Category: Media Releases

Niagara College to celebrate 50 years of excellence on Oct. 4

Niagara College invites students, faculty, alumni, retirees and the community to join a special celebration to mark its 50th anniversary on October 4.

The outdoor event will be held at the Welland Campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (outside of the Athletic Centre). It will feature Colleges Ontario’s Amazing 50 Campus Tour mobile trailer – which is touring college campuses across the province to mark this significant milestone – as well as NC display booths, a massive group photo op on the campus lawn, the College’s Bench on the Go Food Truck, and more.

“We are very proud of our involvement in Niagara over the past 50 years,” said NC president Dan Patterson. “We look forward to bringing our past together with our present, as we welcome our alumni, retirees and the community, along with our current students, faculty and staff for this special celebration.”

The formal portion of the event will kick off at 10:15 a.m. with special remarks from the college president, as well as community leaders.

A commemorative group photo will be taken at 10:40 a.m. on the campus lawn. The college community and all attendees are encouraged to wear Niagara College colours, blue and white, for the occasion.

Guests can turn back the clock inside Colleges Ontario’s Amazing 50 mobile trailer. The fully decked 42-foot trailer is a travelling interactive museum which showcases the history of Ontario colleges over the past 50 years. It includes a game-style quiz to test visitors about college and pop culture history, examples of how colleges are promoting environmental stewardship and tackling climate change, displays that spotlight leading-edge innovation at colleges, profiles of graduate successes throughout the world, and an opportunity to vote on finalists for the William G. Davis innovation Fund. For info visit

Booths from various areas across Niagara College – including the libraries, Retirees Association, Student Administrative Council, Marketing and Recruitment, and the Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership – will be on display, showcasing the college’s history as well as campus life today, with anniversary swag up for grabs and other giveaways.

To honour the College’s 50th anniversary, the City of Welland has declared the week of Oct. 2-6: Niagara College Week. The Niagara College flag will also be raised during the week at Niagara Regional Headquarters.

Niagara College unveiled its 50-year anniversary website last year which includes an archive of college yearbooks, scrapbooks and newspaper clippings that date back to 1967.  Visit Last fall, the Welland Campus address officially changed to one bearing the college name: 100 Niagara College Blvd in honour of the college milestone. A 50th anniversary gala dinner was also held at the NOTL Campus in May. 

This summer, the City of Welland displayed a floral tribute to the College’s 50-year anniversary at the corner of Prince Charles Drive and Colbeck Drive.

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






Wednesday, October 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Special remarks at 10:15 a.m.

Commemorative photo at 10:40 a.m.  (Wear blue and white!)




Niagara College Welland Campus, 100 Niagara College Boulevard

Outside, in front of the Athletic Centre



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Niagara College student competes in Invictus Games

Jason Pulver, who is enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration – Human Resources program, is competing in the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto.

For Niagara College student Jason Pulver, injury doesn’t defeat passion for sport.

The Bachelor of Business Administration – Human Resources student is among 90 athletes proudly representing the nation as part of Team Canada at the 2017 Invictus Games. The international sporting event features seven days of adapted sports competition for wounded, ill and injured serving members of the military as well as veterans. This year, 550 competitors from 17 nations will participate in the Toronto Invictus Games, to be held from Sept. 23 to 30.

A long-time resident of Niagara Falls, Pulver graduated from NC’s Police Foundations program in 2003. He served as a military police corporal from 2005 to 2010 at Canadian Forces Base Borden, CFB Esquimalt and CFB Kingston. An ankle injury and post-traumatic stress disorder led him to retire from the Forces. This month, he returned to Niagara College to pursue his new career aspirations in Human Resources.

At the Invictus Games, Pulver will be participating in shot put on Sept. 24, discus on Sept. 25, and   wheelchair basketball on Sept. 28-29. For Pulver, the latter is reminiscent of his days playing basketball for the NC team.

“I played basketball at Niagara College when I was able bodied, now not even an injury can stop me from playing the game I love; I just play in a wheelchair now,” said Pulver. “In some strange way my basketball career is coming full circle through Niagara College.”

Competing in the Games is a first for Pulver. He became inspired by the courage of the 2016 Invictus Games and decided to apply. He has been training in track and field, and wheelchair basketball since November 2016 when he was told he was part of the team.

“I am very excited to compete as this is my chance to show my friends and family that I am on the road to recovery from my injuries,” he said.

Pulver noted he is looking forward to seeing his teammates at the Games.

“Once you leave the military, the sense of the brother/sisterhood is lost as civilians do not understand our culture or our injures,” said Pulver. “Getting to hang out with fellow vets who are struggling with similar injures feels like I am normal again.”

