COVID-19 latest update:

Limited return to on-campus learning


VCC donates 60,000 pieces of PPE to the fight against COVID-19

Posted on April 2, 2020


Left to right: VCC staff members Pierce Dunne and Joshua Johnson

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is lending a hand in the efforts against COVID-19 by donating 60,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local health care providers.

VCC has collected 55,000 gloves and 5,000 other items including masks, sanitizers, gowns, viral swabs, and other cleaning supplies from its Downtown and Broadway campuses.

The materials came from across the college and involved the dental, esthetics and makeup, hairstyling, health, science, jewellery, and auto collision programs, all of which began transitioning to online learning on Wednesday, March 25. Additional cleaning supplies were sourced from VCC Security and Facilities.

All materials were donated to Vancouver Coastal Health.

“VCC has a long history of being involved in the community," says VCC president Ajay Patel. "We know how important it is right now to get our resources to where it matters most.”  

For the latest updates on what VCC is doing to support students and the commuinty, visit and our COVID-19 FAQ page.

Responding to COVID-19 through access, connection, and contribution

Posted on April 30, 2020


Access to education is essential for a healthy society, and while physical distancing measures are vitally important right now, I also struggle daily with the fact VCC’s doors are currently closed to the public. 

More than a month into our collective fight against the spread of COVID-19, I deeply miss seeing students fill our campuses, yet I am incredibly proud of VCC’s faculty and staff for their dedication, determination, and creativity in successfully shifting more than 100 programs and 1,100 courses online in a remarkably short period of time.

Compared to many other post-secondary institutions, VCC faces a particular challenge because we specialize in practical skills and hands-on experiences. I recognize that these things are very difficult to convey at a distance, but I continue to be impressed by how quickly our students have adapted to the new learning environment. This is a testament to their determination and ability to succeed.

VCC recognized for accessibility 

Our vision statement challenges us to be “The first choice for innovative, experiential learning for life,” and accessibility is a major part of our mission and identity.

At VCC, we pride ourselves in welcoming everyone, no matter their circumstances or stage in life, and empowering them through post-secondary education. Whether through offering world-class culinary, baking, automotive, and health sciences training, serving as a hub for the Deaf and hard of hearing community, or offering free adult upgrading, we aim to make education a reality for all.

For these reasons and more, I am especially pleased to share that Building B at our Broadway campus has now been officially certified through the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program, which recognizes meaningful access for people of all abilities. As an extra honour, VCC has trained many of the RHFAC professionals in Vancouver through an ongoing educational partnership.

An extraordinary effort

Although the doors to our campuses are closed, I want to highlight the bold and generous contributions that continue to happen behind them. I am honoured that the City of Vancouver sought our partnership, along with the B.C. Government, in producing and distributing 6,000 meals per week for our Downtown Eastside neighbours. VCC departments have also donated 60,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to our frontline workers, and VCC-based immigrant entrepreneurs are sewing hundreds of face masks for at-risk communities.

Whatever the coming months may bring, VCC fully intends to remain an institution on which our city can rely, both for educational excellence and as a focal point for community support.

I also want to thoughtfully recognize everyone who is keeping our school and our city running, often at considerable personal risk: cleaning and security staff, grocery store clerks, bus drivers, IT technicians, and more. Many of these are VCC graduates, and I proudly remember this every night at 7 p.m. as we send out a cheer for their safety.

We can and should celebrate “flattening the curve,” but it doesn’t mean the risk has disappeared. Please keep listening to our health authorities. Take physical distancing seriously. Be vigilant about hygiene. Wash your hands. The only way we can do this is together.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO (interim)
Vancouver Community College

COVID-19 Emergency Bursaries available

Posted on March 30, 2020

VCC unveils new website look.‌ 

VCC Foundation, Students' Union of VCC, the Association of VCC Administrators, VCC Faculty Association, and VCC made non-repayable emergency funding available for part-timand full-time VCC students who need financial assistance due to being impacted by COVID-19. The combined funding totals $55,000, and was available in addition to the increased student emergency funding and emergency supports for Indigenous students announced by the B.C. government.  

Update – Thursday, April 9, 2020:

Applications for the first round of emergency bursary funding closed on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. VCC will re-open applications upon securing additional funds.

Students are also encouraged review VCC's Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide, available through VCC Financial Aid

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 can I apply?

Update – Thursday, April 9, 2020:

Applications for the first round of emergency bursary funding closed on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. VCC will re-open applications upon securing additional funds.

Students are also encouraged review VCC's Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide, available through VCC Financial Aid

How to apply?

VCC will re-open applications upon securing additional funds.

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.


Please bookmark and visit this page frequently for the latest updates on COVID-19. 

VCC chef Tobias MacDonald explains how program has adapted to new reality

Posted on May 14, 2020


Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Vancouver Community College’s culinary arts program has earned a reputation as one of the best training grounds for B.C. chefs. Grads have gone on to work at such respected places as Fairmont Hotels, Earls Kitchen and Bar, Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, and Hawksworth Restaurant, among many others.

COVID-19 isn’t putting a pause on developing the chefs of tomorrow.

Chef instructor Tobias MacDonald is a certified master chef who has been teaching at VCC for the past eight years.

When he received the CMC title, the highest culinary designation in Canada, in 2015, he was just the second person to do so. Only four other people in the country hold the esteemed rank.

It’s just one of several culinary achievements for MacDonald. He competed with Culinary Team Canada over a period of several years and helped it earn multiple gold medals at the Culinary Olympics. He has also coached Culinary Team Canada, as well as the junior national team. From 2010 to 2012, he qualified to represent Canada in the World Association of Chefs Societies’ Global Chefs’ Challenge, winning the semifinals for North and South America and placing third in the finals in South Korea.

Although the global pandemic hasn’t stopped VCC from training future chefs, operations look much different now than they did in the recent past.

Three of the VCC kitchens have transformed into commissary space where support staff prepares meals for residents of the Downtown Eastside.

“Otherwise, it is a bit of a ghost town,” MacDonald tells the Straight. “Students have been all working remotely since mid-March and will continue to until we get the Provincial Health Officer guidelines in the next few weeks.”

There’s a Zoom lecture daily to provide the theory and academic side, as well as activities, quizzes, and assignments via a Moodle online classroom. Students are also tasked with completing short essays (or video essays), a small research project, and other assignments.


Learn the latest culinary techniques from VCC's award-winning chefs. Sign up now for our next free information session.

Coast Capital donation opens career doors for cognitively challenged youth

Posted on May 22, 2020



Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that Coast Capital Savings has donated $25,000 to support the Gateway to Post-secondary (GPS) program.

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.

Through this program, students split their time between their high schools and VCC’s Downtown campus, participating in classroom activities, fieldwork, and community employment practicums.

“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. 

Ingrid looks back proudly at one participant whose experience in VCC's Food Service Careers Program connected him with an Indigenous chef who ended up hiring him for her catering company. "He has grown into a competent and confident young man," Ingrid says. 

Despite the many financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, Coast Capital has increased their annual donation by $5,000.  

The GPS program has been an ongoing pilot since 2014, serving 10 students each fiscal year, totalling 70 students thus far.

Learn more about VCC's wide variety of progams and servies for people with disabilities


VCC is helping educators across Canada adapt to online learning

Posted on May 20, 2020

Man with beard sitting at desk with laptop and pen

Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, e-learning and the use of online resources was rising in popularity among students and faculty members. Students no longer have to spend endless hours commuting to campus and they are able to work through course material at their own desired speed. But with this switch, instructors have had to adjust and find new ways that they can engage with their students. The role of the educator has certainly changed.

To ease this transition, Vancouver Community College (VCC) developed the Facilitating Learning Online Fundamentals course for instructors at public and private schools across Western Canada. Since the online courses began on May 4, more than 100 instructors have signed up to gain a better understanding of how to support students through e-learning.

“We’re overwhelmed by the response to the course,” says Doug Mauger, department leader for the VCC School of Instructor Education. The course is six weeks in length and will provide instructors with tools to help them facilitate collaboration between students and promote student interaction with the online resources.

Prior to COVID-19, a 2018 survey of Canadian post-secondary schools revealed that they were already delivering the equivalent of 1.36 million course credits online. The same survey showed that one in five students were taking at least one online course per year.


For more information and to register for Facilitating Learning Online Fundamentals (PIDP 3320), contact the VCC School of Instructor Education by emailing .

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 grad combines child care and ASL skills to support the fight against COVID-19

Posted on May 14, 2020



Like many people around the world, child care assistant Jordyn Mitchell saw her workplace change dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once bustling with 60 young children, her preschool now sat virtually empty. 

Jordyn’s job wasn’t the type she could do from home, yet thanks to an extra-special skill set, she was still able to offer much-needed support to one of Vancouver’s frontline health care workers.

Jordyn graduated from Vancouver Community College (VCC) in 2019 with an American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies certificate and was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal for academic excellence and community service.

Today, this high-achiever works as an early childhood care assistant at a daycare operated by the Deaf Children’s Society of BC (DCS). In this role, Jordyn has been able to continue her work at the facility by providing interpretive services and Kindergarten programming to the five-year-old child of a registered nurse in New Westminster. Jordyn also cares for the nurse’s two-and-half-year-old child. 

“My role in the classroom at this time looks a little different than it would if there was not a worldwide pandemic,” Jordyn says. Over the past months, Jordyn has taught the children about proper hand washing, and coughing and sneezing into their arms and tissues. Of course, physical distancing in a preschool setting is nearly impossible. Jordyn adds that she is unable to wear protective face masks since mouth and facial movements are an essential part of ASL communication.

Jordyn admits she is concerned for her safety, but remains fully committed to her work. “The services we are providing allow nurses and doctors to not worry about child care and be in the hospital caring for the sick,” she says. 

In her personal life, Jordyn is also trying to stay as isolated as possible to ensure the children in her care – and by extension, their mother – are safe. “I go straight from work to home,” she says.

“We are super grateful to VCC for the programs they offer,” says Lisa Meneian, Executive Director at DCS. “Their graduates often become strong allies in the Deaf community, and we are extremely grateful to have Jordyn on our team!”  

Based in Burnaby, B.C. the Deaf Children’s Society of BC is a not-for-profit agency that provides resources, programs, support, and information to families with  Deaf and hard of hearing children from birth to age five. 

Learn how you can make a difference through VCC’s Sign Language Studies. Apply now for September 2020.

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.

Jewellery Student Exhibition

Add it to your calendar

Date Day Time Room Location
May 28, 2020 Thursday 12:00 PM - 12:00 PM
1386 Cartwright St., Vancouver, BC


This year we will be going online with our student exhibition. We have also teamed up with the Craft Council of BC to create a window display of selected works that can be viewed from the outside of the gallery on a socially-distant stroll. Come check out the creativity and resourcefulness of these emerging art jewellers.

In lieu of the traditional gala opening and public exhibition at the VCC Downtown Campus, this year we will be going online (via Facebook) with our student exhibition. We have also teamed up with the Craft Council of British Columbia to create a window display of selected works that can be viewed from the outside of the gallery on your socially-distant strolls through Granville Island.

This year's exhibition is a testament to the adaptability and ingenuity of our students, all of whom had designed collections in anticipation of this exhibition only to have their studio access disrupted by the necessity of physical distancing to halt the spread of COVID-19. Due to this lack of studio & equipment access, all of what you will see is the product of experimentation and resourcefulness, as these students used what tools they had and what they could find around their homes (and in their recycling boxes) to create truly contemporary art jewellery.

Online Exhibition - May 28th, 2020 via

(For those who don't have Facebook, the exhibition will also be available on the official VCC Flickr page.)

Window Gallery Display - May 28th to June 11th, 2020 at Craft Council of BC on Granville Island, 1386 Cartwright St, Vancouver, BC

New government programs support student summer jobs during COVID-19

Posted on April 23, 2020



On Wednesday, April 22, the Government of Canada announced new measures to help post-secondary students and recent graduates access jobs and financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To promote a sustainable economic recovery, we need a strong workforce and good job opportunities for young people,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “That means giving them the support they need to continue their studies and encouraging them to serve their communities.” 

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

Updated May 13, 2020

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) will provide support for eligible students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit provides $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for students with dependants or a disability. 

The benefit will be available from May to August 2020. Applications can be made starting Friday, May 15, 2020 via the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). LEARN MORE >

Canada Student Service Grant

A new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 to students who choose to do national service and help their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The government has announced plans to launch a new “I Want to Help" platform to provide information about available service opportunities, as well as the application process. 

Additional changes announced to benefit post-secondary students include:

  • increasing the Canada Student Grants amounts to $6,000 for full-time students,
  • broadening eligibility and raising amounts for the Canada Student Loan program,            
  • increasing supports for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students,
  • removing the maximum 20-hour per week work restriction for international students in essential services, and
  • boosting youth employment strategies to create 76,000 summer jobs for young people.

For ongoing updates on resources and supports available to VCC students, visit VCC’s COVID-19 information site.




Making our community proud this National Nursing Week

Posted on May 12, 2020


This year in Canada, National Nursing Week is celebrated May 11-17, which also coincides with the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth on May 12. As well, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 as International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

As we celebrate National Nursing Week this year and pay homage to Florence Nightingale – a British nurse considered to be the founder of modern nursing, I don’t believe anyone could have predicted the critical role that nurses would play in the health care system, and how the work of nursing and all those who work in health care would be featured front and center on the world stage.

During this unprecedented National Nursing Week, I would like to acknowledge all the VCC nursing faculty and students in the current BScN and PN programs

In the past, our annual celebration was held on campus to acknowledge the profession of nursing. Although we can’t be together in person this year, the nursing faculty has organized a VCC Nurse’s Day Zoom Conference on May 12 (Florence Nightingale’s Birthday), and all nursing faculty and students have been invited to celebrate virtually.

Finally, I would like to thank all our VCC nursing graduates who are working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic and making our VCC community very proud. 

Many other VCC Health Sciences grads are also on the front lines and they are doing excellent work. We are so thankful for their contributions during this challenging time. Please join me in extending our gratitude to all the VCC Health Care Assistants, Health Unit Coordinators, Medical Lab Assistants, Pharmacy Technicians, Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistants, and others. 

Nurses are real-life superheroes who, through applying their specialized body of knowledge, are currently making an enormous impact in the fight against COVID-19.

I invite you to watch this video that highlights the history and unique contributions nurses have made to our world. 


Thank you,

Jo-Ellen Zakoor
Dean, VCC Health Sciences

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

Posted on March 18, 2019

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lessons from Apartheid: Q&A with counselling instructor Joanne Schwartz

Posted on May 31, 2016

‌‌Joanne Schwartz - Instructor - Counselling Skills.Meet Joanne Schwartz, Instructor, Counselling Skills.

1. What do you teach?
I teach Basic Counselling Skills and Personal Professional Development. I have also taught Counselling Skills: A Youth Perspective. 

2. How long have you been teaching at VCC?
I have been teaching since February 2012.

3. What do you love about teaching?
I love the students! Teaching adults with diverse backgrounds and experiences makes for wonderful discussions and debates. I learn a great deal from my students and feel sad to say goodbye at the end of the term.

4. What is your current career?
I have a private counselling practice where I focus primarily on online video counselling and groups. I work with people from all walks of life who are looking to work through challenges and learn to cope better in their lives. I also work part-time as a social worker at St. Paul's hospital.

5. Can you share an interesting thing (or two) about your journey to reach this moment?
I was born in South Africa during the Apartheid era. From a young age, I recognized the injustice and pain that racism and hate can cause; the experience taught me to value social justice and want to make a difference in the world. I became a Social Worker to help people who were less-fortunate, and eventually I wound up working in strictly a counselling role. About ten years ago, my family started a fund-raising organization to support women with HIV in South Africa, and that experience sparked my interest in working in Vancouver to support people with HIV and addiction. I discovered that I was passionate about counselling and helping people make changes in their life. My enjoyment of that work led me to want to teach and inspire others to work in this field.

6. What is your best piece advice for someone starting out in this industry?
To be a good counsellor, you must strive to take good care of yourself. I find that when people do not have good self-care strategies, they can get compassion fatigue or become overwhelmed by all of the sadness they witness. No matter how busy I am, I try to remember to care for my own mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health.

7. What is the biggest lesson you have learned through counselling people?
I have learned that people have the capacity to change despite all kinds of adversity. I have seen people overcome terrible addictions and trauma and ultimately become counsellors themselves. It is very inspiring.

8. How do you personally define success?
I define success by feeling as if I am making a difference in the world. If I can even help just one person each day, it is a success. Sometimes just being present for a client and hearing their story can give them the strength they need to move forward, which is what counselling is all about.


 Want to make a difference? VCC offers certificates in Addiction Counselling Skills, Community Counselling Skills, as well as professional development courses.


VCC jewellery student donates small business profits to food bank

Posted on May 5, 2020


The moment Vancouver Community College (VCC) international student Mariana Carneiro saw people struggling to meet their basic needs due to COVID-19, she started thinking of ways to help. 

As a fashion professional and jewellery designer, however, Mariana’s skills weren’t typically the kind needed in a global health emergency. Having only recently moved to Canada from Brazil, her connections were limited, and living with an at-risk family member meant she also had to be extra careful about leaving the house. 

Still, she was resolute. “I really wanted to do something that would help people beyond my friends and neighbours,” she says.

Watching the news one day, she saw that the food bank needed extra help, so she decided to donate 10 per cent of sales from her online jewellery shop, Kaju. Additionally, she gave numerous pairs of earrings as a token of thanks to health care workers, and began promoting donations to Canadian Blood Services on her popular Instagram account.

“If you can, I think you need to share,” she says. “Every little bit counts right now.”

An artistic journey

Before moving to Canada, Mariana studied industrial design and earned a master’s degree in fashion business in Brazil. She started her career in a large clothing company where she also designed jewellery, but never crafted it herself. 

“I drew the designs, picked the stones and materials, but someone else would make it,” she says. “I love jewellery but I never learned the making process.”

In Vancouver, Mariana began experimenting with jewellery at home using colourful clay and metal. Her designs soon became popular on Etsy, but she wanted to refine her techniques, so she enrolled in the Jewellery Techniques 1 course through VCC Continuing Studies.

“I learned so much in two and a half months,” says Mariana. While the focus of the class was making silver rings, once Mariana had learned the basic techniques, she’s grateful that the instructor allowed her to shift to her real passion – making earrings.  

Mariana is now planning on taking Jewellery Techniques 2 in the coming months, and enrolling in VCC’s full Jewellery Art and Design diploma program in 2021. 

No small gift

A ten per cent donation may sound small, but for a solo entrepreneur, it’s huge. “I wanted to find some way I could help, and I wish I could do more,” says Mariana, who independently looks after every aspect of her business, from manufacturing to web design to customer service. 

With her elderly mother and grandmother homebound in Brazil, Mariana is especially grateful for a family friend who has been shopping for them, and encourages everyone in Vancouver to seek out a need and lend a hand right now. “You can always help,” she says. 


Earrings by Kaju Creations

Read more about how VCC students, grads, and employees are working together to fight the spread of COVID-19

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

Free, 24/7 counselling service now available for B.C. post-secondary students

Posted on April 16, 2020


The Government of B.C. has launched Here2Talk, a new mental-health counselling and referral service for 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.

“Until now, post-secondary students have never had access to 24/7 province-wide mental-health support services,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Students advocated for years to fill the gap in available mental-health counselling services in British Columbia… I’m very excited to say that Here2Talk is now available for all 555,000 post-secondary students registered across B.C.”

Over the past several months, the Government of B.C. has been working with students to develop this new service. Hundreds of students throughout B.C. provided feedback and ideas that were used to develop Here2Talk. With the advent of COVID-19 and the increased stress it has put on students, efforts were doubled to get students the supports they need. 

“Now, every student can access supports 24/7 without stigma or judgment – and it’s free, because access to mental-health care shouldn’t depend on the size of your bank account,” says Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

For the first time, every student in B.C. has access to 24/7 mental-health services – whether they are rural, urban, domestic, Indigenous, international, public, private, full-time, part-time or in trades training. Here2Talk will complement other supports on campus and in the community, including new virtual mental-health supports announced Thursday, April 9, by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

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.

Read the Government of B.C. news release: Free counselling service launches for post-secondary students

Learn about more emergency resouces and supports for students by visiting VCC's COVID-19 information page.


VCC immigrant entrepreneurs sew face masks to fight COVID-19

Posted on April 9, 2020


Update April 24, 2020: the Sewmates Craft collective has made and delivered 800 masks to date with over 500 more on order! Follow @sewmatescraft_ on Instagram for the latest info. 

Six participants of a Vancouver Community College (VCC) entrepreneurship program have turned their business skills to volunteerism in the fight against COVID-19.

The six women were part of the Make It! program, a community partnership started in 2018 to help newcomers to Canada gain skills in sewing or cooking, and get support to develop home-based businesses.

Along with Florence Kao, who is coordinating the group’s efforts through the Intercultural Women’s Maker Society (IWMS), MakeIt! participants donated the time and material to sew their first 100 cloth face masks, which were completed on Tuesday, April 7. The women make the masks at their homes, and all products are washed and packaged prior to delivery.

The first donation was sent to Mission Possible, a Vancouver community development agency that is coordinating the distribution of masks to people in the Downtown Eastside 

The sewing group is currently seeking donations to help purchase material for thousands more masks.

“We are hoping to leverage the initiative to do some fundraising,” says Florence. “We want to invite people to sponsor some donations to designated care home facilities or homeless shelters.”

Donations can be made through the IWMS website. DiverseCity, a Surrey-based community organization and partner in Make It! have kicked off the fundraising with a $1,000 donation.

Florence emphasizes that the masks are not a replacement for medical-grade masks, which should be reserved for front-line workers. 

Since 2018, the women in the Make It! program have been honing their sewing and small business skills in workshops at VCC’s Downtown campus. Today, their sewing collective, branded Sewmates Craft, produces and sells a variety of handmade items in shops, fairs, and online.

Michael Yue, manager of VCC’s Partnership Development Office, is especially proud of the group’s participation in the mask-making initiative. “It certainly is a great legacy of the Make It! project,” he says.




According to Health Canada, wearing a non-medical mask in the community has not been proven to protect against COVID-19, however, it can be used as a measure to protect others around you. Canadians are currently advised to wear non-medical face masks in situations where proper physical distancing can’t be ensured.


Please visit VCC's COVID-19 information site regularly for official college updates, FAQs, and helpful resources. 


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. 


Q&A with Bernie William Johnson

Posted on June 4, 2015

News-Bernie-380It was the glamour of the world’s top hotels that first attracted Bernie William Johnson to the hospitality industry. Now with over 15 years’ experience working everywhere from luxury resorts to the high seas, he’s landed at Vancouver’s most dazzling establishment of all. Bernie shares more about his exciting career:

How did you choose your profession?

I didn’t—it found me. A friend was in the program, and I had just returned from a year of travelling. I was part way through an education degree, but the allure of glamourous hotels was overwhelming. I enrolled in Hospitality Management at VCC because my friend raved about the program.

What was it about the program at VCC that you found so compelling?

The content was extremely interesting, relevant and practical—at the end of my second year we ran a simulated hotel with all the day to day challenges that are regularly encountered.  My instructors were reputed hospitality professionals from within the industry. Their stories, advice and experiences were firsthand, and that made a difference. I found that when applying for jobs, my time at VCC was a conversation point as general managers and human resource directors knew many of my instructors from within the industry.

I got my first hotel job while still at school. I worked front desk at a four star hotel while going to school and was able to graduate without student loans. Taking a job in a hotel while going to school allowed me practical learning opportunities which helped in my studies. It was also that practical knowledge that set me up for success as a hospitality professional!

What have you done since graduating in 1999?

I spent six years in the rooms division of a luxury hotel before moving to the high seas. I spent over six years working for various cruise lines, and was promoted through the ranks to become a human resources manager.

In 2010 I came back to Vancouver and worked as a human resources manager recruiting for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Since then, I have been at the Metropolitan Hotel, the River Rock Casino Resort, the Hastings Racecourse and currently the Shangri-La Hotel, the only five diamond hotel in Vancouver.

What would you say are the top reasons to choose hospitality management at VCC?

Reputation, cost, location, core content and quality of instructors.

Double your support for VCC students on Giving Tuesday Now

Posted on April 21, 2020

Giving Tuesday Now VCC May 5


Vancouver Community College (VCC) students are doing their part to keep our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re staying home and practicing physical distancing while continuing to pursue their goals by studying online.  

Post-secondary students across the province, however, are also particularly hard-struck by unemployment. Prior to COVID-19, our students worked in restaurants, tourism, retail stores, salons, spas, child care centres, and more. These jobs allowed them to provide for their basic needs like food and housing while training to be future health care workers, skilled tradespeople, educators, and professionals. Without this work, they are struggling. 

Initial combined funding from government and internal donors has already allowed us to distribute 332 emergency bursaries to students from 40 different programs, but less than half the applicants were helped, and their need continues. If you have the means, please consider supporting a second round of funding to help our students weather this storm.


Inspired by the international Giving Tuesday campaign (held the Tuesday after Black Friday), Giving Tuesday Now has been created as a global day of giving and unity to fill the exceptional need caused by COVID-19.

Giving Tuesday Now will take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. 

To double our community’s generosity, starting on Tuesday May 5, VCC Foundation will match the first $20,000 received in donations before Sunday, May 31, 2020.

To donate, visit the VCC Foundation donation page and select “COVID Emergency Bursary Fund.”


Funds will be distributed via VCC’s need-based bursary application process. 

Thank you for anything you can give.  

For ongoing updates and information on resources and supports available to VCC students, visit VCC’s COVID-19 information site.


Media Release: Canada’s first Gladue report writing credential to be offered at

Posted on August 15, 2019

VCC Downtown campus with sun and reflection


VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Community College (VCC) and consulting firm IndiGenius & Associates have partnered to pioneer a credentialed Gladue report writing program from an Indigenous perspective, the first of its kind at a post-secondary institution in Canada.

The part-time certificate program launches in October 2019.

Intended to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in Canada’s criminal justice system, Gladue is a sentencing principle that takes intergenerational traumas and systemic discrimination into account during sentencing.

“It is truly an honour to be part of a journey in instructing and creating curriculum for Gladue training with VCC, but also in helping pave a path for a national standard in Gladue training for our people,” says Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow, Founder & President, IndiGenius & Associates. “Despite a majority of reports being court-ordered, there hasn’t been a program in Canada that has allowed writers to receive a certificate or recognition of credentials to be acknowledged as a professional – until now.”

A Gladue report is an individual’s ‘Sacred Story’. It shares with the courts the personal history and relevant factors that give detail of the individual’s life continuum that could possibly give insight to why he/she became involved in the justice system. This sacred information plays an important role in crafting recommendations in accordance to the individual’s needs to assist the judge in making well-informed decisions. It also plays another crucial role in creating a healing journey for the individual. 

Across Canada, courts have identified a demand for certified Gladue report writers as well as common standards and increased funding for Indigenous justice initiatives.

VCC’s Gladue report writing program was offered as a three-month, part-time pilot in 2018, and has now been expanded to a full certificate program designed for law students, lawyers, advocates, judges, First Nations Court workers, Indigenous community members, and anyone interested in writing Gladue reports. The program can be completed in one year and training is delivered at VCC’s Downtown campus and online.

“We are grateful to be part of this collaboration”, says David Wells, Vice President Academic and Applied Research at VCC. “The Gladue report writing program is the perfect opportunity to build capacity within Indigenous communities, reinforce the importance of Indigenization within the post-secondary system, and honour our commitments to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the Indigenous Education Protocol.”

The program advisory committee overseeing the design and development of VCC’s Gladue report writing certificate includes representation from the Legal Services Society of B.C., the Gladue Writers Association of B.C., the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General, MediateBC, and VCC's Indigenous faculty members and Elders.

VCC is committed to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and fulfilling its commitment to the Indigenous Education Protocol through existing services and the development of unique programs.


VCC Continuing Studiesmission is to connect everyone in our diverse city to high-quality, flexible, and practical learning opportunities with industry practitioners. VCC Continuing Studies offers certificate and diploma programs, industry certifications, and professional development courses that are designed and delivered to develop skills that can be quickly applied to the workplace. Our over 60 program areas teach skills that translate into increased job opportunities for students, based on the need and feedback of Vancouver employers. No matter the area of study, whether it is related to administration, business, design, health, or human services, our expert instructors teach course content so that students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to succeed in today’s workplace.


IndiGenius & Associates was born of the passion to help Indigenous people and encourage a positive change in the justice system possessed by its founder, Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow. Mark and his team have extensive experience working with Indigenous people and communities in a range of justice and justice-related contexts. Mark has several staff that work closely with him using a multidisciplinary team approach to ensure Gladue reports are done effectively and efficiently and delivered to the courts in a timely fashion. In addition, Mark has secured many community partnerships across Canada and works closely with others who share a similar interest in Indigenous justice. 

- 30 -


Media can contact:

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


Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow
IndiGenius & Associates
T: 613.366.2268

COVID-19 update – VCC open, transitioning to alternative delivery

Posted on March 15, 2020

VCC is open, transitioning to alternative delivery to allow students to continue programs

A message from Ajay Patel, Interim President of Vancouver Community College

To students and employees at VCC,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this very challenging and complex time. Vancouver Community College (VCC) continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and has the health of our college community, students, and employees as our top priority.

The VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and deans met today to discuss additional measures on how we can maintain social distancing on campus to minimize close contact with each other. This is in alignment with the guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, and we are working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Until further notice, our campuses will remain open and services will continue to be provided. The college will continue to review its actions as the situation evolves.

Alternative program delivery

Where possible and reasonable, VCC is transitioning to alternative modes of instruction and assessment for the rest of the term, which may include online delivery for some students.

Given the wide range of programs and courses at VCC, it will take time to transition to these new measures. Classes will continue as scheduled unless students learn otherwise from their instructors, who will be taking guidance from their department leaders and deans.

Because of the diversity of the types of programs we offer, we recognize that not all programs, courses, labs, and shops may be suited to alternative deliveries. Our deans will be working with instructors, departments, and program areas to determine whether and how best to accommodate alternative methods of instruction and assessment. Students will learn of the changes affecting them through their instructors as the changes are implemented. 

COVID-19 and the VCC community

This step is being taken out of an abundance of caution and a desire of VCC to do its part in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19. It is important to note that, at this time, there are no known COVID-19 cases at VCC. At this point, there is no direction from the Provincial Health Officer to close campuses, and the risk of infection remains low.

Providing a safe and healthy learning and working environment for students and employees is a focus for our deliberations and decision-making in these matters. We also want to ensure that students receive the education and assessment that will deliver the learning outcomes they seek.


What is VCC doing?

Our announcement on Friday, March 13 was the latest in a series of steps we have already taken as we have followed the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and health authorities. In response, other recommendations from government that we have put into place include:

  • All events over 250 people are cancelled until the end of April 2020.
  • All events planned to take place on VCC campuses within in the next two months will be reviewed. Information about cancellations or postponements will be shared as soon as possible.
  • All VCC work-related travel outside of Canada is cancelled immediately until further notice. We recommend against all travel outside of Canada, including to the United States.
  • Staff and students returning to VCC from travel outside of Canada are asked to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work. VCC is working with government and other agencies to determine best approach and implications for those who self-isolate.

  • All external bookings for meeting space have been cancelled on all of our campuses (to be reviewed end of April).

  • Additional cleaning measures have been implemented at all our campuses, as well as distribution of additional hand-sanitizing stations and posting of information about recommended measures to help avoid the spread of the virus.

My gratitude to all students and employees for your hard work and understanding during this challenging time. It is our desire to ensure students complete their studies this term.

Please continue to visit for updates and relevant information.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College


Experience VCC open house adopts hands-on approach

Posted on October 8, 2018




Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



Five reasons to choose hospitality management at VCC

Posted on March 23, 2015

Five reasons to choose hospitality management at VCC


As a leader in hospitality management training in B.C., VCC strives to meet employer demands and respond to industry trends. We are proud to deliver a new and revitalized curriculum – built on our reputable programs and driven by industry experts.

Here are the top five reasons our graduates recommend our diploma and degree programs:‌

Grads get jobs
“Getting a job in the industry after graduation was never a concern when being affiliated with VCC.”
– Amanda

Strong reputation
“I chose VCC because it’s in the heart of hospitality in Vancouver and has a fantastic reputation. The course load is relevant and the instructors are industry professionals.”
– Caitlin

Industry connections
“VCC’s program was a conversation point as employers knew many of the instructors from within the industry.”
– Bernie

Industry-relevant curriculum
“The program continues to be relevant and practical. VCC instructors are industry experts who provide knowledge and insight to future employees.”
– Kristina

“VCC was an excellent investment in my future – from valuable life lessons and a well-rounded education, to networking and job preparation.”
– Brock

Join us at a free info session to see how our programs can work for you!

