VCC hosts CHED Philippine delegation

Posted on June 30, 2022

On Friday, June 24, Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the University Mobility Asia Pacific (UMAP) International Secretariat was proud to host representatives from the Republic of the Philippines Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Philippine Consulate General Vancouver, B.C. Council for International Education (BCCIE), leaders from 16 Philippine universities, as well as the Government of Canada’s Trade Commissioner for the Philippines at VCC’s downtown campus.

UMAP is an international association that strives to facilitate greater understanding among members of each other’s cultural, economic, and social systems through collaborative partnerships and increased mobility of higher education institution’s students and staff. VCC is currently serving a five-year term as the UMAP International Secretariat with President Ajay Patel serving as Secretary General. The goal of Friday’s event was to foster the two-way flow of students, educators, and ideas between B.C. and the Philippines and increase educational innovation in both regions.

“It was exciting to have so many colleagues from the Philippines join us in-person and learn more about the Philippine educational system,” said Jennifer Gossen, Director, International Education, VCC. “It was a great opportunity to showcase VCC as an educational institution and our learnings in Indigenous education, and equity, diversity, and inclusion. One of VCC’s strategic priorites is engaged communities and building partnerships with our colleagues in the Philippines is one way we can work towards that.”

VCC has a growing international student population, with Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts, and Business Management among the most popular programs. Students from the Philippines make up sixteen per cent and four per cent of domestic and international student populations, respectively.

The event was attended by Dr. Aldrin Arenas Darilag, Commissioner, CHED Philippines; Lily Freida Macabangun-Milla, Director IV, International Affairs Staff, CHED Philippines; Maria Andrelita S. Austria, Consul General of the Philippines in Canada; Angel Cachuela, Trade Commissioner Philippines, Government of Canada; and Kate Zhang, Manager Market Support and Partnership Development, B.C. Council for International Education.

“The visit was very educational,” said Dr. Aldrin Arenas Darilag, Commissioner, CHED Philippines. “We have been studying community colleges for quite some time. I think that they are appropriate for the Philippines setting and the VCC model could be our benchmark to fully understand the essence of a community college. The Philippines is an archipelagic community, so education needs to address the specific needs of different regions. Fostering community colleges to be part of the higher education system in the Philippines will be important.”

“We appreciated the chance to connect and build stronger partnerships with our partner members in the Philippines,” added Chelsey Laird, Director, UMAP International Secretariat. “We are looking forward to working together to create opportunities for both Canadian and Filipino students through exchanges, partnerships, and virtual learning experiences.”

Develop job-ready and academic skills for the Canadian market. Learn more about our programs for international students.


Opening doors to education in the community

Posted on June 27, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) recently partnered with the Open Door Group (ODG) to create customized, accessible training courses for its Opportunities Fund clients, people with disabilities, and those facing barriers to education.

This partnership is a key example of VCC’s commitment to supporting access to education and community engagement.  

With the support of the Partnership Development Office (PDO), the ODG team worked with the Counselling Skills and Asian Culinary Arts departments to build two short-term, customized skills training courses that started in February 2022.  

Through the training, students gained industry-recognized skills, which increased their confidence.

“It was great to see the students get more comfortable and competent in the kitchen," says Sonny Ho, VCC Asian Culinary Arts instructor, who ran the kitchen basics training. "After the training, one of the students let me know they were able to find work again after being out of the workforce for several years.”  

This training project also opened doors for the students to pursue further post-secondary education at VCC.

“For many of my clients, taking a skills-training program or course at a post-secondary institution can be intimidating and unattainable,” says Laicy Falk, community coordinator at ODG. “Now being a VCC alumni, they have the option to continue their education at VCC which opens up more educational and career possibilities.”  

Ross Brewster was a student in the basic counselling skills course. “This training has provided me with a huge toolkit to developing my skills and thinking about my career path. It has made me more confident, for sure,”  he says.

After this success, VCC and the Opportunities Fund through Open Door Group will continue to partner together to deliver several more iterations of these training courses in Fall 2022.

Is your organization or department considering a community partnership training project? The Partnership Development Office may be able to help. Reach out to Interim Director, Michael Yue, at myue@vcc.ca for more information. 

VCC Spring 2022 convocation recap

Posted on June 29, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to celebrate the hard work and achievements of 1,663 graduates in a convocation ceremony at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Tuesday, June 28.

Following numerous online ceremonies held during the COVID-19 pandemic, the college community was thrilled to attend this first in-person convocation event since Fall 2019.

To open the ceremony, graduands and guests were treated to processional music by the Coastal Wolf Pack (Tsatsu Stalqayu) while VCC Elder in Residence Deanna George welcomed everyone the to traditional xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.

In another special moment, Squamish artist Aaron Nelson-Moody, (Tawx’sin Yexwulla/Splashing Eagle) unveiled VCC’s new Indigenous-designed podium representing decolonization of the concept of “lectern.” Consisting of three figures representing traditional talking sticks supporting a circular top, reflective of the talking circle, it reminds us of the importance and value of everyone’s voice.

Recognizing milestones

This particular group of grads represents many unique achievements, as most students completed their full programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another milestone celebrated quietly by the VCC community during pandemic restrictions was the installation of Ajay Patel as college president in Spring 2020. To finally share this occasion with the community, VCC Board of Governors Vice Chair Libby Davies presented Ajay with VCC’s presidential regalia while the official ceremony video played.

Inspiring #VCCGrads

In his own address, Ajay expressed admiration for the diversity of this graduating class and offered some heartfelt encouragement.

“Like many of you, I am an immigrant to Canada. I understand the challenges and sacrifices you made to get here. My grandfather gave me advice that I live by to this day. He said, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression, but make sure that first impression is the real you.’ Trust that the real you is more than good enough.”

Valedictorian and Culinary Arts grad Joy Rudder shared her own story of overcoming hesitation and fear in changing careers later in life, crediting VCC’s warm and welcoming faculty for her success.

“I’d stepped into a world that was so extremely positive! It came as a surprise. The world outside is not usually like this. But here was a world of possibilities with everyone intent on making sure I would succeed – and not just me, but every student who signed on, whatever their field of study and training.”

Valedictorian Joy Rudder and VCC's Indigenous podium

Valedictorian and Culinary Arts grad Joy Rudder and VCC's new talking-circle podium

Degrees, diplomas, and certificates were awarded to the following areas:

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
  • School of Trades, Technology and Design
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Centre for Continuing Studies
  • Division of Library and Teaching and Learning Services

The Spring 2020 ceremony also celebrated the first students graduating in three new programs: Business and Project Management, Nail Technology, and VR/AR Design and Development.

Preview of VCC's Spring 2022 Convocation Flickr album

See more photos on VCC's Flickr page >

Congratulations to our VCC grads! Learn about the perks and benefits you now receive as VCC alumni.  

VCC president appointed to CiCan Board of Directors

Posted on June 20, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to share that President Ajay Patel has been appointed to the Colleges and Institutes of Canada (CiCan) Board of Directors as an At-Large Director from a member institution.  

Founded in 1972, CiCan serves as the national and international voice of Canada’s largest post-secondary education network. Their work is dedicated to strengthening Canada’s system of publicly supported colleges, institutes, CEGEPs, and polytechnics.

“I am honoured to be appointed to this position on the CiCan Board of Directors,” says Ajay. “Across Canada, CiCan is a leader in advocacy, leadership, and strategic development for colleges and institutions. I look forward to working with my esteemed colleagues on the board, and contributing to the larger narrative of ensuring robust, sustainable, and relevant education for students across Canada and the world.”

CiCan At-Large Directors are appointed by the chair of the board, on recommendation of the board of directors for a three-year term. There are two categories of At-Large directors: At-Large directors from heads of member institutions and public At-Large Directors.

Learn more aobut VCC's leadership by visiting the Office of the President website.


VCC offers new, no-cost Supportive Care Assistant micro-certificate

Posted on February 16, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to introduce a new, fully subsidized Supportive Care Assistant micro-certificate developed to address the labour shortages in the long-term care sector. The six-week online program allows learners to discover a new career, gain work experience, and make a difference in our community. Graduates of the program can access a $5,000 laddering stipend if they choose to pursue further studies and enter a health care assistant (HCA) certificate program.


  • The program is fully subsidized (no tuition fee).
  • The online training means you don’t have to travel daily for classes.
  • The paid work placement will provide you with the opportunity to build new skills and get practical experience while earning a wage.
  • The program is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and is part of Colleges and Institutes Canada's (CiCan) Building Capacity in Long-term Care project.


VCC's Supportive Care Assistant program includes six weeks of online training and a paid work placement (280 hours). Each online module takes about 20 hours to complete, and students will complete one module a week.

The ‘Supportive Care Assistant program’ is not equivalent to, or recognized as, a B.C. health care assistant program. Graduates are not eligible for registration with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.




Understand your role within the interprofessional team. Gain the background information and skills needed to provide professional, client-centred assistance.


Supportive client-centred care
Demonstrate respect for the clients and families you work with by providing client- and family-centred supports. Gain the background information and skills to provide supportive, client-centred care.


Demonstrate inclusive practice skills when interacting with clients, families, and other interprofessional team members. Gain the background information, skills, and effective communication techniques to provide inclusive, client-centred support.


Supportive assistance
Learn how to provide personal support and practice safe and supportive assistance to promote client independence.


Infection control and safety
Learn how to demonstrate knowledge of the chain of infection related to disease and transmission. Identify and respond to safety hazards and unsafe situations when dealing with your clients.


Preparing for the work placement
This module is related to the work placement and will be completed before, during, and after placement.

These six online training modules are designed to be self-paced and they are available online 24/7. 

Learners will be assigned to a 25-student class to support and assist with the completion of program requirements (assessment surveys, final tests, learning plans, and work experience reports). An instructor will meet with the class and provide academic advising throughout the online course.

VCC is also adding guest lectures and two extra industry certificate training sesssions to enhance your knowledge.

  1. First Aid and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
  2. FOODSAFE Level One

Paid work experience

After completing the required modules, learners will be connected to an employer who will provide 280 hours of paid employment (full-time or part-time) where they will assist certified personal care providers and health care teams to support clients. The role involves performing non-clinical activities such as:

  • Assisting with meals
  • Assisting with cleaning and disinfecting
  • Stocking materials required by clients and health care staff
  • Making clients’ beds, cleaning their rooms and other areas
  • Providing companionship, comfort and support
  • Assisting with moving about and accompanying clients as they move about
  • Participating in activities with clients

Laddering Stipend ($5,000)

After successfully completing all the requirements, you will be granted a Statement of Completion. Graduates can access $5,000 to pursue a HCA certificate program at a CiCan member institution such as VCC.  The stipend can be used for tuition, books, dependant care, transportation etc.

Please note that admission requirements must be met for that program, and completion of the certificate needs to happen before March 31, 2024.

Participant Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in VCC's no-cost Supportive Care Assistant training, learners must:

  • be at least 18 years of age,
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada,
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada according to the relevant provincial legislation and regulations,
  • (for learners for whom English is not their first language) provide proof of English language skills (IELTS 6.0; CLB 6; CEFR B2) or equivalency.

Note: Work placement requirements may also include criminal record checks and proof of certain immunizations as learners may be exposed to communicable diseases.

Additionally, learners should:

  • have an interest in a career in long-term care
  • have regular access to a PC or MAC computer with an internet connection and recent versions of Google Chrome or Internet Explorer installed
  • have basic computer skills
  • have access to transportation for work placement(s)
  • be available to work shifts (evenings/nights/weekends)
  • be physically able to stand/walk with some bending, twisting, and lifting


There is no cost for tuition or to register for VCC's Supportive Care Assistant program. The program is subsidized by the Government of Canada and is being offered at no cost to participants. Bursaries are available for dependent care and transportation during the student’s work placement through CICan.

Students are expected to cover certain costs associated with the placement including criminal record checks or other employment requirements (e.g. appropriate clothing or footwear).

Career Outlook

In the next 30 years, the number of Canadians over the age of 85 is expected to triple and the demand for health care workers will increase. Completing VCC's Supportive Care Assistant Program is a stepping stone towards a career in a growing sector.

A career in long-term care can be challenging and rewarding. Care providers make a difference in the lives of others and create meaningful connections with older adults, other people requiring assistance, and their families. It’s a good career fit for people who are compassionate and like working with others.

Program Dates




May 2 - Aug. 19, 2022 


Sept. 6, 2022 - Jan. 3, 2023 

Info sessions

Interested persons are invited to attend an online information session to learn about the application procedures and deadlines.

Session Date



July 20, 2022

10 - 11 a.m. 

Sign up here

August 9, 2022

10 - 11 a.m.

Sign up here


Contact Kim Nelson, program assistant


VCC Student Awards Spring 2022 recap

Posted on June 8, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) was pleased to host its first in-person Student Awards ceremonies in two years on Friday, June 3 at the Broadway campus event space.

A total of 208 students received awards in the presence of family, friends, and donors. Award recipients had the opportunity to thank their donor in person at a tea reception after the official morning and afternoon award presentations.

Both awards ceremonies began with an opening prayer and territorial acknowledgment delivered by Elder Jean. VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel addressed the crowd with a welcome statement.

“We live in uncertain times. And challenging yourself to continue learning and working towards your goals is commendable in its own right,” said Patel. “All of you overcame challenges to get here. Know that we’re all very proud of you.”

Two new awards were established this year – the President’s Award for Leadership, which acknowledges a student who has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and the Zoro and Kelly Ann Mihajlovic Creative Award which is given to a talented graphic design student who also stands out as a positive human being.

Deans presented the names and bios of award recipients from their respective schools:

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
  • School of Trades, technology and Design
  • Centre for Continuing Studies
  • School of Instructor Education
  • School of Arts and Sciences

Student Awards video feature

Each year, VCC Foundation selects one or more Outstanding Student Award recipients to highlight in a video feature. This spring spotlights Cameron Conception-Cordova, an Indigenous student in the Bachelor of Hospitality Management program, recipient of the ONNI Group Award. VCC Fashion student Eldrich Lucero is also featured and is the recipient of the Peau de Loup Fashion Diversity Student Award.

To close off the formal ceremony, current VCC music students performed a piece entitled ‘the Villain I appear to be’ as a special gift to those in attendance at the event.

VCC Student Awards are not possible without the generous support from our many donors. Thank you for continuing to give the gift of giving. Learn more about how you can support VCC students in need.



VCC featured in CBC Radio One series, Hire Calling

Posted on May 24, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to share that staff and students are featured in Hire Calling, a new series by CBC Radio One that explores the trends behind the current hospitality labour shortage and the creative solutions that some businesses are adopting.

In an episode that aired on Wednesday, May 18, Dennis Innes, Dean of VCC's School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business, and recent VCC Culinary Arts graduates Seth Belsham and Joy Rudder discuss the importance of work-life balance, the shortage of culinary workers in a post-pandemic environment, and the importance of continuous learning opportunities in their field.

Listen to the full episode >

Hire Calling airs Wednesdays at 4:10 p.m. on CBC Radio One (On The Coast) with features on CBC British Columbia and CBC Vancouver News.

Stay tuned for more episodes featuring VCC!

VCC hosts Deaf community for local event at its Broadway Campus

Posted on June 6, 2022

On Saturday, June 4, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was pleased to host Deaf Deaf World 2022 at its Broadway campus. Organized by faculty, staff, and students in the ASL and Deaf Studies program, the event brought together attendees of all ages, identities, and signing abilities to meet with local organizations and connect with each other in a fun and friendly setting. The theme of this year’s event was Deafopoly, which featured games and door prizes set to the same rules as Monopoly.

The family-friendly event also featured an art gallery wall from local artists, crafts, face painting, a photo booth, and ASL story time. Participating organizations included:  

“After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, Deaf Deaf World is a wonderful way to reconnect with each other in person,” said Mari Klassen, event organizer and ASL and Deaf Studies program department head. “It was great to see so many from the Deaf community come out today and VCC's Deaf and Hard of Hearing department was pleased to have helped organize it.”

All proceeds raised from Deaf Deaf World will be donated to local Deaf organizations. Be sure to check out the ASL and Deaf Studies department on Facebook and Instagram for more photos and videos from the event.

DDW attendees posing at photobooth
Attendees get their picture taken at one of the many activities at Deaf Deaf World 2022

VCC Deaf Deaf World 2022
Sharing children's stories during ASL storytime

Learn more about VCC's ASL and Deaf Studies certificate program and discover the richness of Deaf culture and community.

VCC Vice Chair wins prestigious YWCA 2022 Women of Distinction Award

Posted on May 27, 2022

Libby Davies (holding bouquet, centre) and members of VCC at the 2022 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards ceremony

A message from VCC President and CEO, Ajay Patel

On behalf of VCC, I am excited to share that our Board of Governors Vice Chair Libby Davies has been recognized by the 39th Annual YWCA Women of Distinction Awards in the non-profit leadership category.

The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards are presented annually by Scotiabank, and are the YWCA’s premier fundraising event, honouring extraordinary women leaders and businesses.

This event honours extraordinary women in Metro Vancouver and recognizes their contributions to community and towards to the betterment of society.

Libby is a community leader and champion through and through. As a former Member of Parliament, she fought for the rights and dignity of women, the LGBTQIA2S+ community, and the people of the Downtown Eastside for more than 40 years. Libby was instrumental in the successful campaign to build the InSite safe injection site, and has campaigned for the introduction of safe supply and harm reduction policy reforms, approaching the issue and those affected by it with compassion.

Libby Davies wins 2022 YWCA Women of Distinction Award

She was the first openly gay female MP in Canada and was integral in legalizing same sex marriage. As an advocate for a national childcare program, her work has helped lead to the $10 a day programs currently being rolled out throughout B.C.

We are privileged to have Libby's experience and advocacy at VCC and to know that our work truly represents her values.

I'd like to thank VCC’s Board of Governors Chair Joey Hartman and VCC Vice President Students and Community Development Jane Shin for their support in Libby's nomination.

Jane was a nominee for the 2021 YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award in the Education, Training and Development category.

I am humbled and honoured to work alongside such strong, empowered, and talented women.

Please join me in congratulating and thanking Libby and all the recipients of this year’s YWCA Women of Distinction Awards.


VCC green signature bar

Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College


Delta Secondary’s 2022 graduation class now includes a national champion

Posted on June 13, 2022

Originally published in the Delta Optimist

Culinary arts student Leila Pourshahriary has captured the baking category for secondary students at the prestigious 2022 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) which wrapped up on May 27 at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre.

The event featured more than 350 students and apprentices from across the country competing for the title of national champion in more than 45 skilled areas. Medals were awarded to the top competitors in six skilled trade and technology sectors, including transportation, construction, manufacturing and engineering, information technology, services, and employment. The competitors were evaluated based on strict industry standards.

Pourshahriary initially won the provincial stage where her task was to create a decorated cookie and bar cake with 1920s themes as well as a bread of the world within a 7.5-hour time period.

Her cookie was a lemon pate sable decorated with royal icing in a typical 1920s pattern. She then baked two loaves of Japanese milk bread before finishing the competition with orange chiffon sponge bar cake with chocolate pastry cream. She decorated the cake in a 1920s theme, complete with feathers, carnations, and pearls.

Pourshahriary created the same items for nationals except had 30 minutes less in preparation time.

According to DSS culinary arts teacher and chef Lori Pilling, she is the first DSS student to win at nationals.

“When Leila came to me in Grade 10 she was already amazing at it,” said Pilling. “She was baking at home with her parents, so she already had a super good foundation. In Grade 11 (amid COVID) we did online schooling and the students had to submit videos and Leila’s were all amazing.”

Pourshahriary enhanced her skills by signing up for the Delta School District’s Youth Train in Trades program, which took her to Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Downtown campus for 24 weeks (July to December) of learning at the post-secondary level. It was at the end of her time at VCC where the two students with the highest marks were selected to be trained for SCNC.

Pilling added the sky is the limit for her prize student who developed a passion for baking on her own. Pourshahriary plans to return to VCC to enroll in the Advanced Cakes course then work on her apprenticeship.

“My mom did some baking but I learned a lot online just watching YouTube videos and TV shows too,” she said. “I just wanted to try new things.”

Get a head start on rewarding trades careers through Youth Train in Trades programs offered at many Metro Vancouver high schools.


VCC’s dining options serve gourmet cuisine at an affordable price

Posted on June 3, 2022

Originally posted in The Georgia Straight

There are plenty of reasons why folks with a passion for food should consider pursuing a career in culinary arts – and Vancouver Community College (VCC) can get you there. Culinary professionals are able to explore their creativity, work all over the globe to master different cuisines, and impress their friends at every dinner party.

Through VCC’s culinary programs, students are provided with hands-on training, giving them the technical skills needed to succeed in the growing industry. And the learning doesn’t stop in the kitchen – students also gain front-of-house experience, which ensures that every graduate is well-rounded in their knowledge. 

In this year’s Golden Plates awards, VCC was voted “Best Professional Culinary School” by readers of the Straight. We’re certain its 11 industrial kitchens and on-campus dining establishments, operated by culinary students, has something to do with its win. 

At both VCC campuses, you’ll find a great spots that serve up affordable, tasty meals. The onsite dining options are open to students and the public. 

JJ’s Restaurant

The fine-dining restaurant is run by students and instructors in the culinary arts programs. It provides a memorable experience for those who love gourmet cuisine, minus the ridiculously expensive bill at the end of the meal. 

The lunch menu at JJ’s Restaurant features golden beet salad, braised pork belly and cheek, and white chocolate and chai masala ganache, as well as a selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. Reservations are encouraged. 

The Chef’s Table

This pop-up dinner series, taking place this May and June, is definitely one of Vancouver’s best kept secrets – for $55 per person, ticketholders can enjoy a gourmet five-course meal. The fixed menu [PDF] was created by Chef Hamid Salimian and features optional wine pairings. 

The Chef's Table dinners are also run by students and led by award-winning instructors in the college’s International Culinary Arts program. 

Be sure to purchase your tickets early – you don’t want to miss out on the Grand Marnier chocolate mousse with brown butter ice cream.

VCC is giving away four tickets to the upcoming Chef’s Table experience – visit Instagram by Monday, June 6 to enter. 


Students from VCC's culinary arts programs run the ‌Quizine Kitchen at the Broadway campus and the second-floor cafeteria at VCC’s Downtown location. 

Breakfast service takes place Mondays to Thursdays from 8 to 9:30 a.m., while lunch service starts at 11:30 a.m. and goes until 1 p.m. At both cafeterias, you’ll find baked goods, premade sandwiches and wraps, and a selection of hot items. 

For information, visit www.vcc.ca/eat/

New VCC Marketing Technology diploma gives students an edge in CRM

Posted on June 9, 2022

When Vancouver Community College (VCC) Marketing Technology department head Jeremy White looks back on his first job out of business school, he realizes how little he’d been taught about the technical side of marketing, and specifically customer relationship management (CRM) software. 

“When I started, I didn’t even know what a CRM was,” says Jeremy, despite his new master’s degree in business administration. In the years since, while Jeremy has become a marketing technology expert, he still notices that most people in CRM-focused roles start with no hands-on experience and must learn it all on the job. 

This is why, when VCC began developing a new marketing diploma in early 2021, Jeremy and his team recommended going beyond standard curriculums to provide hands-on training in marketing technologies including the industry-leading CRM platform, Salesforce

In short, CRMs track and organize every interaction a business may have with a client or potential customer, allowing the company to analyze, prioritize, and personalize sales and marketing efforts quickly and easily. According to Jeremy, in today’s business world, “CRMs form the backbone of most organizations.” 

While students in a standard two-year marketing program would sit through numerous theory-based courses in accounting, math, and economics, VCC's industry consultations revealed that today’s employers simply want grads to have more job-ready technical skills. As such, our new diploma was designed with condensed theoretical courses and additional software-based certifications.

“When it comes to configuring a CRM, it’s more like a skilled trade than anything else,” says Jeremy. “It’s actually a great fit for VCC.”

In addition to preparing students for roles in CRM administration, VCC’s Marketing Technology students learn in-demand skills in Google Adwords, ecommerce, analytics, marketing automation, and finish with a portfolio-worthy capstone project.

Learn more about the program and apply now to join VCC’s next generation of marketing technology experts.

VCC students earn top spots at Skills Nationals

Posted on June 1, 2022

After months of training and practicing under the guidance of seasoned Vancouver Community College (VCC) instructors, students from the baking, cooking, car painting, hairstyling, and esthetics categories competed against the best from other provinces and claimed podium finishes at the Skills Canada National Competition held May 26 and 27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. 

This was the first time B.C. hosted the Canada-wide competition in almost a decade. Previously, Vancouver hosted the 19th Skills Canada National Competition in 2013. 

Well done, Team VCC!

VCC Automotive Collision and Refinishing student Theodore Abril (post-secondary) took the top spot in the Car Painting category. VCC Baking and Pastry Arts student Jireh Dunol also won first place with a chocolate sculpture around the theme "Roaring 20s," a set of 20 bonbons, and a pair of marzipan figurines reflecting a native wild animal from B.C. VCC Esthetics student Rosa Maria Donaire Champagne claimed gold in her category, which included a hot stone massage and makeup application. 

Competing for a spot on Team Canada this year, nineteen-year-old VCC Culinary Arts student Sean Leviste just missed the cut by placing third, but took home a bronze medal for his the presentation of bouchées appetizer platters, a main course, and dessert. VCC Hairstyling student Brooke Martin also took bronze for her wedding up-do and men's cut. 

Meanwhile, in the secondary category, VCC Youth Train in Trades baking student Leila Pourshahriary claimed a gold medal while Tyler Shine from the autobody repair categoery and Ali Al Abedi in car painting each won silver in their categories. 

VCC Skills Canada gold medallists 2022

VCC Skills Canada post-secondary gold medallists (L to R) Jireh Dunol, Rosa Maria Donaire Champagne, Theodore Abril

See more photos in our Flickr gallery >

Skills Canada offers a full trades experience

Throughout the in-person event, stage demos included a liquid nitrogen sorbet bowl with Chef Hamid Salimian and a skin therapy and facial massage demonstration with VCC Esthetics instructor Jaclyn Fisette.

Middle and high school students from across Metro Vancouver experimented with different trades in the exhibition hall with various industry partners. Activities included a dip, dunk, and decorate your own cake pop at VCC Baking's interactive station, while VCC Culinary Arts handed out assorted frozen fruit pops to visitors. Young learners tried their hand at removing tires from an autobody frame under the supervision of VCC Transportation Trades staff, while others took to the VCC Hair and Esthetics booth to practice applying polish correctly to artificial nails or to use hot tools to create perfect curls on a mannequin.

Gold-winning competitors who have opted to participate on Team Canada will be advancing to the World Skills competition held in Shanghai, China on October 12 to 17, 2022. The next Skills Canada National Competition will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2024. 

Team VCC results

Team Canada Selection – Cooking
Sean Leviste – BRONZE 
Aesthetics (post-secondary)
Rosa Maria Donaire Champagne – GOLD
Autobody Repair (secondary)
Tyler Shine – SILVER
Baking (post-secondary)
Jireh Dunol – GOLD
Baking (secondary)
Leila Pourshahriary – GOLD
Car painting (post-secondary)
Theodore Abril – GOLD
Car painting (secondary)
Ali Al Abedi – SILVER
Hairstyling (post-secondary)
Brooke Martin – BRONZE

Develop your career in the skilled trades through VCC's industry-recognized programs. START HERE >

VCC receives partner of the year award

Posted on May 27, 2022

Vancouver Community College's (VCC) Partnership Development Office (PDO) and the Vancouver School Board (VSB) District #39 were recently co-presented with the Employer Partnership of the Year Award by the BC Career Development Association.

The award was given in recognition of the close and sustainable partnership between VCC and VSB that has led to positive employment outcomes.

Through this partnership, more than 80 students of VCC's Building Service Worker (BSW) program were placed at VSB District #39 for work integrated learning in the past three years. VSB has hired more than one-quarter of those students.

“As a proud alumnus of the BSW training program at VCC myself, I have a great understanding of the curriculum. VCC is surely one of our preferred choices as graduates have all the soft and technical skills we look for,” says Parm Malli, Operations Supervisor of VSB District #39, who works in collaboration with the VCC team to support learners from underrepresented groups.

Parm sees this partnership as a win-win. “The partnership has proven to be very beneficial for VSB to identify talent, support inclusive hiring, and nurture a new workforce,” he adds.

BSW graduates have a lot of positive experiences to share as well. One recent graduate, Concepcion Cera, started working at VSB in early May 2022. Concepcion is an immigrant from the Philippines.

"This training has opened new doors for me. I can now support myself, my family, and also people’s safety in the community,” she says.

As a public sector employer, the VSB is an attractive place of work for job seekers, but they cherish the partnership with VCC in the BSW program. Their inclusion and diversity policies have provided opportunities for immigrants and visible minorities who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

VCC BSW training Practicum Coordinator Cindy Chan, a newcomer to Canada herself, understands the challenges faced by immigrants.

“We look forward to partnering with more employers – public and private – to follow the path taken by the VSB and contribute more to the social and economic integration of immigrants and underrepresented groups to Canada,” she says.

Our Partnership Development Office (PDO) is VCC’s key entrepreneurial focal point for the development and delivery of innovative, customized education and training projects. Learn more >

Media Release: VCC unveils Mental Health and Well-being Framework

Posted on May 18, 2022

Extensive consultation garnered 1,500 responses from VCC employees and students

VANCOUVER – After extensive consultation from employees and students, Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be launching a Mental Health and Well-being Framework during its annual mental health and well-being event taking place on Thursday, May 26.

Created in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association British Columbia Division (CMHA BC) and Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses, as well as guided by VCC’s Mental Health and Well-being Steering Committee, the framework garnered over 1,500 responses from members of the college community by way of focus groups, dialogues, and a campus-wide survey. The framework aims to guide the college’s well-being efforts in promoting mental health for the next five years (2022-2026).  

“We are fortunate to work with CMHA BC and Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses to develop a campus-wide, systemic, and holistic approach to mental health and well-being,” says Clayton Munro, VCC Associate Vice President, Student and Enrolment Services and steering committee co-chair. “The framework sets the foundation for our college community to think, speak, and act in appropriate and constructive ways regarding mental health.”

“The Vancouver Community College Mental Health and Well-being Framework holds promise for a transformative approach to promoting individual and collective community mental health and well-being,” adds Jonny Morris, CEO of CMHA BC. “The notions of influencing the conditions that affect well-being, collaborating across boundaries and differences, and democratizing who can assist when someone is in distress all inspire a new starting place for such an important endeavour.”

The framework also coincides with VCC’s signing of the Okanagan Charter, a landmark agreement that unites post-secondary institutions in a collective commitment to become campuses that promote health and well-being. VCC joins more than 30 other colleges and universities who have adopted the charter. 

“VCC strives to innovate, engage, and excel for years to come, and this hinges on us caring for and supporting each other well,” says Ajay Patel, VCC President and CEO. “I applaud VCC’s Mental Health and Well-being Steering Committee and the representatives from the Students’ Union of VCC, CUPE and the VCC Faculty Association for their timely and thoughtful work on this project, as well as the community members who offered responses through surveys and dialogues.”

Over the next five years, VCC’s Mental Health and Well-being Steering Committee will lead the college in implementing the framework and monitoring VCC’s progress.

One of the first initiatives being implemented is the college’s participation in CMHA’s Not Myself Today program which aims to transform mental health in the workplace. Since launching the initiative this spring, 300 employees have attended informational sessions and 40 employees joined as Not Myself Today Ambassadors.

“We have a communal responsibility to foster a safe and supportive workplace at VCC,” says Elaine Pedersen, VCC Manager, Organizational and People Development and steering committee co-chair. “Launching the Not Myself Today initiative supports the Framework’s commitment to building capacity and literacy around mental health.” 

Download a copy of the VCC Mental Health and Well-being Framework. [PDF]

Join VCC’s annual mental health and well-being event, this year titled Connecting with Compassion and Empathy, on Thursday, May 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students, staff, family, and community members are invited to drop into one or more of the many virtual wellness workshops running throughout the day. 

The Mental Health and Well-being project is generously supported by funding from B.C.’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions administered by CMHA BC under the partnered initiative of Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses.

About VCC

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 55 years, offering post-secondary training in over 140 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With two campuses located Downtown and in East Vancouver, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality management, transportation trades, music, and more. Learn more at vcc.ca.  