Created by Prince Harry, the Invictus Games began in March 2014 in London, United Kingdom. The second Games took place in May 2016 at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida. For more information about the Invictus Games visit

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




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Media advisor
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Cell: 905 933-6259

Niagara College to offer Canada’s first postsecondary credential in Commercial Cannabis Production

Responding to a need for skilled graduates who are knowledgeable in the complex regulations and requirements of an emerging industry, Niagara College will launch a Graduate Certificate program in Commercial Cannabis Production in 2018 – Canada’s first postsecondary credential in the production of commercial cannabis.

The program, which was approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development over the summer, would prepare graduates to work in the licensed production of Cannabis, which is used as a therapeutic drug (Marijuana); fiber (Hemp) and as a source for seed oil  (Hempseed).

“We’re a pre-emptive college, and one of our key strengths is our ability to anticipate and respond to emerging industries, trends and labour-market needs,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “The Commercial Cannabis Production program reflects the College’s mandate to develop responsive applied learning programs that address industry needs – much like our Commercial Beekeeping, Culinary Innovation, Renewable Energy Technician and other programs.”

“Driven by legislative changes in Canada and abroad, there is a growing labour market need, and education will be a key component of the success of this emerging industry,” said Al Unwin, associate dean of Niagara College’s School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. “This program will produce graduates who are skilled and knowledgeable Greenhouse and Controlled Environment Technicians who are also trained in all of the procedures, requirements, regulations and standards for this industry.”

“There is a tremendous demand for knowledgeable, skilled workers in this highly technical industry,” said Roger Ferrreira, CEO of Beleave, Inc., in Hamilton, ON. “Niagara College having the vision to fill this knowledge gap is commendable.”

The production of cannabis is a very highly regulated process, with very strict government regulations. Niagara College’s program will conform to all regulations and requirements, including providing a separate and highly secure learning environment/growing facility.

Al Unwin, associate dean, School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies; and second-year Greenhouse Technician student Denzil Rose, are pictured in the NC Greenhouse.

The Commercial Cannabis Production program is a one-year post-grad program open to students with a diploma or degree from an accredited college or university in agribusiness, agricultural sciences, environmental science/resource studies, horticulture or natural sciences, or an acceptable combination of education and experience.

The program will be located at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, which is home to the College’s other agri-business programs, facilities and research projects. The initial intake for the program is scheduled for Fall, 2018. For further program and application information visit

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:

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

Michael Wales
Manager, Communications
905 641-2252 ext. 7773
Cell: 905 328-4101


Niagara College to welcome record number of students for fall 2017

Niagara College is preparing to welcome its largest ever intake of first-year and international students for the fall term, with a full slate of Orientation activities at its Welland and Niagara-on the-Lake Campuses, from September 5 to 8.

With more than 5,000 first-year students arriving at the College in September, including 1,500 postsecondary and ESL international students, its total enrolment is projected to exceed 10,000 this fall.

“All of us at Niagara College are excited to welcome our largest-ever intake of students,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “Students from around the world have been drawn to Niagara by our unique approach to applied learning, and we look forward to providing them with a great start to their college experience.”

Lesley Calvin, manager of Student Engagement, Academic Advisement and Career Services, notes that Orientation is a key time for students who are taking a big step into college life, and NC has many supports for them in place.

“Through all of our Orientation Week activities, we aim to provide our new students with the tools and information they need for a successful transition into college life,” said Calvin. “In addition to providing relevant and engaging programming for them, we want to make sure they have fun and start building connections to their academic programs, campus staff, and their new peers.”

Orientation officially kicks off September 5 at the Welland and NOTL campuses, with program information sessions, campus tours, student services fairs, free lunch and live music. The day concludes with an all-ages Glow Party at the Welland Campus (beginning at 9 p.m., The Core).

One of the biggest highlights of this year’s Orientation Week will be NC’s first Carnival and Vendor Fair on September 8  at the Welland Campus (1 p.m.- 6 p.m.). Carnival rides, obstacle courses, food, prizes and a variety of vendors will be on site for the event. 

Orientation Week activities also include:

  • BBQ lunches for students (Welland Campus Sept. 7, NOTL Campus Sept. 6);
  • Speed Friending (Sept. 7 at the Welland Campus and NOTL campuses);
  • Arcade and video games (Welland Campus Sept. 6, and NOTL Campus Sept. 7);
  • A Desserts in the Vineyard reception for mature students and residents of the NOTL community (Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wine Visitor + Education Centre); and more.

