Niagara College welcomes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Niagara College welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to one of Canada’s most unique learning environments earlier today.

The prime minister visited the Wine Visitor + Education Centre at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus on Saturday morning, where he met students and staff, and learned about the wine making process from students and recent graduates of Niagara College’s Winery and Viticulture Technician program.

“We were very pleased to welcome the prime minister and to share some of the interesting and innovative work that our students, staff and faculty are doing,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “We were also grateful for the opportunity to highlight Niagara College’s important role in supporting key industry sectors in our region, across Ontario and Canada, including Niagara’s world-renowned grape and wine industry.”

While touring the Niagara College Teaching Winery, the Prime Minister met Kalem Magny of Fenwick, ON, a current student in Niagara College’s Winery and Viticulture Technician program, and Di Yao, originally of Fuzhou Province, China, a recent graduate of the Winery and Viticulture Technician program currently working at Jackson-Triggs Winery, who, along with Niagara College winemaker/professor Gavin Robertson, demonstrated winemaking processes.

“I’m envious that this is work for you,” the prime minister said of his surroundings in the teaching vineyard. “Who wouldn’t want their daily commute to include a vineyard like this?”

As a teacher and a prime minister, Trudeau said that he’s visited postsecondary institutions across the country.

“I’m always impressed by colleges’ and universities’ innovative spirit.”

Both Magny and Yao were excited to share their work with the prime minister.

“What really makes Niagara College’s Winery and Viticulture Technician program unique is the hands-on nature of the program,” said Magny. “It was great to show the Prime Minister what I’m learning, and describe a key part of the winemaking process.”

“Niagara College’s Winery and Viticulture Technician program provided me with the hands-on skills and experience I needed to succeed in the grape and wine industry,” said Yao, who also holds bachelor’s degrees from Canada and her native China. “I was thrilled to meet the prime minister and demonstrate the applied learning that takes place in the Niagara College Teaching Winery.”

The Prime Minister’s visit concluded with a media availability in the College’s 40-acre teaching vineyard.

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


Note to editors: Photos attached:

ncpmvisit1: Left to right, Niagara College president Dan Patterson; Niagara College winemaker Gavin Robertson; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

ncpmvisit2: Left to right, Niagara College Winery and Viticulture Technician graduate Di Yao; Niagara College Winery and Viticulture Technician student Kalem Magny; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle.

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