s salon undertook a massive fundraising initiative and raised $80,000 for this charity! Loni also employs several VCC grads in her salon.


Alex Chen – Career Success

Iron Chef/Executive Chef, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Alex Chen has achieved a stunning level of notoriety in a very short amount of time. He boasts more than a decade of experience at some of the most acclaimed hotels across North America, and has been the driving force behind Vancouver’s celebrated Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar. Alex regularly hires and mentors VCC graduates as he views their success as his success. Alex also has a true affinity for high-pressure culinary competitions as a competitor, as a mentor, and as a judge. He is likely best known for his win on Iron Chef Canada in 2018, and we’ll see him shortly on Food Network Canada’s upcoming “Wall of Chefs.”


Clarissa Roque – One to Watch

Pastry artist, WorldSkills Kazan 2019 competitor

Clarissa “Claire” Roque placed 5th in the Pâtisserie and Confectionery category at the WorldSkills Kazan 2019 competition hosted in Russia this past summer. Claire consistently demonstrates grace and maturity under pressure, and thrives in highly competitive environments. Even at 19, Claire is no stranger to pushing the creative limits of her craft with impeccable taste and extraordinary focus.


Mishel Bouillet – One to Watch

Fashion artist and entrepreneur

Mishel Bouillet has both a diploma in fashion design and a certificate in small business management from VCC. She has stayed true to her roots in fashion, but adapted where necessary to survive—and thrive—in a tough industry. CCurrently, Mishel is lead designer for Davie & Chiyo, and will be launching Studio BOUQUET, a new line of gender-fluid, minimally-silhouetted matrimonial wear due out in the Spring of 2020.


Check out the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Awards ceremony and Flourish Gala photo gallery on Flickr. 

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

VCC’s six-day Tooth Trolley gives kids a reason to smile

Posted on June 3, 2019



From Tuesday, May 21 to Tuesday, May 28, Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) on-campus dental clinic opened its doors to hundreds of children from across the Lower Mainland during the 13th annual Tooth Trolley. 

During this year’s event, VCC’s certified dental assistant (CDA), dental reception coordinator, and dental hygiene students and instructors welcomed 315 pre-registered children from 15 local schools for free dental checkups, preventive services, and oral health education.

Traditionally held over four days at the end of May, this year’s Tooth Trolley was expanded to six days in order to allow for greater participation. In total, over $45,000 in dental care was provided. 

“It’s heartbreaking to see how many children are in need but never have an opportunity to seek dental care in a safe and fun environment,” says VCC Dental Clinic coordinator Ling Lo Yan. “Extending the program also allowed our students to have a greater number of patient experiences before starting their practicums.”

In addition to offering free checkups, VCC’s Tooth Trolley also aims to reduce children’s anxiety about dental care. The day is filled with fun and positivity, starting with a morning ride on an old-fashioned Vancouver Trolley Company bus, followed by appointments with VCC’s “tooth fairies,” and finishing with educational activities and crafts, and a healthy snack.

"The attitude changes we see are sometimes quite transforming,” says Ling, highlighting one particular patient who had avoided dental care for many years due to past experiences, but felt safe coming with classmates. “She was very happy throughout the whole appointment,” says Ling. “This is the kind of transformation we are striving for.” 

The 2019 Tooth Trolley was made possible thanks to enthusiastic participation by the Vancouver Trolley Company, and through generous donations by lead sponsor, Chevron, with a $30,000 gift, and Telus with a $15,000 gift. 

See the photo gallery.


Do you have a heart for helping people? Learn about the many program options in health sciences available at VCC. 


Flourish Gala 2019 recap

Posted on March 18, 2019



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.

Spring 2019 Convocation recap

Posted on July 2, 2019


Passion is what has pushed you over the finish line and it is passion that will guide you through your career. Do not underestimate the value of the education you have just received.

– Curtis Krahn, VCC drafting alumnus

Among photos, flowers, and family members, on Thursday, June 27, proudly gowned Vancouver Community College (VCC) graduands proceeded from the Downtown campus to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to celebrate one of their biggest academic milestones. 

Over 1,250 guests were in attendance to celebrate the graduation of 1,335 students in this Class of 2019.

VCC awarded degrees, diplomas, and certificates to the following program 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

This spring, Samuel Dabrusin of the Bachelor of Applied Music program gave the valedictory address:

Our graduating class is extremely rich in diversity. The VCC experience was one where the open exchange of ideas could be shared respectfully. It was a place where we could take risks and pursue our passions. Thanks to the supportive environment created by the staff and students, we experienced a reinvigorated energy to learn, create and play. It was a place where we could make friends to inspire us one day and humble us the next.

Curtis Krahn delivered the alumni address, offering some words of wisdom to the Class of 2019:

Throughout your career, remember to always celebrate your successes, big and small. They are often hard-earned, often involve a team effort, and are fun to share! Passion is as individual as you are, and it has no limits.

Curtis is a local architect, an alumnus of VCC's drafting program, and recipient of a 2018 VCC Outstanding Alumni Award. He continues to stay connected with VCC's CAD and BIM (drafting) programs by offering mentorship and serving on the program advisory commettee.

View the full photo gallery online. 

Replay the Facebook Live broadcast

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

VCC Spring 2020 Student Awards recap

Posted on June 2, 2020

On Tuesday, June 2, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to celebrate 189 deserving students at our Spring 2020 Student Awards ceremonies. 

To maintain safe physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony was held via Zoom for donors and recipients, with a Facebook Live stream available for friends and family. 

The ceremony began with a video message of congratulations, gratitude, and encouragement from VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel, and a live greeting from VCC Foundation Board chair Ken Cretney. 

VCC’s deans then introduced the awards and displayed the names and bios of award recipients for the School of Health Sciences, the School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business, the School of School of Trades, Technology and Design, the Centre for Continuing Studies, the School of Instructor Education, and the School of Arts and Sciences.

Student Awards video feature

Each year, the VCC Foundation selects one or more outstanding Student Award recipients to profile in a video feature. This spring, the honour went to four international students from VCC’s automotive collision and refinishing program, Junghoon Song, Dalvir (Lucky) Singh, Tien Du, and Yulianto (Mike) Setaiawan, all recipients of awards from BMW Group.

A special tribute was also paid to Paul Bird, Regional Development Specialist at BMW, who passed away only a few weeks ago. Paul coordinated the BMW awards with VCC and was a treasured friend to the college and the VCC Foundation.  

Special alumni presentation

As a unique surprise for attendees of our first-ever online Student Awards ceremony, a group of VCC Music alumni (who had never worked together before this!) created an original music video arrangement of the 1939 Wizard of Oz classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Did you know? The VCC Foundation has been working hard to help students meet their basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. LEARN MORE >

New VCC Associate of Science degree opens doors into university and the workforce

Posted on August 17, 2020

Student writing code on a computer

Originally published in The Georgia Straight

An Associate of Science degree is a fairly common credential in the United States, but according to Jennifer Kelly, department leader of Science at Vancouver Community College (VCC), it’s not nearly as well known in Canada. 

"B.C. is the only province that offers them," she says. VCC’s Associate of Science degree program accepts new students three times a year—in September, January, and May.

In the program, students complete two years of undergraduate science to earn a standalone credential, enabling them to analyze and interpret data collected through research or in the lab.

The Associate of Science degree can be applied to address real-world problems or be used as ladder to higher education. “It can be used either to transition into a career or transfer into the third year of a four-year bachelor’s program,” Kelly explained.

“SFU actually gives preferential admission to associate degree holders,” Kelly noted. “UBC doesn’t do that, but they do guarantee full transfer credit for 60 credits for the associate degree,” she said. “That can save students quite a lot of hassle in the transfer process.”

Online and safe, on-campus learning

Due to COVID-19, most VCC classes are being delivered remotely. According to Kelly, instructors have worked exceptionally hard to keep classes as interactive and engaging as possible over Zoom. “It is working very well,” Kelly said. “The students can share their screens, follow along with real-time changes to the code that the instructor is making, and so on.”

