Category: Media Releases

Tap into Project Brew December Market beer festival Dec. 9

Brewmaster student Lauren Zimbalatti, prepares her Belgian Saison blended with Kombucha which will be on tap at the Project Brew December Market. She is pictured with hops grown at Niagara College.
Brewmaster student Lauren Zimbalatti, prepares her Belgian Saison blended with Kombucha which will be on tap at the Project Brew December Market. She is pictured with hops grown at Niagara College.

Twenty unique craft beers, one unforgettable festival – with a holiday twist.

Mark your calendar for December 9 when students from Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program host Project Brew December Market. The event will be held at the Market Square in downtown St. Catharines (91 King St.) from 5 to 10 p.m.

Each unique beer served at the event will be crafted and brewed by students in their graduating year of the College’s Brewmaster program. They will be served by the brewers themselves, who are planning a festive December Market theme, decking the halls with holiday décor, and donning ‘ugly Christmas sweater’ attire. The event will also feature food vendors (Andrzejewski Perogies, the Itty Bitty Pie Company, and NC’s Benchmark Restaurant), games, and live musical entertainment by Eric Clancy.

This will be the sixth Project Brew since the event was launched in April 2015. Brewmaster students not only create their own one-of-a-kind beers for the festivals but plan the event as part of their sales and marketing class.

“Project Brew is the culmination of four semesters of learning for the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management students. Not only do the students design a recipe and create an original beer from scratch, they also plan and execute Project Brew to highlight the skills they have acquired during their time at Niagara College,” said Project Brew faculty advisor April Tyrrell. “This fun community event is an excellent opportunity for students to promote themselves and their beer to the general public.”

Student event chair Lauren Zimbalatti, who is preparing a Belgian Saison blended with Kombucha – a fermented beverage – for the festival, noted that the event helps prepare students for the industry.

“This is a great learning experience as it is a good test of life skills like communication, organization, sticking to timelines, and reaching end goals and planning,” said Zimbalatti, a Niagara Falls resident originally from Newmarket. “It is good for our industry too since it is an avenue of the hospitality industry and events take place all the time in the beer world.”

Student beers will be judged on site and Praxair, one of the event sponsors, will award a $4,500 scholarship to the graduating student who creates the winning beer.

Additional event sponsors include The Brewmonger Inc., Niagara Periodontics, PetainerKeg, Railway City Brewing Company, and Sullivan Mahoney LLP.

Proceeds from Project Brew December Market will benefit the Matt Soos Memorial Scholarship, which will be presented to a student in the College’s Brewmaster program. The scholarship is in honour of Matt Soos, a graduate of the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program who died in August, 2015 at the age of 26.
Project Brew tickets

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Ticket price includes a six-ounce tasting glass, and four four-ounce sample tokens. Guests must be 19 years of age or older (valid photo ID required) to attend.

Tickets may be purchased online at:

For event details visit
The first facility of its kind in Canada, Niagara College Teaching Brewery opened in April 2011 and supports Niagara College’s two-year Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management diploma program. The brewery forms a key component of the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute – a leader in culinary, wine and beer education in Canada. Located at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, the CFWI is also home to the College’s Teaching Winery – the first and only commercial teaching winery in Canada – and Benchmark, the college’s teaching restaurant.

Niagara College offers more than 100, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit




Media inquiries, please contact:

Susan McConnell
Media Advisor, Niagara College
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 4330
Cell: 905 933-6259

Which cider house rules? Niagara College Teaching Winery’s Cider 101 reaps hard-core success with two award wins

When it comes to award wins at Niagara College’s Teaching Winery, the apple doesn’t fall far from the vine.

The award-winning Teaching Winery’s venture into the hard cider market with the introduction of Cider 101 last year has proved fruitful, with back-to-back medals at two recent cider competitions: a gold at the U.S. Open Cider Championship on November 14, and a bronze from the Ontario Cider Awards on November 11.