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Media contact:

Jen Hill
Manager, Communications

VCC artists at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2022

Posted on June 8, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to present a roster of talented VCC Music students, faculty, and alumni performing at this year’s Vancouver International Jazz Festival running from June 24 to July 3 at venues around the city.

Events are free unless noted otherwise.

June 24

Terminal Station (Jeremy Holmes)
Ocean Art Works | 4 p.m.

June 25

Mary Ancheta Quartet (Joel Fountain, Dominic Conway, Matt Reid)
Downtown – Georgia Street Stage | 2:15 p.m.

Black Gardenia /Daphne Roubini (Andrew Smith, Jeremy Holmes)
Ocean Art Works | 4 p.m.

June 26

Greasy G and the Poole Party (Joe Poole)
Downtown – Georgia Street Stage | 2:15 p.m.

June 27

Only a Visitor (Kevin Romaine)
Ocean Art Works | 9 p.m. | $10 at the door

June 28

Kevin Romaine’s Salience Network (Kevin Romaine)
Ocean Art Works | 4 p.m.

June 29

Emily Best (Emily Best, Max Ley)
Ocean Art Works | 4 p.m.

July 1

Sharon Minemoto Quartet (Sharon Minemoto, Bernie Arai)
Ocean Art Works | 1 p.m.

OA4 (Omar Amlani)
Performance Works | 4:30 p.m.

Why Choir (Ben Brown)
The Ironworks | 5 p.m.

Sam Tudor + Kandle (Debra Jean Creelman)
Performance Works | 7:30 p.m. | $37 online

Francois Houle Recorder Quartet (Francois Houle)
The Ironworks | 9 p.m. | $29 online

July 2

Jasper Sloan Yip (Stephanie Chapman)
David Lam Park Main Stage | 12 p.m.

Gamelan Bike Bike (Adrian Avendano)
Roundhouse – Performance Centre | 1:30 p.m. | $10 at the door

Blowout Band (Joe Poole)
David Lam Park Main Stage | 3:30 p.m.

Todd Stewart Crescent Quartet (Sebastian Chamney)
Ocean Art Works | 4 p.m. 

Jo Passed
David Lam Park Main Stage | 7 p.m.

Cory Weeds Little Big Band (James Danderfer)
Pyatt Hall | 7:30 p.m. | $42 online

Dave Rempis / Tommy Babin / Kenton Loewen (Kenton Loewen)
The Ironworks 11:30 p.m. $24 online

July 3

Beatings are in the Body (Róisín Adams)
Roundhouse – Performance Centre | 1:30 p.m. | $10 at the door

Jeff Younger’s Dark Matter Machine (Bernie Arai)
Performance Works | 2:30 p.m.

Noah Walker Trio (Noah Walker, Catherine Hiltz, Daniel Ruiz)
Ocean Art Works | 4 p.m. 

Jocelyn Waugh Quartet (Omar Amlani)
Roundhouse – Exhibition Hall | 6 p.m.

Is the music industry calling your name? Learn more about bachelor, diploma, and community-based programs through VCC Music.   

Good luck to VCC's Skills Canada Nationals 2022 competitors

Posted on May 17, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is thrilled to welcome the Skills Canada National Competition 2022 (SCNC) to Vancouver on May 26 and 27.   

For the first time since 2019, the event will be hosted partially in person, with the post-secondary and the Team Canada Selection Category competitions being held at the Vancouver Convention Centre and open to the public.

This year’s SCNC welcomes over 300 competitors from all regions of Canada who will participate in over 35 skilled trade and technology challenges. Additionally, more than 200 secondary school competitors will compete virtually across the country. 

VCC student Skills Canada provincial winners



Join us in cheering on these outstanding VCC students who advanced to nationals following top medal performances in provincial competitions held in April 2022:



  • Rosa Maria Donaire Champagne
  • Shohrai Jobin

Autobody Repair 


  •  Tyler Shine

Automobile Technology 


  •  Tyler Smith


  •  Rowan Fletcher



  • Jireh Dunol


  • Leila Pourshahriary

Car Painting


  •  Theodore Abril


  •  Ali Al Abedi



  • Sean Leviste



  • Brooke Martin


  • Kyra Mohammed


Follow and support Team VCC

Visit out the Skills/Compétences Canada YouTube channel to watch the event livestream including opening and closing ceremonies, highlights from the virtual competitions, and more!

Tune in to VCC's social media feeds to send your support to our students using the hashtags #myVCC and #SCNC2022. Check back for updates on our medallists and go VCC!

Is your future in the skilled trades? Learn all about training and apprenticeship oportunities at an upcoming free information session.

All about ME – New pilot project advances menstrual equity at VCC

Posted on May 2, 2022

Menstrual products are now available free of charge in all universal washrooms at Vancouver Community College (VCC) thanks to a pilot project led by the Students’ Union of Vancouver Community College (SUVCC) and the college’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee.

As part of the two-year project called All About ME – Menstrual Equity, VCC has installed menstrual product dispensers in all 13 campus washrooms that are designated as universal or all-gender. The accessible “free-vend” dispensers, which do not charge money, are designed by Aunt Flow, a company committed to ensuring free access to menstrual products across North America.

“There’s still a lot of stigma around menstruation and accessing menstrual products,” says Sydney Sullivan, Executive Director of the SUVCC. The SUVCC has been providing free menstrual supplies in SUVCC offices for many years and in January 2020 signed on as part of the United Way’s Period Promise campaign.”

Hoping to expand on this initiative, the SUVCC partnered with VCC’s EDI committee and consulted with Neal Adolph from the United Way to develop the All about ME – Menstrual Equity pilot project. In addition to installing and maintaining the free dispensers, the college will also closely track their usage over the next two years to determine the feasibility of equipping additional washrooms in the future.

“We’re the only college making this kind commitment to give the products away for free,” says Reba Noel, Dean of Indigenous Initiatives and VCC Lead for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Period poverty is an issue in post-secondary and this pilot project is a great move for VCC.”


What is period poverty?

According to new research by the United Way British Columbia, 51 per cent of people who menstruate (including non-binary and trans people) said they have struggled to afford menstrual products, 26 per cent had menstruated with no products available, and an average 24 per cent had missed school, work, or other events due to lack of menstrual products.

“I don’t want anyone to miss school because they don’t have pads, or have to choose between tampons and food,” says Reba.

According to many menstrual equity advocates, a key to eliminating period poverty is to begin treating menstrual products as necessities like toilet paper or soap. “We shouldn’t have to bring our own menstrual products if on one else has to bring their own toilet paper,” declares a recent blog post by Aunt Flow. “Imagine having to put a quarter in a machine in exchange for a drop of soap…”

Join us in making menstrual equity a reality at VCC. Visit the new Aunt Flow dispensers in all universal washrooms:

Broadway campus

Building A, room 2141A
Building A, room 3081 (Library - Level 3)
Building A, room 3082 (Library - Level 3)
Building B, room G204
Building B, room 5203

Downtown campus

Room 120A
Room 162B
Room 219D
Room 339C
Room 435A
Room 500C
Room 635A
Room 929

VCC supports video project aimed at suicide prevention on campus

Posted on May 16, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC), along with half of B.C.’s colleges and universities, have collaborated to produce Canada's first suicide prevention videos that speak directly to post-secondary students.

Two four-minute stories and three half-minute clips depict a student grappling with suicidal ideation as friends and others in their life reach out to offer support. The videos were developed to encourage students to reach out if they are struggling, as well as to provide evidence-based approaches for those supporting someone facing these challenges.

Creating these videos helps address a recognized need for young Canadians. Close to 500 people in Canada aged 15-24 died by suicide in 2020, accounting for 20 per cent of overall deaths in that demographic.

Studies suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused post-secondary students to face mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety, as well as increased drinking and substance use.

“The unprecedented challenges of the past two years have added to the already immense pressure young people are facing,” says Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “These videos are an important tool to encourage more open and honest conversations and connect students to the supports that they need.”

Educators and facilitators will use these videos in workshops, classrooms, social media campaigns and more. Filmed with the latest research into suicide prevention in mind, they include content warnings and directions to resources for immediate support.

The videos are accessible to the public through Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses, an initiative of the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division (CMHA BC) that promotes mental wellness at colleges and universities. A digital handbook is also available to give guidelines for appropriate and effective use.

Collaborating schools include Capilano University, Douglas College, Justice Institute of BC, Langara College, North Island College, Northern Lights College, Okanagan College, Royal Roads University, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Community College, and University of the Fraser Valley.

“This collaborative effort between 12 BC post-secondary institutions, with an investment from the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, has created an important suicide prevention education tool,” says Jonny Morris, CEO of CMHA BC. “These powerful resources help shine a light on noticing distress, listening to understand, and seeking help when we are concerned about a member of our community.”

The project was funded through the B.C. Campus Suicide Prevention Grant, which was awarded to various colleges and universities in 2021 by CMHA BC in partnership with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction (MMHA).

The suicide prevention videos can be viewed on VCC's YouTube channel. Please note the videos contain material that may be distressing for some viewers.



VCC's role in shaping the future of Vancouver

Posted on May 6, 2022

VCC president Ajay Patel’s op-ed on Vancouver’s Broadway Plan was recently published in the Daily Hive on May 5, 2022. In it, President Patel writes that: 

“The Broadway Plan – Vancouver’s 30-year plan for housing, jobs, education, and community amenities that will grow around the new Broadway Subway — presents Vancouver Community College (VCC) with an opportunity to modernize our education facilities for the in-demand jobs of the future, while helping to build sustainable neighbourhoods and communities around our campus that acknowledge and respect the Indigenous history and traditions of this region.”

Read President Patel’s full article on how VCC’s Broadway Campus and the Broadway Plan are shaping the future of Vancouver.

Signy Novak: Moving health care forward through Medical Assistance in Dying

Posted on May 6, 2022

VCC Practical Nursing instructor Signy Novak in classroom lab with students

In many ways, medicine today is a modern wonder. We’ve eradicated historical diseases, we successfully transplant vital organs, and we developed a vaccine for COVID-19 in record time. Alongside medical advances, however, patient care also needs to evolve, and nurses like VCC instructor Signy Novak are working hard to ensure that it does.

In Signy’s case, it was the relatively recent legalization (in 2016) of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) that revealed to her a lack of services and resources both for people seeking MAiD and for their loved ones. 

Signy’s father David, who was himself a neurologist and often treated individuals with terminal/degenerative conditions, had long been a supporter of legalizing MAiD. In 2018, he also chose MAiD for himself. “That’s when I realized there were really no resources for family members,” says Signy. “There’s anticipatory grief and grief post-MAiD. It’s different than a natural death or a sudden death. It presents unique needs.”

At the end of her father’s life, Signy recalls his last comments to his doctor: “Keep doing the great work you are doing with MAiD.”

Based on her own experiences, informed by her professional nursing perspective, and inspired by her father’s values, in 2021, Signy founded Bridge 4 You, a national resource offering “lived experience,” connection, and support for loved ones throughout the MAiD process. Today, Bridge 4 You works with volunteers from across Canada, and the organization has also recently merged with the Ottawa-based MAiD organization Bridge C-14 to provide a full circle of care for individuals and families. 

What’s next for Nursing?

Signy ensures that her students in VCC’s Practical Nursing program are aware of the latest laws surrounding MAiD and how to best support people seeking MAiD as well as their families. While MAiD is not yet required to be taught by the nursing curriculum in Canada, Signy expects to see it soon. 

“VCC has been fantastic in supporting me in creating Bridge 4 You,” Signy says. “I can’t say enough about the nursing department.”

Unlike the medical breakthroughs we may see in the news, the advancement of patient care does not happen in laboratories; it happens in hospital rooms, care facilities, and in the community. 

As attitudes and laws continue to change around MAiD as well as things like drug decriminalization, harm reduction, and safe supply, it will be nurses who first see and feel the needs of patients in these never-before-seen health care scenarios. Likewise, as Canada continues to reveal and challenge religious and colonial assumptions on reproductive rights, Indigenous health care, mental illness, and more, nurses will be the ones who move patient care foreward.

“Change is happening all the time,” says Signy.

In March 2021, a new Criminal Code amendment passed (Bill C-7) that removed the requirement that a person’s natural death must be “reasonably foreseeable” to be eligible for MAiD. This now provides the option to many people who are chronically ill and suffering – but not necessarily close to natural death.

While this amendment temporarily excludes people suffering only from mental illness, the legal safeguards and protocols for such scenarios are also expected to be reviewed by March 2023.

“This is our future,” says Signy. “It’s such a privilege to live in Canada where we have this option. It’s about dying with dignity on our own terms.” 

 Nursing resources

MAiD information

Crisis line

Good luck to VCC's Skills Canada BC 2022 competitors

Posted on April 7, 2022

Please join us in wishing all the best to the Vancouver Community College (VCC) students competing in Skills Canada BC 2022 this spring!

This annual provincial skills competition has traditionally been held at the Tradex in Abbotsford, welcoming more than 600 competitors plus industry judges and a public audience. This year, as COVID-19 safety measures allow, B.C. students from various skilled trades programs will compete either online or at designated locations. Competitions will be held throughout the month of April, and VCC is proud to host the on-site events for Aesthetics, Baking, Cooking, Hairstyling, Autobody Repair, Automotive Technology, and Car Painting.

Let's support VCC's competitors

Will VCC students continue to dominate in our famous skilled trades? Tune in to VCC's social media feeds to find out, and send your support to our students using the hashtags #myVCC and #SkillsBC. Check back for updates on our medallists and go VCC!

Baking – April 9


  • Jireh Dunol - GOLD (advancing to Skills Canada National Competition)


  • Leila Pourshahriary - GOLD (advancing to Skills Canada National Competition)
  • Emily Muekel - SILVER

Cooking – April 9


  • Sean Levitate (advancing to Skills Canada National Competition)



  • Rosa Maria Donaire Champagne - GOLD (advancing to Skills Canada National Competition)
  • Shohrai Jobin - SILVER (advancing to Skills Canada National Competition)
  • Saly Al-Shamaseshak - BRONZE


  • Kyra Mohammed - GOLD (advancing to Skills Canada National Competition)


  • Brooke Martin - SILVER (advancing to Skills Canada National Competition) 

Autobody Repair – April 26


  • Tyler Shine - GOLD (advancing to Skills Canada National Competition) 
  • Rati Bekauri - SILVER
  • Jacob Suldayan - BRONZE


  • Keagan Behiel - SILVER
  • Nolan Chan - BRONZE

Car Painting – April 26


  • Ali Al Abedi - GOLD (advancing to Skills Canada National Competition)
  • Tyson Pasquier-Aldaba - SILVER
  • Sarah Abdellatif - BRONZE


  • Theodore Abril - GOLD (advancing to Skills Canada National Competition)
  • Mark Reyes - SILVER
  • Jivan Kadola - BRONZE

Automobile Technology – Online, with in-person finals May 6


  • Keanray Exelsis Alupay
  • Nikita Antipin
  • Nathan Cheung
  • Duyen Dieu
  • Philip Cris Mic Fabic
  • Rowan Fletcher
  • Harman Janda
  • Gurmun Kahlon
  • Dimitr Kontogiannis
  • Kaden Labrador
  • Benjamin McLaren
  • Mohamed Zahra Mohamed Nisthar
  • Roland Angelo Pagnas
  • Diniel Kier Pedro
  • Carlos Pizarro
  • Mark Louie Ramirez
  • Tavius Van De Plas
  • Sebastian Warren Espinosa
  • Addison Wu
  • Steven Yan

Think you might shine at a skilled trade? Connect with us and ask all the questions you want at an upcoming free information session

VCC mental health and wellness roundup

Posted on May 2, 2022

May is internationally recognized as a month to acknowledge, learn about, and destigmatize mental illness. Additionally, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) celebrates Mental Health Awareness Week. Held the first week in May, Canadians in communities, schools, and workplaces have rallied around CMHA Mental Health Week for the last 71 years. VCC is proud to be an ally in fostering a healthy mental wellness workplace throughout the month of May.  

Mental health at VCC in 2022 

Since January, 60 employees have attended one of our monthly Skillfully Responding to Distress* workshops put on by Crisis Centre BC. These workshops have helped employees understand the challenges that are faced when colleagues are in distress and what not to do in a situation of crisis.

well-being icon* was created in March for the Well-being page* on myVCC for students and employees to give them easy access to all of VCC’s mental health and well-being resources.

On April 5, VCC launched the CMHA’s Not Myself Today program. In preparation for this program, over 300 employees attended departmental and college-wide informational sessions. In addition, 40 employees joined our team of Not Myself Today Ambassadors.

Join us this month 

VCC is excited to host our annual mental health and well-being event – Connecting with Compassion and Empathy on May 26 from 11 am to 2 pm. Students and staff are encouraged to join the virtual event via Zoom while family and community members can participate online via Facebook live.

The event will feature a keynote speech by internationally recognized neuroscience educator, Sarah Peyton, entitled Tools for Taking Care of our Mental Health and Wellbeing. The day will also showcase activities such as chair yoga with Sandra Jara, a workshop on procrastination workshop by Mika Maniwa, and sounding healing with VCC alumni Theda Phoenix.  

Attend the entire event or drop in when you can. 

VCC's mental health and wellness event features VCC alumni Theda Phoenix.  

The day also marks the official release of VCC’s Mental Health & Well-being Framework.*

About our Mental Health Framework

Created in partnership with the CMHA BC and Healthy Minds Healthy Campuses, as well guided by VCC’s Mental Health and Well-being steering committee, this framework is a result of an extensive consultation process that garnered over 1500 responses from members of the college community by way of focus groups, dialogues, and a campus-wide survey. Our framework will aim to guide our well-being efforts in promoting mental health for the next five years (2022-2026).  

The full schedule and how to access this exciting event organized by the Counselling Department, the SUVCC, and People Services will be available on our Events page on May 13. 

Later this month, VCC will also be releasing a series of suicide prevention videos for use by faculty and employees that speak directly to post-secondary students. 

The series is a collaborative project involving over half of the colleges and universities in BC —Capilano University, Douglas College, Justice Institute of BC, Langara College, North Island College, Northern Lights College, Okanagan College, Royal Roads University, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Community College, Simon Fraser University, and University of the Fraser Valley.

Educators and facilitators can look to use these videos in workshops, classrooms, social media campaigns, and more. Each video was informed by the latest research into suicide prevention and includes content warnings and directions to resources for immediate support.

Looking ahead 

In June, students and employees are invited to learn how to counter stress at Making Sense of Feeling “Out of Control”: How and Why You Are Healthier than You Think, a learning session to better understand how to counter stress using polyvagal theory and practices, window of tolerance, and simple mindfulness practices for thoughts and emotions. 

Participants will also be given an overview of brain science and how it relates to stress and feeling overwhelmed. Please RSVP to learningforlife@vcc.ca to attend. The event takes place on June 15 from 12 pm to 1 pm.

At VCC we recognize that our community’s mental health and well-being is not only a topic of concern and care for the month of May, but also a commitment of empathy and support we hold every day.

* MyVCC.ca login required to access these links. 



Updated VCC jewellery program the gold standard in Western Canada

Posted on April 26, 2022

Humans have been adorning themselves with jewellery since before history was recorded, which means there is a lot to learn when studying jewellery design today. Jewellery also continues to evolve alongside tastes, materials, and technology, which creates an ongoing challenge for Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Jewellery Art and Design program: fitting everything into a two-year diploma.

During the program’s recent renewal process, VCC’s Jewellery Art and Design faculty worked with top local employers and artists to closely examine the curriculum and re-imagine it with today’s jewellery industry in mind. The result was a fully updated Jewellery Art and Design diploma that, starting in September 2022, will offer students more hands-on practice and technical skills than ever before.

“The hands-on fabrication of jewellery is what students love and want, and we never had enough time to really get into the techniques,” says VCC Jewellery Art and Design department leader Julie Anctil.

To carve out the additional time for hands-on practice, the department made the difficult decision to condense and/or streamline certain classes on theory, history, and gemmology (the geoscience of gemstones). “The students did like these classes, but they were just too in depth for our two-year diploma,” says Julie. “Students can still go on to study these things, but we needed to go practical.”

In addition to 20 per cent more time in the labs honing their craft, students will also learn new in-demand skills that hadn’t been taught previously, including jewellery repair and sizing. Also, as jewellery drawing and design techniques continue to shift into the digital realm, students will now spend less time sketching by hand and more time with the latest Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools – including the industry-standard Rhinoceros 3D – as well as 3D printing technology.

According to Julie, the ability to make such cutting-edge revisions and access the latest technology is due to VCC’s unique position as a public college. “This program has been around for a very long time. It’s very dear to us,” she says, noting that VCC hosts the only two-year Jewellery Art and Design diploma in Western Canada, the others being in Toronto and Montreal.

“Even in the United States, some very good schools have recently closed down,” Julie adds.

Jobs for Jewellery Art and Design grads can vary widely, and many go on to work as bench goldsmiths for jewellery companies, independent jewellery designers or artists, or in jewellery retail or sales.

VCC Jewellery Art and Design offers 20 seats each September, and the recent program revisions have only increased student interest. Applicants are required to present a portfolio, resumé, and letter of intent, and participate in an interview. “We want students who are committed and willing to grow,” says Julie. “It’s definitely a niche, but we truly love what we do.”

Learn more about VCC Jewellery Art and Design and apply now for our next available intake.

Media Release: VCC fights anti-Indigenous racism through San’yas training

Posted on September 27, 2021

VANCOUVER – In recognition of Canada’s new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Sept. 30), Vancouver Community College (VCC) is excited to share that 50 faculty members from the School of Health Sciences are registered to complete the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training provided by the B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), with many more registered to participate in the coming months. These participants will join the 100+ employees from across VCC who have already completed the San’yas training program.

A portion of our Health Sciences faculty registrations were made possible by a grant from the B.C. Ministry of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. Thanks to additional commitments by VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department and VCC People Services, the college is continuing to offer San’yas training opportunities to VCC staff and instructors.

“Instructors who have completed this program express having a much deeper understanding of Indigenous history and the role of cultural safety, not only in health care education, but in all instructional practices. It’s very encouraging to experience this acknowledgement of Indigenous history in post-secondary and to know it is influencing the next generation of professionals,” says Reba Noel, Dean of Indigenous Initiatives at VCC.

San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training is a set of facilitated online learning modules designed to increase understanding of Indigenous history and culture, enhance self-awareness, and give valuable context to any person working directly or indirectly with Indigenous people.

Driving this training, especially among health care workers, is the report In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care [PDF]. Commissioned by B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix and published by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond in November 2020, this report unequivocally confirmed that stereotyping, prejudice, and racist treatment are common experiences for Indigenous people (especially women) in health care at all levels. This, in turn, negatively affects the overall health and wellness of Indigenous peoples in B.C.

Through the 10-hour online course, participants examine things like culture, history, and the legacies of colonization that persist today. With the help of Indigenous facilitators, participants also learn to use appropriate, meaningful terminology that respects Indigenous culture, while gaining skills to further positive and mutually beneficial interactions.

“San’yas” is a word meaning “way of knowing” in Kwak’wala, the language of the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples whose traditional, unceded lands make up northern Vancouver Island.

About Vancouver Community College

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years, offering post-secondary training in over 130 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses located in East Vancouver, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.

About the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA)

The first organization of its kind in Canada, PHSA was established in 2001 to plan, manage, and evaluate specialty and province-wide health care services across B.C. PHSA collaborates with the five geographic health authorities to ensure access to specialized health services by providing leadership to the agencies, services, and projects under PHSA jurisdiction, and planning, coordinating, and monitoring specialized health services.


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Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7538
E: frasoulkim@vcc.ca



How to access free, 24/7 counselling services for students

Posted on October 29, 2021

As post-secondary students return to in-person learning and the demands of busy lives, Vancouver Community College (VCC) wants to ensure that free counselling and mental health supports are easily accessible.

Here2Talk is a mental health counselling and referral service available to all B.C. post-secondary students. The service offers confidential, free, single-session services by app, phone, or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How to access Here2Talk

B.C. post-secondary students can access professional counselling services by:

Students calling from outside Canada can also dial 604.642.5212 (international calling charges may apply). Phone services are available in additional languages upon request.

The Here2Talk service is operated by LifeWorks, and can support students dealing with challenges such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, pressure to perform, crises, racism, and relationships. Counsellors will also be equipped to refer students to local resources in their communities.

VCC Counselling Services

At VCC, counselling services are available free of charge to all registered students and applicants. VCC’s counselling team consists of trained, professional counsellors who are able to support you in the management of personal issues that may affect your academic performance or personal well-being.

Counselling reception for both VCC campuses can be reached by calling 604.871.7000, option 2.

VCC Counselling office hours

Broadway campus  
Monday, Tuesday, Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Wednesday 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. 
Thursday  10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
Downtown campus   
Monday - Wednesday, Friday  8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m 
Thursday  10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 


Other helpful links:


Free, 24/7 counselling service supports student mental health

Posted on February 18, 2022

If you’re experiencing any difficulties with your mental health, the best and smartest thing to do is to ask for help. 

Mental illness can take many forms and differ from person to person, and it’s natural to feel anxious, sad, or insecure in various circumstances of life. However, when uncomfortable feelings stick around and begin to interfere with your relationships, work, or school, talking to someone is an important first step to stopping things from getting worse.

Getting help with your mental health is a sign of strength and intelligence, not weakness. Like any other medical issue, mental illness needs treatment, and for post-secondary students in B.C., free help is available 24/7.

Here2Talk is a mental health counselling and referral service available to all B.C. post-secondary students. The service offers confidential, free, single-session services by app, phone, or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How to access Here2Talk

B.C. post-secondary students can access professional counselling services by:

Students calling from outside Canada can also dial 604.642.5212 (international calling charges may apply). Phone services are available in additional languages upon request.

The Here2Talk service is operated by LifeWorks, and can support students dealing with challenges such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, pressure to perform, crises, racism, and relationships. Counsellors will also be equipped to refer students to local resources in their communities.

VCC Counselling Services

At VCC, counselling services are available free of charge to all registered students and applicants. VCC’s counselling team consists of trained, professional counsellors who are able to support you in the management of personal issues that may affect your academic performance or personal well-being.

Counselling reception for both VCC campuses can be reached by calling 604.871.7000, option 2.

VCC Counselling office hours

Broadway campus  
Monday, Tuesday, Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Wednesday 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. 
Thursday  10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
Downtown campus   
Monday - Wednesday, Friday  8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m 
Thursday  10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 


Other helpful links:


Eddy’s story: A new wave in nursing

Posted on May 10, 2021

At multiple points in his life, Eddy Gooch took career aptitude tests and they all told him the same thing: he would make an excellent nurse. His father was in construction, however, and no one in his family had pursued post-secondary education in health care. “I thought nursing was beyond me,” Eddy says.

It was only after he had tried multiple other careers that Eddy found his way into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Vancouver Community College (VCC). Today, he’s not only eagerly looking forward to a nursing career, but also opening new doors for Indigenous representation.

Confronting colonialism 

Eddy knew from childhood that he was adopted at birth from the Cowichan Tribes, one of the largest Indigenous groups in British Columbia. Eddy adores his family and was raised to take pride in his heritage – unlike many adopted Indigenous children at the time whose roots and identities were left a troubling mystery. 

The term “Sixties Scoop” can be misleading, as it’s used to describe a period of (not one, but) four decades ranging from the 50s to the 90s in which thousands of Indigenous children were systematically placed into non-Indigenous families in Canada and the United States. Carried out in the name of “child welfare,” this practice is now regarded as a strategy to strip Indigenous people of culture and language and assimilate them into the North American (colonial) mainstream.

Eddy remembers nothing but care and love growing up. “My parents always expressed how lucky they were to have me,” he says. Despite his own happy memories, however, Eddy also understands the importance of his story in the context of reconciliation, which is why he’s joined the 2009 class-action lawsuit that continues to seek justice for Sixties Scoop survivors.

Medical motivation

While Eddy learned construction skills from a young age, his first career passion was cooking. He trained in French cuisine and worked as a cook for eleven years before sustaining a career-ending injury to his wrist. As Eddy fell back on construction jobs, his mother also became ill during this time and spent extended periods in hospital.

“It was the nurses who were always there,” Eddy says, remembering how he’d watch and admire their medical skills as well as the comfort and assurance they brought in such a difficult time. 

In 2018, when yet another construction job ended, Eddy finally began looking into nursing programs. Thanks to the high demand as well as academic and financial opportunities for Indigenous nurses in B.C., multiple schools were eager to have him. Eddy chose VCC due to the quality academic upgrading classes and the personalized support he received from VCC staff, particularly Indigenous Advisor Toni Gladstone. “It became about the community,” Eddy says. 

Pride in progress

Now finished the first year of his nursing degree, Eddy has become one of VCC’s most enthusiastic students. In addition to full-time study and clinical placements, Eddy continues to deepen his Indigenous knowledge and has worked as a student aide at VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department. In May 2021, Eddy was thrilled to join VCC instructor Maki Iwase and four other classmates to represent VCC on the national stage at the 2021 Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing Virtual Conference.

While nursing careers come in many forms, Eddy’s personal goal is to work in the emergency room, helping and comforting people in some of the most distressing moments in their lives. “I’ve had too much experience going to the emergency,” he confesses. “I would love to be on the team that makes people feel taken care of.”

Similarly, Eddy hopes his presence as a proud and compassionate Indigenous man in medical centres will further the goals of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and ease the historic fears that Indigenous people have of being racialized or treated with discrimination. “This is an early wave of Indigenous representation in health care,” he says, “and it’s phenomenal to be part of it.”

Take the leap into a health care career through VCC’s various nursing and health sciences programs, or connect with our Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department for personalized support.


My Perspective, My Voice

Posted on April 8, 2022

Presented by the Society for Intercultural Education, Training, And Research (SIETAR) BC, the My Perspective, My Voice video series highlights the stories and perspectives of individuals who have traditionally been marginalised in society. The intention of this video series is to promote greater awareness and understanding about marginalisation and to help create a more inclusive world for all. Speaking from their own lived history, each storyteller will share their experiences on topics spanning racism, poverty, access to education, and gender discrimination.

Running as a series of live virtual events held Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., the project has a strong VCC connection. Shantel Ivits, Department Head for Basic Education will be featured on Tuesday, April 12 and Jimmy Aitken, Indigenous Engagement Advisor will be featured on Tuesday, June 21. Tanya Cowie, an instructor in VCC’s English as an Additional Language (EAL) department, is one of the key organizers of this event.

View all speakers and topics and register for this free video series.

Watch the trailer:


SIETAR BC seeks to advance cultural competency and racial literacy. Cultural competency refers to the skills that promote positive and inclusive cross-cultural relationships, and racial literacy refers to the capacity to see, understand, and respond to racism and build racial equity.

To achieve its mission, SIETAR offers programs, workshops, and events to provide individuals and organizations an opportunity to:

  • Build effective intercultural relations
  • Develop awareness of racism and ways to respond to it
  • Understand how culture affects education, policymaking and business
  • Connect with SIETAR members and global Intercultural Professionals

New provincial phone line to support displaced Ukrainians

Posted on April 4, 2022

Originally posted by the Office of the Premier

To ensure Ukrainians fleeing violence who are arriving in B.C. have access to the services they need, and to co-ordinate the generosity of British Columbians, the Province is updating supports.

The Service BC phone line, 1.800.663.7867, will be available with translation services in Ukrainian, Russian and 140 other languages and will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific time) every day.

It will serve two main purposes:

  • to help people arriving from Ukraine and their families in locating and accessing the services they need, such as employment, health care, housing and education; and
  • to co-ordinate British Columbians who want to volunteer or donate to help displaced Ukrainians feel welcome in British Columbia.

Ukrainian community organizations in major urban centres and regional hubs have indicated they are overwhelmed by the generosity of British Columbians and need help managing calls and offers of support. This phone number will help assist with these pressures.

Most Ukrainians coming to B.C. are expected to arrive through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program. Under this new federal program, Ukrainians and their family members will be allowed to stay in Canada as temporary residents for up to three years. Ukrainians will be allowed to apply for a three-year open work permit.

The Province is co-ordinating a cross-government response to ensure Ukrainians have access to supports and programs they need. Additional supports will come online in the weeks ahead.

Additional supports for VCC community:

VCC’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing faculty member interviewed on CBC

Posted on April 4, 2022

Students in VCC's Deaf and Hard of Hearing program 


Vancouver Community College (VCC) is thrilled to share a recent interview with VCC faculty member Aastrid Evensen that aired on the March 29 edition of CBC Radio One’s On the Coast with Gloria Macarenko.