In the first year, there are 24 science credits—including biology, chemistry, and physics—along with six math credits and six English credits. “We’ve got the go-ahead to do in-person chemistry labs, thank goodness,” Kelly said.

Second-year students take one introduction to statistics course and 24 more science credits. In addition, the second-year students are required to obtain six credits in arts courses other than English.

Is an Associate of Science degree right for you? 

Kelly pointed out that those with an aptitude for math, computing, and engineering might be interested in this program. “It’s really about problem-solving and critical thinking as much as it is about practical training,” she said.

VCC offers small class sizes, with no more than 40 students, and students pay significantly lower tuition than at B.C.’s research universities.

Kelly emphasized that VCC faculty love teaching and "they're good at it." 

Mature students have often done very well in math or science at VCC, she added. “They tell us later on that they didn’t think they were any good at math and science before they came to us,” she said. “But we have this very supportive environment and show students what they’re capable of, which is quite gratifying.”

VCC has a diverse student body, and people of all ages and cultural backgrounds enjoy studying there. “Feeling like you belong is important to succeeding in education,” Kelly noted. 

Learn more about the new Associate of Science degree at VCC.

Turn your enthusiasm for music into a career at VCC

Posted on August 5, 2020

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

Imagine getting paid to do something that you love. How exciting would it feel to work every day as a musician, music teacher, or composer?

At Vancouver Community College (VCC), students are given the opportunity to turn their passion for music into a successful career.

This fall, the music department at VCC will deliver programming through a mix of in-person and online learning via Zoom and Moodle. Due to COVID-19, VCC has had to temporarily modify the ensembles, masterclasses, and rehearsals that typically take place at the Broadway campus to ensure the safety of students.

“VCC Music is a uniquely broad program, deeply exploring many ways of making music across all genres, styles, and time periods,” says Laurence Mollerup, music department leader at VCC. The industry-leading department was created in 1975.

Potential students can hone their skills and learn about the industry through three different programs offered at VCC.

The  is a two-year program with training that includes: advanced compositional techniques, solo and ensemble performance craft, music history and theory, improvisation, ear-training, and other skills. Graduates from this full-time program will also gain great insights into developing repertoire, supporting their career goals, marketing, copyright law, conducting, and much more. Many VCC graduates have gone on to study at notable universities all over the world.

Anyone looking to launch their own career in music should seriously consider enrolling in VCC’s two-year . Students can specialize in any genre including jazz, rock, contemporary, classical, and electronic music. Within the full-time program, students will study rehearsal methods, composition, instrumental and vocal technique, self-promotion and marketing, solo and ensemble performance psychology, ethnomusicology, orchestration, and more.

Beginners can learn the essentials of music theory and practice through VCC’s . Dedicated instructors and some of Canada's top musicians will teach students chords, scales, triads, intervals, music sight reading, ear-training and other basics. These part-time classes are ideal for musicians with limited theoretical knowledge.

“We offer real-world training with specialized classes led by highly credentialed, award-winning professional musicians, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators,” says Mollerup.


Hone your skills in the music genre of your choice. Learn about the music program by attending an information session online. 

Japanese baker inspires mothers to pursue their dreams

Posted on March 2, 2017

In a chat at her East Vancouver café with the Georgia Straight, Hitomi Syvertsen explains that after she became a mother, she began hosting her friends at her place because she was found it too challenging to go out with her children. When her friends praised her cooking, she became inspired to enroll in Vancouver Community College's culinary program.

After a decade of experience in the food industry, including stints at Pan Pacific Hotel, Four Seasons, Terminal City Club, and the Delta Hotel Burnaby, she collected all of her best recipes and began to think about opening her own business.

Then at an auction, she saw a table she fell in love with. She told herself that if she won the auction for the table, she would pursue her dream.

As the story would have it, she wound up opening Baker and Table Café and Bakery at 6414 Fraser Street on February 3.

If you haven't already guessed, the name comes from what she started with: herself (the baker) and the table (the—wait for it—table).

Her love for repurposing used or old items is reflected not only in her friendship with her faithful table companion (who was hired to support the cash register) but also in the décor, such as her collection of mismatched tables and chairs (which seat up to 16 people), and various household items on display that she collected over the years or brought from Japan.

With her 600-square-foot retail space (the total premises are 1,800 square feet), she's sought to create a homelike feel. She's been successful.

In fact, it's been so cozy that some people have been falling asleep when she puts on jazz music in the background. (She had to switch to putting on the radio.)

"That means people [feel] comfortable here, and they feel secure," she says. "It's so busy outside on Fraser. It's just people go-go-go but you come in here and it's different."

Syvertsen, who hails from Nagoya, Japan, but has lived in Canada for 15 years, offers a combination of Western and Japanese food and baked goods on her menu. With a special attention to ingredients, many of her items are vegan or gluten-free.

In fact, she uses balsamic vinegar instead of soy sauce because, she explains, soy sauce has wheat in it. How thoughtful!

Continue reading in the Georgia Straight


Learn more about baking and culinary arts at VCC:

Unique VCC program welcomes newcomer women into trades

Posted on June 1, 2020



VCC baking instructor Leanne Bentley (top center) and Trades Sampler students meeting via Zoom

What do a former restaurant owner from Turkey and a mother of three from South Sudan have in common? They both discovered a love for hairstyling, thanks to a unique Vancouver Community College (VCC) career training program for newcomer women. 

The first Hair Design, Culinary, and Baking Trades Sampler program for newcomer women ran March 2 to May 29, 2020. Designed and delivered by VCC instructors in partnership with Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) and the B.C. Industry Training Authority (ITA), the program offered customized, practical introductions to a variety of trades careers in Canada.

Ten women began the program with hairstyling training at VCC’s Downtown campus Salon and Spa. After COVID-19 restrictions suspended face-to-face instruction, the students continued the program remotely via Zoom and Moodle.

Lyazzat Alkan, originally from Kazakhstan, immigrated to Canada three years ago and has enjoyed learning hairstyling skills in the program. She now has her sights set on working as a hairstylist in the film industry. “Thanks to an excellent teacher, Mr. Stewart Anderson, we learned to cut and colour hair, and got a lot of knowledge in a short time,” says Lyazzat.

Nelly Duku arrived in Canada in 2005, having fled the civil war in South Sudan. She previously learned hairstyling techniques by watching online videos, and has now also built up employable skills in culinary and baking. “The instructors were super supportive and experienced,” says Nelly.

According to Pam Khinda, senior program coordinator at VCC’s Partnership Development Office (PDO), students have remained engaged and inspired to apply their learning at home, such as cutting hair and making professional-quality meals for their families. “This speaks to the students' commitment to learning and project team's passion, dedication, and creativity despite the lack of hands-on teaching options as originally planned for,” she says.

Opening doors to trades careers

According to Statistics Canada, only one in 10 trades apprentices today are women. Since VCC offers many of the most sought-after trades training programs in B.C., Pam jumped at the chance when the ITA approached her to help deliver a trades program specifically for immigrant women. 

“Many immigrants in B.C. miss out on rewarding opportunities in the trades, mainly because of the lack of awareness. New Canadians are an integral part of the community, and apprenticeship fast-tracks their ability to participate in the economy,” says Paulette Higgins, ITA Training Investment Director.

In addition to trades training, program participants also learn job-search skills and get personalized support from a PICS employment counsellor. "These women bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, but prior to this, were not able to pursue their passion," says Raj Hundal, PICS executive director.

For a number of the students, this is their first formal educational opportunity in Canada. “We were thrilled to be able to help address this need,” says Pam. “We saw this as a great opportunity to assist immigrant women explore different trades in a safe, welcoming, and group-based environment.”

Learn about more VCC programs that are are thriving using online and hybrid delivery. 



A taste of history: Introduction to Chocolate

Posted on February 19, 2019



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

  • World of Breads


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

Business Communications

  • Google Adwords Training 

Creative Writing

Early Childhood Care and Education



  • Creating Interactive Maps with Mapbox
  • Illustrator Level 2
  • Introduction to Logic Pro 

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. 



