Niagara College Event Management program wins gold

Niagara College’s Event Management program has gained international recognition with a Gold Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Events Association (IFEA).

The Pinnacle Awards competition, sponsored by the IFEA and Haas and Wilkerson Insurance, draws entries from the world’s top festivals and events every year. Awards were presented in 69 different categories at IFEA’s 57th annual convention and expo held in Denver Colorado Sept. 21-23.

The College’s Event Management program won a gold award in the Best Event Management Certificate Program – Combined Budget category, winning over Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality Management from Philadelphia, PA (silver); and the South Korean Geumsan Festival Academy (bronze).

To accept the award, Shelley Merlo, professor/coordinator of the program and Certified Festival Event Executive (CFEE), attended the conference which drew more than 500 delegates from festivals and events around the world.

“To receive this prestigious international award is a great honour and a testament to the quality of our innovative Event Management program and our dedicated faculty,” said Merlo.

Thirty-five students are currently enrolled in NC’s popular Event Management program with many on the waitlist every year. The one-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate program is well connected to the growing industry and requires students to complete 250 field placement hours.

In addition to educating work-ready graduates, the program aims to improve the lives of Niagara residents and increase community participation through projects such as Many Hands which supports local not-for-profit organizations, while other events such as trade shows and conferences highlight important regional and industry issues, and contribute to Niagara College’s reputation as a college that works with its local industry partners.

“Our program has built a reputation as a contributor to the College community and the Niagara region with student-run events that have continuously sought to help members of the community while providing students with important professional planning skills,” said Merlo.

This is the second IFEA Pinnacle award for Niagara College’s Event Management program. In 2009, it earned a silver for Best Event Management Certificate Program (Budget under $250,000).


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