Category: Media Releases

Niagara College to sell Dunn Street property in Niagara Falls

As Niagara College focuses its programs and services at campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, the College announced today that it will soon list its Dunn Street property in Niagara Falls for sale.

As the College invests $65 million in campus redevelopment projects in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, the move will provide all Niagara College students access to an enhanced level of services, amenities and overall college experience.

“We feel the timing is right for this move,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “We are making significant investments at the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses that are modernizing our learning environments, improving our facilities and enhancing the experience that we offer students. This creates an opportunity to move the programs that operated in Niagara Falls to the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses, while providing the best possible facilities for teaching and learning.”

Projects that are completed or underway in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake include enhanced student services, student commons and learning commons projects at both campuses, enhanced classroom and lab spaces, a new cafeteria at Welland and a new fitness centre and gymnasium at Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The sale will also generate savings and revenue that will be reinvested in learning resources and services that benefit all Niagara College students.

“While this decision is driven primarily by our commitment to our students, it also makes financial sense at a time when sound fiscal management is more important than ever,” said Patterson, “especially as new and improved spaces become available at our full-service Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses.”

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.


For media information, please contact:

Susan McConnell
Media advisor 905-641-2252 x 4330
Cell: 905-933-6259

Niagara College students to unveil 20th Many Hands project at Hotel Dieu

Niagara College students and staff will host the 20th Annual ‘Reveal Day’ ceremony on Thursday, April 13 to officially unveil this year’s Many Hands Project: construction of The Marketplace at Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. Catharines.

The Many Hands Project is an annual student-driven renovation program through NC’s Event Management and Construction Renovation Technician programs. Many Hands, celebrating its 20th anniversary, has raised money through sponsorships and four fundraising events that took place in March and April for The Marketplace project.

Niagara College students and faculty from the Event Management and Construction Renovation Technicians programs; community partners of the 2017 Many Hands Project; Hotel Dieu Shaver staff and Board members; and local dignitaries.

Many Hands ‘Reveal Day’ to celebrate the official completion of the 20th Many Hands Project. Construction students began renovations of The Marketplace in January; Event Management students have held four major fund-raising events to fund the project. The Marketplace will be a space where therapists will help rehabilitate patients by recreating real-world challenges.

Thursday, April 13, 9 a.m.-11 am at Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre, St. Catharines, in ‘The Marketplace.’

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.

For media information, please contact:

Susan McConnell, Media advisor, 905-641-2252 x 4330; cell 905-933-6259

At the event, please see Kathy Nitta, Chairperson, Many Hands project committee.

What’s open/closed at Niagara College for Easter weekend

Niagara College will be closed on April 14 for Good Friday. Students accessing classrooms or specialized labs at the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake Campuses on April 14 must have faculty authorization and sign-in with Campus Safety (security).

Note that the Niagara College Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery retail outlets will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Here’s a list of operating hours for our services and enterprises Easter Weekend:

NC Libraries: Closed Friday, open 1-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Please note: library e-resources are available 24-7 via

Cafeteria: Closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Bookstore: Closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

NC Employment and Training Solutions (1 St. Paul St.): Closed Friday.

Niagara College Teaching Brewery/Teaching Winery retail outlets: Open Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Niagara College Greenhouse: Open Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday.

Benchmark Restaurant: Closed Good Friday. Open Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed Easter Sunday. Closed Monday.

Bench To Go: Closed Good Friday. Closed Saturday and Sunday. Open Monday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Athletics/Recreation facilities: Closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Student Centres and SAC offices: Closed.

Transit: Transit will not be running on Friday and will resume normal schedules on Monday.

Niagara College gaming students showcase ‘concept to creation’ video games at event

Niagara College Game development students will showcase their final video game projects for industry professionals on April 12 at the Welland campus.

The showcase features video games designed by students, from concept to completion.

