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Déjà brew: Niagara College Teaching Brewery wins again at U.S. Open Beer Championship

Niagara College’s Teaching Brewery professors and students are celebrating another round of success at the 2017 United States Open Beer Championship.

NC’s Teaching Brewery earned two bronze medals at the 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship earlier this month. More than 6,000 beers representing more than 100 different styles from breweries from around the world were submitted into this year’s competition to be considered by judges from England, Canada and the United States. 

Out of the 24 medals won by Canadian breweries, NC’s Teaching Brewery earned two bronze medals – one for its Beer 101 Bitter and another for its Beer 101 Strong. This marks two years in a row and three years out of four that Beer 101 Strong has earned bronze at the U.S. Open. It is the ninth award in five years for Beer101 Bitter, which is also sold in bottles as Butler’s Bitter.

The Beer 101 Strong is a strong British ale brewed to be blended in other beers or served on special occasions. Originally brewed as a Christmas celebration ale, the brew was so popular, it was brought back and renamed. The brew has won five awards to date: gold (2016) at the Ontario Brewing Awards, silver (2015) at the Dublin Craft Beer Cup, and three bronze medals (2014 as Brewmaster Strong, 2015 and 2017) at the U.S. Open Beer Championships.

The multiple award-winning Beer 101 Bitter — which captured bronze in the Bitter category – was created in 2012 (as Butler’s Bitter) to celebrate the bicentennial of the war of 1812. With a 4.4% alcohol content, this English style Bitter has won numerous contests already including gold (2012), silver (2011, 2013, 2015) and bronze (2013) at the U.S. Open, gold (2013) and silver (2017) at the Ontario Brewing awards, gold at the Canadian Brewing awards (2013), silver 2013 and bronze (2014) at the Dublin Beer Cup (2013), and bronze at the World Beer Championships (2014).

“The fact that brews win in multiple years shows that the students are learning how to brew consistent high quality beers,” said NC brewmaster and professor Jon Downing. “Different groups of students or classes have brewed every single one of our entries.”

Downing who serves as director of judging for the U.S. Open Beer Championships – but is not involved with judging entries from the NC Teaching Brewery – travelled to Oxford, Mississippi for the competition judging. He was accompanied by 15 students from the College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program who had the opportunity to help facilitate judging and serve samples, among other duties.

“Having the students participate in the judging is a great real world experience for them,” said Downing “Apart from the exposure to many different beers, breweries and the sensory training that enhances, they also have the opportunity to judge with educators, owners, brewers, writers and many other great beer folk.”

For Mike Lyons, who worked as a medic/firefighter in the Alberta Oil fields before enrolling in the two-year Brewmaster program at NC, it was the second time he had the opportunity to participate in the U.S. Open Beer Championship.

“As a student in the program, it is amazing to see the College place in a couple categories,” Lyons said. “It is reassuring that the beers we are making are not only providing us with valuable knowledge and experience, but the final product is at a comparable level of quality to great craft breweries across North America and the world.

“I think it gives a lot of merit to the program at Niagara College and legitimizes its place as an important member of Ontario’s craft beer industry.”

In addition to the two winning beers from its Teaching Brewery, Niagara College’s research division developed another beer which won gold in the non-alcoholic category: MADD Virgin Craft Brewed Lager (Hill Street Beverage, Canada). More than three years ago, MADD Virgin Drinks turned to Research & Innovation at Niagara College (formerly Niagara Research) to develop a beer with 0% alcohol. In addition to college researchers, product development tapped into the expertise of staff and students at the NC Teaching Brewery.

For info about the U.S. Open Beer Championship visit


Niagara College medals at the U.S. Open Beer Championship

Silver, First Draft Ale (Bitter)
Silver, Stomp (Old Ale)
Bronze, Rudolph’s Red Nose Ale (Barley Wine)

Gold, Butler’s Bitter (Bitter)
Gold, Helenboch (Munich Helles)
Silver, First Draft Ale (English Summer Ale)
Silver, Bertwell’s Rudolph’s (Wood/Barrel Aged)

NC Teaching Brewery ranked No. 6 brewery in competition

Silver, First Draft Ale (English Summer Ale)
Bronze, Butler’s Bitter (Bitter)
Bronze, Brewmaster Wheat (German Wheat Beer)

Bronze, Brewmaster Strong (Old Ale)

Gold, Brewmaster Stout (Foreign Stout)
Silver, Butler’s Bitter/BEER 101 Bitter (Bitter)
Bronze, Liqueur de Malt (American Imperial Pilsner) 

Bronze, Beer 101 Strong Ale (Old Ale)

NC’s award-winning brews are available for purchase at the NC Teaching Brewery retail outlet located at 135 Taylor Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake. The store is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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.