“These awards are a testament of the high quality of education that we provide at both the Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery,” said Steve Gill, general manager of NC’s Learning Enterprises Corporation, which includes the College’s Teaching Winery, Teaching Brewery, as well as its Teaching Distillery scheduled to open in 2017. “We are so very proud of our students and staff that contribute, and hope that these awards help cultivate a passion for excellence.”

The U.S. Open Cider Championship announced NC’s Teaching Winery’s Cider 101 as a gold medal winner in its New World Cider category – one of 15 categories in the competition. Other winners in its category include Canadian entry Garage D’or Ciders’ Dry Cider (silver), and Pennsylvania-based Big Hill Ciderworks’ Standard cider (bronze). More than 160 ciders, from California to the United Kingdom, were entered into the competition.

At the Ontario Cider Awards, operated by Drink Inc. Events in association with the Royal Winter Fair, cideries from across Ontario submitted the best of the best to be evaluated by judging panels. Ontario ciders were represented in two categories: Traditional Apple and Other Fruit. NC’s Cider 101 captured a bronze in the Traditional Apple – Sanctioned Judging category. Other winners in the category included Thornbury Village Craft Cider’s Thornbury Premium Apple Cider (gold), Ernest Cider Company’s Ernest Cider Dry (silver) and Brickworks Ciderhouse’s Queen Street 501 (bronze).

“It’s a really interesting time to be part of the cider industry in Ontario because things are moving very quickly; growth in the industry had been expansive and industry players are just figuring out what defines Ontario cider,” said NC winemaker and wine programs instructor Gavin Robertson. “The curriculum and training that is already offered in our Canadian Food and Wine Institute’s wine, brewing and culinary innovation programs uniquely positions Niagara College to work with the cider industry in this period of rapid growth, as businesses look to hire people with sensory, lab, quality control, technical production, business management, and sales and marketing skills, to help develop their operations.”

Cider 101 is a blend of Ontario apples made New World style, marked by fruit-forward fresh floral notes, a vibrant acid backbone and a hint of sweetness to balance it out. Robertson noted that the New World style of Ontario ciders contrasts the earthier, tannic, often still (not sparkling) ciders made traditionally in England and France – a natural consequence due to differences in apple varieties and growing seasons.

Cider 101 is available for purchase at the Wine Visitor + Education Centre retail store, located at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus (135 Taylor Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake).

Click here for details about the U.S. Open Cider Championship..

Click here additional info about the Ontario Cider Awards.

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Susan McConnell
Media Advisor, Niagara College
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 4330
Cell: 905 933-6259

Fall Open House Nov. 19 features $2,000 tuition prize for lucky winner

Niagara College (NC) on Saturday, November 19 will welcome thousands of future students and their families and friends at an open house that will feature a chance for a lucky new student to win $2,000 towards first year tuition.

In addition to the tuition contest, guests of the college will have an opportunity to meet staff and faculty, explore a wide variety of academic displays and demonstrations, tour program labs and classroom facilities, take a campus and residence tour and connect with current students: all part of the NC experience.

“This is an opportunity to meet our students, faculty and staff and learn about Niagara College, its specialized facilities and unique approach to applied education,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “This event is ideal for prospective students looking for a pathway to success.”

The event runs from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses where guests will have access to a wide range of facilities, labs and hands-on demonstrations. Guests – including the general public and all those interested in attending – are invited to visit the academic marketplace, see the special offerings from student services, and explore 100 plus programs. Tours at both campuses run every half-hour, from 10:30 am. – 1 p.m. In addition, there is an information session for parents at both campuses at 11:30 a.m.

No pre-registration is required and parking is free.


Niagara College Fall Open House


Welland Campus: 100 Niagara College Blvd.
Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus: 135 Taylor Rd.


