Marotta family donates to Niagara College’s new agri-food innovation complex



Niagara College announced today that the family of Benny and Louise Marotta are donating $1 million to support the College’s Achieving Dreams Campaign.

The donation of $1 million – which will support the development of, and equipment and furnishings for, Niagara College’s new innovation complex located at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus – was announced to an audience of more than 600 business, education and community leaders at Niagara College’s Seafood Gala. 

The Gala also celebrated the successful completion of the College’s Achieving Dreams campaign. The campaign, which began in April 2015, far surpassed its original goal of $7 million. Including the Marotta family gift, a total of $11,450,791 has been raised to support three areas of student success:

  • $6,319,028 for campus redevelopment
  • $3,472,692 to support scholarships, bursaries, study-work abroad and student leadership development opportunities
  • $1,659,071 million to fund instructional equipment and learning resources

In recognition of the Marotta family’s generous gift, Niagara College will name the new complex the Marotta Family Innovation Complex. The new 49,000 square foot four-storey complex is scheduled for completion in Fall 2018 and will significantly enhance the College’s ability to support the growing competitiveness of Niagara’s agri-business sector. The complex will include agri-food research and innovation laboratories, incubation space for business, specialized training facilities for student engagement and entrepreneurship, and will house a student fitness centre and gymnasium on the lower level. 

“As a family we have always looked ahead towards progress, keeping traditions alive and making communities stronger.  We are proud to be supporting Niagara College.  Our goal is to help ensure this vibrant student community is always looking forward and that they will achieve successes in all aspects of their life,” said the Marotta family.  “These students represent the future of our local agri-business industry and the wine and culinary community of Niagara on the Lake and will continue to bring it recognition on the national and world-wide stage.”

The Marotta family has been active in land and community development within southern Ontario.  They have a history of supporting various charitable organizations close to their hearts such as Mackenzie Health, Humber River Hospital, Sick Children’s Hospital, Vaughan Hospice, Art Gallery of Ontario, Caledon Food Bank and others.

Louise and Benny’s daughters, Angela and Melissa, are the proprietors of award winning winery Two Sisters Vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Two Sisters Vineyards has also committed $20,000 to Niagara College to establish the Two Sisters Vineyard Bursary Fund. Two awards of $2,000 each will be awarded annually to students in Niagara College’s Culinary Innovation and Food Technology, Culinary Management, and Winery and Viticulture Technician programs.

“All of us at Niagara College are extremely grateful to the Marotta family for their generosity,” said Niagara College President Dan Patterson. “This gift, supporting the Marotta Family Innovation Complex, will provide our students with innovative learning spaces, and facilitate cutting-edge research projects that will move Niagara’s growing agri-food industry forward.  It is an important investment in innovation and economic development in the Niagara region. The additional support through the Two Sisters Vineyards Bursary will help many capable and aspiring students pursue a post-secondary education, who otherwise may not have been able to.”

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; 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




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