Evensen, who is a prominent member of the Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) community is also a long-time faculty member of VCC’s Department for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Adults. She spoke with Macarenko about the challenges that masks brought to the DHH community during the pandemic and how the community feels now that restrictions have been lifted in B.C. They also discussed the film CODA, a comedy-drama about a child of Deaf adults (CODA) who aspires to be a singer. The film just won Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (Deaf actor, Troy Kotsur) at this year’s Academy Awards.

Listen to Aastrid’s full interview with the assistance of Registered Sign Language Interpreter Brooke Gamas.

Read a transcript of the interview below. 


The interview was conducted on March 29, 2022 over video. 

[Interview time 00:00:00 - Gloria Macarenko]
Well, this is a big week for representation in the Deaf and hard of hearing community. The Apple Original Film Coda won best picture at the Oscars. This is the coming-of-age story about one hearing member in a Deaf family. So, we're talking to Aastrid Evensen about the win and about her experience during the COVID pandemic. Aastrid is a prominent member of the Deaf community and a faculty member in the Department for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Adults at Vancouver Community College. Interpreting is Brooke Gamas. She's a Registered Sign Language Interpreter. Aastrid, hello. Good afternoon.

[Interview time 00:00:40 - Aastrid Evensen]
Hello, good afternoon.

[Interview time 00:00:42 - Gloria Macarenko]
So we are a couple of weeks past the end of the provincial mask mandate here in B.C. How are you feeling about it?

[Interview time 00:00:51 - Aastrid Evensen]
Yeah, I mean, socially, being out in the community, I admit, still using masks. But within the classrooms, having the masks off has been so much better. Being able to communicate with the students is much better.

[Interview time 00:01:05 - Gloria Macarenko]
Well, what kinds of challenges have the last two years brought to the Deaf and hard of hearing community?

[Interview time 00:01:14 - Aastrid Evensen]
Yeah, the largest challenge so far is just not having the students within the classroom. In person has been so ideal, but we have been using them as a means to teach online for the past year and so far since the fall, having everyone back in the classroom has been just exponentially better. And we've had masks on this entire time. During presentations we've had during teaching sessions, it's a lot easier for the students to be able to see our facial grammar and the, like, voice intonation. It's a similar idea when we're teaching, and so it's very hard to read with having a mask on. So, we have been kind of taking them on and off within the classroom just for that exposure. And now with the students being able to have their masks off as well has been so much more improved. So, yes, that's the main thing with regards to masks.

[Interview time 00:02:09 - Gloria Macarenko]
Well, I'm glad to hear that the situation is improving. Just what kinds of conversations has the whole experience through the pandemic brought up in the classroom with your students?

[Interview time 00:02:24 - Aastrid Evensen]
Oh, I mean, for the most part, we go through an array of different curriculum things, so they're mostly curious about vocabulary and developing their reading skills. There's been a whole host of different topics that you've been able to touch. Right now, we have some different resources for talking about science. Kind of like a middle level, high school reading level for them. And we're talking mostly about environments and kind of what's happening within the community. There's been a lot of different, but not necessarily specific topics about COVID.

[Interview time 00:03:02 - Gloria Macarenko]
Now, this past Sunday, we saw representation of the Deaf and hard of hearing community on an international stage. The Deaf family drama Coda won best picture. So what did you think of the win?

[Interview time 00:03:19 - Aastrid Evensen]
Yeah, absolutely. It was so elevating to see that the community just went through the roof with that and just being a Deaf woman and being able to relate to Marlee winning in the past. And now we have a male support actor winning his, just, expression and ASL is just so it's so leaving for the community to see is absolutely wonderful. So glad to have it done.

[Interview time 00:03:46 - Gloria Macarenko]
And what did you think of the film?

[Interview time 00:03:51 - Aastrid Evensen]
It was very top notch. I enjoyed seeing the whole drama unfold. I remember where a lot of people were reaching out to me saying, you have to watch it. Coda is amazing film, and when I finally had a chance to see it, just the story line, everything was so beautifully done.

[Interview time 00:04:09 - Gloria Macarenko]
I agree. I completely agree. But you know, from your perspective, how important is this type of mainstream representation, especially for young people in the Deaf and hard of hearing community?

[Interview time 00:04:24 - Aastrid Evensen]
Yes, very vital. It definitely helps with accessibility and also just seeing them within major films. So having that participation, not being that side actor or that additional support role necessarily, but to really focus in on the Deaf experience and where you see them not only win an award because that's so impactful, but it provides renewed interest for future youth to possibly go down that same endeavour.

[Interview time 00:05:00 - Gloria Macarenko]
That is great to hear. Aastrid, it is wonderful to be able to touch base with you today. You take good care.

[Interview time 00:05:07 – Aastrid Evensen]
Perfect. Thank you.

Immerse yourself in Deaf culture. Enroll today.


VCC Outstanding Alumni Awards 2019 winners

Posted on February 6, 2020

Congratulations to Vancouver Community College's (VCC) most recent Outstanding Alumni Award winners! These are the latest in a long line of VCC alumni and others who have made significant contributions to their industries and our community. Each recipient stands out with unique stories of success, inspiration, and dedication.


Loni Yee – Community Contribution

Founder, The Collective Beauty Studio

Loni Yee graduated from VCC as a hairstylist in 2005, then went on to open her own salon, The Collective Beauty Studio, in Steveston Village. Here, Loni specializes in modern approaches to cut, colour, and styling. She also facilitates donation of ponytails to Wigs for Kids BC. Last month, Loni’s salon undertook a massive fundraising initiative and raised $80,000 for this charity! Loni also employs several VCC grads in her salon.


Alex Chen – Career Success

Iron Chef/Executive Chef, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Alex Chen has achieved a stunning level of notoriety in a very short amount of time. He boasts more than a decade of experience at some of the most acclaimed hotels across North America, and has been the driving force behind Vancouver’s celebrated Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar. Alex regularly hires and mentors VCC graduates as he views their success as his success. Alex also has a true affinity for high-pressure culinary competitions as a competitor, as a mentor, and as a judge. He is likely best known for his win on Iron Chef Canada in 2018, and we’ll see him shortly on Food Network Canada’s upcoming “Wall of Chefs.”


Clarissa Roque – One to Watch

Pastry artist, WorldSkills Kazan 2019 competitor

Clarissa “Claire” Roque placed 5th in the Pâtisserie and Confectionery category at the WorldSkills Kazan 2019 competition hosted in Russia this past summer. Claire consistently demonstrates grace and maturity under pressure, and thrives in highly competitive environments. Even at 19, Claire is no stranger to pushing the creative limits of her craft with impeccable taste and extraordinary focus.


Check out the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Awards ceremony and Flourish Gala photo gallery on Flickr. 

Do you know a VCC alum or community member who deserves recognition? Learn about our awards nomination process through the VCC Foundation.

New VCC mascot to enhance the student experience through hygiene and hugs

Posted on April 1, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is thrilled to introduce the newest member of its educational family: Rainy the Racoon.

Inspired by top post-secondary institutions in the U.S. and across Canada, and in a moment of unprecedented school spirit during a recent meeting, VCC’s Board of Governors and Education Council unanimously agreed to adopt a furry and loveable mascot to represent the college. 

“We may not have any athletic teams at VCC, a sports field, or even a gym, but why should that stop us from having a mascot of our own?” says Associate Vice President, Student Services Clayton Munro, who tabled the historic motion. “Every post-secondary should have the right to cover someone in fur and have them perform slapstick gags at campus events. Anything else would be unfair.”

The type and name of mascot was decided by a college-wide contest in early 2022. Finalists included Cackle the Crow, Spawny the Salmon, and an amorphous blob simply named Dampy. 

According to VCC Marketing and Communications Director Karen Wilson, Rainy the Racoon won over the college community for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is his respect for personal hygiene. “Racoons are wonderfully clean animals,” says Karen. "They are constantly washing their oddly human-like hands and are even rumoured to wear masks when gathering in indoor spaces.” 

According to Karen, Rainy will elevate VCC’s brand across the city. “Our alumni will now share a sense of pride whenever they see a racoon, be it in our backyards, parking-lot shrubbery, or public trash bins,” she says.

The making of a mascot

VCC’s leaders also determined that the mascot suit should be designed and constructed on campus by our highly skilled students and faculty. Rising to the occasion, VCC’s science and fashion departments teamed up to develop a new artificial fur that will resist matting and molding while also filtering air at a level equivalent to a KN95 face mask. “We wanted Rainy the Racoon to be huggable, pandemic or not,” says VCC Science department leader Jenn Kelly.

Rainy Raccoon bumper stickers and jacket patch

Another showcase of student work will come with the upcoming release of Rainy the Racoon merchandise. Designed and produced by VCC’s Graphic Design department, these will include bumper stickers, can coozies, USB flash drives, and a limited-edition jacket patch. All items will be available soon on a sidewalk-blanket outside our Downtown campus as well as a VCC-branded van near our Broadway campus at Dude Chilling Park. 

While Rainy the Racoon is scheduled to make his first appearance in late April, the coveted role has not yet been filled, and VCC has now opened auditions to the wider community. The chief requirements include being able to spatchcock a chicken, perform oil changes, and apply gel nails.

Do you look good in fur? Sign up now for mascot auditions by emailing april.fools@vcc.ca.


Clinton’s story: from trauma to triumph

Posted on February 10, 2016


‌It’s not easy to hear Clinton Rivard talk about his childhood. Born in the small Northern B.C. community of Fort St. James, Clinton grew up in an Aboriginal family plagued by drug and alcohol abuse. Even so, he considers himself to be among the lucky ones. “Many of my friends have ended up homeless,” he says, “but I’ve always had a house key, and I’m really grateful for that.”

Now in his mid-thirties, Clinton is a promising student in VCC’s health unit coordinator program. When he speaks, you can tell he was a smart kid. He brims with proud stories of his parents and grandparents surviving the residential schools era. Sadly, generations later, his own life would also be scarred by tragedy.

A fresh start

At 14, Clinton witnessed what he calls a “traumatic incident” in his home. After giving statements to police and recovering from the initial shock, he soon realized the experience had affected him so deeply that he had lost his ability to concentrate in school. Before entering Grade 8, he dropped out in order to seek psychiatric help.

It took more than a decade of therapy and healing, both with Aboriginal medicine people and professionals as far away as Washington State, before Clinton was ready to resume his education.

Determined to leave Northern B.C., in 2010, Clinton began researching colleges across the province. His criteria were simple: quality adult upgrading courses, a variety of career programs, and close to public transportation. “I sold everything I had and moved to Vancouver specifically to come to VCC,” he says.

A naturally compassionate person, Clinton envisioned a career in health care, possibly nursing. Having no high school education, however, he knew he had plenty of work ahead of him.

Clinton was already enrolled in math and English upgrading courses when he met one of VCC’s Aboriginal advisors one day in the hallway. He then learned about Aboriginal Gateway to Health Careers, a program offered jointly by the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) and VCC that gives academic and career support to Aboriginal students pursuing careers in health care.

“The Aboriginal Gateway program was awesome,” says Clinton, “not only for the extra skills training but also for introducing me to other like-minded Aboriginals. Some of them are my very best friends now.”

With a new support network, Clinton finally regained the focus needed to let his intelligence shine. Despite his Grade 7 education, Clinton’s initial assessments already placed him in Grade 9 math and Grade 11 English. Another testament to his perseverance, it took less than one year for Clinton to achieve all the high school-level grades required to enter VCC’s health unit coordinator program. In November 2015, Clinton was awarded both the Karl Vetter Scholarship and the HSBC Bank Canada Aboriginal Scholarship for his effort and achievement.

Lighting the way

Having recently completed a practicum at UBC Hospital, Clinton is now participating in the hiring process for Nursing Unit Assistant positions.

While pleased with how far he’s come, however, Clinton prefers to draw attention to his peers, like others in the Aboriginal Gateway program as well as his friends and siblings.

“Some have been through even more than me,” he says. “And they’re now finishing social work degrees, nursing degrees, they’re elected representatives for their First Nation bands, they’re raising awareness about missing and murdered Aboriginal women.”

As for Clinton himself, he simply hopes to further the inspiration. “A lot of good people I met along the way have held their light up high for me in my darkest times," he says. “Now hopefully I can add my light to help others find their way."


VCC welcomes learners at all levels of education and from every walk of life. Learn more about tuition-free Adult Basic Education (ABE) and other upgrading options.  


Media Release: VCC fashion to hit the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week 2022

Posted on March 29, 2022

VCC fashion student Eldrich Lucero's feature design from their collection 'Red Light District'

VANCOUVER Twelve students from Vancouver Community College's (VCC) fashion program will be showing their designs at an in-person runway show on Thursday, April 7 at 5 p.m. as part of Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) Fall/Winter 2022. The student grad showcase is the culmination of two years hard work in VCC’s intensive, hands-on Fashion Design and Production diploma program 

To prepare for the show, each student explored their creative inspiration through the technical skills they learned at VCC. The result are 12 unique collections that range from lingerie to bridal to outerwear to fiber art and everything in between. Some of the themes and inspiration found in the collections include Cyberfest, Red Light District, and Futures Rewritten.

"This isn’t the first time the students are showcasing their talent to the world," says VCC Fashion Program Coordinator Andrea Korens. Throughout the first year of the program, students create products under the label "Colure" that are carried at boutiques around the city. After only six weeks in school, their first item, usually a tote bag, shows up for sale in a local boutique.

"Being on the runway, though, is different," says Andrea. "It showcases the more than 135 hours the students have spent designing, drafting and constructing a collection that is an expression of themselves. It’s their moment to shine and to showcase all they have learned at VCC."  

Year after year, VCC fashion students continue to thoroughly impress the industry and inspire the public at Vancovuer Fashion Week.

Meet VCC’s student designers: www.vcc.ca/fashionshow


About VCC Fashion  

For over 30 years, VCC fashion programs have remained the best in B.C. VCC’s Fashion Design and Production diploma prepares students for the real-world fashion industry by mimicking a fast-paced production process while teaching fundamental skills. Self-directed garment creation allows students to hone in on their craft and personal sartorial interests. VCC's Fashion Design and Production certificate is the only part-time fashion design program in Canada. Emphasis is placed on technical skills, creativity, and industry timelines. VCC's Fashion Merchandising Associate certificate is a one-year program that prepares students for the real-world fashion business through hands-on experience, fashion fundamentals, and theory. Non-credit fashion courses let students test the waters, upgrade, and develop required elements for design portfolios. VCC Fashion offers a supportive space for our students to innovate, create and develop.   


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Media can contact:
Danielle Libonati 
Marketing Communications Officer 
Vancouver Community College 

Fashion Program Coordinator, Recruiting and Industry Relations 
Vancouver Community College 


VCC welcomes Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program back to Broadway

Posted on March 25, 2022

High school students learning how to inspect and repair vehicles and heavy duty equipment in the Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program.

Starting this April, Vancouver Community College's (VCC) Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program will be returning to the VCC Broadway campus after almost eight years at Annacis Island.  

As part of an agreement with British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), VCC announced earlier this year that it was transferring most of its existing heavy mechanical trades programs to BCIT with the exception of its currently running Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation programs and new Youth Train in Trades program beginning in September 2022.

Youth Train in Trades — an initiative subsidized by the Industry Training Authority and the BC Ministry of Education — gives high school students an opportunity to receive technical training and earn credits towards their high school diploma and Level 1 industry apprenticeships in their chosen field of study. In VCC’s Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program, high school students learn to safely inspect, service, and repair commercial trucks, diesel engines, transport trailers, and other heavy equipment.

At VCC, Youth Train in Trades programming is offered in a variety of professions in addition to heavy mechanical trades, including automotive collision repair, hairstyling, baking, cooking, and a transportation trades sampler.

VCC’s Broadway campus operates one of the largest garages in B.C. and features the latest diagnostic equipment and training aids.

Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation students will be easy to spot on campus. Look for their bright orange coveralls and welcome them back!

Learn more about VCC’s Youth Train in Trades programs

VCC Music presents spring concert lineup

Posted on March 28, 2022

Enjoy local music talent when Vancouver Community College (VCC) opens the auditorium to free spring concerts. From jazz bands to choral ensembles, VCC Music has something for all tastes. 

Jazz Repertory/ New Orleans Ensembles
Thursday, March 31, 7 p.m.
VCC’s Jazz Repertory Ensemble, directed by Craig Scott, will fill the air with the jubilant sounds of jazz music, including inspiring solos and tight-knit arrangements. The New Orleans Ensemble, directed by James Danderfer, brings a gumbo of influences from the Crescent City straight to your ears. Join us for a spicy evening of great tunes!
New Music, Gamelan, Bigger Band
Friday, April 1, 7 p.m.
Giorgio Magnanensi’s New Music Ensemble explores the sound and colour of music in all its emerging forms. Jon Siddall directs the VCC Gamelan ensemble in music composed by current students, playing a set of gongs, drums, mallet instruments, and flutes from Java and Bali. John Korsrud leads the Bigger Band, featuring the brightest composers and musicians playing their own music, in a jazz, fusion, and funk-influenced show of virtuosity.

Willan Choir, VCC Concert Choir
Tuesday, April 5, 7 p.m.
VCC Music’s beloved choirs, under the direction of Patricia Plumley, will sing a program of music fit for springtime. Come and hear what we’ve got cooked up for you!

Indigenous Vocal, Mount Pleasant Brass Ensembles
Wednesday, April 6, 7 p.m.
VCC’s new Indigenous Vocal Ensemble is directed by Russell Wallace from the Lil’wat nation. The group sings new and traditional songs, based on music from Indigenous culture. The Mount Pleasant Brass Ensemble will perform classical, romantic, and modern arrangements of sweeping beauty.

All events are held at the VCC Auditorium at 1155 E. Broadway and admission is free. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend.

Interested in an education and career in music? VCC Music offers preparatory courses, and diploma and degree programs. 

New bursary for VCC counselling skills students experiencing housing instability

Posted on March 21, 2022

A VCC Counselling Skills instructor guides students in a supportive classroom setting.


A new bursary announced by the B.C. Ministry of Attorney General and BC Housing offers post-secondary students who experience housing instability an opportunity to support their educational goals.

The bursary is named in honour of Katherine McParland, a youth advocate who dedicated her career to ending youth homelessness in the province. This award recognizes McParland’s many significant contributions by assisting young adults (18-25) who have experienced housing instability and who are pursuing an education in social work or community services. 

For VCC students, this means that individuals who are enrolled or are planning to enroll in the Counselling Skills Foundational Certificate for the 2022/23 academic year and meet the bursary’s eligibility criteria have an opportunity to apply for additional funding to help cover the costs of their education.

“VCC students in the Counselling Skills program bring a unique skillset that is often rooted in lived experience,” said Claire Sauvé, Associate Director Continuing Studies. “With training from our experienced instructors, students complete this program with the skills needed to give back to the community as support workers and make a positive impact in people’s lives. We are grateful to the Ministry of Attorney General and BC Housing for creating a bursary that aids eligible students in this important line of work.”

VCC's Counselling Skills Foundational Certificate curriculum is designed to provide students with practical and experiential learning that is grounded in theory and evidence-based practice. As part of the college’s Continuing Studies programming, the certificate offers flexible learning options, allowing students to enroll in classes that suit their schedule. 

The Katherine McParland Bursary is part of BC Housing’s Education Awards Program, which provides financial support to post-secondary and training program students from households receiving housing subsidies or rental assistance. Applications for the bursary award are now open. 

VCC students who meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to consider applying for this bursary. More details can be found on the BC Housing website.

Interested in a career in social services? Learn more about VCC's Counselling Skills Foundational Certificate.   

VCC staff featured in CBC immigrant project story

Posted on March 21, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Partnership Development Office (PDO) director Michael Yue and program coordinator Cindy Chan have been featured in a CBC News article about the immigrant experience in Canada’s job market. In the story, Cindy shares about her and others’ difficult experiences looking for work in Canada, and Michael sheds light on the valuable international experience that led him to hire Cindy at VCC. Well done both!

Immigrant project highlights unfairness in Canadian hiring practices, newcomers say

Originally published by CBC News

Newcomer Cindy Chan graduated from Dalhousie University in the early '90s and directed learning programs for three Hong Kong universities for 25 years before immigrating to Vancouver in January 2021.

But despite her Canadian degree and wealth of overseas work experience, she says she had a tough time finding a job in her field.

Chan says she believes all newcomer women deserve a job that reflects their overseas work experience. So in October, she started participating in a storytelling project with the non-profit Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (PIRS).

"Redefining Canadian Experience" publishes stories about immigrant women and their employment experiences in Canada. It received $2,100 in funding from the Vancouver Foundation and aims to highlight systemic discrimination in the job market, where many employers reject immigrant candidates for lacking Canadian work experience.

Chan, who landed a contract position as a program co-ordinator at Vancouver Community College last summer, says she has met many newcomers who have faced many employment challenges despite speaking fluent English.

"One was an English teacher back [in Romania]," she said. "But her first job here was with Tim Hortons, and then she stuck there for a while, and then she moved to a casino and worked as a cashier … she had always wanted to be back to her own field of profession."

Chan says she knows another woman who, despite her MBA and many years of marketing experience in India, was told by a hiring manager for a junior administration role that other candidates had more local experience than her.

A review report of the project will be submitted to the foundation after it concludes this month.


In an interview for the project, Michael Yue, interim director of Vancouver Community College's partnership development office, says he persuaded recruitment committee members to hire Chan because he viewed her international experience as an asset.

Yue, who immigrated from Hong Kong 30 years ago, says he got his first job in Canada after volunteering for five months, and didn't face as many job hunting hurdles as other newcomers.

Nonetheless, he says, it's unfair many employers and professional associations still demand Canadian experience from recent immigrants.

"It borders on being ridiculous," he said. "I just sometimes don't understand why they would look at foreign-trained professionals as almost being lesser … they've built projects that are probably 10 times bigger than what we built in Canada."

Read the full story by CBC News >

Learn more about VCC's language instruction and job training opportunities for newcomers, or explore industry collaborations through VCC's Partnership Development Office


VCC hosts Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) education summit

Posted on March 18, 2022

On Thursday, March 17, Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the BC Council for International Education (BCCIE) were pleased to host a summit of leaders in international education attended by B.C. Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training Hon. Anne Kang, B.C. Director of International Education Jamie Edwardson, and five consuls general representing the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

As COVID-19 pandemic restrictions continue to ease around the globe, the leaders in attendance representing Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam expressed a common eagerness to revive conversations and develop new agreements on international education and intercultural exchange programs.

“I believe that education is the place where we start to find common ground. Through international education, we can set up the next generation for success by teaching them to tackle issues together as global citizens,” said VCC president Ajay Patel in his opening remarks, made especially poignant in light of the current conflict in Ukraine. 

In her welcome, Minister Kang shared her own family’s story of immigrating from Taiwan, which centered on her father’s international studies in Vancouver and her mother’s experience learning English at VCC in the 1980s. “What international education is to me, is my own story of how I came to Canada and how I am grateful. I want that to be the story of all students that come to British Columbia,” said Minister Kang.

Following presentations by international education organizations Asia Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE), University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP), and Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), the international representatives shared responses that focused on friendship, joint innovation, and the benefits of providing intercultural experiences to students both locally and overseas.

According to the event’s MC and BCCIE Executive Director Randall Martin, B.C.’s commitment to international education “shows that Canada really is looking across the Pacific and a member of the Asia-Pacific community.”

Topics that continued into the networking portion of the event included the development of online programming and global business and technology courses, strategies around increasing international student housing and scholarships, and the B.C. government’s anticipated International Education Framework which will be unveiled at the upcoming BC International Education Week in June 2022.

While this gathering had been delayed previously due to COVID-19 safety measures, the ASEAN members, including Consul General of Indonesia and ASEAN caucus dean Bapak Hendra Halim, expressed gratitude for the ability to meet in person at VCC. “This is not a one-off event,” said Consul General Halim. “We plan to make VCC busier and busier every year.”

VCC was honoured to welcome:

Consul General Hendra Halim
Consul Prakoso Wicaksono

Consul General Shamsul Nizam Shamsudin
Consul Shaharudin bin Aziz

Consul General Maria Andrelita S. Austria
Consul Analyn Ratonel

Consul General Rutch Soratana
Deputy Consul General Nillawan Chuwanapirom

Consul General Nguyen Quang Trung
Consul Nguyen Thi Hoang Anh

B.C. Government 
Hon. Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training
Jamie Edwardson, Director, International Education
Jocelyne Fan, Ministerial Assistant

British Columbia Council for International Education (BCCIE)
Randall Martin, Executive Director
Colin Doerr, Director, External Relations
Kate Zhang, Manager, Market Support and Partnership Development

University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific International Secretariat (UMAP)
Chelsey Laird, Director
Michelle Johnson, Project Administrator

Learn more about VCC’s new role as International Secretariat of UMAP or explore learning opportunities through VCC International.

Vanvisa’s story: The courage to cook

Posted on March 9, 2022

In the kitchen, Vancouver Community College (VCC) Level 2 culinary arts apprentice Vanvisa Sataglamp embraces every opportunity she can. In her life and work, she’s already moved overseas, learned a new language, and cooked in some of Vancouver’s top establishments – but it’s clear her culinary rise has only just begun.

Growing up in Thailand, Vanvisa was always fascinated by food and cooking. Yet while her mother worked as a baker, formal culinary arts training was uncommon and expensive, and prepared food typically came from street stalls, not restaurants.

Following a more traditional path, Vanvisa completed a bachelor’s degree in business accounting and began working in offices. Within a few years, however, Vanvisa was drawn back to her dream of cooking as well as travelling overseas. In 2016, she came to Vancouver for the first time with a temporary visa to work at a local Thai restaurant.

Vanvisa says she chose Vancouver for its mild winter weather. “I knew I was going to have culture shock,” she says. “I didn’t want to have weather shock too!”

The weather must have suited her fine, because Vanvisa quickly returned to study culinary arts as an international student at VCC, a school that came highly recommended in the local restaurant industry. 

A delicious balance

As a woman in her mid-thirties, Vanvisa says she appreciated Canada’s openness to career re-training as well as the wide diversity of students at VCC. “Some classmates were older and some younger than me. They didn’t discriminate for age or gender. Everyone was the same in the kitchen,” she says. 

When asked what she likes most about the culinary industry, Vanvisa’s answer may surprise some – or not, considering her business school background. “I love the time management,” she says. “Time is a limited resource in the kitchen. Each task takes a different amount of time and you can’t replay it.”

Campaign: Savour the VCC Effect

Welcome to the family

It’s been an exciting year for Vanvisa. In Spring 2020, she received VCC’s Mueller Family Culinary Arts Award recognizing her hard work, passion for food, and positivity in the face of challenges. In the summer, she appeared as the face of VCC’s Savour the VCC Effect advertising campaign. In November, Vanvisa graduated with her Professional Cook 1 Plus certificate, was named valedictorian, and delivered a heartfelt speech to the entire graduating class in a language she’d only recently learned.

“I tell international students you don’t need to be a native speaker,” she says. “Don’t be afraid; you can adapt!”

After graduating, Vanvisa had no trouble finding work in B.C.’s rapidly recovering hospitality industry, and she is grateful to VCC instructor Hamid Salimian for his recommendation which landed her a job at one of Vancouver’s top hotels, the Fairmont Pacific Rim. While thoroughly enjoying the hotel and catering industry, Vanvisa is also currently pursuing her Professional Cook 2 trades certificate through VCC.

As she continues to expand her culinary experience, Vanvisa says she’s continually impressed to find that VCC is highly recognized, and our culinary grads are everywhere. “Most of my coworkers, even my sous chef graduated from VCC,” she says. “It’s like a big family. It makes me so proud.”

Feed your passion. Apply now to Professional Cook 1 Plus at VCC ­– intakes monthly.

VCC Practical Nursing program first in Canada to earn CASN accreditation

Posted on March 7, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that its Practical Nursing (PN) program is the first of its kind to earn accreditation from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN).

Since 1987, CASN accreditation is reserved for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) programs, and VCC’s BScN program first obtained it in 2016. In 2021, a pilot project opened CASN accreditation to PN programs as well, and VCC’s department leader Janita Schappert registered immediately.

“CASN is a feather in our cap,” says Janita. “It lets students know this is a program of excellence.”

The CASN review process covers two areas: the education programs themselves, and the educational unit, or the facilities, equipment, and resources that support the nursing education.

At VCC, all programs are reviewed and renewed on a regular basis, and the PN program’s previous renewal was in 2019. Thanks to this recent reporting work, VCC’s CASN application was approved with no deficits or clarifications and granted the maximum seven-year accreditation.

“All of our faculty were involved; that’s 40 people,” says Janita about the year-long process. “It was a lot of work but going through, but really validated how great of a program we deliver.”

Regarding the CASN educational unit (facilities/resources) assessment, specific feedback from CASN has prompted VCC’s nursing programs to invest in a simulation coordinator – an expert in operating VCC’s large collection of Hi-Fi training manikins. “This position will free up our instructors to teach and engage PN students with critical thinking instead of operating this highly technical equipment,” says Janita.

Other upcoming improvements as recommended by CASN involve VCC’s nursing student registration process and other support services. “This kind of rigorous process is beneficial for all programs in delivering quality education,” says Janita.

Learn more about the many rewarding and in-demand careers in health care by exploring VCC’s Health Sciences programs.


VCC Board Chair message: Commitment to truth

Posted on March 4, 2022

A message from Joey Hartman, Chair, VCC Board of Governors

Over the past few weeks, Canadians have learned about more residential school burial sites in Keeseekoose First Nation in Saskatchewan and Kapawe’no First Nation in Alberta. Once again, these announcements are reminders of the painful legacy residential schools have left on Indigenous communities and families across Canada.

On behalf of the VCC Board of Governors, I want to extend our sincerest condolences to the Keeseekoose and Kapawe’no First Nations, and Indigenous peoples across Canada, who have been impacted by these devastating events.

As educators, learners, and leaders it is our responsibility to listen and engage in dialogue about the past and how we can take part in building a more equitable future for Indigenous communities in this country.

It is a commitment of VCC that true progress towards reconciliation cannot be made without furthering accessibility and equity for Indigenous people who look to us to be a part of their life’s journey. 

VCC is on a journey towards decolonization, indigenization, and reconciliation. This work is rooted in a thoughtful understanding of history, an acknowledgement of past and persisting racism, and a commitment to improve educational and career outcomes for Indigenous people in B.C.

It is not easy, nor should it be. VCC’s Strategic Plan has indigenization woven through every element. The college has engaged in an authentic and intentional review of all of its processes, from policy to instruction, to ensure that Indigenous perspectives and ways are acknowledged, recognized, and elevated. This level of change requires us to think and act differently, driven by a moral imperative to right these systemic wrongs.

A key part of this work is to face the painful history of residential schools in Canada, and acknowledge that this is the truth, as we continue towards reconciliation.  

Our thoughts are with those affected by residential schools across the country. We recognize this news is challenging. If you need support, please contact the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1.866.925.4419.

As well, both Vancouver Coastal Health and the First Nations Health Authority have resources and supports for residential school survivors.




Joey Hartman,
VCC Board of Governors


VCC Science grad working to break down learning barriers for other parents

Posted on March 3, 2022


Originally published in The Georgia Straight

As a mature student and parent, Amelia Godwin appreciated how her educational needs were accommodated at  (VCC). 

“Smaller classrooms and tutors were a huge draw toward the school,” Godwin said. “I was a mature student entering into the college so I was highly concerned with my knowledge gaps, feeling like a number, or not being able to find a support group.”

She began in September 2016 by enrolling in the University Transfer Sciences program at VCC with the goal of becoming a dental hygienist. Godwin later transferred to the Associate of Science program, graduating last June.

Much to her delight, VCC created such an accepting environment that she was able to bring her daughter with her as she used the learning services, libraries, printers, and other campus facilities. She also noted that tutors at the learning centre showed incredible patience in answering her questions.

“It felt bittersweet when I slowly needed them less,” Godwin said. “It felt like they were teaching me how to use new legs until I finally gathered my strength or – in this case – educational independence.”

The help she received and the overall accessibility “precipitated a significant difference in my grades”.

“The professors, admissions advisors, and tutors ensured my personal and academic success,” she said.

In fact, she was so successful that she was awarded the 2021 VCC Pathway to Health Sciences Award.