Media inquiries, please contact:

Julie Greco

Communications specialist

Office: 905-735-2211 x 7368

Cell: 905-328-2532

Welland family gets keys to their new Habitat home built in partnership with Niagara College


Juan Pablo, Luz and their children receive the keys to their new home, on July 6 at Habitat for Humanity Niagara’s Home Dedication Ceremony. The modular house was built by Niagara College students at the Welland Campus, then transported to its permanent site in April where the finishing touches were completed.

NC faculty member Colin Robinson addresses the crowd on July 6, speaking about how meaningful the College’s involvement with Habitat Niagara is to him and his students.

The dream finally came true for Juan, Luz and their three children as they opened the door to their brand new home on July 6 during Habitat Niagara’s Home Dedication Ceremony.

Built as part of the Habitat/Niagara College partnership, this is the second modular home the students built on campus at the Rankin Technology Centre at Niagara College. This past spring, the house was transported in pieces to its permanent site on Sauer Avenue with the help of Empire Transportation and Modern Crane and assembled onsite by the professional framers from Dave Wiens Construction.

“The construction of this home is a testament to what our students can achieve when they are equipped with the tools that a NC applied learning experience provides, in the classroom and beyond,” said Misheck Mwaba, Niagara College dean of Media, Trades and Technology. “We take tremendous pride in the fact that the skills they gained through this project will not only help lead them to career success, but demonstrate the values of hard work and commitment to community that we hope they will carry with them long after they graduate.”

As part of Habitat’s home ownership program, families are required to commit 500 hours of ‘sweat-equity’ helping build their homes alongside Build Day participants who fundraise to be on the build site. Juan and Luz completed their required hours in April and continued to volunteer until the house was finished in early July.

“Having a combination of students and community participants build this house really makes an impact and brings a sense of pride to individuals,” said Alastair Davis, Habitat Niagara’s CEO. “They were all part of something bigger than themselves. They built a solid house for this family to flourish and become self-reliant, while learning unique hands-on training of what it’s like to build a house.”

“Enriching lives and fulfilling dreams’ is our vision at Niagara College and our involvement with Habitat Niagara enables us to do just that –for our students and for the local community,” said Misheck Mwaba, Niagara College dean of Media, Trades and Technology.

Habitat doesn’t give its houses to families. Qualified families purchase their Habitat home with an affordable, no-down payment, 0% interest mortgage for 15 years. Homeowners also pay property taxes on their home, contributing to the local economy.

Habitat would like to thank their other home sponsors and partners for their generous support and contributions to this build: The City of Welland; Niagara Region; Niagara Regional Housing; Niagara Association of Realtors; Ontario Power Generation; Genworth Canada; Cotton Inc; Dave Wiens Construction and the Niagara Volunteer Framing Crew, Wine Rack; Alectra; Niagara Casinos; Giant Tiger; Cabico; Niagara College; Empire Transportation; Modern Crane; and Pollard Windows and Doors.



About Habitat for Humanity Niagara

Habitat Niagara builds decent, and affordable houses and provides no-down-payment, interest-free mortgages to qualifying families who would otherwise not be able to purchase their own homes. Habitat is not a giveaway program –we provide “a hand up not a hand out”. Established locally in 1993, Habitat Niagara will be constructing its 57thhome in Niagara later this year. Habitat for Humanity Niagara also operates a retail outlet –the ReStore –selling donated new and used building materials, hardware, appliances, and home supplies. Revenue from the ReStore supports our overhead costs ensuring that every donated dollar goes directly to building affordable homes for families. The Niagara ReStores are located at 150 Bunting Road, St. Catharines and 2499 Hwy 20 E, Fonthill, with a third store opening soon at 185South Service Road in Grimsby.