Success Story: Bachelor of Hospitality Management, Brock Martin

Posted on February 13, 2015

Meet Bachelor of Hospitality Management alumnus, Brock Martin, Account Manager at RoomKeyPMS - an RSI International Company.

What is RoomKeyPMS?
RoomKeyPMS is more than property management; it’s a complete Guest Management System. RoomKeyPMS is entrusted to handle over 20 million transactions for its hotel partners each year. It's the leading, cloud-based PMS - easy for front-desk staff to use - while providing robust management reporting and extensive guest insight. I seek opportunities for properties to maximize revenues and build relationships so that we can deliver on our brand promise: More Guests. Better Managed.
Is this a lateral move or the next step in your career path?
This is certainly the next step for me. provided me the revenue management component of Account Management, and RoomKeyPMS allows me to explore the more technical components of much-needed software to help hotels operate successfully. By combining my education and my work experience, I'm able to get a look at the bigger picture involved in hotel operations, whilst still working directly with industry professionals and assisting them in achieving their goals. 

What most attracted you or what are you enjoying the most?
What keeps the job exciting is that every property is unique and has different needs. Widespread geographical areas means varying target markets and sales strategies. Understanding our clients' needs and goals makes my role exciting and no two days are ever the same!

Did you know that your VCC hospitality management degree would land you here?! When I started at VCC, I had little knowledge of hospitality as an industry. My understanding was that hospitality meant hotels, and that hotels meant front desk and housekeeping departments. I really had no idea of all the different layers and departments within a hotel: from Sales and Revenue Management to Software and IT, there is so much behind the scenes of any hotel! My post-VCC experiences have allowed me to experience front-line operations to now more of a partner and consultant to our clients.

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

Posted on October 5, 2018



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

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

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

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

Keeping the peace

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

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

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

Going global

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

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

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

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


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

Posted on May 6, 2019



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Media release: Disaster simulations at VCC

Posted on October 15, 2018

Shakeout simulation 800

Disaster simulations following ShakeOutBC

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

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

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

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

Video, photo, and interview opportunities available:

Date: Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018


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

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

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


Media can contact:

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



VCC 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.

Real life learning

Posted on September 16, 2013

Several VCC students studying to become registered nurses volunteered at the Alley Health Fair, held annually in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood (DTES).

Students designed their own signage, created a sexual health game to engage people, and had meaningful discussions with DTES residents and community agencies.

"Students learned from real people about their experiences with Hepatitis C, addiction, or HIV," said Janine Stevenson, nursing instructor. "It was an excellent and rewarding opportunity for our students to learn and network."

Students also helped serve free meals and built important relationships with people from Vancouver Native Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Portland Hotel Society, and many others.

VCC nursing students volunteer at the annual Alley Health Fair

Real life learning

Posted on September 16, 2013

Several VCC students studying to become registered nurses volunteered at the Alley Health Fair, held annually in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood (DTES).

Students designed their own signage, created a sexual health game to engage people, and had meaningful discussions with DTES residents and community agencies.

"Students learned from real people about their experiences with Hepatitis C, addiction, or HIV," said Janine Stevenson, nursing instructor. "It was an excellent and rewarding opportunity for our students to learn and network."

Students also helped serve free meals and built important relationships with people from Vancouver Native Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Portland Hotel Society, and many others.

VCC nursing students volunteer at the annual Alley Health Fair

Student perspective: health care assistant Natasha Wilson

Posted on June 12, 2019



My name is Natasha Wilson and I’m from the Heiltsuk Nation. I recently completed a health care assistant program (HCA) that was offered through the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) in collaboration with Vancouver Community College (VCC). 

I have always wanted to be involved in the health care field and this program gave me an opportunity to begin my new career! 

In December 2018, I successfully completed the 41-week HCA program with an ‘A’ average. This program was tough, and I had to sacrifice my time with family and friends. The program also entailed a lot of extra study time and clinical testing – which was done after school hours. 

I was very fortunate to have the constant support of ACCESS and the VCC Indigenous Education team, as well as the use of VCC’s Gathering Space, which was very useful for doing assignments to maintain my 3.8 GPA. 

Midway through the HCA program, it became very clear that I wanted to go further with my education and am currently completing more courses. After my prerequisites are done, I will go through the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (BScN) to work towards becoming a registered nurse. 

I am very grateful to ACCESS and VCC for allowing me to participate in the health care assistant program and begin my health care career. 

Sincerely yours, 

Natasha Wilson 


Learn more about opportunities and services available at VCC for Indigenous learners, such as priority enrollment, Gathering Spaces, advising, and more by visiting VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement.


Meet Experience VCC tuition winner Woori Chae

Posted on May 29, 2019



Congratulations to Woori Chae, the grand prize winner from our recent Experience VCC open house! Woori won $500 in VCC tuition after attending the event and filling out our survey. We find out what’s in store for her at VCC.

What will you do with the $500 tuition credit? 
I’d like to use it for the health care assistant program this September. I’m starting to feel really good about studying at VCC.

What do you do right now?
I am working at Starbucks now and also looking for a new career in the health care industry. The reason I chose health care is that I'd like to have more responsibility in my job. It will also let me get more education in the future.

Why did you come to Experience VCC?
At first, I was planning to take the medical lab assistant program and I visited the coordinator to see if I can transfer any of the credits I already have. Unfortunately, she said no but she told me about the open house and how I could apply for free at the event. That’s why I came. 

Did you expect to win the grand prize?
No! I usually don’t write down my name in those kinds of draws but this time I thought, ‘why not, who knows?’ And it worked! After winning, I felt that this is the right decision; I’m on the right track.

How do you feel about going back to school?
I hope I can make good friends. I’m living here by myself and I would love to make some longtime friendships with my classmates. I also want to keep improving my English at VCC.


Did you miss our Experience VCC open house? Stay connected for details on our next event in Fall 2019 or sign up now for a free program info session


How to start your health care career in 28 weeks

Posted on February 6, 2019


Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

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

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

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

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

Practice makes perfect 

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

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

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


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

Reason to smile

Posted on December 9, 2013

Here's more proof that VCC faculty are among the best in their fields.

Dental technology instructor Louis Chow has received the 2013 Dental Technician’s Award of Distinction from the Dental Technicians Association of B.C.

Chow was nominated for his unwavering dedication to teaching, passion for the profession, and determination to help improve the dental technology program at VCC.

He received his award during the DTABC’s annual conference in November.

louis chow wins dental technology award

Explore the ever-changing world of dental technology at VCC

Posted on April 12, 2019



Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


VCC’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 a generous $15,000 donation by Telus. 

See the photo gallery.


Do you have a heart for helping people? Learn about the many program options in health sciences available at VCC. 


The top five things we love about nursing

Posted on May 7, 2018

This National Nursing Week (May 7 – 13, 2018), we at Vancouver Community College (VCC) are shining a light on this time-honoured yet ever-changing profession. Here are the top five things we love about nursing:



1. Nurses literally save lives

Nurses go through a lot of studying and training; typically four years for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). The job can also be demanding, exhausting, and emotionally draining, but nurses around the world will tell you that nothing is more personally rewarding than the work they do.

“I’ve saved lives,” says VCC alumna and licensed practical nurse (LPN) Sarah-Zoe Pichette. “You go to bed knowing that you’ve been productive and you’ve been a good person every day.”



2. Nursing is so many things

Just as the nursing uniform has evolved from aprons and caps to scrubs and sneakers, the profession itself has also expanded into countless areas.  

Today, nurses can specialize in psychiatry, neuroscience, community health, paediatrics, gerontology, or emergency care, to name only a few. Nurses can also choose practice settings that range from hospitals and schools to research labs, disaster sites, refugee camps, the military, and even cruise ships and resorts.  



3. Nurses won't be replaced by robots

While many workers out there may be wondering if or when their jobs will be taken over by automation or artificial intelligence, nurses can rest assured they’ll always be needed. Predictions indicate that jobs requiring empathy, human interaction and dealing with unpredictability will be safest from the “robot workplace invasion.” 



4. Nurses are good for our health

Nurses have a massive amount of knowledge about the human body, and it isn’t confined to their hospitals or clinics. A nurse’s knowledge and experience will naturally extend into his or her family and wider community, whether by treating scraped knees, giving nutrition advice, or even offering guidance for addiction treatment options.

“Nurses don’t just go to work and come home,” says VCC nursing instructor Sarah Desbiens. “Nurses are part of an international community of people committed to health and wellness.”



5. Nursing can start (and take you) anywhere

You’re a natural caregiver, you’re not afraid of hard work, and you’re thinking of getting into nursing. What next? 

VCC’s 32-week pre-health sciences program is a combination of introductory biology, chemistry, mathematics, and other courses specifically designed to introduce learners to a wide variety of health sciences careers before they choose an individual path. 

For those already working as accredited health care assistants (HCA) or resident care attendants (RCA), VCC offers a condensed, 13-month curriculum that recognizes past training and experience while earning a Practical Nursing diploma.

Nursing doesn’t have to be a final destination, either. According to Sarah, nursing opens doors to further degrees in education, leadership, research, administration, and others. Many nurses also go on to attend medical school or law school. “Nursing is a great ticket into a great job,” says Sarah, “but it can also be a jumping-off point into so much more.”


Read more about National Nursing Week and join us in celebrating VCC’s health care professionals.



VCC Music Fall 2019 concert series

Posted on November 8, 2019


VCC Music is returning with free fall concerts starting Friday, Nov. 15! The first in our Fall 2019 concert series features VCC's Caribbean ensemble. Get your blood pumping with fun and festive music from the Caribbean islands. We’ll bring the sunshine! Also on the same night, VCC's Gamelan ensemble provides intricate and atmospheric percussion music from Indonesia, while the Future ensemble plays funky, grooving, electronic music made by VCC’s student composer/musicians.

Fall 2019 concert schedule

Ensembles: Caribbean, Gamelan, Future
Friday, Nov. 15
7 - 8 p.m. Broadway campus auditorium
Free admission

Ensembles: Brass, New Orleans
Wednesday, Nov. 20 
7 - 8 p.m. Broadway campus auditorium
Free admission

Ensembles: New Music, CarsBeck
Friday, November 22
7 - 8 p.m. Broadway campus auditorium
Free admission

Choral Concert: V4C, Voices Plus, Willan Choir
Tuesday, November 26
7:30 - 9 p.m.
St. John's Shaughnessy Church, 1490 Nanton Ave., Vancouver
Free admission

Concert: Chamber Jazz Orchestra, New Orleans
December 2
7 - 8 p.m.
Vancouver Public Library, Alice McKay Room, 350 W. Georgia Street
Free admission

VCC’s music programs fully prepare you to be a music-industry professional. Learn more at an upcoming free information session.


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.

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.

Fall 2018 Convocation recap

Posted on November 21, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View the full photo gallery online.

Watch the video recording online.

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

Spring convocation recap

Posted on June 29, 2015

Congratulations graduates!

Convocation is a special day where we recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by our graduates.

Photos from the spring event can be found on VCC's official Flickr account.

Here's a short recap from our fall ceremonies:

  • VCC celebrated over 1,400 graduates with three ceremonies.
  • The amazing VCC convocation band was comprised of three current and/or graduating students from VCC's music program: Adam Jones, Max Ley and Tobias Oliviera.
  • Three valedictorians represented their fellow graduates during the ceremonies: ‌Adam Jones, Brody Bayley and Gaye Savoie.


Adam R Jonesnews-convocation-adam-jones.png

Adam is a graduate of VCC’s Music - Bachelor of Applied Music program.
Adam is a professional bassist, band leader, educator and composer. He has performed with orchestras, jazz ensembles, pop, rock, country, and hip-hop groups across Canada and the United States.  Adam has completed a Bachelor of Applied Music at VCC.

"…all of us have the opportunity to enrich our lives through our chosen professions.It is in your power to lessen someone's pain or discomfort, to make someone feel beautiful, to remind them of their happiest or most tragic moments. So I urge you all, find the good stuff in your life and share that feeling with the world.”

Representing: School of Health Sciences and School of Music, Dance and Design


Brody Bayley, valedictorianBrody Bayley

Brody is a graduate of VCC's hospitality management diploma program.
After an early introduction to the hospitality industry and some international travel, Brody came to Vancouver to gain more experience. He is employed at the Vancouver Marriott Hotel, where he is currently the front office supervisor.

“… push yourself out of your comfort zone. This has been something that I have really found beneficial over the past couple of years. If it wasn’t for faculty pushing me out of my comfort zone I never would have taken advantage of opportunities. In your workplace and even with your friends, ensure you are surrounding yourself with people who push you out of your comfort zone. You will discover much about yourself.”

Representing: School of Hospitality and Applied Business and School of Trades


Gaye SavoieGaye Savoie, valedictorian
Gaye is a graduate of VCC's medical device reprocessing technician certificate program.
After a full career as a hair stylist, Gaye decided to pursue a different career path and came to VCC to train as a medical device reprocessing technician. She currently works in her field with Fraser Health.

“Every single day that you are on this earth, you learn something new. From the very day you were born. It’s never too late to try new things and carve a new path."

Representing: School of Access, School of Hospitality and Applied Business, Continuing Studies & Contract Training, and Centre for Teaching, Innovation and Applied Research.

Become twitterpated about VCC restaurants

Posted on July 7, 2014

VCC launches our inaugural Summer Tweets to Eat this week. Every week during July and August, we will host a giveaway from a different VCC restaurant. VCC Twitter followers will receive a free treat at one of the college’s restaurants when they retweet this special promotion.

We want to reward our loyal customers for sharing news about us through Twitter, and it's a great chance for hungry patrons to check out VCC’s many varied restaurants.

To participate, follow these easy steps:

1. Follow us on Twitter: @myvcc

2. Find the special offer on our page and retweet it to your friends.

3. Show the server/cashier you retweeted when you order your entrée and they will give you a free treat.

The first special starts at VCC's Four Corners restaurant at our downtown campus and runs July 7-18. Get a free dessert of your choice with the purchase of an entrée when you retweet our promotional message to your friends.

Four Corners is open for lunch Monday to Friday with seatings at 11:30 a.m. and noon. Reserve now at 604.443.8352 and then choose your free dessert from the delicious menu prepared by VCC culinary arts students.

Richmond baker heads to Russia for world competition

Posted on June 20, 2019



Clarissa (Claire) Roque needs to work on her sugar skills. Unfortunately, the closest sugar experts are in Seattle and Los Angeles, and the pastry chef she would really like to learn from is based in Belfort, France.

Roque, 19, has about two months to perfect her sugar skills before she needs to make a sugar piece extraordinaire at the World Skills bakery competition in Kazan, Russia.

The Richmond resident is fresh off a national win in Halifax, N.S., where she went head-to-head with another Canadian baker-in-training at the Skills Canada national competition. She created six items over two days and eventually beat her competitor for a spot to the world championship.

The recent post-secondary national competition gave her a good taste of what it will be like competing internationally. For the national competition, Roque trained five days a week, up to 10 hours a day, for three months with her Vancouver Community College instructor, Wolfgang Dauke, perfecting her timing and technique.

Roque said she was running on adrenalin, rarely taking breaks, eating while working. "When you don’t think about it, you’re fine,” she said.

On the first day of the national competition, Roque had to make two identical marzipan figurines – she had practised animals, fruit and a clown during her training. The day before, though, she found out she had to make two teddy bears. She had brought along some fondant, the thick layer used typically on wedding cakes, and practised making one that night in her hotel room.

She also had to make eight petit fours – small bite-sized cakes – and four plated desserts. For the latter, she made a platter with rose peach semi-freddo, a pistachio buttermilk sponge, peach raspberry coulis and chocolate soil.

Continue reading in the Vancouver Courier


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


B.C. brings in more emergency supports for Indigenous students

Posted on April 3, 2020

The VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department is pleased to share that the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has announced an additional $27,000 of funding to support VCC Indigenous students who are facing unexpected financial hardship.

“We know there are a variety of financial challenges that can arise, often without warning, causing great distress," says Clayton Munro, Dean of Indigenous Initiatives. "This increase in Indigenous Emergency Assistance Funds can make a significant difference in our ability to respond quicker and provide much needed support, especially in light of these increasingly difficult times.”

Read the government announcement:

April 3, 2020 | B.C. brings in more emergency supports for Indigneous students

How to apply 

Indigenous students experiencing unexpected financial hardship are encouraged to inquire about the Indigenous Emergency Assistance Fund by contacting

A message from Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Posted on April 6, 2020



Dear post-secondary, skills and training community members,

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an exceptionally challenging time for every person involved in B.C.’s post-secondary, skills and training sector. I know that some of you are being directly affected by this virus or are concerned about friends and family here and around the world. I recognize that many of you are worried about paying your bills, finishing your programs, returning home and being disconnected from your communities. I understand that our daily lives have been turned upside down and want you to know that our government is doing everything we can to fight this pandemic and keep one another safe.

Everything we are doing is about protecting students, faculty and staff while also supporting the shift in delivery of B.C.’s world-class learning and training programs. This is equally true for the post-secondary system, as well as the hundreds of organizations who play a vitally important role in skills training across B.C. This is a uniquely unsettling time, but I want to assure you that your education and training goals will be met.

I want to express my gratitude for the leadership and resilience you have shown as we navigate these trying and uncertain times together. I know that some applied programming, like trades and health, may be more challenging to deliver online and I appreciate your continuous efforts to adjust and find safe ways for everyone to finish their studies.

For apprentices and trades students, I want to assure you that the Industry Training Authority is working hard to address your unique needs by providing creative pathways to support your completion.

For Indigenous teachers and learners, we recognize that you are facing urgent and unique challenges. We remain committed to working with Indigenous communities and institutions to ensure that training and learning is flexible and responsive.

For international students who are not able to return home and be with loved ones, I recognize that you must feel especially isolated. Please know that our government will continue to do our best to support you as much as possible.

For those who are continuing to deliver core services, I applaud all that you are doing to keep students and staff safe and healthy in the midst of an evolving situation. You worked around the clock to quickly transition to online or alternative delivery methods, and I am confident your swift actions helped reduce the risk for the hundreds of thousands of students, faculty and staff in every corner of the province. Whether it is supporting students, providing housing or food services, or keeping the lights on and the buildings clean – you are at the frontline of B.C.’s post-secondary system. Please know that I see you for the heroes that you are.

I want to thank all of you who are stepping up in innovative ways to support the provincial health and emergency management response. Namely producing the much-needed supplies and research to respond to COVID-19. Your efforts are saving lives.

As Premier John Horgan, Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have been saying, no one is in this alone. We are going to get through this by paddling together. My ministry and the public service are working hard to ensure that you have the latest information available from provincial and federal health officials.

Our government continues to mobilize resources to better support students. We moved quickly to suspend payments on student loans, we are increasing emergency financial aid for students at every public post-secondary institution in the province, including Indigenous students, and will continue to find practical ways to support the post-secondary, skills and training sector.

We are asking everyone to do all they can to support our efforts in breaking the chain of transmission and flattening the outbreak curve. We continue to put new tools in place to support people in B.C. during this challenging time, and people can now download a self-assessment app for their phones at:

I also want to remind you that for non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information,\covid-19 or call 1.888.COVID19 (1.888.268.4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week. For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: or follow @CDCofBC. For provincial health officer orders, notices and guidance, visit: We encourage you to distribute this message within your community.

Under normal circumstances, B.C.’s post-secondary, skills and training sector excels at tackling some of the biggest social, economic and environmental challenges. While this may be one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century, I know in my heart that we will get through this together.


T'ooyaksim' N'iisim',


Honourable Melanie Mark
Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Government increases emergency funding for B.C. post-secondary students

Posted on April 2, 2020



The Government of B.C. announced on Thursday, April 2 that it will significantly increase emergency funding available to post-secondary students. The one-time $3.5-million investment will supplement existing student emergency financial assistance.

Students who attend one of B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions can access these funds by contacting their school's financial aid office, which will assist with the application process. Each post-secondary institution will determine the specific amount a student can receive based on their individual needs. 

Read the full government announcement:

April 2, 2020 | Province boosts emergency funding supports for students

How to apply 

Update – Thursday, April 9, 2020:

Applications for the first round of emergency bursary funding closed on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. VCC will re-open applications upon securing additional funds.

Students are also encouraged review VCC's Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide, available through VCC Financial Aid

Media Release: VCC opens kitchens to support food security during COVID-19

Posted on April 6, 2020



VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) has opened its downtown kitchens as a meal-prep and distribution hub for those in Vancouver with barriers to food security during COVID-19. The project is a collaboration with the City of Vancouver, local chefs, food suppliers, and agencies.

“VCC has been part Vancouver’s fabric for over 50 years and we have a longstanding relationship with this community that is currently in need of additional support. With the world-class professional kitchens and tools at our Downtown campus, we are pleased to help our neighbours and friends,” says Ajay Patel, VCC president and CEO. 

City of Vancouver staff reached out to VCC requesting urgent assistance with support to supply and distribute food during the COVID-19 crisis. Much of the regular food distribution has stopped for the Downtown Eastside (DTES) community, and the need to provide nutritious meals and snacks to the residents of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units is a priority for the City.  

VCC has worked to orchestrate a huge meal and food delivery program that currently requires the creation of 2,000 meals, three times per week (1,000 lunches and 1,000 dinners). Each hamper includes four meals, snacks, napkins, drinks, and cutlery. The menu is determined based on the supplies available, and VCC culinary staff will strive to include a combination of hot and cold meals and snacks.

Adds Patel, “Our culinary staff, cleaners, and leadership teams have worked tirelessly over the past week to roll this out very quickly with the City. It is truly heartwarming to have so many chefs, restaurants, and local agencies come together. VCC is proud to do what we can in this uncertain time.”

Meal production and delivery are being coordinated through VCC’s Downtown campus, led by culinary arts assistant department head Chef John Lewis, prepared by Red Seal-certified chefs in VCC’s commercial kitchens, and packaged for delivery by VCC Food Services. Strict health and safety measures are in place in consideration of staff and public health, including using recommended physical distancing and other protocols as directed by regional health authorities.



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B-roll video available

To support physical distancing, and to maintain safe working spaces on campus during COVID-19, VCC has created professional B-roll footage available for media outlets. 

Media can contact: 

Jen Hill
Communications Manager
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.828.0974

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.


A message from the VCC Board of Governors

Posted on March 27, 2020

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


VCC in a time of COVID-19 

The VCC Board of Governors has been working closely with VCC’s president, Ajay Patel, and the senior leadership team to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. An Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) began regular meetings in January 2020 when COVID-19 was first identified as a threat, and has implemented a proactive response plan ever since.
All decisions have been made in coordination with B.C.’s Provincial Health Authorities and other government leadership, including the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. 
VCC continues to remain open, although with limited in-person access, to support quality learning and training in alternative ways. We also remain open in order to support our community and the provincial response to this pandemic, and we will be part of the ecosystem that helps rebuild and shape our collective future.
VCC’s actions are consistent with the B.C. government’s objectives to balance health and safety with access to educational programs. Almost all VCC programs and services are now being provided through alternative (non-face-to-face) methods. This tremendous undertaking has been a collaborative effort across the college and has included: 
  • all curriculum being converted to online and alternative learning modes within one week,
  • all supports for students and employees being converted to online and telephone-based systems, and
  • the identification and continuation of essential services at VCC’s campuses, including: Cleaning Services, IT, Facilities, Security, Finance, and Human Resources. 
Please be assured that everyone at VCC is working hard to keep our community healthy while continuing to support student learning and services during this unprecedented time.  
We ask that you do your part by following the direction of our health authorities:  
  • Self-isolate if you have travelled, been exposed to COVID-19, or are experiencing any symptoms at all.
  • When you do go out, practice physical distancing by staying two metres away from others.
  • Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds several times a day, or use alcohol cleaners.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
We also encourage you to stay “virtually” connected with friends and loved ones, and to take advantage of the supports available through VCC, the government, and the community.  
Thank you for your leadership and assistance as we all do our collective best every day. Be kind and generous in spirit and action, and we look forward to the day when we can again come together in person. 
With gratitude, 
Joey Hartman, Chair
On behalf of the VCC Board of Governors

A personal message from Ajay Patel, VCC Interim President

Posted on March 20, 2020

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


Dear VCC Community,

Over the last week we have experienced unprecedented times in our society as a result of COVID-19. From cancellations of gatherings to social distancing to closing of our borders. The pace of the change and directives from government and health authorities continues to have impacts on every part of our society.

I want to thank all of the VCC employees for their cooperation and support as we navigate the ongoing sudden and disruptive shifts. I am proud of how our college pulled together to support our students and each other while keeping safe and healthy. The last week has not been easy for anyone. I know the uncertainty and concern for yourself and loved ones has been stressful for all of you. The coming weeks will likely continue to be the same.

During these tough situations you have shown our ability to work collaboratively, display your compassion for each other and those around us, exhibiting your creativity in supporting all students in their education (instruction and support services) and reflecting our VCC values. We need this to continue.

To our students. COVID-19 is a defining moment in your lives. We are very much aware the impact this situation has had on your education, your daily lives and many other strains it has caused. At VCC, we are committed to continuing to support you with the tools we have to ensure your education journey is safe and has the least amount of disruption. We appreciate everyone’s patience during these unusual times.

I would also like to take this opportunity to extend VCC’s sincere appreciation to our health care professionals. A good number of you are our graduates. You, above all, are the heroes as we battle COVID-19. It is because of each and every one of you that we are fortunate to have the world’s best health care.

Many of you will remember Clifton Taulbert from VCC day. On Wednesday I received a very fitting quote from him. “Humans have been uniquely gifted to build and sustain community among the peoples of the world in good times and in bad times. The gifting exists, but the choice to manifest the gift is always ours to make.”

COVID-19 has transcended all borders. As we continue to grapple with the uncertainty before us, we need to continue to work together to get through this challenge and I am confident we will be a stronger and more resilient community!



Ajay Patel

President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College

Media Release: VCC appoints new Vice President, Administration

Posted on March 31, 2020


VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ian Humphreys as Vice President, Administration, effective Wednesday, April 1.

Dr. Humphreys, along with VCC’s senior leadership team, will be an integral part of the implementation of VCC’s Strategic Innovation Plan. He will oversee operations and initiatives for the college by providing leadership for planning, including infrastructure, service areas, and support for the financial, academic, and enrolment planning.

“I am excited Dr. Humphreys accepted the position of VP, Administration. As a lifelong learner, Dr. Humphreys brings the kind of leadership and community-mindedness that is valued at VCC, and will support us to move forward with our key strategic initiatives,” says Ajay Patel, VCC President. 

With more than a decade of extensive leadership experience in education, Dr. Humphreys has dedicated his career to strategically solving complex post-secondary challenges. Most recently, he worked with Southern Alberta Institute of Technology to implement a new framework for Continuing Education.

“I am pleased to be joining the VCC team and I am looking forward to working to achieve their innovative and ambitious strategic vision,” says Dr. Humphreys

Previously, as Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Students for Langara College, Dr. Humphreys redesigned the college’s academic structure to expand faculties and administrative supports introducing new faculties of Business and Nursing. Before assuming responsibility for academic programming, he served in a variety of positions, including oversight of Langara’s International Education and Continuing Education departments, as well as for Student Services, Information Technology, Communication and Marketing, Institutional Research, and the College Foundation.

A longtime Vancouver resident, Dr. Humphreys holds MSc and PhD degrees in Human Performance from the University of Alberta, and a BSc in Sport Science from Liverpool Polytechnic in England. He is a member of Vancouver Board of Trade and Business Council of British Columbia.

About Vancouver Community College

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

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Media can contact:

Karen Wilson
Director, Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.612.2653


COVID-19 update – VCC pausing all face-to-face instruction for the time being

Posted on March 19, 2020, reviewed on March 24, 2020

Find answers to COVID-19 frequently asked questions


A message from Ajay Patel, Interim President of Vancouver Community College

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


VCC students and employees, 

As VCC continues to receive updated information and guidance about the COVID-19 pandemic from the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training, I would like to update you on VCC program delivery and operations, campus services, and ongoing health and wellness for the VCC students and employees.The college, along with the public post-secondary system in B.C., remains open as directed by the Provincial Health Officer. Please remember, as the recommended response to COVID-19 continues to change, so too may the information. 

I want to extend my personal gratitude and thanks to everyone for the collaborative and extensive work by all of you, in a very short and disruptive time, to make the shifts and changes to the way we deliver education and operate.  I am heartened to see the support and care for each other, and inspired by the innovation and creativity many of you are showing in situations where time is of the essence.  You have all been REMARKABLE! 


1. Delivery of programs for students next week

This week, the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC), faculty, instructors and staff have put a tremendous amount of work into shifting course delivery from in person to online or alternative methods. These adaptations have been made to support the continuity of teaching and learning through the evolving situation of COVID-19. Our overarching goal is to ensure we are actively contributing to society’s greater efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

With most of our programs moving to alternate methods of delivery, we are pausing all face-to-face classes for the time being. Alternative delivery methods that have been established will continue to take place. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students accordingly.

At this time, our educational leadership teams are continuing to assess what needs to happen with some of these complex, hands-on courses and programs that are not easily shifted to on-line delivery. We understand that this uncertainty can be frustrating and worrisome for students and faculty. 

Instructors will be in communication with students about delivery and service changes soon, if they have not already done so.


2. Staff and the ongoing operations of VCC

VCC is currently transitioning to have some VCC staff working remotely. For employees wanting or needing to continue to come to work, plans and approaches are being developed to provide as much flexibility based on the provincial health officer’s guidelines.


3. Access to campus services

To ensure we are actively supporting ‘social distancing’ recommendations from the health authorities, we are temporarily moving all in-person/face-to-face on-campus services for students and the public, to online/phone call only options. 

For detailed information about accessing campus services online go to:


4. Health & Wellness 

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be worried about the health and safety of yourself or your family and friends. This is a challenging and uncertain time. It is not uncommon to experience higher levels of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. If this is your experience, please seek help and support.

Counselling and supports are available online to students and VCC employees who are affected by COVID-19. We encourage everyone who may need support at this time to contact one of the following services:


Students: Counselling Services or 24-hour emergency lines 

Employees: Employee & Family Assistance Program


Also, the BC Ministry of Health developed a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool to help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. Guidance and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer are available online at the BC Pandemic Preparedness website. Monitor the BC Centre for Disease Control website for updates, information and resources.

For non-health related COVID-19 questions (e.g. supports, programs, etc), a new dedicated phone line is available at 1-888-COVID-19.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College



COVID-19 update – VCC temporarily suspending face-to-face instruction for the week

Posted on March 18, 2020

Find answers to COVID-19 frequently asked questions


To mitigate further risk to the spread of COVID-19, we are closing face to face/in person registration at VCC.


Registration for Spring 2020 will open online at 8:30 a.m. on March 19, 2020.


Application information can be found here:


The Registrar's Office will not be open for in person registration.

Please register online or call 604.871.7000 and press option 4 for assistance.

Payments can be paid online:

VCC temporarily suspending face-to-face instruction and moving to alternate modes of delivery

A message from Ajay Patel, Interim President of Vancouver Community College

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

March 16, 2020


Dear VCC community,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during a very challenging and complex time. Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be temporarily suspending all in-person classes for the rest of the week beginning Tuesday, March 17 in order to transition to alternative modes of program and course delivery where possible.

VCC campuses will remain open and student services will be available during this time, although services for students may be modified. We encourage students to contact our offices online and by phone.

We realize that this is a very stressful time for many students and employees. These steps are being taken out of an abundance of ongoing caution and a desire for VCC do its part in promoting social distancing and containing the spread of COVID-19. It is important to note that there are currently no confirmed COVID-19 cases at VCC.

Alternative program delivery at VCC

Specific modes of alternative program delivery will be determined by individual VCC departments. Instructors will contact students with guidance about alternative modes, which may include online instruction, and assessment, or other forms of non-face-to-face learning. This process will be in place for the foreseeable future.

Given the wide range of programs and hands-on courses at VCC, the transition time will vary, and instructors have been asked to contact students as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this process. Alongside these increased health and safety precautions, VCC is committed to helping students continue their programs, where possible.