For a full schedule of Orientation activities, visit


International Orientation

More than 1,500 new international students arriving at Niagara College for the new academic year will be greeted with a variety of sessions and activities designed to introduce them to life at college and in Canada. NC’s International Division will be hosting International Orientation prior to the campus-wide Orientation Week. Most activities will take place on September 1 at both the Welland and NOTL Campuses (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). 

“International Orientation is designed to support international students on their transition to Canada, the Niagara region and to their studies at NC,” said Sean Coote, director of NC’s International Division.

Several orientation features have been enhanced for international students this year, including a NC International Orientation app; a ‘Canada corner’ featuring Canadian themed activities; and a pal mentor program (including online mentor selection with instant chat feature). International Orientation continues with a trip to Niagara Falls on September 2, including a Hornblower boat tour and shopping.


Residence Move-in Day

Tearful goodbyes and cheerful new beginnings will abound on September 2 –  Residence Move-in Day – when college staff and volunteers will help hundreds of students settle into their college dorms on-campus in Welland and NOTL  (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.).  A ‘welcome weekend’ is planned for the new student residents, including a roster of activities from September 2-4. 


New programs

NC is launching two new programs in September 2017. Designed to address a growing international need for qualified English language teachers, Teaching English as a Second is a one-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate program. Visit

Industrial Automation is designed to meet the demand for highly skilled grads in the automation and control systems areas of the industry. This one-year, Ontario College Graduate Certificate program emphasizes programmable logic control, robotics, industrial networks and project management. Visit

Classes for most full-time programs will begin for the fall term on September 6


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:


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

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.

Media inquiries, please contact:

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Cell: 905-933-6259

NC winemaker wins national scholarship; will travel the world seeking solutions for Canada’s grape and wine industry

The world awaits Niagara College winemaker Gavin Robertson.

The NC Teaching Winery head winemaker, vineyard coordinator and instructor – who is also a  graduate of the College’s Winery and Viticulture technician program (2011) – was among four applicants recently selected for Nuffield Canada’s scholarship program, aimed at fostering agricultural leadership and personal development through international study. As a recipient, the St. Catharines resident will receive $15,000 and the opportunity to travel to renowned wine regions around the world to find solutions to challenges faced by Canada’s developing grape and wine industry.

Robertson said he applied for the Nuffield scholarship recognizing that the growing Canadian wine industry depends upon agriculture.

“This industry, from grape to glass, relies entirely on the health and specific qualitative attributes of more than 31,000 acres of vines planted in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and several other provinces and territories – and on the people that farm those vines,” he said. “My position at the Teaching Winery and as instructor at Niagara College has provided me with a great deal of insight into the many challenges that these grape growers face.”

Robertson believes these challenges – including environmental factors, urban land use incursion and land pricing pressures, competition from larger markets, regulatory constraints, and a multitude of labour issues – can be addressed with improved skills training programs and communications with larger, more established growing regions abroad, including traditional wine regions in Europe, as well as the  ‘new world’ of grape growing and winemaking such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, parts of South America and the United States.

“It seemed clear that there could be some really useful lessons gained by examining the ways in which these industries train their own vineyard workforces, which could be applied in a Canadian context to effectively help our industry,” said Robertson. “Nuffield Canada offered a really interesting opportunity that would allow me to pursue this topic of study, and I was elated to find out that my proposal was awarded a 2018 scholarship.”

Robertson’s application for the scholarship was shortlisted based on merit, then he was interviewed by a selection committee before he was selected.

“I’m grateful for the support that I’ve received from the administration and my colleagues at the Teaching Winery, the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Research and innovation, and NC at large, who have provided encouragement and strategic guidance in the initial stages of this project, and who understood the value of what Nuffield provides to agriculture in Canada,” he said. “My highest hope is that this spirit of collaboration, investigation and innovation will help drive a more agile, robust and progressive Canadian viticulture industry in decades to come.”

“I am very happy and proud of Gavin to take the steps required to foster agricultural leadership and his own professional development for this prestigious scholarship,” said Steve Gill, general manager, Niagara College Learning Enterprises Corporation. “He will be able to gain valuable experience for both himself and Niagara College, as well as put the College on the global map. He will be learning and working with grape and wine industry stakeholders from around the world and will be able to incorporate best practices here at home.” 

Recipients of Nuffield Canada Scholarships have two years to complete the program – which includes 10 weeks of international travel, followed by the submission of a report on their findings. Findings must be approved by a reports committee before they are presented and the title of Nuffield Scholar is officially conferred.