VCC’s CAD and BIM drafting grads are in demand

Posted on July 29, 2020



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

The remarkable work of graduates from the drafting programs at Vancouver Community College (VCC) is all around us. The offices we work in, the roads we drive on, the bridges we cross over, and the buildings we live in—construction of these structures is based upon intricate design plans laid out by a drafter.

To meet the increasing demand for drafting technicians, VCC is offering six computer-assisted design (CAD) and building information modelling (BIM) programs:

“We have been producing drafting technicians since 1949 and our graduates have helped build our airports, sports arenas and stadiums, roads, bridges across the Lower Mainland, and beyond,” says Bruce McGarvie, department leader at VCC. 

Despite rising unemployment rates due to COVID-19, VCC has not noticed any slowdown in demand for its drafting graduates by local architectural firms.

“Certificate and diploma program statistics, averaged over the last five years, show that 84 percent of graduates find full-time work within four months of graduation,” McGarvie says. “Many of our students have jobs lined up before they even finish their programs.”

Safe and innovative online learning

Students can complete the majority of coursework for these programs online through virtual classrooms. This computer-based format is convenient for those hoping to gain an education while following social-distancing guidelines during the pandemic. With lectures, discussions, and peer collaborations taking place online, students are not required to commute to campus and can conveniently construct their own learning schedule.

Students in need of assistance with the course material can contact their instructors via Zoom and share their screens with peers when working on group projects. Additionally, all students have access to the specialized program software and can access course resources on Moodle at any time.

People with an interest in mathematics, technical drawing, 3D modelling, commercial and residential construction, and sustainability should consider pursuing an education in drafting.

“Drafting technicians prepare engineering designs, 3D virtual models, construction and fabrication drawings, and related technical information,” says McGarvie. “Drafters work in teams or with engineers and architects for consulting architectural and engineering firms, construction companies, resource and manufacturing companies, and in many levels of government.”

According to WorkBC, graduates from the CAD and BIM drafting programs earn a median wage of $27 per hour. The six programs available at VCC vary from 14 weeks to 10 months. Ideal for detail-oriented, self-motivated students, this is a small time investment considering that most graduates gain meaningful employment shortly after finishing their program.

Apply now to secure your seat in VCC’s CAD and BIM drafting programs this September or chat with VCC instructors during an upcoming online info session.

Celebrate Pride Week 2020 online with the VCC community

Posted on July 27, 2020



A message from VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel

As Vancouver heads into a very different Pride Week this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what does not change is the importance for all of us to reflect on the storied history of LGBTQIA2S+ rights in our communities, our country, and around the world.  

In Canada, Pride happens from coast to coast throughout the summer. From the smallest communities in B.C. to major cities like Vancouver, allies and activists stand with our LGBTQIA2S+ community together to create space for dialogue, solidarity, and advocacy. 

This summer, Pride in Vancouver will be without the annual parade, one of my favourite Vancouver events every year – so how do we celebrate? 

At VCC, while we may not be able to wave our LGBTQIA2S+ flags together in person, we recommit ourselves to our work of creating inclusive, equitable, and safe spaces for all our students and employees. I also want to express my personal appreciation and gratitude to the Positive Space committee at VCC. Thank you for your efforts at VCC and in our community.

Vancouver Pride Society also has a number of wonderful online and accessible events and activities planned, and we at VCC will be sharing an array of wonderful content on our social media channels during Pride Week. I encourage everyone at VCC and in our community to engage in your own safe celebration. 

I wish you a kind, joy-filled Pride!



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

Minister Mark announces $750K boost for VCC nursing programs

Posted on July 23, 2020



Vancouver Community College (VCC) was pleased to welcome Melanie Mark, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to our Broadway campus today for an exciting announcement about new funding for health sciences education.

During a physically distanced visit to VCC, Minister Mark announced $750,000 to expand a bridging program for licensed practical nurses who choose to continue their education by completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). 

This is part of a new $4.4 million injection in funds for health profession-related education and training at multiple B.C. post-secondary institutions. It adds to annual funding of more than $125 million for health education programs around B.C. 

“For years, British Columbians have been calling for more trained health professionals in their communities,” said Minister Mark. “We heard that call to action and we’re investing in valuable, in-demand training in every corner of the province.”

"This funding will make us stronger as we continue to provide the highest quality health-care graduates, especially important during this challenging time with COVID-19," said VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel.

Programs receiving funding include training for health-care assistants, anaesthesia assistants, mental health and community support workers, and programs for nurses. The funding also creates opportunities for existing health professionals to further enhance their skills. 

"VCC is among the few places that offer a bridging program for LPNs to become BSN registered nurses," said Ananda Crouse, an LPN who has bridged into VCC's BScN program. "Who is better to become an RN than an LPN who has skills and experience in the field of nursing?"

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

Posted on February 11, 2019

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.


VCC graduates will go for gold at WorldSkills competition in Russia

Posted on August 7, 2019



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Vancouver Community College (VCC) baking and pastry arts graduate Clarissa Roque did something amazing in May at the 2019 Skills Canada National Competition in Halifax.

She created seven different pastries over a 14-hour period in two days, wowing the judges and winnning a gold medal in her category.

This has enabled her to advance to the WorldSkills competition in August in Kazan, Russia.

But that wasn’t the only VCC–related accomplishment in Halifax. One of its recent culinary arts grads, Leah Patitucci, also won a gold medal in her category.

This means that for the first time, one school—Vancouver Community College—has Canadian bragging rights in both of these categories for the upcoming global event. It takes place every two years and attracts competitors from more than 60 countries.

VCC’s dean of hospitality, food studies and applied business, Dennis Innes, told the Straight by phone that the success of the students doesn’t reflect only the quality of the culinary and baking and pastry arts programs. It’s also a testament to the commitment and dedication of the two former VCC students.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Innes declared. “They really have to want to do it.”

He pointed out that Roque and Patitucci were both enrolled in high school programs created in partnership with VCC. These programs provide an opportunity to earn academic and trades training credits before going to college.

Innes is on the board of Skills Canada B.C. and will be in Kazan for the WorldSkills Competition. But this is not the only chance for students and recent grads to demonstrate their mettle. According to Innes, they’ve competed for the national Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship and in the Culinary Olympics.

“In both the culinary and baking programs, we have our own internal top-student competition,” he added.

VCC has the largest culinary arts and baking and pastry arts programs in the province. Because it receives funding from Industry Training Authority B.C., VCC is more affordable for students than other schools that don’t have this affiliation.

Continue reading in The Georgia Straight


Get a taste of VCC's world-class training. Sign up now for an upcoming baking or culinary arts info session.

Start your VR/AR design career at VCC this September

Posted on July 22, 2020

Woman using VR headset and handsets in classroom with whiteboards


According to Vancouver VR/AR Association president Dan Burgar, British Columbia is already a world leader in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) development, which makes it a perfect place to cultivate new VR/AR design professionals. “We need to support the future generation of talent to create new worlds beyond our imagination,” he says.

Thanks to industry leaders like Dan and an exciting partnership with Vancouver Film School (VFS), Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to help students explore these new worlds through a VR/AR Design and Development diploma program starting in September 2020.

This two-year program will harness the best assets, training, and knowledge of both VCC and VFS to launch future careers in this burgeoning field. Yes, students will learn to develop video games, but they’ll also discover the many innovative VR/AR solutions for business, engineering, education, and more. During the program, students will work with real clients while also developing their own capstone projects and professional portfolios.

“Our students will learn from industry leaders and be well-positioned for their future careers as virtual and augmented reality experts,” says David Wells, VCC Vice President, Academic and Applied Research.

The program starts with a four-month study term at VCC, where students receive an introduction to computer programming, 2D/3D design, and game engines Unity3D and Unreal Engine. Students then spend two more terms sharpening their skills at VFS, and finally participate in a hands-on industry practicum. 

Both VCC and VFS campuses are located in Downtown Vancouver, offering the convenience of access and shared resources.