Commercial services closed 

VCC has many programs that support student-run commercial services throughout the college that serve the public. Until further notice, all commercial services will be closed, including the Dental Clinic, Salon and Spa, Automotive Shop, Seiffert’s Market, the Bistro, and JJ’s Restaurant.

This situation surrounding COVID-19 is unprecedented and stressful, but we are a resilient community. Thank you, not only for your patience with college decision making, but also for supporting one another mentally and emotionally at this time. At VCC, we greatly value the health and wellbeing of all our students and employees, and we will continue to follow the advice of health officials in order to come through this together.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College


To mitigate further risk to the spread of COVID-19, we are closing face to face/in person registration at VCC.
Registration for Spring 2020 will open online at 8:30 on March 19, 2020. 
Application information can be found here:
The Registration Office will not be open for in person registration. Please register online or call 604-871-7000 and press 4 for assistance. Payments can be paid online:




Skills talk

Posted on November 13, 2013

VCC President Kathy Kinloch -- who will be transitioning to the role of BCIT president in early 2014 -- was interviewed by CKNW’s Bill Good at the B.C. Business Summit in Vancouver on Nov. 13.

The summit brought together leaders in government, business, and post-secondary education to discuss skills training as it relates to B.C.’s economic future.

Kinloch also took part in a panel discussion called People Powered Prosperity: Skills Training and Human Capital.

Here are a few highlights of the live on-air discussion about skills training in British Columbia:


Kinloch: “The need for a skilled workforce in the next 10 years, if not the next 20 years, is key in the province. I see it as an opportunity to build on strengths of BCIT but also to work provincially within the system. VCC is one of the contributors to the skills agenda as well.”


Kinloch: VCC is “a college that has got so much to offer. We have trades. We also offer programs in degrees such as nursing. We have dental programs and (programs) across health sectors as well as well-known hospitality programs. The other area that I’m particularly proud of and that we continue to celebrate is our focus on language training and access.”


Kinloch: “There is a review of the ITA (Industry Training Authority) right now and we hope that there are simplified processes that emerge that will encourage employers to take more advantage of apprenticeships. A key factor is working together with employers. There’s resources needed across the province.”

Kinloch: “Only 20 percent of apprentice students are sponsored by business leaders. That’s an opportunity to not only focus on waitlists but to enable students across the province to get into apprentice programs and access education quicker.”

VCC makes hairstylist study more accessible

Posted on August 8, 2018



Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver. 

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is giving aspiring hairstylists the opportunity to enter a formal hairstyling apprenticeship through a compressed 10-week in-class structure.

“With the traditional apprenticeship route, you’d take a 10-month foundation program, find a salon in which you’d gain the required apprenticeship hours then come back to VCC and take Level 2 training, continue to get hours and take your Red Seal testing,” explains Lucy Griffith, VCC’s department leader of hair design and skin and body therapy programs. “With this new option, you find a salon sponsor first, complete 11 weeks in class, go back to the industry and continue working, and come back for Level 2.”

The option, says Griffith, will appeal to a wide range of learners, including those who wish to start earning money right away, those who have other commitments and will appreciate the streamlined 10-week format, and those who may not live in Metro Vancouver but wish to come to the area to complete their training before returning to their community to complete the 3,600 required on-the-job hours.

“It really makes education accessible to so many different kinds of learners,” she says. “Additionally, salons that sponsor apprentices receive grants from the government as an incentive to helping students enter the trades, and apprentices receive a $1,000 grant each time they complete an aspect of their apprenticeship training for a total of $4,000.”

With the route leading to a trade certification from B.C.’s Industry Training Authority and the Red Seal of endorsement, graduates, in addition to traditional roles in salons and barbershops, may work across Canada in roles within film, education or entrepreneurship. “As a Red Seal, you show that you have the highest amount of education a hairstylist can get,” says Griffith. “We have an 83 per cent employment rate upon graduation, so there is definitely a need for stylists.”


Learn more about hairstylist apprenticeship at VCC by attending a free information session at our Downtown campus. 


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

Posted on March 11, 2019

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The winter CS flyer is out!

Posted on November 16, 2016

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

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


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

Disaster simulation during ShakeOut teaches students life-saving skills

Posted on October 22, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



See all programs with space available

Posted on March 31, 2017

Do you want to start your career now? It's not too late to apply for these great programs with varying start dates. Attend an info session, speak to a program advisor about admission requirements, or apply online now. (Updated March 31, 2017)

Choose your new career: 

Adult Upgrading

Academic Upgrading - May 1, 2017

Applied Business Administrative Office Assistant - May and August, 2017

Professional Cook 1 - monthly

Professional Cook 2 - September, 2017


CAD & BIM Technologies, Steel Detailing Technician Certificate - September, 2017

Visual Communications Design Certificate - September, 2017

Visual Communications Design Diploma - September, 2017

English as an
Additional Language
ESL Pathways Certificate - September, 2017
Hair, Esthetics
+ Makeup

Hair Design - September, 2017

Skin and Body Therapy - September, 2017

Health Sciences

Access to Practical Nursing - September, 2017

Dental Reception Coordinator - September, 2017


Bachelor of Hospitality Management - September, 2017

Bachelor of Hospitality Managment, Executive Cohort - September, 2017

Instructor +
Teacher Training
TESOL Certificate - May and September, 2017
Sign Language Studies ASL and Deaf Studies - September, 2017
Transportation Trades

Automotive Service Technician Harmonized Foundation Certificate - September, 2017

Automotive Collision Repair Technician - August, 2017

Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician - September, 2017

VCC Salon & Spa gets head-to-toe makeover

Posted on June 10, 2013


VANCOUVER, B.C. --  We’re updating our style!

This summer, Vancouver Community College is excited to announce a full-scale renovation project at the Downtown campus VCC Salon & Spa. These facilities are open to the public year-round and home to students training in the hair design and skin and body therapy certificate programs.

“We hope these fresh, beautiful surroundings will inspire a new level of creativity in our students, and in turn attract more people seeking high quality, low cost beauty services in downtown Vancouver,” says Julie Wright, department head, hair design. “We’ve never felt more excited for current and future students, as well as our valued clients.”
VCC has contracted Edifice Construction Inc. and Red Design Ltd. to custom build a salon and spa area that will be comparable to any high-end facility in the marketplace. The space will also maintain functionalities essential for learning.

What’s new:

  • Public salon and spa area with private treatment rooms
  • Walk-in spray tanning booth
  • Public retail space with top-of-the-line hair and skin care products
  • Separate training area for students


VCC salon and spa gets head-to-toe makeover


Wright adds, “Our facilities are now going to reflect what our programs already are: up-to-date and highly regarded in the industry. When students graduate, they will be well-positioned for success, though they may never want to leave.”

Staging of the renovations has been carefully planned to ensure daily training activities are not interrupted. The college has also implemented safety measures to keep the salon open to the public and protect nearby students, staff and pedestrian traffic. The construction zone is cordoned off and signage in place to restrict access. The site and work crews will be monitored by VCC Facilities Management and Safety and Security.

Renovations are underway and expected to be complete in the fall.

See our price list and book an appointment today:

Hair, call 604.443.8332
Spa, call 604.443.8334

For more information:

Laura Shand
Marketing and communications officer
Vancouver Community College

New! VCC Salon & Spa

Posted on November 19, 2013

NEWS RELEASE -- On Nov. 18, Vancouver Community College unveiled a whole new look for the VCC Salon & Spa after a $1.7 million renovation.

The VCC Salon & Spa is where students get hands-on training in the college’s full-time hair design and esthetics programs. It’s also a place where the public can get great deals on high-quality services.

Graham Webber, Dean, School of Music, Dance and Design, says, “After two years of planning, we have a remarkably beautiful salon and spa training facility that finally matches the quality of instruction and services provided. We’ve never felt more excited for our current and future students, as well as our valued clients.”

manicure station at VCC Salon & Spa

The new VCC Salon & Spa is bright, modern and functional, offering:

•Public salon
•Product testing areas for clients to try new styling equipment
•Separate spa area with private treatment rooms
•Walk-in spray tanning booth
•Separate training area for students
•Boutique storefront featuring top-quality product lines from L’Oreal Professionel, Dermalogica, Eminence and St. Tropez

The facility will also generate revenue for the college. As the VCC Salon & Spa Business Development Manager, Geeta Charch will be responsible for leading and implementing the retail business strategy for the facility. Charach has managed several salons, most recently serving as a director at The Holt Renfrew Salon and Spa.

“We have partnered with leading brands like L’Oreal Professionel, Dermalogica, St. Tropez and Eminence so clients can experience these high-end products in state-of-the-art facilities that will soon become one of Vancouver’s top destinations for salon and spa services. This is what any salon and spa manager dreams of!”

In addition to renovating the physical space, the VCC Salon & Spa has also revamped its recycling program. It is now a member of the Green Circle Salon program and will be diverting 95 per cent of all waste from the landfill. This also makes the VCC Salon & Spa the largest Green Circle Salon in Canada.

All this and haircuts are only $11.

Media contact:
Laura Shand
Marketing and Communications Officer
Cell: 778.873.1516

Grand opening event

Posted on November 14, 2013

VANCOUVER, B.C. – We’ve never looked so good. And you can too.

After completing a 1.7 million dollar renovation, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is ready to unveil its stunning new VCC Salon & Spa at the vibrant Downtown campus. Bright and spacious, the facility is home to students training for careers in hair design and esthetics, and is open to the public. New features include a boutique storefront space and do-it-yourself area where guests can try various styling equipment on their own.

Media and guests (invite only) will be offered tours of the state-of-the-art facility and can enjoy free micro-treatments including hand massages, hair curling and hair straightening.

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 18, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
WHERE: VCC’s Downtown campus, 200-block Dunsmuir at Hamilton, two blocks west of the Stadium SkyTrain station
SALON LOCATION: Main floor, across from the Continuing Studies office

Media and guests are also encouraged to share photos with their followers on Twitter and Instragram using hashtag #VCCSalon&Spa.

Follow us on Twitter.

Media contact:

Laura Shand
Marketing and Communications Associate
Vancouver Community College

VCC skills training makes the cut

Posted on October 17, 2013

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Community College (VCC) students and staff today welcomed Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk to the newly renovated VCC Salon & Spa at the Downtown campus where he took advantage of his visit by getting a hair trim from one of the students.

“The newly renovated Salon & Spa will benefit current and future students at Vancouver Community College,” said Virk. “The new facilities and industry partnership will ensure that hair and beauty courses at Vancouver Community College are highly regarded within the industry.”

VCC is working to meet the growing demand for skilled workers and skills training and offers a range of advanced skills training programs including the popular hair design and skin and body therapy programs. The VCC Salon & Spa is open to the public year-round and home to students training in the hair design and skin and body therapy certificate programs.

“This salon and spa facility will provide comprehensive skills training to meet the growing demand for qualified hairstylists and spa professionals in B.C.,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond. “This is one more example of how government is working with post-secondary institutions and industry to ensure British Columbians are first in line for jobs today and in the future.”

“VCC recognizes the need for skilled workers in B.C., and part of meeting labour market needs includes attracting and retaining students for a range of industries, including hair design and skin and body therapy,” said Kathy Kinloch, VCC president. “VCC’s Salon & Spa provides high-quality, lower-cost services to the community, while the hands-on training our students experience ensures they are ready to enter the workforce and meet the needs of employers.”

The new salon features increased student and client capacity and students are looking forward to working and learning in the new facility.

“I have an amazing instructor, my fellow students are encouraging, and the program is a life changing experience. I would recommend it to anyone looking to make their dreams come true by gaining new skills to get a good job,” said VCC student Venessa Krishna.

By commercializing salon and spa services at VCC, the students benefit from having real life clients in addition to benefiting the local with affordable haircuts and generating revenue for the college.

VCC is known for providing a range of quality salon and spa services from its downtown Vancouver campus and is excited to welcome current and future students, as well as valued clients, to this new, high-end facility. Renovations began in June on the existing hair salon and spa, with completion expected in the spa area by late October.

Media contacts:

Dan Gilmore
Communications Manager
Ministry of Advanced Education

Kate Chandler
Vancouver Community College

Award-winning ESL curriculum offers a better pathway to Canadian life

Posted on January 29, 2018



Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that its innovative ESL Pathways program was recognized as the Gold recipient of the Program Excellence Award from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). The award was presented in a ceremony in Ottawa on May 1, 2017.

In contrast with traditional English as a Second Language (ESL) curricula focusing on English literature and grammar, ESL Pathways was created as a practical, culturally sensitive alternative targeting real-world scenarios such as job interviews, informal conversations, and public speaking. 

The ESL Pathways program is the result of a provincial government-sponsored curriculum development project aimed at overcoming the known language and cultural barriers newcomers to Canada face in accessing employment and education.

“The Pathways program is more than an English course,” says student Atousa Eskandari. “It covers a diverse range of topics, including usual life, academic study, and the cultural workplace. The course content reflects the challenges every immigrant faces in a new country.”

The new curriculum is also fully aligned with the Canadian Language Benchmarks, providing a common standard of assessment and eliminating the need for re-testing in many other educational and professional settings in Canada. 

“Vancouver Community College is often the first place newcomers go when they arrive in British Columbia,” says VCC president and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda. “I am especially proud of this truly innovative way of teaching ESL— not only for its impact on our students and their confidence, but also for its positive contribution to society.”

VCC officially launched ESL Pathways in 2015 with 100 students and the program has grown remarkably since then. Currently in its fourth year, ESL Pathways has nearly 900 registered students and further growth is anticipated. Additionally, several other B.C. institutions have begun the licensing process for adopting the ESL Pathways curriculum. 


Read more


ESL registration is open for January

Posted on November 13, 2015

Registration is now open for January classes for English for Academic Purposes. Registration for ESL Pathways will begin on November 30.

How to apply and register

  1. Go to the Registrar’s Office
  2. Say: ”I want to apply and register in ESL Pathways” or ”I want to apply for the 098 English for Academic Purposes course” or "I want to apply for University Transfer 1101"
  3. Complete an application form and pay the $35 fee

Bring the following:

  • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) assessment (includes a LINC assessment)
  • Permanent resident card (if applicable) or English Language Assessment (ELA) results
  • Payment for application fee and tuition

If you don’t have a CLB or ELA assessment:

When you apply at the Registrar’s Office:

  1. Say: “I want to apply and register in ESL Pathways or English for Academic Purposes and I need to schedule an English assessment.”
  2. Pay the $35 application fee and the $60 test fee.
  3. Keep your assessment fee receipt.
  4. Schedule your assessment at the Assessment Centre.

When you take the test, bring the following:

  • Assessment fee receipt
  • Government ID

Information sessions

Check our website for upcoming info sessions and get all the information you need to apply and register into EAL at VCC.

If you have any questions, contact 604.871.7000, ext. 8953 or

Spring convocation recap

Posted on June 25, 2014

Congratulations graduates!

Convocation is a special day where we recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by our graduates. Fall convocation ceremonies will be held on Friday, November 21, 2014.

Photos from the spring events can be found on VCC's official Flickr account.

Here's a short recap from our spring ceremonies:

  • VCC celebrated over 1,400 graduates with three ceremonies.
  • The amazing VCC convocation band was comprised of five current and/or graduating students from VCC's School of Music, Dance and Design: Jason Smith, Aaron Pettigrew, Adam Kerby, Joe Harvey and Carlos Vallejo.
  • Winners from our Outstanding Alumni Awards 2013 were honoured.
  • Three valedictorians represented their fellow graduates during the ceremonies: Billy Gollner, Caitlin Cindric and Jennifer Kappler.


Billy Gollner2014 convocation valedictorian billy school of music, dance and design
Billy is a graduate of VCC’s Music - Bachelor of Applied Music program.
Changing career paths to pursue a career in music, Billy came to VCC instead of begining his Masters of Counselling Psychology.

"I wanted to sing. I had always wanted to pursue a career as a singer but I was held back by an expectation that I should pursue a 'real job'. But, singing was my life. I have never once regretted my decision. I have found work in my field as both a voice teacher and as a singer. I have gained the knowledge and musical insight to set me up for a successful long-term career in music. And I have found happiness."

Representing: School of Music, Dance and Design; School of Health Sciences and School of Transportation Trades



Caitlin Cindric2014 convocation valedictorian caitlin cindric
Caitlin is a graduate of VCC's Bachelor of Hospitality Management program.
Discovering her passion for the hospitality and tourism industry at a young age, Caitlin decided to pursue an education in the field.

“I was inspired by successful professionals in my life who were able to pursue their educational goals and complete a Hospitality Management degree while maintaining their careers. We can now proudly stand beside them as fellow graduates.”

Representing: School of Hospitality and Business (hospitality programs)





Jennifer Kappler2014 convocation valedictorian jennifer kappler photo
Jennifer is a graduate of VCC's fashion arts certificate program.
One of her earliest design memories involved her grandmother sitting her down with a huge jar of buttons and cording; she would spend hours stringing and re-stringing buttons in different patterns. Jennifer currently designs for her own company, de volk & gosche.

"The decision to change careers and come to VCC has become a pivotal point in my journey thus far. Every day I know get to do the thing I love. And I believe that whatever lies ahead for each of us, we all know that in some way or another, with the help of this institution and its instructors, we are prepared to now move on and to take on whatever challenges come next."

Representing: School of Arts and Science; School of Hospitality and Business
(business programs); School of Language Studies; Centre for Continuing Studies and Contract Training;
Centre for Teaching, Innovation and Applied Research

Spring convocation recap

Posted on June 25, 2014

Congratulations graduates!

Convocation is a special day where we recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by our graduates. Fall convocation ceremonies will be held on Friday, November 21, 2014.

Photos from the spring events can be found on VCC's official Flickr account.

Here's a short recap from our spring ceremonies:

  • VCC celebrated over 1,400 graduates with three ceremonies.
  • The amazing VCC convocation band was comprised of five current and/or graduating students from VCC's School of Music, Dance and Design: Jason Smith, Aaron Pettigrew, Adam Kerby, Joe Harvey and Carlos Vallejo.
  • Winners from our Outstanding Alumni Awards were honoured.
  • Three valedictorians represented their fellow graduates during the ceremonies: Billy Gollner, Caitlin Cindric and Jennifer Kappler.


Billy Gollner2014 convocation valedictorian billy school of music, dance and design
Billy is a graduate of VCC’s Music - Bachelor of Applied Music program.
Changing career paths to pursue a career in music, Billy came to VCC instead of begining his Masters of Counselling Psychology.

"I wanted to sing. I had always wanted to pursue a career as a singer but I was held back by an expectation that I should pursue a 'real job'. But, singing was my life. I have never once regretted my decision. I have found work in my field as both a voice teacher and as a singer. I have gained the knowledge and musical insight to set me up for a successful long-term career in music. And I have found happiness."

Representing: School of Music, Dance and Design; School of Health Sciences and School of Transportation Trades



Caitlin Cindric2014 convocation valedictorian caitlin cindric
Caitlin is a graduate of VCC's Bachelor of Hospitality Management program.
Discovering her passion for the hospitality and tourism industry at a young age, Caitlin decided to pursue an education in the field.

“I was inspired by successful professionals in my life who were able to pursue their educational goals and complete a Hospitality Management degree while maintaining their careers. We can now proudly stand beside them as fellow graduates.”

Representing: School of Hospitality and Business (hospitality programs)





Jennifer Kappler2014 convocation valedictorian jennifer kappler photo
Jennifer is a graduate of VCC's fashion arts certificate program.
One of her earliest design memories involved her grandmother sitting her down with a huge jar of buttons and cording; she would spend hours stringing and re-stringing buttons in different patterns. Jennifer currently designs for her own company, de volk & gosche.

"The decision to change careers and come to VCC has become a pivotal point in my journey thus far. Every day I know get to do the thing I love. And I believe that whatever lies ahead for each of us, we all know that in some way or another, with the help of this institution and its instructors, we are prepared to now move on and to take on whatever challenges come next."

Representing: School of Arts and Science; School of Hospitality and Business
(business programs); School of Language Studies; Centre for Continuing Studies and Contract Training;
Centre for Teaching, Innovation and Applied Research

VCC fashion student Annie Kuan's collection 'Metamorphose of Paradox'

Posted on October 22, 2015

Fashion fiat mode 2016 AnnieFiat Mode XXVIII was held in a new venue this year. Vancouver Community College (VCC) offered their annual fashion showcase on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW). This year there were 24 graduates featured, each showcasing five looks - 120 looks in all.

What an amazing opportunity for this strong class of design students to be a part of an established fashion week - and how daunting. Their collections would be evaluated by more than just a supportive group of family and friends. The audience also held a wide range of media and industry professionals there so see a wide variety of shows. I am sure there were a few nerves backstage.

With a group this large, it's impossible for me to feature every student. I have written a show overview for Metro Living Zine offering the collections of ten students selected by looking at both their runway garments and the fashion illustrations in their portfolios. From those ten I have chosen three to offer individual spotlights here.

Today's interview is with Annie Kuan. There was a depth in this collection that made me want to see more. For grad collections the students usually design a full 20 looks and then at VCC, they complete five to show in the grad showcase. I have a feeling it would be very interesting to see all the other looks in between the five we saw on the runway. There were two soft, white ethereal looks followed by two harder edged black looks and then a very edgy floating number in soft watercolour hues for the final look. Interesting!

Read the full interview at Olio by Marilyn.


VCC's fashion arts programs develop in-demand technical skills while fostering individual creativity. Sign up for an info session today!

Technology shapes this year’s jewellery student exhibition

Posted on May 10, 2019

Woman looking at jewellery display


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audience looking at jewellery, display case, single ring


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



Karin Jones' ROM exhibition "undresses" racial identity

Posted on March 30, 2015

Karin Jones’ ROM exhibition “undresses” racial identity

The silhouette is iconic: a stiffly corseted waist, a high collar, a generous bustle at the rear. From Jane Austen characters to Cinderella to modern-day brides, the Victorian-style dress has symbolized wealth and beauty for over a century. In a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum, however, VCC alumna and Jewellery Art & Design instructor Karin Jones is putting this classic figure in a whole new light.

Jones’ contemporary art installation, Worn: Shaping Black Feminine Identity, is the first work in Of Africa, a three-year multiplatform project meant to pay homage to African themes and artists in Canada. The piece is a black, Victorian-era mourning dress, a symbol of both high culture and sadness in late 19th century Europe. Instead of cloth, however, Jones has woven the dress entirely from the synthetic braids used in popular African hairstyles. Scattered beneath the dress are bolls from a cotton plant, as well as a few that were crafted from the artist’s own hair.

For Jones, this piece expresses her own complex identity as an African-Canadian. In her artist statement, she writes:

“The work underlines African hairstyles as a craft as refined as any decorative art produced in Europe; it alludes to the invisible labour of the thousands of Africans who contributed to the wealth of the British Empire… [It’s] a mythic figure born of the cross-cultural forces of colonialism, commerce, and slavery. I wear my African-Canadian identity much as a Victorian woman would have worn this type of dress: proudly, but also uncomfortably, shaped but also constrained by it.”

An inspired start

It’s been over 20 years since Jones graduated from VCC’s Jewellery Art & Design program, but she fondly remembers her time here. “I loved going through the whole two years with the same group,” she says, “I have some close and lasting friendships.”

Jones also appreciates the focus on technical training she received in the program, something not as comprehensively taught in art school-based programs.

Today, Jones’s CV includes exhibitions in Japan and the United States, articles in numerous magazines, items sold in shops from Vancouver to San Francisco and a Social Sciences Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) award for graduate work at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Currently on hiatus from her Master of Fine Arts program, Jones has returned to VCC as a part-time instructor, something she has found quite rewarding. “The students feed my creativity as much as I help to feed theirs,” she says.

A beautiful progression

At first, it may seem like quite the leap to go from crafting intricate jewellery to weaving synthetic apparel, but for Jones, the progression was actually quite organic.

As a jewellery designer, Jones already had an interest the social customs of beauty. As an African-Canadian, she also held a longstanding unease about the trend to suppress natural black hairstyles. Motivated to raise awareness about this through art, Jones was first attracted to traditional Victorian hair jewellery—another popular trend of the era.

From there, she went on to learn weaving and lace-making techniques with the goal of recreating traditional European symbols of power, but from African-style braids. Eventually, in response to the ROM’s public call for its Of Africa series, Jones produced Worn, which has been extremely well-received.

Worn: Shaping Black Feminine Identity will be shown until November 1, 2015 at the ROM’s Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada. 

VCC's not-so-hidden gems

Posted on November 25, 2013

You might say these ladies are VCC's not-so-hidden gems.

Dominique Bréchault, a faculty member in VCC's full-time jewellery art and design program, won a 2013 Mayors Arts Award in the craft and design category.

Jewellery project.

Bréchault also teaches part-time jewellery making classes for VCC Continuing Studies and chose a VCC graduate to receive the emerging artist award in the same category.

Dominique Bréchault

Dominique Bréchault is an artist and educator who has lived in Vancouver for over 30 years. Born and raised in France, she moved to Canada after completing her university studies. She holds a master’s degree in art history from the University of Poitiers, and is a graduate of both the Emily Carr College of Art and Design and the Jewellery Art and Design Program at Vancouver Community College (VCC).

She has maintained a studio as a goldsmith since 1992, and has participated in many exhibitions nationally and internationally.
"Journeys and transformation, and the idea of 'home,' are themes close to my heart and ones that I have been exploring on and off for many years," says Bréchault. She taught Continuing Education jewelry classes with the Vancouver School Board for 20 years and is currently an instructor at VCC.

Emerging artist

Urszula of ZULA Jewelry + Design was born in Warsaw, Poland and lived in Germany before her family moved to Canada when she was five. Urszula has always used her hands to create adornment. While pursuing a career in acting, she had a small business as a bead and wire jeweller.

She studied silversmithing and completed a diploma in Jewelry Art and Design from Vancouver Community College. She was awarded the 2009 Page and Wilson Award for Overall Achievement for “CSI Verona,” a collection of evidence found at the scene of Romeo and Juliet’s death, and the 2010 Habson’s Award for Best Display for her “Dorsal Carapace.”
As a jeweller, she works with objects from nature that she finds in the forest, beach, and desert. In 2011, she was asked to exhibit at the Port Moody Arts Centre with her collection BONE.

Bios courtesy of the City of Vancouver

Q&A with VCC gemmology student Erica Dentinger

Posted on January 3, 2019



Get to know VCC gemmology student Erica Dentinger.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


CS Winter 2019 Guide 800‌‌ 

VCC announces national scholarship winner

Posted on December 16, 2014

VCC is pleased to announce that second year jewellery art & design student, Fiona Maclean has been awarded the 2014 Vaccaro Family Scholarship. The $3,000 scholarship is the premier scholarship prize for jewellery design students across Canada; one that many students use to kick-start their career. 


(Left to right): CJEXPOS owner Phil Payne, Fiona Maclean, and Giovanni Vaccaro, owner of Beverly Hills Jewellers at the gala ball on Nov. 22; the award winning sterling silver and 18-karat rose gold bridal hairpiece. (Photos courtesy of Beverly Hills Jewellers)

The stunning bridal headpiece that was designed as homage to 1920’s lace patterns was submitted to the competition when Maclean was still a first-year student at VCC.  Maclean found out that not only had she won the prestigious scholarship, but would also be sent to Toronto, expenses paid, to attend the gala dinner. An event that Maclean says was quite overwhelming.

“The guest list was a who’s who of the jewellery industry and media. I was introduced to jewelers, manufacturers and faculty from other schools. Everyone was encouraging and gracious.”

Maclean will use the scholarship money to pay for the gemmology certification program at VCC, which she attends in the evenings while in her second year of the jewellery art & design diploma program. Maclean says she chose to study her passion at VCC because of the program’s strong reputation in the industry. The quality of instruction she has received was an added bonus.

When asked if she had any words of advice for those wanting to explore education in jewellery art & design, Maclean says, “work hard, get obsessed and use your imagination”. This certainly worked for her.





VCC Continuing Studies creates convenient pathways

Posted on November 22, 2018

fashion merchandising 800 

‌As originally posted in The Georgia Straight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:

Five reasons to bring your creative flair to VCC fashion arts

Posted on July 15, 2015


Do you obsess over your outfits? Spend your evenings on fashion blogs and your weekends at the sewing machine? VCC's fashion arts programs are designed for both those passionate about entering the industry and professionals looking to upgrade their skills. Here are five reasons why you'll love fashion arts at VCC.

1. Learn from the best
You'll train with talented instructors who are exceptionally experienced and well known in the industry.

2. Location, location, location
Enjoy a spectacular view from the MAC Lab in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

3. Design what you love
Collections range from bridal and kids to costumes and ready-to-wear, and student designs hit the runway each year at our graduation show, Fiat Mode. Check out the class of 2014's designs. This year's students will also be showing at Vancouver Fashion Week.

4. Join the fashion family 
VCC's fashion arts students not only work together, they celebrate! Through everything from holiday parties to project runway-style competitions, you'll form rewarding relationships to last a lifetime.

5. Get real opportunities
Take advantage of unique access to design competitions, fashion practicums and job postings. “The instructors were all very supportive of helping find jobs after graduation. I highly recommend this program,” says Kristi Carignan, a fashion merchandising grad.


We make headlines too! Check out these recent stories by local media:

VCC fashion arts grads go on to design for Aritizia, Arcteryx, Lululemon (Vancouver Is Awesome)
Hemlines: Hats on at Vancouver Communty College (Vancouver Sun)
Be on the cutting edge of fashion technology (Metro News)

Applications to the September 2015 intake for VCC's fashion arts diploma and fashion merchandising programs are being accepted until July 27, 2015. To learn more and meet our instructors, RSVP now for an upcoming info session



Fashion Arts Design Challenge

Posted on May 28, 2015

News-DesignChallenge-380VCC Fashion Arts is looking for talented students to join their two-year diploma program. If you love to sew and have a talent for design, it could be you!

Graduating high school students: you could win acceptance to VCC’s Fashion Arts diploma program by submitting a garment you are currently working on along with a 300-word essay explaining why you want to launch a career in the fashion industry.

The winning entrant will receive a $500 VCC entrance award* and instantly be granted a seat in VCC’s Fashion Arts program – Vancouver’s most in-demand fashion school accepting only 20 students per year!

Download the application form (PDF)


Application deadline: June 15, 2015

Submit entries to:

Fashion Arts program
Vancouver Community College
250 West Pender St.
Vancouver, BC, V6B 1S9

Winner will be announced June 26, 2015

* Entrance awards are not cash awards, but are credits towards the Fashion Arts diploma tuition fee.


For more information, contact:

Fiat Mode XXVI

Posted on September 18, 2013


VANCOUVER, B.C. – On Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, Vancouver Community College (VCC) will celebrate all things fashion at VCC’s annual graduate fashion arts gala. Fiat Mode XXVI at VCC’s Broadway campus will showcase stunning designs created by this year’s 24 fashion arts graduates.

This year’s collections embrace new materials and a fresh spin on traditional attire. The show will also be presented in a unique, highly interactive format giving audience members a rare opportunity to get within a few feet of the collections.

“This year we want our guests to truly absorb the personality of each design,” says Tene Barber, dean, Continuing Studies. “They can expect a real up-close-and-personal fashion show experience unlike most others.”


Fiat Mode XXVI


Every year, VCC’s fashion arts graduates showcase raw talent through their refined collections. From evening gowns to hip-hop short shorts and street wear to wedding-inspired styles, our students never fail to impress.

“Fiat Mode gives up-and-coming designers a chance to prepare for the real fashion world,” adds Sarah Murray, show director. “They learn to produce a fashion show -- the industry’s most traditional marketing tool -- and get the opportunity to showcase their collections directly to buyers and the media.”

Fiat Mode XXVI is open to the public. Event details and tickets are available online.



- 30 -

For interview opportunities and high resolution photos, media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7152

Fiat Mode XXVI

Posted on September 16, 2013

VANCOUVER, B.C. – On Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, Vancouver Community College (VCC) will celebrate all things fashion at VCC’s annual graduate fashion arts gala. Fiat Mode XXVI at VCC’s Broadway campus will showcase stunning designs created by this year’s 24 fashion arts graduates.

This year’s collections embrace new materials and a fresh spin on traditional attire. The show will also be presented in a unique, highly interactive format giving audience members a rare opportunity to get within a few feet of the collections.

“This year we want our guests to truly absorb the personality of each design,” says Tene Barber, dean, Continuing Studies. “They can expect a real up-close-and-personal fashion show experience unlike most others.”

Every year, VCC’s fashion arts graduates showcase raw talent through their refined collections. From evening gowns to hip-hop short shorts and street wear to wedding-inspired styles, our students never fail to impress.