“More importantly, they taught me how to advocate for others and succeed in alternative environments and I am eternally grateful,” Godwin added.

She’s now enrolled Brock University, studying for an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. In addition, Godwin is enrolled in the practical nursing program at Niagara College. Her goal is to become a physician assistant.

Her experiences with VCC’s approaches to accessibility have inspired her to initiate changes at her current schools.

“I am establishing an accessibility policy called the ‘3 O’s of Education Determinance’ (obstacles, opportunity, and obtainability),” Godwin revealed. “Through this policy, I am actively advocating for other parents to have access to libraries, tutors, and other on-campus amenities with their littles in arm – I personally know the difference it makes to a family.”

 Learn more about the University Transfer programs at VCC by attending a free, online information session

Building each other up: Angel’s ascent into architecture

Posted on March 7, 2022

When her cousin predicted that Angel Lomboy would become an architect, Angel didn’t even know what the word meant. She liked to draw – first portraits, then buildings – but the word “architect” stuck with her ever since. Today, as a star graduate of Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Architectural Technician program, and with mentorship from a respected local firm, Angel is well on her way to making this word her reality.

Like many close-knit families in her home country of the Philippines, Angel grew up around dozens of aunts, uncles, and cousins. And like many Filipino parents seeking to build a better life for their children, Angel’s mother worked overseas.

It wasn’t until her late teens that Angel was able to permanently join her mother in West Vancouver. Angel enrolled in West Vancouver Secondary School and adapted quickly, earning excellent grades. During Grade 11, she attended a presentation on VCC’s CAD and BIM (drafting) programs by instructor Bruce McGarvie, and one certificate caught Angel’s attention immediately: Architectural Technician.

Thanks to a generous post-secondary scholarship from the West Vancouver Foundation, Angel was able to enrol in VCC’s 10-month Architectural Technician program after high school. “I came to VCC because of Bruce’s presentation,” she says.

From Bruce’s perspective, Angel chose the right career path. “Her drawings will pop up and they’re so clear and crisp. They really stand out,” he says. 

Balancing the books

After graduating with her Architectural Technician certificate in June 2020, Angel was able to start working part-time at North Vancouver’s Synthesis Design. “We were so impressed with Angel,” says Curtis Krahn, a fellow VCC alumnus and principal of the firm. “We knew she had the technical skills because VCC’s students are always job-ready, but anyone who can work that hard individually and for her family is a really good fit here.”

Synthesis Design drawing and rendering

A sample of Angel's work at Synthesis Design: "Westport Project"

Although she was already fully trained to begin working in the industry, in Fall 2020, Angel enrolled in a second VCC program (Civil/Structural Technician) so she could continue receiving her scholarship, which was designed to cover a four-year degree.

Curtis, however, was eager to hire Angel full-time sooner rather than later, so he sparked a conversation involving the West Vancouver Foundation, VCC’s CAD and BIM department, and the VCC Foundation which handles college-based scholarships.

“Everyone was trying to make things happen.” says Curtis. After much conversation, the West Vancouver Foundation agreed to transfer the balance of Angel’s scholarship to VCC so it could be paid out to support Angel’s work-learn experience at Synthesis Design – a truly out-of-the-box solution.

According to Curtis, VCC’s drafting grads are worth this kind of effort. “Their skills are better than anybody’s, including the universities,” he says.

As for Angel, she’s not only excited about her future in architecture, but also continuing to re-connect with her mother who has sacrificed so much along the way. “We were able to spend Family Day together this year,” she says. “I was so grateful.” 

Interested in architecture or civil/structural design? Join us to chat more about VCC’s CAD and BIM programs at an upcoming info session.

Media Release: RBC empowers youth to explore trades training at VCC

Posted on March 1, 2022

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that RBC Foundation has donated $50,000 to support VCC’s Transportation Trades Sampler program.

This unique introductory program, which has been supported by RBC Foundation for the past three years, is open to Metro Vancouver youth aged 14 to 18 who wish to gain hands-on experience in automotive collision repair, automotive refinishing, automotive service, and heavy mechanical trades.

The Transportation Trades Sampler program takes place at VCC’s Broadway campus, and thanks to perennial donations from RBC Foundation, is offered at no cost to students and covers food, transportation, and uniform and equipment needs.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to demonstrate automotive maintenance, welding procedures, basic equipment operational procedures for heavy duty/commercial transport, and basic automotive repair refinishing practices. Participants of the Transportation Trades Sampler program also come away with a WHMIS (hazardous material handling) certificate, an IVES forklift operator certification, and 10 post-secondary credits.

We are thrilled to be a long-time partner and supporter of Vancouver Community College,” says Laurie Goodfellow, RBC Vice President, Commercial Market. “RBC is dedicated to helping young people access meaningful employment through practical work experience, skills development, networking and access to mental well-being supports and services. VCC’s Transportation Trades Sampler Program provides youth with an early opportunity to a wide range of trade experience, igniting their passion and expanding their opportunities. RBC is proud to support Vancouver Community College in this important program.”

Instructors in VCC’s Transportation Trades Sampler program also go beyond skills training, offering students key knowledge about building a career in trades, including entering and navigating post-secondary/apprenticeship systems and obtaining provincial trades certifications.

The recent British Columbia Labour Market Outlook report has projected that skilled trades will be one of the most in-demand industries in the next 10 years. More than 85,000 job openings are expected, many in automotive trades. VCC’s Transportation Trades Sampler program aligns with the province’s labour market projections by filling a critical need in education and training.

“We are grateful for our longstanding partnership with RBC and their generous donation to deliver this valuable program,” added Ajay Patel, VCC president and CEO. “Working in trades is incredibly rewarding with many career pathways. VCC's Transportation Trades Sampler Program trains youth in multiple skills, giving them an incredible advantage should they wish to pursue a career in this in-demand industry. By supporting the development of the next generation of skilled tradespeople in B.C., we are also meeting the needs of the province.”

This year’s Transportation Trades Sampler program is running Feb. 7 to April 15 for a total of 300 hours. Up to 16 youth will participate from multiple Metro Vancouver school districts (Vancouver, Coquitlam, Burnaby) as well as PLEA Community Services.

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 88,000+ employees who leverage their imaginations and insights to bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 27 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact. 

About Vancouver Community College

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years, offering post-secondary training in more than 130 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. At campuses located in East Vancouver and Downtown, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.


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Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College

Learn top trends in nail art and nail enhancements at VCC

Posted on February 28, 2022

Vancouver Community College's (VCC) Nail Technology program designed to meet the rising demand for manicures and pedicures for all genders. The four-month, full-time certificate program is accepting applications now for May 2022 – seats are limited and no experience is required.

"Nail spas are recruiting and training employees to keep up with the newest trends,” says VCC Nail Technology program assistant Gabriela Silva Paula. “VCC Nail Technology grads will be industry-ready and have many career choices from working in a busy spa to owning their own businesses."

With social media-fuelled beauty trends spreading faster than ever, nail spa clients are looking for trained technologists to recreate the latest nail enhancements. According to VCC’s industry insiders, these include metallic nails, holograph-inspired, double French tip, and animal prints.

And the jobs don’t stop at neighbourhood nail salons. "There are lots of employment opportunities in the spa industry as a manicure, pedicure, or nail care specialist, but also retail jobs in beauty supply companies or even in the film industry," says Gabriela.

Three manicure trend samples

For students and grads from VCC’s Esthetics and Spa Therapy program who have already received a full introduction to manicure, pedicure and gel polish, the Nail Technology certificate is an excellent option for those looking to expand their skills and specialize in nail art and other enhancements.

Learn the latest in nail art trends and tools. Register now for VCC's Nail Technology program.

VCC president’s statement of support for Ukraine

Posted on February 25, 2022


A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

Dear VCC community,

Over the past week and increasingly over the past 48 hours, news and social media have been heavy with devastating updates on Russia’s attacks on Ukraine. I share with many of you, deep concerns for the people of Ukraine, and offer the college’s support and care to our students and employees of Ukraine heritage and ties whose families, friends, and communities are directly impacted by these intolerable acts of violence. 

On behalf of VCC and our Board of Governors, I join Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan in condemning Russia’s actions, and echo the international community’s calls for de-escalation and an immediate resolution to the conflict.    

For our students, faculty, and staff that may be affected by this conflict, we stand with you during this evolving situation. 

In particular, I would like to assure our international students that we are here for you.  

If you need support, please contact the international education student services team at ieservices@vcc.ca or call 604.443.8600. Confidential support is also available to students through Counselling Services (604.871.7000 option 2) and for employees through Morneau-Shepell (1.844.880.9142).


In solidarity,

Ajay Patel

The top five reasons getting your culinary Red Seal is a really smart move

Posted on February 24, 2022

You went to culinary school, you got a great job, and you’re already an excellent cook. Why get your Red Seal? Here’s what some top VCC alumni have to say.

Bruno Marti, Leah Patitucci, Scott Jaeger

Three generations of apprentices (L-R): Bruno Marti, Leah Patitucci, Scott Jaeger

1. You’re probably going to need it

A Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is rapidly becoming a required certification for many kitchen positions, especially in management and leadership.

"I got a lot out of my apprenticeship experience. Being qualified as a Red Seal cook has opened many doors for me, the most important one is the ability to have apprentices of my own.”

Scott Jaeger, RSE
Chef, Pear Tree Provisions


Chef Ryan Bissell

2. A Red Seal takes you places

A Red Seal is proof of excellence that is recognized by employers across Canada and beyond. Do you dream of working in Toronto? Montreal? Halifax? A Red Seal will get you there.

“I wanted to have an internationally recognized accreditation as I wanted to be a traveling chef. My Red Seal has seen me work in all kinds of settings around the world, I have opened multiple restaurants, and now am the chef/owner of the Lakehouse.” 

Ryan Bissel, RSE
Chef/Owner, The Lakehouse


Chef Montgomery Lau

3. A Red Seal can help you become an industry leader

A Red Seal can help you land jobs at higher-profile restaurants and hotels, while also proving that you have the skills needed for leadership and management positions.

“I took my Red Seal as a means to achieving a milestone as a professional. It’s something that enables you evolve your creativity and beliefs in food and implement and delegate on a large scale as a chef with your own team. In short, creating a vision and making it a reality.”

Montgomery Lau, RSE
Executive Chef, Bacchus Restaurant


Chef Isabel Sukic

4. A Red Seal is a step to higher culinary certifications

A Red Seal Endorsement required to obtain other top culinary certifications such as Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) and the Certified Master Chef, (CMC). It’s also needed to enter many high-profile culinary competitions and to teach culinary arts at VCC.

“I got my Red Seal to further my culinary training and create more opportunities for myself in the future. VCC has a solid program, and the instructors do an amazing job setting up students for their final exams and life in the industry. After getting my Red Seal Certification, many doors opened. I was able to get my CCC and obtain my instructor’s papers. I also worked in four diamond hotels, on private yachts, and became the first female department head for VCC Culinary.

Ysabel Sukic, RSE, CCC
Department Leader, VCC Culinary


VCC instructors Tina Yeung and Sam Picken

VCC chef instructors (L-R) Tina Yeung, Sam Picken, and student volunteer Aksel Naylor at VCC's annual Flourish Gala

5. You join a food-loving family

Red Seal cooks wear their badges with pride. In kitchens across the country, they speak the same language, trust each other’s skills, and share the same commitment to culinary excellence.

Do you want to take your cooking career to the next level? Learn more about VCC’s culinary arts apprenticeship programs.


Material handling training at VCC

Posted on February 17, 2022


Are you interested in earning $19-$25/hour as an entry level warehousing/logistics professional?

You may qualify for VCC’s fully funded Material Handling 4.0 training program

Program description

Material Handling 4.0 (MH 4.0) is a comprehensive nine-week training program that provides employability and vocational skills training to prepare participants for a variety of entry level warehouse roles. Training includes:

• Forklift Operations

• MSSC Certified logistics associate and technician training

• 21st Century Skills: Communication, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Information Literacy and Foundation and Skills for Life long Learning.

Funding for this program is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada Future Skills Program.

Training schedule

Cohort 1: April 4 – June 3, 2022 

Cohort 2: June 6 – August 5, 2022 

(Schedule includes two weeks of work experience) 

Elegibility criteria

You may be eligible if you are:

  • 19 years or older

  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person legally entitled to work in Canada

  • living in British Columbia

  • not currently in high school, college or university

  • a non-high school grad with limited to no post-secondary education

  • facing multiple barriers to finding sustainable employment

 Priority will be given to clients from the following groups:

  • Participants from under served groups including youth, immigrants, indigenous peoples and other underrepresented and marganilzed groups.

and those who

  • Have no post secondary education
  • Are in receipt of Income Assistance

Important note: Participants must have access to a computer/laptop with high speed Internet and audio/video capabilities.

Fees and other costs

All tuition is covered and at no additional cost to the employer or individual participant.

Info sessions

Sign up for an online info session to learn more.

Program contact

Please email or call for more information.
Alena Worster, Program Assistant



Additional skilled trades seats, advisors coming to B.C. post-secondaries

Posted on February 15, 2022

Those seeking skilled trades certification in British Columbia will soon have access to more training seats and additional supports thanks to a boost in funding by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

Following the announcement of a new province-wide skilled trades certification program in June 2021, post-secondary institutions like Vancouver Community College (VCC) anticipate an influx of students seeking to start or complete their apprenticeships.

The new $5 million in funding announced on Friday, Feb. 11 will help ensure B.C.'s Industry Training Authority (ITA) has seats available to incoming or returning students as well as additional advisors to assist in the certification process. 

“This investment in the apprenticeship system will ensure more trades workers can start and continue a meaningful career where their work really makes a difference in the everyday lives of British Columbians,” says Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training Andrew Mercier.



VCC’s expanded pharmacy tech program fills vital health care needs

Posted on February 9, 2022

Health care has been top of mind for many Canadians over the past two years, with most of us now knowing more about viruses, vaccines, and treatments than we ever imagined. Even without a pandemic, however, did you know that 40 to 50 new drugs are approved in Canada each year?  

Before reaching patients, each of these drugs passes through the hands of a pharmacy technician. In this constantly evolving profession, there’s always something new to learn, and those studying in Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) eight-month certificate program will now benefit from a significantly expanded curriculum. 

Pharmacy practice in Canada is governed by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) and pharmacy education programs are regulated by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP). According to instructor Jennifer Vo, the various changes required by these bodies in 2019 triggered updates to VCC’s pharmacy technician program. Jennifer and her colleagues, however, took this opportunity to consult with program advisors, instructors, and alumni to design an expanded program that prepares students for the pharmacy demands of a post-COVID-19 world and beyond.

Getting it right

“We’re the accuracy police when it comes to pharmacy,” says Jennifer, noting that a major element of a pharmacy technician’s work is to do the final check of a prescription for accuracy of drug and strength chosen, directions, and other critical details before it goes to patients. “Some pharmacies fill hundreds prescriptions a day,” she says. “Errors are inevitable, but that’s why these systems are in place.”

VCC simulated pharmacy shelves

Simulated pharmacy classroom at VCC's Broadway campus

In addition to more complex prescription-checking, VCC’s pharmacy technician students will also benefit from more labs, role plays, and hands-on simulations such as training patients to use the latest medical devices and interviewing hospital patients on their medical history (called a medication reconciliation or “med rec”).

VCC’s expanded program also incorporated students’ feedback regarding workplace practicums and examinations, and now includes a practicum prep course, extended practicum periods, and a simulated licensing exam, all while keeping tuition costs among the lowest available. 

Reflecting on the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic put on health care systems in general, Jennifer has seen opportunities broadening for pharmacy technicians. “There are so many clinical services available in a pharmacy now,” she says, using as an example the Provincial Health Officer’s order in January 2022 allowing pharmacy technicians to administer vaccinations for the first time ever. 

“Pharmacists and pharmacy techs are probably the easiest health care professionals to get in touch with. You don’t need an appointment and they are right there in the community,” she adds. Jennifer and her students are also excited about the future of their role in the health care system. “Health care professionals are overworked; we hear about it all the time,” she says. “Let’s share that work.” 

Join the future of health care. Apply now to VCC’s expanded pharmacy technician program starting in May 2022.



VCC named top B.C. employer once again

Posted on February 8, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) has been recognized as one of BC's Top Employers for another consecutive year. The organizers of the 17th annual competition announced the list on Tuesday, Feb. 8, which includes employers such as BCIT, BC Hydro, and the City of Vancouver.

BC's Top Employers is a special designation that recognizes companies and organizations in the province that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work.

Competitors are compared to other organizations in their fields to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. The annual competition is open to any employer with its head office in B.C. This is the second time VCC has entered.

“This recognition from BC's Top Employers is something everyone at VCC should be very proud of,” says Ajay Patel, VCC president and CEO. “It is a reflection of the tremendous work our employees bring to VCC every day.”

Adds Ajay, “Given the circumstances of the past year and how hard our community has worked to ensure our students continue to achieve their learning goals, I can’t think of a more deserved acknowledgement. I am very proud of our entire staff at VCC.”

“It means a lot to us to be honoured in this way,” says Kate Dickerson, VCC’s Vice President, People Services. “I am so impressed with everyone at VCC, and for the college’s ongoing commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation. Being named a BC Top Employer is a meaningful acknowledgement of that commitment.”  

The winners are chosen based on multiple criteria, including compensation and benefits, the work and social atmosphere, the quality of the physical workplace, training and upward mobility and community involvement — all of which were pushed forward by a healthy level of competition between public- and private-sector employers.

"I think the past year has continued to present very difficult challenges for virtually all employers," said Richard Yerema, managing editor for the BC's Top Employers competition. "We are now entering year three of this 'new normal,' compounding the difficulty of challenges like navigating new safety protocols and transitioning to remote or hybrid work." 

See the full list of BC's Top Employers and read VCC's feature story in the BC's Top Employers special magazine.


PHO Announces New BC Vaccine Card

Posted on August 23, 2021

We would like to acknowledge that VCC is on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples who have been stewards of this land from time immemorial.


Today, August 23, 2021, Premier John Horgan, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Adrian Dix announced that BC would be implementing a BC Vaccine Card. By order of the B.C. Public Health Officer (PHO), proof of vaccination will be required to access some events, services and businesses. Starting September 13, you must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. By October 24, you must be fully vaccinated.

Key Points from Today’s Announcement

  • The Delta variant is the key focus of the increased measures and need for vaccines.
  • Vaccines are our way forward as a province.
  • At this time, BC is not moving forward to Step 4 of the B.C. Restart Plan on September 7, 2021. However, the plan to open campuses back up in September is not affected by the postponement of Step 4 of the B.C. Restart Plan.

We will be reviewing the new BC Vaccine Card requirements in consultation with the PHO and our Ministry, and any impact it may have on program areas that are public facing (cafeteria, Seiffert Market, VCC Salon & Spa, JJ’s Restaurant, etc.). More information and details will be coming from government soon. We will share that information with the broader VCC community when it becomes available.

About On-Campus Planning for September

Although there may be some amended measures added to how we work and learn together on campus, the return-to-campus planning is moving forward and remains in line with the BC COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines.

VCC will continue to follow the orders from the B.C. Public Health Officer and Ministry of Advanced Education (AEST).

Our goal is to bring campuses back together safely, and to return to the activities that sustain us as individuals, communities and learning institutions.

If you are not already fully vaccinated, please register immediately and schedule your vaccination. If you are already fully vaccinated, thank you for doing your part to protect yourself and those around you.

You can find out more about vaccinations at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated. For more information for student vaccinations, visit the Vancouver Coast Health webpage for students.

If you have any questions of concerns, please email secure@vcc.ca.

VCC students with disabilities make an impact at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank

Posted on February 4, 2022

For decades, Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Community and Career Education department (CACE) has provided top-quality job training programs for adults living with disabilities. A major benefit of these programs has always been multiple workplace practicums throughout the school year with a wide variety of employer partners ranging from coffee shops to clothing stores.

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, however, these service-industry practicum opportunities disappeared. “When we lost our last work experience, we were kind of stuck,” says CACE Career Awareness instructor Beth Beeching.

VCC’s CACE programs were also among the first to return to on-campus learning in September 2020 – a necessity for students living with Down syndrome, autism, and other cognitive disabilities who may have challenges with computers and literacy. “We were on campus mostly by ourselves,” says Beth. “It was an odd year!”

Later that term, as student practicum placements remained limited, CACE instructors reached out to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank about volunteer opportunities. The response was enthusiastic – the Food Bank is running, it’s a large warehouse where people can spread out, and the help is needed.

Diversity in action

VCC’s CACE Retail and Hospitality students were the first to volunteer. Then, in January 2021, for the first time, all 15 members of Beth’s Career Awareness cohort completed their three-week work experience together at the same location. “It was super successful,” says Beth. “The Food Bank team was amazing in supporting our students on their employment journeys.”

In this teamwork-oriented environment, students with varying abilities gravitated towards different tasks. Some enjoyed sorting, some checked expiry dates, others carried pallets. “I learned about working and helping at the same time and packing snacks was fun,” says student Joanna.


VCC students volunteering at GVFB


According to Beth, the nature of the work at the Food Bank was also eye-opening for many students. “A few students had used the Food Bank themselves,” she says. “They got to learn how it works from the other side.” For many, the experience also changed their views of who uses the Food Bank and helped them understand the diversity of people who might struggle with food insecurity.

Overall, Beth says most students came away with the feeling that they had truly helped their communities. The VCC instructors were also thrilled for this chance to teach students about giving back and bring themes of global citizenship into the program. 

Since that first visit over one year ago, VCC’s CACE students have continued to work at the Food Bank as part of their programs (even earning VCC a shout-out on the Food Bank’s “Group Volunteering” webpage) and will continue to do so even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the CACE instructors, it has always been important to make students with disabilities visible and active around the college, and they are thrilled that this new Food Bank partnership extends that principle into the community. “It shows them that they can be part of a society that cares,” says Beth.

VCC offers career-oriented programs that provide access to meaningful employment for students of all abilities. Register now for September 2022.


Fashion designer Stevie Thomas finds muse through VCC’s certificate program

Posted on February 3, 2022

Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Several years ago, fashion designer Stevie Thomas took a non-credit course at Vancouver Community College (VCC).

Thomas had no idea that this would set them on a path to discovering what they wanted to do for the rest of their life.

“For me, it’s leaning into your spirit,” Thomas told the Straight in a recent phone interview. “If you don’t feel fulfilled every day, it makes life harder.”

Thomas knows this first-hand after a disappointing time in the post-secondary system prior to attending VCC. After graduating from high school with very good marks, Thomas bounced from program to program in university because they couldn’t find the right fit.

The experience left Thomas feeling like a number. But their world changed when they signed up for a fashion design course at VCC in the summer of 2013.

The thrill was immediate. By fall, Thomas was a student in the Fashion Design and Production certificate program.

Because they belong to the Snuneymuxw First Nation on Vancouver Island, the band agreed to pay Stevie’s tuition.

“For VCC, because of the way the course worked out, I could only do the part-time program,” Thomas revealed. But it worked well with Thomas’s life: they could work during the day, take classes in the evening, and work on patterns and design after, often into the early hours of the morning.

“It really helped to push me to my limits, physically,” Thomas recalled.

By the time graduation rolled around in 2015, Thomas had learned a long list of skills, including pattern drafting, couture sewing, industrial sewing techniques, and designing fashion for a collection.

The highlight came when Thomas presented their design at Vancouver Fashion Week, which was held in partnership with VCC.

“It was amazing,” Thomas said. “There were a lot of emotions for me just because we had been working so hard and for so long.”

Stevie Thomas in fashion dress fitting

Afterward, Thomas felt on such an emotional high that they walked down to a park on Main Street near where the event was held. They needed a moment to process everything that had occurred.

“I cried from emotional exhaustion and joy,” Thomas said.

Thomas credits VCC’s fashion program coordinator Sarah Murray, for continuing to be a great resource for alumni. The green dress featured in VCC’s recent Create the VCC Effect campaign – and on the cover of this week’s Georgia Straight – resulted from one of Murray’s design challenges.

“It’s been a fun way to stay involved, stay motivated, and stay driven, creatively,” Thomas said.

Thomas is going through the process of transitioning while being in the midst of launching a fashion brand. It’s called Stevie, like the name Thomas has chosen to use personally.

Continue reading in The Georgia Straight >

Ready to dive into a design career? Get your start with fashion programs and courses at VCC.


Media Release: VCC’s heavy mechanical trades transferring to BCIT

Posted on February 2, 2022

VANCOUVER – Mechanical maintenance and heavy mechanical repairs are in-demand skills with hundreds of students graduating from heavy duty programs every year in B.C. Since 2014, Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) have shared a campus on Annacis Island where both institutions have offered Heavy Mechanical Trades (HMT) programming. In April 2022, due to operational cost increases, VCC will be transferring most of its HMT programming over to BCIT.

A little over a year ago, it became apparent to VCC that the current and ongoing cost of the long-term lease for the college’s share of the Annacis Island campus was unsustainable. BCIT expressed an openness to assume responsibility for the entire campus, including the HMT programs currently being delivered by VCC. To ensure the continuity of the HMT program, the two schools worked together on a solution that will transition most of VCC’s heavy duty programs over to BCIT.

“This was difficult decision for the college,” says David Wells, Vice President, Academic and Research. “However, the current costs of the program at Annacis for VCC are not sustainable. We felt this move was in the best interest of students and the continuation of Heavy Mechanical Trades in the lower mainland.”

VCC has offered mechanical trades programs for over 50 years. In 2014, VCC and BCIT entered a partnership to share a campus on Annacis Island, where both institutions have offered HMT programming. The 13,192 square-metre (142,000 square-foot) Motive Power Centre of Excellence was initially leased to BCIT and VCC to provide the heavy duty trade programs the space needed to accommodate their unique requirements.

As of April 1, 2022, VCC will no longer occupy space at the Annacis Island campus where the program is currently being delivered. However, as part of the agreement with BCIT, VCC will deliver a Youth Train in Trades Heavy Duty Foundation Program for Grades 11 and 12 secondary school students at the VCC Broadway campus.

Adds Wells, “VCC is committed to the well-being of HMT students and the successful continuation of heavy duty programs. I would also like to acknowledge the work of our team at VCC and the support we’ve received from the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training as we transition programming.”

Over the coming months, VCC and BCIT will continue to work closely to ensure a seamless transition of the program. 

“We are thankful to the VCC community and for the many years of partnership in creating a collaborative, supportive, and hands-on learning environment for all students on the Annacis Island campus,” says Dr. Tom Roemer, Vice President, Academic, BCIT. “With this structural change, BCIT welcomes a new cadre of BCIT colleagues and students, and remains committed to ensuring all students are fully supported and have the resources to succeed in their applied educational journey.” 

To learn more about the Heavy Mechanical Trades program, visit https://www.bcit.ca/programs/heavy-mechanical-trades-foundation-certificate-full-time-1940cert/.

To learn more about the Youth Train in Trades (YTIT) program, visit https://www.vcc.ca/programscourses/youth-train-in-trades/.

For students looking for information on changes to the delivery of Heavy Mechanical Trades programs, visit https://www.bcit.ca/transportation/areas-of-study/motive-power/vcc-transition/.


About VCC

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 55 years, offering post-secondary training in over 130 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With two campuses located Downtown and in East Vancouver, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality management, transportation trades, music, and more.

About BCIT

For more than 55 years, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has been delivering flexible, relevant, and future-proof education that prepares learners to provide applied solutions to industry challenges – across B.C. and around the world. With five campuses and about 45,000 students enrolled each year, BCIT is one of B.C.’s largest post-secondary institutes. The BCIT curriculum is developed through close consultation with industry, and delivered by instructors who have direct, hands-on experience in their fields. Students gain the technical skills, real-world experience, and problem-solving ability needed to embrace complexity and lead innovation in a rapidly changing workforce. Through its unique applied education model, BCIT is connecting education, industry, and government to power provincial recovery and resilience. 


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Media can contact:



Jen Hill
Manager, Communications


Amy Chen
Media and Communications Specialist


VCC Outstanding Alumni Awards 2021 winners

Posted on January 31, 2022

Congratulations to Vancouver Community College's (VCC) 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award winners! These are the latest in a long line of VCC alumni and others who have made significant contributions to their industries and our community. Each recipient stands out with unique stories of success, inspiration, and dedication.


Brandt Louie – Honorary Alumni Award

VCC Foundation Donor

Brandt Louie was an integral building block to a foundation that now distributes over $1 million per year in scholarships, bursaries, and training materials to recognize and support VCC students. Mr. Louie was a passionate volunteer – chairing committees and serving on the Foundation Board – including the enabling of a charitable golf tournament that ran for 25 years and supporting VCC’s Notable Event music series which seeded over 60 annual scholarships for up-and-coming musicians. VCC is proud to recognize Mr. Louie as a committed volunteer, donor, and supporter. We wish to recognize and honour his legacy in helping thousands of VCC students over three decades.


Julia Pavlova – Community Contribution

General Duty Nurse, St. Paul’s Hospital

Julia is an extraordinary person who has been at the forefront of the pandemic as a new graduate nurse. Leading beyond expectations, she has been a media face for “Red Zone” front-line workers – those who work directly with COVID-19 patients. Julia has been nothing but positive in the face of exhausting, never-ending work, sharing stories of the efforts of her peers on Global TV, CTV News, and Providence in-house articles.


Demitri Kulik – Community Contribution

Utility Maintenance Worker, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation

Demitri is an alumnus of VCC's Building Service Worker program, a program designed to support those facing multiple barriers to employment. During his coursework, Demitri demonstrated heightened empathy for those needing additional help with language or technical skills. He continues to help VCC students secure work experience placements with the Vancouver Parks Board and returns to speak with students at guest career sessions while encouraging others to pursue learning opportunities at VCC. During COVID-19 and necessary closures, Demitri offered to be redeployed to work in single-room occupancy housing in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, exhibiting leadership and respect.


Bernie Johnson – Career Success

Director of Human Resources, Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

Bernie completed VCC's Hospitality Management Diploma program in 1999, and has proudly represented VCC in his rise through the industry over the years. Currently the president of the Vancouver Hotel HR Directors Association, Bernie has also volunteered many times as a speaker at various college events. He has been an active mentor for many VCC students, serves on VCC’s Hospitality Program Advisory Committee, and regularly hires VCC’s graduates.


Esther Winder – Changemaker

Emergency Planning Technician, Secwepemc Health Caucus

Esther is a self-proclaimed “wild card”. She goes above and beyond in every aspect of her life to ensure that no individual or community is left behind. Her out-of-the box thinking and unique approach to helping Nations and communities within her influence have established a Secwepemc Collaborative Emergency Management Agreement that has stood up to legal reviews and approval by the Secwepemc Kukulpi7 (Chiefs). Esther has helped bring federal and provincial governments together to address unique social determinants of health issues and concerns.


Do you know a VCC alum or community member who deserves recognition? Learn about our awards nomination process through the VCC Foundation.

New Karin Jones exhibition challenges the “gold standard” of beauty

Posted on January 20, 2022

In her new exhibition at the Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF) Gallery, Vancouver Community College (VCC) Jewellery Art and Design instructor Karin Jones is challenging our assumptions, beliefs, and conventions about beauty through works of art featuring human hair.

The exhibition, entitled The Golden Section, features geometric arrangements made from bleached-blonde human hair extensions that were produced in Asia and purchased locally. Showcasing traditional knotting and wig-making methods, the intricately arranged hair compositions continue Karin’s longstanding artistic exploration of identity and race.

In addition to the wall arrangements in the exhibition is an innovative necklace that juxtaposes an intricate, pale braid against a tubed vessel holding African hair.

Karin Jones - The Golden Section - BAF

As per the exhibition text: “For most of us, hair is ubiquitous. We encounter it on a daily basis, admiring its crop or bounce, or negotiating its care, styling or removal. It can convey personal beliefs or social position and motivate judgements regarding health or wealth. Detached hair, depending on where it lands, can inspire disgust – as an unwanted discovery in a bowl of soup, for one example. On the other hand, the desire for lengths of hair of a particular aesthetic fuels a global human hair industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars annually – hair that is longer, thicker, straighter, or lighter.”

The Golden Section opened Thursday, Jan. 13 and will run until Saturday, March 19 at the BAF Gallery located at 2-258 East 1st Ave. in Vancouver. 

Karin’s exhibition is presented alongside works by visual artist Sara Khan. Both exhibitions are the culmination of the artists’ studio residencies at BAF in late 2021. 