“VFS and VCC have been physical neighbours in Vancouver for many years. It is particularly satisfying and exciting to pool our resources and offer students a unique, sophisticated VR/AR program,” says VFS president James Griffin.

Graduating students will receive a two-year diploma from VCC and an advanced production diploma from VFS. International students will also be eligible to apply for post-graduation work permits. 

Are you ready to create the tools of tomorrow? Learn more about the VR/AR Design and Development program, starting in September 2020. 

Loud and proud, Queer as Funk make Motown their own

Posted on August 1, 2018



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

VCC and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Posted on June 18, 2015

vancouver international jazz festival-logo

For over 40 years, the music department at Vancouver Community College (VCC) has helped hone the natural talent of many musicians, composers and bands; many of who graduated from VCC to big and bright careers in the music industry. VCC is proud of the many music alumni and faculty who are performing at this years Vancouver International Jazz Festival, running from Thursday, June 18 to Wednesday, July 1 at multiple venues around Vancouver. 

Interested in learning more about VCC’s music programs, the talented faculty, and the opportunities for success in the music industry?  Attend an info session to learn more about the Bachelor, diploma and community programs VCC music offers. 

Schedule of TD International Jazz Festival performances involving VCC faculty and alumni (all events are free, unless noted otherwise):

Jared Burrows Sextet (with faculty member, John Korsud, trumpet)
Thursday, June 18, 3 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

Tanga (with alumnus, Malcolm Aiken)
Thursday, June 18, 7:30 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

Karin Plato Ensemble (with faculty member, Laurence Mollerup, bass)
Friday, June 19, 12 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

SICK BOSS with Debra-Jean Creelman (with alumna, Debra-Jean Creelman, vocal, and Tyson Naylor, accordion)
Friday, June 19, 1 p.m. - Granville Island - Performance Works

Hugh Fraser (alumnus, trombonist) & VEJI
Friday, June, 19, 6 p.m. - Pat’s Pub ($20)

Pugs and Crows (with alumnus, Ben Brown, drums) and Tony Wilson
Friday, June 19, 9:30 p.m. - Innovation Series - Ironworks ($25)

Ben Henriques Quartet (with faculty member, Bernie Aral, drums)
Saturday, June 20, 1:30 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Robson Stage (free)

Tony Wilson Tribute to Jim Pepper (with alumnus, Ben Brown, drums)
Saturday, June 20, 3 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Robson Stage

John Korsud’s Latin Ensemble (with faculty member John Korsud, trumpet, and alumni, Niho Takase, keyboards, Chris Couto, timbales, Sangito Bigelow, congas, Ronnie Swirl, bass).
Saturday, June 20, 6:45 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Robson Stage

Tia Brazda (with faculty member, Sharon Minemoto, keyboards)
Sunday, June 21, 12:30 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

Hugh Fraser (alumnus, trombonist) and VEJI
Sunday, June 21, 2:15 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

Benoit Delbecq with François Houle, Gordon Grdina and Kenton Loewen (with faculty member, Francois Houle, clarinet, and alumnus, Kenton Loewen, drums)
Sunday, June 21, 9:30 p.m. - Innovation Series - Ironworks ($25)

Official Jazz Jam - Phil Boniface Trio (with alumna, Sharon Minemoto)
Monday, June 22 / Tuesday, June 23 / Thursday, June 25 / Monday, June 29 / Tuesday, June 30, 8:30 p.m. - Pat’s Pub

Samuel Blaser and François Houle Duo (with faculty member, Francois Houle, clarinet)
Tuesday, June 23, 5 p.m. - Innovation Series - Ironworks

Tyson Naylor Trio
Tuesday, June 23, 6:30 p.m. - Libra Room

Alumnus, Tim Sars (baritone sax) and Friends
Tuesday, June 23, 9:30 p.m. - Libra Room

Alumnus, Tyson Naylor, keys, with Nils Berg, Russell Sholberg and Chris Cantillo
Thursday, June 25, 5 p.m. - Ironworks

Tim Sars Trio (with alumni, Tim Sars, baritone sax, Brendan Krieg, drums)
Friday, June 26, 12 p.m. - Granville Island - Public Market Stage

Peregrine Falls (with alumnus, Kenton Loewen, drums)
Friday, June 26, 11:30 p.m. - Innovation Series - Ironworks Late Night ($15)

Electric Miles (with alumus, Hugh Fraser, keyboards)
Saturday, June 27, 12 p.m. Roundhouse - David Lam Park Stage (free)

Mazacote (with alumni, Chris Couto, timbales, Niho Takase, keys, Robin Layne, congas)
Saturday, June 27, 3:30 p.m. - Roundhouse - David Lam Park Stage

Tiny Pyramids (with alumnus, Tyson Naylor, keys)
Saturday, June 27, 5:30 p.m. - Roundhouse - Exhibition Hall

Minemoto, Coon and Danderfer (with faculty member, Sharon Minemoto, keyboards and melodica)
Sunday, June 28, 1 p.m. - Granville Island - Performance WorksPerformance Works

Trio Boujou (with faculty member, François Houle, clarinet)
Wednesday, July 1, 5 p.m. - Granville Island - Ron Basford Park Stage

Alumnus, Brad Turner Quartet
Wednesday, July 1, 7:30 p.m. - Granville Island - Performance Works

Kate Hammett-Vaughan Quintent (with faculty member, Kate Hammett-Vaughan, vocals)
Wednesday, July 1, 9:30 p.m. - Granville Island - Performance Works

Company B Jazz Band  (with alumnus, Dave Taylor guitar)
Wednesday, July 1, 8 p.m. - Granville Island - Railspur District Stage

Daphne Roubini and Black Gardenia (with alumnus, Andrew Smith, guitar)
Wednesday, July 1, 12:30 p.m. - Granville Island - Railspur District Stage 

Stay connected with VCC's alumni newsletter! Hear about exciting news about VCC alumni, contests and new partnerships. 




Congratulations to our Mayor’s Arts Awards winners

Posted on October 11, 2017

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.

Culinary department head named Chef of the Year

Posted on February 18, 2016

BC Chef of the year award‌Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) culinary arts department head, Chef Collin Gill was honored this weekend at the 40th Annual Presidents Ball where he took home the British Columbia Chef’s Association ‘Chef of the Year’ award. The event raises funds to provide scholarships to junior chefs in the province.

“I feel very honored to be named Chef of the Year. This award is also recognition for all that our department does in conjunction with the BC Chefs to serve the community, provide education, create scholarships, and deliver competitions,” says Chef Collin. “I feel this award is a tip of the hat for the VCC Culinary program, not only to myself.”

Read more about Chef Collin and his involvement with the VCC 50 Years 50 Chefs gala here.

Pictured at right: Dean of School of Trades, Dennis Innes with Department Head of Culinary Arts, Collin Gill.


Love to cook? Come check out our culinary arts programs! RSVP now for VCC Info Night on April 20.



New funding equips trades and technology students for the future

Posted on June 7, 2019



Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to be one of 19 B.C. post-secondary institutions to receive $160,000 to fund technologically advanced trades equipment, as announced Thursday, June 6 at the VCC Downtown campus.

The announcement was hosted at JJ’s, VCC’s recently refurbished on-campus fine dining restaurant, and was emceed by Vancouver-Fraserview MLA and B.C. Minister of State for Trade George Chow. Speakers included B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark, VCC president and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda, VCC culinary arts department head Chef Collin Gill, and VCC culinary student Jefferson Bueno. 

“By investing in up-to-date equipment, we’re ensuring students at VCC and throughout the Lower Mainland and the province are developing the skills they need to be the next generation of tech and trades leaders in B.C.,” said Minister Chow. 

Prior to the announcement, Minister Mark toured many of VCC’s training kitchens and on-site bakeries, meeting with dozens of students and sampling their creations. 


See more photos.‌



BC Government News: Cooking up success for trades and tech students

Jefferson’s story: from curious kid to molecular mastermind


Are you interested in a career in trades or technology? Learn about these in-demand industries at a free program info session


Heat’s story: blazing trails in food and business

Posted on July 26, 2018



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.  