“Fiat Mode gives up-and-coming designers a chance to prepare for the real fashion world,” adds Sarah Murray, show director. “They learn to produce a fashion show -- the industry’s most traditional marketing tool -- and get the opportunity to showcase their collections directly to buyers and the media.”

Fiat Mode XXVI is open to the public. Buy tickets online.

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For interview opportunities and high resolution photos, media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7152

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2015

Posted on June 12, 2015

 Fashion Arts at Vancouver Maker Faire 2015

Students and faculty from VCC Fashion Arts had a lot of fun hosting a design booth at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire on June 6 and 7 at the PNE Forum. They were busy all weekend with mostly women and girls (as little as 2 years old) lining up to create and construct their own outfit on mini dress forms using draping and pattern-making techniques.

One memorable visitor was a six-year-old girl who spent an hour and a half creating a couple of very impressive outfits. Others were excited to practice block printing techniques on a dress that could fit a doll when brought home.

The VCC team also chatted with many people interested in non-credit offerings and others who wanted to learn more about the technology behind the fashion, such as rendering fabrics for video games.

This was the first time VCC has been a part of the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. With all the positive feedback received from participants, it was deemed a great success and we look forward to returning next year!





Field trip takes VCC drafting students to new heights

Posted on May 14, 2012

Mann, what a field trip!

VCC drafting technician students (steel detailing) were given the chance of a lifetime on May 11, taking an end-of-semester tour of the ongoing Port Mann Bridge construction project.

Graham Huckin, department head, says VCC builds and maintains strong relationships with industry partners so that students can experience real world learning.

“Our students are always welcome for on-site tours of major construction projects in B.C., whether it’s the Port Mann Bridge, Canada Line or new cruise ship terminal."

VCC’s drafting technician programs consist of three specialties: Architectural, Architectural/Civil/Structural and Steel Detailing.

drafting class at port mann bridge construction site

Cliffwalk on the wild side for VCC drafting students

Posted on June 4, 2013


At VCC, we’re all about learning that’s hands-on. In this case, we mean hold on tight!

On June 4, students in VCC’s drafting technician programs ended their semester with a guided tour of the new Cliffwalk attraction at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver. Students were given a unique opportunity to question the people who designed and engineered the popular tourist attraction, learning first-hand what it takes to build something so complex.

"VCC builds and maintains strong relationships with industry partners so that our students can experience real world learning," says Graham Huckin, department head, drafting technician programs. "Our students are always welcome for on-site tours of major construction projects in B.C."

Drafting technicians play a critical role in the construction sector. Students in VCC's drafting programs can choose from three specialty study areas: architectural, architectural/civil/structural or Steel Detailing Technician Certificate (formerly Drafting)">steel detailing.

Our graduates have gone on to work on projects like the Canada Line, Port Mann Bridge, and Vancouver Cruise Ship Terminal.

Attend our next information session to meet faculty and learn how to apply for September.


VCC drafting students on a Cliffwalk attraction at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Get the tools to launch careers in CAD, BIM

Posted on March 12, 2019

Originally published in the Star Metro Vancouver 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media release: Brightening smiles for 10 years

Posted on May 19, 2016

VCC’s Tooth Trolley delivers free dental exams and smiles to kids

VANCOUVER, B.C.— The Vancouver Community College (VCC) Tooth Trolley is marking a decade of bringing free dental care and education to Metro Vancouver children. The annual program makes seeing the dentist fun for kids; often their first experience at the dentist, by picking them up in colourful, old-fashioned trolley buses to bring them to VCC’s Downtown campus dental clinic. As well as assessments and basic services, the families receive instruction in self oral care and a goody bag of dental products and wholesome snacks from the Tooth Fairy.

50,000 teeth checked

"This project provides a fun and exciting environment for children to receive dental care,' says Margaret Dennett, who co-founded the Tooth Trolley project with fellow VCC certified dental assistant (CDA) instructor Sherry Messenger. “From the feedback we have received over the ten years we know that the Tooth Trolley project is a very rewarding opportunity for students, patients and faculty. Although sometimes initially hesitant to sit in the big dental chair, the kids leave with shiny smiles and laughter.”

This year, the program runs from May 24 to the 27 at VCC’s Downtown campus, home of the college’s CDA, dental reception coordinator and dental hygiene programs.

Over the ten-year program:

  • About 2,500 children whose families do not carry dental insurance  have had a visit to the dentist on the Tooth Trolley.
  • Approximately 50,000 teeth have received free coronal polishing, fluoride and sealant application from students of VCC’s dental program.
  • Students and dentists have donated a total of about $180,000 worth of services.
  • 3,000+ toothbrushes have been given to children and parents.



Community project

Chevron has been the lead sponsor of the Tooth Trolley every year since the program began and is again, generously providing $30,000 to the event. Chevron spokesperson Adrien Byrne says, “For ten years, Chevron has been privileged to support the dental health education of more than 2,500 Burnaby and Vancouver school children.  This has been possible through a long-term relationship with the VCC’s dental programs and the amazing success of the Chevron Tooth Trolley initiative.”

The Tooth Trolley now gathers students from eight schools, up from one when the project began in 2006. Transportation has provided by the Vancouver Trolley Company since the program’s inception and Colgate and Sunstar provide dental care products for the kids to take home.

Providing essential dental care

Tooth Trolley patients are frequently found to be harbouring dental decay and other problems that, if left unchecked, can cause pain and further oral deterioration. Dental statistics have long shown that low-income families, Aboriginal communities and immigrants are least likely to be insured or engage in preventative dental care. For children especially, untreated dental diseases are also know to result in other issues such as lost sleep, poor growth, self-esteem issues and learning problems.

Inspiring students for half a century

VCC operates the largest and, at 46 years the longest-running training program for dental health professionals in BC, with more than 150 students graduating every year.

VCC celebrates 50 years of inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals, offering post-secondary training in 125 programs including bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades and music.

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For more information, please contact:

Vicky Noble
Vancouver Community College


50 Years. 50 Chefs: A memorable celebration

Posted on November 30, 2015

News-50Chefs-380The 50 Years. 50 Chefs. fundraising gala on Nov. 17 lived up to its billing as the “Culinary Event of the Year.” A packed Rocky Mountaineer Station enjoyed a unique culinary showcase served up by a roster of talented Vancouver Community College alumni chefs who have made their mark on the Vancouver food scene.

Chefs on hand represented Vancouver’s full culinary range including dining establishments, resorts, hotels, bistros, restaurant groups, bakeries, food trucks and more. What they all had in common was a connection to VCC’s renowned culinary and baking and pastry arts programs and perhaps a little friendly competition to see who could wow gala attendees the most.

The 50 Years. 50 Chefs. experience

Upon entering the finely-appointed venue, guests were immediately greeted with tasting-sized food creations served at 15 stations and as passed appetizers. Dishes ran the culinary spectrum from venison and bison to every type of seafood, incorporating both exotic and local ingredients and reflecting ethnic influences.

Desserts items, prepared by a collective of bakers and pastry chefs, included chocolates, s’mores and pastries, while liquid nitrogen was expertly handled to produce ice-cold treats on demand. Both savory and sweet items were meticulously assembled, demonstrating the artistry of the participants and providing a treat for the eyes as much as the palate.

As a perfect culinary complement, seventeen wineries from the Naramata Bench Wineries Association poured generous samples to the roving guests throughout the night.

Class reunion

Students from VCC’s culinary arts and international culinary arts programs got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assist many of Vancouver’s top chefs, while students in VCC’s hospitality management programs provided service.

The evening also turned into a reunion of sorts for chefs to re-connect with former classmates, instructors, culinary luminaries and others in the restaurant industry, with more than one chef overheard to say “We should do this more often”.

And the band played onNews-50Chefs-400

Live music provided by an all-star ensemble composed of VCC’s noteworthy music program faculty and alumni including Laurence Mollerup, bass, vocalist Tom Arntzen, Bernie Arai on drums, Daryl Jahnke, guitar, Bill Sample on keyboards, with special guest, saxophonist Karen Graves. 50 Years. 50 Chefs. served up more than an amazing array of food offerings, as other VCC programs provided the evening’s entertainment. These included:

  • The VCC/Arts Umbrella Dance Company broke out into a flash mob to the Beatles “Can’t Buy Me Love” with guests soon joining in, followed by a mesmerizing dance interpretation of Rufus Wainwright’s “Oh, What a World.”
  • VCC fashion arts students, alumni and faculty illustrated and created designs inspired by 1965, the year VCC was founded. The top 13 designs were showcased at the gala in a fashion show entitled “Eight Days a Week”, while the illustrations were on display and up for auction. The winning design and illustration were determined based on Facebook likes and judged by a professional panel, with each winner taking home $750.‌
  • VCC’s auto collision repair & refinishing program displayed a restored 1965 Pontiac Daytona that provided a backdrop for souvenir photos.
  • A silent auction was held by the VCC Foundation featuring jewellery, dining experiences at participating restaurants, sporting events, wine and food baskets, spa experiences and hotel accommodation.

A special thanks to our supporters

50 Years. 50 Chefs. would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors including:

50 Years. 50 Chefs. raised over $150,000 for Vancouver Community College Foundation which funds scholarships, bursaries and training aids for VCC students.

And finally, a toast to the chefs who are testament to VCC’s culinary programs and helped make VCC’s official 50th anniversary celebration such a memorable event.

Here’s to the next 50 years!

Full photo gallery:



Food networking

Posted on September 5, 2013

This is what you call breakfast television, VCC-style.

On Thursday, Sept. 5, Vancouver Community College’s hands-on training programs were featured on City TV’s Breakfast Television for Back to School Week.

Dozens of students and faculty pitched in to help host Thor Diakow get skilled in baking and culinary arts, while showing off their own talents and offering tips to viewers.

City TV host learns to bake at VCC.

Mouth-watering recipes featured on the program included chocolate covered strawberries, mango mousse cake, traditional omelette and bacon breakfast, and open-faced pizza sandwiches with tons of fresh toppings.

Diakow said, “That’s what I love about VCC and the culinary program, is that everything is all handcrafted, fresh and ready-to-go.”

Students in VCC’s hospitality programs programs get real world training. Their classrooms are our Downtown campus cafeterias, restaurants and bakery, all open to the public.

Media Advisory: 13th Annual Fair in the Square

Posted on May 22, 2019

Fair in the Square logos

13th annual Fair in the Square – Sunday, May 26 in Victory Square Park

VANCOUVER – Neighbours from around the city are invited to Fair in the Square in Downtown Vancouver for a celebration packed with live music, arts and crafts, a free BBQ lunch, and more. Join us in Victory Square Park at Hastings St. and Cambie St. on Sunday, May 26, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Hosted by Central City Foundation in partnership with Vancouver Community College (VCC), this year's annual celebration of the Downtown neighbourhood will feature live music, an expanded artisan and social enterprise market, and dozens of community groups with information to share.

There will also be thousands of burgers and cupcakes prepared by students from the VCC culinary arts and baking programs, family and kids activities, Brazilian dancing lessons, contests, prizes, and more.

Fair in the Square brings people from across the region to the inner city to offer a meeting place and a space of respite, remembrance, and renewal. This event is an opportunity for neighbours to come together, see the great things happening in the inner city, and to build hope.

What: Fair in the Square, a celebration with free food, music, arts market, and more

When: Sunday, May 26, 2019, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Victory Square Park, Hastings and Cambie in Gastown, Vancouver

Why: Neighbours celebrating with neighbours

Who: Performers include rockers Ronnie and Dynamix Band, Indigenous drumming group Wildflower Women of Turtle Island, rock/fund group Trilojay, and Latin dance group Brazilian Swag.


About Vancouver Community College:

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


About Central City Foundation: 

Central City Foundation has been bringing neighbours together to build hope in the inner city since 1907. By building housing and other capital projects, investing in social enterprises that create jobs and opportunities as well as funding hundreds of non-profit organizations, Central City Foundation has provided help and hope to our neighbours in the inner city community for 112 years.



Media contacts:

Carla Shore
Central City Foundation  

Danielle Libonati
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7531 

VCC students join forces with leading female chefs for a cause

Posted on August 23, 2019

Photo: Vision Event Photography

Five VCC students, led by Culinary Arts instructor Kimberly McNeill, had the opportunity to work alongside some of Vancouver’s top female chefs and sommeliers at the YES Shef! long-table fundraising dinner on Monday, August 12 at the Chambar Restaurant.

The event, hosted by the WORTH Association (women of recreation, tourism and hospitality), aims to empower women in the local food and wine industry by having leading female chefs mentor the next generation of up-and-coming female culinary talents.

This was also a chance for the students to build their networks in the industry and each of them received a monetary gift of $400 from WORTH to use at VCC to further their culinary careers.

VCC Students

  • Jaqueline Guadalupe
  • Katherine Aguilar
  • Sarah Moroso
  • Anne Nguyen
  • Jeraldine Sarmieto



View the full photo gallery of the Yes Shef! event on Flickr.

Do you see yourself making your mark in Culinary Arts? Visit our state-of-the-art kitchens and talk to our award-winning faculty members at our next tour

VCC chef on Food Network

Posted on March 7, 2014

Watch and root for Shelley Robinson, VCC chef instructor for the culinary program, when she competes against 13 other chefs on Food Network’s no. 1 series, Top Chef Canada, starting March 10.

“Chef-instructor Shelley Robinson exudes confidence in the kitchen and her passion for food translates to the students. The fact that she keeps putting herself out there teaches students the need to test their skills – no matter how much training and experience they have,” says Collin Gill, department head for VCC’s culinary arts program.

Robinson appeared on Food Network's Chopped Canada in January and beat out three competitors. The Vancouver Sun featured the chef in a recent article.


Shelley Robinson - Top chef Canada

VCC students participate in HomeGround

Posted on February 10, 2015

VANCOUVER, B.C. – VCC culinary arts' instructors and students partnered with HomeGround last week to provide lunches and dinners to 500 people from the Downtown Eastside. This community-building event gives homeless and under-housed residents the best food and entertainment for three days straight at the Carnegie Community Centre and Oppenheimer Park.

The students and chef instructors donated their own time to provide outstanding service and received affectionate thanks from the community. "VCC truly has community spirit and to have our students be part of this experience is an incredible opportunity to share in this spirit." says John-Carlo Felicella, chef instructor and VCC event lead.








Chopping the competition

Posted on January 10, 2014

It was a great start to the New Year for one VCC instructor.

Shelley Robinson, VCC chef instructor for VCC's culinary program, won Food Network’s Chopped Canada on Jan. 9. In the intensive cooking competition, chefs prepare three dishes from mystery baskets of ingredients with only a limited amount of time.

Robinson who trained at both Dubrulle Culinary Institute and Vancouver Community College says, "I'm very grateful for my formal culinary education, which included attending VCC, to have the career I do now. I can't stress the importance of having strong role models and chef mentors for young aspiring cooks.”

“This is just another example showing the calibre of chefs instructing in VCC’s culinary program – our students learn from the top chefs in the city”, says Sandi Bailey, interim dean, School of Hospitality.

When asked what it felt like to show up in class today Robinson said," It just feels incredible to walk into a class I'm teaching and know I still have my culinary chops!"



VCC partners with the City to support incubator kitchen

Posted on July 10, 2014

Vancouver Community College is pleased to support the Vancouver Incubator Kitchen, a partnership between VCC, Mark Brand Inc., VanCity Credit Union and the City of Vancouver.

This week, the first group of VCC students will start working in an innovative kitchen space located in the Save-On Meats building at 43 West Hastings Street as part of VCC culinary arts education to better prepare today’s chefs for the evolving labour market.

The Vancouver Incubator Kitchen has three complementary goals:
• Support culinary education;
• Support food business development; and
• Provide free or low-cost access to commercial kitchen space for community organizations.

With the installation of state-of-the-art kitchen equipment in a renovated space on the ground floor of Save On Meats, this dedicated kitchen facility will meet a wide range of community needs.

In the next phase, Save On Meats will be seeking tenants for the business incubation component of project. In addition, community organizations will soon be accessing the kitchen for non-profit, community-based activities such as healthy cooking workshops, and training in canning and preserving fresh food.

“By pursuing shared goals, project partners are making food preparation space available to emerging food enterprises on a flexible and affordable basis,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We are proud to support the advancement of a vital community food hub in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.”

“This innovative incubator kitchen will serve as an experiential learning environment where students can interact with industry professionals, community members, and non-profit organizations,” said Irene Young, VCC Interim President. “This partnership provides an incredible opportunity for us to expand our culinary programming and promote job growth while supporting community groups and emerging entrepreneurs.”

“This project is a culmination of three years of partnerships and countless trials. I'm extremely proud of its impact to date and with the formalized incubator we're stacked with community applications. The future is bright,” said Mark Brand. 


Media contact:

Karen Wilson
Vancouver Community College




Success Story: Pig on the Street's Krissy Seymour

Posted on April 17, 2014

Pig on the Street photoKristan “Krissy” Seymour didn’t always know she wanted to sling bacon street side — she just loved getting her hands dirty.

“I've always been a kinesthetic learner, so being in a hands-on-type career was very important to me,” she says.

Seymour, the co-owner of famed Vancouver food truck Pig on the Street, became a street staple back in spring 2012 as she and partner (in love and business) rolled onto the fledgling food truck scene in their bright pink van.

Jumping into the culinary world was a natural choice for this English expat. Originally born in Ottawa, Seymour moved as a child to Cornwall, England, and then to Vancouver just a few years ago with husband Mark after falling in love with the city on their honeymoon.

After spending a few years satisfying her wanderlust travelling across New Zealand, Australia and Europe, Seymour decided to take her love of food to the next level and enroled in the Culinary Arts program here at Vancouver Community College in 2001.

“I had a fair amount of [culinary] experience, but I wanted to get my techniques down and learn some different angles on cooking.”

During her time at VCC, one course in particular would serve her well in her future role as co-proprietor of Pig on the Street: butchery.

But her inspiration to start Pig on the Street came when she and Mark began craving bacon sandwiches on a camping trip in their Westy campervan. The two managed to convert the camper into a mobile bacon machine, and after winning a coveted City of Vancouver permit in the first round, Pig on the Street was born.

Since then, the couple and their bacon biz have been featured on Eat St. on the Food Network. Their bacon-slinging season begins again on April 20 and they can usually be found on the 700 block of Howe Street, near the Vancouver Art Gallery.

And although providing meals on wheels definitely isn’t a traditional culinary career, Seymour wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The food truck world is fun and challenging, but very rewarding. It's a tough business. We have learnt a lot since opening and I know we will never stop learning. But that's the fun of it, isn't it?


Get more information on VCC's Culinary Arts program.


Q&A with Earls Sous Chef Matt Blandy

Posted on April 13, 2015


The team at Earls Robson is so impressed with their Sous Chef and VCC alumnus Matt Blandy, they did a special online Q&A to learn more about his path to becoming a professional chef and making his mark at the beloved Vancouver restaurant chain.

What do you love about being a chef?

Food. I love eating food and most of all I love creating food for other people. The greatest satisfaction in this job is seeing another person enjoy a meal you have prepared.

Why did you decide to complete your Red Seal certification?

My knowledge of the Culinary Arts was limited before joining Earls, which is where I have learnt most of what I now know. When the opportunity arose to challenge the Red Seal I grabbed it with both hands. I love learning something new especially when it is about food. The teachers at Vancouver Community College (VCC) did an excellent job of extending my knowledge of Traditional French Cuisine as well as more modern styles of cooking.

The truth is I thought once I had my Red Seal I would be a professional chef and that I would feel like "I had made it". Once I did qualify I realized I am a professional chef but there is so much more to learn and this is only the beginning - there is an exciting future ahead.

How do you balance the requirements for the program along with your full-time job at Earls?

This was a challenging time for me as I love to stay physically fit with running or playing sports but once my program started I realized that this had to come first and I put other activities to one side. At the time there were activities/social events I missed out on, but I knew that giving 100 per cent to studying would make it worth it in the end and it was.

What are your goals for your career in the next year? In the next three years?

Not long after receiving my Red Seal, I felt like I wanted to continue learning. I missed it as I had an awesome time in our group and with the chef. I signed up for an online cooking course which was more specific to a certain type of cooking to broaden my knowledge even more.

My goal is and always will be to continue to learn, develop and grow. Within the year, I would love to work alongside the Culinary Development Team at the Test Kitchen. I have met them before and helped them a few times, but I want to learn from them more and who knows, they may learn something from me too. Within three years I will be part of the Culinary Development Team, developing new menu items with a Matt Blandy influence!

What is challenging about completing your Red Seal certification?

The actual practical exam is a challenge, but if you have practiced and stay calm during the exam you will be able to handle it. The written exam required a lot of studying outside of the college, this was the most challenging part.

What advice would you give another chef that is thinking about completing their Red Seal?

As soon as you start the course, start studying for your written exam, a few hours a week over the course of the program will really help you when you come to take the exam. There is so much information that you need the time to absorb what you are learning.

The only other piece of advice I would give is to enjoy yourself, take what you learn and share it with your team in your restaurant, remember you will be studying alongside some of the best up-and-coming chefs in the company and you are the future of Earls.


Great advice Matt! Earls believes in developing chefs. This is why Earls will pay for chefs to complete their Red Seal certification. This includes tuition, books and knives for coursework. Learn more at

Re-published with permission.


VCC hosts Skills Canada BC Competition

Posted on March 5, 2014

VCC was excited to host the Skills Canada BC high school Automotive Service Tech and Junior Skills Spaghetti Bridge regional competitions. Gold medal winners have qualified and will compete at the provincial competitions held on April 9, 2014 at Tradex in Abbotsford.

Congratulations to the winners and participants! In the Automotive Service Technician – high school category, Justin To, Windermere Secondary, won Gold; Josue Perez, Killarney Secondary, won Silver; and Ajay Malik, Gladstone Secondary, won Bronze. In the Spaghetti Bridge – junior skills category, Templeton Secondary won Gold, Rockridge Secondary won Silver and Queen Mary Elementary won Bronze.


VCC hosts Skills Canada BC Competition



The Skills Canada BC regional event was also a wonderful opportunity to invite high school students to watch the competitions and take part in VCC’s second annual Try-a-trade event. Five hundred students from 17 different high schools sampled applied learning at VCC – including Automotive Collision & Automotive Refinishing, Automotive Service, Baking & Pastry Arts, Culinary Arts, Digital Graphic Design, Drafting, Hairstylist Certificate, Jewellery Art and Design (Diploma), and Esthetics Certificate. Students and teachers tried their freshly-manicured hands at welding, spray painting and tire repair. There were also opportunities to learn about Aboriginal education at VCC, interact with a science display, make marzipan roses and take the culinary challenge of turning a potato.


VCC hosts Skills Canada BC Competition 


ESL update for students

Posted on May 30, 2014

ESL Update Students

VCC offers two streams of ESL classes – ELSA/LINC and our other ESL programming (CPE, Outreach, ELS and PACE).

As a result of changes in funding for ESL programming, VCC will be suspending ESL (CPE, Outreach, ELS and PACE) delivery effective mid-December 2014. This change will not affect our LINC classes.

University Transfer and combined skills classes will continue to be offered (HCA/ESL, culinary arts/ESL and baking and pastry arts/ESL).

Classes and schedules for ESL delivery from September to December will be finalized in the next few weeks. VCC will be offering CPE 099 in September so that students currently in CPE 098 will have the opportunity to complete their academic Grade 12 equivalency.

VCC continues to offer basic and intermediate level English training for adult newcomers to Canada (also known as Language Instructions for Newcomers to Canada or LINC). Please check with ELSA-Net for eligibility requirements for LINC classes.

There are also a range of alternative programs and courses available for students to access in the community (see ESL Resources for Students below).

VCC continues to explore options to determine if we may be able continue to offer ESL beyond December 2014. We will continue to post updates for students on myVCC and on this site.


ESL Resources for Students

Information about alternative ESL courses can be found here.


VSB Continuing Education English as a Second Language Courses

You may also contact settlement/integration agencies in your area such as the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. to inquire about language services that they offer.  

VCC also offers a range of additional programs, including programs designed for speakers of English as an additional language who wish to receive practical training:

Health Care Assistant – ESL (Home Support/RCA/ESL)

Cooking ESL

Baking and Pastry Arts ESL

New December ESL update - Revised

Posted on December 16, 2014

ESL Update StudentsRegistration to open soon for winter semester ESL courses

Vancouver Community College’s board of governors met in a Monday morning conference call to approve the new English as a Second Language (ESL) programming.

"The board members indicated the ESL programming is very important to the future of VCC and should be continued," said VCC President Peter Nunoda. "The fact that we’ve been able to put together ESL programming in such a compressed period of time is a testament to our team’s dedication and hard work."

Tuition is set at $1,600 per term or $4,800 per year per full-time student. Some other facts about the new ESL programming:

  • VCC will teach up to 671 full-time students annually under these available offerings (full-time and part-time options are available).
  • Students will receive instructional time of 20 hours per week (per 1 instructor) in a class size of 31 students (maximum).
  • Out of 70 faculty layoffs, 6 took voluntary departure incentives; and of the remaining 64 laid off, we’ll now be able to retain 32 instructors (more than previously assessed).
  • We will offer 19 full-time classes of the ESL Pathways program, with a total of 38 course options.
  • In addition, we will offer three classes of College Preparatory English (CPE).

Students will be able to register for winter ESL courses within the next few days, as soon as VCC Registrar’s Office can complete the registration system.

December 9, 2014

Over 600 students and 23 instructors to stay in renewed ESL programming

Vancouver, B.C. – Under the new tuition-based program allowed by the government, Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be able to offer the new Pathways ESL program as well as College Preparatory English (CPE) as part of its English as a Second Language (ESL) programming.

“We are committed to keeping as many ESL offerings as possible,” said VCC President, Peter Nunoda. “At the same time we need to fund them sustainably. Since the government announcement last week, we’ve been working overtime to ensure we have solid ESL programming starting next January.”

The new ESL programming will include the following (subject to board of governors’ approval):

  • VCC will charge tuition fees for all ESL courses beginning January 2015;
  • tuition fees will be determined by December 15, 2014;
  • 23 faculty positions will be retained;
  • four support staff will be recalled;
  • over 600 students will be able to enrol in two Pathways Certificates and CPE 099

To help offset the cost of tuition and other associated costs, students will be able to apply for Adult Upgrading grants.

As of January 2015, VCC’s ESL offerings will include:

  • Pathways Certificates
  • LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)
  • CPE
  • Combined skills programs:
    • Health Care Assistant – ESL
    • Culinary Arts – ESL
    • Baking and Pastry Arts – ESL

VCC will be reaching out directly to eligible students to invite them to enrol in ESL courses.


Media contact:
Victoria (Tori) Klassen
Director, Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College
T: 778.873.1513 

Icing on the cake

Posted on November 25, 2014

Two of VCC's students from the baking and pastry arts program will be participating in Disney on Ice Let's Party cake decorating contest, taking place on Nov. 26. Behnaz Shafiee- Panah and Brynn Hill will be paired with local media personalities to decorate a Disney- themed multi-tiered cake. Prizes of Disney on Ice tickets will be given away to local children's charities as part of the event.

VCC students participate in Disney cake decorating contest

"It is a great opportunity to get creative and come up with a design which follows the rules of the contest. It gives us more time to practice and learn new techniques," said Behnaz Shafiee-Panah, 30 years old from Vancouver. "The cake contest is for a great cause, and it feels wonderful to be part of a charity event for children."

Brynn Hill, aged 22 from Kamloops says, "I am excited to be a part of this competition, it's a chance to have some fun and be a kid again."




Why Fair in the Square is a must-attend event

Posted on May 26, 2014

Fair in the Square


Hosted by Central City Foundation in partnership with Vancouver Community College (VCC), Fair in the Square is the neighbourhood celebration in Gastown. This upbeat celebration, held in Victory Square Park (at Cambie and Pender) on June 1, will feature live music, dozens of community groups with information to share, free barbecue lunches (with special dessert), artisans selling their wares, sword-fighting demonstrations, contests and more.

In addition to all of the aforementioned hullabaloo, here are our top reasons to check out this fun-filled event:

  • Meet your neighbours: It’s not often you get a chance to meet the other residents in your neighbourhood. But there’s no better way to love thy neighbour than by sharing a barbecue lunch right in their own proverbial backyard.
  • Live entertainment: In addition to sword-fighting demonstrations and yoga, Fair in the Square will also feature live music. Hosted by CBC Vancouver’s Lien Yeung, the event’s musical lineup includes singer-songwriters Christine Magee and Bodhi Jones; folk/rock musicians Patrick Spencer and Wes Regan; musical theatre from Project Limelight, the Portage Freedom Fighters; and Aboriginal ensemble M’Girl.
  • Free food: What’s a block party without a free lunch? Dozens of volunteers will be on hand serving up free barbecue lunches for the masses (think burgers, hot dogs and watermelon). And as a special treat, VCC’s baking and pastry arts' students will prepare dozens of cupcakes to cap off the tasty lunch.

So come on down on June 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to join the party. For more details on the event, please see our calendar listing.

Skilled Trades and Technology Week

Posted on November 5, 2013

It’s Skilled Trades and Technology Week in Canada and at Vancouver Community College we know there are no tricks of the trade, just the right tools for the trades.

Trades and technology programs at VCC include baking and pastry arts, Asian culinary arts, professional cooking, hair design, esthetics, digital graphic design, drafting, transportation trades, and networking technology.

Here are just a few recent highlights of successes in VCC’s trades training areas:

  • VCC opened a brand new Salon & Spa for students to train in hair design and esthetics
  • VCC was recognized in the Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver issue for excellence in culinary arts training
  • Ten VCC students won the opportunity to compete at the Skills Canada trades competition in 2013
  • VCC won a Consumer Choice Award for best trade school in Vancouver, annual awards that recognize and promote business excellence across Canada

“We’ve always known VCC offers high-quality training in relevant, in-demand vocations,” says Sandra Bailey, dean, transportation trades. VCC is widely recognized for its commitment to student success, Bailey explains, adding that that many employers look for talented VCC graduates to fill positions. “Faculty and staff at VCC go the extra mile to deliver unparalleled, hands-on training.”

Baljinder Sabrao, a student in heavy duty/commercial transport foundation, characterizes the curriculum at VCC as practical and hands-on. “Our instructors explain technical terms and theory in a way we can understand, plus they help students map out their own specific career goals.”

Interested in a career in the trades? Sign up for an upcoming info session today.

Experience VCC open house offers a taste of hospitality careers

Posted on April 10, 2019



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

Korean Culinary Competition reveals fresh talent at VCC

Posted on June 21, 2018


A delicious and exciting time was had by all at Vancouver Community College's (VCC) second annual Korean Culinary Competition held at the Downtown campus on June 14, 2018. Competitors included VCC culinary arts students, professionals, and hobby cooks who were challenged to prepare Korean-style dishes composed of rice, vegetables, and meat or seafood.

Beginning at 2 p.m., the 14 contestants had 90 minutes to complete their composition before presenting to a panel of judges including Korean Consul General Gunn Kim, Chef Eric Lee of Damso Restaurant, VCC culinary arts department leader Collin Gill, assistant department leader Ysabel Sukic, and instructor Sung-Hee Ahn.

“The contestants had the challenging task of preparing everything in 90 minutes.” said Collin. “There was exceptional talent and it was impressive to see the level of creativity and diversity of dishes presented tonight.”

In the student category, the first prize ($800) was awarded to Wonseok Kim, the second prize ($300) to Jaesang Lee and third prize ($100) to Riley Takeo Hooge.

In the professional/hobby cook category, the first prize ($800) winner was Choongwoo Lee, the second prize ($300) went to Myounghoon Lee and third prize ($100) was awarded to Jeongkyu Cha.

Meanwhile, members of the public had a chance to get hands-on and prepare kim bap, a vegetarian-based sushi roll, with the guidance of a demonstrator.

VCC would like to thank the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, Chef and Co Canada, as well as VCC’s culinary arts and hospitality management departments for their partnerships in this outstanding event.

View the full photo gallery.


Fascinated by the foods and flavours of Asia? Learn tradititional techniques and modern skills in VCC's Asian Culinary Arts program. 

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

Posted on January 31, 2019


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

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

Book smart 

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

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

Be ready for the rush  

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

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

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


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


Sautéed Shrimp

Chef Barry Tsang



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

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

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

D)  1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine

E)  2 sprigs cilantro



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

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

3.  Garnish with and serve.


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





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


Business Communications

Creative Writing

Early Childhood Care and Education



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. 