Learn new ways to express your creativity through VCC Continuing Studies courses in jewellery art, fashion, creative writing, and more.

Scott Wilson: Composing a career in electronic and experimental music

Posted on January 27, 2022

For Scott Wilson, it all started in the music room at Richmond Senior Secondary. “We weren’t a special music school, but we had a great music teacher,” he says, remembering the wide and eclectic range of genres he experienced in class. “I was hungry for everything.”

Today, as Professor of Composition and Electronic Music at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, this curious B.C. kid has continued to explore, experiment, and play with music and sound in ways that few have even imagined.

One of Scott’s most notable recent projects involved the European Council for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Working with CERN physicists through an interdisciplinary project called art@CMS, Scott was able to take the data produced by high-energy particle beams colliding at near the speed of light and translate them into sounds. “It’s music you couldn’t come up with yourself,” he says. 

Using custom software, Scott has used these sounds to “improvise with code” in educational settings as well as perform in electronic ensembles (including at a party for the CERN scientists themselves). Interestingly, Scott noticed that audiences tended to relate even more strongly to this music than typical improvisation. The universe’s subatomic mysteries have a special allure, after all.

Unlocking music education

After high school, Scott left the music room to briefly pursue photography before choosing to study jazz guitar at Vancouver Community College (VCC). Not long into VCC’s music program, and influenced by celebrated VCC instructors David Gordon Duke and Peter Hannan, Scott switched his focus to composing and never looked back. 

“My VCC experience was valuable because of the openness there; it’s not locked into one tradition,” he says. Scott also relates VCC’s unique approach to the important work of decolonizing music curriculums. “Schools around the world, and especially in the UK, are really struggling to move away from the white, male, colonial assumptions in music education,” he says. “VCC was doing this 30 years ago.”

Stay strange

After VCC, Scott continued down an academic path, obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University, a master’s degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, a PhD from the University of Toronto, and has been working as a professor in the UK for the past 18 years.

Scott has enjoyed his career in academia but his advice for music students – especially those interested in experimental music and composition – is to find their own way while keeping an open mind.

According to Scott, the possibilities are endless for anyone who truly commits to a music-related career, especially with technologies that are now more accessible than ever before and genre boundaries continuing to come down. “There is more appetite than you may realize for strange music,” he says. “Your career may not be what you imagined, but that’s a good thing.”

Hear more from Professor Scott Wilson on Friday, Feb. 4 in one of three free masterclasses during VCC’s 2022 Music Alumni Week. RSVP for Scott's masterclass now by emailing music@vcc.ca.

Ready for a music-related career? Applications are now open for VCC Music programs starting in September 2022.


President's message: The painful legacy of residential schools

Posted on January 31, 2022

Dear VCC community, 

As you have likely heard, on Tuesday, Jan. 25, the Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) announced the preliminary findings of 93 potential burial sites at the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in Williams Lake B.C. 

The harrowing stories of Indigenous children’s experiences at St. Joseph’s Mission, as recounted by WLFN Kukpi7/Chief Willie Sellars, are a reminder of the painful legacy residential schools have left on Indigenous communities and families all across Canada. Their stories stand as a reminder that work towards Truth and Reconciliation requires care and consistent attention.

On behalf of Vancouver Community College (VCC), we extend our sincerest condolences to WLFN and Indigenous peoples across Canada who have been impacted by these devastating events. We offer our support to those whose long road to healing has only just begun.

We also would like to take this moment to recognize the survivors and families from the Nations who attended the Mission, which included Secwépemc (Shuswap), Tsilhqot’in (Chilcotin), St’at’imc (Lillooet), Dakelh (Southern Carrier), and Nuxalk (Bella Coola).

At VCC, our responsibility is to listen, learn, and be engaged in dialogue about the past and how we can take part in building a more equitable future for our Indigenous communities. As Chief Sellers said, “reconciliation is education". VCC is committed to providing an environment that supports decolonization, equity, diversity, and inclusion in all areas of our college.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College


 Supports are in place for individuals who are in distress or who have been affected by residential schools:

Forore information on the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School preliminary findings, read this story from the CBC: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/williams-lake-st-josephs-residential-school-1.6326467


Lunar New Year greetings from VCC president Ajay Patel

Posted on January 27, 2022

Dear VCC community,

Many of our students and community members of Asian heritage will celebrate the Lunar New Year on Tuesday, Feb. 1. 

This year marks the Year of the Tiger, an animal known for its strength, courage, and resiliency. I am proud of VCC and our ability to embody these traits, especially amid the unique challenges and new opportunities of the past two years. 

On behalf of the VCC Board of Directors and leadership team, I wish our college community a happy, healthy, and prosperous Lunar New Year.




Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

VCC Music Alumni Week 2022

Posted on January 26, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Music Alumni Week is back for 2022 with an epic mix of online and in-person events.

All in-person events will follow B.C.’s COVID-19 protocols requiring masks and vaccine passports.

Free Welcome Concert and Foodbank Fundraiser

Wednesday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m.
VCC Auditorium (Broadway campus)
Free tickets: Eventbrite
Foodbank donations: foodbank.bc.ca

VCC's 2022 Music Alumni Week kicks off with a fundraising concert for Greater Vancouver Foodbank. Warm up your February evening with a great show of energetic and uplifting music ranging from pop/rock to jazz and classical. It's all for a good cause — donations to the Vancouver Food Bank will be accepted on site.

Academic Symposium

Thursday, Feb. 3, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Broadway campus, building B, room 1228

VCC's Music department will be hosting an academic symposium to present recent research on several topics, including musicology, orchestration, diversity and inclusion, and musical genres from baroque to technical death metal.

Songwriter’s CircleErik Severinson and Russell Wallace

Thursday, Feb. 3, 8 p.m.
VCC Auditorium (Broadway campus)

Those interested in songwriting can take part in the Songwriter's Circle where VCC’s Indigenous Vocal Ensemble director Russell Wallace will present original and traditional music from the Lil'wat Mation. Erik Severinson will present original music from his recordings with Whelming. Both performers will have a roundtable discussion on songwriting techniques in a supportive environment.

Alumni Masterclass: Scott Wilson, electronic music

Friday, Feb. 4, 3 p.m.
Online (Zoom): email music@vcc.ca for meeting link

Professor of Electronic Music at the University of Birmingham Scott Wilson will touch on composition, synthesis, and a new approach to sound in this Zoom session. READ MORE ABOUT SCOTT >

Alumni Masterclass: Daniel Ruiz, percussion

Friday, Feb. 4, 3 p.m.
VCC Auditorium (Broadway)

Originally from Bogota Columbia, Daniel will demonstrate methods for expressive and collaborative musical approaches to the drum set and percussion instruments.

Alumni Masterclass: Joelysa Pankanea, sound design

Friday, Feb. 4, 3 p.m.
Broadway campus, building B, room 1227

Sound designer Joelysa Pankanea will describe her career as a composer and percussionist.

Learn from the best. Applications are now open for VCC Music programs starting in September 2022.

Thank you for a record-setting #GivingTuesday

Posted on January 26, 2022

The 2021 #GivingTuesday campaign at Vancouver Community College (VCC) was a big success, raising a record-breaking $47,623.34 between Nov. 30 and Dec. 31, 2021. With matching funds from the VCC Foundation, $95,246.69 has been added towards awards and bursaries for deserving VCC Students.

Whether you made a payroll deduction, sent a cheque, or inspired your students and faculty to make online gifts (thanks CAD and BIM team!), you have helped to make a difference in the life of a future VCC student. Special thanks to VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel for his leadership challenge, modelling the importance of stepping up to meet the need.

Here is a list of newly established awards by the VCC community and friends:

  • Bruna Giacomazzi Changemaker Award 
    Past Outstanding Alumni Award recipient and donor
  • Chan Kent Foundation Award
    Robert Chan Kent is a former Fashion Arts’ PAC member
  • Elder Lilly Whonnock Helping Hands Award
    Commemorating the lovely and missed Elder Lilly
  • Grant Kovacs Norell Award of Excellence
    Alumni employer
  • Indigenous Food Pantry
    Addressing food insecurity among Indigenous learners and providing a holiday hamper to those in need
  • Li Family: May Mei-Chu Tsoi Resilience Award
    Eric Li,  alumnus, past award recipient, and VCC employee established this award honouring his mother
  • Maija Wiik Authenticity Award
    Retired VCC counsellor who has established an award for VCC students to commence in 2022
  • MiLei Family Foundation ESL Award
    Sophie Lei, alumna from EAL, CAD and BIM returned to give back
  • Native Northwest Reconciliation Award
    The original company to work with Indigenous artists on the Orange Shirt campaign established a new award and a new bursary for Indigenous students
  • Pyrrha Award for Indigenous Students
    Pyrrha’s second award for a Jewellery Arts student, this one recognizes a promising Indigenous first-year jeweller
  • Susan Perkuhn Textile and Design Award
    Alumna Susan passed away in 2020. Family and friends fundraised to recognize fashion students who share Susan’s love of textiles
  • University Women’s Club of Vancouver “Barbara Middleton” Achievement Award
    New in 2021, this is the fourth award funded at VCC by this generous group of women helping women achieve their career and education goals
  • Wolfgang Strigel Award
    Former IT businessperson who wishes to recognize a hardworking and entrepreneurial VCC student
  • Zoro and Kelly Ann Mihajlovic Creative Award
    In remembrance of beloved VCC legend Zoro Mihajlovic

Thank you and happy New Year to each and every one of you! Make 2022 the year you set up a payroll deduction, start an award for students in your program area, create a legacy plan for your own named award, or learn more about our many ways to give.


VCC Foundation


Top 10 VCC stories of 2021

Posted on January 18, 2022

Get inspired for the new school year by reading 2021’s most popular online stories featuring Vancouver Community College (VCC) students, instructors, and alumni.

1. Eddy’s story: A new wave in nursing

One student's work to further reconciliation and Indigenous representation in health care

2. VCC president Ajay Patel recognized by Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards

Prestigious people’s choice award honours Ajay's positive impact on our college and community 

3. VCC baking students claim top spots at 2021 Skills Canada provincials

Online skills competition shows VCC bakers are still the best in B.C.

4. VCC Music introduces new Indigenous Vocal Ensemble

New singing group explores Indigenous music, compositions, and collective improvisation

5. Katherine’s story: Cooking for a cause

Top culinary student connects food and people in a unique and essential career

6. Charles Ya’Ya Heit: Revealing the power of Indigenous art

Carrying on the Gitxsan legacy in carvings, jewellery, and colonial resistance 

7. VCC graphic designers contribute to Ronald McDonald House refresh

Student designers join Jamie Banfield in re-imagining children’s play spaces

8. VCC Fashion shines in the community

Finding the beautiful side of fashion through people-centred projects

9. David Blake: The relentless call of jazz

Living and breathing jazz from Vancouver to New York and beyond

10. Becoming a global citizen with collaborative international learning at VCC

Online UMAP program provides students with immersive intercultural experiences

Find more inspiring stories and learn what's happening in the VCC community year round by visiting vcc.ca/news.


Fully funded administrative accounting and bookkeeping training at VCC

Posted on November 16, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC)'s Partnership Development Office (PDO) is pleased to offer a specialized, no-cost administrative accounting and bookkeeping training (AAAB) program. This 20-week, comprehensive program is designed to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to work as accounting assistants, bookkeepers, and in related administrative roles in small, medium, and large businesses. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to perform accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and general bookkeeping duties. Some graduates may use their administrative accounting skills to start their own home-based bookkeeping businesses.

AAAB training is 400 hours and includes 16 weeks of cohort-based classroom instruction and four weeks of experiential learning/on-the job experience at an authentic workplace with a local employer.

Funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement.


  • Skills for Success (formerly known as Essential Skills) / Employability Skills
  • Computer Skills: Word, Excel & Power Point
  • Writing Business Letters
  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Office Procedures
  • Financial Accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Intro to Canadian Income Tax
  • Intro to Bookkeeping
  • Intro to Payroll
  • Computerized Accounting; Quick Books Level 1
  • Computerized Accounting; Quick Books Level 2
  • Work Experience Preparation
  • Job Search Skills

Training schedule

February 21 – July 8, 2022

Includes a four-week work experience / practicum.

Elegibility criteria

Participants must be:

  • At least 18 years old and have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Reside in B.C.
  • Canadian Citizens; or Permanent Residents; or Protected persons entitled to work in Canada
  • Unemployed, employed part-time (30 hours or less/week, seasonal or casual), or precariously employed; and seeking training to find a new job or prepare for changing job requirements or new job opportunities in the community
  • Impacted by COVID-19 and seeking training to obtain a job
  • Priority will be given to the following client groups:
    • Indigenous peoples
    • Youth (18-30)
    • Immigrants (landed within five years)
    • Mature workers (55+)

Admissions Criteria:

  • High school graduation or equivalent
  • Math 11 or equivalent
  • Grade 12 English or CLB level 8
  • Basic computer skills with a minimum of 25wpm keyboarding speed

Fees and other costs

All tuition is covered and at no additional cost to the participant or employer.

Application process

The next intake of this program is now full, thanks to everyone for their interest.

Please watch for future intakes.

Program contact:

Alena Worster




Skilled trades community consulted on new provincial certification plan

Posted on January 18, 2022

Results are now available from a large-scale government consultation conducted in the summer of 2021 regarding a new skilled trades certification system that is set to be implemented across British Columbia.

The What We Heard reports contain feedback from over 980 British Columbians representing workers, businesses, industry organizations, Indigenous peoples, youth, 2SLGBTQIA+, people of colour, new Canadians, and other groups crucial to growing and advancing B.C.'s trades workforce.

Participants were asked to provide input about key aspects of implementing the new skilled trades certification, including how to help current workers become certified or enter apprenticeship training programs

Recommendations in the What We Heard reports include offering more flexible or remote instruction, increasing access to training seats, developing mentorship programs, and offering diversity or cultural sensitivity training, childcare, and additional financial supports. 

Approximately 85,000 job openings are expected in the skilled trades in B.C. in the next 10 years.  



Charles Ya’Ya Heit: Revealing the power of Indigenous art

Posted on June 18, 2021

Update: The VCC community was saddened to learn that Charles Ya'Ya Heit passed away in August of 2021, and it is our sincerest hope that his story and his art continue to inspire justice and reconciliation.

Even before Charles Heit was born in the Gitxsan community of Kispiox in northern British Columbia, his relatives began calling him “Ya’Ya,” a family nickname meaning “grandfather.”

“My grandmother’s uncle was the big chief, and I was first born after he died,” he explains. “We believe in reincarnation, so even as a small child, all these adults would call me Ya’Ya. They loved me like that too.”

In addition to his name, Ya’Ya also inherited his family’s artistic skill. Having learned traditional carving and drawing from a young age, Ya’Ya, who is now in his mid-60s, has contributed to some of the country’s most significant public Indigenous art pieces.

Now with grandchildren of his own, Ya’Ya continues to pursue new forms of art with the energy and curiosity of a high-school grad. For him, art not only runs through his veins, but also embodies his peoples’ history and identity, while being an important tool for resistance and justice.

Family foundations

Most recently, Ya’Ya’s art journey took him to Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the Jewellery Art and Design program, where he developed skills in stone setting, casting, and, his favourite, repouseé – a metalwork technique he describes as “hammering a piece of metal every which way” until it becomes a three-dimensional item such as a bracelet.

Long before he was setting gems and shaping metals, however, Ya’Ya was a wood carver, learning his craft from two rather famous uncles: Walter Harris (Chief Geel) and Earl Muldon (Chief Delgamuukw), both Gitxsan master carvers and recipients of the Order of Canada, whose legacies include totems, drawings, and other significant works in museums and public spaces across North America.


Ya'Ya Heit and raven rattle

Ya'Ya' working in VCC's jewellery lab / Raven rattle pipe

“When we were kids, Uncle Walter would take us fishing. All I knew is he was a good fisherman and a carpenter,” says Ya’Ya. “I was 14 when I found out they were artists.”

At 15, with his parents’ support, Ya’Ya left what he calls his “white Canadian life” to stay with his grandparents, immerse himself in his Gitxsan culture, and train as a master carver at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art.

Throughout his carving career, Ya’Ya has worked with both his uncles as well as other greats such as award-wining Haida artist Robert Davidson. "When a friend would get a big commission, I would volunteer sometimes to help,” he says. “I love making big art so much.”

The art of resistance

“A lot of Gitxsan art made by my ancestors was to record history,” explains Ya’Ya. “So I’ve always been recording history.”

The significance of this history was recognized most notably in 1997 after Ya’Ya’s Gitxsan community won a decade-long lawsuit, one of the first recognizing Aboriginal title to traditional lands. Known today as the Delgamuukw Case, it was named after Ya’Ya’s uncle Earl Muldon, who worked tirelessly to establish oral history as valid evidence in court.

Ya’Ya himself has also supported his people’s ongoing struggle for land rights by learning and teaching geographic information systems (GIS) computer mapping, in addition to making powerful statements through his art.

“Being native in Canada is just a really bad experience,” says Ya’Ya. After the recent news about the residential school mass grave in Kamloops spread so widely, he hopes awareness of Indigenous issues will continue to increase. “I’m glad that some of Canada is opening their eyes to how horrific Canadian colonialism is. 

Like many Indigenous people and their allies today, Ya’Ya has added this tragic news to a running list in his mind that includes the “wellness check” death of Chantel Moore in New Brunswick, the underfunding of Indigenous children in care, the destruction of thousand-year-old forests in Fairy Creek, B.C., and the 30-per cent unemployment rate in his home community.

“All this motivates me to say things with my art,” he says.


Ya'Ya Heit three jewellery designs

"Little Smiling Frog" repouseé silver bracelet (see more) / Self-portrait ring / Red garnet crown set ring

While he misses his village deeply, Ya’Ya says he’s experienced a lot of new things and quite enjoyed his time at VCC and in Vancouver. For now, he can be found hammering metal every which way at Rubble Rock and Gem in South Vancouver alongside numerous other VCC grads. “My classmates are one-third my age,” Ya’Ya says, continuing to live up to his name. “We’re a happy gang together.”

VCC is dedicated to creating a safe and empowering environment for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis learners through a range of supports and services. Learn more by visiting VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement.

VCC offers free Building Service Worker microcredential

Posted on January 10, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to offer programming to support cleaners and other workers in the building service industry during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

VCC's funded Building Service Worker (BSW) foundation course provides the fundamentals of the Building Service Worker field, including health and safety practices, cleaning procedures, tools and equipment, and anti-contagion practices. You will also learn about enhanced cleaning techniques and best practices to help prevent or reduce the impact of contagions, such as COVID-19. Concepts will be taught through a combination of direct instruction, video demonstrations, self-directed reading, classroom discussion, and activities/assignments. The Building Service Worker Foundations course is suitable for those who want to work in the cleaning and maintaining of commercial, institutional, or residential buildings.

These courses are being provided tuition-free thanks to funding from the Government of British Columbia.

Class schedule

Visit the program page for more details.

Topics covered

  • Maintaining safe work environment Using personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety equipment

  • Planning and organizing work

  • Using communication techniques

  • Demonstrating service industry professionalism

  • Using hand and power tools and equipment

  • Organizing and maintaining custodial cleaning closet

  • Selecting and using appropriate cleaning cloths Performing dry and wet cleaning procedures

  • Using pH scale, disinfectants, and green cleaning principles

  • Cleaning carpet, hard floors, glass, stairways, walls and/or ceilings

  • Cleaning food preparation areas and wash/restrooms

  • How microorganisms cause infection in humans

  • Identifying and applying levels of infection control

  • Performing personal infection control practices

  • Applying safe practices to avoid contamination and spread of hantavirus

  • Performing cleaning/sanitation and disinfection practices to avoid contamination and spread of bacteria and viruses in a public setting

  • Maintaining a healthy work environment

Admission requirements

This program is for adults (16 years or older) who reside in B.C. and are eligible to work in Canada. 

Fees and other costs

All tuition for these pilot courses is covered and at no additional cost to the employer or individual participant.


Upon satisfactory completion, participants will receive a Statement of Completion.

Additional information

This course is delivered in a blended format, which includes 5 half-days of online classes and 1 half-day of in-person, hands-on training at an offsite location. 

Space is limited and seats will be awarded on first-come first-served basis. If provided a space, you must be prepared and available to: 

  • participate fully in all days of training, as scheduled
  • attend online classes through a video conferencing platform, such as Zoom. Please ensure you have access access to a device (preferably a computer) with a stable internet connection.
  • attend in-person, hand-on training (half-day) at an off-site location within the lower mainland, as scheduled
  • follow COVID-19 safety protocols and rules in place by Vancouver Community College and/or the off-site training site and/or as directed by the Provincial Health Officer

Apply now

Register online by visiting the course webpage or call the Continuing Studies Registration Office at 604.443.8484.

To request further information, please email buildingprogram@vcc.ca. 



Q&A with VCC Facility Management instructor John Ringness

Posted on January 12, 2022

Meet John Ringness, a Vancouver Community College (VCC) instructor and solutions leader who has been practicing facility management ever since he joined the workforce.

What do you love about teaching?
It is all about the students and how providing them with some training and sharing some relative personal experiences will help them in their own facility management careers.

What is your current career?
I am the Director of Facilities at Trinity Western University and I own a facility management consulting company.

What is an interesting thing about your journey?
Work in the facility management professions has taken me to four countries, six Canadian provinces, and one territory.

How do you personally define success?
Seeing satisfied customers.

What is your earliest memory?
Perhaps not my earliest memory, but certainly as a young boy, one of my favourite memories was climbing trees and jumping to smaller trees that would usually bend and take me to the ground. They didn’t always bend…

How did you learn the trade?
My learning focused on job training, professional development, job experiences, and actively engaging in facility management associations.

What advice do you have for someone starting out in this industry?
Find a facility management mentor or coach, and take facility management courses along the way.
Register now for VCC's Facility Management (REAL 1160) course, or explore your career potential at VCC Continuing Studies.

Four awesome walks from VCC’s Downtown campus

Posted on January 11, 2022

It’s time for a study break. What better way to refresh your focus than taking a walk around Vancouver’s gorgeous and historic Downtown area?    

Claire Sauvé, our Associate Director of Continuing Studies, shares some of the most interesting walks near Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Downtown campus.

If you have 5 minutes

Head East on Pender St., walk through the Chinatown Millennium Gate, then turn right down Shanghai Alley, one of Vancouver’s most storied alleys. Following the alley through, you get to Taylor St. where you can get back to Pender and grab a coffee at Tim Horton’s (108 West Pender St.) before returning to campus.

Vancouver Chinatown

Destination Vancouver/Nelson Mouellic

If you have 10 minutes

From the Dunsmuir St. entrance, walk south along Hamilton St. past the Amazon office construction at the old Canada Post. This historic building was built in 1958 and will be the single largest office building in Downtown Vancouver when it is completed in 2023. At the CBC building (700 Hamilton St.), you can grab a tea at the JJ Bean kiosk before heading to the Vancouver Central Library, a nine-story structure surrounded by elliptical walls and glass roof, resembling the Colosseum in Rome.

If you have a few more minutes, check out the beautiful Phillips, Hager and North Gardens on the rooftop of the Central Library, where you can be with the beautiful arbutus and roses while taking in views of the Downtown core.

Vancouver Central Library

Unsplash/Aaron Thomas

If you have 20 minutes

Use the Pender ST. entrance, cross the street, walking past Victory Square to Hastings St., where you’ll find the Dominion Building (207 West Hastings St.), Vancouver’s first steel-framed high-rise completed in 1910. From there, turn west and then north on Granville St., to the plaza outside of 200 Granville. From there you can check out the sails of Canada Place, watch the SeaBus come and go from Waterfront Station, and catch a glimpse of the beautiful snow-capped North Shore mountains.  

Vancouver Seabus and mountains

Destination BC/Grant Harder

Learn something new this year while experiencing the heart of the city. Register now for 2022 programs and courses from VCC Continuing Studies

President's message: On-campus instruction delayed until Jan. 10, 2022

Posted on December 30, 2021

Dear VCC community,

As we know, the nature of the pandemic is changing every day.

Over the holidays, we have continued to watch the situation very closely, and work with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training (AEST) and the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

Today, in consideration of the latest COVID-19 updates from the PHO and in consultation with the AEST, Vancouver Community College (VCC) has decided to delay the delivery of in-person courses and programs, where feasible, to Monday, Jan. 10. (See letter below.)


To: Public PSI Presidents; VPs Academic; VPs Finance/Administration; VPs Research; Sector Association Presidents

Recommendation for Jan. 10/22 start of classes:

Post-secondary institutions are advised to delay the start of in-person instruction until Mon, Jan 10/22, where operationally feasible, in order to allow additional time to assess the impact of the Omicron variant and review plans for returning to campus after the winter break. BC's Provincial Health Officer (PHO) is supportive of this delay.

  • Time sensitive programs including clinical or other experiential components, trades training and practicums may however begin as planned on Jan 4/22 with appropriate safety protocols in place.
  • Post-secondary campuses will remain open and available to learners including student housing and student services.
  • Based on experience in BC and internationally, educational settings are low-risk for COVID-19 transmission. 

Public health continues to monitor COVID-19 closely to ensure that safety measures are informed by evolving evidence. In the event that the measures need to change, the PHO and AEST will discuss with post-secondary institutions immediately.


In response, VCC will delay in person instruction, where feasible, to Monday, Jan. 10. Students can expect emails from their instructor/program with any changes to their start date, or if they will be required to be on campus during the week of Jan. 4.

VCC campuses will open on Jan. 4. Other campus operations and current work arrangements for staff and faculty will continue as scheduled. Student services will be available based on operational needs and institutional capacity.

Based on Dr. Henry’s memo last week we know the measures we have in place are working. Transmission in educational settings on campus continues to be uncommon. This delayed start to on-campus instruction will allow us to have a safe start to 2022.

Please visit the VCC website and monitor your respective emails for further updates. As always, I appreciate everyone’s patience and support as we navigate the situation.

My hope is that you have all been able to find some time with your close family and nearest friends to celebrate, safely, the accomplishments of the past year and ring in a happy new year together.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College



COVID-19 Resources:

New peer-support resource promotes student mental health

Posted on December 21, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) students now have access to a new peer-support resource for addressing struggles with mental health.

Starting a Conversation About Mental Health: Foundational Training for Students is a free, open education resource (OER) that provides foundational mental-health and wellness information customized to the post-secondary student experience.

The Starting a Conversation resource was developed by the University of British Columbia around lived scenarios that were shared by post-secondary students, and include struggling with stress and anxiety related to finances, balancing school and child care, academic pressures, discrimination and other diverse realities. The training also incorporates Indigenous perspectives on mental health and wellness.

“I applaud the students who contributed to this resource. We must all support our own and each other’s mental health, and these students are leading by example,” says Anne Kang, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

To access the facilitator’s guide to Starting a Conversation About Mental Health: Foundational Training for Students, visit: https://opentextbc.ca/studentmentalhealth/


VCC Fall 2021 Student Awards recap

Posted on December 3, 2021

On Friday, Dec. 3, Vancouver Community College (VCC) hosted its Fall 2021 Student Awards in an online ceremony. The live-streamed event individually honoured 194 deserving VCC students who received scholarships and awards this term, and recognized the generous donors who made them possible.

Elder John Sam of the Tutshone, Tlingit, and Dene First Nations opened the ceremony by performing an “honour song” and encouraging students to pass on what they’ve learned to others.

VCC Vice President, Academic and Applied Research David Wells offered the official address, in which he also introduced the new Elder Lilly Whonnock Award in memory of the beloved Indigenous elder who passed away in early 2021.

“Elder Lilly was a wonderful and giving teacher and guide. Her welcoming presence was inclusive – a principle to which we should all aspire.”

VCC deans then presented names and prepared messages from student award recipients in the following areas:

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
  • School of Trades, Technology and Design
  • Centre for Continuing Studies
  • School of Instructor Education
  • School of Arts and Sciences

Student Awards video feature

Each year, VCC Foundation selects one or more student award recipients to highlight in a video feature. This fall, they showcased two students who received funding from the University Women’s Club Vancouver: Associate of Science student Amelia Godwin, recipient of the Pathway to Health Sciences Award, and Culinary Arts student Ivy Hoang, recipient of the Barbara Middleton Achievement Award.

Special musical performance

It wouldn't be a VCC celebration without music! Our VCC Music alumni (Georges Couling, Keyboard, Producer; Jimmy Baldwin, Guitar; Catherine Hiltz, Bass; Daniel Ruiz, Drums; and Elaine Shepherd, Vocals) came together once again, this time with an original rendition of You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates.


For many VCC students, their education would not be possible without financial awards. Learn how you can support the next generation through the VCC Foundation.

Holiday greetings from VCC president Ajay Patel

Posted on December 10, 2021

Dear VCC community,

As we wind down the fall term and look towards some much needed rest over the holidays, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the tremendous work you have all done over this past year. 

When I reflect on 2021, I am deeply moved by how much our province has had to overcome and the many challenges our communities have faced. I am humbled at how we’ve come together to support our students and each other — including bringing our programs and operations back to campus — I believe we can all share in some optimism and VCC pride.

I applaud our faculty for working to ensure our students continue to learn and progress through their courses and programs. I thank and congratulate our staff and administrators from across the college who worked so hard to keep VCC operational in 2021, whether physically on our campuses or working from their bedroom desks and kitchen tables.

I am inspired by your responsiveness and professionalism for the many urgent, complex, and sensitive challenges this year brought us.

We have served our students, our communities, and each other well this year. This journey has been about all of us caring for each other. And continuing to do so is how we will thrive. 

Please remember this as you take some time for yourselves and your families this holiday season. Finally, I urge you to celebrate safely, be well, and take care of each other.

On behalf of VCC’s Board of Governors and the Senior Team, I wish you all a restful and restorative holiday season.


With gratitude,

Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

New VCC research aims to bridge social divides in a polarizing world

Posted on December 15, 2021

Researcher and VCC Continuing Studies program coordinator Andrea Korens

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to be participating in new, federally funded research into building capacity for respectful dialogue in B.C. communities.

Social scientists agree that, in recent decades, social and political polarization has dramatically increased in communities around the world. Tragically, as people become more deeply divided around issues and topics, like-minded groups are becoming more segregated, antagonistic, and losing the ability to compromise or reach consensus.

The research project, entitled Courageous Dialogues: Building Capacity to Transcend Polarization in Civil Society, intends to make use of diverse community college environments to try and understand some of our most polarizing issues and topics, then work to determine what tools and supports could help bridge these gaps.

Courageous Dialogues was one of 28 successful proposals chosen earlier this year from 115 submissions and will receive $360,000 from the Community Colleges Social Innovation Fund via the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). VCC Continuing Studies program coordinator Andrea Korens is working as a co-investigator in the project, which also includes staff and faculty from partners Capilano University and the Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College.

VCC Associate Director of Continuing Studies Claire Sauvé is also connected to project in her role as president of the Continuing Education and Training Association of BC (CETABC), another community research partner. According to Claire, colleges have the potential to play a significant role in promoting inclusivity, dialogue, and bridging social divides.

“As college educators, our influence in peoples’ lives goes beyond the classroom,” says Claire. “We also give students the skills to go out in the world knowing how to be compassionate, responsible members of society and engage in dialogue respectfully.”

During the first phase of the three-year research, Courageous Dialogues researchers will work closely with colleges and partner (literacy, neighbourhood) organizations and use engagement tools such as ThoughtExchange to gather community input on divisive issues. Using this input, researchers will then use equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) principles and conflict resolution practices to help develop things like staff training programs, public outreach, and community initiatives that will help our communities come together in greater understanding.

Experience VCC’s diverse learning community first-hand through our Continuing Studies programs and courses. Register now for next term >

VCC Jewellery 2021 Student Holiday Sale

Posted on December 9, 2021

Supply chain got you down? Want to lighten your carbon footprint and support local makers at the same time? Find beautiful and unique gifts for your loved ones at VCC Jewellery’s 2021 Student Holiday Sale!

Instead of a campus pop-up shop, this year, all items are being made available via students’ individual Etsy sites listed below. All pieces are made by hand from sterling silver (unless otherwise indicated) right here in VCC’s on-campus jewellery labs.

Pickup can be arranged for the week of Dec. 13 to 17. Email jewellery@vcc.ca with any questions. 

Thank you for your support and happy holidays!