About Niagara College:

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. Visit





Media inquiries, please contact:

From Habitat for Humanity Niagara:

Dawn Marie Cavasin

Manager, Development & Communications Office:

905-685-7395 x204Cell: 289-990-2556


From Niagara College:

Susan McConnell

Media advisor

905-641-2252 x 4330

Cell: 905-933-6259

Award-winning journalist Murray Brewster returns to alma mater for Spring Convocation

“I envy you. Because you are at the beginning of the adventure.”

Those were the words of award-winning journalist Murray Brewster as he addressed more than 900 new graduates from Niagara College’s schools of Media, Trades and Technology on June 23.

For Brewster, it was the first return to his alma mater since he graduated from the College’s Broadcasting: Radio, Television and Film program in 1985. Since then, the Welland native – who grew up just a few blocks away from campus – built a successful career in broadcasting and print journalism which has taken him all over the world, including 15 months in Afghanistan travelling with troops during the five-year Kandahar combat mission. That experience was the subject of his book, The Savage War: The Untold Battles of Afghanistan, (2011), and he was the lead writer on the documentary Kandahar Journals.

After more than a decade at The Canadian Press, Brewster moved on to his current position at CBC News in Ottawa last year, where he is a senior parliamentary defence and foreign policy writer. Here, he has come to appreciate the insight of his new, younger colleagues in the newsroom.

Brewster told the young graduates, as they enter their careers, not to assume that experienced, well-travelled journalists like himself have all the answers.

“There is so much I can learn from you. And there is so much you can teach me – and my generation,” he said.

Brewster encouraged the new graduates to not give into the anger, the cynicism, the intolerance and ugliness that is prevalent in the world.

“If there is one thing my generation has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the greater our knowledge has become, the more our ignorance has shown itself,” he said. “Just hold onto the person you are today. Don’t let go of the optimism and passion that brought you to this moment.”

He told them that “people will judge you more for the content of your character than the content of your resume.” He advised them to never be afraid to speak their minds or stand up for what is right, oppose for the sake of opposing, or find fault in someone else’s argument without offering an alternative.

“Remember, civility is not a sign of weakness.”

His major pearl of wisdom to the graduates: “Don’t feed the trolls,” he said, referring to those who intentionally cause disruption and argument on social media.

Brewster told the young graduates that his generation is depending on them to do the right thing, fix their mistakes, and not make too many of their own. He said he looked forward to hearing their insight and seeing the world through their eyes.

“I look forward to you proving that respect for diversity is truly a strength and not a political slogan,” he said. “I look forward to you creating a world where strength is paired with wisdom.

“In other words: I look forward to you not feeding the trolls.”

Brewster received a Distinguished Alumni Award during the ceremony.

The event capped off 2017 Spring Convocation Ceremonies at Niagara College which celebrated more than 4,600 new graduates – a record number—from June 20 to 23 at the Welland Campus.

Previous ceremonies

The ceremonies kicked off on June 20 with speaker, Patrick Whalen, director of The Global Tourism Institute at Niagara University, who received an Honorary Diploma in Tourism Management. On June 21, former deputy minister and Deborah Newman, distinguished visiting professor, Ryerson University addressed graduates at the morning ceremony; and John Ferguson, CEO and president of Purolator Courier addressed graduates in the afternoon . Both of the day’s guest speakers received an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies.

On June 22, the College welcomed former Ontario minister of education Sean Conway, visiting professor at Ryerson University, who received an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies at the morning ceremony. Derek McNally, executive vice president of Clinical Services, as well as a chief nursing executive at Niagara Health System, received an honorary diploma in Health Studies at the afternoon ceremony.

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.

