An Evening of Wine and Song, Friday, Nov. 18

An Evening of Wine and Song on Friday, November 18 will raise money for the Albert Cipryk Memorial Award, which provides an annual bursary for a student in the Cook Apprentice program. Albert was a chef/professor who taught in the college’s culinary programs for 26 years. He lost his battle with cancer in 2009. The entertainers will be The Shea D Duo, featuring Juliet Dunn and Peter Shea. Organized by Primavera Concerts, the event will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Founders’ Hall at Inniskillin Winery, 1499 Line 3 off the Niagara Parkway. The $65 ticket includes a selection of wines to complement a sampling of cheeses, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. One of the committee members is Eleanor Lancaster, former chair of the college’s Board of Governors and the Foundation Board. For tickets, email or call 905-934-9285.


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Rankin’s $1 million gift the largest in NC history

Niagara College announced what is now the largest gift in its history today. Tom Rankin, CEO of Rankin Construction, Inc. and Rankin Renewable Power, Inc. is donating a $1-million leadership gift to Niagara College’s Building Futures Campaign.

In recognition of Mr. Rankin’s generosity and leadership, the Niagara College’s Technology Building has been renamed “The Rankin Technology Centre.”

“Through its Master Plan, Niagara College has transformed itself, and greatly enhanced its ability to support industry and innovation in Niagara, and created a sense of renewal in our community,” said Rankin. “We’re very pleased to play a leadership role in supporting this transformation.”

“We’re very grateful to Tom Rankin and his family for this generous gift,” said Steve Hudson, Acting President, Niagara College. “Tom Rankin is a true leader in our community whose business achievements and contributions to life in Niagara are tremendous. The gift that we’ve received today greatly enhances our ability to provide state-of-the-art learning environments that support our integrated approach to applied learning.”

The Building Futures campaign supports NC’s $90-million master plan which includes $88 million in new and expanded facilities and $2 million for scholarships, bursaries and applied research. The facilities portion of the project includes a significant expansion to The Rankin Technology Centre. The 120,000 square-foot complex, comprised of both new and renovated space, is home to the college’s Technology programs – from engineering to skilled trades. It features classrooms and labs with the latest state-of-the-art equipment, including a welding lab, drafting room, materials lab, and a 10,000-square-foot ‘big bay’ where two-storey homes can be constructed. Environmental features are present throughout with solar panels shading windows, its own geothermal heating and cooling system, and a wind turbine in the courtyard – all providing a ‘living laboratory’ for students.

On the Welland campus, the project also includes the construction of the new Athletic Centre and Applied Health Institute, and the Library and Learning Commons expansion; while, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, it led to the new Wine + Visitor Education Centre and Teaching Brewery, as well as a Culinary Skills expansion. The project creates more than 1,700 new spaces in programs where labour is in high demand in Niagara – including skilled trades and technology.

“Our ability to pursue such ambitious and exciting projects depends very much on the support of different levels of government, and our business, industry and community partners,” said Len Crispino, Chair of the Niagara College Board of Governors. “We at Niagara College very fortunate for the generous support of a business and community leader like Tom Rankin.”

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The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation has committed $40,000 to the Building Futures Campaign

From left: Dan McNiven, Trustee The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation; Bob Watson, Secretary, Niagara College Foundation Board; Ron Hartle, Trustee, The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation; Sean Kennedy, CEO Niagara College Foundation and Acting Vice President Academic; Ben Cecil, Dean of Environment, Media and Technology Division; and Gordon Hunchak, Acting Vice President Student and External Relations.

The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation has committed $40,000 to the Building Futures Campaign to be used to help fund the Technology Centre expansion at the Welland Campus.  This donation completes the group’s $100,000 pledge, of which $60,000 was committed earlier to establish The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation Scholarship, which supports students in Environmental programs.

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Welland Hydro-Electric System Corp. Donates Scholarship for Renewable Energies Technician Program

From left: Ross Peever, President and CEO, Welland Hydro Electric System Corp.; Bob Watson, Secretary, Niagara College Foundation Board; and Ben Cecil, Dean of Environment, Media and Technology Division.

Welland Hydro-Electric System Corp. made a $20,000 donation to the Building Futures Campaign to establish an endowed award. The donation will be matched by the Ontario Trust for Student Support. This scholarship is awarded to a student in the new Renewable Energies Technician program, who lives In Welland and graduated from a high school in the city.