List of programs currently accepting applications

Posted on October 2, 2013

Apply early to avoid disappoinment. VCC is currently accepting applications for the following programs (start dates vary): 

Transportation tradesBusiness and hospitalityHealth sciencesMusic, dance and design
Auto refinishing prep technician Administrative assistant Denturist - Year 1 Digital graphic design
Automotive collision repair technician Asian culinary arts Denturist - Year 2 Hair design
Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician - High School Baking and pastry arts - pastry ESL Dental technology Jewellery art and design
  Medical Transcriptionist Skin and body therapy
  Applied business technology Dental assisting (distance studies) Hairstylist Certificate
  Legal administrative assistant (full-time Medical office assistant Jewellery Art and Design (Diploma)
  Legal administrative assistant (online) Medical transcriptionist Esthetics Certificate

Executive assistant


Hospitality management diploma


Healing history: Enhancing Indigenous health care at VCC

Posted on June 19, 2019



As a child, Lawrence (Larry) Becker spent a lot of time in hospital. Even though he suffered from a rare metabolic disorder, he has only positive things to say about the care he received. It was this experience that motivated him to start a career as a medical office assistant. “I want to give back what was given to me,” he says.

Good health care leaves a lasting impact, and it’s quite common for students entering the field to be driven by past experience. As an Indigenous person in Canada, however, Larry’s story stands out.

In October 2018, Larry enrolled in a pilot medical office skills program offered jointly by Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the Musqueam Indian Band, his home community. As part of the program, Larry completed a three-week practicum at Lu’ma Medical Centre, an Indigenous family clinic in East Vancouver. 

Here, he got to know first-hand the anxiety that many Indigenous patients feel in a health care setting. “People had a lot of discomfort just going in for any type of medical service,” he says. According to Larry, this often leads to avoidance of important treatments and is a major issue facing Indigenous health today. 

As an empathetic person, Larry was intimidated at first, but he made it his job to create a welcoming environment. “It’s really important to make sure people are taken care of rather than leave feeling ignored,” he says.

Historical harms

For many Indigenous people in Canada, Western-style health care still represents more hurt than help. As epidemics of smallpox wiped out an estimated 90 per cent of the First Nations population from contact until 1890, the smallpox vaccine, developed in 1796, was rarely given to First Nations people. As First Nations children in residential schools underwent medical experiments and abuse, they were often sent home rather than treated. As tuberculosis spread in the early 20th century, First Nations people were forced to leave their families and travel long distances to access low-quality, segregated hospitals.

Today, much Indigenous medicine, food, and survival knowledge remains greatly diminished by 500 years of chaos and grief. Without it, many Indigenous communities have become dependent on market-supplied goods and processed foods. As a result, they face elevated rates of diabetes, obesity, cancer, mental illnesses, and more, yet still shy away from professional health care.  

Realizing recovery

As Indigenous populations in Canada continue to rebound in the 21st century – now growing at higher rates than most – the need for culturally appropriate services is greater than ever.

In adapting the medical office skills curriculum for the Musqueam-based program, VCC’s Partnership Development Office added basic skills training, an Indigenous health care-specific course, contracted Indigenous facilitators, and required that all instructors participate in a cultural safety program prior to teaching. 

At the Lu’ma Medical Centre, the entire space has been deliberately designed using warm colours and traditional art to make patients feel at ease, while staff like Larry are specially trained to address the concerns of Indigenous patients. 

“With a difficult patient or an urgent situation, I use my customer service skills and keep calm,” says Larry. “Not only for myself but to make sure their needs are actually met.”




Find your place in health care. Learn about VCC’s health administration and health sciences programs, including priority access pathways for Indigenous learners. 



What's new for fall 2019 in Continuing Studies?

Posted on August 13, 2019

CS Fall 2019 800

VCC Continuing Studies is pleased to annouce the following new courses and programs starting throughout the fall and winter terms.

Gladue Report Writing Certificate



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

Fall convocation recap

Posted on November 28, 2014

Congratulations graduates!

Convocation is a special day where we recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by our graduates.

Photos from the fall event can be found on VCC's official Flickr account.

Here's a short recap from our fall ceremonies:

  • VCC celebrated over 1,400 graduates with three ceremonies.
  • The amazing VCC convocation band was comprised of five current and/or graduating students from VCC's music program: Jason Smith, Adam Kerby, Nial Harvey and Max Ley.
  • Winners from our Outstanding Alumni Awards were honoured.
  • Three valedictorians represented their fellow graduates during the ceremonies: ‌Michelle Lum, Mandy Sze Nga Yeung and Naomi Phillips.

Michelle Lummichelle lum valedictorian image for news item november 2014
Michelle is a graduate of VCC’s dental hygiene diploma program.
After completing the certified dental assisting program at VCC, Michelle worked as a certified dental assistant while continuing her education and pursuing a career in dental hygiene.

"I've worked hard to continue my education and pursue a career in dental hygiene. Since graduating from this program, I've already found a job in a dental office as a registered dental hygienist. My next step is to complete my dental hygiene degree and work towards my goal of becoming an instructor."

Representing: School of Health Sciences and School of Transportation Trades



Mandy Sze Nga Yeung2014 nov valedictorian mandy sze nga yeung convocation
Mandy is a graduate of VCC's baking and pastry arts certificate program.
After graduating from university with a degree, Mandy decided to pursue her true passion - pastry.

“I've always had a passion for food and am so happy I chose this path. I had a wonderful experience competing in both the B.C. and national skills competitions. I'm excited to be working in this field and hope to one day travel the world and learn new pastry trends and techniques.”

Representing: School of Hospitality and Business (hospitality programs), and School of Music, Dance and Design.



Naomi Phillips2014 nov valedictorian naomi phillips convocation
Naomi is a graduate of VCC's administrative assistant program.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from university, Naomi came to VCC and completed the administrative assistant program.

"I chose to attend VCC to gain practical skills and build more confidence in my professional competencies. I'm now working towards completing VCC's legal administrative assistant program. I'm grateful VCC has given me the opportunity to be prepared for what lies ahead."

Representing: School of Arts and Science; School of Hospitality and Business
(business programs), School of Language Studies, Centre for Continuing Studies and Contract Training, and
Centre for Teaching, Innovation and Applied Research (School of Instructor Education)

Our valedictorians

Posted on November 27, 2013

Jane Blix 

valedictorian jane blixJane is a graduate of VCC’s Dental Assisting - Certified program.
Through CDA distance education, Jane was able to stay in her hometown of Terrace, keep a full-time job, and care for her family.

"I never dreamed that at almost 50 years of age I would be graduating from college.
But I think this shows that anything is possible, at any age, wherever we come from.
VCC provides education for people of all ages at any stage in life."

Representing: School of Health Sciences; School of Transportation Trades



Linda Dooley 

valedictorian linda dooleyLinda decided to go to college as a single mom with two pre-teen daughters. She is a graduate of VCC’s full-time esthetics program.

“The one lesson I have taken away, is to never let anyone tell you that you cannot do
or be anything that you truly believe in. We have the ability to change people’s lives.
VCC instructors always encouraged us and really prepared us from the start.”

Representing: School of Music, Dance and Design; School of Hospitality and Business (hospitality programs)




Gloria Fuentes 

valedictorian gloria fuentesGloria was a teacher in the Philippines before moving to Canada in 2011. She is a graduate of VCC’s administrative assistant program and also teaches English to new immigrants in Vancouver.

"Having spent more than 20 years in an educational institution as a teacher,
I know how important a supportive and caring environment is to students.
This is what VCC gave us."

Representing: School of Arts and Science; School of Hospitality and Business
(business programs); Centre for Continuing Studies and Contract Training;
Centre for Teaching, Innovation and Applied Research

Legal administrative assistants in high demand

Posted on September 11, 2018



Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Top five reasons to get an Administrative Assistant certificate

Posted on March 26, 2015


Administrative assistants do a lot. With tasks ranging from communications to data management to financial recordkeeping, this position is the heartbeat of every office in virtually every industry—it’s no wonder they’re in demand. Here are the top five reasons to earn your Administration Assistant certificate at VCC:

  1. WorkBC forecasts over 21,000 administrative assistant jobs to open in the next seven years.

  2. You can choose your industry. From big business to charities to government offices—administrative assistants are always part of the team.

  3. Every VCC student completes a two-week practicum experience with a local business.

  4. VCC grads get jobs—85 per cent of our students are hired within a few months of program completion.

  5. You could be working within eight months. Register now and start as early as May 2015!

Join us for an information session on April 7, 14, 20 or 27, 2015 at VCC’s downtown campus, located at Dunsmuir and Hamilton, two blocks west of the Stadium SkyTrain station.

New program teaches volunteer management for today’s non-profits

Posted on January 6, 2016

News-volunteer-management-400Canadians love to volunteer. According to Statistics Canada, 47 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and over did volunteer work in 2010 (compared to 26 per cent in the United States). These 13.3 million Canadians devoted over 2 billion hours to their volunteer activities, which is equivalent to about 1.1 million full-time jobs.

According to Vancouver Community College (VCC) instructor and Volunteer Management Institute founder and Executive Director Milena Santoro, however, the actual business of working with volunteers has been historically overlooked. “It’s a misconception that volunteers are just volunteers—that they’re free,” she says. “There is a cost attached to managing volunteers. You need to recruit, screen, train, recognize, support, and manage them no differently than paid staff.”

To address this non-profit skills gap, VCC has partnered with Santoro and the Volunteer Management Institute to offer a new Volunteer Management program designed to teach established and effective methods related to the volunteer cycle. Topics in this program apply to any kind of volunteer work, from large fundraising events, sports tournaments or arts festivals to community gardens or even groups who visit the elderly or run children’s programs. 

Recruiting right

Most non-profits operate with limited resources, but an important thing to still recognize, says Santoro, is the need for structure. When a volunteer is put to work without official screening, orientation, and training, he or she often walks away with a negative experience. A clear and organized volunteer experience, however, can bring great rewards. “If a volunteer is really engaged, they will give so much more,” says Santoro.

Even non-profits that have been operating for decades can benefit from re-assessing their volunteer programming. According to Santoro, many organizations still work inefficiently and volunteer coordinators often feel under pressure or burn out quickly. With the right systems and processes in place, however, it doesn’t have to be that way.

In today’s growing culture of corporate social responsibility, volunteer opportunities are also enjoying a higher profile than ever. Many corporations are now partnering with non-profit organizations and asking their employees to volunteer. They also choose these partnerships carefully. “Companies want to work with well-organized and like-minded groups,” says Santoro. “They want to be aligned with the cause and the work they do in the communities.”


VCC’s new Volunteer Management program provides students with the latest in knowledge and tools including up-to-date workbooks, forms, and checklists. Tuition has been kept in an accessible range for non-profit organizations.

Questions? Contact Joy Dalla-Tina, program coordinator, at 604.871.7000 x 8671 or Courses offered year-round. Apply now!


Update on COVID-19 from government and the impact on VCC

Posted on March 13, 2020

A message to all the VCC community from the office of the president 

Dear VCC community,

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer (PHO) issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia: 

All public post-secondary institution presidents and Board Chairpersons have been informed and instructed to follow these new guidelines. I encourage all VCC staff, students, and faculty to review the statement.

Key points from the March 12 joint statement that may affect operations at VCC:

  • Recommendation against travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Effective today, anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada will be asked to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return.
  • The cancellation of any gathering larger than 250 people. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings or other similar events.

The leadership team and Board of Governors at VCC are committed to the safety and health of all VCC staff, students, and faculty, and take these instructions seriously. 

While the risk of contracting the illness remains low, we recognize that our community may have some questions about how we’re responding to this evolving situation.

How do these updates affect work and learning at VCC?

The VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is implementing Level 2 of the college’s Emergency Management Plan, and will be including the recommendations from government into our ongoing communicable disease strategies.

  • All events over 250 people are cancelled until the end of April 2020.
  • All events planned to take place on VCC campuses within in the next two months will be reviewed. Information about cancellations or postponements will be shared as soon as possible.
  • All VCC work-related travel outside of Canada is cancelled immediately until further notice. We recommend against all travel outside of Canada, including to the United States.
  • Staff returning to VCC from travel outside of Canada are asked to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work. VCC is working with government and other agencies to determine best approach and implications for those who are asked to self-isolate.

Stay informed

It is important to remember that recommendations from government and the health authorities may change. COVID-19 is a public health issue, and will evolve and change as the days and weeks progress. 

Information will be posted as updates become available. 

Please visit frequently.   

I would like to take this time to thank our EOC and all of our staff, faculty, and students who have worked very hard over the last few weeks to keep our college community safe and healthy. This is a challenging time, and it is important that we continue to stay vigilant and cautious, but also continue to act responsibly.


Ajay Patel

President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College

Learn more

Link to the March 12, 2020 joint statement from government and the PHO:

For guidance on mass gatherings from the BC Centre for Disease Control, visit:

For federal government recommendations on cruise ship travel, visit:

For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit: 

For information on self-isolation, visit:

 For the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and planning materials, visit:

 For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit its website:

 For the latest audio clips of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit:

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.

Fast training and good jobs await VCC medical device reprocessing technicians

Posted on March 10, 2020



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

When Vancouver Coastal Health employee Samantha Shone graduated from high school, she was planning on becoming a nurse.

But an uncle wasn’t sure that she was ready to spend the next four years in university, so he suggested that she try a much shorter health care offering—medical device reprocessing technician training (MDRT) — at Vancouver Community College (VCC). It transformed her life.

VCC’s 16-week MDRT certificate program enables graduates who pass the certified medical device reprocessing technician exam to immediately land a decent-paying job.

About 14 years ago, Shone started at around $21 per hour for disinfecting surgical equipment.

Because she was working at St. Paul’s Hospital, she had a chance to observe other health care professions, including nursing, and consider whether she should change her occupation in the future.

“I ended up staying with medical device reprocessing because I got a full-time job and all these opportunities came up,” Shone said. “I’ve made a career out of it.”

Today, Shone is the B.C. provincial adviser to the Canadian Association of Medical Device Reprocessing, as well as the site lead at UBC Hospital. In this role, she supervises 30 full-time employees to ensure that all the equipment will be ready and sterilized for 30 to 40 surgical cases per day in the hospital’s eight operating rooms.

“This is the most unknown department, but every hospital has one,” Shone said with a laugh.

It’s not a simple job. Many items must be sterilized with steam, but there’s also low-temperature sterilization for certain devices.

“Our inventory is huge,” Shone said, “so keeping track of everything and making sure we are turning things around at the right time is a big job.”

Instruments range from a pair of scissors to a complex camera that might cost $20,000 or $30,000—and staff need to be aware of how these items are used.

An endoscope, for instance, requires high-level disinfection because if it’s not properly cleaned, it has the potential to pass a disease to another patient. “I can see the impact that my job and my department has on patient care,” Shone said.

She also said that medical device reprocessing technicians have to do a fair amount of heavy lifting, as well as troubleshooting and problem-solving.

So far, the highlight of Shone’s career has been co-authoring a study in the American Journal of Infection Control. It resulted from research conducted when she and other medical professionals travelled to Uganda.

“We held educational workshops to train the medical staff at Mulago Hospital in Kampala,” Shone said. “I went with a group of surgeons, nurses, and physiotherapists, and I represented medical device reprocessing.”


Learn how you can become an important member of a health care team. VCC’s MDRT program is now accepting applications for September 2020.

Keeping progress alive for women in culinary arts

Posted on March 8, 2020


Left to right: Chef Ysabel Sukic, Chef Erin Vickars

There are amazing women chefs out there. We see them in restaurants and hotels, we read about them, and we celebrate them. This International Women’s Day, at Vancouver Community College (VCC), we want to recognize the incredible progress that women have made in the culinary industry, but also take an honest look at how far we still have to go. 

The culinary climb

Chef Ysabel Sukic has a huge amount of professional cooking experience. After training at VCC in the mid-90’s and earning her Red Seal, she went on to work in a variety of kitchens from luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants to private yachts. In 2006, she joined VCC as an instructional assistant and also earned the prestigious Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) designation. In January 2020, Ysabel was elected department head at VCC Culinary Arts – the first woman to ever hold this position. 

Looking at her career thus far, Ysabel remembers often trying to fit in as the only woman in the kitchen. “There were a lot of questions about my capability,” she says. Ysabel remembers never doubting her own skill or commitment, yet getting passed up for promotions and having to show skills far above the bar to be taken seriously. In one hotel, she remembers a chef genuinely asking why she wasn’t working in housekeeping. 

“I tweaked my personality to be ‘one of the boys,’” remembers Ysabel. “It’s sad, but it made my life easier. It kept me from getting bullied out of the industry.” Today, she somewhat regrets this compromise, but also recognizes that it got her where she is today. “Now, I can hire women and stand up for them,” she says.

Top of the class

One of VCC’s newest instructional assistants, Chef Erin Vickars, joined the college in November 2019. Over the past 14 years, Erin has worked in some of Vancouver’s finest hotel restaurants and private clubs, cooked for a sailing company, and completed a stage with triple-Michelin chef Dominique Crenn in San Francisco, all in addition to earning her Red Seal, sommelier certificate, and CCC designation. 

Erin was always outnumbered by men in kitchens, but her outgoing personality and absolute love of cooking didn’t leave much room for intimidation. “When you truly fall in love with food, the rest falls away,” she says. “I enjoyed the ride. I never felt like I was working.”

It wasn’t until Erin began exploring the elite levels of Canada’s culinary industry that she began to feel the absence of women at the table. After completing her CCC exam in 2019 as the only woman in her cohort (and for exclusively male judges), she was surprised to learn how few women in Canada actually hold this title.  

Another moment that surprised Erin was when Canadian chef Lynn Crawford became the first woman to hold the title of executive chef at any of the Four Seasons’ properties around the world. The year was 2006. “It blew my mind,” says Erin. “We were in the mid-2000’s and we had yet to have a female executive chef in a hotel.”

Learning forward

Both Erin and Ysabel agree that things have changed for the better since they started in the industry, and that education will be key to continued progress. “To be a good chef, you need to be highly intellectual,” says Erin, who dreams of connecting trades like cooking with university programs in environmental sciences or medicine.  

Ysabel believes that education is the best thing to foster respect and mutual understanding, and encourages women who are passionate about cooking to support each other and to strive for advanced trades credentials. She also wishes more women would pursue leadership in local chefs’ associations, which are still primarily made up of men. “If decision makers all have the same perspectives and experiences, you’ll never know if you’re wrong!” she says.

Its’s 2020. You very likely know a woman chef. Perhaps you know a woman auto mechanic, CEO, or tech entrepreneur. Take this International Women’s Day to celebrate them, but also ask: why aren’t there more?


Chef Kimberly McNeill and VCC culinary arts students at the WORTH Association YES Shef! long-table fundraiser August 12, 2019



Read more about women in culinary trades this International Women’s Day

Bake with Bruno Feldeisen at VCC

Posted on March 3, 2020


Fans of The Great Canadian Baking Show will undoubtedly recognize Bruno Feldeisen. After three successful seasons as a judge on the beloved CBC baking program, the smiling, bespectacled pastry chef has become a household name for home bakers across the country. 

Less known, perhaps, is that Bruno not only calls Vancouver home, but also teaches part-time baking and pastry classes at Vancouver Community College (VCC). In his courses, he shares his love of baking and pastry using a combination of expert skill and encouragement. 

In one popular course, World of Breads (CUIS 1106), Bruno says his goal is to take away the fear of breadmaking. “It’s intimidating to a lot of people,” he says. The secret to better bread, according to Bruno, is to learn the essential steps but avoid getting stuck on a recipe. Rather, he encourages students to get a feel for the process, then get creative and have fun. “It’s OK to play around,” he says.

Why would a chef who has consistently wowed high-class diners from France to California to New York choose to teach baking basics? As a troubled teen, Bruno got his own start in the industry when a famous French chocolatier took him on as an apprentice. Today, he’s the one with a heart for anyone wishing to learn. 

“I meet people who are very good bakers with great ideas,” says Bruno. “My work is always so professional, and I enjoy the challenge of communicating with people who don’t speak the same culinary language.”




VCC Continuing Studies offers baking courses from French pastry to chocolate showpieces at a fraction of the cost of private culinary schools. 

Ajay Patel wins International Education Distinguished Leadership Award

Posted on June 25, 2019



Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to share that Ajay Patel, our new Vice President, Enterprise and International Development was honoured with an International Education Distinguished Leadership Award at the 10th annual BC Council for International Education (BCCIE) International Education Awards held in Whistler, B.C. on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of international education. Winners represent a diverse cross-section of practitioners from across the province whose work has helped position B.C. as a leader in attracting and supporting international students and in delivering innovative global partnerships.

Ajay’s award recognizes him for distinguished leadership as an international educator whose work has had a lasting, positive effect on B.C.’s international education sector.

Other 2019 BCCIE award recipients include Sarah Mines from ICEF, Hyeyoung Kang from Coast Mountain College, and Lalita Kines from the University of Victoria. 


Learn more about the variety of VCC programs and services available to international students by visiting VCC International.

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.


Clinton’s story: from trauma to triumph

Posted on February 10, 2016


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

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

A fresh start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lighting the way

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

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

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

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


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


Alicia’s story: new to nursing

Posted on September 10, 2018



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Amir’s story: finding refuge

Posted on September 10, 2018



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

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

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

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

No man is an island 

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

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

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

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

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

Strong and free

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Read more about The Many Faces of Adult Basic Education.

Premier John Horgan announces new B.C. tuition grants at VCC

Posted on February 28, 2020


 L to R: VCC Vice President Academic, Students and Research David Wells, VCC Hospitality Management student Mandy Wan, Minister Melanie Mark, Premier John Horgan, VCC Board of Governors student representative Armor Valor Corrales


On Friday, Feb. 28, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was pleased to welcome B.C. Premier John Horgan and Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to our joint VCC/BCIT heavy mechanical trades training facility at the Annacis Island campus for an exciting announcement about grant funding for post-secondary students.

The new B.C. Access Grant will offer up to $4,000 of non-repayable funding per year to low- and middle-income students in post-secondary programs across B.C. As requested by student groups, these grants will also be available to students at the beginning of their studies to help with up-front tuition costs, rather than at the end.

Another change will see funding will be made available to students in programs under two years in length, such as certificate and diploma programs, which includes the majority of programs offered at VCC.

“The new B.C. Access Grant will positively impact the lives of many VCC students,” said VCC interim president Ajay Patel. “It removes financial barriers and provides opportunities for those looking to change careers or upgrade their skills. We thank the provincial government for this additional support in helping B.C. students reach their goals.”

“The new B.C. Access Grant will break down financial barriers and enable thousands more students to get a college or university education in their chosen fields,” said Premier John Horgan.

The government estimates that more than 40,000 low- and middle-income students will be eligible for the new B.C. Access Grant, which will be available starting in Fall 2020. 

“The new grant will open doors to post-secondary education for thousands of British Columbians who were shut out for far too long,” said Minister Mark. “This is a game changer that will benefit students who need it the most.”



Student T2202 tax forms available

Posted on February 28, 2020

Updated 2019 Student tax forms (T2202 forms) for VCC students are available.  To access your tax receipt, go to myVCC

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

myVCC login box

If you need help accessing your tax receipt, 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 or call 604.871.7000, ext. 7002.

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 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.

Coronavirus – update for VCC students and employees

Posted on January 31, 2020


Updated Friday, Jan. 31, 2020

B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry announced on Tuesday, Jan. 28, that the first case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been confirmed in B.C.

At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we understand that our students, faculty, and staff may have questions and concerns about novel coronavirus. 

When it comes to decisions about public health, B.C. colleges and universities take their direction from the Ministry of Health and local health authorities. These organizations are closely monitoring novel coronavirus throughout B.C. as well as nationally and internationally. VCC is in regular communication with these health authorities, and all precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of infection. We will also make every effort to keep VCC students and employees safe and provide updates as they become available.

Official information sources

Please be mindful that fake news regarding novel coronavirus has begun to circulate on social media. At VCC, we encourage students, staff, and their families to refer to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website for the latest information and updates. 

Additional resources have been provided to HealthLink BC’s free-of-charge health information line, 8-1-1. This line is in operation 24/7.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has also provided a new toll-free number, 1.833.784.4397, to answer questions about novel coronavirus. This line is available from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. (PDT).

Reducing risk

The BCCDC and Dr. Henry recommend reducing risk of exposure to novel coronavirus using the same measures normally taken to prevent the spread of cold or flu viruses.

  • Wash your hands frequently. It is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection. E.g. If you touch droplets containing a virus, as long as you clean your hands before you touch your face or your mouth, you are not at risk of getting the virus in your body. 
  • Do not touch your face/eyes/nose/mouth with your hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough (ideally with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow). The virus is not something that enters the body through the skin. It needs to get into your lungs and access your mucous membranes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched workspace surfaces.
  • Maintain good general health. Eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise in moderation.
  • Stay away from others if you are sick. Stay home from work or school, and contact your health care provider so you can be safely assessed.

Advice on masks 

  • Be aware that masks may give people a false sense of security and limit other good hygiene habits.
  • Wearing a mask may increase touching of your face/eyes/nose/mouth with your hands.
  • If you are sick, a mask does help prevent transmission to other people. That's why somebody with a cough or respiratory symptoms is asked to wear a mask and clean their hands when entering an emergency room.

Considering travel?

  • If you are considering travel to and from a region affected by coronavirus, please consult the Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices regularly as recommendations may change as new information becomes available.
  • No matter where you plan to travel, the Public Health Agency recommends consulting the Government of Canada’s Travel and Tourism website to help make informed decisions about safety abroad. 
  • If you become ill after returning to Canada, contact your health care provider immediately to seek care and inform them about your travel history.


   Visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website > 


Information regarding student fees

Posted on January 26, 2016

A document outlining proposed student fees was brought to the college’s Fees Committee on Jan. 18, as is standard practice. This document was a draft and intended for discussion purposes only. Any copies of this document that have been distributed must not be considered final as it has not yet been presented to the VCC Board of Governors.

VCC is responsible to ensure the 2016-17 budget is balanced. Any proposed student fees must be considered along with all other budget initiatives before being finalized.



  • As the draft fees are not complete at this time, they will not go to the January VCC Board of Governors meeting. 
  • The college reviews student fees annually as part of the budgeting process.
  • One of the fees proposed is a $26 student activity fee. All monies collected would go towards enhancing student life through campus activities. This initiative is the result of past requests by VCC students and is common to many other institutions.
  • VCC is following the government tuition increase limit policy of two per cent per year.



VCC Board of Governors welcomes new appointed members

Posted on November 6, 2015

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Community College (VCC) Board of Governors welcomes three new members appointed by the provincial government to the board - Brenda Aynsley, Mike Tourigny, and Dee Dhaliwal. Board members Claire Marshall and Chloe Choi were reappointed until December 31, 2016.

Aynsley is the VP of Resource Development at the United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM). She was previously the Executive Director of Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way for 11 years and area manager for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon. She has been honoured for her community work - she is a recipient of a Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service and a recipient of a City of Kamloops Pioneer Spirit Award. She is a current nominee for a RBC Women of Influence award.

Tourigny practiced law in Vancouver as a corporate commercial litigator for over 30 years. He worked with McMillan LLP and was an active member of the BC Law Society Pro Bono legal advice program. During his tenure as a partner Mike spent over 10 years on the management committee of the Vancouver office of the partnership, including 6 years as managing partner of the western division of Lang Michener LLP.

Dhaliwal is Publisher of The Vancouver Courier and Westender newspapers (Glacier Media) and formerly worked as Director of Sales and Marketing with North Shore News. Earlier in her career, she was stationed in London, England working for a communications and publishing company. Active in the community, she served as Chair of North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Chair of Business Excellence Awards, Director of Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, and Director of BC Chamber of Commerce and a Director of PCTIA. 

Pam Ryan was elected Board Chair effective November 1, 2015. Ryan was appointed to the board in November 2012 and is Chair of the Human Resources committee.

Learn more about VCC’s Board of Governors.

VCC and the VCC Faculty Association Reached a Tentative Agreement

Posted on April 14, 2015


VCC Broadway campus


Vancouver Community College and the Vancouver Community College Faculty Association reached a tentative agreement on April 9, 2015 under the Province’s Economic Stability Mandate.  The nearly 10 months of talks were characterized by respectful and open communications.

This tentative agreement covers more than approximately 865 faculty who deliver trades, health sciences, design, academic upgrading, university transfer, and ESL instruction at the college.

The tentative settlement is for a five-year term beginning April 1, 2014. It includes a 5.5 per cent wage increase over the five years with potential for additional increases if the B.C. economy exceeds the annual forecasts set by the Economic Forecast Council during the last four years of the agreement.

The College Human Resources Committee of the Board of Governors will consider the tentative settlement on April 22, 2015 and the VCC Faculty Association membership will consider it on April 23, 2015.

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.

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Italian cuisine and culture come to Vancouver Community College

Posted on November 14, 2017

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

Our town has been blessed by Italy before. Chefs such as Tuscany-born Umberto Menghi and Calabria-born Pino Posteraro have set the bar high for Italian cuisine in Vancouver.

But early in the new year, local residents will have a chance to learn from Italian masters in the kitchens at Vancouver Community College’s downtown campus.

That's because VCC will accept another batch of students for Cucina Italiana-Italian Master Class Series, which is offered through VCC continuing studies.

The dean, Gordon McIvor, told the Straight by phone that students are not only going to learn new culinary skills, they’ll also get the full-meal deal when it comes to Italian culture, courtesy of charismatic head chef Giovanni Trigona.

"These courses are really designed more for the entertainment value as opposed to training people to become chefs," McIvor acknowledged.

News-Italian-Master-Class-pizza-EMBED-300VCC has partnered with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada West to offer five three-hour evening classes over a five-week period. They focus on the culture of Italian cuisine from a specific region.

Each evening is devoted to a region’s pasta, pizza, breads, pastries, the pairings of Italian wine and food, and even gourmet gelato. There’s a 20 per cent discount for those who enroll in all five courses, though they can also be taken individually.

"Giovanni has a lot of energy," McIvor said. "You’re really getting a very authentic experience."

VCC's senior program coordinator of continuing studies, Claire Sauvé, told the Straight by phone that what sets the Italian Master Class Series apart is how it weaves together traditions, customs, regional history, and Italian food.

"There are certain classifications of ingredients from Italy, depending on their regional authenticity," Sauvé explained. "An even higher measure of authenticity is if the ingredients come from a particular region and have been 100 per cent prepared in that region. So they are really focused on regional delicacies."

McIvor attended a session this fall in which the chef insisted that dough be left to sit out for 18 hours before students could start kneading it. McIvor also recalled how it felt having flour poured over his hand and hearing the chef talk about its consistency.

He was delighted by how much joy there was in the room during the class, which he described as "highly interactive."

"It's almost like a party," he recalled. "If people are looking for an active evening, I think it’s something they would enjoy."

‌Accessibility assessors will be trained at VCC

The Italian Master Class Series reflects how staff in the VCC continuing studies can seek partnerships before embarking on new programs.

"It's not just about us creating a course from scratch," McIvor said. "It's really about engaging with people who have the subject-matter expertise and the curriculum and us delivering it and making it accessible to people from where we sit."

Along the same lines, VCC continuing studies will offer an Accessibility Assessor Certification Training course in the spring in partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation.

‌"The training is to become an accessibility assessor—to go into buildings and assess how accessible the buildings are," Sauvé said.

This can involve measuring the width of stairways or doorways and making recommendations to engineers about any retrofitting that needs to be done. But it also incorporates accessibility for people who are hearing or visually impaired, those who have companion dogs, and even people with strollers.

"It's a holistic view of accessibility," Sauvé noted.

McIvor noted that the Accessibility Assessor course will take place in a large room at the Broadway campus.

Obstacles will be created there and students will rely on wheelchairs to navigate around them and around the campus. They’ll also find their way while blindfolded and walking with a cane.

"A lot of buildings in Vancouver and all across Canada are required to be retrofitted," McIvor said. "The Rick Hansen Foundation is trailblazing this. We're going to be the 'train the trainer' spot for Canada, and the goal in the long term is we roll this out across Canada and people come here for training."


See what other new and unique courses VCC Continuing Studies has to offer. Programs start year-round.



The CS fall 2016 flyer is out!

Posted on August 4, 2016

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

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


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

See all programs with space available

Posted on February 13, 2020



Considering college? Don't wait! These VCC programs still have space available for 2020.