Transforming kitchen culture at VCC

Posted on February 25, 2019


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.

Connor Sperling wins the 2017 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship

Posted on October 17, 2017

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.



Chef tips: how to cook in small spaces

Posted on February 18, 2016

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.


Kathryn McNaughton wins Chair Academy Award

Posted on March 29, 2017

News-Kathryn-McNaughton-award-292Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Kathryn McNaughton, Vice President Academic, Students and Research, has been selected as a recipient of The Chair Academy’s 2017 International Exemplary Leadership Award.

This award recognizes exceptional leadership by individuals or teams in post-secondary institutions, and is awarded by The Chair Academy, an international leadership development organization. The award will be presented at the Chair Academy’s 2017 conference March 28 – 31, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.

McNaughton joined the college in August 2015, and quickly forged deep and productive relationships across the institution. “Kathryn, almost immediately upon her arrival, improved the atmosphere of the organization,” says Todd Rowlatt, department head, Library Public Services. “People trust her… she acknowledges everyone by name, and always takes the time for moments of human connection.”

With a CV that lists teaching and leadership positions across Canada, including Red River College, University College of the North, Thompson Rivers University, and University of Regina, McNaughton brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and insight to VCC.

Samples of her exemplary leadership at VCC thus far include contributing to VCC's Integrated College Plan development, ramping up applied research along with associated funding and infrastructure, redeveloping Culinary Arts programming, and serving on various B.C. Ministry of Education committees in order to ensure VCC is well-positioned in relation to provincial objectives.

Above all, it is McNaughton's openness to ideas and ability to listen, relate, and to bring the right people together that has earned her not only this leadership award, but also admiration and respect from all of us at VCC.



Looking for a great value lunch spot downtown?

Posted on November 8, 2016

News-Cafe-335-MOBILE-292Original article from Hastings Crossing

Looking for a great value new lunch spot? Cafe 335, located at 335 West Pender Street, may just do the trick. This social enterprise serves up breakfast and lunch, and is run by graduates of the Culinary Skills Training Program, a collaborative program between Coast Mental Health and Vancouver Community College (VCC).

The Culinary Skills Training Program, which began in late 2014, provides training to at-risk young adults who struggle with various barriers to employment. The program is 4 weeks long and run by a VCC culinary instructor. Graduates are invited to continue onto VCC’s 12-month diploma program. Cafe 335 provides an arena for these students to practice their learned skills in a real-world setting. There have been 29 graduates of the program and many have moved on to work at places such as The Keg, Liquids and Solids, JamJar, the Vancouver Fish Company, Safeway, the Foggy Dew and BC Place.

LeeAnn Deacon is the manager of Cafe 335 and has seen all of the graduates go through the program since 2014. She has witnessed firsthand what the program can do for struggling youth. Though the process can have its challenges, graduates of the program come out with not only employable culinary skills, but soft skills that they can take with them throughout their lives. “The reward is witnessing incredible growth in our employees,” she says of the program.

Cafe 335 serves a breakfast menu from 8 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., which contains a variety of options from breakfast wraps to bagels. The lunch menu, served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., contains a selection of affordable sandwiches, soups and salads, with a different feature every day. Be sure to try the butter chicken sandwich! With all menu items being under $8, it is definitely one of the more affordable lunch options in the downtown area. For your next office event, Cafe 335 also offers catering for breakfast and lunch.


Evonne’s story: Cultivating community

Posted on April 1, 2019


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

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.

Top Skills Canada performances launch VCC students onto the world stage

Posted on June 3, 2019



Following career-topping performances at the WorldSkills Team Canada qualifying event last week in Halifax, two Vancouver Community College (VCC) students have earned spots on the team heading to WorldSkills Kazan 2019 in Russia. 

VCC culinary arts apprentice Leah Patitucci and VCC baking and pastry arts apprentice Clarissa Roque have worked incredibly hard for this opportunity. Both bring years of past competition experience, including standout performances at Skills Canada 2018, which qualified them to try out for the national team. Both women also benefit from quality industry experience and significant extra-curricular training and practice with VCC chefs.

Leah (@leah_patitucci), whose credits include both baking and culinary training at VCC, brings remarkable focus to her craft as well as mentorship from numerous well-known, gourmet restaurants across Vancovuer. 

Clarissa (@roqueclarissa), who began competing already in high school, is known for combining creative drawing skills, impeccable taste, and precise organization in her pastry creations. 

Stay tuned for updates from WorldSkills 2019, held August 22 to 27, and share your support with Team VCC and Team Canada online using the hashtags #myVCC and #WSTC2019.

Skills Canada 2019

The Team Canada qualifying event was held in conjunction with the Skills Canada National Competition 2019 (SCNC) from May 27 to 29 in Halifax, NS.

VCC sent eight provincial champions to this year’s SCNC, and we are extremely proud to congratulate the following national medallists. Well done, everyone! 

Automotive collision repair – post-secondary
Ricky Guan – SILVER 

Baking – post-secondary
Farzin Irani – SILVER

Car painting – secondary
Reilly Ouwerling (Elgin Park Secondary) – BRONZE

Culinary arts – post-secondary
Anh Tran – BRONZE

Culinary arts – secondary
Julia Broda (Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary) – SILVER


Can you picture yourself in the skilled trades? Learn more about apprenticeship options at VCC at an upcoming free information session

Introducing Austin Granados - baking’s golden boy

Posted on June 18, 2015

Introducing Austin Granados - baking’s golden boyIf you ever find yourself in need of an impromptu marzipan figurine, you’d better hope Austin Granados is nearby.

Over the past few months, the 21-year-old VCC baking and pastry arts student spent countless hours perfecting his pastry techniques in campus kitchens. On April 15, his hard work paid off with a gold medal at the Skills Canada BC provincial competition held in Abbotsford. Six weeks later, after more exhaustive practice, Austin was competing again, this time sponsored by the Tourism Industry Partners Society (TIPS) to attend the Skills Canada national competition in Saskatoon.

When the judges announced Austin’s name as the national gold medal winner for 2015, he could hardly believe his ears. “I was speechless. I was paralyzed,” he says. 

Crunch time

Each year, hundreds of skilled trade and technology students from both high school and post-secondary programs compete for a spot on the Skills Canada podium. While baking is delicate work, Austin will attest that the contest itself is not for the faint of heart.

For the provincial competition, post-secondary bakers are given a highly structured eight-hour window in which to produce many specific items to exacting standards. These include marzipan figurines, numerous French pastries, mousse cakes, chocolates—both moulded and hand-dipped—and sculpted chocolate show pieces. The national competition lasts for not one, but two days at five hours each and includes these same elements but adds a “mystery box” of ingredients.

"It was super intense and super fun at the same time," says Austin, who spent the night before competition day fine-tuning his marzipan figurines (a beaver and praying mantis) in his hotel room.

Baker’s secrets

Growing up in Winnipeg in a food-loving Filipino family, Austin says it just felt right to pursue cooking and baking as a career. During a culinary career skills program in high school, Austin’s teacher recommended culinary arts at VCC. For a creative and energetic young guy excited to travel, Vancouver was the perfect destination.‌

Austin first completed culinary arts level one at VCC before moving into the baking and pastry arts program. Eventually, he says he’d like to obtain his Red Seal in both areas. It’s not that he can’t decide—he just wants to do it all!

Even as he strove for perfection in both the provincial and national competitions, Austin says he never expected to win gold. He jokes about the mistakes he made —dropping a delicate chocolate flower right front of the audience, burning some pineapple under the scrutinizing gaze of the judges. Austin’s casual, positive attitude is contagious, but the easygoing way in which he describes the many pastries and techniques also hints at how deep-rooted his knowledge really is.

Above all, Austin attributes his success to the support of his family, friends and especially his VCC instructors, namely Nancy McRae and Alan Dobko, who oversaw his extracurricular training during the week and were right there alongside him on many an eight-hour Saturday trial run. For future Skills Canada competitors, Austin’s advice is simple. "Show up to practice," he says. "It makes a huge difference." And when you’re on the road with no kitchen? Apparently a bit of marzipan in your bag can come in handy too.