View previous Spring Convocation releases:




Media inquiries, please contact:


Susan McConnell

Media advisor

905-641-2252 x 4330

Cell: 905-933-6259

Meet NC’s 2017 Spring Convocation speakers

Niagara College is celebrating Spring Convocation with a  roster of distinguished guest speakers. Find out who they are for each of our ceremonies below.
Day 1: Tuesday, June 20, 3 p.m. ceremony:

Patrick J. Whalen, Director Niagara Global Tourism Institute

Guest speaker and recipient of an Honorary Diploma in Tourism Management

A serial entrepreneur who has started more than 20 businesses in a variety of industries, Patrick J. Whalen is the director of the Niagara Global Tourism Institute; managing partner of Capstone Scientific, LLC; and executive vice president of the Canadian American Border Trade Alliance.
Whalen served as the chief operating officer of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), Inc. for nearly eight years until November 2015. In addition to managing day-to-day operations, he was the unofficial ‘entrepreneur-in-residence’ who worked to foster collaboration and job creation on the campus and throughout the bi-national region.
Among the businesses Whalen has started is Fulfillment Systems International (FSI), a technology driven logistics services provider. FSI grew from a one-person startup in 1985 to a firm with annual sales of $20 million and more than 200 employees in five locations in Canada, Europe, and the U.S.A. before being sold to UPS in 2000. It is now part of UPS Supply Chain Solutions.
He currently sits on the board of directors of the Association of University Research Parks, World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, Canadian / American Border Trade Alliance, Western New York Public Broadcasting WNED / WBFO, New Buffalo Capital LP, Health Sciences Charter School, the Richardson Center Corporation, and the Council of the Great Lakes Region.
Whalen was the secretary of the Direct Marketing Industry Working Group in Washington, D.C., and has served on the boards of the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, Rotary Club of Buffalo (twice), the American Red Cross Buffalo Chapter, Binational Tourism Alliance, Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership Alumni Association (twice), Continental1, Kaleida Health Foundation, and Buffalo
Niagara WorldConnect. He was also co-chair of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership
Logistics Council, and conceptualized and co-founded Come-to America which seeks to utilize the Buffalo Niagara region’s logistics assets to attract international companies. His most recent endeavor is co-founding the Binational Research and Innovation Corridor which utilizes the assets in Western New York, and the Hamilton and Niagara regions in Southern Ontario.
A Rotarian since 1986, Whalen was an organizer of the new Rotary club on the BNMC, and served on its board of directors during the club’s inaugural year.
Whalen is a graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and attended Canisius College.

Day 2: Wednesday, June 21, 10 a.m. ceremony:

Deborah Newman: Former Deputy Minister, Ontario Public Service and Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ryerson University

Guest speaker and recipient of an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies

Deborah Newman held the position of deputy minister in the Ontario Public Service from 2005 to 2015, serving as deputy minister for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; deputy minister of Correctional Services; and deputy minister of Community Safety.
Newman’s career in the public service encompasses more than 35 years in direct service, policy development, management and executive roles in Ontario and Alberta. She has worked extensively in the justice sector as well as the advanced education sector.
The Women’s Executive Network has twice honoured Newman with a
Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 award. She has also received Diversity Journal’s CEO Leadership in Action award for her leadership of diversity initiatives.
Since she left the public service in spring 2015, Newman has served on an expert panel mandated to provide recommendations to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to strengthen residential services for children and youth. She has also conducted work in the advanced education sector.
She served as an independent director on The Scarborough Hospital Board of Directors, and on the board of Springboard, a non-profit agency.
Newman is a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University,
in both the Department of Criminology and Master’s in Public
Policy program.

Wednesday, June 20, 3 p.m. ceremony:

John Ferguson, CEO and President, Purolator Courier

Guest speaker and recipient of an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies

John Ferguson is president and CEO of Purolator Inc. The leading international shipping solutions provider operates the largest network in Canada with 145 terminals, 1100 shipping centres and agents, and more than 4,000 vehicles on the road every day. Purolator is committed to contributing to the communities it serves and where its more than 10,000 employees live, work and play.
Prior to joining Purolator, Ferguson held varied and successively senior positions in the transportation, logistics and supply chain management industry over the course of his more than 25-year career; most recently, in key organizations such as SCI Logistics and Schneider Logistics.
As the president and CEO at SCI Logistics, he led the significant expansion and growth of the organization into a leader in supply chain management, e-commerce fulfilment and ‘white glove’ transportation services. Prior to SCI, Ferguson served as vice president and general manager at Schneider Logistics based in Georgia, U.S.A. He began his career at PBB Global Logistics, where he held several senior roles and served on the executive team.
Ferguson serves on the board of directors of SCI Logistics, Innovapost, and International Warehouse Logistics Association. He is also an active member in Young Presidents’ Organization and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. He has previously held board of director positions with the Ontario Trucking Association, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters association, the national board for Boy Scouts of Canada, and the Niagara College Foundation.