“Niagara’s Game Development students continue to creatively and technically impress,” said Rick Goertz, program coordinator and professor. “We are also very excited to have students from the joint Niagara College/Brock University Game Programming and Game Design programs join our growing family of developers this year.”

The interactive end-of-year display is an opportunity for attendees to participate and play the games on display and meet the creators. There will also be an awards ceremony and refreshments.

Niagara College’s three-year Advanced Diploma in Games Development prepares students for careers in the digital and interactive media industry.

WHO: Niagara College and Brock University game development students, and staff.
WHERE: The Core, Welland campus of Niagara College, 100 Niagara College Blvd.
WHAT: Interactive display of video games by students, from concept to creation.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 12, 7 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. (awards ceremony 8 p.m.). Free admission, open to students, family and friends, media, and industry professionals.

Media inquiries, please contact:
Susan McConnell, Media advisor
905-641-2252 x 4330 Cell: 905-933-6259

National Dental Hygiene Week: Niagara College dental hygiene students offer free screenings for public and students


Niagara College (NC) senior students from NC’s Dental Hygiene program are hosting an event at the Welland campus on Tuesday to help others “brush up.”

As part of National Dental Hygiene Week students will be promoting oral health from 9 a.m.- 11 a.m. at the Applied Health Institute foyer, just inside the main door at the campus.

Visitors can experience a free comprehensive oral screening, gather information and advice about teeth brushing techniques including whitening, and learn about sugar substitutes, the dangers of sugar, smoking and oral cancer.

“Our profession is founded on advocacy,” said Alaina Gauthier, professor, NC’s School of Applied Health. “This event allows students to exercise this muscle and encourages them to experience what it is like to be part of a community outreach program.

“National Health Dental Hygiene Week is celebrated all over Canada, so it is always rewarding for students to see they are part of something bigger than what they do at Niagara College; it allows them to see the all-encompassing nature of their profession.”

The event will also include games, raffle prizes and giveaways.

Niagara College Dental Hygiene program students, staff and community.

National Dental Hygiene Week, an initiative of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association. This year’s theme: ‘Oral Health for Total Health.’ The Oral Cancer Foundation is assisting the students by providing brochures and screening kits.

Welland campus, 100 Niagara College Blvd., Welland, Applied Health Institute foyer, main college entrance.

Tuesday, April 11, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Media inquiries, please contact:
Susan McConnell
Media advisor
905-641-2252 x 4330
Cell: 905-933-6259

Ontario marks 50th anniversary of college system, makes commemorative investment at Niagara College

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ontario’s College System, the province declared April 3 to 9, 2017 as Colleges Week and is making a new investment in each of Ontario’s 24 publicly assisted colleges to enhance the student experience.

Ontario is providing $1,858,100 to help Niagara College deliver high-quality education that will give students the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.

The funding will be used by Niagara College to invest in new technology, equipment and learning spaces that will enhance the student experience.

Investing in postsecondary infrastructure is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


“This investment will provide college students at Niagara College with state-of-the-art materials including specialized software for teaching, new lab and shop equipment and technology to modernize existing classrooms and labs, that will ensure they have the right skills for a knowledge and technology-driven economy.”
— Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines

“Our government commemorates the growth and evolution of Ontario’s college system, launched by Bill Davis, 50 years ago and the tremendous contribution they have made to our province’s economic growth and vitality. This $50 million investment will provide our students with access to leading-edge equipment and labs that will ensure they have the right skills for a knowledge and technology-driven economy.”
— Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government

“The recognition by the Ontario government of the important and vital role colleges play in our communities across the province by granting this special 50th anniversary funding is appreciated,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “This investment in Niagara College’s students will help us to provide outstanding learning environments to allow our students to acquire the necessary advanced skills for employment in the future.”
— Dan Patterson, Niagara College President