Introducing Austin Granados - baking’s golden boy


The participation of Austin and his instructors in the Skills Canada national competition was made possible by a generous travel donation by the Tourism Industry Partners Society.

Interested in exploring the sweetest career on earth? Learn more about VCC baking and pastry arts programs at an upcoming info session.



VCC baking receives large research grant for new study

Posted on March 25, 2015

VCC baking receives large research grant for new study

VCC baking and pastry arts have been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to conduct a two-year applied research project with BCIT in naturally leavened baking with a goal to reducing the digestive sensitivities of wheat breads.

Together with BCIT’s Natural Health and Food Products Research Group (NRG) and Rogers Foods, VCC will work to develop a methodology and guidelines to produce high quality sourdough breads, the characteristics of which naturally reduce gluten content.  VCC students and faculty will devise the formulas and recipes and BCIT’s NRG will evaluate the bread qualities.

The baking and pastry arts department is thrilled to receive this prestigious NSERC grant.  “It’s a wonderful opportunity to have VCC, BCIT and industry working together to support the tradition of our craft,” says Fionna Chong, the department head and instructor of baking and pastry arts at VCC.?

Elizabeth Mudge, an applied researcher with BCIT’s NRG says “We are excited to be involved in this collaboration with VCC and Rogers Foods to have a better understanding of traditional bread making and its impact on bread quality.”




Nespresso national competition finds pastry prodigies at VCC

Posted on March 18, 2019


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.


Adrianna's story: a pathway to pastry arts

Posted on June 20, 2018


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.

A fresh look for graphic design at VCC

Posted on July 5, 2018

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. 


Digital graphic design instructor becomes VP

Posted on June 27, 2016

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.

Talking shop with auto trades grad Sarah Jin

Posted on November 5, 2018



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

Meet Experience VCC tuition winner Brian Chan

Posted on June 7, 2018


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.

VCC shines at Skills Canada BC 2019 provincials

Posted on April 23, 2019


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
Julia 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. 

Government announces streamlined process for student grants, more online resources

Posted on July 15, 2020



Thanks to significant new investments by the B.C. government, every student who applies for a student loan through StudentAidBC will now be automatically assessed for the new B.C. Access Grant. 

More great news for B.C. students announced today includes increased funding for open textbooks and online educational resources (OER), and extra support for students with cognitive, mental health, or physical disabilities.

“Whether you’re a high school grad, a current student, or are returning for new skills and training, these new government supports mean the doors are wide open for you to get a post-secondary credential and pursue your dreams,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

B.C. Access Grant 

Today’s announcement about the streamlined B.C. Access Grant application process is welcome news to students concerned about continuing their education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Introduced in February 2020, the B.C. Access Grant offers up to $4,000 of non-repayable funding per year to low- and middle-income students in B.C. post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree programs. As requested by student groups, these grants are now available to students at the beginning of their studies to help with up-front tuition costs. The B.C. Access grant is gradually replacing the B.C. Completion Grant and others that awarded funds following the completion of a post-secondary program. 

Learn more about the StudentAidBC loan program and the B.C. Access Grant.

BCcampus resources and Open Textbooks

Increased funding ($275,000) was also announced today that will support BCcampus to build up its selection of online courses, support services, and Open Textbooks. Over 310 free textbooks, supplementary manuals, and guides are currently available. These materials are the result of calls to action from students wishing to reduce education expenses. 

The new funding will specifically help BCcampus expand its selection of webinars and videos on topics such as adapting to online learning, building resilience, stress management, and understanding financial supports. These webinars, launched in April 2020, will run regularly into 2021 with sessions available to students, faculty, and staff.  

Explore the BCcampus Open Textbook collection and webinar series.

Students with disabilities

As the COVID-19 pandemic forces us to adjust our lives and learning styles, it’s also important to make sure that students with disabilities aren’t left behind. Thanks to additional funding ($1.5 million to be shared by 20 B.C. public post-secondary institutions), the government has announced extra efforts to develop or build upon supports for physical disabilities to create the conditions they need to succeed. 

“The financial grants and open education resources that the B.C. government has announced today are welcome news to post-secondary students. This support is critical to providing easier access to the necessary courses and programs students require to get their credentials, achieve their career goals and contribute positively to our economy and society,” says Fillette Umulisa, Lansdowne Campus executive, Camosun College Student Society. 

To request learning accommodations due to a disability, please contact VCC Disability Services to speak with a helpful advisor.



Students impacted by COVID-19 find financial help through VCC

Posted on April 29, 2020


Pictured: Evan Look, VCC culinary arts student in Professional Cook 1

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Practical Nursing students Dona Pathirana and her husband, Jay, knew things were getting desperate when they were only eating bread for their daily meals.

Both found some relief after receiving financial assistance through VCC’s COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund, which has helped them care for their two-year-old child and Jay’s visiting parents, all of whom are temporarily living together in a one-bedroom apartment. 

“My in-laws visited us and they are stuck here due to the COVID-19 travel policies in Sri Lanka,” says Dona. “My family is going through a really hard time these days and your fund is such a big help.” 

Dona and Jay are now attending classes online. Due to the closure of public libraries, they study in the hallway of their apartment building — one studies while the other takes care of their son inside. Jay works night shifts, but his work hours have been cut back due to the pandemic.  

“Honestly, we eat bread and jam for all three meals sometimes. With the funding, I bought three months’ worth of baby food for my son. There are not enough words to say ‘thanks’ to you and the donors,” says Dona. 

Dona is among 312 domestic and international students who recently received bursaries from $195,000 in funding made possible through the provincial government, VCC, its various student and employee unions, and the VCC Foundation.

Keeping opportunity a reality

Evan Look, a musician and aspiring chef, was working part-time at Chambar Restaurant in Downtown Vancouver and was on his way to completing VCC’s Professional Cook 1 program when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

In a matter of days, both his access to professional culinary kitchens and his source of income disappeared. Evan is one of 28 culinary students who received emergency funding from VCC.

“Suddenly, life takes a complete 360-degree turn on you, you have no money, and worst of all, you can’t even hang out with your friends,” says Evan, who is continuing his studies online. 

Evan also offers encouragement to his fellow students. “Don’t quit because of something you can’t control,” he says. “VCC made an opportunity a reality for me, and I ask my fellow VCC students and staff to rally around each other during these times to finish what we started!”

The bursaries have also helped 110 of VCC’s international students, many of whom are unable to return home due to travel restrictions.

Jenny Banaga was laid off from work while in her last month of studies in the Administrative Assistant program.

“Being away from home and family, there was a lot uncertainty that came from with the?quarantine. This grant has given me peace of mind in these trying times,” she says. “I hope one day I will be able to pay it forward to other students just as you have helped me.” 

The time to give is now

In all, 312 students from 40 VCC programs received COVID-19 emergency bursaries, but these represent less than half those who applied for assistance. To try to meet this overwhelming need, VCC Foundation has kicked off a second fundraising campaign with the goal to raise an additional $50,000.

This will also coincide with Giving Tuesday Now, a global day of giving and unity inspired by the exceptional need caused by COVID-19. 

Giving Tuesday Now will take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. To double our community’s generosity VCC Foundation will match the first $20,000 received in donations before Sunday, May 31, 2020. 


“Never has the need been so great for students,” says VCC Foundation Director Nancy Nesbitt. “We recognize that these are difficult times for all of us, but it is uplifting to hear back from bursary recipients that they have made the leap to online learning and are weathering the storm.” 

If you have the means to help students like Hashini, Evan, and Jenny, please do.

To donate, visit the VCC Foundation donation page and select the COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund. Bursaries will be distributed via VCC’s need-based application process. Thank you for anything you can give.  



Vancouver fashion programs design their own take on virtual learning

Posted on May 15, 2020

Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Whether it’s learning to feel the difference between textile fibres or to steer an industrial sewing machine, fashion education comes with a hands-on element.