(Updated Feb. 13, 2020)

Spring 2020


Administrative Professional 1

Baking and Culinary

Baking & Pastry Arts – Pastry 

Professional Cook 1 Plus

Professional Cook 2

Hair, Esthetics and Makeup


Esthetics and Spa Therapy

Health Sciences

Dental Assisting – Certified

Health Care Assistant

Information Technology

Computer Systems Technology

Transportation Trades

Automotive Service Technician Harmonized Foundation


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

Smaller classes and a pathway to SFU

Posted on January 14, 2015

VCC is now offering two new University Transfer certificate programs that will enable students to gain assured admission into second-year SFU applied science degree programs.

“By offering these courses, we will provide students in the Lower Mainland an opportunity to transfer seamlessly into second year at SFU,” says Dr. Andy Sellwood, department head, science, school of access, VCC.

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 Science, Computing Science or Software Systems degree programs.

Join us at an upcoming info session for UT Engineering or UT Computer Science and learn more about these programs! 

VCC also offers a number of other University Transfer options throughout the year.  

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. 

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 >

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


Music Alumni Week 2020

Posted on January 20, 2020


The annual VCC Music Alumni Week kicks off Monday, Jan. 27 with your chance to join the band when the Chamber Jazz Orchestra takes the stage. Five other music events will be held, including open rehearsals, masterclasses, and fundraisers.

Music Alumni Week 2020

Big Band Alumni Drop-in
Monday, Jan. 27, 6 p.m.
Broadway Campus Auditorium
Bring your horn and play some tunes with the VCC Chamber Jazz Orchestra.

Willan Choir’s Open Rehearsal
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 6:45 p.m.
Broadway Campus Auditorium
With members of VCC Concert Choir and Voices Plus. Choral “Foodraiser” for the Vancouver Food Bank.

Academic Symposium
Thursday, Jan. 30
7:30 p.m. Building B, room 1228
Presentations by Bachelor of Music students.

Alumni Masterclass
Friday, Jan. 31, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Broadway Campus (various classrooms)
"The Touring Guitarist”, “Ableton Live”, and more! Open to the public.

Songwriter's Circle
Friday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m.
Broadway Campus Auditorium
Join VCC’s singer-songwriter, Erik Severinson, in an evening presenting songs by current and alumni students. Open to all.

Open Rehearsal
Saturday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m.
Broadway Campus Auditorium
For the students of VCC Music, with Healy award-winning Vancouver Cantata singers directed by Paula Kremer, rehearsing a new work by VCC Music Alumnus Craig Galbraith. Choral “Foodraiser” for the Vancouver Food Bank.

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel regarding Tehran airplane tragedy

Posted on January 10, 2020

I was heartbroken to hear of the airplane tragedy that happened near Tehran, Iran on Wednesday, and I know I share this sadness with everyone in the VCC community.

As more details come to light, we are learning that many of 176 passengers lost on Flight PS752 were Canadian, and over a dozen were from BC. This horrible incident will touch many lives, both locally and across our country.

I extend my deepest condolences to our Iranian-Canadian students, staff and community, and our post-secondary institution partners who have been affected by this tragedy. The VCC community grieves with you during this very difficult time.

For any VCC students who may need support, we encourage you to visit with our counselling staff. Staff and faculty resources are available through myVCC/Human Resources.


Ajay Patel President & CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College

VCC’s fashion family supports the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

Posted on January 8, 2020



The Downtown Eastside Women's Centre (DEWC) has been providing a safe space, basic necessities, and hot meals to women and children in Vancouver since 1978. When growing demand in recent years sparked the need to raise funds, however, staff members were determined to stay true to their community. "The idea of putting on a ‘gala’ was troubling to us," says DEWC Fundraising and Communication Coordinator Celine Chuang. "We wanted to celebrate the women and have them be part of the experience."

The resulting event, Herstory in Focus, has become a fundraiser like no other. Held at the Vancouver Art Gallery and hosted by DEWC volunteers, the main attraction is a runway-style fashion show featuring garments both styled and modelled by women of the centre.

When attending Herstory in Focus in 2017, VCC fashion program coordinator Sarah Murray saw the perfect opportunity to contribute. The following year, Sarah and recent VCC fashion merchandising grad Melissa Giesbrecht teamed up to host styling and sewing workshops at DEWC and coordinated the full fashion show behind the scenes. “I learned a lot,” says Melissa, “and I would definitely help out again."

Off the runway, VCC hairstylists and makeup artists also helped with photo shoots, VCC graphic design students assisted with event programs, and VCC culinary students provided dinner to the models on their big night.

"I honestly don’t know how we did it without Sarah or VCC in the past," says Celine. "It's such a powerful thing to see someone who's good at something bring those skills to magnify the work of our organization." In 2018, Herstory in Focus raised a record $65,000. 




The next Herstory in Focus gala is coming up soon! RSVP now for this inspiring event on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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

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.

Immigrant women find “Sewmates” in new VCC business program

Posted on March 1, 2019



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

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

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

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

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

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

A pattern for success

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

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

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



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

Want to buy or distribute Sewmates Craft products? Connect with them via email at


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


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


Top 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


No place for sexual violence at VCC

Posted on January 6, 2020



Please note: the following article describes hypothetical instances of sexual violence.

For many Vancouver Community College (VCC) students, a brand new year means new classes, new classmates, and new relationships. This week, to raise awareness about sexual violence on campus and help keep students safe, VCC is taking part in a B.C. Government campaign about sexual consent. 

Read the B.C. Government announcement: No place for sexual violence on campus

What is sexual assault? 

Sexual assault is any sexual contact that happens without the consent of both people. It can range from unwanted sexual touching to forced sexual intercourse and can occur even when people know each other or are married or dating. Sexual assault occurs when someone did not consent to the sexual activity.

The following are examples of situations that would be considered sexual assault and can be reported:

  • Your words or actions indicated that you did not want to have or continue sexual contact, but the sexual contact continued
  • You submitted to sexual contact because someone threatened or used force on you
  • You were not able to give consent to sexual contact (for example, you were drugged, impaired, or have a disability)
  • Someone persuaded you to have sexual contact by using their position of authority or power over you

Get more information at SafeCampus

SafeCampus posters

You may notice these posters on VCC campuses this term: 



Help is available

VCC has a strict policy (PDF) and easy-to-understand procedures (PDF) addressing sexual violence. VCC employees are obliged to take reports of sexual violence seriously, offer support, and prioritize confidentiality. We recommend contacting the following departments with questions or to report sexual violence:

VCC Counselling Services
Free, confidential counselling services for VCC students

Phone: 604.871.7000, option 2 or stop by one of the offices
Book online:

Building A, Level 4
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Pender Street entrance, Level 1
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Students’ Union of VCC - Student Advocate 
Assistance for VCC Students who feel they have been treated unfairly by a VCC employee or need assistance with college policies or procedures 


Building A, Room 2662
Phone: 604.871.7000 ext. 7146

Room 358
Phone: 604.871.7000 ext. 8467

VCC Arbiter of Student Issues
Helps students resolve conflict or deal with complaints under VCC policies, including issues relating to harassment on campus 

Phone: 604.871.7000 ext. 7040

Building A, Student Services area
Room 4017 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)

VCC Safety, Security and Risk Management
Emergency phone: 604-871-7000 ext. 4444

Building B, Level 2
Phone: 604.871.7000 ext. 5020 or 778.783.5020 (Non-Emergency)

Level 2
Phone: 604.871.7000 ext. 8361 or 604.443.8361 (Non-Emergency)

VCC Human Resources
Phone: 604.871.7000 ext. 7069 (Director, Human Resources)

Building A, 5th floor

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4627

Room 3304
Phone: 604.871.7000 ext. 7043 

Room 942 
Phone: 604.871.7000 ext. 7650 

Vancouver Community College Faculty Association
Phone: 604.688.6210
Office: 401 – 402 West Pender Street

Morneau Shepell - Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)
24-hour line for VCC employees providing support for any work, health, or life concern
Toll-free: 1.844.880.9142


For additional supports, information, and services, see VCC’s Sexual Violence and Misconduct procedures, Appendix B.

Q&A with MDRT instructor Harpreet Gill

Posted on December 18, 2019



Did you know that one of the most important jobs in health care happens largely behind the scenes? 

Medical device reprocessing technicians, or MDRT’s, are responsible for keeping surgical tools, medical equipment, and many other hospital materials clean and ready to use on patients. Thanks to very specialized training and skills, MDRT’s are germs’ worst nightmare. They are also highly in demand by local health authorities (Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health, and PHSA) as well as private surgical clinics. 

Vancouver Community College (VCC) MDRT instructor Harpreet Gill shares how she discovered this rewarding career, and offers advice to anyone starting out. 

Q&A with MDRT instructor Harpreet Gill 

How long have you been teaching at VCC?
I became an instructor with VCC in 2016. I am a third-generation educator in my family, and I feel very proud to carry on this legacy. 

What do you love about teaching? 
As an educator, it is my responsibility to prepare the students for their future and the community as their quality of work will tremendously affect human lives. Their confidence and ability to perform all tasks without any guidance is a happy moment for me; I love seeing their success at the end of the course. 

Where did you grow up? 
I was born and raised in India in a family of great leaders and mentors. Discipline was practiced everywhere in school and at home which instilled some great habits in me to this day. After I finished my master’s degree in Science, I moved to Canada in 1993. 

Where did you learn this trade? 
One day while working, a customer started a conversation about my educational background. I mentioned that I was interested in the medical field and he introduced me to the Medical Device Reprocessing Technician (MDRT) program. I have a vivid memory of the customer drawing four areas on a piece of paper and explaining to me the different aspects of this job. I then began my journey and completed my certification as an MDRT from VCC in 1999. Ever since then, I have been working for Fraser Health. 

Share an interesting thing about your journey to reach this moment.
I was fortunate enough to experience setting up an MDR department from scratch. I felt very honoured to be chosen as a super-user of some equipment and was trusted to organize the department and set it up. 

How do you personally define success?
To me, success is a combination of discipline and commitment toward your goal. We have all heard the age-old lesson to choose quality over quantity – this fits perfectly in the field of medical device reprocessing. 

What is my best advice for someone starting out in this industry?
If you like to serve your community, this is the best way to go. We work as a barrier between the infections, fighting dirt to protect our patients. My motto is to always do the right thing, even when no one is watching. 


Registration is now open for the Jan. 27 intake for VCC’s MDRT program. Applicants should note that prerequisites include Medical Terminology 1 (OACP 1108) and Interpersonal Communication Skills (MSKL 1104). 

Where's my class? Winter 2020

Posted on December 17, 2019

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

Program Start Date Campus Room
Administrative Assistant  Jan. 6 DTN 622
Auto Collision Repair  Jan. 7 BWY Building A, 1503
Auto Service Apprentice - level 1  Jan. 6 BWY Building A, B048
Auto Service Apprentice - level 3  Jan. 6 BWY Building A, 2602
Auto Service Apprentice - level 4  Jan. 6 BWY Building A, B068
Auto Service Technician Foundation  Jan. 6 BWY Building B, G219
Baking Apprentice - level 2  Jan. 6 DTN 167
Baking and Pastry Arts  Jan. 6  DTN  216
Esthetics  Jan. 2 DTN 201 (Salon and Spa)
Esthetics  Jan. 6 DTN 201 (Salon and Spa)
Graphic Design - year 1  Jan. 6 DTN 819
Hairstylist  Jan. 2/6 DTN 201 (Salon and Spa)
Health Care Assistant  Jan. 6 BWY Building B, 2209
Hospitality Management  Jan. 6 DTN  112
Practical Nursing  Jan. 6 BWY Building B, G222
Professional Cook 1  Jan. 6 DTN 237
Professional Cook 2 - CRN 43782  Jan. 6 DTN 207
Professional Cook 2 - CRN 43771  Jan. 6 DTN 320B (JJ's Restaurant)
Professional Cook 2 - CRN 43793  Jan. 6 DTN 316B

How to find your foundation in the makeup industry

Posted on December 11, 2019


Today's makeup industry looks a lot different than it did only 10 years ago. Combine smartphones and the need to be selfie-ready at all times with a thriving society of beauty bloggers and vloggers, factor in a trend towards self-care, and it all adds up to a beauty-industry boom. 

While online shopping has typically meant an existential crisis for traditional retail, the Internet has opened the makeup market to a whole new generation. According to the latest research, the global cosmetics industry is currently worth over $500 billion USD and is predicted to reach almost $805 billion USD by 2023. 

Makeup is big right now. For any self-proclaimed “makeup addicts” wondering how to turn their hobby into a career, there has never been a better time, and Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) newly redesigned makeup artistry program is the perfect place to start. 

This part-time, introductory program teaches all the essentials of professional makeup artistry for a fraction of the cost of private training institutions. The certificate can be completed in nine months to a year, and classes are held during evenings and weekends only, allowing students to continue working or freelancing throughout their studies. To offer students an extra competitive edge, VCC course options for 2020 now include airbrushhairstyling, and makeup for film and television

Craft your own career 

In this ever-changing industry, trained makeup professionals can choose from a wide variety of fulfilling careers, with new niches constantly emerging:

  • As apps, augmented reality (AR), and digital assistants enter our personal routines, makeup experts will be needed to work directly with this technology. 
  • As traditional gender roles and identities evolve, men and trans people will demand more specialized makeup artistry.
  • As selfie and influencer culture continue to rise, ever-newer makeup techniques will be needed to keep current. 
  • As concern grows about health and the environment, many makeup professionals will choose to specialize in natural or organic products. 

While VCC’s makeup artistry certificate offers employment-ready skills for the beauty retail and freelance/bridal industries, it also serves as a professional launchpad for further training in other exciting careers, including:

  • Print makeup – work with photographers on commercial or editorial shoots
  • Runway makeup – design and apply makeup for live fashion shows
  • Stage and theatre – apply makeup to actors in a live production
  • Television ­– provide makeup services for news, commercials, character dramas, and more
  • Film and movies – transform actors for film using everything from basic makeup to prosthetics and special effects
  • Beauty influencer – broadcast your makeup skills (and your sparkling personality) to millions of fans online, earning sponsorship dollars in the process
  • Body and face painting – work in commercial, festive (e.g. mehndi), or contemporary art settings
  • Medical makeup – help conceal pigmentation issues or scars from medical procedures
  • Mortuary makeup – apply makeup and hair and nail treatments to deceased people prior to funerals  



Learning is for life. Check out new courses and programs in our VCC Continuing Studies Winter 2020 catalogue, including wine sommelierchocolate showpiecesmobile phone photography, and more. 

VCC students claim bronze in international Cantonese food championship

Posted on December 10, 2019


Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver 

Last month in Macau, elite chefs from more than 40 countries faced off at the 2019 World Master Chefs Competition for Cantonese Cuisine (WMCCCC). Among the culinary professionals were two graduates of Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Asian culinary arts program — who not only competed but also earned bronze in the dim sum category.

“I think it was their passion, patience, and creativity,” says Barry Tsang, VCC’s Asian culinary arts department head, who handpicked Yuanyin (Doris) Lau and Simin (Joey) Zhou for the competition. “I saw their performance in class and I knew they’d do well.” 

Lau and Zhou spent six weeks designing, testing, practicing, and perfecting a secret dim sum (steamed dumpling) recipe. What they unveiled at WMCCCC was a dessert with a transparent dough in the shape of a sea lion with a purple yam and sesame paste stuffing. The creation brought forth both international students’ strengths, as Lau had experience in baking and pastry arts and Zhou received professional dim sum training in Mainland China. 

“They also had the foundation they got from the Asian culinary arts program and they were able to use that because in the program we make everything from scratch, including our own dim sum wrappers and filling,” says Tsang. 

This isn’t VCC’s first win at WMCCCC. In 2017, 19-year-old VCC alumnus Tristan Toderan and partner Dylan Viray claimed silver in the entrée category. The wins, says Tsang, are a testament to the Asian culinary arts program’s long history of preparing students for the real world. In fact, in 2020, the offering will celebrate its 45th anniversary — making it the longest running full-time program of its kind in North America, according to Tsang.

“This program started in 1975 and the fact that we continue to have students every single intake tells me we are doing something right,” says Tsang. “During the five months, students spend a lot of time in the kitchen learning to prepare 150 dishes from places like China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. That prepares them to work in any Asian restaurant.”

See more photos from the 2019 World Master Chefs Competition for Cantonese Cuisine.



 Meet VCC’s all-star chefs and check out our custom Asian kitchens. Sign up now for our next free information session.

SkyTrain strike announced

Posted on December 9, 2019



Updated Dec. 9, 2019

Vancouver Community College (VCC) students and employees are advised to prepare for a SkyTrain shutdown Tuesday, Dec. 10 to Thursday, Dec. 12.

On Saturday, Dec.7, the CUPE 7000 union representing Metro Vancouver SkyTrain workers announced the planned strike starting Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 5 a.m. and ending Friday, Dec. 13 at 5 a.m. unless an agreement can be reached.

This strike will affect the Expo and Millennium lines of Metro Vancouver’s SkyTrain system. All other transit modes will continue to operate normally, including bus, SeaBus, Canada Line and West Coast Express, but will likely be busier than usual.

Please continue checking for the latest information.

Information for VCC students and employees

We understand that many students, faculty, and staff rely on the SkyTrain system and that a loss of service would be challenging. 

Please note that, in the event of a SkyTrain shutdown, VCC will operate as normal. Classes will proceed and faculty and staff are expected to attend work. 

VCC students:

  • Contact your instructor if you are concerned about potentially arriving late for classes or missing classes.

VCC faculty:

  • Contact your department head, school director, or dean as appropriate, should your alternate plans also be disrupted.

VCC staff:

  • Departments should work as teams to ensure proper coverage for hours of operation, and discuss potential accommodations and take into consideration team members’ commutes.
  • Contact your supervisor or excluded manager as appropriate, should your alternate plans also be disrupted.

  • Speak to your supervisor if you are concerned about arriving late to discuss the potential of alternative work arrangements (e.g. adjusting start and finish times).

Overall, we recommend planning alternate ways to get to VCC, allowing extra time for travel and parking, and being prepared for VCC parking lots to be busier than usual.

For those who intend to find alternate methods of transportation to get to VCC, please remember to practice proper road safety, such as wearing reflective clothing while walking or cycling in the darker evenings and mornings.

VCC students and staff can find more information at and sign up for transit alerts to receive up-to-date information.

General information and news

The following info has been compiled to help VCC students, faculty, and staff during any transit strike action. This is intended to be a useful resource. Please note that VCC does not endorse any third parties listed.

For up-to-date information on transit operations and strike action, check local news websites and social media accounts: 


Social media

Alternate transportation resources

Taste the difference of wine education

Posted on November 21, 2019



It’s date night. You’ve just sat down at the best table in the restaurant, and the server hands you a weighty, leather-bound book – the wine list. What do you do? Do you nervously scan for a name that sounds familiar? Ask for a recommendation? Or simply hand it back and opt for the “house red?” 

Even the most seasoned foodies can be intimidated by a wine list, but when it comes to wine appreciation, a little learning can go a long way. One of VCC’s newest credentials, the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 Award in Wines, offered through wine educator Statera Academy, is the perfect starting point for gaining this lifelong skill. 

Like any good VCC instructor, award-winning sommelier Keith Nicholson knows that people learn best by doing – or tasting, as the case may be. “More than half the class is spent with wine in our glasses,” he says. “That’s the best part.” 

Overall, the course teaches why different wines taste the way they do, accounting for varietal (type of grape), climate, and the winemaking process. Students in the course range from chefs, restaurant servers and wine store employees to wine-lovers from all walks of life. 

“More than just a lecture, we connect the dots to what is in the glass,” says Keith. “People have a lot of ‘aha’ moments in this class.” 

VCC Continuing Studies – Winter 2020

Other new programs and courses offered this term through VCC Continuing Studies include:

Gladue Report Writing

Baking and Hospitality
Chocolate Showpieces

Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) in Dementia Care 

Human and Family Services
Counselling Skills – Foundational

Interior Design
Colour and Your World: History, Aesthetics and Psychology of Colours

Jewellery and Gemmology
Cabochon Cutting – Introduction

Leadership and Management 
Board Development 
Event Planning for Volunteer Managers 
Grant Writing Essentials
Social Media for Non-Profits
Marketing for Non-Profits

Revit Level 2 
Web Development with JavaScript 
Mobile Phone Photography
Film Scoring and Commercial Composition Essentials

Learn something new. Pick up the Winter 2020 Continuing Studies catalogue at any VCC campus, download the PDF, or explore our full selection of Continuing Studies courses online.


VCC convocation recap – Fall 2019

Posted on November 14, 2019



Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to announce the graduation of 1,182 dedicated and hardworking students on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. Our Fall 2019 convocation ceremony was held at 1 p.m. at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and we were pleased to welcome over 1,200 of our graduates’ family members and friends to join the celebration.

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

As VCC’s Fall 2019 valedictorian, Sport and Recreation Management graduate Aaron Maharaj addressed the crowd with confidence, sharing his personal story of returning to school mid-career to pursue his dream of engaging new immigrants with sports and recreation.

“Take time to appreciate where you came from, where you are, and where you’re going. Make an impact on someone’s life every day.”
– Aaron Maharaj, Valedictorian, VCC Sport and Recreation Management Class of 2019

Early Childhood Educator Assistant student Jordyn Mitchell was presented with the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Award for her community contribution through American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf studies, and Practical Nursing graduate Katie Kury was recognized (in absentia) for highest grade point average with the Governor General’s Academic Medal.

Following the presentation of graduates, VCC Baking and Pastry Arts alumnus, Alumni Award winner, cookbook author, and co-founder of Food Gays Media Inc. Jeremy Inglett took the podium to offer this year’s alumni address. Jeremy first shared his honour as a member of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Hesquiaht First Nation to be a part of this ceremony, then offered words of encouragement to VCC’s newest graduates.

“As long as you have passion for your skills and persistence in doing the best job out there, you can create possibilities you've only dreamed of.”
– Jeremy Inglett, VCC Baking and Pastry Arts alumnus


Watch the Fall 2019 convocation video online.

See the Fall 2019 convocation phtoto gallery

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


Transit strike info

Posted on November 27, 2019



Updated Nov. 27, 2019

As of Wednesday, Nov. 27, the previously announced TransLink bus and SeaBus shutdown has been averted as a tentative agreement was reached between the Coast Mountain Bus Company and the transit workers' union. With the possible exception of some early-morning trips, Metro Vancouver bus and SeaBus routes will continue to operate normally.

Please note that, should job or strike action resume, VCC will operate as normal. Classes will proceed and faculty and staff will be expected to attend work. Please continue checking TransLink updates for any disruptions to your transit routes and make alternate travel plans if necessary.

General information and news

The following information has been compiled to help VCC students, faculty, and staff during Metro Vancouver transit strike action. They are intended to be a useful resource. Please note that VCC does not endorse any of the third parties listed in this communication.

For up-to-date information on transit operations and strike action, check local news websites and social media accounts: 


Social Media

VCC students and employees can find more information at and sign up for transit alerts to receive up-to-date information.



VCC students head to international dim sum competition

Posted on November 5, 2019



You could definitely call them a “dream team.” Hand-picked from multiple classes at Vancouver Community College (VCC), culinary arts students Yuanyin (Doris) Lau and Simin (Joey) Zhou have spent the past six weeks designing, testing, practicing, and perfecting a secret dumpling recipe to be unveiled this week at the World Master Chefs Competition for Chinese Cuisine (WMCCCC) in Macau on November 8 and 9, 2019.

It was these students’ professionalism, precision, and experience that earned them spots on this coveted team. Both Doris and Joey are international students, recent graduates from VCC’s Asian Culinary Arts program, and are now pursuing VCC culinary arts diplomas. Doris also brings past experience in baking and pastry arts, while Joey has received professional dim sum training in Mainland China.

“I think our chef wanted to combine our skills,” says Doris. “We are using both pastry and dim sum to create one dish.”

According to Doris and Joey, a competition like this is all about perfect timing and texture, and developing the right recipe is the hardest part. “We spent the first two weeks just making sure it was right,” says Doris. “We had to change our plan a couple of times.” 

The WMCCCC is not a student competition, with elite chefs from over 40 countries bringing their best. In 2017, 19-year-old VCC alumnus Tristan Toderan and partner Dylan Viray claimed silver in the WMCCCC’s entrée category. 

This week, Doris and Joey will attempt to earn their own place on the international Chinese-food podium, and they are more than ready. “I hope this leads to more competitions,” says Doris. “I’m excited to try different things.”


VCC’s one-of-a-kind Asian Culinary Arts program prepares you to cook among the best. Learn more at an upcoming free information session.

For programs available to international students, visit VCC International.


Ease into university with transferable courses

Posted on November 15, 2019


Originally published in The Georgia Straight 

For secondary students, it can be extremely stressful waiting to find out if they’ll be admitted into university.

What some of them don’t realize, however, is that it’s still possible to pursue a university education even if their grade-point average falls short.

That’s because some postsecondary institutions, like Vancouver Community College, offer transfer credits. This enables students to move to university in their second year.

“We have these transfer pathways, including a good number of them with assured admission to SFU,” Jennifer Kelly, department leader of science at VCC, told the Straight by phone.

According to the VCC website, university transfer courses are offered in September, January, and May in the following subject areas: biology, chemistry, physics, human anatomy and physiology, geography, First Nations and Indigenous studies, criminology, ecology, sociology, computer programming, English, algebra, calculus, psychology, environmental science, and engineering.

It’s possible for prospective students or their parents to ask any questions online or book an appointment with a VCC adviser.

“We have really great instructors,” Kelly emphasized. “They’re here because they love teaching and they care about students.”

One of the advantages of attending VCC for university-transfer courses is the cost: it’s far lower per class than attending the same course on a university campus.

Another benefit of VCC is the small class sizes in comparison to many first-year courses at larger institutions.

“Maybe it’s hard for a student to understand if they haven’t been in those 200-person lectures what a difference it is to be in a class with 20 students,” Kelly noted. “The instructors know their names.”

According to her, this creates more accountability for students because instructors will immediately notice if an assignment hasn’t been submitted on time.

VCC has been offering university-transfer courses for several years at its Broadway campus. To gain admission, Kelly said, students need grade-point averages between 2.6 and 3.2, depending on the program.

“The high end is for computing science and software systems at SFU,” she added.

Those students aspiring to become university-educated engineers, they can take the same types of first-year courses at VCC as students at UBC or SFU, including math and physics. VCC also offers a mechanics class, which is a requirement at UBC.

“Then we have three courses that are engineering-specific classes,” Kelly said.

One is called engineering, technology, and society. Another is professional communication, which is geared toward engineering students, and the third is introduction to engineering analysis.

“For engineering, they have to have taken Precalculus 12, Physics 12, and Chemistry 12—and all of those with specific grades,” she stated. “But there aren’t any essays or interviews.”

There’s also no need to submit SAT scores to be accepted into the engineering classes at VCC.

Most of the courses last four months. Students must have a C+ in English 12 to qualify for admission into university-transfer courses at VCC.

“The way the assured pathway works, students have 16 months to complete the courses, but for the most part they can be done within a year,” Kelly said.

Students can also take transfer courses at VCC to obtain assured admission into SFU’s bachelor of environment and bachelor of science in environmental studies programs.

According to Kelly, students would take classes in subjects like geography, Indigenous studies, and ecology.

“The bachelor of science in environmental studies is similar, but there are more science classes, as you can imagine—more chemistry and physics,” she said.


Ready to earn your first-year university credits in a small, flexible program and transfer to schools across Canada? Learn more about getting your degree started in a supportive learning environment.   


Computer systems technology program helps meet growing demand

Posted on November 21, 2019


Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

With the recent launch of a Computer Systems Technology diploma program, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is helping to meet the growing demand for computer systems technologists.

“Vancouver is a particularly interesting place because the city and the province are investing quite a bit in this industry so it’s flourishing,” says Reza Nezami, VCC’s computer systems technology department head. “Our program is comprehensive in that students gain what they need to enter junior developer positions when they graduate or go on to get a degree. We’re currently working with local universities to create pathways for them to be able to do that if they wish.” 

A full-time offering, the program’s face-to-face delivery includes blended learning modes with instructional strategies such as classroom lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, computer labs, and hands-on practical work. Overall, courses are project-driven with students spending a majority of their time in purpose-built labs.

“Our labs are very much set up to mimic a real-world environment with hubs of three to four students sitting around dual-monitor PCs,” says Nezami. “This type of collaborative approach teaches students the team skills and soft skills to understand customers’ needs and to execute.” 

To incorporate industry interaction, VCC will use its network of external industry partners and will acquire new partnerships to challenge students to find solutions to various client issues or implement real-world projects. Nezami says the possibilities for the types of projects students will complete will vary by client needs.

Overall, computer systems technologists solve computer-related issues for businesses, government agencies, utilities, law enforcement agencies, health services providers, educational institutions, and more. Program graduates will be able to specialize in areas such as programming, software design, mobile application programming, data communications, security, and web design.

“They can start in three major branches,” says Nezami. “Network administration, where they’ll manage a smaller company’s computer network; junior web development in small companies looking for full-stack developers who understand front and back-end design; and mobile applications development, which is a mix of software and web development with an emphasis on smaller screens and devices. The opportunities for graduates are promising.”

Ready to build your skill set and kickstart your career as a web developer, network administrator, or mobile app developer? Apply to VCC's Computer Systems Technology program now. Next intake is May 2020.

VCC announces new Dean of Indigenous Initiatives

Posted on November 20, 2019



After a national search, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to welcome Clayton Munro as the college’s new Dean of Indigenous Initiatives as of Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. This position was newly created to advance Indigenization of VCC’s academy, space, people, and culture. 

Clayton comes to us from Langara College where he served as the Dean of Student Services for the past nine years. He is a recognized Indigenous leader of Métis background with a Master of Arts in Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia, and brings nearly two decades of direct expertise in student and Indigenous services, as well as a personal commitment to Truth and Reconciliation. 

This experience uniquely positions Clayton to realize meaningful and achievable advancements in Indigenization at VCC. As a Leadership Award-winning administrator, Clayton is well-respected and celebrated in post-secondary education for his collaborative initiatives including the development of the Indigenous Education and Services Centre and Gathering Space at Langara College, an Elder-in-Residence program, the UBC-Langara Aboriginal Transfer Partnership and Scholarship, the “VOLT” Student Volunteer Program, and “The Hub” Student Engagement Centre.  

Clayton joins VCC at a critical and encouraging time, as British Columbia has recently committed to being the first province in Canada to legislate the implementation the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), and VCC continues to pursue the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action through its 2018-2021 Aboriginal Service Plan (ASP). Clayton’s vision and leadership will be integral to the expansion of this work.

A welcome ceremony will take place at VCC in January 2020.

Did you know that Indigenous youth are the fastest-growing demographic in B.C.? Learn more about VCC's culturally supportive education and training opportunities by contacting our Indigenous Education and Community Engagement (IECE) department. 

Learn how to make the most out of volunteers

Posted on November 15, 2019


Originally published in The Georgia Straight 

The executive director of the Alberta-based Volunteer Management Institute, Milena Santoro, recognizes the phenomenally positive impact that volunteers can have on nonprofit organizations.

According to a 2004 report by Imagine Canada, about 45 percent of the B.C. population volunteers time to charitable and nonprofit groups. On average, each volunteer gave 199 hours of their time.

But Santoro also knows that managing and training volunteers takes a great deal of time and expertise.

“It’s knowing how to deal with people,” Santoro told the Straight by phone. “You want to make it a balanced experience where the individual feels they’re coming to the nonprofit to provide their skills and expertise.”

She pointed out that volunteers who feel valued can become donors and ambassadors for an organization. At the same time, an organization doesn’t want to wind up in trouble because of the actions of volunteers.

“So volunteers play a huge role in the success of a lot of nonprofits,” she said. “And the economic impact that they have to society is outstanding.”

To help people understand the complexities of volunteer management, Santoro has designed a certification program.

Through a partnership with Vancouver Community College, she offers various one-day courses on everything from nonprofit-board development to ethics and fiscal management for volunteer managers to marketing for nonprofits. Other courses include event planning for volunteer managers, volunteer recognition and retention, and grant-writing.

“People usually think volunteerism is giving your time for free,” Santoro said. “The reality is volunteers cost money. There’s a cost of doing business for everything — you have to make sure you take care of those volunteers by feeding them, giving them water, giving them drinks, or recognizing them in a way that they want to be recognized.”

That can include formal and informal means. Just saying “thank you” works for some, but others sometimes look for something more tangible.