 Ontario is investing $48 million in capital funding for new equipment and learning resources and $2 million in the Northern Colleges Collaboration – a total of $50 million to mark the 50th anniversary.
 In September 2016, Colleges Ontario launched the Start of Something Amazing, a 15-month celebration of the college system’s 50th anniversary.
 In 2015-16, about 84 per cent of Ontario college graduates found work within six months of graduating.
 About 220,000 students are enrolled full time at Ontario’s 24 publicly assisted colleges.
Ontario Colleges at 50: The Start of Something Amazing
Ontario’s colleges


Brian Foster
Office of Jim Bradley
MPP St. Catharines
Constituency Office
905-935-0018 c 905.933.6259

Susan McConnel
Niagara College
Media advisor
905.641.2252 x 4330


Brewnited Nations international flavour is theme for annual Project Brew fest by Niagara College students

Niagara College Brewmaster students are offering the public a taste of the world at their annual Project Brew festival: The Brewnited Nations.

The soon-to-be graduates of the College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program will be hosting the event this Friday at the Market Square in St. Catharines.

The event will offer a selection of 20 beers as well as a collaboration cask, hand-crafted by NC students at the Teaching Brewery.

The beer festival is an opportunity for the public to sample unique, locally developed and often experimental small batch beers from the college’s Teaching Brewery; and for graduating students to showcase what they have learned.

“Project Brew is the culmination of four semesters of learning for students. Not only do they 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 faculty advisor April Tyrrell. “This fun community event is an excellent opportunity for students to promote themselves and their beer to the public.”

“It allows us to take responsibility and build a festival while learning about the many trials and tribulations that come into play while putting this together,” said the event’s student chair Brittany Ribalkin, who will be presenting a Biere de Garde at the event. “I believe that it will benefit me as students do all aspects of the brew from recipe design, to brewing the product, to the various lab tests, packaging and overall daily duties of the brewery. After all is said and done, we all work as a team to pull off an incredible event.”

While this will be the seventh Project Brew hosted by the Brewmaster program’s graduating students since the event was launched in April 2015, this is the first with a ‘Brewnited Nations’ theme. Ribalkin noted that the theme was chosen because many of the brews have ingredients and styles from different countries, offering a way new way for guests to enjoy various beers that the world has to offer.

The theme also struck a chord with students since there are several international classmates in the program from as far away as the United States, Mexico, Brazil and South Korea.

In addition to beer, guests at the event can enjoy entertainment from international dancers and participate in international games including Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

“We want our patrons to feel free to dress up and get into the theme of the event,” said Ribalkin.

Vendors at Project Brew will include the College’s Benchmark restaurant, The Smokin’ Buddha, and Eh Jose, as well as Signal Coffee Co.

Proceeds from Project Brew will benefit the Matt Soos Memorial Scholarship, which is presented annually to a student in the College’s Brewmaster program who brews the best beer in the NC Annual Brewmaster competition. 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.

Brewnited Nations Project Brew, annual Niagara College student beer festival.

Market Square, 91 King Street, St. Catharines. Online advance tickets to the event are $20 ($17.50 group discounts are available). Tickets include entry to the event, a commemorative sample glass and four beer tokens. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $25 or online (visit Guests must be 19 years of age or older (valid photo ID required) to attend.

Friday, April 7, 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

For additional details visit

For media inquiries, please contact:
Susan McConnell, Media Advisor
905-641-2252 x 4330
c: 905-933-6259

For assistance at the event, please see Brittany Ribalkin.

A new technology-focused approach to assist youth in securing employment

In response to the critical labour shortages facing many of Ontario’s key sectors, Niagara College and OTEC, in partnership with Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA), has announced an innovative youth-targeted employment model called the ALiGN Network.

Recently launched across Ontario, the initiative has brought together industry partners from across the province to develop a psychometric-based talent-to-role fit assessment and job-matching model designed initially for the hospitality and tourism industry.

The ALiGN pre-employment skills training program will be delivered at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. Employers and community employment partners throughout the Niagara region can connect with Niagara College, or, directly with OTEC, to identify and recruit ALiGN graduates.