Saturday, November 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


For additional information, contact:
Susan McConnell, Media Advisor, Niagara College
Office: 905-641-2252 x 4330

Niagara College’s new scholarship program rewards students with SHSM credential

SHSM Scholarship recipient Alicia-Ann Husk pursues her passion for the culinary arts at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. The first-year Culinary Management student is pictured in the CFWI baking lab with two of her creations.
SHSM Scholarship recipient Alicia-Ann Husk pursues her passion for the culinary arts at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. The first-year Culinary Management student is pictured in the CFWI baking lab with two of her creations.

Pursuing a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) in high school is paying off for new students at Niagara College.

This fall, more than 70 new students received $1,000 scholarships as part of Niagara College’s new SHSM Scholarship program. The scholarships were automatically awarded to 71 first-year students who completed SHSM programs in high school, achieved more than 75% in their required courses, and enrolled in a related program at NC.

SHSM is a ministry-approved program open to Grade 11 and 12 students, allowing them to focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Students have the opportunity to gain skills with employers, skills training centres and at school; as well as earn valuable industry certifications.

“Our SHSM scholarships reward students who have taken the initiative to explore a career or industry sector while in high school and choose to pursue the same area of study in college,” said Dorita Pentesco, director of Marketing and Recruitment at Niagara College. “The scholarships acknowledge the value of experiential learning and the additional work students put into acquiring a SHSM.”

NC’s SHSM Scholarship program was applauded by representatives of two Niagara-based school boards.

Roy Smith, technical education consultant at the District School Board of Niagara noted that students involved in the SHSM program achieve greater success rates within the DSBN and, as a result, the program continues to experience tremendous growth. It currently offers 53 SHSM programs in 14 sectors.

“These scholarships provide students with financial support to help them succeed at the postsecondary level,” said Smith. “The DSBN is excited to further develop our partnership with Niagara College to continue providing students with real-world learning opportunities to prepare students for their career path.”

At the Niagara Catholic District School Board, Jennifer Pirosko, consultant of School College Work/ Specialist High Skills Major/ Health and Wellness Student Achievement, said that while the experiential learning focus of SHSM programs offer students a huge advantage in gaining a practical learning experience to solidify their career choice, it can be challenging to recruit for SHSM candidates due to the variety of opportunities available to students in secondary school.

“The new Niagara College SHSM Scholarships are an integral part of our presentation to students, parents and teachers when speaking about the benefits of enrolling in SHSM,” said Pirosko. “These scholarships are substantial, easy to earn and a great way of inviting students to continue their education in a local post-secondary institution such as NC.”

The initiative is a hit with the students, who understand the value of acquiring a SHSM first-hand.

First-year Culinary Management student Alicia-Ann Husk, who completed her SHSM in Hospitality and Tourism at Robert Bateman High School in Burlington, said receiving the scholarship gave her a sense of accomplishment. “It proved to me that hard work and dedication pays off,” said Husk, who began taking cooking classes before enrolling in the SHSM program in Grade 11.

Husk believes in the value of the SHSM program. “It showed me that the path to being a chef isn’t just about cooking; it involves a big side of business as well as a sense of responsibility and organization,” she said. “It also helped to open up job opportunities; it helped me land a job in a restaurant and get experience before I started college.”

First-year Niagara College Welding Technician student Corbey Daniels, who achieved his SHSM credential at Governor Simcoe in St. Catharines, is another big believer in the SHSM program. “My SHSM showed me that being a welder is what I wanted to do as a career,” he said. “It pushed me to work hard at school and to improve my welding throughout high school.”

Niagara College has already expanded its SHSM Scholarship program for students applying for fall 2017. Offering scholarships to several different SHSM credentials, the college is now supporting students completing their SHSM in Agriculture or Horticulture and Landscaping; Arts and Culture; Business; Community Safety and Emergency Services; Construction; Manufacturing; Information and Communications Technology; Energy; Environment; Food Processing; Hospitality and Tourism; Health and Wellness or Sports; and Transportation.

For more info about NC’s SHSM Scholarships visit

Fall Open House visitors eligible to win $2,000 towards tuition

Prospective students who attend Niagara College’s upcoming fall open house will a have a chance to win a $2,000 award towards their tuition.