“Nuffield Scholars build upon existing leadership and organizational skills, while exploring issues critical to their respective industries, and to Canadian agriculture. The international experiences gained during their study travel provide opportunities and perspectives that will add tremendous value to their individual careers and to the Canadian agricultural community, as a whole,” said Shannon McArton, executive director of Nuffield Canada. “Gavin is our first wine industry scholar, and we’re very excited about this expansion of our scope of agricultural experience.”

For more information about Nuffield Canada visit

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:

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

Bench Brewing partners with Niagara College Teaching Brewery; scholarships awarded to future leaders in the Ontario craft brew industry

Matt Giffen, president of Bench Brewing Company (third from left) presents a $30,000 donation to Niagara College president Dan Patterson (second from left) to establish the Bench Brewing Graduating Student Award. Pictured (from left) are Steve Gill (Niagara College Learning Enterprises Corp. general manager), Dan Patterson (NC president), Matt Giffen (president, Bench Brewing Company), Gary Torraville (NC Canadian Food and Wine Institute associate dean), Craig Youdale (NC Canadian Food and Wine Institute dean), and program professor Jon Downing (NC Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management).
Bench Brewing Company president Matt Giffen (front, fourth from left), the first recipient of the Bench Brewing Graduating Student Award, Matthew Shea (front, fifth from left), and NC present Dan Patterson (front, third from right), are joined by students and faculty from the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program and the team from Bench Brewing Company to celebrate a $30,000 gift from Bench Brewing.

With a $30,000 donation to Niagara College, Bench Brewing is pleased to announce its long-term partnership with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery to award three scholarships each year to outstanding graduates starting August 9, 2017.  As the craft brewing industry continues to grow in quality and reputation, these scholarships will continue fostering innovation, inspire high standards of excellence and prepare graduates for professional success.

“We are honoured to begin a long-term partnership with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery in providing an annual scholarship for outstanding graduating students,” said Matt Giffen, founder and president of Bench Brewing. “These talented new graduates represent the future of the Ontario craft beer industry as it continues to grow and strive for new levels of quality and innovation.”

Partnering with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery, Canada’s first and largest teaching brewery, will help further academic and professional excellence not only for graduates, but also incoming students.

“We thank Bench brewing for its generous support that not only support the future of the craft beer industry, but our mission of ‘enriching lives and fulfilling dreams’ of our students,” said Craig Youdale, dean of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute.

“The very generous award set up by Matt of Bench Brewing recognizes two of the key attributes of any brewer and their products, quality and consistency,” said Brewmaster professor Jon Downing. “By recognizing the high level of continual effort over four semesters both in the classroom, as a volunteer at events and in the brewery, Matthew Shea is a natural first recipient of the award.”

The Bench Brewing Scholarship – of $2,000– will be awarded to three NC Brewmaster students each year for the next five years. It will be awarded to a student in the final term of the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program who exhibits academic excellence, excellent brewing skills, and collaboration and a passion for the industry.

The first recipient of a Bench Brewing Scholarship is Thornhill resident Matthew Shea, a university graduate who followed his dreams to enter the craft brewing industry two years ago by enrolling in NC’s Brewmaster program. Now a recent graduate of the program (June 2017), Shea applauded the support he has received from the craft brew industry as a student and said he was grateful for the Bench Brewing scholarship.

“Financial assistance is greatly beneficial to students,” said Shea. “Students face a lot of pressure and time requirements trying to balance school, work, and family duties, and we are often saddled with debt after graduation, so any assistance is greatly appreciated.”


About Bench Brewing

Currently under construction, Bench Brewing Company is proudly located near Beamsville, Ontario in the Twenty Valley of the Niagara Escarpment. Bench Brewing embraces the local agricultural traditions of the area and is inspired by the Belgian farmhouse-style of brewing. Opening in 2017 in the converted historic Maple Grove Schoolhouse, the site will feature a three-acre hops field, wild ale and barrel fermentation program, tap room and beer garden.


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




For more information please contact:


Vanessa Cheng

Events and Communications Manager, Bench Brewing Co.


For Niagara College media inquiries, please contact:

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

Project Brew Expo 150: Students serve up craft brews with Canadian twist

The public will have an opportunity to sample what’s on tap from Canada’s next generation of brewmasters at Project Brew Beer Expo 150.

The Canadian sesquicentennial summer exhibition of student-made craft beer is hosted by students in the final semester class of Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program. The event will be held Friday, August 11 (5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) at the St. Catharines Market Square (50 Church St., St. Catharines).