Day 4: Thursday, June 22 10 a.m. ceremony:

Sean Conway, Visiting Professor, Ryerson University; Public Policy Advisor, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP

Guest speaker and recipient of an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies
Sean Conway is currently a visiting professor at Ryerson University in Toronto.
He also serves as a public policy advisor for the national law firm Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP.
In 2015, he was appointed chair of the Premier’s Expert Panel on ] The Highly Skilled Workforce which reported to the Ontario Government in 2016. From 1975 to 2003, Conway served as a Liberal MPP for the Ottawa Valley. He was minister of education in the government of premier David Peterson (1985-1990).
Upon leaving the legislature, Conway received the Churchill Society’s Award for Excellence in the Cause of Parliamentary Democracy. Conway received his BA from Wilfrid Laurier University and his MA in history from Queen’s University.


Thursday, June 22, 3 p.m. ceremony:

Derek McNally, Executive Vice President Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive Niagara Health

Guest speaker and recipient of an Honorary Diploma in Health Studies

A registered nurse, Derek McNally is the executive vice president, Clinical Services, and chief nursing executive at Niagara Health. He provides professional leadership to nurses and regulated health professionals across the organization as well as operational leadership for the Clinical Services portfolio.
McNally has had a leadership role in health-care research, education, and administration for more than 30 years in both academic health sciences centers and large community hospitals. Prior to starting at Niagara Health in February 2014, McNally was the executive vice president, Clinical Services, at Markham Stouffville Hospital. He has held progressive leadership positions at Trillium Health Centre, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Credit Valley Hospital, and The Hospital for Sick Children.
McNally received his diploma in Nursing from the Glasgow College of Nursing and Midwifery in Glasgow, Scotland in 1980, and earned his Master of Management in the International Masters in Health Leadership program at McGill University. He is also a member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders.
He participates actively in the education of future health-care executives in his role as a preceptor to residents of McMaster University’s Masters in Health Administration and Business Administration programs, and leads and participates in a number of regional initiatives associated with the planning of clinical services within the Hamilton, Niagara Haldimand Brant region.
He is proud to be a strong and vocal advocate for extraordinary patient care.

Day 4: Friday, June 23, 10 a.m. ceremony:

Murray Brewster,  Journalist,  CBC News

Guest speaker and recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award

Murray Brewster is an Ottawa-based correspondent for CBC News, where he is the senior parliamentary defence and foreign policy writer.
Previously, he was senior defence writer at The Canadian Press for more than a decade. He has filed most recently from Iraq and Ukraine, and spent 15 months in Afghanistan during the five-year Kandahar combat mission, travelling with troops and unilaterally throughout the country.
His book, The Savage War: The Untold Battles of Afghanistan, was published in 2011 by John Wiley and Sons, and he was the lead writer on the documentary Kandahar Journals, which aired on CBC Documentary Channel and was released in the United States during the fall of 2015.
Last fall, he also contributed to a book on former prime minister Stephen Harper’s policy legacy entitled The Harper Factor, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Brewster has won 12 regional and national Radio and Television News
Director Awards, two Atlantic Journalism Awards, and the Ross Munro (2010) Award for war corresponding. He appeared as a finalist twice in the Michener Awards for public service in journalism (1989 and 2014), and was a finalist in the National Newspaper Awards (2010) for beat reporting.
Brewster grew up in Welland and graduated from Niagara College’s Broadcasting: Radio, TV and Film program in 1985.


NC Broadcasting students enjoy winners’ spotlight at national conference of educators

Students from Niagara College’s Broadcasting: Radio, Television and Film program were centre-stage on May 26 at the annual Broadcast Educators Association of Canada (BEAC) awards ceremony in Toronto.

Winning in the documentary long category was 8 Weeks by students Dianne Cabansay (director), Taylor Murray, Maika Boettcher (producers); winning in the drama or comedy long category was The Debriefing by Harrison Bond (director), Krystal Kwasniak, Jumaani Davison (producers); and, winning in the radio on-air performance category was Julie Vanderlip.