The open house will be held on Saturday, November 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the College’s Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses. Visitors will have an opportunity to explore a variety of academic displays and demonstrations, tour NC’s program labs and classroom facilities, take a campus and residence tour, and meet with college faculty and current students.

Only those who attend the open house will be eligible for the contest. The winner will receive a $2,000 award applicable to 2017-2018 registration at Niagara College. The $2,000 will be credited towards tuition for September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018 towards entry into a new program intake. Registration will take place on site on Saturday, November 19.

There is no advance registration required to attend the Fall Open House and there is free parking for the event.
For details about the open house visit


Media inquiries, please contact:

Susan McConnell
Media Advisor, Niagara College
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 4330
Cell: 905 933-6259

Niagara College 7th place among research colleges in Canada

For the second year in a row, Niagara College has earned the honour of being in the top 10 colleges in the country for research funding, according to a new national study.

In its report “Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges,” Research Infosource Inc. has announced the rank of seven for Niagara College (NC), based on total research funding numbers for 2015. This represents three moves up from last year’s report, and yet another climb in the rankings since the reports were first published. During those four years, Niagara College has moved up from the rank of 13, to 12, to 10, and now to seven. For the third year in a row, Niagara College improved its placing by being ranked third among Ontario’s leading colleges.

What’s more, using data from the past two years, Niagara College’s research funding increased by nearly 14% between 2014 and 2015, up to $6.1 million in 2015 from $5.34 million in 2014.

“We’ve made research and innovation a key priority, and our consistent climb in these rankings reflects that,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “By leading in this important area, we’re able to support the revitalization of the Niagara economy by helping local companies innovate, and we’re enhancing out students’ education by providing valuable real-world research opportunities.”

Research funding allows the college to partner with small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the region to conduct projects and services which provide innovative solutions for industry. These include producing and testing prototypes, evaluating new technologies, and developing new or improved products and processes.

“The college’s ranking among the top 10 colleges in Canada for research funding is a great endorsement of the wide-ranging work being done by our innovation centres, especially in precision agriculture, the food and beverage sector, and advanced manufacturing,” said Marc Nantel, associate vice-president of Research & Innovation at Niagara College. “We are encouraged by our division’s progress, and expect to continue increasing our efforts to serve the local economy and our students as we take on even more projects in all three of our main research sectors.”

NC also experienced significant growth in terms of partnerships and projects, climbing from No. five to No. two among large colleges for the number of formal partnerships held; the 149 partnerships represents a 96.1% increase. Niagara College also climbed from No. four to No. three in terms of successfully completed projects – thanks to a 36.4% increase in that area.

The college receives research funding from various regional, provincial and federal agencies. Administered by the college’s Research & Innovation division, the funding supports the hiring of students and graduates to work alongside faculty researchers in helping industry partners leap forward in the marketplace. Students come from a variety of the college’s programs, such as Mechanical Engineering Technology, Culinary Innovation and Food Technology, Business Administration – Marketing, and New Media Web Design.

Research Infosource annually compiles listings of the Top 50 research universities, corporate R&D spenders and research hospitals. This year marks the fourth year a list has been released for the Top 50 research colleges in Canada.

A special report on all 2015 categories, including comprehensive listings, analysis and insight, will be published on Thursday, Nov. 17.

Niagara College’s Research & Innovation conducts research projects with industry partners through its Agriculture & Environment Innovation Centre, Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre, and Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre. The division also offers support in the areas of digital media and web solutions and business and commercialization solutions.

Read about Research & Innovation recent success stories:

For more information on Research & Innovation, visit

For more information on the Top 50 list, go to

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit



Susan McConnell
Media Advisor
905-641-2252 x 4330

Funding boost to Niagara College nets win for regional economic development

Niagara College was the recipient today of funding from the federal and provincial governments towards a project that will support economic development in the Niagara region.

The college was awarded $8.7 million from the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) and $1.55 million from the Ontario government toward the ‘Specialized Training, Applied Research and Entrepreneurial Acceleration’ project at NC’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus.