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TD Bank Group commits $150,000 to Niagara College

Pictured left to right: Steve Hudson, Acting President, Niagara College; David Kissick, District Vice-President, TD Commercial Banking; David Drosky, Manager TD Commercial Banking; Sean Kennedy, Niagara College Acting Vice-President Academic and CEO of the Niagara College Foundation; Jon Ogryzlo, Dean, Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Niagara College; and Coby Hawkins, District Vice-President, TD Canada Trust gathered at Niagara College's Niagara-on-the-Lake campus Tuesday, as TD announced a significant investment to support student learning at the college.

TD Bank Group (TD) has committed $150,000 toward Niagara College’s Wine Visitor + Education Centre at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.
Completed in 2009, the Wine Visitor + Education Centre is part of Niagara College’s Master Plan, which includes significant expansions and the construction of new buildings at both major campuses.
As a key component of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, the Wine Visitor + Education Centre (WVEC) supports Niagara College’s role as a leader in wine education and is home to the Niagara College Teaching Winery – Canada’s only commercial teaching winery. The WVEC is a unique facility that serves as an educational resource for students, the public and industry, and supports applied research in wine business, oenology and viticulture.
“Niagara College is very pleased that TD is making this significant investment to support student learning and success, and the wine industry,” said Sean Kennedy, CEO of the Niagara College Foundation and Acting Vice President Academic.
“We are thrilled to partner with Niagara College and help provide access to continued education and learning,” said David Kissick, District Vice President, TD Commercial Banking, Niagara Region. “Niagara College is home to Canada’s only commercial teaching winery and to support specialized studies like this for students is beneficial to the future of our youth and the overall industry in Niagara.”
A portion of this gift will establish the TD Scholarship, which will be endowed and matched by the provincial government’s Ontario Trust for Student Support program. The annual income will be used to provide scholarships for students in Niagara College’s Wine and Viticulture Studies programs.
TD’s gift brings Niagara College closer to its $16.5 million campaign goal in support of the $90 million Master Plan, which includes $88 million for buildings, equipment and learning resources, and $2 million for scholarships and bursaries, and applied research.
Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls. 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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Les Marmitons Donates Proceeds From Annual Dinner

From left to right, Helen Armstrong, Niagara College Student Awards Officer, Conor McCotter, Sommelier and Les Marmitons Niagara Past VP-Fundraising; Alex Macfarlane, President; and Nick Bruch, Treasurer.

Les Marmitons has once again donated the proceeds from their annual dinner held at Niagara College’s Benchmark Restaurant to provide support for NC students.  The $9,832 donation will be added to the Les Marmitons’ endowed fund which will now provide four bursaries for students in the Culinary Skills – Chef Training, Hospitality Management – Hotel and Restaurant, Winery & Viticulture Technician and Brewmaster & Brewery Operations Management programs.

“One of the founding principles of Les Marmitons of Niagara is our commitment to Niagara College.  We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the college, and in particular with the Canadian Food and Wine
Institute, since starting our Chapter in 2005,” said Alex Macfarlane, President of Les Marmitons of Niagara.  “Many former students have become friends of Les Marmitons, and we continue that relationship after
they graduate and enter the greater culinary world.  It is vital for our club to foster the next generation of culinary professionals, as it can only improve both the educational experience of the students, and our experience of gastronomy in the larger sense.  These students will be working with us for years to come, and we will always do what we can to support them.  Also, we love to throw a Mardi Gras party every year!”

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Pett Family Establishes Two Awards

The Pett family from left: Edie, Sandra, Graham and Bryan Pett; Sean Kennedy, Vice-President of Student and External Relations; Petra Norris-Pett, and Barbara and Shawn Pett. Another sister, Suzanne Smolik, was unable to attend.

Members of the Pett family donated $40,000, which was endowed and matched by the Ontario Trust for Student Support to create scholarships for the Personal Support Worker and Recreational Therapy programs.

“We wanted to do something to honour our parents’ memory and perpetuate their commitment to the community,” said Bryan Pett.

It was their parents’ dedication to community service, as well as the care their mother received from support workers, which led the siblings to decide on two scholarships.  Norm and Jean Pett were  involved extensively in the community in church social outreach, the Niagara Falls Rotary Club and housing projects, such as the Fairhaven senior’s centre.

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