BEAC honoured outstanding work by students and recent graduates, judging more than 150 entries from colleges and universities across Canada.

“Once again, the overall quality of the audio and video production continues to amaze the judges,” said judging coordinator Paul Papadopoulos.

“Making a good movie – either a documentary or drama – does not happen by accident; it’s a balance between technical skill, storytelling craft and creativity,” said NC’s professor of film production, Luke Hutton. “Winning the BEAC award for best drama and documentary is not only an honour for the students, but serves as testament that Niagara College is teaching the next generation of filmmakers the right things to help kick-start their careers.”

NC president Dan Patterson added his praise. “The awards are a testament to hard work by both the students and the faculty and staff; we are very proud of the quality of their work,” he said.

The students were pleased with BEAC’s decision to honour their work.

From 8 Weeks:

“I’m humbled to receive a national award for our documentary,” said Cabansay. “We would not have been able to do it without the help of our production crew, who put so much time and effort in. Of course, we would not have been able to do this without the story of my good friend, Steve Wang; his experience with the whole refugee claim as a gay man from China is impactful in many ways, so the crew and I are glad that his story is being recognized by others.”

“I’m thrilled about the recognition of this project which our team worked hard on,” said Murray. “I hope that the film continues its success as we continue to promote it.”

“It’s quite surreal to think that we have won a national award for our work,” said Boettcher. “However, it wasn’t difficult wanting to make Steven’s incredible story a documentary that we can all be proud of.”

From The Debriefing:

“I would like to thank the very talented cast and crew for their incredible hard work,” said Bond. “There was a great deal of dedication put towards this film.”

“Working on The Debriefing was an incredible experience to cap off my final year of film school,” said Davison. “I was able to use what I’d been taught to help create a project I can be really proud of, with a team of people I am equally proud of.”

“This award means a lot to the whole crew,” said Kwasniak. “We all worked diligently to make sure the film was a success. Thank you to everyone that helped in making this incredible film.”

From Julie Vanderlip, recipient of the Radio On-Air Performance:

“I am grateful for this opportunity, to say the least,” said Vanderlip. “I’m aware of how lucky I am for my mentors, as they are the ones who helped to shape me into who I am today.”

“The BEAC award is hopefully the first step in the students’ journeys to becoming the next generation of creative leaders in the expanding Canadian film and television industry,” added Hutton.

BEAC is dedicated to professional development of faculty and administrators in radio, television, broadcast journalism and new media programs in colleges and universities in Canada.

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.


Media inquiries, please contact:

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

College operations during Mid-Term Break Feb. 27-March 3

Please note the following hours for College operations during the Mid-Term Break, Feb. 27-March 3 :

  • Reduced transit schedules will be in effect for Reading Week. Visit
  • SAC Offices will be open regular hours.
  • Rise and Shine breakfast program will not be operating during the Mid-Term Break.
  • The Core and The Shack Welland Campus will be closed for construction during the Mid-Term Break
  • The Shack NOTL Campus will be open 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • The Armoury (NOTL Campus) kitchen and bar will be open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Cafeteria hours will be adjusted during the Mid-Term Break:
    • Welland Campus dining hall will be open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Tim Hortons Welland Campus (Secord) will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (breakfast program open)
    • Subway Welland Campus will be open 11 a.m .to 3 p.m.
    • NOTL Campus dining hall will be closed.
    • Tim Hortons NOTL Campus will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (breakfast program all day)
    • Subway NOTL Campus will be closed
    • Niagara Falls cafeteria services will be open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • NC Libraries will be open regular hours on the weekends before, after and during the Mid-Term Break:
    Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Saturday and Sunday 1 5 p.m.
  • Bookstores will be open regular hours, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • In Student Services, Health Wellness and Accessibility Services will be open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (no p.m. hours).
  • Test centres will be open Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • The Centre for Student Engagement, Career Services and Academic Advising offices will be open regular hours during Reading Week, 8:30 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.
  • NC Athletics (Welland and NOTL campuses) will be open regular hours Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fitness classes will run only at 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. each day. It will be closed Saturday and Sunday (weekends before and after).
  • NC Winery and Brewery retail stores (NOTL Campus) will be open regular hours daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Benchmark restaurant (NOTL Campus) will be closed Tuesday for a private event, and open Wednesday to Saturday for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday and Saturday for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Bench To Go (NOTL Campus) will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Niagara College Employment and Training Solutions, 1 St. Paul St., St. Catharines, will maintain regular hours.