So what does that look like during social distancing, as instruction pivots to more e-learning? And how will that education shift as the entire fashion industry grapples with the challenges of fitting and producing garments during a lockdown that’s only gradually loosening? Local institutions are in the midst of finding that out, getting creative amid COVID-19 measures.

Over at Vancouver Community College’s fashion design and production program, coordinator Andrea Korens explains how shifts in the industry prepared her team well for the changes that are happening now. “One of the great things about working in fashion is we are so poised for a pivot already,” she observes. “I think we had less stress than other programs.”

Theory classes easily moved to virtual learning, and the school has found creative ways—both high- and low-tech—to translate more hands-on instruction with social distancing.

One example is VCC’s Fashion Cycle 4 collaborative garment-production class for custom clients. Though it had to be put on pause because of COVID-19, instructor Jason Matlo and producer Brenda Gilbert decided to donate their time to hosting a Zoom-based “What’s Next for Fashion” series. “They’re meeting with students every week about what’s coming up next in the market given the current climate, to keep them inspired and engaged,” Korens says.

Elsewhere, Korens has used a simple tactic message to get into the tactile world of teaching fabric and textile studies right now. “I am actually mailing them pieces—I’ve got swatches and I send them to them in the mail,” she says with a laugh, pointing out that, as she’s based at home, the fabric pieces are sitting all around her.

With large studio space at VCC and the chance to return with social distancing in the fall, she looks forward to finding ways use to the classroom with some new approaches.


Develop technical and business skills while expressing your creativity. Sign up for one of our free information sessions.

Samsung Tech Institute a fast-track into appliance repair jobs

Posted on July 10, 2017

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-trained chef finds “Phamily” success during COVID-19

Posted on July 13, 2020



Late last year, Vancouver Community College (VCC) Culinary Arts alumnus Brandon Pham had a big decision to make. With just over a decade of professional cooking under his belt, he was ready to take his next big step as a chef. But what would it be? 

Many cooks dream of opening their own restaurants. Others want to travel the world, host a TV show, or write a cookbook. Brandon, however, followed a desire to connect to his cultural roots that turned out to be one of the smartest moves of his career.  

The chef life

Growing up in Surrey, B.C., Brandon developed a love for food thanks to his mother’s Vietnamese cooking. This eventually led him to VCC’s culinary arts program. “I started cooking when I was 16,” he says, “but I really started cooking when I got to VCC.”

After completing his Professional Cook 1 training, Brandon went on to apprentice under now-VCC instructor Chef Hamid Salimian first at The Westin Wall Centre, then the prestigious Diva at the Met restaurant. 

“I was really, really lucky to be with Chef Hamid when he was at the restaurants,” says Brandon. “He taught me about life. My heart still races when he sends me encouraging messages. He’s still the chef.”  

Within a few years, Brandon’s promising career took him to Denmark, where he completed a stage at Michelin-starred restaurant AOC, while also working his off-days at equally acclaimed restaurants Noma and Relae

Back in Vancouver, Brandon continued building his resume at numerous local high-end restaurants and hotels, eventually earning his first promotion to Chef de Cuisine at Asian fusion restaurant Sai Woo.

“Brandon was just a teenager when he first came to VCC,” remembers VCC Culinary Arts department head Ysabel Sukic. “He got to where he is today with passion, perseverance, and unwavering commitment.” 

Home cooking 

While working in Denmark, Brandon says he was often asked about his Vietnamese heritage, but found he didn’t have many answers. “It made me realize I needed to go home and figure out my roots,” he says.

In 2017, Brandon took the leap and launched his own Vancouver catering business, The Phamily Table, aimed at bringing a Vietnamese-inspired “chef’s table” experience into peoples homes. “Everything just fell into place,” he says.  

Brandon’s catering business was still thriving when news of a coronavirus epidemic started coming in from China in December 2019. With incredible foresight, Brandon immediately transitioned his business model away from catering inside peoples’ homes to offering takeout meals. He also started pursuing a less-typical business plan to launch a product line of Vietnamese sauces. 

“I was being really hard on myself in December,” he says about developing the product line. “I thought it could turn out to be the worst mistake of my life!” 

Fortunately for The Phamily Table, demand for takeout meals has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brandon's sauces, branded Re/de/fine foodshave also proven to be a popular item in grocery stores and are available at farmers’ markets across the region. “I love working with and supporting other local businesses,” says Brandon. “I’ve been very, very grateful.” 

For Brandon, creating his line of chili and lemongrass sauces has been especially meaningful because it’s allowed him to express his Vietnamese heritage using local, Canadian ingredients. “I didn’t realize farmers in B.C. can grow 300 varieties of chilies!” he says.

Most meaningfully, perhaps, the Re/de/fine product line also became tribute to Brandon’s parents and their immigrant experience. “This is something that will leave a legacy,” says the not-quite-30-year-old chef. “It honours my family. It shows that they didn’t come here for nothing.”

Do you want to make your mark in the culinary world? Start by learning from the best at VCC Culinary Arts. Free information sessions monthly.

VCC Hospitality students win LinkBC competition

Posted on November 7, 2013

On October 27th, the 7th annual LinkBC Student Case Competition kicked off the Connect Trade Show & Conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre, with a record 16 teams demonstrating leadership and business skills as they presented solutions to 2 topical case studies. Students presented their business cases to a panel of industry judges.

Vancouver Community College was announced as the winning team at Connect's Industry Lunch. The winning team, composed of Hospitality Degree students Khaled Attalaoui, Caitlin Cindric, Emma Dagg and Kathryn Gidluck took home a $500 prize.


Hospitality diploma and degree linkbc competition teams

 Left to right: Degree hospitality team and Diploma hospitality team

 Find out more about Hospitality Management Diploma


Five ways VCC supports international students

Posted on October 3, 2018


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

New! UT Engineering and Computer Science

Posted on January 13, 2015

Smaller classes and a pathway to SFU.

VCC is now offering two new University Transfer certificate programs that will enable students to gain transfer credits into second year SFU degree programs.

The first-year University Transfer Engineering (SFU or UBC transfer)  and Computer Science and Software Systems certificate programs provide students with the opportunity to explore options and demonstrate success at the first-year level of university studies. Students will gain transfer credits to the SFU Engineering or Computing Science and Software Systems degree programs, or others. 

Join us at an info session and learn more about these programs! 

VCC also offers a number of University Transfer options throughout the year. 


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

Posted on July 27, 2015


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.

VCC auto students assist with taxi safety inspections

Posted on April 18, 2013


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

Posted on April 18, 2013


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 automotive students pay attention to detail

Posted on February 7, 2020

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

There’s no shortage of poorly paid artists in Vancouver. But Tate Westerman studied fine art and still managed to earn a decent living, thanks to his passion for automobiles. In 1995, he studied to become an automotive technician at Vancouver Community College (VCC) because it was a pathway for him to express himself creatively and escape poverty.

“I was a starving artist for a while and I realized I couldn’t raise a family on it,” Westerman told the Straight by phone.

He had learned some things about the automotive trade from his father and grandfather. His two options were to become an auto mechanic or an autobody-repair specialist—and autobody seemed to be the more creative option. While in his 30s, he bought his own shop in Port Moody—and similar opportunities exist today for those who obtain interprovincial Red Seal accreditation.

“There are lots of opportunities to buy into existing body shops [and] to open up your own restoration shops, even at home.”

Twenty-two years later, Westerman returned to VCC to become an instructor in transportation trades. He said that anyone interested in enrolling can visit the college and take a free tour and learn how to become an automotive collision repair or refinishing technician. According to him, those with an artistic eye can really excel if they’re also attentive students who show up on time and try to do their best.

Westerman pointed out that a technician can do a beautiful repair in a customer’s vehicle yet leave greasy handprints on the steering wheel. And that’s what the customer will notice, no matter how well the job was done.

He added that women are far more prominent in the industry in the 21st century, which is a big change from when he entered the business.

“Women tend to take a bit more attention and care,” Westerman said, “but having an artistic eye and good hand-eye coordination is very important [in] this industry to become successful.”