The announcement was made in a joint event at Brock University, by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Deb Matthews, Ontario’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

“Niagara College thanks the federal and provincial governments for this investment in the agri-food sector,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “Colleges help train tomorrow’s workforce, and this unique project will help economic development in our region through specialized training at NC for student engagement, entrepreneurship and incubation space.”

For Niagara College, the investment of SIF means building on the college’s infrastructure including construction of new research and innovation laboratories, specialized training facilities for student engagement and entrepreneurship, and incubation space for business. In addition, the project will help NC meet environmental stewardship goals for sustainable building and campus systems, to align with Canada and Ontario’s climate change mitigation goals.

Patterson said the SIF grant also serves as an “investment in innovation to spur economic renewal in a regional economy in transition.”

Announced in the federal government budget 2016, short-term investments under SIF were designed to promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada’s universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.

The announcement also including funding for two Brock University projects: replacement of some of its cogeneration engines with high efficiency units, and a learning and innovation centre.

View Government of Canada news release: Canada and Ontario to invest in infrastructure at Brock University and Niagara College

Media contact:
Susan McConnell
Media Relations Advisor
905-641-2252 x 4330

Hotel Dieu selected as Niagara College’s Many Hands renovation project

Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre has been selected as the recipient of the 20th annual Niagara College Many Hands project.

“Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre’s patients will benefit from this project as it will give them the skills they need for independent living after a life-impacting health change,” says Jane Rufrano, CEO of Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre.

Beginning in January, Hotel Dieu centre’s facilities will undergo a series of renovations by students in Niagara College’s (NC) construction programs, and coordinated and supported by students in NC’s Event Management Graduate Certificate program.

“The Many Hands project will be creating a physical and cognitive rehabilitation space by incorporating real-world obstacles such as shopping, banking and a dining experience,” said Rufrano. “This environment will help patients relearn daily living skills and regain their independence to enable people to reach their optimal level of health and well-being.”

In the past five years, NC students have raised $150,000 for local non-profit agencies and have given 42,000 hours of volunteer placement work to the community through the program.

“For 20 years, the Many Hands project has been an incredible demonstration of community engagement, that when combined with education, has provided students with the tools required for a successful career,” said Christine Blane, NC professor and Event Management Program co-ordinator. “We are excited to partner with Hotel Dieu as they provide support to the entire Niagara region.”

The renovations to Hotel Dieu will include the creation of ‘The Marketplace’ in which Construction Renovation Technician students will design the space to include walls, flooring and doors, as well as space for grocery items, a freezer, a restaurant booth and an ATM.

The announcement of this year’s project was made at a breakfast today hosted by Niagara College.


Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre is a specialty healthcare facility that excels in
providing rehabilitation, complex care and geriatric services to patients from the Niagara region. It is located in St. Catharines.

The Many Hands project requires students to plan, co-ordinate and execute a renovation of a local community non-profit organization, including fundraising, volunteer management, technical operations, hospitality and public relations initiatives.

Agencies that benefit from the Many Hands project, selected by the project committee, must be not-for-profit, involved in the provision of a community-based service in the Niagara region, and be willing to commit agency resources to the project.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics.
For more information, contact:
Christine Blane
Coordinator, Event Management Program
905-641-2252, ext. 4466

Jane Rufrano
Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre
905-685-1381 x 84871

‘Access to quality education and healthcare drives peace and change’

‘Access to quality education and healthcare drives peace and change’

It was almost 30 years ago when Rebecca Patterson stood before Niagara College’s Class of 1987 as valedictorian at her own convocation ceremony, graduating with her RN Nursing diploma.