Students will present a selection of 17 beer styles that have been locally developed and produced at the NC Teaching Brewery – with a Canadian twist. The Expo 150 theme was selected as a tribute to Canada’s 150th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Montreal’s Expo 67. The students have each selected a different Canadian-themed icon to identify their beer and themselves as a brewer.

Brewmaster student Tomas Masden, event co-chair, is using a ‘Peace Tower of Sour’ icon to represent his kettle soured Witbier – what he calls the perfect refreshment for the summer heat. Masden, who is originally from Alliston and had a background in chemical engineering and bioengineering, had been working in the nuclear industry prior to enrolling at NC. As a Brewmaster student, he values the opportunity to not only create the beer others will enjoy but learning about event planning through the Project Brew experience.

“I’m looking forward to it being a celebration. It’s the cumulative project for our class and I’m excited to see and try everyone’s final beers,” he said. “It’s a great way for our class to work together one last time.”

Kimberly Lucas, who is originally from Toronto, is creating a Chamomile Passion Fruit Wheat Beer for the event, using the canoe as her icon. She is not only looking forward to sharing her own beer at the event but to celebrate those of her classmates.

“It has been really great finding out everyone’s strengths through the process, perhaps from previous jobs or careers, and putting together something that exposes all our hard work over the past 16 months,” she said.

Faculty advisor April Tyrrell noted that the event 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 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 Tyrrell. “This fun community event is an excellent opportunity for students to promote themselves and their beer to the general public.”

Matt Soos Memorial Fund

All proceeds from Project Brew will benefit a Memorial Fund in memory of 2014 Brewmaster graduate Matt Soos. The fund was established by Muskoka Brewery and Railway City Brewing – both former employers of Soos – and is awarded annually to the student who brews the best beer in the Niagara College Annual Brewmaster Competition.

The Soos family will be in attendance on August 11 to pour Matt Soos’ signature beer, which will be served at the event in addition to the student beers.


Tickets are $17.50 to $20, including entry to the event, a commemorative sample glass, and four beer tokens. Tickets may be purchased through the Project Brew website:

NC’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program was launched in 2010 as the first of its kind in Canada. The award-winning, two-year program offers extensive hands-on training at an on-site, state-of-the-art Teaching Brewery to prepare students for employment in the expanding brewery, microbrewery and brewpub industries. Located at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, students learn from award-winning faculty and have access to on-site hop yard and local farm products to brew a full range of beer styles. Visit

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:

 Susan McConnell

Media advisor

905-641-2252 x 4330

Cell: 905-933-6259

Ontario celebrates grand opening of Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Welland

Ontario Ministry of Finance news release:

Ontario is supporting the development of a highly-skilled workforce and helping businesses in Niagara region access the technology and expertise they need to grow, create jobs and compete in the global marketplace.

Today Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, joined local companies, Niagara College students and industry leaders at the grand opening of the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Welland.

The new Niagara College-affiliated centre provides students with more than 15,000 square feet of lab space for hands-on applied learning, innovation space for companies to work onsite and office space for Niagara students and industry staff.

The centre will also help Ontario’s small and medium-sized manufacturers save on production costs and reduce production time by providing them access to leading-edge equipment and state-of-the-art research facilities as well as the expertise and business services of faculty and students.

Fostering innovation and growth, and increasing opportunities for the province’s workers, is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


“Ontario’s dynamic manufacturing sector is a key component of our diverse economy. The Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre is a shining example of a company that has taken advantage of home grown talent to drive success, while providing custom work for businesses throughout the region. These investments are among the many significant measures we’ve taken to help the sector grow and compete as we build and nurture the workforce of tomorrow.”

— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance


“By supporting the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, students in the Niagara Region will have access to modern learning spaces and equipment that will help them develop the skills they’ll need for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

— Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development


“It’s an exciting day for Niagara College as we formally recognize how the province of Ontario’s investment and the donation from the Walker family has made it possible to provide manufacturers with increased access to leading-edge facilities, equipment, technical expertise, training and services, while increasing training and employment opportunities for our students.”

— Dan Patterson, President, Niagara College



  • Ontario invested $4.2 million for Niagara College’s new Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
  • Manufacturing real GDP in Ontario has risen for three consecutive years, while employment in the sector increased by more than 6,000 in 2016 and continues to advance in 2017.  
  • Over the past three years, Ontario’s economy has grown faster than Canada’s and that of all G7 countries, supported by the government’s strategic investments. Manufacturing, exports and business investments are increasing and the unemployment rate continues to decline.



Construction Begins on New Manufacturing Innovation Centre



Jessica Martin, Minister’s Office


Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Finance

Disponible en français


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.




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