Jill Vickers-Kealy

Instagram grey @jillvk.jewelry 


Jill Vickers-Kealy earrings


Sebastian Penner


Instagram grey @albadoro_

Sebastian Penner pendant


Weiwei Li


Instagram grey @weijewellerydesign

 Weiwei Li necklace


Iris Lo


Instagram grey @Ilj.studio 

Iris Lo necklace 


Monique Huynh


Instagram grey @moniquehuynhjewelry

 Monique Huynh necklace


Clemence Beurton


Instagram grey @thekeenstudio

Clemence Beurton ring 


Evan Matthews


Instagram grey @goldteethgalore 

 Evan Matthews ring




Highlights from VCC’s Early Childhood Care and Education lab

Posted on December 9, 2021

Lately, Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) early childhood care and education (ECCE) instructors and students have been extra thrilled to come to campus – and not just because COVID-19 lockdown is over.

Using the environment as a “third teacher” (known the Reggio Emilia approach), VCC’s ECCE lab at the Downtown campus is composed of four mock learning areas (dramatic play, language and literature, science, and manipulative), in addition to sinks, cabinets, and furniture that can be moved around as needed. Although our chefs or musicians might disagree, VCC’s ECCE lab is one of the most creative spaces on campus.

Hear what our instructors have to say: 

“The ECCE lab has added an exciting element to the theoretical instruction of our program. For instructors, materials are readily available to illustrate concepts, allowing for spontaneous explorations that were previously limited by lack of space and access to resources. 

For students, the ECCE lab gives them the opportunity to “play” and engage with materials allowing them to see experiences from a child’s perspective. Understanding what it feels like to learn as a child leads to empathetic, competent educators able to provide quality learning experiences for young children."

- Yvonne Adebar, VCC ECCE instructor 

“In the ECCE lab, if a student asks a question or brings up an idea, we as instructors can quickly offer a living example from the resources in our lab. This parallel process makes the understanding of emergent curriculum very real and accessible to the students.”

- Orah Chaye, VCC ECCE instructor 

Is your future in child care? Learn more about VCC’s early childhood care and education programs and courses for 2022.

Q&A with Business and Technical Writing Instructor Sean Poole

Posted on December 8, 2021

What courses do you teach at VCC?
I teach several of the courses in the Business and Technical Writing certificate program.

What do you love about teaching?
For me, the joy of teaching is sharing your knowledge until it isn’t yours anymore. That’s how knowledge should work – it should belong to anyone who wants it!

What is your current career?
I am a technical writer by trade, and have been officially since 2015. Unofficially, I’ve been creating business and technical documents for my entire career, since 1997.

How did you become a technical writer?
Tech writing is a second career for me, following an 18-year career in industrial automation sales. I had decided the sales world was no longer for me, and was in the middle of retraining at VCC when I was laid off. That was the time to solidify my new career!

How did you learn technical writing?
I went through the same VCC program that I’m now teaching in, and accepted the mentorship of an experienced writer who helped me learn the trade and some of the tools. I benefited from a wonderful series of circumstances.

Who is your favourite author?
Neil Gaiman. I adore his blend of intense research (especially into the various mythologies he’s translated to page) with carefully planned world and story building, topped with a truly dry British humour. I had the opportunity to meet him at a reading once, and I asked him if he would ever consider writing a British pantomime – he looked genuinely intrigued!

What is your best piece advice for someone starting out?
Be willing to work somewhere you didn’t expect to, doing something that isn’t your ideal vision. I landed my first tech writing gig working for a software company, which was completely new to me. Not only did I get to learn a whole host of new things, but I got to broaden my horizons and be much more adaptable – something any new tech writer needs to be! 

Take the first step into a career you'll love. See our full VCC Continuing Studies cataloge to and register now for 2022 courses. 

How VCC Fashion is working to address textile waste

Posted on November 24, 2021

FABCYCLE is on a mission to recycle and reuse fabric waste from cutting floors, garment manufacturers, and sewing labs. Meet three women who are helping Vancouver Community College (VCC) Fashion programs recycle textile scraps.

Irina McKenzie

FABCYCLE founder

Can you tell us what happens to the scraps that are picked up at VCC?
The sorting process is very labour intensive but it’s also gratifying when we literally pull fabric out of the garbage and match it to another maker. All materials for reuse go to our Textile Waste ReUSE Centre (268 Keefer St). Materials for recycling get shredded, fiberized and turned into stuffing and underlay for carpets and insulation. 

Why are schools important for your business’ success?
When students use our bins to recycle the scraps from their cutting tables, it often leads to questions about sustainability and waste. This leads to meaningful conversations with students who eventually become decision makers in the fashion industry.

What skills do our merchandising and design grads lend to your business?
We find that both merchandising and design grads are creative, know how to work in a fast-paced environment, are eager to learn, and be part of the team. 


Erin Gravelle

VCC Fashion alumna
FABCYCLE Studio and inventory manager

What skills that you learned at VCC are you now using on the job?
Fashion design is very useful but everything from my textiles class I use in my everyday work. It helps me assist customers with choosing fabrics for their sewing projects.

What do you love about your job?
I love seeing the direct effect we are making in diverting textile waste. It blows my mind how much would have been thrown away and is still usable, beautiful materials.

What did you love about learning fashion at VCC?
I came from a sewing background, so I went to VCC to further my knowledge and skill. I received both and so much more. Attending classes always invigorated my passion for fashion and wanting to change the way it works. I learned a lot about being patient with my process and finding what works for me.

Erin Gravelle, Irina McKenzie, and Jocelyn Parent

L to R: Erin Gravelle, Irina McKenzie, Jocelyn Parent

Jocelyn Parent

VCC Fashion Merchandising alumna
FABCYCLE volunteer

What were your responsibilities at FABCYCLE?
I organized donations; measured, identified and tagged fabric inventory; and uploaded products to their ecommerce site for their weekly “unboxing” live streams. Every day was a little different and I was able to learn so much about textiles!

How did VCC prepare you for this?
While I was learning how to identify and interact with textiles at VCC, I was able to directly apply that information to my work at FABCYCLE.

What did you love about learning fashion at VCC?
The instructors all had very creative approaches to the topics that gave me a really well-rounded understanding of the industry. This also meant that I was able to flex my own creative muscles in the process!

Ready to start your future in fashion? VCC fashion offers a Fashion Design and Production CertificateFashion Design and Production DiplomaFashion Merchandising Certificate, and part-time fashion courses. Sign up for the next free online info session to learn more.

Q&A with VCC Wedding and Event Management grad Buket Donnelly

Posted on December 3, 2021

What is your current career?
Event Sales Manager at Capilano Group.

Can you describe your journey to VCC?
I was a senior account manager for 13 years at a bank when I decided to change my career at the age of 39. Since elementary school, I always volunteered and liked organizing events, so with my husband’s support and encouragement, I applied to VCC’s Wedding and Event Management program.

How did you get your job?
VCC program coordinator Joy Dalla-Tina advised me to become a member of International Live Event Association (ILEA) Vancouver Chapter and that’s how my life changed. Another ILEA member, who was the GM of Stanley Park Pavilion, offered me the job. Now I have been the event sales manager of Stanley Park properties since March 2018.

What is your best piece of advice for someone starting out in this industry?
It’s never too late to make your dreams come true!

What was the best part about studying at VCC? 
VCC gave me the skills to go immediately into the field of events.

What impact did your teachers at VCC have on your career path?
They were great mentors.

What would people be surprised to know about being an event planner?
They may be surprised to know that being an event planner is never a 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday job.

What is the coolest event you have been involved in so far?
We organize so many cool events such as TED Talks and GOOP events.

Why wait to get your dream job? See our full VCC Continuing Studies cataloge to find the courses and training you need.


Q&A with VCC Counselling Skills instructor Sarah Stirling

Posted on November 30, 2021

What do you teach?

I have been facilitating VCC’s Counselling Skills practicum seminars since 2012. My purpose is to assist students in assimilating their learned theory into practical experience.

Can you describe your career journey?
While participating in my 25-year nursing career at Lions Gate Hospital, I also worked with people suffering from chronic pain, using biofeedback and meditation. I have studied metaphysics for 40 years and teach healing energy work. I completed the VCC counselling skills program in 2007 and soon after joined VCC’s Continuing Studies administration team as the practicum coordinator for the program. I then acquired a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a major in education.

What do you love about your job?
It is incredibly rewarding for me to pass on information, knowledge, and personal experience to students. I also love interacting with students, guiding students to resolve challenges with professionalism, and listening to the wisdom our students share in seminar. It’s also a joy to write references letters for students’ employment and/or furthering education. 

What is the student’s role during practicum?
While on practicum, a student’s role is to learn, practice, and receive feedback. For a student to learn, they must feel safe. For a student to practice, they must be given opportunity. For a student to be given effective feedback, there must be structure. All these elements are firmly in place for students in the VCC counselling skills program.

What is your best piece advice for someone starting out in this industry?
It is imperative that you have the courage to self-reflect and seek counsel regularly for your own personal and professional growth.

What would people be surprised to know about being a support counsellor?
The degree to which “self” is healed in the process of supporting others.

Learn more about yourself while advancing your career through VCC Continuing Studies. Register now for Winter 2022 courses.

Shantel Ivits wins Award of Excellence in Open Education

Posted on November 25, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to announce that Basic Education department head Shantel Ivits has won a BCcampus Award for Excellence in Open Education.

Shantel has been a champion and supporter of open educational resources (OER) for many years, crafting resources that are inclusive, accessible, and diverse in theme and content.

This award recognizes specifically Shantel’s work on the BC Reads: Adult Literacy Fundamental English series of open textbooks, in which they incorporated thoughtful themes including Indigenous content, human rights, and LGBTQ2S identities.

"I'd never encountered a literacy text with any mention of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or Two Spirit (LGBTQ2S) communities until I authored a textbook series myself. I wanted my students, who also come from various marginalized identities, to see themselves reflected in these textbooks too,” said Shantel in a 2018 blog post.

“They are a leader in the creation of inclusive and diverse OER, and these resources are a phenomenal contribution to adult basic education in B.C.,” says the recent announcement from BCcampus.

Congratulations Shantel!

Learn more about how VCC and BCcampus are improving access to education.


VCC researching diversity and disabilities in clinical work placements

Posted on November 29, 2021

“Student life” is famous for its challenges: scraping together tuition, stressing over exams, pulling all-nighters, etc. For post-secondary students living with disabilities however, many factors in the typical learning environment can amount to real barriers to their education or careers. 

To explore such issues and help break down systemic barriers in health care education, some passionate Vancouver Community College (VCC) faculty and staff launched a research project that is gaining widespread attention.

The project, led by VCC Disability Services department head Brianna Higgins, UBC accessibility advisor Dr. Laura Yvonne Bulk, and VCC Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) instructor Dr. Maki Iwase, is entitled Access in Clinical Education: Co-creating greater Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion through connections and understanding. Its starting point is VCC’s own Students with Disabilities Policy [PDF], which outlines the college’s legal obligation to provide accommodation, or “alternate ways” for students with disabilities to fully participate in the learning environment. 

While VCC can and does strive to meet this obligation in the classroom, such accommodations in clinical placements are less standardized, despite being settings where nursing students complete a large portion of their education. “It’s often in clinical settings where students fall through the cracks,” says Maki.

Similar to final exams, clinical placements are major tests of learning. Not only do students perform hands-on care in demanding, real-world environments, but they also complete homework and papers outside of their clinical shifts and must pass to advance in the BScN program.  

Clinical placements can be highly challenging for any student, but students who have visible or invisible/episodic disabilities (e.g. mobility limitations, learning differences, mental illnesses) can face additional hurdles. “They come up against a structural, idealized notion of who is or is not a good fit to enter a health care profession,” says Brianna.

Co-creating change

The first phase of research involved in-depth interviews with 38 individuals including students (with disabilities and without), instructors, alumni, and nursing professionals. “Students feel scrutinized," says Brianna. "They do not want to self-identify as having a disability because they’re afraid of becoming a ‘problem’ in the workplace." Overall, the researchers found a desire for safer communication, less mental pressure on students, a greater respect for diversity, and a shift away from “fitting the mold” and towards enabling diverse students to achieve success. 

In many cases, simple changes to instructional styles, environments, or attitudes can make all the difference. “Students at this stage already know which learning strategies work best for them,” says Brianna. “What they want is to just be seen and acknowledged for their strengths and resilience.” 

The diversity difference

The benefits of diversity in any organization are becoming increasingly clear, and health care is no exception. As cited in the preliminary Access in Clinical Education report, having health professionals with various disabilities could help reduce discrimination, increase sensitivity and trust, and improve patient outcomes.

Maki who herself is a successful nurse educator, says she regularly draws on her own disabilities to help her relate to students. “I have a history of anxiety and depression. I’ve also struggled with dyslexia as a child. But through support, mentorship, and funding, I was able to get a PhD!”

The researchers also believe that a structural shift towards accommodating for diversity would benefit health care workers in general. “We’ve seen these patterns for years,” Maki says of nurses who sacrifice their own sleep, psychological safety, and even physical well-being for the job. “It’s a systemic issue that results in burnout, injuries, impaired judgement, and the lack of ability to self-care.”

While a full report is expected in mid-2022, the research team has already collected numerous resources, hosted a research-based theatre presentation, and initiated a working group to further diversity and inclusion in clinical practice.

VCC is excited to work with every student achieve their goals. Contact VCC Disability Services before starting your program to discover what’s possible.

Q&A with VCC records management instructor Donna Sedlar

Posted on November 25, 2021

Donna Sedlar started teaching office administration courses at Vancouver Community Colleg (VCC) in 2018, but her connection to the college started decades before.

What do you teach?
I currently teach Records Management Levels 1, 2, and 3.

How did you end up at VCC?
When I moved from Manitoba to B.C., I enrolled as a student at VCC in the daytime Legal Secretary program. I vividly remember feeling excited about learning something new (including Latin terminology) plus feeling anxious about completing the homework correctly, passing all my classes, and finding employment in Vancouver. My VCC instructors provided fantastic support and shared real-life stories about what to expect in the current job market. The training I received at VCC, combined with ongoing professional development, has kept me actively employed in the legal field for over 20 years. 

I returned to VCC in 2010 to study records management. I knew companies were moving from paper documents to electronic records, so I was eager to learn this new language and understand how to apply these essential skills in the workplace.

What do you do outside of teaching?
I am currently employed with Project Management Volunteers (PMV) providing both administrative and records support for the executive director while acting as workshop producer for online delivery of PMV’s introduction to project management training. It’s a privilege to work with project professionals and volunteers who give back to non-profits, social-profits, and charities.

What is your advice for VCC students and grads seeking work?
One of the challenges for students looking for employment or searching for jobs in a gig economy is helping the interviewer “connect the dots” on your resume to what special skills you can offer their organization.

I continually network with employers to learn what skills they need from VCC students. Companies search for candidates who understand the basics of records management and the need to protect sensitive data. Employers also want staff who can conduct research, write reports in their own words, and cite source material that can be referenced later.

When you combine the classes I teach with the VCC Librarians who can help students brush up on their APA citation skills and paraphrasing, our Records Management students are well prepared to meet these needs. 

Discover part-time courses that will help you get ahead in your career. See our full VCC Continuing Studies cataloge

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel regarding Tehran airplane tragedy

Posted on January 10, 2020

I was heartbroken to hear of the airplane tragedy that happened near Tehran, Iran on Wednesday, and I know I share this sadness with everyone in the VCC community.

As more details come to light, we are learning that many of 176 passengers lost on Flight PS752 were Canadian, and over a dozen were from BC. This horrible incident will touch many lives, both locally and across our country.

I extend my deepest condolences to our Iranian-Canadian students, staff and community, and our post-secondary institution partners who have been affected by this tragedy. The VCC community grieves with you during this very difficult time.

For any VCC students who may need support, we encourage you to visit with our counselling staff. Staff and faculty resources are available through myVCC/Human Resources.


Ajay Patel President & CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College

A personal message from Ajay Patel, VCC Interim President

Posted on March 20, 2020

 Watch an American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message


Dear VCC Community,

Over the last week we have experienced unprecedented times in our society as a result of COVID-19. From cancellations of gatherings to social distancing to closing of our borders. The pace of the change and directives from government and health authorities continues to have impacts on every part of our society.

I want to thank all of the VCC employees for their cooperation and support as we navigate the ongoing sudden and disruptive shifts. I am proud of how our college pulled together to support our students and each other while keeping safe and healthy. The last week has not been easy for anyone. I know the uncertainty and concern for yourself and loved ones has been stressful for all of you. The coming weeks will likely continue to be the same.

During these tough situations you have shown our ability to work collaboratively, display your compassion for each other and those around us, exhibiting your creativity in supporting all students in their education (instruction and support services) and reflecting our VCC values. We need this to continue.

To our students. COVID-19 is a defining moment in your lives. We are very much aware the impact this situation has had on your education, your daily lives and many other strains it has caused. At VCC, we are committed to continuing to support you with the tools we have to ensure your education journey is safe and has the least amount of disruption. We appreciate everyone’s patience during these unusual times.

I would also like to take this opportunity to extend VCC’s sincere appreciation to our health care professionals. A good number of you are our graduates. You, above all, are the heroes as we battle COVID-19. It is because of each and every one of you that we are fortunate to have the world’s best health care.

Many of you will remember Clifton Taulbert from VCC day. On Wednesday I received a very fitting quote from him. “Humans have been uniquely gifted to build and sustain community among the peoples of the world in good times and in bad times. The gifting exists, but the choice to manifest the gift is always ours to make.”

COVID-19 has transcended all borders. As we continue to grapple with the uncertainty before us, we need to continue to work together to get through this challenge and I am confident we will be a stronger and more resilient community!



Ajay Patel

President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College

Responding to COVID-19 through access, connection, and contribution

Posted on April 30, 2020


Access to education is essential for a healthy society, and while physical distancing measures are vitally important right now, I also struggle daily with the fact VCC’s doors are currently closed to the public. 

More than a month into our collective fight against the spread of COVID-19, I deeply miss seeing students fill our campuses, yet I am incredibly proud of VCC’s faculty and staff for their dedication, determination, and creativity in successfully shifting more than 100 programs and 1,100 courses online in a remarkably short period of time.

Compared to many other post-secondary institutions, VCC faces a particular challenge because we specialize in practical skills and hands-on experiences. I recognize that these things are very difficult to convey at a distance, but I continue to be impressed by how quickly our students have adapted to the new learning environment. This is a testament to their determination and ability to succeed.

VCC recognized for accessibility 

Our vision statement challenges us to be “The first choice for innovative, experiential learning for life,” and accessibility is a major part of our mission and identity.

At VCC, we pride ourselves in welcoming everyone, no matter their circumstances or stage in life, and empowering them through post-secondary education. Whether through offering world-class culinary, baking, automotive, and health sciences training, serving as a hub for the Deaf and hard of hearing community, or offering free adult upgrading, we aim to make education a reality for all.

For these reasons and more, I am especially pleased to share that Building B at our Broadway campus has now been officially certified through the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program, which recognizes meaningful access for people of all abilities. As an extra honour, VCC has trained many of the RHFAC professionals in Vancouver through an ongoing educational partnership.

An extraordinary effort

Although the doors to our campuses are closed, I want to highlight the bold and generous contributions that continue to happen behind them. I am honoured that the City of Vancouver sought our partnership, along with the B.C. Government, in producing and distributing 6,000 meals per week for our Downtown Eastside neighbours. VCC departments have also donated 60,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to our frontline workers, and VCC-based immigrant entrepreneurs are sewing hundreds of face masks for at-risk communities.

Whatever the coming months may bring, VCC fully intends to remain an institution on which our city can rely, both for educational excellence and as a focal point for community support.

I also want to thoughtfully recognize everyone who is keeping our school and our city running, often at considerable personal risk: cleaning and security staff, grocery store clerks, bus drivers, IT technicians, and more. Many of these are VCC graduates, and I proudly remember this every night at 7 p.m. as we send out a cheer for their safety.

We can and should celebrate “flattening the curve,” but it doesn’t mean the risk has disappeared. Please keep listening to our health authorities. Take physical distancing seriously. Be vigilant about hygiene. Wash your hands. The only way we can do this is together.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO (interim)
Vancouver Community College

President’s message: Take time to listen

Posted on June 3, 2020

Vancouver skyline with


A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

This past week has shone a bright light on the hard truth of racial and cultural disparities that have existed in communities across North America for centuries. 

As a person of colour, I can speak to my own lived experiences of racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But today, I want to remind our communities that right now we are also called to listen. 

A key goal in my work as an educator is to ensure that all of our students are able to learn and succeed in safe, inclusive, and equitable environments, empowered to achieve their career and life goals. Today, I question if that is enough.  

In Canada, we have a painful history of neglect, abuse, and oppression to the Indigenous Peoples of this land and immigrant communities that persists to date. Our Black-Canadians and communities across the country know and live stigmatization and injustice every day, and are connecting with the racial justice protests and unrest currently happening in the U.S. on a very deep level.

I wanted to write to you, not because I have answers, but because I want to encourage our VCC community to take time to listen. Challenge our thinking and beliefs. Ask ourselves about assumptions or biases that may not support dialogue and positive action in respect for all our communities. Reach out to our Black, Indigenous, and immigrant neighbours, learn about their struggles against systemic barriers, and together condemn and denounce racism and stand in solidarity for justice.

VCC proudly welcomes nearly 16,000 students each year from more than 150 countries and Indigenous Nations, speaking over 50 different languages. We strive through our institutional values to respect and celebrate differences in each other. We are committed to being an accessible college that is inclusive of everyone. This is our ongoing work at VCC, and I invite you to join in our journey.  

Lastly, I have discovered a few resources that may inform or inspire your journey as they have mine. Please find them below. 

Let’s listen, learn, and grow together,


Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College


Anti-racism Resources
This is a compilation of resources by Black and Indigenous leaders gathered to help us unlearn racism and colonialism, and take action for justice.

Black Lives Matter Vancouver
Organizatoin supporting the work of black folks and allies in undoing systemic racialized violence.

Hogan’s Alley Society
A non-profit organization committed to researching, preserving and publicizing Black history in Vancouver and B.C.

Also, here are some broader Canadian equity and anti-racism organizations you can support:



Fall 2020 welcome from VCC president Ajay Patel

Posted on August 31, 2020

VCC Downtown campus Dunsmuir building with logo and text overlay: President's Welcome

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year

First, I would like to acknowledge that we at Vancouver Community College (VCC) work, learn, and live on the unceded and traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations who have been stewards of this land since time immemorial. 

As president, I have the great honour to welcome back all our students, faculty, and staff returning from summer holidays, and to warmly greet the new students joining us at VCC this term.  

Earlier this spring, our college community connected, changed, and adjusted in many ways to the “new normal” of life during a pandemic, including how we deliver our programs and support our students, and where we do our work. 

While this September will be very different than the last, I know that together we will continue to rise to challenges and opportunities as we have these past months. 

I am proud that we will be providing the critical skills, quality education, and responsive support that our students count on to reach their career goals, and in doing so, contribute to the wellbeing of their families and communities. In our renewed commitment to student success, we will keep discovering new ways to define and deliver experiential learning for the thousands of our students who have chosen VCC.

We’re up to the challenge

I often think of VCC as a remarkable tree with our roots in the community. This pandemic may have shaken our branches, but our roots have grown deeper than ever, and our connections have strengthened, allowing us to contribute in ever more meaningful ways. 

At the outset of COVID-19, VCC donated 60,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local health care providers. These materials came from departments across the college, including our dental, esthetics and makeup, hairstyling, health, science, jewellery, and auto collision programs. In all, we collected 55,000 gloves and 5,000 masks, sanitizers, gowns, viral swabs, and other cleaning supplies to support Vancouver Coastal Health frontline workers, many of whom are VCC alumni.


Quote: This pandemic may have shaken our branches, but our roots have grown deeper than ever.


As regular food distribution halted for our neighbours in the Downtown Eastside due to the pandemic, VCC immediately answered the City of Vancouver’s call for help by opening our Downtown kitchens as a meal-prep and distribution hub. I am extremely proud of our staff who worked very quickly to orchestrate a meal and food delivery program that involved the creation of 6,000 nutritious meals each week. 

Today, you will see tents and health care workers in our Broadway campus parking lot. This is because VCC is collaborating with Vancouver Coastal Heath to increase COVID-19 testing sites across Vancouver. 

VCC cares about our communities, and our roots in Vancouver and the region run deep and strong.

We have shown that we can do amazing work in difficult times. Thank you for your contributions every day that make our college and community better. I know that this fall and in the year ahead, we will continue to do great things together. 



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College


President’s message: Celebrating VCC’s contributions

Posted on November 23, 2020


Dear Friends,

I would like to acknowledge, with gratitude, that at VCC we work, live, and learn on the traditional and unceded territories of the  xʷməθkʷəyəm̓ (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlilw̓ ̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

I recently had the great honour of being appointed as Vancouver Community College’s president. In this position, one of my goals is to build awareness of the remarkable impact VCC has had, and continues to have, on our surrounding community and across the province.

When I arrived at VCC just over a year ago, I never imagined we would face such complex times in the post-secondary sector. However, over the course of 2020, our team has risen to the myriad of challenges presented by this unexpected COVID-19 pandemic in ways that have consistently impressed me.  

One thing I have learned in my tenure at VCC is that our work is integral to a robust workforce and healthy industry landscape in B.C. Our students, staff, faculty, and alumni contribute in profound ways to the success of our economy and the welfare of our province. We don’t just train students to be successful in their careers – we foster citizens that care deeply about their communities.  

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VCC’s leaders, employees, students, and volunteers have stepped up to make major contributions to the safety and resilience of our communities. Allow me to share some of these stories now.

Responding together to COVID-19

VCC hosts VCH public COVID-19 testing site
In response to a callout from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), VCC has offered its north parking lot at the Broadway campus to host a COVID-19 testing location.  

VCC staff make meals at Downtown campus for those in need
In partnership with the City of Vancouver, VCC’s Downtown campus training kitchens were used as a meal-prep and distribution hub for the creation and delivery of 80,000 meals to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents with barriers to food security.

?VCC donates 60,000 pieces of PPE to health workers?
Departments across VCC joined to collect and donate over 60,000 items including masks, sanitizers, gowns, viral swabs, and cleaning supplies to Vancouver Coastal Health. ? 

VCC distributes $195,000 in emergency funds to students in need?
More than 300 students from 40 VCC programs received support via VCC’s COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund, which distributed $195,000 in funding made possible through the provincial government and the VCC Foundation.  

VCC alumni contributing to the fight against COVID-19

  • Participants of VCC’s Make It! entrepreneurship program for immigrant women donated time, skills, and material to sew cloth face masks for many local, at-risk communities.
  • VCC international student Mariana Carneiro is donating 10 per cent of sales from her online jewellery shop,? Kaju, to the food bank.
  • VCC American Sign Language and Deaf Studies alumna and early childhood educator Jordyn Mitchell has been providing interpretive services and Kindergarten programming to the Deaf child of a local health care worker.?? 

I am humbled and inspired by the VCC community every single day, and I encourage you to watch this video to learn more about VCC’s response to COVID-19. 

Warm regards, 

Ajay Patel 
President and CEO 
Vancouver Community College  

Twitter logo grey 15 px @vccpresident

President’s message: Expect a return to campus in September 2021

Posted on March 8, 2021

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

Dear college community,

I’m pleased to share that on March 8, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training Anne Kang announced that the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), Dr. Bonnie Henry advised all B.C. post-secondary institutions to begin planning for a return to safe, on-campus teaching and learning in September 2021.

“I’m encouraged by Dr. Henry’s advice that a return to in-person instruction can be done safely this fall for all students, staff, and faculty. In fact, it’s important to do so for people’s well-being,” said Minister Kang. 

This announcement is an outcome of the demonstrated leadership of the post-secondary sector in responding to COVID-19, including adopting new health and safety protocols and quickly adapting to remote learning. It is an exciting and eagerly anticipated step forward in our journey together through the pandemic.

What happens now

While this is encouraging news, please keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and we must continue to follow all active health guidelines in order to realize this goal.

Looking ahead to September, VCC's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will immediately convene a Campus Recovery Working Group to ensure a safe, robust, and comprehensive process for returning to on-campus activities that adheres to the province’s Go-Forward guidelines [PDF].

It is important to note that VCC has continued to operate essential learning activities safely on campus during the pandemic, and we have every confidence that, over the next six months, we will be able to plan for a safe return in the fall.

As this is new information, the EOC will share plans and details as they become available.  

Let’s do this together

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult and stressful time for everyone, including VCC students, faculty, and staff. This past year has challenged all of us in ways we could never have expected. We know that young adults have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic — as evidenced by worsening mental health, increased financial instability, and concerns over diminished future prospects.

The safe return to VCC campuses will benefit everyone’s health and well-being. That’s why it is vital that we resume delivery of our programs and robust educational experiences for our students.  

Many students, faculty, and staff are eager to return to campus, while others may be feeling a bit anxious. Please be assured that at every step, we will be working with Dr. Henry and all our partners to make sure the right measures are in place to keep people safe.

A return to on-campus learning is excellent news for VCC, as well as for the economic health and strength of our communities and province. We need to get back to doing what we do best: delivering innovative, experiential learning for life.

VCC has shown that we can do amazing work in difficult times. In the year ahead, we will continue to do so. On behalf of the VCC Board of Governors, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and admiration to all VCC employees and students for your hard work and perseverance during the past year. Brighter days are ahead.


Best wishes,  

Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College


President's message: BC Colleges statement on vaccine mandates

Posted on August 27, 2021

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

Good afternoon VCC community,

As colleges across the province prepare for full on-campus activity, BC Colleges has written a statement in response to the new B.C. Public Health Orders regarding mask mandates and the new BC Vaccine Card.  

Click to download and read the BC Colleges news release. [PDF]

BC Colleges News Release Aug 27 2021

It is important to remember that in B.C., colleges operate differently from universities and are considered agents of government under the Colleges and Institutes Act. We follow the advice of the Provincial Health Officer.  

Colleges are considered low-risk environments. For the past 18 months and prior to vaccine availability, VCC remained open and successfully navigated the challenges of the pandemic with no person-to-person, on-campus transmissions.   

With the recent increase in vaccinations across the province, I am confident in our ability to incorporate the new mask mandate as the best course of action to continue to keep our community safe.  

BC Colleges shares this confidence and commitment to follow the orders set out by the Provincial Heath Officer (PHO).

We will continue to respond to the needs of our community during this health crisis by following the recommendations and guidelines set by the PHO, with the understanding that this issue is dynamic and will continue to evolve. We will provide the community with updates accordingly. 

Please help us keep our community safe and get vaccinated if you are able. You can learn more about vaccinations at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College



President’s message: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Posted on September 27, 2021

For many people in our community, myself included, this past year has been one of incredible learning and growth. As we near the end of 2021, I believe it is more than fitting that we take a day to reflect on what reconciliation truly means to us and to our country, to grieve with our Indigenous loved ones, and to commit to do better.

In late May, the world learned that the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc had recovered the remains of 215 children from the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Following this, as hundreds more unmarked graves were (and continue to be) revealed at other sites across the country, Canadians began to pay attention. Seemingly overnight, the topic permeated social media feeds, family conversations, workplace meetings, and classrooms alike. Children confronted their parents, teachers adapted history lessons, and journalists dug deep for accountability.

The impact of this news was immense, yet to Indigenous nations and families across Turtle Island, we must remember that it wasn’t news at all. Just as none of us would forget losing our children, they never did. We must also remember that for decades, Indigenous people have been working to bring their trauma and oppression to light in ways that our colonial culture would not write off or ignore.

Moving forward, we must keep listening, learning, and humbly sharing in the work of reconciliation as led by Indigenous people. As our community continues to heal from the widespread grief, fear, and loss of the COVID-19 pandemic, I urge you to also reflect on the ongoing healing of Indigenous people, and consciously work towards the societal healing we have yet to achieve.

To this end, I encourage the entire VCC community to visit the on-campus tables hosted by VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department and make an “orange shirt pledge” or purchase a T-shirt from the VCC Bookstore with proceeds going to the Orange Shirt Society and BC Aboriginal Child Care Association. To take part in further reconciliation efforts, see the resources listed below.