With baby boomers retiring, Westerman said there is increasing demand for technicians. Companies like BMW and B.C. Transit ask about the best students before they’ve even completed their coursework.

“When they exit the program, they are already either signed up as an apprentice or offered a scholarship or offered an apprenticeship or a job,” he said. “So right now the industry is really strong and is actually paying to have these students come. They’re paying good wages and are willing to pay incentives, like signing bonuses.”

The automotive collision repair technician program will accept its next group of students in September. It’s a full-time, eight-month certificate program at VCC’s Broadway campus. The automotive refinishing prep technician program is a full-time five-month certificate program, also at the Broadway campus. Students can also enroll in apprenticeship programs and obtain a B.C. trade certificate while earning a living in the industry.

For Westerman, it has been a natural progression from being a VCC student to working in the industry, owning his own shop, and then coming back to school to teach the next generation of automotive technicians.

“I think the thing that sticks with me the most—being a graduate and being alumni with the college—is when you start a program at this college, it’s a relationship,” Westerman said. “That sticks with you throughout your whole career and for your life. From the day I set foot at VCC, I always felt welcomed by my instructors.

“I could always come visit, even if I wasn’t a student anymore,” he continued. “I can reach them for advice, for job opportunities, even to come into the shop [when I] need a piece of equipment that I can’t find anywhere else. I’ve always felt welcome there. And most every student that comes through here comes back to visit.”

Motivated by hands-on work that feels rewarding at the end of the day? Sign up to tour our auto service shops, speak with instructors, and watch current students in training at one of our information sessions. 

Bianca’s story: from desk job to automotive calling

Posted on July 8, 2015

News-Bianca-Then-Mobile-292Ever since high school, Bianca Then had always worked in an office. She started as a receptionist, and by the time she was 22, she was already a financial advisor—but something just didn’t feel right.

“I realized that throughout every office job I’d had, the mentality was the same,” she says. “It’s just all drama. And that’s just not what I’m into!”

Then one day, after a particularly bad episode of office politics, Bianca decided it was time for a new career. She first looked at university programs. Psychology interested her; so did programs in Human Resources, but even these left her knowing she’d eventually be back in an office.

Bianca had always enjoyed doing things with her hands, so she decided to try helping out at her uncle’s auto body repair shop, “just to see where it would go.” It wasn’t long before she realized auto collision repair was a perfect fit. “I just fell in love with it,” she says.

Welcome to the workshop

Even after realizing what she loved to do, for Bianca, it was still a daunting step to not only return to school, but to enter a highly physical and male-dominated trades program. “I was really nervous,” she admits, “just thinking: what are they going to say, what are they going to think? Are they going to take me seriously or just worry that I might hurt myself?”

Today, after 8 months in VCC’s program (as the only woman in her class) and having just started an apprenticeship sponsored by Craftsman Collision, Bianca is more excited than ever in her new career.

Bianca credits her instructors with creating an atmosphere unlike any she’d ever experienced before—one of friendship, respect and an incredible amount of learning. “They want you to succeed so they’ll do whatever they can to help you get there,” she says.

Now more than ever, Bianca also appreciates the importance of her new field of work. After spending an entire month on safety training, she says the pressure to do the job right becomes quite intense. “We’re not only working with tools that can kill us, we have to do everything correctly because we’re putting someone in that car,” she says. “That’s someone’s life.”

The road ahead

While it’s possible to complete all three levels in succession, VCC instructors encourage students to spend a year in the workplace after each level building practical experience and gathering a large portion of the full 6,750 apprenticeship hours needed to obtain Red Seal certification.

In total, Bianca expects to spend nearly four years as an Automotive Collision Repair apprentice, but is looking forward to every moment. She compares it to a four-year bachelor’s degree. “The difference is I’m getting paid to do this,” she says, smiling. “I won’t be in debt. And I’m never working in an office job ever again!”


VCC’s program offers training in a wide range of skills appropriate to today's advanced automobile collision repair industry. Students who complete the foundation coursework can receive up to a year’s worth of apprenticeship credit and could be eligible for government grants. Learn more at an upcoming info session.

Q&A with John Martinolich: Making it in auto collision repair

Posted on March 19, 2015

auto collision, news, john martinolich, 380x293, instructor, success storyJohn Martinolich started out fixing cars as a teenage hobby, but it wasn’t long before he made this high-demand trade his profession. Now an instructor at VCC, John was kind enough to answer a few questions about his career:

Why did you choose to study at VCC?

I did a work experience at VCC when I was in high school and enjoyed it. I took the course so I could repair cars as a hobby, but I ended up enjoying it so much, I left my other job and stayed with it. That was 17 years ago.

What do you love about working in the auto collision repair and auto refinishing industry?

I really enjoy working with emerging technologies. Although it’s a really physical job, it requires mechanical aptitude, attention to detail and problem solving skills. I also really enjoy payday—I’ve averaged $98,000/year over the last five years!

Would you recommend the program to others looking for a new career?

Absolutely. I was hired before my course was even completed. Today, the industry is in need of skilled technicians. It’s a well-paying, high-demand trade.

Why did you decide to teach?

I liked helping people at work and training apprentices.


Do you have a passion for technology and the drive to succeed in a rewarding career? Learn more about the industry-respected Auto Collision Repair program at VCC.  Join us at a free info session and jumpstart your career.

VCC students earn two medals at Skills Canada competition

Posted on June 7, 2013


Congratulations to all of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. You made the VCC community very proud!

Adam Sliacky one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. Adam Sliacky
Age 17
Automotive refinishing - high school
Delta, B.C.
Ashlie Mackie one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors.
Ashlie Mackie
Age 26
Skin and body therapy
Vancouver, B.C.
Georgine Chung one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. BRONZE WINNER
Georgine Chung
Age 19
Baking and pastry arts
Chilliwack, B.C.
Keith Stonehouse one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. Keith Stonehouse
Age 25

Chilliwack, B.C.
Kurtis Gordey one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. Kurtis Gordey
Age 16
Automotive collision repair - high school
Enderby, B.C.
Meghan McDonell one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. Meghan McDonell
Age 26
Architectural drafting
Vancouver, B.C.
Michelle Macasling one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. Michelle Macasling
Age 24
Hair design
Rachelle Garcia one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors.

Rachelle Garcia
Age 18
Hair design - high school
Maple Ridge, B.C.

Dr. Peter Nunoda joins Innovate BC board

Posted on May 16, 2018

‌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:

New Computer Systems Technology program opens doors to software careers

Posted on June 10, 2019



If all goes according to schedule, the first grads from Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) new Computer Systems Technology Diploma (CST) program will be entering the workforce shortly after Amazon opens its doors only a block away from VCC’s Downtown campus.

Will VCC grads be crossing the street into ready-made jobs? CST head instructor Reza Nezami believes it’s definitely possible, but also knows there are plenty of jobs in Vancouver’s growing tech industry ­­– even if the new neighbours aren’t hiring.

"Software engineer and developer jobs in Vancouver just keep opening up. It’s endless right now,” says Reza.

According to WorkBC, computer programmers continue to be in high demand with more than 8,000 job openings predicted between now and 2028. The B.C. Tech Association estimates there are 100,000 people employed provincially in the sector with a median salary of more than $80,000 per year.

New work, new space

CST students this September will also be the first to study in VCC’s new, state-of-the-art computer labs featuring a street-level entrance, plenty of natural light, and cutting-edge equipment.

Taught by industry professionals, the two-year, full-time CST program will offer students hands-on instruction in software solutions, mobile apps, and website development, while introducing the latest concepts in enterprise systems, cloud computing, machine learning (AI), and security.

Who is best suited for this in-demand career? According to Reza, creative problem-solvers and team players will thrive in this industry. “Writing, updating, or debugging code can be a long process and it requires a great attention to detail,” says Reza, “but it’s very rewarding for those who have an interest in creating new and innovative products.”

Learn more and ask questions about the widely-recognized Computer Systems Technology Diploma at an upcoming free info session.

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

Posted on April 30, 2019

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

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Media can contact:

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