“Every time you complete the course itself, you get a certificate of participation,” Santoro said. “If you take the whole program, which is 12 modules, and then you complete a capstone project wrapping up all the learning in one project, you get a certificate of completion in volunteer management.”

She pointed out that managing or administrating volunteers offers career possibilities in the nonprofit sector. An entire chapter in one of the modules covers human rights. Another focuses on recruiting volunteers.

“At the end of the day, we’re dealing with human resources,” Santoro noted. “And a lot of this is exactly why I wanted to educate and provide the current and relevant information. Just because they’re a volunteer doesn’t mean you treat them any differently. In fact, you treat them even more special.”


Discover the rewarding experience of working with people. Learn the skills to build a sustainable volunteer program while developing your mindset as a volunteer manager.   


Double your impact on a student’s life this #GivingTuesday

Posted on November 19, 2019



Does the crazy consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday leave you feeling a bit disappointed in the world? Refresh your mind and refocus your finances by taking part in #GivingTuesday (Dec. 3) – a global movement dedicated to charitable giving.

In the spirit of #GivingTuesday, between Tuesday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday, Dec. 31, VCC Foundation will match the first $20,000 in new donations supporting student scholarships and bursaries. This is a rare chance to make twice the difference in a student’s life. DONATE NOW >


The average VCC student is a woman in her 30’s, raising a family, from an immigrant population, and upgrading her job skills.


#GivingTuesday at Blenz VCC

Our favourite Blenz is on board the giving train! All day on Tuesday, Dec. 3, the Blenz Coffee in building B at VCC’s Broadway campus will be offering coffee by donation, with all proceeds going to VCC Foundation scholarships and bursaries. Last year, your coffee contributions helped raise over $400!

Do you enjoy fabulous food, wine, music, and fashion? Join our community at Flourish, VCC’s signature, green-tie fundraising gala on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Early-bird tickets on sale now

VCC receives support to increase number of trained caregivers

Posted on October 18, 2019

The B.C. Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training are providing approximately $3.64 million over the next two years to create 418 new health care assistant seats in 14 post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia. Health care assistants are also known as care aides, community health workers, and other titles.

"In long-term care, in the community and in acute care, we need more health care assistants. Ask anyone in need of care and you will hear stories of the value of the work of care aides and community health workers," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "This investment to train more health care assistants will help us meet our government's goal of improving care standards and expanding options for seniors. It will help people get trained for some of the most important and in-demand jobs in our province, making sure British Columbians get the quality care they need and deserve. Four hundred and eighteen new seats in 14 post-secondary institutions will make a big difference."

There are currently an estimated 25,500 health care assistants employed by health authorities and affiliated employers in British Columbia. Health care assistants provide personal support services for people living with disabilities and those living with acute or chronic illnesses, including seniors. They work in a variety of settings, including long-term care homes, acute care, home support, and assisted living.

"Expanding the number of health care assistant seats throughout the province brings education and health care close to home. Our government is committed to ensuring people receive the quality care they need when they need it most," said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. "Health care assistants play an important role in B.C.'s healthcare system, and by expanding the number of seats in all regions of the province, we will ensure that people continue to benefit from their care."

There are 17 publicly funded post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. that offer health care assistant training. Training programs are approximately six to 10 months long. The first of the new seats became available to post-secondary institutions in September 2019.

The ministries of Health and Advanced Education will provide $200,000 in funding to VCC to add 12 additional health care assistant seats to its program.

"Health care assistants are making a real difference for the people they care for," said Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors and Multiculturalism. "By providing more training spaces for people wishing to become a health care assistant, we are taking an important step to ensure that caregivers are there for the British Columbians who need them."

Increasing the number of trained health care assistants in to B.C. is part of government's commitment to strengthen the supports available to seniors. Government is investing approximately $1 billion over three years to improve care for seniors, including investments in primary care, home health, long-term care and assisted living. This also includes $240 million over three years to increase staffing levels in long-term care homes, with the goal of achieving 3.36 direct care hours per resident day – on average – across all health authorities by the end of 2020-21.

The Province has proclaimed Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, as Health Care Assistant Day.

Quick Facts:

  • In 2019, 19 per cent of B.C.'s population is 65 or over. In 15 years, this percentage is expected to rise to 25 per cent.
  • In 2018, the B.C. Governemnt provided approximately $3.3 million to create 384 health care assistant seats in 11 post-secondary institutions in B.C.



Learn how VCC's health care assistant program can get you working in as few as seven months.


VCC road trip: Recruiters Q&A

Posted on September 18, 2018

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

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

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


Danielle Gannon

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

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

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

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

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




Leigh Wall

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

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

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

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

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




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

Media Release: The kitchen’s heating up for culinary apprentices across B.C.

Posted on October 15, 2019

2019 Culinary Apprentice of the Year logo header

VANCOUVER – On Saturday, Nov. 2, the knives will be out as competitors from across B.C. take part in the Culinary Apprentice of the Year Award competition at Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Downtown campus.

Competitors were selected from over 40 applications and will be heading to Vancouver from northern B.C., the Okanagan, Vancouver Island, and the Lower Mainland. The competition is being revived this year after a decade-long absence and, for the first time, is including competitors from across the province.

VCC alumni competitors

• Raul Copete Vazquez (Burnaby)
• Aaron Hoffman (Vancouver)
• Nathan Sundeen (Vancouver)
• Katie Macbeth (Kelowna)

Other competitors from across B.C.

• Theo Brisley (Kelowna)
• Deidre Davis (Laxgalts'ap/Greenville)
• Siobhan Detkavich (Kelowna)
• Aaron Ivanoff (Prince George)
• Keenan Martens (Victoria)
• Emily Poisson (Victoria)
• Joshua Tocher (West Kelowna)

“These competitors represent the cream of the crop in culinary excellence,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “These highly skilled students are living their passion and showcasing the state-of-the-art facilities, training, and mentorship opportunities offered by B.C.’s public colleges and universities. I’m proud that their hard work is being recognized as they represent the best of British Columbia’s world-class culinary scene.”

“It was important for us to make sure that this competition is truly inclusive and reflects the cultural, geographic, and demographic composition of our province,” said Shelley Gray, CEO of Industry Training Authority. “With the range of backgrounds, each competitor is going to bring a unique approach to their dishes based on their regions, training, and personal experiences.”

Competitors will be required to create a three-course meal for judges and invited guests at the culinary event in Vancouver on Saturday, Nov. 2. To be eligible, applicants had to have received their Red Seal endorsement in 2018 or be registered as a third-year culinary apprentice in 2019. They must also be working in B.C. at the time of the competition.

It’s an excellent way for competitors to test their skills, learn from others, and talk to chefs who are willing to share their knowledge. Some of the judges include world-class chefs such as Bruno Marti, Hamid Salimian, Morgan Wilson, and James Hutton.

“Being involved in the apprenticeship culture is a huge part of my life,” says Chef Scott Jaeger, past president of the Chefs’ Table Society of BC and proprietor of The Pear Tree Restaurant. “Providing opportunities like this competition, especially with travel, nurture and strengthen our culture, our way of life.”

“VCC is excited to not only be hosting the Culinary Apprentice of the Year competition but also to have four students selected to compete,” says Chef Collin Gill, Department Head of VCC Culinary Arts and winner of the Apprentice of the Year Award in 1993. “Experiences like this are invaluable for students—both for highlighting their skills and creativity and for the relationships they will build and continue as they make their mark in the culinary world.”

The Culinary Apprentice of the Year Award winner will have the opportunity to accompany Culinary Team BC to Germany for the World Culinary Olympics in February 2020.

The competition is sponsored by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, VCC, and the Industry Training Authority, along with the BC Chefs Association, North Vancouver Island Chefs Association, Okanagan Chefs Association, and Victoria Chefs Association. Other partners include Russell Hendrix, Intercity Packers, Gindara Sablefish, Barry Callebaut, Cactus Club Cafe, Cascadia Tableware, Icon Fine Wines & Spirits, Chef & Co, and House of Knives.

Follow the BC Culinary Apprentice of the Year competition hashtag #BCCulinaryAward on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

- 30 -

To interview the competitors or industry sponsors, please contact:

Lubna Ekramoddoullah
Communications Specialist
Industry Training Authority

For information on VCC's Culinary Arts programs and host facility:

Danielle Libonati
Marketing Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000 ext 7531

VCC alumna "unmasks" inclusion through poetry

Posted on October 31, 2019

Roshni Kashyap smiling with copies of her book

When guests arrived at Roshni Kashyap’s book launch, held last fall at VCC’s Downtown campus, each was asked to wear a paper mask. Soon, the room was filled with a suspicious mix of characters from Batman, Star Wars, and Paw Patrol.

When Roshni took the podium, she explained that when people meet her, they tend to see her Down syndrome instead of the person behind it. She then dramatically lifted her own mask, saying “Yo! I’m one of you!” It was an emotional moment for many. “People loved it,” she says.

Pursuing a lifelong passion for cooking, Roshni first joined VCC in 2012 as part of the Food Service Careers Special Education program. She went on to start her own business selling homemade cranberry chutneys, crediting VCC for her newfound skills and confidence. "People like me actually need education the most," she says. "Everyone has dreams."

In 2016, Roshni won VCC's Outstanding Alumni Award for Community Contribution, and in 2017, she delivered the alumni address at VCC's fall convocation ceremony.

With hobbies that include painting, singing, rapping, playing guitar, and vlogging on YouTube, Roshni always has a creative project on the go, but finds poetry especially meaningful. "It's therapeutic for me," she says. 

Roshni's new, 50-page book of original poems and visual art, entitled Don't Forget You're Beautiful, is now available on Amazon with proceeds going to support special needs programs.

Currently, Roshni is a full-time arts student at the University of British Columbia and continues to advocate for people of all abilities in post-secondary education.


Learn more about VCC's career-oriented programs for students with disabilities, offering employable skills in hospitality, food service, retail, and office administration.

Literacy programming connects EAL students with newcomer families

Posted on October 8, 2019


When Zahra Jalali immigrated to Canada as a young mother, she already had a degree in English translation from her home country of Iran. She soon realized, however, that knowing and using a language in everyday life were very different things, and she enrolled in English as an Additional Language (EAL) courses at VCC. 

Today, Zahra continues to study English at an advanced level. After recently sending her son to university, she was also ready for a new challenge. When a coordinator from the nearby Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (MPNH) visited her VCC classroom one day, Zahra learned of the opportunity to work as a language tutor for newcomers and signed up right away.

It was also her first time working outside the home. "I got married when I was 15 and my husband always took care of me," she says. "Now I want to do something to help people."

Family Literacy Outreach Program

While it's common for immigrants to Canada to enrol in EAL classes, many women with children do not have this luxury. "These women are young and keen and they want to integrate but they have so many demands – in some cases, four or five children. There are transportation issues and poverty issues," says MNPH family literacy coordinator Morie Ford.

To better serve this population, in 2015, MPNH and VCC partnered to form the Family Literacy Outreach Program (FLO). Through this program, volunteer tutors receive training to visit the homes of newcomer families and teach fun and customized English lessons to both adults and children in the same environment. 

FLO tutors use borrowing cards from the VCC Library, have access to VCC's teaching resources, and are trained to connect families with other community and employment services.


VCC would like to extend special congratulations to Morie Ford, who recently received the 2019 Council of the Federation of Literacy Award in B.C. This award recognizes outstanding achievement, innovative practice, and excellence in literacy work. Morie is a tireless champion for newcomers in our community and VCC is proud to continue working with Morie and the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House.


Do you have an idea to enhance your community in partnership with VCC? Reach out any time to our Partnership Development Office by emailing


VCC drafting program a launchpad for innovative, sustainable architecture

Posted on October 9, 2019


Left to right: VCC alumni Kevin Li, Curtis Krahn, Jacob Dobrinsky

Architectural design has changed a lot since Curtis Krahn attended VCC’s drafting program in 1982. "Houses are way more sophisticated now than when we started," he says. "What took four to five months to build now takes two years."

In a city with a limited housing supply and soaring real estate prices, however, smarter homebuilding is coming back in style.

Today, at his North Vancouver firm Synthesis Design, Curtis and his team are consistently working on ways to increase both productivity and sustainability in the industry. Recent projects include modifiable laneway houses, Passive House (ultra-low energy) designs, and new, time- and waste-saving modular construction techniques. 

After getting his drafting certificate from VCC, Curtis went on to earn an architecture degree from the University of Manitoba and then a master’s degree from the University of Oregon, eventually returning to B.C. and starting his own company. "VCC was an awesome stepping stone," he says.

Over the years, Curtis has stayed connected by hiring numerous VCC grads, speaking to classes, and serving on the Program Advisory Committee for VCC's Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Building Information Modelling (BIM) programs.

As our communities strive for a sustainable future, working together is more crucial than ever. It is VCC alumni and employers like Curtis who keep us on the cutting-edge, ensuring that students not only find jobs, but make an impact when they do.


Synthesis Design MODCUBE


Find out how far drafting has come and where it can take you. Lear more about VCC’s CAD and BIM (Drafting) programs at an upcoming info session or at our Experience VCC open house on Wednesday, Oct. 16. 

High-tech simulated hospital on display at Experience VCC

Posted on October 8, 2019


Tours, demonstrations, and entertainment will all play a role in introducing prospective students to Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) 120 programs when the school hosts its Experience VCC open house on Wednesday, Oct. 16.  

Experience VCC is a great way to start research about your post-secondary and career options in an interactive setting where you can meet and talk to faculty from various departments,” says Janita Schappert, VCC’s practical nursing department head, who is involved in planning the health department’s information booth. “It’s a large forum, with each department showcasing special aspects of their programs.” 

In the case of Schappert’s department, attendees of Experience VCC — being held at the Broadway Campus from 3 to 6 p.m. – will be able to tour the simulated hospital environment, which includes a pharmacy, nursing station, physio labs, and hospital rooms, where students from programs such as practical nursing, nursing (BScN), and access to practical nursing conduct some of their hands-on learning. 

“We have two floors of labs, so they are in a designated area to give that realistic hospital experience,” says Schappert. “In our labs, students are able to practice the skills they are learning in a supportive learning environment on high-fidelity mannequins that, for example, respond to pain stimulus.” 

With waiting lists for VCC’s practical nursing and nursing (BScN) programs, Schappert says access to practical nursing – to which registration is currently open for the September 2020 intake – is an ideal opportunity for learners with previous education to earn their practical nursing diploma in just 13 months. 

Geared towards those with certificates in health care assistant, resident care attendant or combined home support/resident care attendant as well as internationally educated nurses, the program prepares students to provide nursing care by combining theoretical and experiential learning.

“There are four levels to the program and each level is reinforced by a consolidated practice experience, which reinforces the learning that has taken place in that level,” says Schappert. “The program ends in a full-time practice experience called a preceptorship, during which students spend six weeks working side-by-side with a preceptor and further preparing for the role and expectations of the field.”


Attend and win! All Experience VCC guests will have a chance to win $1,000 in VCC tuition. RSVP now to join us on Oct. 16.  


Experience VCC opens career paths in hospitality and more

Posted on October 3, 2019



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Anyone who is unsure of which direction to take their career path should be sure to attend Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) upcoming open house. On Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 3 to 6 p.m., the school is opening the doors of its Broadway campus (1120 East 7th Avenue) and giving prospective students the opportunity to understand some of the possibilities available to them.

The biannual event, called Experience VCC, is open to the public, free to attend, and will showcase more than 120 of the school’s programs. Visitors will be able to enjoy an afternoon of tours, demonstrations, and entertainment while they explore the campus, meet students, and talk to faculty from university transfer, health sciences, trades, arts, and more—all in one go.

In addition to getting a real sense of school life, attendees will have the chance to win $1,000 toward tuition, and anyone who applies to a program at the event doesn’t pay the $35 application fee (limited to one per person).

There will be free street and lot parking available, but the school is also easily accessible via public transit because it’s located just steps away from the VCC-Clark SkyTrain station and an even shorter walk from the 9 or 99 bus stop.

Monique Paassen, VCC’s hospitality management department head, advises anyone who is interested in the programs or finds themselves at a tricky juncture in their career journey to come to the open house so they can learn more about their options.

 “At Experience VCC, people get to meet the students, see what they’ll really learn, and the career opportunities if you opt for a diploma in, say, hospitality management,” she says.

VCC has four industry-recognized hospitality programs—hospitality management, culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and Asian culinary arts—all of which will be highlighted at the open house. The “Passport to Hospitality” action stations will give visitors the chance to learn more while trying some fun and interactive activities.

There are lots of career prospects for someone with a degree in hospitality, thanks to a high demand for skilled employees. But Paassen also credits VCC’s close relationship with the industry in ensuring that 95 percent of its graduates go on to find jobs. In February, the school hosts an interview week when prospective employers can meet with and hire some of the best and brightest new talent.

“I think that’s really something that makes VCC stand out,” Paassen says. “We have such a strong connection with the industry, so we are always up to date on whether something needs to be changed in the curriculum.”

VCC prides itself on offering academic, cultural, and social environments that inspire relevant, real-world training. The on-campus facilities, including gourmet restaurants, an auto shop, and the state-of-the-art salon and spa, allow students to hone their skills while also providing high-quality, low-cost services to the Downtown and East Vancouver communities.

“We really train our students and we set them up for success with the goal of becoming a manager within the industry,” Paassen adds. “And it’s not just through theory; it’s hands-on.”



Don’t miss Experience VCC on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the VCC Broadway campus. RSVP NOW >

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


Triple win for VCC in Best of Vancouver 2019

Posted on October 2, 2019



In the evolving world of post-secondary education, it can be challenging for a local community college to stand out.

While we do offer bachelor’s degrees, high-tech trades certificates, and sought-after international programs, here at VCC, our roots and purpose are in our community, and this is something we never want to forget. 

Today, for the first time, we are extremely proud to have been named No. 1 in three categories in the Georgia Straight’s 24th annual Best of Vancouver reader survey. 

Best School for Continuing Education
1. Vancouver Community College

Best Culinary School
1. Vancouver Community College (4th year running)

Best Language School
1. Vancouver Community College

These mean a lot to us. The Best of Vancouver (#BestofVan) is more than an abstract ranking; it’s created by people who have real connections to the city and to us. It’s the tangilble support of students, alumni, employees, employers, and anyone else with the motivation to log in and answer dozens of survey questions to show their support. We wouldn’t be who we are without them.

Congratulations to these departments and thank you, Vancouver!


Come see first-hand what makes VCC great. Register now for our Fall 2019 open house, Experience VCC, happening Wednesday, Oct. 16. 

VCC-trained chef heading to world-leading Gastronomika festival

Posted on October 2, 2019



Acclaimed Tsawwassen-raised chef Kevin Cherkas will soon showcase his culinary skills at the world’s leading gastronomic festival in San Sebastian, Spain.

Cherkas, the head chef at Cuca Restaurant in Bali, Indonesia, is the lone Canadian representative at Gastronomika 2019, which attracts renowned chefs, culinary experts, and industry professionals.

Back in 2011, Madrid Fusión, another prestigious culinary event, invited him as a presenter where he made such a huge impression that he was hand-picked again to participate in 2016, this time representing his own restaurant, Cuca, which launched in 2013.

“I am honoured to be presenting at Gastronomika 2019 and proud to be the only Canadian chef,” Cherkas said. “We aim to present San Sebastian’s audience with something that will blow their mind.”

The South Delta Secondary grad was awarded his culinary arts degree at Vancouver Community College and took his first professional steps at the Metropolitan Hotel in Vancouver.

During his three-year apprenticeship, he won several prestigious culinary awards, including three gold medals at the British Columbia Chefs Association Hot Culinary Competition in 2000 and a fifth-place finish with Team Canada at the famed Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest in 2001 in France.

Continue reading in the Delta Optimist >


Learn how you can climb the culinary ladder. Come chat with culinary students and chefs at Experience VCC on Wednesday, Oct. 16. 


VCC achieves two million dollars in energy cost avoidance

Posted on September 26, 2019


Vancouver Community College (VCC) is the oldest community college in British Columbia. With over 140 certificate and diploma programs, it is also B.C.'s largest public community college, serving over 26,000 students each year at three campuses: Broadway, Downtown, and Annacis Island.

Over the last nine years, VCC has proudly exceeded two million dollars in total energy cost avoidance. While VCC had set the goal of reaching 25 per cent below 2010 levels by 2020, they have already well exceeded this goal with a 40 per cent reduction in energy intensity. These figures represent actual energy savings of 36,284,000 ekWh, which is equivalent to energy consumption of 1,650 households in British Columbia for an entire year. VCC has also cut greenhouse gas emissions from both Broadway and Downtown campuses by nearly half 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. Going forward, projects being reviewed include electrification (kitchen equipment, ventilation, and domestic hot water heating systems), demand control ventilation, and photo-voltaic system installation.


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

Today, with the achievement of over two million dollars of energy cost avoidance and with 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).

See the BC Lions at Student Rush Night Sept. 28

Posted on September 12, 2019

VCC Student Rush Night, BC Lions logo


The BC Lions and Vancouver Community College (VCC) are teaming up to celebrate post-secondary education at Student Rush Night on Saturday, Sept. 28. Join us to cheer on the Lions with your classmates while representing VCC in the Student Rush Zone at BC Place.

You might want to practice your field goals too, because one lucky student attendee will be chosen to Kick to Win their tuition!

When: Saturday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m. 
Where: BC Place Stadium 
What: BC Lions vs. Montreal Alouettes 

How to get tickets

  • Draw to win at VCC Welcome Days Sept. 17 and 18
  • Enter our #VCCStudentRush giveaway on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter
  • Join your friends and buy Student Rush Night tickets for only $20! Visit and enter the promo code 'VCC' to purchase.

#VCCStudentRush Social Media Giveaway 

#VCCStudentRush contest header

How to enter: Snap a photo of yourself and at least one other VCC classmate showing off your school spirit. (The more people, the better!) Post your photo to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag #VCCStudentRush by Sunday, Sept. 22 to enter. You and everyone in your photo could win tickets to see the BC Lions at Student Rush Night on Saturday, Sept. 28!*  

Tips: Wear VCC gear, show off your trades uniforms, your classroom, or your favourite spot on campus – and tag your friends! 

Update (Sept. 27, 2019): Congratulations to grand prize winner VCC culinary arts student Jacqueline, plus a whole group of runners-up from from VCC auto collision repair. See you all at the game! 

At the game

  • Wear your best VCC gear (or anything green)!
  • Bring signs, flags, or anything else to show off your school 
  • Visit the VCC “Tailgate Party” booth on the plaza at BC Place
  • Be ready to out-cheer BCIT, KPU, and UFV! 

*Multiple winners will be selected to receive BC Lions Student Rush tickets for each person shown in the #VCCStudentRush photo entry. Total number of winners will depend on the number of entries received. Deadline to enter is Sunday, Sept. 22 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Winners will be notified via the submitted #VCCStudentRush photo post on the platform of entry. Winners must provide a valid VCC Student ID and prove ownership of the social media account used to enter. VCC reserves the right to disqualify any entries it deems offensive or inappropriate. Tickets must be claimed and picked up in person at the VCC Broadway campus by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27.


VCC continuing studies embrace innovative, experiential learning

Posted on August 21, 2017

As originally posted in the Georgia Straight


Two years after its 50th anniversary, in 2015, Vancouver Community College unveiled a new mission statement—“VCC: The first choice for innovative, experiential learning for life”.

The dean of continuing studies, Gordon McIvor, clearly takes the aims and values encapsulated in this slogan very seriously. McIvor noted in a phone interview with the Straight that this hands-on approach is not only reflected in the 23 programs under his jurisdiction but is also embodied on the cover of the  fall program guide. It features photos of students actively engaged in various pursuits.

Two programs, in particular, embody experiential learning: certificates in counselling skills and a diploma or certificate in fashion design and production.

The addiction counselling skills certificate is offered at VCC’s downtown campus, which is blocks away from Canada's first legal free-standing supervised-injection site.

“The reality of the Downtown Eastside and the fact that our program has a focus on addictions gives students an opportunity to really roll their sleeves up and work with high-risk populations,” McIvor explained.

It’s a self-paced part-time program offered in the evenings, which means students could take anywhere from a year to three years to complete it, though most finish in one-and-a-half to two years.

“Some students go many evenings a week,” he said. “Most of them are doing something else in the day and they might take one or two courses in the evening and they really go at their own pace.”

An intriguing aspect of the program is that students learn with the help of videos. This goes beyond simply listening to an instructor tell stories about their experience as counsellors.

"Students go into a private classroom with another student and actually videotape practice sessions," McIvor explained. "Students get a chance to think about what was said and view themselves with a potential client. It's really hands-on."

The community counselling skills certificate offers the same level of flexibility as the addiction-counselling program.

Claire Sauvé, a senior coordinator with VCC continuing studies, told the Straight by phone that this can prepare students for a wide variety of work, including working for homeless shelters, drop-in centres, immigrant-support agencies, and halfway houses.

“Some of the courses that are offered within the program are accepted as prerequisites in master’s-in-counselling programs at SFU, UBC, and Adler University,” Sauvé added.

The instructors all have active counselling practices, so they bring real-world experience into the classrooms. And according to Sauvé, some students who are in either the addiction-counselling or community-counselling stream end up completing the other stream because they have many classes in common.

So who is most likely to enroll in the certificate programs in counselling skills?

“We know, for example, the average age of a student in this program is 41 years old—predominantly female, definitely adult learners,” McIvor responded. “There may be a difference in addictions vis-à-vis the community counselling in terms of the gender makeup. Nevertheless, it is open to both groups of people.”

Meanwhile, the fashion and production diploma and certificate programs at VCC continuing studies have recently undergone a makeover to better reflect the school’s mission statement. “Students basically get five sales cycles during their diploma,” McIvor said.

They will make a bag, which is sold in a retail store, then they will design a T-shirt that is marketed online. Then they might create a whole fashion line for a nonprofit charity, and on it goes.

“It’s not just about designing clothes,” he said. “It’s the whole process of production, sales, and design together.”

It also enhances students’ understanding of e-commerce. Field trips to local clothing manufacturers help students understand what’s taking place on the factory floor.

The diploma program takes 18 months to complete and is offered full-time during weekdays. There’s an exit point midway for people who want to stop with a certificate, leaving them eligible to return to complete a diploma at a future date.

In addition to the diploma and certificate programs, VCC continuing studies also offers one-off courses for those interested in learning about everything from fashion illustration to corsetry to fashion-show production.

Global climate strike

Posted on September 20, 2019

The Global Climate Strike is a youth-led series of international strikes to demand action be taken on climate change between Sept. 20 to 27.

During this time, VCC will remain open for regular operations to deliver services to the public and classes will continue as normal.

The college understands that some students may be interested in attending some of these events. If students wish to participate in the demonstrations, they should discuss with their instructors. Such requests are subject to class and program requirements, similar to any other request for discretionary time away from class.

VCC practical nursing program builds on previous health care skills

Posted on July 8, 2019



Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

To recognize past education, training, and work experience of applicants to its practical nursing program, Vancouver Community College (VCC) offers the access to practical nursing program. Through this offering, applicants with a previous background in health care may earn their diploma in 13 months instead of the full 16 months.

“It’s a busy program,” says Julie Gilbert, VCC’s department head of Practical Nursing. “We have high standards and rigour but our students consistently achieve a 100 per cent pass rate on the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam and are highly regarded and employed in the industry.” 

Geared towards those with certificates in health care assistant (HCA), resident care attendant (RCA), a combined home support/resident care attendant, as well as internationally educated nurses, the program prepares students to provide nursing care by combining theoretical and experiential learning.  

“VCC’s vision includes experiential learning and acknowledges students’ backgrounds and experience,” says Gilbert. “We are one of B.C.’s only post-secondary institutions with a simulated hospital that includes a pharmacy, nursing station, physio labs, hospital rooms, and more. We have nursing labs with ‘patients,’ including one mannequin that gives birth.”

In addition to on-campus labs, students complete a consolidated practice experience at the conclusion of each level of the program that reinforces lessons from that particular level. A final full-time practice experience, or preceptorship, meanwhile, further prepares learners for the role and expectations they’ll encounter in the field. 

“The learning is focused on ensuring we’re preparing students to be practice-ready and safe so they can be great nurses,” says Gilbert. “A lot of nurses are retiring and there is a shortage.” 

B.C. Labour Market Outlook predicts that between 2018 and 2023, there will be a two per cent growth in the need for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) with 4,610 expected job openings in the next 10 years. 


Do you have past training and experience as a health care assistant (HCA) or resident care attendant (RCA)? Consider applying now for VCC’s access to practical nursing program starting in September 2019.

Media Release: BMW Group Canada scholarship

Posted on March 8, 2019

BMW Group Canada collision repair program investing in students of the future 

Vancouver, B.C. - BMW Group Canada in conjunction with their BMW Group Certified Collision Repair Centres (CCRCs) is contributing $90,000 over three years to scholarships for the collision repair sector at two Canadian colleges. This unique program is active at both Vancouver Community College (VCC) and Centennial College in Toronto.

The aim, says Gary Lin, CCRC Program Specialist with BMW Group Canada, is to create awareness of BMW Group’s shop certification program, to demonstrate the quality of these certified facilities at the student level and to steer top students into the CCRC network at a time when finding qualified body technicians is a challenge. “We want students to have to opportunity to work in bodyshops of the 21st century and to understand the truly specialized nature of collision repair in today’s industry,” he explains.

Scholarship candidates are expected to complete a paid work term at a BMW Group CCRC.

The scholarship criteria are designed specifically for two-year, pre-apprenticeship college programs. Under the current agreement with VCC and Centennial College, the scholarships will have three intakes (i.e. students who began the program in the fall of 2018, those who will begin in September 2019 and again in the fall of 2020).

In order to qualify, applicants must maintain a GPA of 85 percent throughout the program, and also maintain attendance of 85 percent. They are also required to complete online BMW Group University courses and one in-class BMW Group Brand Academy session.

At VCC and Centennial College, five students were chosen by faculty members of the Automotive Collision and Refinishing department. Upon completion of their diploma, three of those students will receive the $5,000 BMW Group Body & Paint Pre-Apprentice Scholarship. The remaining two students will receive a scholarship of $2,000.

The timeline and criteria are similar for both colleges. The five qualifying students at each college are “the best of the best”, Mr. Lin says.

The five applicants will be interviewed by BMW Group CCRCs before the end of their second semester and must be employees at a CCRC for a minimum three-month paid internship period after the first year of their college program. “We want a chance to give students the insight that BMW Group CCRCs and the world of specialized collision repair are viable career option for them,” Lin says.

President Nunoda’s appointment renewed

Posted on September 28, 2017

News-Peter-Nunoda-portrait-140Vancouver Community College’s Board of Governors is pleased to announce that Dr. Peter Nunoda’s appointment as the college’s President and CEO has been renewed for another three-year term. 

Since joining VCC on August 14, 2014, Dr. Nunoda has overseen the development of VCC’s five key success drivers, the Integrated College Plan, the five-year academic plan, and the new college vision. He also has built a strong management team to lead the college into its next 50 years of success.

Under Dr. Nunoda’s leadership, the college has returned to financial stability, moving from budget deficits to a small surplus in 2016. His focus on community and industry collaboration has resulted in successful new partnerships with organizations including the Rick Hansen Foundation, the Open Door Group, and Samsung.


Read Dr. Nunoda’s Bio

Media Release: VCC Fashion partners with BC Children's Hospital

Posted on September 13, 2019


VANCOUVER – Model Organisms is the talk of the city as Vancouver Community College (VCC) and BC Children’s Hospital present their creative new collection at Vancouver Kids Fashion Week (VKFW) for the SS20 season. Model Organisms is the result of a collaboration between students, alumni, and instructors in VCC's fashion design and production program as well as research scientists in the Healthy Starts theme at BC Children’s Hospital. 

This "Fashion Meets Science" team is passionate about showcasing species such as fruit flies and yeast (called "model organisms") that help us learn about genetics and child development.

“We see the Model Organisms collection as a platform for curiosity, inspiration, and conversation between scientists and the broader community,” says Dr. Michael Kobor, Canada Research Chair in Social Epigenetics, Healthy Starts theme lead at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and founder of the Kobor Lab. “Inspiring the next generation of young scientists and bringing the ‘hidden’ side of research into the public eye are huge priorities for Healthy Starts. We are so excited that our scientists have found a creative way to connect research to the communities it benefits. We hope that Fashion Meets Science will show that science can be a lot of fun!”