For centuries, Canadians attempted to “kill the Indian in the child” under the guise of education. Now, these children and their descendants are teaching us. As a post-secondary community, we, especially, have a responsibility to truth, equity, and justice. If we are good students, our learning will extend beyond this tragic history and teach us great things about resilience, progress, and stewardship of the land that sustains us all.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College


Learn more


Scholarships, bursaries, and awards support VCC Continuing Studies students

Posted on November 23, 2021

VCC Foundation director Nancy Nesbitt celebrates at our bi-annual Student Awards ceremony

Twice a year, Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies students have an opportunity to access funds that can help make tuition payments easier. Scholarships, bursaries, and awards are some of the ways VCC supports students interested in upskilling and creating a path forward in their careers.

What is the difference between these three ways of getting financial help?

A scholarship is given in recognition of academic excellence or achievement.

An award is based on a broad range of criteria such as academic excellence, community involvement, leadership skills, financial need and more. How an award is distributed is determined by the donor and is meant to reflect their values and priorities.

A bursary is distributed based solely on financial need. These methods of support help students in all moments of their academic career, from entrance into a program, to those in the midst of their studies.

VCC Continuing Studies fashion, gemmology, building manager, and paralegal programs recognize students for their academic achievements; fashion design and fashion merchandising have awards that recognize the special talent required to work in these fields. Continuing Studies students also have access to several general college awards and a bursary system.

Courtney Copoc

“This award means so much! And, it’s extremely uplifting to be acknowledged and supported for all the hard work and dedication I have put into obtaining this certificate. I hope this inspires other Indigenous individuals to pursue their educational journey and always dream big.“

- Courtney Copoc, 2021 Studnt Union of VCC Award recipient

Thank you to our Students Union of VCC, Coinamatic, LandlordBC, GDI Integrated Facility Services, the British Columbia Paralegal Association, Chan Kent Foundation, the Levy family, and others that offer amazing support to our students.

VCC is top pick in 2021 Best of Vancouver

Posted on November 12, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to annouce that Georgia Straight readers have once again voted us Best Culinary School and Best School for Continuing Education.

Full 2021 results

Best Culinary School

  1. Vancouver Community College
  2. The Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen
  3. Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA)

Best School for Continuing Education

  1. Vancouver Community College
  2. University of British Columbia
  3. Langara College

Interested starting your culinary career or learning something new through Continuing Studies? Sign up for an upcoming online information session for free.


VCC Continuing Studies supports unique learning journeys

Posted on November 23, 2021

Original version published in The Georgia Straight

Post-secondary education isn’t only for those who have recently graduated from high school. Whether you’ve taken an extended gap year or have been working full-time for the last 20 years, Vancouver Community College (VCC) will meet you exactly where you are.

At VCC, there’s a keen focus on supporting students’ personal and professional learning journeys, and VCC Continuing Studies is committed to providing students high-quality, flexible, and relevant training. In addition to learning from industry experts and exploring interests, graduates are given the opportunity to switch careers or open new pathways at their current workplace.

“From pursuing new career options to generating additional and exciting revenue streams, our course and program offerings provide the boost that will equip you for your future success,” says Adrian Lipsett, dean of Continuing Studies at VCC.

Students can choose from a variety of diverse courses and programs that will help them achieve professional success. Part-time and full-time offerings include:

See our full list of programs.

Evolving programs

With direct input from instructors, VCC regularly examines its broad scope of programming to ensure that it’s meeting industry needs while providing an engaging and supportive learning environment.

For example, the Paralegal Diploma program employs instructors whose expertise is continually shaped by their ongoing involvement in the field. This ensures its graduates are informed by current trends and remain primed to succeed as paralegal professionals.

The IT Operations Professional Certificate program was also relaunched in September 2021 after undergoing a comprehensive review. Now, it features all-new courses, up-to-date content, and a new computer lab.  

VCC Continuing Studies department has been working hard over the past year to enrich students’ experiences from the point of registration all the way through to graduation. Recently, the college was proud to launche a new registration and student information system, streamlining the online processes of registering for courses, applying for programs, and accessing transcripts.

Discover new ways to achieve your personal and professional goals by visiting vcc.ca/cs

B.C. colleges embrace microcredentials to create a more skilled workforce

Posted on November 19, 2021

Originally published in The Georgia Straight

One of the hottest buzzwords in B.C.’s post-secondary world is microcredentials.

In September, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training released a framework document [PDF] with a set of guiding principles to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to microcredential programs across public colleges, institutes, and universities.

“Microcredentials support lifelong learning by enhancing access to post-secondary education through shorter, competency-based training opportunities,” Advanced Education and Skills Training Minister Anne Kang said in a news release. “Our government recognizes the need for opportunities to upskill and reskill, and these microcredentials will assist workers who want to transition to in-demand jobs.”

One of the first institutions out of the gates with microcredentials was Vancouver Community College. Last year, as a Certiport-authorized testing centre, it began offering a Microsoft Office Specialist exam.

Those interested in this microcredential have the option of taking VCC courses in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to improve their skills. Students who pass the test receive digital badges that can be posted on LinkedIn profiles.

"I’m proud of our post-secondary institutions for stepping up to the challenge and delivering these courses to help meet the needs of a rapidly changing workforce,” Kang said.

In September, the B.C. government announced $5 million in funding to support the creation of 35 more of these programs at public post-secondary institutions.

VCC’s dean of Continuing Studies, Adrian Lipsett, told the Straight by phone that his school is developing a microcredential in ecommerce that will include three courses.

“It doesn’t need to be yearlong,” Lipsett said. “It can be quite short – quite compressed – and meet the student where they need it.”

Continue reading in The Georgia Straight >

Give your career or your business a boost with skills training by VCC Continuing Studies.

VCC convocation recap – Fall 2021

Posted on November 19, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to celebrate the hard work, commitment, and excellence of 1,292 graduates in an online convocation ceremony held on Thursday, Nov. 18. The event was conducted on Zoom and live streamed for family, friends, and the community.

Guests were welcomed to traditional and unceded xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territory by Elder Deanna George, and treated to a performance by Squamish musicians Spakwus Slolem (Eagle Song Dancers).

Following a beautiful rendition of O Canada by VCC alumna Elaine Shepherd, VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel addressed the graduating class with a challenging message:

“As you enter the working world as VCC graduates, my first challenge for you is to use your learning for good – fight racism and discrimination and stand for fairness and kindness. Our path to healing and reconciliation requires all of us committing to learning about our shared past, listening to Indigenous truths, and working respectfully together for a just, equitable, and inclusive future.”

VCC’s Fall 2021 valedictorian Vanvisa Sataglamp then addressed the audience, sharing memories of her program and encouragement for her fellow graduates. Next, the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation was presented to Gladue Report Writing graduate Courtney Copoc, and the Governor General’s Academic Medal was presented to practical nursing graduate Emily Caudle. Finally, an inspirational alumni address was delivered by Chef Laura Dawe:

“You now have the tools to steer your careers upwards, no matter what life throws your way. Continue to work hard and remain focused on your goals. Let your passion for your field guide you. But most of all, enjoy yourself along the way.”

Degrees, diplomas, and certificates were awarded to the following areas: 

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
  • School of Trades, Technology and Design
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Continuing Studies
  • Library and Teaching & Learning Services 

Congratulations to our VCC grads! Learn about the perks and benefits you now receive as VCC alumni.  

Career FAQ: Automotive Collision and Refinishing Diploma

Posted on August 12, 2021

Auto trades are one of the top demand trades in our province (B.C.). Check some frequently asked questions about career opportunities and how VCC prepares international students in Automotive Collision and Refinishing Diploma for employment.


Image: @VCCautobody Instagram


What type of work may be expected?

  • Detailing: interior/exterior cleaning
  • Refinishing Prep (sanding, masking, priming)
  • Bodywork: removing installing parts, sheet metal repair, dent repair, welding
  • Autoglass: removing/installing


Where do VCC graduates work in Vancouver?


What is the salary range?


Image: @VCCautobody Instagram


How does VCC prepare students for employment?

  • Theory and practical training at VCC's Auto Shop
  • Resume building, mock interviews, and job searching skills
  • Instructors connect students to part-time and full-time jobs.


What are students' experiences in this program?


Image: @VCCautobody Instagram


VCC restaurants reopening, Chef's Table 2021 - BC Vaccine Card requirements

Posted on October 1, 2021

BC Vaccine Card required

Starting Monday, Sept. 13, JJ's Restaurant and The Bistro at VCC’s Downtown campus require guests to meet the province's BC Vaccine Card requirements. JJ's is open for lunch reservations and walk-ins. The same regulations apply to VCC's Chef's Table pop-up kitchen events running three evenings per week during September. The Bistro opens on Sept. 21

Until Sept. 26, both restaurants will accept the printed proof of vaccination from a pharmacy or vaccination clinic if supplied with BC government ID.

Exempted service outlets

VCC's cafeterias and Seiffert Market, popular for its daily fresh-baked goods, are exempt from BC Vaccine Card requirements.

VCC’s Salon and Spa, which provides competitively-priced hairstyling and esthetics, is also exempt from BC Vaccine Card requirements but will be requiring customers to wear face masks at all times. Services are by appointment only.

VCC's Dental Clinic is open for weekday appointments. For dental hygiene services, please call the receptionist at 604-443-8499 and schedule a 45-minute screening appointment.



Chef's Table 2021


Vancouver Community College's Culinary Arts program is proud to present the Chef’s Table Dinner Series.

You'll enjoy a five-course, fixed menu with optional wine pairings served in an intimate setting with only 12 seats available per night.

Purchase tickets early to avoid disappointment. Table bookings can be made online on JJ's Open Table reservation page (scroll down to find Chef's Table). Please note the BC Vaccine Card program begins at all licensed restaurants on Sept. 13.



September: 14-16, 21-23

October: 5-7, 12-14, 19-21

November: 2,4,9-10,16-18, 30

December: 1-2, 7-9, 14-16

VCC Chefs Table Menu

Vancouver Community College - Downtown campus
JJ's Restaurant, 250 West Pender Street


See what Vancouver is saying about VCC's Chef's Table!

Vancouver Sun
Restaurant Review: The Chef’s Table gets an A for food
Chef’s Table at Vancouver Community College offers Michelin quality food.

Good Life Vancouver
Chef Hamid Salimian’s VCC Students Deliver A Tantalizing Meal


Follow us on Social Media to learn more about Events and News for International Students!



Career FAQ: Dental Technology Sciences Diploma

Posted on October 4, 2021

VCC is the only public post-secondary institution in B.C. offering a Dental Technology Sciences Diploma. Students learn traditional and digital technologies used in the design and fabrication of dental restorative prostheses, orthodontic appliances, and implant-supported restorations to work as professional and licensed Dental Technicians.


What do dental technicians do?

  • Design and make dental devices like crowns and bridges, dentures, orthodontics, and sports and night guards

Where might VCC graduates find employment?

  • There are well over 200 registered dental laboratories in British Columbia. Most laboratories are in Metro Vancouver, and many on Vancouver Island and in the interior regions of the province.
  • Laboratory sizes can range from a one-person operation to corporations employing more than 200 persons.


How does VCC connect students to employment opportunities?

  • This program includes a 15-week external practicum during the 5th Semester.
  • Students are placed in commercial laboratories with invaluable experiential learning, and the placement provides an excellent opportunity to develop a network of potential employers.
  • Employers reach out to the VCC in search of possible employees, as there is a shortage of skilled dental technicians in our province.

How much do VCC graduates make?

  • New graduate: $20 - $21 per hour
  • Alumni: $25 – $40 per hour
  • Many VCC alumni become supervisors and Laboratory Owners with more earnings.
  • Annual Median Salary in B.C.: approximately $50,000

What are some examples of recent job opportunities as of September 2021?


What are the admissions requirements?

  • Grade 12 graduation
  • IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0), or Duolingo 105, or equivalent
  • Human Biology 12 with a C+
  • One of the following with a C+ grade: Chemistry 11, Math 11 or Physics 11
  • Portfolio
  • Qualified applicants will be required to have an interview with VCC


More Information about this program?

Interested in applying to VCC to begin your study journey in Canada? Book a 15-minute Zoom session with an International Student Advisor to learn more.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook group to learn more about the International news.


VCC Baking and Pastry learning experience

Posted on October 15, 2021

My Tien Truong (Tina) recently graduated from VCC’s Baking and Pastry Dual Certificates in Winter 2021. Check out what Tina has to say about her experiences.


What do you like most about studying at VCC?

VCC is like my second home, where I’ve met wonderful people who teach me to become a better version of myself and guide me to the right path for my future career. I can’t thank enough all of my instructors - Laurie Vestergaard, Wolfgang Dauke, Lisa Wagner, Alan Dobko, Betty Chubey, and all of the baking assistants at VCC. I feel grateful for all of their works, efforts, and comments. Even though we had been through a very tough year as classes were delivered online due to COVID-19, VCC did their best to help us back to the lab and finish our last semester.


( Starry Night Chocolate Box )


What is the most creative project you’ve ever done?

I love the Plated Dessert Course and Chocolatier Course in the Baking program. There is more room to create and present our artistic designs on the plate. One of my most creative items is the “Cococado Dessert.” It is basically coconut ice-cream and avocado smoothie, but what makes this special is that condensed milk is added to the ice cream.  I get inspired by a Vietnamese dessert back home called Kem Bơ. My instructor was very impressed when she tried my Cococado as it was the first time she tried avocado in a sweet dessert. Besides, VCC is a good place for people who want to “be bold”, and experience new things.


(Coconut Icecream and Avocado Smoothie )


How do you contribute to your classes and help your classmates?

In baking, I think we mostly learn from each other, mutually learn from one another, and share techniques and even mistakes. It is very important to work as a team and support each other in the lab. This is also a reason why we consider and treat others as a part of our family.


(Italian Macaron)


Learn professional techniques for artisanal bread and fine pastry production from Canada’s top bakers in a fully equipped industrial kitchen. Sign up for our Info Session or check our website to learn more about Baking and Pastry programs at VCC.



Stay connected with us and learn about international students' experiences at VCC. Follow us on Instagram and be part of our Facebook Group!




VCC president Ajay Patel recognized by Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards

Posted on November 18, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to share that our president and CEO Ajay Patel has been recognized with one of this year’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.

This prestigious people’s choice award honours inspirational immigrants who have made a positive impact on their communities since arriving in Canada and recognizes the achievements of all immigrants including community advocates, volunteers, successful entrepreneurs, and cultural icons.

“It is extremely humbling to be amongst this cohort of distinguished leaders. This award is really a tribute to those who paved the way, many generations ago, for all of us as visitors to this land. The challenges, barriers, and discriminations they faced, and sacrifices they made so that immigrants like me could achieve our goals is what this recognition is about. I invite everyone to not forget these sacrifices as we shape the future,” says Ajay. 

Born in Fiji, Ajay moved to Canada in 1975 and grew up in East Vancouver. He graduated from VCC’s Human Kinetics program in 1992 and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia. He is a provincial leader in sports and international education and was confirmed as president of VCC on Jan. 24, 2020.

Ajay adds, “To my immediate and extended family members, please know this recognition reflects the love and support from every one of you. And to my friends and colleagues, thank you for continuing to inspire me every day. I am deeply grateful.”

VCC is now doubly proud as our Vice President, Students and Community Development Jane Shin was also honoured with a Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award in 2019. 

Past winners from B.C. also include Senator Yuen Pau Woo, SUCCESS CEO Queenie Choo, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan, and BroadbandTV Corp Founder Shahrzad Rafati.

This year’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards winners were announced on Thursday, Nov. 18 and can be viewed at www.canadianimmigrant.ca and in Canadian Immigrant magazine.

Congratulations Ajay! 

Learn more about VCC’s Leadership Team and new Strategic Innovation Plan that will re-shape our campuses and programs to best meet the evolving needs of B.C. students and industry.

Province helps equip students for success with new tech, trades tools

Posted on November 10, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to be one of 20 B.C. post-secondary institutions to receive $150,000 to fund technologically advanced trades equipment, as announced on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Prior to the announcement, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Anne Kang, Vancouver False Creek MLA Brenda Bailey, and VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel toured VCC’s training kitchens, on-site bakeries, and hair salon and spa, meeting with dozens of student apprentices in honour of Apprenticeship Recognition Month.

“Investing in students is an important part of building a stronger B.C.,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Students across the province will have the opportunity to learn the latest techniques with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, preparing them for their future careers.”

The funding will allow students throughout B.C. to gain the hands-on training they need to start a career in the skilled trades. Approximately 73,000 job openings are expected in the 10-year period 2019-29.

“At VCC, we know the value of keeping our trades programs aligned with industry standards,” said Ysabel Sukic, department leader of Culinary Arts. “This funding will help our students continue to learn on the same equipment they will use in the workforce. We appreciate the government’s support in helping us continue to offer students the best tools while training at VCC.”


 Interested in learning more about starting a career in trades or technology? Sign up for an upcoming free online information session.


‘Tis the season for taxes - tips for fiscal year-end

Posted on November 10, 2021

With the fiscal year coming to an end for many businesses, filing for taxes can seem like a daunting task. Whether you are the owner or employee of a small to medium-sized business, accounting software, such as QuickBooks, can help you manage payments, bills and payroll.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your fiscal year end procedures:

1. Keep track of all the expenses:
To help maximize your deductions, keep a record of your receipts, deposit slips, agreements, and invoices. In addition, you may be able to deduct your mileage, travel expenses, accommodations, and some meals. Be sure to have supporting documents.

2. Purchasing assets:
Asset depreciation usually must be made over several years, and your business can only claim half of the annual depreciation in the year of the acquisition. It may make sense to make a major capital purchase towards the end of the fiscal year to utilize the write-off sooner.

3. Home office expenses:
For those using a home workspace for more than 50% of the time, you may be able to deduct a portion of your home office expenses, such as utilities, house insurance, property taxes, mortgage interest, office equipment, maintenance, and more. These expenses cannot be used for creating a loss; however, the unused portion of deductible expenses can be carried forward.

4. Plan for salary or dividends:
As an owner of a business which generates an income, you may decide to be compensated in the form of a salary or dividends. Remember that, for taxes on corporations, you may deduct salary as an expense but not dividends.

5. Keep your business account only for business transactions:
Any deposits will be treated as an income, unless proven otherwise. For deposits that are not income (loans, transaction reversals, or refunds), be sure to keep all supporting documentation.

6. File on time:
Paying a late-filing penalty can put a dent in your profits. Consider online filing to save time and hassle, and to minimize inaccuracies.


To learn or refresh your skills on popular accounting software, check out VCC's part-time QuickBooks desktop courses offered through Continuing Studies. Taught by instructors with years of industry experience, these classes offer hands- on training using scenarios that mirror real-world situations.

Support VCC students this #GivingTuesday

Posted on November 10, 2021

Double your impact with donation matching Nov. 30 until Dec. 31

It’s that time of year where our actions can lead to positive change in the lives of VCC students. All gifts big and small between now and Dec. 31, 2021 will help build VCC student scholarship and bursary funds. Fend off the #blackfridayblues and visit vcc.ca/makeagift to make your gift today.

Plus, your gift will go even further since all donations made between November 30 and December 31 will be matched up to $20,000!

How to give

  • make a gift early – double the impact of your gift by donating before Dec. 31, 2021 and we’ll match your gift, dollar-to-dollar at vcc.ca/makeagift
  • employee-giving through payroll deduction: if you are already giving through payroll deduction, we will automatically match your gifts during this period. Top up if you’d like, but there is no action required! If you need to enroll, download a payroll deduction here.
  • buy a coffee by donation at Blenz at the Broadway campus, Building B on November 30 and for any donation of $15 or more, enjoy a free latte or hot chocolate, or mocha!

Please spread the word

Celebrate your donation and/or encourage others to give by tagging us on Twitter or Facebook and using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

Join #GivingTuesday and help change a student’s life!


Speechless: VCC Graphic Design 2021 grad show

Posted on November 2, 2021

It's called Speechless, but that's not stopping VCC Graphic Design students from talking up their latest works in this 2021 grad show.

In the online show, 12 graphic design students will promote their work and skills to an audience made of industry and future clients.

Through VCC's in-house Studio Nuvo at the Downtown campus, students have been taking on assignments in print and web work, branding, and visual design as part of their training. Much of what's produced at the studio ends up as part of the students' portfolios.

Studio Nuvo is always looking for clients and the annual grad show is a great way to find out more.

Speechless – VCC Graphic Design 2021 Grad Show

When: Thursday, Nov. 4, 6 p.m.
Where: Zoom
Register: Eventbrite

 Speechless grad show design samples

Instagram grey @speechless.design 

New consolidation system at VCC

Posted on September 27, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) has implemented a new design for our waste consolidation stations throughout the Broadway and Downtown campuses. 

This new design aligns with the Vancouver Municipality Recycling Collection System. 

One notable change: In our previous system, mixed paper was collected in the blue bin; in the new system the mixed paper is collected in the yellow bin. 

Our overall goal is to recycle as much as possible and limit the use of the black bins. If we recycle properly, there should be very little landfill/waste energy garbage. 

Please take the time to look at the placards below and familiarize yourself with the collection system. 

Zero waste is our goal.

VCC food scraps and compostables signageVCC mixed paper signageVCC Recyclables signageVCC waste to energy signage


Consolidation signage pdfs


From costumes to couture: How VCC Fashion cultures creativity

Posted on October 27, 2021

According to VCC Fashion instructional assistant Allison Drake, the best part of Halloween is getting to bend the “rules” of garment construction and create fantasy.

Especially for people with a foundation of professional fashion design skills, Allison says the sky’s the limit on Halloween. “In the fashion industry, you are normally designing to a brief, and you're restricted to what your customer wants or needs." When it comes to costumes, however, Allison says the brief is shifted to simply making a wild idea come to life. "For Halloween, if you know how to put things together and you want to be a giant centipede, it’s totally feasible!” 

Psychologists have said that Halloween costumes can serve as outlets for parts of our personalities that we don’t get to show in daily life, such as boldness, sexiness, or silliness. At VCC, fashion programs and courses take this idea beyond costumes and into the real world, asking students: why do you wear what you wear, or how do your clothes make you feel or help you represent yourself? “We get people thinking a little deeper about why they get dressed in the morning,” says Allison, “and who they’re designing for.”

Designing different

Year-round, students in VCC’s Fashion Design and Production programs are also encouraged to exercise their creativity through illustrating, drafting patterns, and sewing original garments.

After learning the basics of drafting, construction, and design, VCC Fashion students in their second year focus on making a mini collection that is showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week.

In this process, many students end up exploring specialized skills such as corsetry, fibre arts, or die-cutting, leading them to ask "how do I make this?" To support individual student projects, VCC instructors will occasionally develop custom workshops or recruit guest instructors to ensure the students’ visions can come to life. 

This term, VCC instructors developed a workshop focused on the properties of stretch fabrics, as numerous students were designing tight-fitting bodysuits or “catsuits." Corsetry/lingerie sessions are also in the works, and leading up to this Halloween, VCC instructors opened up the sewing lab on a Saturday to work alongside students designing costumes. 

So, whether a student’s signature style involves stripes, spandex, or centipedes, VCC Fashion is ready to help make their designs a reality. “We have such a wonderful base of instructors with all different talents,” says Allison,” and we want to empower students to learn.” 

Get the skills to bring your creativity to life. Learn more about VCC certificates in Fashion Design and Production and Fashion Merchandising or individual fashion courses.


RBC Foundation’s $45K grant augments virtual skills training

Posted on October 20, 2021

Over the past 18 months, organizations have had to pivot and change to respond to new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vancouver Community College (VCC) led the way by finding new ways to continue teaching essential skills to students both virtually and in-person – while safely maintaining nearly 40 per cent occupancy during the pandemic.

RBC Foundation stepped up to help address new student needs. In 2020, RBC donated $45,000 in support of a face-to-face program that was placed on hold at the pandemic’s outset. Recognizing the new challenges students were facing, RBC quickly agreed to reallocate these funds to purchase augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology to our trades’ departments to allow students to practice their skills while off-campus.

The first cohort to take advantage of the new technology were students from VCC's Auto Collision and Refinishing program, students originating from China, Iran, South Korea, Taiwan, and India were able to practice virtual car-painting skills prior to classroom re-entry.

“Students were able to practice the physical motions of automotive refinishing at home and have had more time developing the muscle memory that is required to refinish. Through an app, students receive feedback on travel speed, spray gun distance, and spray gun angle – which are aspects of painting that are very difficult to explain to new students,” says Brett Griffiths, VCC Dean of Trades, Technology and Design.

Students reported having very positive experiences with the virtual learning tool. “Oculus was very helpful in learning automotive paint. It actually helped a lot in controlling my speed and distance from the painting surface and was directly related to actual painting,” notes one student.

An unexpected benefit to using AR/VR technology to assist virtual learning was that students gained confidence while attempting new skills in the privacy of their own home and without being concerned about wasting product.

“The Oculus helped a lot in gaining motor skills, “highlights another student. “It’s a great tool for someone like me, who never had painted before, to gain confidence and become comfortable with the equipment and finding what works for me (or not) and how I should move/position my body before actually going into a paint booth.”

“RBC’s gift will definitely keep on giving as additional VCC cohorts and programs can utilize this same equipment with a variety of software. These shifts in how and where we learn are silver linings revealed out of difficult times,” says VCC Foundation Director Nancy Nesbitt.

We thank RBC Foundation for their generosity and willingness to be flexible and meet the needs of our students.

Raising up Health Care Assistants this HCA Day

Posted on October 18, 2021

A message from Lisa Beveridge, department head, VCC Continuing Care

Monday, Oct. 18 marks Health Care Assistant (HCA) Day in British Columbia. HCA Day was first introduced in 2011 by the B.C. government to recognize the tremendous difference that HCAs make in the lives of thousands of British Columbians who struggle with complex health challenges.

Over the years, Health Care Assistants have had many different job titles. They have been called Residential Care Aides, Home Support Workers, Long-Term Care Aides, Home Health Aides, Continuing Care Assistants, and Personal Care Attendants, yet they all provide frontline personal care and assistance to people who are unable to fully manage their own daily needs.

The creation of a provincial curriculum for Health Care Assistants, the BC Care Aid Registry, and HCA day have all helped create unity and consistency across the service areas and given these frontline workers one united name: Health Care Assistants. These developments have brought attention and support to the vital work that HCAs do in settings such as complex care, assisted living, home support, and group homes.

There are currently 38,000 registered HCAs in B.C., but over the next 10 years, WorkBC projects that over 18,000 jobs will need to be created to match the growth in the province's senior population. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the essential nature of HCAs and the growing demand for more HCA graduates. VCC’s HCA graduates have never been as valuable as they are today and the skills, ethics, and standards learned in the program will go far to improve the lives of the people we love and meet the needs of this growing demographic.

Please join VCC's School of Health Sciences in celebrating and recognizing faculty and students in the HCA program and to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication to our health care system. May they be positive agents of change, hope, and comfort to our ill, elderly, and disabled clients during these troubling times.

Working as an HCA during COVID-19

In honour of HCA Day, Choose2Care BC has created a video about the experience of HCAs working during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read the 2021 proclamation for Health Care Assistant Day from the B.C. government.

Learn more about the courses and programs available at VCC to help you start your health care career.

Becoming a global citizen with collaborative international learning at VCC

Posted on October 19, 2021

Imagine working on a real-world humanitarian problem with students in different countries from around the world. For one Vancouver Community College (VCC) student, the UMAP Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program allowed him to do just that.

Syed Hussain, a third-year domestic student in VCC’s Bachelor of Hospitality Management program, is the college’s first participant to complete the opportunity this fall – made possible by the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP), a consortium with over 200 higher education institutions from 23 countries in Asia and the Pacific Rim.

“My assumptions were challenged when working with international students,” says Syed, currently a duty manager at Coast Coal Harbour in Vancouver. “I also got to learn about new tools and technology I’d never heard of before and that could help me in my career later down the road.”

Global goals

Over seven weeks from August to October, COIL students collaborated on projects related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Syed’s group consisted of students from Japan, Mexico, and Chile who researched drowning prevention around the world.

According to Syed, while Canadian statistics show a decline in drowning deaths over the years thanks to swimming education and the use of lifeguards, other countries such as Chile and Mexico lack such resources. Japan, specifically, has been doubling down on efforts to teach more citizens to swim, especially after the 2011 tsunami took the lives of thousands of people.

Gaining such global awareness and learning to work across borders are some of the most valuable benefits of the COIL program for Syed, who hopes to become a hotel consultant in the future and help businesses make data-driven decisions to better run their operations.

The exchange experience

In January 2021, VCC became the International Secretariat of UMAP, which aims to provide intercultural learning opportunities to as many students as possible, either through fully immersive international exchange semesters or through virtual programs such as COIL for working students like Syed who are unable to travel abroad.

“Programs such as these bring new perspectives to the classroom, and, in turn, give students the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to an informed global citizen,” says Chelsey Laird, director of UMAP at VCC. “These opportunities expose you to different ways of thinking and give you a chance to work with people abroad that you otherwise would not have had.”

While the thought of going on exchange or working across time zones may seem daunting at first, Syed encourages any student at VCC to jump right in if this is something they are considering.

“Don’t be shy,” he says. “This is a great learning opportunity, especially working with different cultures.”

Learn more about studying abroad and gaining intercultural knowledge as part of your learning experience. Contact the UMAP team (umap@vcc.ca) for information about the UMAP consortium and other exchange opportunities for students at VCC. 

With technical training, VCC students highly sought after for employment

Posted on October 13, 2021


Originally published on Trimble.com

Founded in the late 1940s, the Vancouver Community College (VCC) Steel Construction Modelling program is one of only a handful of steel detailing programs worldwide. Over the years, the program has developed a reputation for being a valuable source for well-trained graduates with firsthand technical detailing experience.

With the industry constantly in search of candidates with technical detailing experience and students asking for more opportunities to learn software they would use in the field, VCC began exploring new ways to provide the next generation of industry leaders with the technical knowledge they need to start and grow their careers. In 2008, after a donation from Trimble, VCC began teaching students how to use Tekla Structures, a structural building information modeling (BIM) software for creating, combining, managing and sharing 3D models. 

When student graduate Lindsay Meikle started the steel detailing program in the Fall of 2019, he began an academic journey that would eventually lead to his first job as a steel detailer.

Fast-tracking students for employment

Lindsay Meikle worked as a welder and fabricator before an injury forced him to transition to an office-focused career. He was drawn to the steel detailing program at VCC because of its proximity and reputation for fast tracking students into in-demand construction careers. 

The 10-month program started with several months devoted to Autocad for drafting before Meikle moved into steel detailing where he learned the codes and standards that would be expected of him once hired into the industry. With a solid foundation in place, he began learning about BIM and began using Tekla Structures for 3D modeling, first learning the training manual before applying those skills to specific industrial and commercial projects.

By the time he graduated with the Stan Phipps Award, which is given to the top academic performer of the year, Meikle had used Tekla Structures for four out of the ten months of the program and had begun working part-time as a junior steel detailer for Exact Detailing prior to graduation. Exact Detailing, a steel detailing company based in British Columbia, uses Tekla Structures extensively on everything from residential staircases and industrial projects to large commercial developments.

“My first job at Exact Detailing was to help with drawing and editing for a new large data center in the Pacific Northwest,” said Meikle. “It was a complicated project with a lot of moving parts. I could not have done my job without the prior training using Tekla Structures. It gave me the foundation and experience I needed to hit the ground running on this project.” 

Meikle is a year into his job and has worked on several interesting projects, including steel and pipe modeling, miscellaneous steel and numerous commercial jobs, all aided by his Tekla Structures training. 

Fueling the local labour pipeline

Matt Arnott, the Director of Admin at Exact Detailing is no stranger to VCC as the company has been hiring graduates from the steel detailing program since 2000. While it also sources students from a wide variety of other programs, VCC is preferred due to its extensive Tekla Structures training, which gives incoming candidates a leg up compared to other new employees. 

“I can’t stress how valuable this training is for us because it provides incoming job candidates with the skills they need to succeed on day one,” said Arnott. “Otherwise, they have to learn on the job, which typically takes at least six months to a year, time that we have to source from existing staff who are willing to impart their knowledge to bring them up to speed. It’s very time intensive and can detract from getting work done on in-demand projects.” 

Arnott also credits the VCC with helping students understand the industry and what’s expected of them - from how things are built, to giving them the vocabulary they need to understand the workflow. Graduates adapt well once they’re out on the job, and the technical skills they acquire are typically long vs. short term.