On October 28, she returned to her alma mater for the first time since that day – this time, as Capt. (Navy) Rebecca Patterson, one of the highest ranking women in the Canadian Armed Forces. The deputy commander of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group addressed the new graduates as the ceremony’s guest speaker and recipient of the College’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Cpt. Patterson spoke of her experiences during her long and rewarding career with the Canadian Armed Forces, providing patient care as well as leading medical education and training to support missions at home and abroad. She described her overseas deployments to Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf Conflict in 1991, to Somalia to support the Canadian Airborne Regiment in 1993, and to Afghanistan in 2011-2012 where she led a multinational team that assisted the Afghan national army and national police with re-establishing their medical education and training system.

As she focused on helping them create a better future, she learned a lesson about the similarities between all people.

“No matter where you go in the world, there is an absolutely insatiable thirst for education and access to healthcare … the aim of education and of healthcare is to create a better life,” she said. “We’re lucky in Canada; there’s many places out there that are not … Access to quality education and healthcare drives peace and change.”

While she is among only 14% of women in the Canadian Armed Forces, Cpt. Patterson told graduates that gender has not been a barrier in her career.

She encouraged the new grads to challenge themselves, push their boundaries as she has.

“One day I want to see one of you up here; that you achieve your goals; that you may give to your families or your communities, or you may use this as a stepping stone to make just a small change to make the world a better place,” she said. “You have the right foundations – guess what, I’m proof of that.”

College president Dan Patterson also spoke to the new graduates about the value of their education.

“Your education is a very wise investment. It will serve as your passport to a world of promise and possibility,” he said. “During your time with us, you have developed skills and knowledge and real world experience that only an applied education can provide. This will set you apart and give you a distinct advantage as you begin or continue on your career path.”

He encouraged the new graduates to take the lessons they learned through NC’s applied learning projects with them after graduation, and contribute to their communities.

“When we extend ourselves we enrich the lives of those around us,” he said.

Held at the Welland Campus, the ceremony marked the graduation of almost 800 students from Niagara College’s Schools of Business and Management Studies; Environmental and Horticultural Studies; Hospitality, Tourism and Sport; Food and Wine Sciences; Academic and Liberal Studies; Media, Trades and Technology Studies; Justice and Fitness Studies; Allied Health Studies; Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies; and Continuing Education.

View ceremony video here:

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degrees and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. For more information, visit


Media inquiries, please contact:

Susan McConnell
Media Advisor, Niagara College
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 4330
Cell: 905 933-6259

Junior Culinary Team Canada savours international success with two medals at Culinary Olympics

As the Culinary Olympics 2016 concluded in Erfurt, Germany, Junior Culinary Team Canada came out shining with gold and silver medals.

Comprised of culinary graduates from Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, the team was among 20 junior national culinary teams from around the world to compete at the IKA / Culinary Olympics from October 22 to 25.

At the event’s closing ceremony on October 26, the team was awarded a gold medal for its score at the event’s inaugural edible buffet competition on October 22. They were also granted a silver medal for its score in the hot program / three course luncheon competition on October 24. Medals were granted based on scores achieved at each competition – gold for 90 or higher, silver for 80 or higher, bronze for 70 or higher, and diploma for under 70.

Final scores for each competition and overall rankings were also announced at the ceremony. At the edible buffet, the team scored fourth highest in the world, achieving a score of 92.39, behind only Norway (95.8), Sweden (95.65), and Switzerland (93.25). It was the first time that competition was ever held at the Culinary Olympics (replacing the former cold plate competition where food was displayed but not eaten). The team also achieved a high score of 85.17 in the hot program competition.

With final results of a total of 177.56 points from both competitions, Junior Culinary Team Canada left the Culinary Olympics in sixth place overall, behind Sweden (first place), Switzerland, (second place), and Norway (third place) – who achieved gold, silver and bronze as the top three junior national teams overall – and just behind Austria and Denmark.

“I was absolutely thrilled with the team’s performance. They gave their best in the kitchen this week,” said team manager Craig Youdale, dean of NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. “It was the best buffet I’ve ever seen them do, and it was probably the best hot run I’ve ever seen them do.”

Youdale applauded the work, dedication from the team members and the sacrifices that they have made to be a part of the team. “They put their lives on hold for three years. They took everything in their lives and put it aside because they wanted to do this,” he said. “No money. No pay. Out of sheer pride for their country. I think that’s pretty cool.”