“Niagara College is pleased to work with OTEC and be a part of the ALiGN Network,” said Barbara Glass, associate dean, School of Access, Niagara College. “We are confident that ALiGN will assist us in connecting local employers to interested and motivated youth seeking entry level and high demand opportunities in the tourism industry across the Niagara region.”

The ALiGN network will be supported by Ryerson University’s Magnet platform to bring this first-of-its-kind youth employment model online, making ALiGN accessible to businesses and job seekers anywhere in Ontario. Through the ALiGN Network, youth will be matched to live job postings based on their own unique personality attributes and interests. Work-ready job seekers will be fast-tracked into employment. Candidates with skills or qualifications gaps based on the assessment process will receive industry-designed training and certification, either through the network of regional training partners, or, through an online suite of industry training programs that can be accessed remotely.

“The fact that our youth unemployment rate is over 14 per cent in this province while employers are struggling to fill entry-level positions demands that we start looking at things differently” said Adam Morrison, VP Projects and Partnerships, OTEC. “Businesses have been telling us for years that, if candidates are the right fit, they will hire them and train them for advancement. We now have a system that matches youth to real opportunities based on their unique attributes, attitudes and goals.”

Key industry partners include Magnet/Ryerson University, ORHMA, Mobilize Jobs, and a roster of prominent, independent and global brands. ORHMA which represents over 11,000 hospitality employers across the province has partnered with ALiGN. Since the assessment methodology is based on a behavioural and attitudinal benchmark established by industry, it will enable ALiGN’s employment and training partners to refer candidates to participating employers with confidence in the job seeker’s suitability for the position. It will also open up a new pool of potential candidates for employers: youth who might not have experience in the role, but are a natural fit for the work and the industry culture.

“The ALiGN Network will support their members and unemployed youth in the Niagara region,” said Tony Elenis, president, ORHMA. “By working with key industry stakeholders and partners, we will address the issues of youth underemployment and labour shortages in the hospitality industry, specifically in the Niagara region.”

Funded in part by the Government of Ontario, with support from the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, the ALiGN project will represent a significant investment in hospitality training programming for four other regions including Toronto, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Algoma, while also seeking to address the overall labour shortage Ontario is facing for front line hospitality roles.
– 30 –
For more information about the ALiGN network, please contact:

Adam Morrison, V.P. Projects and Partnerships, OTEC.
416.622.1975 ext: 236
Emmanuel Rey, Manager, Workforce Development and Industry Partnerships, OTEC.
416.622.1975 ext: 210

OTEC is an Ontario-based independent, not-for-profit training, consulting & workforce development organization that delivers high quality, creative and branded solutions for the development and growth of a professional, skilled workforce. It is the leading source support for communities to build workforce capacity and for companies to attract, retain, and develop high performing employees and become Employer of Choice organizations.

OTEC is the premier source for Customer Service training and strategy development, Tourism Ambassador training, leadership skills training and certifications and education products and services for tourism, hospitality and service oriented organizations in a wide range of industry sectors both nationally and internationally.
E. T. 416.622.1975



The Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) is the largest provincial hospitality association in Canada. With over 4,000 members, representing more than 11,000 establishments across the province, the ORHMA is uniquely positioned to represent the issues that most impact your business.

ORHMA represents the industry’s interests at both the Provincial and Municipal levels of government. Through our specialized in-house government relations experts, our provincial Board of Directors and our local Regional Boards, the Association provides pertinent and timely advice on industry-specific issues to politicians across the province. The Association’s dedicated and professional Membership Team provides ORHMA members with meaningful cost-saving programs and unique educational services.