Knights Curling captures OCAA silver

The Niagara College women’s curling program captured a silver medal at the 2017 OCAA Curling Championship, hosted by Sault College in Sault St. Marie, on Sunday, February 19.

The Knights defeated the top-seeded Fleming knights in the semi-finals by before losing a tight 6-4 battle to the Humber Hawks in the Gold Medal game.

In addition to the silver medal, St. Catharines native Emma Caldwell was named an OCAA Second Team All-Star, while head coach Jordan thin was named OCAA Curling Coach of the year. This marks the second consecutive year Thin has earned the accolade.

The second place finish gives Niagara College intercollegiate athletics its first OCAA women’s curling medal since the 2012-13 season when they captured gold. The medal also gives the Knights five OCAA medals so far in 2016-17. The Niagara Knights women’s curling team consists of Lorelle Weavers (Burlington), Renee Boyce (St. Catharines), Courtney Smith (St. Catharines), and Emma Caldwell (St. Catharines).

The four-day event saw the Knights finish round robin play with a record of 4-2. In round robin play, the Niagara side secured victories over Mohawk (6-3), Fleming (8-5), Fanshawe (5-2), and Seneca (5-3). The team was beaten by St. Clair (7-5) and Humber (7-1).

The Knights advanced the medal round as the number four seed and faced the 5-1 Fleming Knights in the semi-final. The tight battle saw the two teams tied 3-3 after five ends. The turning point proved to be the sixth frame, when the Knights stole a pair, to go up 5-3. Fleming would take two points of their own in the seventh, but in the process gave Niagara the hammer for the eighth and final end. Niagara made no mistake, scoring two points to secure the 7-5 victory while advancing to the gold medal match.

The Knights faced the Humber Hawks in the championship game. In the round robin, the Hawks cruised to a lopsided 7-1 victory, in a performance that Knights Curling head coach Jordan Thin simply chalked up to “flat game” by his team.

The gold medal match proved to be much tighter. The two teams traded single points in the early stages. Niagara led a 2-1 after three ends. With the hammer in the fourth, the Hawks managed to score the elusive first two-point end. The Knights tied the game up in the fifth, but the Hawks once again scored a deuce in the sixth end to lead 5-3.
With the Hawks doubling down on clean and defensive play, Niagara managed to score a single point in the seventh end giving the Hawks a 5-4 lead heading into the final frame. The Hawks played clean, picked up a single point, and captured the hard fought 6-4 victory.

With the silver medal performance, the Knights now advance to the CCAA National Curling Championship being hosted from March 21-24 by the University of Alberta-Augustana in Camrose, Alberta.

Niagara College achieves educational green silver star

Ontario’s colleges are playing a leading role in Canada’s efforts to tackle climate change, says a newly released report.

The report ‘Moving to Net Zero: Colleges Leading the Way’, highlights the 24 colleges’ achievements in everything from leading-edge research that promotes energy efficiency to the development of programs that prepare increasing numbers of graduates for careers in areas such as renewable energy and sustainable building construction.

“Doing our part to improve the health of the planet is a priority at Niagara College,” said president Dan Patterson. “We are firmly committed to the global effort to fight climate change.”

The report documents achievements in five areas: research, community leadership, college programs, transportation and campus upgrades. The examples in the report confirm that all 24 colleges are playing an active part in the effort to reduce the province’s carbon footprint.

Niagara College recently attained its Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) silver star. Some notable accomplishments that led to this rating, said NC’s sustainability advisor Taryn Wilkinson are:

  • Completing an inventory of over 2,500 NC academic courses to ensure that almost 10 per cent of courses offered are connected to sustainability;
  • The installation of two aquaponic systems in the NC greenhouse contributing to the food network being developed on campus;
  • Community partnerships included the General Motors Global Rivers Environmental Education Network, and with the Walker Environmental Group;
  • Utilizing the campus as a living laboratory for student learning and applied research; and,
  • Ensuring over 30 per cent of the programs and faculty involved in research include sustainability.

