Canadian colleges come to Penticton

Sunshine, beaches and one of the most advanced college buildings in the world helped draw a prestigious conference to Penticton.

Gwyn Morgan

Gwyn Morgan

Sunshine, beaches and one of the most advanced college buildings in the world helped draw a prestigious conference to Penticton this weekend.

From June 1 to 3, Okanagan College and its Penticton campus are playing host to the Association of Community Colleges’ 2013 annual conference, with more than 600 delegates from across Canada and around the world attending, and contributing $500,000 to the local economy.

Ideas Uncorked provides an opportunity for delegates —  including CEOs, senior administrators, board members, managers, faculty, staff, and students, as well as international guests and business leaders — to share exemplary practices and innovations.

“Now more than ever, the expertise of colleges, institutes and polytechnics is required to provide greater access to advanced skills for community economic and social development,” said James Knight, ACCC President and CEO. The conference will use Penticton Trade and Convention Centre for breakouts, sessions, receptions and ceremonies; through the covered link, the South Okanagan Events Centre will transform into a trade show.

Keynote presentations from several notable Canadians include Gwyn Morgan, founding CEO of EnCana Corp. and contributor to The Globe and Mail; Wade Davis, anthropologist, author and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence; Mark David Milliron, Chancellor at WGU Texas; Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network’sPower and Politics and CBC Radio’s The House; and John Ralston Saul, award-winning essayist and novelist.

Delegates will tackle diverse issues, including student engagement; applied research; apprenticeship for trades professions; aboriginal learning; international partnerships; bullying; evolution of degrees and post-graduate diplomas; programs and services for immigrants and more.

When the decision to hold the conference in Penticton was announced in late 2011, college president Jim Hamilton said it Penticton’s reputation as a tourist destination and Okanagan College’s growing reputation as a leader in the college sector were factors, along with the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation at the Penticton campus, which has received international acclaim as one of the world’s most sustainable building designs. Right from the design phase, the concept was to make the centre completely energy-neutral, the largest structure to attempt to meet the rigorous environmental standards of the Living Building Challenge.

ACCC is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly funded colleges, institutes and polytechnics, serving 1.5 million learners of all ages and from all socio-economic quarters at campuses in 1,000 urban, rural and remote communities.

For more information visit the Conference Website. Follow the conference on the Twitter handle @ACCC_Comms and use hashtag #ACCC13.