“We didn’t win, but we all won. We came here to really cook our hearts out. We did our best and we put everything on the table,” said team captain Ben Lillico, who plans to stay in the competition loop following the Culinary Olympics. “I’m proud of each and every person on this team.”

Lillico said that after the relationships the team has built, the team has become a ‘family.’
“It’s not really about the medal. It’s about the journey,” Lillico said.

Junior Culinary Team is among 20 junior national teams – among 2,000 chefs from more than 50 countries around the world – who competed at the 24th IKA / Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany from October 22 to 25. Known formally as the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) /Culinary Olympics, the international culinary art exhibition is the largest international professional competition for chefs, cooks and pastry chefs, held once every four years. Visit the IKA website at

About Junior Culinary Team Canada

In October 2013, a team of culinary students and recent graduates from the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute won the title of Junior Culinary Team Canada in a victory over other culinary teams at The Canadian Culinary Federation of Chefs and Cooks (CFCC) Junior Culinary Team Selection Competition. The distinction came with the right to represent Canada at international culinary competitions for three years, including the IKA / Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany in October 2016.

In November 2014, the team won a gold and silver medal and ranked fifth overall at the Expogast Villeroy and Boch Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg. In August 2015, the team captured a gold and silver medal and the overall championship title at the American Culinary Classic in Orlando, Florida.

Junior Culinary Team Canada members include captain Ben Lillico, Carly Bergshoeff, Daniella Germond, David Ross, Jeremy Gilligan, Megan Proper, Robbie Aggarwal, Scott McInerney, and Trevor Littlejohn.

The team’s coaches include CFWI chef professors Avi Hollo and Olaf Mertens; with chefs Scott Baechler, Dan LeBlanc, Catherine O’Donnell and Osvaldo Avila providing mentorship for the team. Visit

Team Canada social media

View highlights of the team’s progress on twitter at @ncjrculinary, on facebook at @jrculinary, Instagram @jrculinarycanada, and on their website

Hashtag: #NCtasteforgold, #NCjrCulinaryTeamCA or #myncstory.


Media inquiries, please contact:

Susan McConnell
Media Advisor, Niagara College
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 4330
Cell: 905 933-6259

Niagara College hosts Skills Ontario Trade and Technology Mentorship event for female students Oct. 27

Niagara College, Skills Ontario and Grade 10-12 female students from the Niagara Catholic School Board will join together Thursday, Oct. 27 for a day of discovery and mentorship around skilled trades and technology, one of 10 events by Skills Ontario across the province.

About 80 area students will join mentors – women who are already working or training in a skilled trade or technology career – at the Welland campus of Niagara College starting at 9 a.m. with a networking competition and ending in the afternoon, following tours, the ‘tower build’ competition and panel discussions with mentors.

“Today, women are still underrepresented in the skilled trades and technologies but these are excellent careers for women to support themselves,” said Gail Smyth, Skills Ontario executive director. “Young women need to know that trades and technologies offer many opportunities that can lead to bright, stable and successful careers.”

“We are happy to host this worthwhile event,” said Phil Hayes, Niagara College student recruitment manager. “These important events not only help female students discover careers that can be satisfying and challenging, but they also learn about the different pathways such as apprenticeship. The earlier students are engaged with different options, they more than can do while in high school to prepare for the future.”
Career Exploration/Mentorship Event

Niagara Catholic District School Board Grades 10-12 female students
Skills Ontario
Niagara College

Rankin Technology Centre, Niagara College, Welland Campus

Thursday, October 27
10:30 a.m. Tower Building Exercise
11:40 a.m.-12:50 a.m. Tours and demonstrations in the Shops (Construction Shop, TC77; Electrical Shop, TC76 and Auto Shop, TC12).

Media inquiries, please contact:
Susan McConnell
Media Advisor, Niagara College
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 4330
Cell: 905 933-6259