In addition, NC was recently presented the 2016 Most Engaged Member award from the Niagara Sustainability Initiative.

The findings in the ‘Leading the Way’ report include:

  • Throughout the province, colleges offer more than 300 programs that prepare graduates to work in sectors that directly impact emissions reductions, conservation and renewable energy.
  • In 2015-16, more than 20,000 students were enrolled in programs that prepare them for careers that address climate change. That represents an increase of more than 20 per cent over the past five years.
  • Millions of dollars have been invested in retrofit programs and other upgrades at campuses across the province. The retrofitting projects have included weatherization initiatives, energy and greenhouse gas audits, the installation of wind turbines and solar panels, and the integration of new designs that include green roofs and pollinator gardens.

“While we’re proud of our successes, we also know there is more to do,” said Wilkinson. “We will continue to work to reduce emissions and to produce the workforce that Ontario needs to make the transition to a net-zero economy.

“Having the College sector pull together on green initiatives demonstrates how we can make significant contributions to the greening of the province,” she added.


The full report is available here.



Media contact:
Susan McConnell

Media Relations, Niagara College,

905-641-2252 x 4330

Niagara College uncorks victory at the All Canadian Wine Championships

The Niagara College Teaching Winery has harvested national success with three new award-winning wines.

The Teaching Winery, located at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, won three medals at the 36th annual All Canadian Wine Championships (ACWC). Its 2015 Balance Semi-Dry Riesling captured gold in the Riesling Off Dry category. It also won two bronze medals – for its 2015 Balance Viognier (in the Viognier category), and for its 2014 Les Marmitons Gastronomy Pinot Noir (Pinot Noir Under $25 category).

The oldest and one of the largest competitions for Canadian wineries, winning an award at the ACWC is a significant achievement, said competition director Bev Carnahan. She noted that the Pinot Noir and Riesling categories are always difficult to win and this year was no exception – with 38 entries for Pinot Noir Under $25, and 35 entries for Riesling Off Dry. Viognier is also increasingly competitive each year, she said, with 23 entries this year.

“Like skimming cream off the top, we only award medals to the very best,” said Carnahan.

The news was applauded at the NC Teaching Winery, the first and only commercial teaching winery in Canada. The 2016 ACWC awards were the first awards ever received for the three wines which are all new releases at the Teaching Winery, said winemaker Gavin Robertson. He noted that it was particularly rewarding for him to see the 2015 Balance Semi-Dry Riesling win gold.

“The grape, as it grows in Ontario particularly, is close to my heart,” said Robertson. “It’s just so versatile with food and is always vibrant and fresh and, in the right vintage, can also age well.”

The 2015 Balance Viognier was the first of its kind for the NC Teaching Winery, since the grape is uncommon in Ontario – most famously vinified in Northern Rhone region of France. The Teaching Winery experimented with the batch, fermenting some in older French oak barrels, and some in stainless steel, then aging the wine on its yeast lees for a few months to build structure and weight.

“I was happy with the final blend and it’s nice to see that it played well with the awards panel at the ACWC,” said Robertson.

The 2014 Les Marmitons Gastronomy Pinot Noir was one of two wines produced from a recent collaboration between the Teaching Winery and Les Marmitons – an international gastronomic and social club for those who share an interest in fine food, wine and the culinary arts. Along with 2014 Les Marmitons: Gastronomy Chardonnay, proceeds from sales of both wines help to support student learning.

“These wines are emblematic of the deep roots NC shares with the regional community, which is so closely tied to the agricultural products that grow so well in this part of Ontario, including grapes,” said Robertson.

Judging for the 2016 ACWC took place June 7-9 in Prince Edward County. The competition drew a record number of 1,356 entries this year from 237 wineries, meaderies and cideries. Entries were critiqued by a panel of 19 judges and 502 awards were granted – 127 from Ontario. For information visit

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies 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:

Michael Wales
Senior Communications Officer
Office: 905.735.2211 ext. 7773
Cell: 905.328.4101

Julie Greco
Communications Specialist
Office: 905.735.2211 ext. 7368
Cell: 905.328.2532