ORHMA is dedicated to fostering a positive business climate for Ontario’s hospitality industry, while providing value-added services to its members.
E. T. 905.361.0268


Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College for Applied Arts and Technology, Niagara College is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Susan McConnell
Media Advisor
Niagara College
905 641-2252 x 4330

Niagara College joins community to welcome Canada Summer Games in 2021 to Niagara

Niagara College  president Dan Patterson joined community leaders in Toronto today to hear the announcement that Niagara was named the Canada Summer Games host for 2021.

The welcome news was delivered in front of a packed audience at the University of Toronto by Ontario Tourism Minister Eleanor McMahon.

Niagara edged out three other communities in the short list of the bid process – Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge, Ottawa and Sudbury.

“This is a win-win for athletes and the entire community of Niagara,” said Patterson. “Everyone in the area came together to support the bid and showcase all of the great venues, people and talent we have to offer in Niagara.”

Niagara College will be the host venue for a number of events and activities around the Games, including:

-Games’ broadcasting centre; Games’ media centre, practice and alternate basketball games site; and residential housing for technical officials for South Niagara sports locations – at the Welland campus; and,

-Residential housing for technical officials for North Niagara sports locations – at the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campus residences.

In addition, NC will be involved in the Human Legacy Plan for Niagara, a project spearheaded by NC’s associate vice-president, academic and learner services, David Veres. These initiatives support job opportunities for students and recent graduates, placement internships and course-based projects.

Patterson said the College and community have a lot to look forward to: “the College’s hands-on learning approach opens up opportunities to support development and delivery of a world-class games.

“We are very proud to be a part of the Canada Summer Games in 2021.”


Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.
For media information, please contact:

Susan McConnell
Media advisor
905-641-2252 x 4330
Cell: 905-933-6259

Niagara College students cook up success at Saputo Junior Challenge for Ontario

Two Niagara College students proved they could take the heat in the kitchen, earning second and third place at a provincial culinary competition recently in Toronto.

First-year Culinary Management student Kevin Charanduk won silver, and second-year Culinary Management student Anthony Belluomini won bronze, at the Canadian Culinary Federation Saputo Junior Challenge for Ontario.

Dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Craig Youdale applauded the students’ accomplishment and noted the significance of the experience.

“Competing is about showcasing the incredible passion and dedication our students and staff have to the culinary world,” said Youdale. “The students are able to have the opportunity to showcase their talents under pressure and really gain some important confidence in their future.”

Held at Humber College on March 18, the students had four hours and 30 minutes to prepare and serve a three-course menu for six people. Before the competition began, menus, work plans and recipes were submitted. Competitors were tasked with preparing a menu using chicken for each dish and specific cheese from sponsor Saputo for each course. Students were judged on cooking skills, as well as on food preparation, presentation, and taste.

Charanduk and Belluomini were selected to compete by chef professor Olaf Mertens and began preparing for the competition in February – everything from chicken butchery to final plating. In March, their dishes were finalized including their recipes, schedule plans, ingredient and equipment checklists. It was the first culinary competition for the two NC students and a meaningful one for them both.

“Getting to represent all the hardworking staff and students of the College pushed me to work hard every class and practice,” said Charanduk.

Charanduk, a resident of St.Catharines, noted how training for the competition has helped to grow his abilities and now he can work faster and cleaner.

“We were awarded a trophy for our finishes, but the experience itself and the opportunity to grow is reason enough to do the competition,” he said.

Belluomini, who moved from Meaford to Niagara-on-the-Lake to attend NC, said he was proud to have been selected to represent the College and put his skills to the test. He was grateful for his support he received from chefs and mentors at the CFWI as well as from colleagues, family and friends.

While it was a challenge to fit in his training with his schoolwork and his job at Two Sisters vineyard – Belluomini said he valued the experience.

“I feel as if the competition not only improved my skills, my organization, and my creativity, but it also developed my overall character, giving me more confidence in myself,” he said. “My passion and drive to become a chef is stronger than ever and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.


For media inquiries, contact:

Susan McConnell
Media Advisor
905 641-2252 x 4330