Finding inspiration from fruit flies and biological research in the Kobor Lab, one VCC fashion student (Lexi Vanderzalm) and several alumni (Brigita Anrevi, Chris Nagy, Nico Gruzling, and Steven Thomas) and instructors (Andrea Korens and Allison Drake) created dresses, t-shirts, leggings, and shorts that embody their expanded understanding of the basic building blocks of molecular biology.  

“Visiting the Kobor Lab was an eye-opening experience. I was particularly drawn to the flies and the work being done with them. I was in awe of the iridescent quality of their wings and how their eyes look like hundreds of little diamonds,” says VCC student Lexi Vanderzalm, who is also an Audrey Raine designer. “It’s been a fun challenge to bring some of these qualities into my design for Fashion Meets Science.”  

The nine boys' and girls' outfits in the Model Organisms collection will inspire scientific curiosity in even the youngest audience member. In addition to the runway show, audience members are invited to explore their inner scientist and learn more about model organisms by visiting the Healthy Starts booth at VKFW.

VKFW has a global reputation for recognizing and celebrating diverse and innovative talent, and proudly creating a platform for local and international children’s wear designers. The SS20 season introduces the seventh official edition of VKFW, highlighting creative designers from around the world.

“Inspiring and educating the next generation in the world of fashion was our goal when we first started Vancouver Kids Fashion Week. It gives them a stage to enter the world of design and explore their creativity and passion,” says Jamal Abdourahman, producer and founder of VKFW. 

By inspiring the scientists of tomorrow and highlighting the importance of model organism research in understanding childrens' health, trainees from the Kobor Lab initiated Fashion Meets Science with VCC Fashion. The Kobor Lab uses the model organisms to study epigenetics – the influence that the environment has on our genes. The Kobor lab has been working closely with VCC Fashion since early 2019 to bring a creative dimension to scientific research and to connect communities that would not normally have the opportunity to work together. 

Fashion Meets Science – Model Organisms Collection Debut
Vancouver Kids Fashion Week SS20   

When: Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13, 11a.m. - 1p.m.
Where: David Lam Hall, 50 East Pender Street, Vancouver, B.C.

About Dr. Michael Kobor

Dr. Kobor is the Healthy Starts Theme Lead at BC Children’s, an Investigator at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, a professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Social Epigenetics and the Sunny Hill BC Leadership Chair in Child Development. His research team, which includes UBC graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, provided the inspiration for the clothing line.

About the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute

The BC Children's Hospital Research Institute conducts discovery, translational, and clinical research to benefit the health of children and their families. The Healthy Starts theme is dedicated to keeping children and families healthy and out of the hospital by preventing lifelong health challenges and chronic diseases that are rooted in early childhood. We are supported by BC Children's Hospital Foundation; are part of BC Children’s Hospital and the Provincial Health Services Authority; and work in close partnership with the University of British Columbia. 

Instagram: @koborlab
Twitter: @BCCHResearch | @_HealthyStarts | @koborlab
Facebook: @HealthyStartsBCCHR

About VCC Fashion

Vancouver Community College Fashion programs offer the best value for learning all you need to work in the fashion industry. Our fashion design and production program mimics the real-world fashion industry, combining a fast-paced production process with fundamental skills, industry standard software, and creativity. The fashion merchandising associate certificate prepares students for the business of fashion through hands-on experience and knowledge of fashion fundamentals and theory. Non-credit courses are the place to test the fashion waters and upgrade sewing skills. All programs are taught by instructors that are experienced in both the industry and classroom. Learn from their expertise.

Instagram: @vccfashion
Twitter: @VCCfashion
Facebook: @VCCFashionArts

About Vancouver Kids Fashion Week

Vancouver Fashion Week is entering its 34th season and has become the fastest-growing fashion week, which led to the launching of Vancouver Kids Fashion Week in September 2016. VKFW is a two-day fashion event dedicated to children’s fashion and creativity. The ever-growing talent in youth was the inspiration driving the launch of this new platform, aiming to highlight and leverage kids designers on an international scale. VKFW partners with BC Children’s Hospital Foundation (BCCHF) in an effort to recognize children in need. The event will also include live dance performances and the cutest kid emcees, bringing lots of fun to the runway.

For media accreditation: visit
Instagram: @vankidsfashionweek
Facebook: @vankidsfashionweek


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Medica can contact:

Sarah Murray
Co-Program Coordinator, Recruitment and Industry Relations, Fashion
Vancouver Community College

Tiffany Reeve
Strategic Initiatives Research Manager, Healthy Starts
BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute



VCC fashion students dress Mel K. of Bag and a Beret

Posted on August 8, 2019

Mel K. from Bag and a Beret in three colourful looks


Each year, VCC fashion students are tasked with creating a custom outfit as part of the fashion design and production diploma program. After a couple of years of designing for musicians on stage and the red carpet, this year, influencer Mel K. presented students with the challenge of making clothes worthy for her Instagram feed @bagandaberet

Taking inspiration from her avant-garde style, three groups of first-year students crafted head-turning looks using eye-popping colour, patchwork, flashy fabrics, and unconventional materials like plastic. 

“I was stunned by their amazing work! These are pieces I’ll wear with pride,” says Mel K. “A heartfelt thank-you for inviting me to be part of this project. Being around people buzzing with creative vision and drive inspires my own work and fuels me with optimism for the future.” 

Following the project, Mel K. published a series of blog posts about her experience with the VCC students. “I was curious, perhaps slightly nervous, about what they would come up with,” she writes. “Well, they blew me away with their creativity, technical skills, adaptability, and hard work. Incredible.”

Five cycles to fashion success

Developing clothing for Mel K. was the fourth in a series of five fashion cycle classes that allow students to experience the fast-paced fashion process from design, drafting, and construction to marketing and sales. 

During the two-year fashion design and production diploma program, students start by designing a tote bag. They then create T-shirts and draped tops. After exploring personal style to produce bespoke pieces like the ones for Mel K., their final fashion cycle project gives back to the community by designing career wear for non-profit organizations like Dress for Success or The Harvest Project.

The looks

Check out more photos of our talented students and their custom designs. 

Mel K. and VCC studnets

Left to right: Carlin Lockhart, Shawn Avantini, Mel K., Sekai Fleming

Mel K. with VCC students

Left to right: Armita Azadmanesh, Mel K., Victoria Stephenson, Kiera West



Left to right: VCC instructor Jason Matlo, Cayce Vanderzalm, Mel K., Shadi Arastehmanesh, Nataly Kingsley


Find your fit in one of VCC’s fashion programs including fashion design and production, fashion merchandising, or professional development courses.




VCC celebration marks milestone in ASL, Deaf studies

Posted on September 11, 2019


Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

On Saturday, Sept. 28, Vancouver Community College (VCC) will celebrate its history as a leading educator in American Sign Language Studies (ASL) when it commemorates 45 years of service through the Deaf and hard of hearing, ASL and Deaf studies, and visually impaired programs, as well as interpreting services.  

The celebration will not only coincide with International Week of the Deaf, which starts Sept. 23, but also comes on the heels of the historic June passing of Bill C-81 (the Accessible Canada Act) — which recognizes ASL, Langue des signes du Québec, and Indigenous Sign Language as primary languages for Canada’s Deaf community.  

“We are expecting 200 people or so who will gather, socialize, network, and then attend a gala with a dinner,” says Aastrid Evensen, an instructor in VCC’s Deaf and hard of hearing department and member of the 45th Anniversary Gala committee, through a video relay service interpreter. “For the anniversary event, my favourite part is reminiscing with old friends and seeing old and young come together to celebrate our history and heritage.”  

With the needs of the Deaf community continuing to spread as the Accessible Canada Act ensures people have more access to visual language and communication options, VCC currently offers a 10-month ASL and Deaf studies certificate program. The full-time offering is designed for non-Deaf adults who have learned some basic ASL skills but wish to study the language more intensely with an aim to develop fluency. It also exposes them to Deaf culture and the Deaf community, develops communication and public speaking skills, and examines career development opportunities. Many graduates choose to pursue interpreting careers.

“A lot of people don’t realize that interpreting ASL is a profession, so we have a lot of need in the community,” says Evensen, “and we are wanting to grow our diversity to meet the needs of diverse Deaf Canadians as well.”  

To further accessibility to and awareness of its ASL and Deaf studies programs, in early 2020, VCC will explore offering online training options. 


Join us on Saturday, Sept. 28 at VCC’s 45th anniversary celebration of Deaf and hard of hearing, ASL, visually impaired, and interpreting programs. Tickets are $45 each and available now

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! 




How to choose the best health care program for you

Posted on July 30, 2019

Did you know that health care is a rapidly expanding field in British Columbia? This may not be surprising when you consider that boomers are aging, people are living longer, and we’re using more medications than ever before.

In the future, health care will only continue to grow. As medical technology advances, we’ll need new experts; as people delay retirement, they’ll access more wellness services; as we learn more about mental health, we’ll need new treatments and supports; and as the climate changes, we may even face new diseases.

WorkBC predicts 148,400 health care and social assistance job openings between 2018 and 2028 – the highest of any employment grouping – and not all jobs will be for doctors and nurses. 

Explore your strengths

“There is a huge variety of health care jobs out there,” says VCC health care assistant (HCA) program leader Lisa Beveridge. The only overall requirement? “You need to value people,” she says.

For those considering the health care field, Lisa says it’s a smart move to first identify your strengths and abilities. As a nursing student, Lisa remembers one experience working on a busy surgical ward. “It was so rushed and task-focused,” she says. “I didn’t like it and it felt like a mistake!”

Lisa later found geriatrics to be a much better fit. Today, as an instructor, Lisa recommends that students start with the basics to explore their ideal position in health care. “The HCA program is a great introduction to frontline caregiving,” she says, emphasizing that in only seven months and with minimal prerequisites, you get solid foundations in safety, asepsis, and person-centered care, which are essential in many other health care jobs.

Certified HCAs who decide to enter nursing can have their experience recognized by VCC’s access to practical nursing (PN) program, which, in turn, can ladder into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). Likewise, students who discover a talent for fine, detailed work might enter dental hygiene, or those who excel at chemistry might become pharmacy technicians.

Make connections

Another in-demand health care career is health unit coordinator (HUC). As the central contact point for all medical departments as well as patients and visitors, HUCs are exposed daily to the full range of health care careers. “It’s a big snapshot of every job in the hospital,” says VCC School of Health Sciences coordinator Katherine Griffiths.

After only six months in the HUC program, the final two months are spent working and learning in the field, with the opportunity to experience a range of environments from long-term care to trauma hospitals. “Our practicums let you explore where you’re most comfortable,” says Katherine.

HUC jobs are also out there for the taking. VCC is a main contact for hospital recruiters and, according to Katherine, most grads get hired directly out of their practicums. “These are very good jobs with very good benefits,” she says.

Follow your heart

For Lisa and Katherine, however, working in health care has incentives far beyond job security, variety, or even specialized skills. “In how many jobs can you truly improve someone’s quality of life?” asks Lisa.

“As health care assistants, we help people and families experiencing loss,” she says, explaining that they mainly work with people who have lost their health or ability to care for themselves. Often, they’ve also recently lost a home or a spouse.

According to Lisa, the feelings of reward and the “positive feedback loop” you create when you help someone who’s struggling are greater than any other service profession. “It’s unparalleled,” she says. “You’re making a lasting impact on peoples’ lives.”


Explore your options for entry-level health care careers at VCC:

Media Release: Apprentice of the Year competition open for applications

Posted on September 9, 2019

VANCOUVER – After a decade-long absence, British Columbia’s culinary industry is holding the Culinary Apprentice of the Year award and, for the first time, is accepting applications from across the province for the competition.

Selected candidates will be required to create a three-course meal for judges and invited guests at the competition in Vancouver on Saturday, Nov. 2. To be eligible, applicants must have received their Red Seal Endorsement in cooking in 2018 or be registered as a third-year culinary apprentice in 2019. They must also be working in B.C. at the time of the competition. The deadline to apply is September 13, 2019.

The competition is sponsored by the Chefs' Table Society of BC, Vancouver Community College (VCC), and the Industry Training Authority (ITA). Other partners include BC Chefs Association, North Vancouver Island Chefs Association, Okanagan Chefs Association, and Victoria Chefs Association.

It’s an excellent way for competitors to test their skills, learn from others, and talk to chefs who are willing to share their knowledge. Judges will include world-class chefs Bruno Marti and Hamid Salimian.

Chef Poyan Danesh, competition chair, Chefs' Table Society of BC, knows a thing or two about competitions. He has been heavily involved in the B.C. culinary scene since graduating top of his class at VCC. Among his many accomplishments, Chef Danesh was named B.C. Chef of the Year in 2013, won multiple gold medals in the World Culinary Olympics, and was named Culinary Apprentice of the Year in 2008.

“Competitions and being an apprentice opened countless doors and opportunities for me, and it's a great way to jumpstart one’s career and nurture their passions,” says Chef Danesh. “We wanted to make this competition available for apprentices throughout the province to elevate their skills and offer them the opportunity to connect with the community they plan to make a career in.”

“VCC is excited to welcome back the Culinary Apprentice of the Year competition,” said Dennis Innes, dean of hospitality, food studies and applied business at VCC. “While classroom learning is critical to our students’ training, employers recognize the tenacity, patience, passion, and composure students develop through competition.”

“I’m thrilled that the Apprentice of the Year competition is back, so culinary apprentices and recent Red Seal recipients can show off the impressive skills and talents they acquired during their training,” says Melanie Mark, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “This competition is also an innovative and fun way for up-and-coming culinary students and recent grads to network and collaborate not only with their peers but also with experienced chefs and mentors from across B.C.”

“ITA manages more than 100 trades in British Columbia, and it’s exciting that the culinary industry is once again recognizing the highly-skilled chefs from the Professional Cook program,” says Shelley Gray, CEO of ITA. “The time they’ve spent as apprentices crafting their culinary skills has prepared them for this competition. We look forward to seeing these talented individuals in the November competition.”

The winner will receive their choice of $2,000 or an all-expenses-paid trip to accompany Culinary Team BC to Germany for the World Culinary Olympics in February 2020.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be B.C.'s Culinary Apprentice of the Year, download the application package here. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Sept. 13, 2019.


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To arrange an interview with Chef Poyan Danesh, please contact:

Lubna Ekramoddoullah
Communications Specialist
Industry Training Authority
T: 778.327.5896

Restaurant Review: The Chef’s Table gets an 'A' for food

Posted on September 6, 2019



Review and photo by Mia Stainsby, Sept. 4, 2019

It’s like a two-Michelin calibre meal for a mere $55. Wine matches for the five-course meal with an amuse bouche and mignardise ending is $22. 

I’m reading your mind and it’s saying, ‘OK, what’s the catch.’ Right, there is one but it wasn’t a deal breaker for me. These Chef’s Table pop-ups are at Vancouver Community College (VCC) so when it comes to ambience and service, Michelin level it ain’t. Service, you could say is sweet and uncertain, not suavely professional. But it gets an 'A' for food.

But I’m telling you, the food compares more than favourably to haute meals where I’ve wanted to swat away silly theatrics and giggle at architectural presentations served with stiff, humourless formality.

The Chef’s Table was at VCC’s East Broadway campus in an institutional setting but last January, it moved to JJ’s Restaurant at the Downtown campus, which is set up as a restaurant. In the past, there’ve been many a panicked guest who arrived at this location when they should have been on East Broadway. Recalculating! Recalculating!

Chef Hamid Salimian is the instructor and what he does with his classes is breathtaking. The food is imaginative, beautifully presented, balanced, delicious, and flawless. Many of the dishes employ modernist techniques but without screaming ‘look at me, look at me!’ Instead, elements dovetail into a meaningful presentation.

Our seven-part dinner began with a ‘Parmesan foam snack’ involving sous vide, vacuum cooking, hydrocolloid, and liquid nitrogen. Pickled heirloom tomato, sorrel purée, green olive dust added colour and flavour. A lemon basil simple syrup was cooked under vacuum then ‘aged‘ in an ultrasonic bath.

“In 45 minutes, it’s like it’s aged for six to eight months. Aging happens when molecules start moving fast. It changes the flavour,” says Salimian.    

Continue reading in the Vancouver Sun


Reserve your seats now for our next limited-edition VCC Chef’s Table pop-up dinner series.


Where's my class? Fall 2019

Posted on August 29, 2019

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

Program Start Date Campus Room
Access to Practical Nursing  Sept. 3 BWY Building B, G221
ASL and Deaf Studies  Sept. 3 BWY Building A, 2554
Asian Culinary Arts  Sept. 3 DTN 208
Automotive Collision Repair  Sept. 3 BWY Building A, 1507
Automotive Refinishing Prep  Sept. 3 BWY Building B, G219
Automotive Service Tech Harmonized Foundation  Sept. 3 BWY Building A, 1501
CAD and BIM Diploma – Architecture  Sept. 3 DTN 717
CAD and BIM Diploma – Civil/Structural  Sept. 3  DTN  717
CAD and BIM Certificate – Architecture  Sept. 3 DTN 714
CAD and BIM Certificate – Civil/Structural  Sept. 3 DTN 725
CAD and BIM Certificate – Steel Detailing  Sept. 3 DTN 718
Computer Systems Technologies  Sept. 3 DTN 145/146
Culinary Arts – Profesionnal Cook 1 – ESL  Sept. 3 DTN 405
Dental Assisting – Certified  Sept. 3 DTN 240
Dental Hygiene  Sept. 3 DTN 501
Dental Reception Coordinator  Sept. 3 DTN  240 
Dental Technology Sciences – Year 1  Sept. 3 DTN 334
Dental Technology Sciences – Year 2  Sept. 3 DTN 332
Esthetics  Sept. 3/5 DTN 201 (Salon and Spa)
Graphic Design – Year 1  Sept. 3 DTN 721
Graphic Design – Year 2  Sept. 3 DTN 819
Hairstylist  Sept. 3/5 DTN 201 (Salon and Spa)
Hair Design – High School  Sept. 3 DTN 201 (Salon and Spa)
Health Care Assistant  Sept. 9 BWY Building B, 1223
Health Care Assistant – ESL  Sept. 3 BWY Building B, 2230/2231
Health Unit Coordinator  Sept. 3 BWY Building B, 4219
Heavy Mechanical Trades  Sept. 9 ANN Annacis Island
Hospitality Management – Year 1, 3, and 4  Sept. 3 DTN 321 (Bistro)
Hospitality Management – Year 2  Sept. 3 DTN 112 (Auditorium)
Jewellery Art and Design – Year 1  Sept. 3 DTN 156
Jewellery Art and Design – Year 2  Sept. 3 DTN 162
Legal Administrative Assistant  Sept. 3 DTN 618
Medical Laboratory Assistant  Sept. 16 BWY Building B, 3205
Medical Office Assistant  Sept. 3 DTN 629
Medical Transcriptionist  Sept. 3 DTN 829
Nursing (BScN)   Sept. 3 BWY Building B, 1231
Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant – Year 1  Sept. 3 BWY Building B, 4205
Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant – Year 2  Sept. 3 BWY Building B, 4217
Pharmacy Technician  Sept. 3 BWY Building B, 3212
Practical Nursing  Sept. 3 BWY Building B, G217

Seats now available! Complete your science prerequisites

Posted on August 22, 2019

If you still need to complete prerequisites for entry into your post-secondary program, it’s not too late to get started this September. Credits transfer across B.C.

Classes begin September 3, 2019.

Seats are currently available in the following courses:

  • BIOL 1100 – General Biology
  • BIOL 1120 – Human Anatomy and Physiology 1
  • BIOL 1220 – Human Anatomy and Physiology 2
  • CHEM 1121 – Chemistry 1
  • CHEM 1223 – Chemistry 2
  • PHYS 1100 – Physics 1
  • NURS 1602 – Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • CMPT 1010 – Introduction to Computer Programming 1
  • SCIE 1100 – Engineering, Technology, and Society
  • SCIE 1110 – Professional Communication

Apply now or attend the University Transfer info session to learn more on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2 p.m., Broadway campus, building B, room 1227.


Media Release: VCC celebrates the accomplishments of Red Seal graduates

Posted on August 19, 2019



VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is celebrating alumni who have received their Red Seal endorsement (RSE) at its inaugural Red Seal recognition event, held today at the VCC Downtown campus. While most academic accomplishments are celebrated with a graduation ceremony, that isn’t usually the case when it comes to receiving a Red Seal – the interprovincial standard of excellence in the skilled trades. 

VCC recognizes that the work that goes into earning a Red Seal should be celebrated. 

“BC’s future will require carpenters, chefs, welders, and Red Seal trades professionals, just as much as we will need nurses, doctors, and teachers in order to build, and sustain a strong economy,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Trades workers are in high demand in B.C. and we expect more than 70,000 trades job openings in the next decade. 21St Century skills, like the ones achieved through trades training, apprenticeships and Red Seal designations, give students the tools they need to be industry ready, and be part of building the best B.C.”

“The goal of the event is to recognize and honour the hard work and dedication it takes for grads to obtain their Red Seal,” says VCC Associate Director, Alumni Relations Carolyn Hornell. “For many graduates, receiving their Red Seal is incredibly meaningful and VCC is thrilled to celebrate their accomplishments. We anticipate this will become an annual celebration.”

VCC’s first Red Seal recognition event includes all those who have received their Red Seal at VCC in the past five years. Six Red Seal trades are offered at VCC: cooking, baking, hairstyling, auto body and collision, automotive refinishing, automotive service, and heavy duty equipment. 

“A Red Seal is the sign of true excellence. By formally recognizing VCC students who have received their Red Seal, we honour the dedication these skilled tradespeople have to their craft and their commitment to the industry,” says VCC President and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda.  

VCC is also well-known for producing winning Skills Canada competitors at the regional, provincial, and national levels. This week, two VCC graduates, a cook and a baker, will be competing at the WorldSkills Kazan 2019 competition in Russia. This is the first time a Canadian school will have competitors in both categories. 

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) provides funding to the VCC trades training programs, including Red Seal-recognized trades. This funding has helped lower the financial barriers to give students a more affordable way to start their journey into a career in the trades. 

The ITA is honoured to join in the recognition of VCC Red Seal graduates. “The dedication that goes into earning a Red Seal is cause for celebration,” says ITA CEO Shelley Gray. “A career in the trades opens up many pathways – be it as a journeyperson, business owner, or educator. Achieving the Red Seal gives this group the opportunity to not only further their career growth, but also support the success of the next generation of skilled trades professionals.”


About Vancouver Community College

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


About Industry Training Authority 

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system. The ITA works with apprentices, employers, industry, labour, training providers, and government to fund training, issue credentials, support apprenticeships, set program standards, and increase opportunities in the trades. For more information, visit


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Media can contact:

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


Nicole Adams 
Director of Communications 
Industry Training Authority 
T: 604-364-1039 

New mobile learning app reduces ESL waitlists

Posted on August 16, 2019



Two years after arriving in Canada from China, Phoebe Yang was ready to start a career. She chose VCC’s Health Care Assistant program but needed to upgrade her English to meet admission requirements. That’s when Phoebe joined the approximately 800-person waitlist for VCC’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program, learning that she might wait anywhere between a few months and a year to start classes.

In November 2018, however, Phoebe started her English education much sooner than expected thanks to mLearning. This "mobile learning" technology, being piloted by VCC for the first time in Canada, is similar to popular language-learning apps, offering self-paced lessons that can be finished in as few as three minutes.

One major difference from mainstream apps, however, is mLearning’s integration with human, VCC-trained coaches who can answer students’ questions by text message in the app. Coaches can also give feedback in real-time by phone call. "It’s really good for improving English. I want to recommend it to my husband," says Phoebe.

VCC mLearning coach Rae Switzer is currently working with 28 students who would otherwise have limited access to English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Aside from waitlists, Rae has also seen many newcomers abandon ESL programs due to work schedules or family commitments. She views mLearning as a solution for these people too. “Students take full control of how much they learn and when they learn,” says Rae. "We’re there to make sure they stay on track." 

With funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, VCC plans to enrol 550 newcomers in the mLearning program over the next two years.


Learn more about VCC's award-winning English as a Second Language programs teaching everyday skills from casual conversations to job interviews.

All you need to know about VCC entrance awards

Posted on August 16, 2019



Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

When Emily Man graduated from high school and enrolled in Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) university transfer courses, she knew extra money would be helpful in paying for her education. That’s where VCC’s student entrance awards came in. 

“Not only did the award help to pay for some of the courses I took to get into VCC’s dental hygiene program, which I’m in now, but they also helped me personally,” says Man, who is set to graduate with a dental hygiene diploma in June 2020. “I was able to focus on my studies because I didn’t have to worry about a part-time job, so it took some of the pressure off.” 

VCC offers a range of financial assistance such as entrance scholarships for high school students. Valued at $1,000 each, these awards are specifically for recent Lower Mainland high school graduates entering a full-time VCC program or two terms of university transfer courses (minimum three courses). 

The college also offers $1,000 entrance awards for students entering a full-time VCC program that’s at least six months or minimum of three university transfer courses for four months. Applicants must have a B average and include a letter of reference along with the award application form. Award recipients are also selected based on academic achievement and community involvement (volunteering). 

“The application process was really easy,” says Man. “And every little bit does help.”

While Man heard about the entrance awards through her high school career counsellor, she encourages incoming VCC students to research which awards, grants, and bursaries may be available to them.  

“Don’t be afraid to do some research online ahead of time because some of the awards have deadlines that are pretty early, so you don't want to miss out on the opportunity," she says. “Everyone will be more than willing to help, and VCC really is an amazing experience with hands-on classes and teachers who want to see you do well.”


VCC entrance awards are still available for September 2019. To learn more about the awards and to apply, visit VCC Financial Aid.


VCC and Rick Hansen Foundation team up to help make Canada accessible for all

Posted on September 6, 2017

VANCOUVER, B.C. – A new partnership between Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) will benefit students and industry professionals interested in improving accessibility in commercial and public settings.

The Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program is designed to rate a given site or facility's overall accessibility against a national, universal scale. VCC will offer a two-week RHFAC Accessibility Assessors training beginning Sept. 25, to help people with disabilities, professionals already working in the field, or others interested in learning to analyze a site or facility for overall accessibility. Students are trained through interactive instructor presentations, in-class exercises, disability simulation experiences, reading assignments, and small and large group work. 

The training course will prepare students to become Accessibility Assessors and conduct ratings using RHFAC criteria. For those wanting formal accreditation, students must pass a written exam administered by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) after completing the course. Graduates will gain skills to become independent consultants to conduct RHFAC ratings and provide expertise in Universal Design, and support community education and awareness on the importance of accessibility.

“We know the importance of what a program like this truly means to people’s lives. With one of the highest population of students with disabilities in post-secondary in the province, we are acquainted with the wide range of mobility challenges people contend with on a daily basis. It’s wonderful to work with RHF to make a difference by training the professionals who will contribute to creating better facilities that work for everyone,” says Kathryn McNaughton, vice-president, academic, students and research.                                                                                                                                                  

“We’re very excited to combine the expertise of Vancouver Community College and the Rick Hansen Foundation to deliver this course as part of continuing education in B.C. Well-trained assessors are at the heart of the RHF Accessibility Certification program. It will bring new opportunities for anyone interested in creating more accessible built environments and help move access considerations into the normal design process,” says Brad McCannell, vice-president, access and inclusion, RHF.

The inaugural two-week training course still has spots available. To learn more, watch this video and to register, see RHFAC Accessibility Assessor training at VCC.


About Vancouver Community College:

VCC celebrates more than 50 years of inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals, offering post-secondary training in 125 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, and music.


About the Rick Hansen Foundation:

The Rick Hansen Foundation was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour, to continue raising funds and awareness to create a world without barriers for people with disabilities. Over nearly 30 years, RHF has made transformational change in raising awareness and removing barriers for people with disabilities, and funding research for the cure and care of people with spinal cord injuries. Today, the Foundation focuses on improving accessibility to create a world that’s accessible and inclusive for all.



Media can contact:

Amanda Basi, Manager, Accessibility Certification Program
Rick Hansen Foundation

Karen Wilson, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7429,

Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification VCC logos



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.

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

Posted on August 8, 2019



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

At last year’s B.C. Justice Summit, there was a great deal of discussion about the legal system’s inability to meet the requirements of a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision in 1999 dealing with Indigenous people.

In R. v. Gladue, the court ruled that judges must consider “unique systemic or background factors” that may have resulted in an Aboriginal person coming in contact with the justice system.

According to the proceedings from the B.C. Justice Summit, there are a few hundred Gladue reports being prepared for the courts every year.

But the participants felt that there need to be thousands completed to meet the requirements of the Gladue ruling.

Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) David Wells, vice president academic and applied research, has a long-standing interest in Indigenous legal issues and attended the B.C. Justice Summit.

“I think the benefit of the summit was to reinforce not only the need for trained Gladue writers but the opportunity to provide a really structured training program that has quality control,” he said. “Ideally, we can move toward some sort of national standard.”

New Gladue report writing certificate

Wells had already been working on a pilot program with the consulting firm IndiGenius & Associates to teach people how to write Gladue reports. It was launched last year with about a dozen students.

VCC certificate program in Gladue reports—designed for law students, lawyers, advocates, judges, Indigenous court workers, and others with an interest in this topic—is scheduled for a Fall 2019 launch.

According to Wells, there will be about six classes and 135 hours of training.

Students will learn about: the impact of colonization; conducting interviews with people who have experienced trauma; and capturing a person’s “sacred story,” which includes discovering experiences that shaped them since childhood.

“It’s commonly used as a pre-sentence report,” Wells explained, adding that it can also be helpful in setting pre-trial conditions.

Wells added that a Gladue report might delve into the consequences of the trauma experienced in residential schools for family members and relationships within the community. A judge could then take this into account in setting pretrial conditions or in laying out a suitable resolution, which might involve restorative justice.

“The hope is to build on our collaborations with other institutions and look to see where we can create transferable credits—or create this as part of a larger educational journey for the writers,” Wells said.


Learn more about how you can play a role in reconciliation through VCC’s new Gladue report writing certificate program

Training the addiction counsellors of tomorrow

Posted on July 26, 2019

When 526 British Columbians died of illicit drug overdoses in 2015, the Provincial Health Officer declared a public health emergency. By 2017, that number had more than doubled and continues to add to the opioid crisis being felt around the world.

While we in B.C. often hear about first responders and volunteers saving lives in tent cities and back alleys, less known, perhaps, is that the majority of overdoses (72 per cent) happen inside the home.

"Problematic substance use affects a wide range of people,” says VCC addiction counselling instructor Andrew Stone. "It is very common to see clients with homes, careers, and families seeking support."

VCC has been training professional addiction counsellors since 1980. Over the years, the curriculum has evolved with advancements in harm reduction strategies, pharmacological treatments, and client-centred recovery. “We now focus more on what our client’s version of what recovery looks like instead of us telling them,” says Andrew.

The next update to VCC’s addiction counselling program will be in Fall 2019 with the launch of the new Counselling Skills Foundational Certificate. It replaces the previous Community Counselling Skills and Addiction Counselling Skills certificates. For those pursuing a higher-level career pathway, VCC plans to offer an Addiction Counselling Advanced Certificate in Fall 2020.

As opioid-related deaths continue to devastate B.C. communities, addictions counsellors are more in-demand than ever. According to Andrew, a public drop-in client today often waits two to three weeks for follow-up counselling – all the while in serious danger of overdosing.

"We need more resources out there," says Andrew, who is eager to see future VCC grads at work. "Our students are learning from folks who are working in the field. They're really seeing what’s needed in the community right now."

Ready to make a difference and reach clients where they're at? Upgrade your addictions counselling skills at VCC this September. 

Scheduled power outage and systems shutdown Aug. 10-11

Posted on August 6, 2019

VCC’s Broadway campus will be undergoing a planned, preventative electrical outage by BC Hydro which will result in a shutdown of electronic services from Saturday, August 10 at 8 a.m. to Sunday, August 11 at 8 p.m. 

During this outage, VCC's website will have limited functionality in the following areas:

  • Applications and registration (Banner)
  • Email
  • Internet and Wi-Fi
  • Intranet (myVCC)
  • Moodle
  • Servers
  • Shared drives

The Broadway campus will also be closed to the public during this time as there will be no electrical power or telephone services available. Please remember to power off all computers and other devices before leaving on Friday, August 9.


We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience. For more information, please contact the VCC Helpdesk at 604.871.7000 ext. 8700.

Top 10 VCC stories of 2017

Posted on January 4, 2018