Build solid foundations in the CAD & BIM technologies for an advanced start in the engineering, architecture, and construction science industries. Learn more about the program at our free virtual open house Experience VCC on Oct. 26 & 27.

Understanding and breaking down anti-Indigenous racism in health care

Posted on September 28, 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of quality health care in our lives has become clearer than ever. For many Indigenous people, however, Canada’s health care system continues to be a source of discrimination and pain. As we recognize the new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Sept. 30), Vancouver Community College (VCC) faculty and staff are pursuing specialized training to break down anti-Indigenous racism in health care and beyond. 

Commissioned in 2020 by the B.C. government, the report In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care [PDF] unequivocally confirmed that stereotyping, prejudice, and racist treatment are common experiences for Indigenous people (especially women) in health care at all levels. This, in turn, negatively affects the overall health and wellness of Indigenous peoples in B.C.

The report reviews the history of segregated, government-operated “Indian hospitals” which were established out of fear about Indigenous people passing on diseases to the settler population. These hospitals, which ran from the 1930s to 1980s, were not only underequipped but also frequently used as sites for medical research and experimentation.

The In Plain Sight report continues by analyzing the modern-day experiences of more than 9,000 people including many Indigenous patients and health care workers. The report shares repeated stories of Indigenous patients in medical distress who were presumed to be drunk, sent away, accused of being high or seeking drugs, denied access to washrooms, made to endure comments about being “sterilized,” and so on.

In the report summary, author Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond stresses “the need for immediate, principled and comprehensive efforts to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against Indigenous peoples. This is essential if we aspire to an accessible and effective health care system.”

Indigenous Cultural Safety Training at VCC

In our continuing work to combat historical and systemic anti-Indigenous racism, VCC is pleased to share that 50 faculty members from the School of Health Sciences are registered to complete San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training. This program, provided by the B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), is a set of facilitated online modules designed to increase understanding of Indigenous history and culture, enhance self-awareness, and give valuable context to anyone working directly or indirectly with Indigenous people.

VCC’s 50 health sciences faculty (and counting) will join the 100+ employees from across the college who have already completed the program.

“Instructors who have completed San’yas express having a much deeper understanding of Indigenous history and the role of cultural safety, not only in health care education, but in all instructional practices. It’s very encouraging to see this influencing the next generation of professionals,” says Reba Noel, Dean of Indigenous Initiatives at VCC.

A portion these new registrations were made possible by a grant from the B.C. Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. Thanks to additional commitments by VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department and VCC People Services, the college is continuing to offer San’yas training opportunities to staff and instructors.

Learn more about VCC’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation by reading President Ajay Patel’s invitation to listen, learn, and heal together


Q&A with Lennox Griffith, IV Therapy and Insertion instructor

Posted on July 28, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) instructor Lennox Griffith talks about the nursing student’s journey and the importance of IV therapy skills.

What do you teach? 
I have been teaching part-time at VCC since 2012 in the practical nursing program in addition to Continuing Studies where I teach IV Therapy and Insertion (HLTH 1403), and Physical Assessment for Nurses (HLTH 1271). 

What do you love about teaching? 
I appreciate the energy and passion students have for learning and developing new skills, and I feel privileged to be able to share in their enthusiasm as they reach their goals. Nursing students often make many personal sacrifices to be able to attend school. It is very rewarding to be able to provide support and assist them on their learning journey. 

What is your full-time job? 
I am currently a nurse practice consultant with Indigenous Services Canada. I provide education and support to nurses employed in providing primary care in First Nations Communities in Northern Manitoba. 

What is an interesting thing about your journey?
My wife is a nursing instructor and her passion and dedication to nursing education was my inspiration. During nursing school and throughout my nursing career, I have been exposed to many great instructors and role models, and have been provided an abundance of support.

Why are IV Therapy skills so important to the role of the nurse? 
IV therapy is an effective method of administering fluid, medication, and treatments in both emergency and non-emergent situations. IV insertion and Therapy requires both skill and knowledge on the part of the nurse in initiation, monitoring, and evaluation of its effectiveness, and in avoiding any potential complications. 

Who should take the IV Therapy course? 
Many patients in hospital will require an IV and nurses, whether they be an RN, RPN, or LPN, require the knowledge and skill to safely initiate and provide IV therapy. The course is well suited for nurses who may not have received IV insertion skills in their nursing education, and for those wanting a refresher. 

IV Therapy and Insertion (HLTH 1403) is a one-day, 7-hour course held the VCC Broadway campus. See the schedule and register now for our next session.



What are microcredentials? VCC now offers Microsoft Office Specialist exam

Posted on March 11, 2020



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Anyone searching for a job online has come across postings that list Microsoft Office skills as a requirement for applicants, but how can a person know if they’re really comfortable using all of the applications, including PowerPoint, Access, and Excel? And how can an employer determine if a job seeker is truly proficient?

There is a new way to answer these questions, according to Sid Khullar, coordinator of the technology and trades program at Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies.

That’s because VCC has become a Certiport-authorized testing centre, which means it will begin offering a Microsoft Office Specialist exam option at the Downtown campus. The first test date is May 23.

“There is an increasing focus on microcredentials,” said Khullar. “Once a person gets certified, they can proudly broadcast their accomplishment with digital badges on their website, on social media, and on professional platforms like LinkedIn. Certiport offers those professional badges.”

Certification is job-applicant gold

Anyone who takes the test can validate their skills in any of the Microsoft Office 2016 applications, including Word. Khullar said certification of skills is becoming increasingly relevant in the digital economy, and hiring managers consider certification a valuable tool to screen applicants.

For those who feel they need to brush up on their skills, VCC also offers general courses in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. “These courses are not designed to prepare them for certification,” he said, “but they will certainly help people learn about the topics and help them prepare.”

Khullar suggested that the Microsoft Office Specialist exam could be suitable for a wide range of people, including students, administrators, and those between jobs. Not only can certification increase a person’s earning potential, it can validate one’s skills and increase self-confidence as well.

Khullar said it can also assure employers that a worker can complete certain tasks efficiently and accurately. That, in turn, boosts productivity and employees’ motivation.

Certiport’s Canadian partner is CCI Learning, which is providing VCC with vouchers to offer the test to students. For a limited time, Khullar said, the cost of the voucher and proctoring fee are included in the tuition fee of $89 (subject to change).

Getting technical

Microsoft Office Specialist is not the only area of certification that VCC is exploring. Microsoft Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud services that securely enables organizations to meet their business challenges, and VCC will be offering a course in cloud computing that will help prepare students to write the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) exam. This will also be available in May 2020.


Learn more about the many computer skills and information technology courses available through VCC Continuing Studies.

Building service worker plus training at VCC

Posted on September 16, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to offer a specialized, no-cost Building Service Worker program to support recent immigrants experiencing difficulties securing employment.

Building Service Worker+ (BSW) is a 12-week, full-time Skills Training for Employment (STE) program that provides the classroom training, hands-on work experience, and certifications needed to secure employment in the building service field. Program graduates will have the qualifications required to secure employment as janitors, caretakers, custodians, building service workers, housekeepers, maintenance workers, or general helpers. 

Each cohort has 16 seats available. Upon completion, participants will receive a VCC credential and three industry certifications: WHMIS, Pool Operator Level 1, and SuperHost.

Funding for this program is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund.

Training schedule

Cohort 2: Sept. 27 - Dec. 17, 2021
Cohort 3: Dec. 6, 2021 - March 11, 2022

(Schedule includes three weeks of work experience) 

Elegibility criteria

You may be eligible if you are:

  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person (under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, C. 27) legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Living in British Columbia
  • Unemployed or precariously employed (working in unstable employment or self-employment with irregular work).

Admission requirements

In addition to the above eligibility requirements, applicants must have:

  • English language proficiency of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 6 or above
  • The ability to commit to a full-time program for 12 weeks
  • No allergies to cleaning agents/chemicals
  • A clean criminal record 

Fees and other costs

All tuition is covered and at no additional cost to the employer or individual participant.

Application process

All eligible participants must attend an information session to apply for the program.

To register for the upcoming information session, please email Alena Worster at contracttraining@vcc.ca 


Alena Worster, Program Assistant
604.871.7000 ext.8751  



The benefits of learning online

Posted on August 6, 2020

The majority of VCC Continuing Studies courses and programs scheduled to start in the Fall 2020 term will proceed using online learning and alternative delivery modes. At a time like this, you may want to consider the many benefits that learning online offers:

  • Learn from anywhere, including the comfort and safety of your home, local park or patio, while following public health guidelines.
  • Easily access and interact with your instructors, who are subject matter experts and industry practitioners in their fields.
  • Stay connected with your classmates and instructors and be part of an online learning community using platforms such as Zoom and Moodle.
  • Spend this time learning a new skill, advancing your professional skills, or continuing with your career education.
  • Work at your own pace. This means less intensity and less pressure.
  • Hone essential skills and become more self-motivated, a trait that will make you stand out in the workplace.
  • Take this opportunity to become more tech-savvy. Learn to navigate the course lectures, download materials, interact with others online, and communicate well digitally. These are essential skills in today’s work environment.

Check out all of the newest courses available to take online here. To view the full selection of courses and programs download the Fall 2020 Guide.

· Antiviral Cleaning: An Introduction to Disinfection
· Facility Management: An Introduction to this Exciting Profession

· Digital Marketing: An Introduction to the Fundamentals
· Mobile Phone Photography 
· Volunteer Management 

· Addictions Counselling Advanced Certificate

· Launch and Build a Fashion Brand
· Fashion Wholesaling
· Minimize Your Fashion Impact 
· Solving Fit For Online Customers 
· Branding Through Ornamentation 
· Product Line Architecture 
· Apparel Product Calendars 
· Product Briefs 

· Smart Home: An Introduction to Home Automation Technology 
· Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
· Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam 
· 3D Studio Max Level 1 
· Revit Level 3 
· Digital Image Editing with GIMP 
· Software Product Management 
· Data Science I & II with Python 
· Let’s Talk About Death
· Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction
· Systems Change
· Urban Farming Essentials – Practical Resilience in Precarious Times
· The Work That Reconnects
· Local Economies
· Authenticity and Personal Mastery
· Leading Change in Teams
· Leading Change in Organizations
· Applied Leadership Project

· Advanced Writing Sparks to Refinement
· Writing to Heal Your Life
· The Nuts and Bolts of Fiction

Apply online now, attend an upcoming info session, or book an apointment with a program advisor

Scheduled web maintenance – Sept. 25 - 26

Posted on September 24, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be conducting planned upgrades to our web systems starting Saturday, Sept. 25, at 10 p.m until Sunday, Sept. 26 at 12 p.m. (noon).

During this time, vcc.ca and my.vcc.ca will continue to be available, but with limited functionality. Online contact forms and info session registrations will be down. Registration for courses will not be affected.

Please plan ahead to access contact forms and register for info sessions outside of this period. Contact webmaster@vcc.ca with any quetsions.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to advance VCC’s web systems. 

Dr. Jane Shin appointed VCC's Vice President, Students and Community Development

Posted on September 23, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to welcome Dr. Jane Jae-Kyung Shin to the role of Vice President, Students and Community Development. Jane has been serving in this role in an interim capacity since August 2020 and has been selected for the permanent position, effective immediately.

Jane immigrated to British Columbia from South Korea as a child and has always attributed her family’s well-being to the social values of Canadians. After studying Cell Biology and Genetics at UBC, she went on to earn her medical doctorate at Spartan Health Sciences University in St. Lucia, and completed clinical rotations at various teaching hospitals in the United Kingdom, Chicago, and Halifax.

Jane joined VCC in May 2010 as a Biology and Anatomy & Physiology instructor in the Science department. In 2013, she ran successfully to represent Burnaby-Lougheed in B.C.’s Legislative Assembly for the 40th Parliament, becoming the first Canadian of Korean descent to be elected as an MLA in Canada.

In addition to her medical training and political experience, Jane has an executive certificate in Women in Leadership from Cornell University, a Provincial Instructor's Diploma from VCC, and a Master of Education in Educational Technology and Learning Design from Simon Fraser University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at University of Toronto with a research interest in Universal Design. Throughout her career, Jane has continued to advocate for representation, equity, and social justice in both public and non-profit areas. She currentlly serves on the board of DIVERSEcity and supports BC Children’s Hospital as the ambassador of its Legacy program. 

Jane entered the role of Dean, Student Development at VCC in April 2017 and Associate Vice President, Student Success in March 2019 before beginning her interim role of VP in August 2020. In her now permanent position, Jane will continue to provide strategic leadership in the areas of Student Success, Indigenous Education and Community Engagement, Marketing and Communications, VCC Foundation and Alumni Relations, Partnership Development Office, and student arbitration. 

“It is rare to find someone of Jane’s background, calibre, and commitment in any industry. I am pleased that Jane will continue to provide her valuable perspectives and insights to support VCC’s strategic objectives, and serve our college community with her enthusiastic leadership,” says VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel. 

Keep up to date with the latest news at VCC by visiting vcc.ca/news.


Q&A with VCC business and technical writing instructor Tamara Bailey

Posted on April 22, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) instructor Tamara Bailey talks about the fascinating and ever-changing profession of business and technical writing.

How long have you been teaching?
I have been an instructor on and off with the business and technical writing certificate program since 2006! I teach Technical Communication (TECW 1101) and Editing (TECW 1103).

What do you love about teaching?
Teaching is an opportunity for me to revisit and reevaluate the foundations of my profession. It’s also rewarding to see students get excited about how they can use what they’ve learned.

How did you learn the trade?
I’m always learning! I got my start through the Douglas College print futures program many years ago. Over time, I’ve honed my expertise on the job through trial and error, from observing skilled communicators, and a variety of both formal and informal learning opportunities.

The thing about a career in technical communication is that you are always learning new things: whether it’s about the subject you are writing about, your users and their needs, or the technologies that you use to craft and deliver your materials, which is always changing.

What's an interesting thing about your journey?
I’ve worked in the telecom, semiconductor, aerospace, and healthcare industries, and have produced many different types of materials for many different types of users. All these experiences have made for really interesting work, with lots of opportunities to learn and to grow, and lots of great folks to collaborate with along the way.

How do you personally define success?
In the context of my profession, when users have the right content at the right time.

What is your best piece advice for someone starting out in this industry?
Focus on understanding how to write for users. Being able to demonstrate that you can produce user-centred content, whether it is for a policy and procedure document, a knowledge base article or user guide, it is at the core of what you need to know. Technologies, tools, and even methodologies will change over time.

Discover which VCC Continuing Studies programs and courses can take your career in an exciting new direction. Register now for Spring 2021!!

VCC student and employee password information

Posted on September 10, 2021

VCC students

See below for VCC employee information 

When will my account be active?

If you have fully registered, your VCC student account should be active 30 days before your first class begins.

Where to start

Your first login should be done at my.vcc.ca. Continue reading for important information about your username and password.

Which login ID do I use?

Students encounter many systems during their time at VCC. Most use the same username format (all use the same password).  Here is how to enter your username for our major systems.

  • myVCC (VCC’s intranet)
    Enter only your student ID (e.g. 000123456)
  • Moodle
    Use the same information as for myVCC (above)
  • Email/Office 365 (https://portal.office.com)
    Use your full email address studentID@student.vcc.ca (e.g. 000123456@student.vcc.ca) and your current password.

What is my email address?

Your email address is formatted as studentID@student.vcc.ca (e.g. 000123456@student.vcc.ca)

IMPORTANT! You may be aware that you also have firstname.lastname@student.vcc.ca (e.g. john.smith@student.vcc.ca) as an email address. Never use this address as a username on any VCC system.

What is my password?

If it's your first time logging in, your initial password will use your birthday in this format: VCCMMDDYY# ("VCC" plus your birthday (MMDDYY) plus "#"). E.g. if your birthday is January 30, 1995, your initial temporary password will be VCC013095#. Following your first login, you will be prompted to create a new, secure password (see below).

Password rules

VCC requires the following elements in passwords:

  • Password length of minimum 10 characters 
  • Must contain upper- and lowercase letters
  • Must include at least one number
  • Must include a special character (e.g. ! # $ % …) 
  • Must not contain account holder's first or last name 
  • Must not be one of the passwords previously used  

Resetting Your Password

Although VCC’s IT team is always happy to help, you can reset your own password after your first successful login. First, you need to register and set up your authentication options.

After you have registered, you may use the “Forgot Password” link on the myVCC login page to reset your own password at any time.

Where are my files? / How to retrieve files

This section applies only to students who were active prior to April, 9 2021. In early 2021, the VCC student account systems were updated, and OneDrive files and Outlook email messages were not included in the process. Please see appropriate guides for retrieving these files: 

For detailed guidance, watch our Moving Outlook Emails Video Tutorial.

For additional help, call the VCC Help Desk at 604.443.8700 or email helpme@vcc.ca.

VCC employees

When will my account be active?

Your account should be active on your first day of employment. 

Where to start

Your first login should be done at my.vcc.ca. Continue reading for important information about your username and password.

Which login ID do I use?

Employees encounter many systems during their time at VCC. Most use the same username format (all use the same password).  Here is how to enter your username for our major systems.

  • myVCC (VCC’s intranet)
    Enter the network ID given to you when hired. This is usually your first initial plus last name (e.g. rcochrane). Employees with more common names, may include more letters from their first name (e.g. John Smith may be johsmith)
  • Moodle
    Use the same information as for myVCC (above).
  • Email/Office 365 (https://portal.office.com)
    Use your full email address (e.g. rcochrane@vcc.ca) and your current password.

What is my email address?

Your email address is formatted as first initial plus last name  (e.g. rcochrane@vcc.ca). Employees with more common names may get email addresses that include additional letters from their first name (e.g. John Smith may be johsmith@vcc.ca)

What is my password?

Your first-time password is provided to you by your manager.

Password rules

VCC requires the following elements in passwords: (applies to staff and students)

  • Password length of minimum 10 characters 
  • Must contain upper- and lowercase letters
  • Must include at least one number
  • Must include a special character (e.g. ! # $ % …) 
  • Must not contain account holder's first or last name 
  • Must not be one of the passwords previously used  

Resetting Your Password

Although VCC’s IT team is always happy to help, you can reset your own password after your first successful login. First, you need to register and set up your authentication options.

After you have registered, you may use the “Forgot Password” link on the myVCC login page to reset your own password at any time.

For additional help, call the VCC Help Desk at 604.443.8700 or email helpme@vcc.ca.


The CS fall 2016 flyer is out!

Posted on August 4, 2016

‌‌VCC Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the following new offerings for Fall 2016 and beyond:CS fall 2016 flyer cover image

• En Español, Por Favor
• Fashion Design & Production Diploma
• French for Seniors
• French through Theatre
• Hairstyling for Makeup Artists 1
• Interpreting
• Introduction to Practice for Non-Registered Healthcare Workers
• Make a Copper Bowl in a Day
• Make a Ring in a Day
• Makeup and Hairstyling for Indian Bridal
• Positive Guidance Strategies Workshop
• Raising Bilingual Children Workshop
• Renal Dialysis Technician Citation
• Samsung Appliance Repair Technician
• Separation Anxiety in Young Children Workshop
• Supervised Jewellery Workshop


If you’re ready to upgrade your skills, change careers or prepare for a promotion, you’ve come to the right place. VCC Continuing Studies offers more than 40 certificate and diploma programs, scheduled during the day or in the evenings for maximum flexibility.

Scheduled web maintenance – Sept. 16

Posted on September 14, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be conducting planned upgrades to our web servers on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 5 p.m to Thursday, Sept. 16, 4 p.m. 

During this time, vcc.ca and my.vcc.ca will continue to be available, but with limited functionality. Online contact forms and info session registrations will be down. Registration for courses will not be affected.

Please plan ahead to access contact forms and register for info sessions outside of this period. Contact webmaster@vcc.ca with any quetsions.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to advance VCC’s web systems. 

Q&A with James Strand: Discovering talent with Logic Pro X

Posted on December 15, 2020

Get to know James Strand, owner of In-Motion Talent, a successful agency in Vancouver for film, TV, and commercials for the last 25 years. James recently took the VCC course Logic Pro X: An introduction for songwriters and beat makers to support his company moving into the area of music placement and syncing. 

Share an interesting thing about your journey?
Music has always been a passion of mine and four years ago, I decided to take a leap of faith and learned to play piano and started to write music. I have been very fortunate in working with some very talented artists who opened my eyes to music and the possibilities out there. I guess you can say I am part of the “DNA club” (Dreams Never Age). 

What impact did your teachers at VCC have on your career path?
My instructor, Georges, taught me the fundamentals of Pro Logic X that allowed me to start programming music with confidence. This led me to writing and producing the song Cause it's Christmas that received radio play.

What was the best part about studying at VCC?
The evening hours and the small class size, hence the individual attention I got from the instructor.

How do you personally define success? 
I define success as surrounding myself with people who have the same drive and passion that I do, that allows me to make mistakes that will take me to a better place in work and life. 

What is your best piece of advice for someone starting out in this industry?
The best piece of advice that I could give is to be patient and to not rush things. 

Discover a new talent. VCC Continuing Studies courses are now accepting registrations for Winter 2021.


What students need to know about toxic drugs in B.C.

Posted on September 14, 2021

In recent years, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a staggering increase in deaths from toxic drugs in B.C. As we gradually resume social activities this fall, we want to ensure that Vancouver Community College (VCC) students have important safety information.

Many people try drugs for the first time as post-secondary students, whether for recreation, due to social pressure, or to deal with stress or anxiety. With lives at risk, it’s critically important to normalize and destigmatize the conversation about substance use and addiction.

If you use drugs or know someone who does

Be prepared for an emergency

Understanding substance use

Words are powerful, which is why it’s important to talk about substance use and addictions in accurate, medical terms and keep real people at the centre of the conversation.

Addiction is a disease that anyone can get. Nobody chooses to experience addiction. Addiction can affect people from all walks of life and is often rooted in physical or emotional pain or trauma. Beyond abstinence (detox), these root causes need to be addressed as part of a patient’s healing and recovery. Shame and blame often make a person’s condition worse and create barriers to getting help.

Harm reduction is saving lives. Harm reduction services (e.g. supervised consumption sites, Naloxone kits) are often a vital step to helping people stay alive so that they can access the services they need. Harm reduction is a key part of B.C.’s response to the overdose crisis; nearly 6,000 deaths have been averted using harm reduction strategies since 2016.

Toxic drugs are everywhere. Approximately 84 per cent of illicit drug toxicity deaths in B.C. in 2020 have involved fentanyl, which is 100 times more toxic than morphine and up to 50 times more toxic than heroin. Fentanyl is odourless, tasteless, and colourless, and can be mixed with pills, powders, or liquid in drugs like fake oxycodone, heroin, cocaine, or ecstasy. People may take fentanyl without knowing it.

Help is available

If you fear for your safety or suspect an overdose, call 9-1-1 immediately.

VCC Counselling
VCC students seeking help with substance use can begin by contacting VCC’s free and confidential counselling services.

Provincial resources
For more information about provincial services such supervised consumption sites, Naloxone training, medical information, and treatment options, visit https://www.stopoverdose.gov.bc.ca/

Lifeguard app
Download the Lifeguard app. This life-saving app connects you to emergency responders if you become unresponsive.

All B.C. post-secondary students can access free, professional counselling services 24/7 via the Here2Talk app, by visiting Here2talk.ca, or calling toll free 1.877.857.3397 or direct 604.642.5212.


VCC hosting drop-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics

Posted on September 13, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to host drop-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics on all three campuses throughout September.

These single-day clinics offer convenient locations for post-secondary students, employees, and our public neighbours to receive their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and be eligible for a BC Vaccine Card. Vaccines will be free of charge and available to anyone 12 and older.

To be eligible for a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, it needs to be at least 28 days since your first dose. Please bring your COVID-19 Immunization Record Card if you have it. 

VCC’s vaccination clinic is one of several on-campus clinics operated by Vancouver Coastal Health throughout the fall.

VCC Downtown campus vaccination clinic

Wednesday, Sept. 22, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
VCC Downtown campus Atrium
Enter at Georgia St. and Dunsmuir St. or 250 W. Pender St.

Students from neighbouring Downtown post-secondary campuses including Simon Fraser University (SFU), British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), and Vancouver Film School (VFS) are encouraged to visit VCC’s campus on Sept. 22 for vaccinations.

VCC Broadway campus vaccination clinic 

Tuesday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Building B Event Space
Enter at 7th Ave. and Glen Dr.

VCC Annacis Island campus vaccination clinic

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
1608 Cliveden Avenue, Delta
Scale Up Lab

Please continue visiting vcc.ca/covid-19 for the latest information on VCC operations.

VCC restaurants reopening, BC Vaccine Card requirements

Posted on September 10, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to welcome back restaurant, cafeteria, and salon patrons from the general public for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

BC Vaccine Card required

Starting Monday, Sept. 13, JJ's Restaurant and The Bistro at VCC’s Downtown campus require guests to meet the province's BC Vaccine Card requirements. JJ's is open for lunch reservations and walk-ins. The same regulations apply to VCC's Chef's Table pop-up kitchen events running three evenings per week during September. The Bistro opens on Sept. 21

Until Sept. 26, both restaurants will accept the printed proof of vaccination from a pharmacy or vaccination clinic if supplied with BC government ID.

Exempted service outlets

VCC's cafeterias and Seiffert Market, popular for its daily fresh-baked goods, are exempt from BC Vaccine Card requirements.

VCC’s Salon and Spa, which provides competitively-priced hairstyling and esthetics, is also exempt from BC Vaccine Card requirements but will be requiring customers to wear face masks at all times. Services are by appointment only.

VCC's Dental Clinic is open for weekday appointments. For dental hygiene services, please call the receptionist at 604-443-8499 and schedule a 45-minute screening appointment.

Learn more about VCC's on-campus services and business hours.


Only yes means yes: Understanding sexual consent

Posted on September 10, 2021

Please note: the following article describes hypothetical instances of sexual violence.

For many Vancouver Community College (VCC) students, a new term means new classmates and new relationships. Unfortunately, statistics show that one in eight people who identify as women experience sexual assault on B.C. campuses annually, and two-thirds of on-campus assaults occur during the first eight weeks of school.

This month, to raise awareness about sexual violence and help keep students safe, VCC is taking part in the B.C. government’s “...Is NOT Yes” campaign about sexual consent. 

Read the B.C. Government announcement: Sex without consent is rape.

What is sexual consent?

In short, sexual consent is a clear and enthusiastic “yes” to sexual activity.

Consent must be freely given. There’s only one way to know for sure if someone has given their consent: if they tell you. Just because someone isn’t saying “no,” does not mean that they are saying “yes.”

Consent must be enthusiastic and informed. Consent also cannot be given by individuals who are underage, intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, asleep, unconscious, or under intimidation or threat. This includes sexual contact by people using a position of authority over you e.g. teachers or bosses.

Consent is reversible. If one partner decides at any time that that they want to stop any sexual activity (even if it has already begun, or happened before), consent is no longer given. Just stop.

Examples of verbal and non-verbal ways of not communicating consent

 Verbal (using words)   Non-verbal 
  • No
  • I’m not sure
  • Stop
  • I want to, but...
  • That hurts
  • Maybe
  • I love you, but...
  • I don’t know how I feel about this
  • I don’t want to do this anymore
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Pushing someone away
  • Avoiding touch
  • Shaking head no
  • Uncomfortable being naked
  • Crying, looking sad or fearful 
  • Turning away from someone
  • Silence
  • Changing the topic

Learn more at SafeCampusBC.ca

SafeCampus posters

You may notice these posters on VCC campuses this term: 



Help is available

VCC has a strict policy [PDF] and easy-to-understand procedures [PDF] addressing sexual violence. VCC employees are obliged to take reports of sexual violence seriously, offer support, and prioritize confidentiality. We recommend contacting the following departments with questions or to report sexual violence:

If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety, please call 9-1-1.

For students

For employees




VCC Japanese class finds fluency and friendship during COVID-19

Posted on June 2, 2021

Ema (絵馬) plaques inscribed with wishes and prayers hanging on a Japanese shrine

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies offers dozens of part-time evening language classes, including Arabic, Cantonese, French, Mandarin, Korean, and more. While most students sign up to dabble in a language for vacation travel, business, or personal interest, becoming fluent is a much bigger endeavour.

For one special group of VCC students, learning Japanese has become more than hobby, and their instructor is willing to take them as far as they want to go.

Typically, Continuing Studies language programs offer two or three levels before enrolment declines or students begin to travel for language immersion. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, many would-be world travellers have remained in Canada, including eight Japanese language students who have pursued their immersion right here at VCC.

Rika Knox is a native Japanese speaker and experienced teacher who began as an introductory Japanese instructor at VCC in 2006. Over the past few years, Rika has developed a special connection with her VCC cohort, guiding them through not only Japanese 1 to 3, but continuing to build and customize the curriculum up to Japanese 6.

“When I am teaching at the beginner level, it’s the first door to the Japanese language and culture, so I like to make a good impression and create long-term motivation and interest,” she says.

Mission accomplished. These eight language learners have continued to advance together in their knowledge of both the Japanese language and culture, as well as build a supportive community.

Japanese 6 cohort 2021

“Connecting virtually has been a bright spot during these dark times,” says longtime student Dean. “We’re all so different in terms of ages, occupations, and backgrounds, but we share something meaningful in common: the love of the Japanese language and culture.” 

“I have been very grateful for the Japanese classes during the pandemic,” says classmate Kathy. “As a retired person, nearly all of my usual social activities and volunteer shifts were cancelled. It was wonderful to have a regular Japanese class to add structure to my days.”

One of the world’s most complex and fascinating languages, Japanese is made up of two different “alphabets” (hiragana and katakana), plus thousands of Chinese-origin characters (kanji) which are all used in combination.

Class member Joey appreciates the challenge. “I think people would find that learning Japanese is surprisingly fun,” he says.

Rika also believes learning this remarkable language is worth it. “The Japanese language is so very connected to our culture, as well as our hospitality and our spirituality,” she says. “The words have greater power beyond just communication.”

Would you like to connect with VCC’s diverse language community? Do you dream of learning a language not currently offered? Connect with us by visiting VCC Languages or emailing cstudies@vcc.ca.

Welcome to VCC – Fall 2021

Posted on September 2, 2021

Welcome to VCC, new and returning students! We're very excited to start on-campus classes again this fall, and even more so to see you in person. Keep reading for important information about safety, support, and services for your upcoming school year.

Elder welcome

VCC Elder-in-Residence Deanna George welcomes students to the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Return to campus

COVID-19 vaccinations

VCC strongly encourages all students who are eligible and able, to get vaccinated. Vaccination is the best defence we have against COVID-19. Starting Monday, Sept. 13, everyone 12 years old and over will need to provide proof of vaccination to access many events and services in B.C. This will include some publicly available services on VCC campuses. Cafeterias are exempt. Read more >

Masks required on VCC campuses

Effective Wednesday, Aug. 25, everyone 12 years old and over must wear a mask when in indoor public settings. The mask order applies to all indoor public areas on post-secondary campuses including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, libraries, cafeterias, classrooms, and labs. Read more >

Where's my class?

Look up start dates and room numbers for your first day of school:

  • Log into your myVCC account
  • Select “Registration Services”
  • Select “Registration Records – Current or Past”

Student rights and responsibilities

VCC expects students to conduct themselves responsibly and respectfully. As such, students are required to be familiar with academic and non-academic policies. Please review VCC's student non-academic conduct policy and procedures, as well as VCC's academic integrity policy and procedures. [PDF]

Student support

Services for students

VCC offers many support services to help you during studies. All services are available and will be offered in person, by phone, or online. 


myVCC and VCC student email

Use the myVCC.ca student portal to look up grades, order transcripts, download tax forms, receive campus news and alerts, and access your VCC student email.

If it's your first time logging in, your initial password will use your birthday in this format: VCCMMDDYY# ("VCC" plus your birthday (MMDDYY) plus "#").

E.g. if your birthday is January 30, 1995, your initial temporary password will be VCC013095#. Following your first login, you will be prompted to create a new, secure password.

Check your VCC email regularly for important college notifications and communications from your instructors.

New and improved student self-service portal

Later this term, your myVCC student account will be upgraded with a new look and improved, user-friendly features.

Orientation to online learning

For those entering blended or online courses, we have created a guide with practical tips and resources that will help you learn how to get set up, become comfortable with VCC's technologies, identify effective strategies for learning online, and access free student supports. Get started >

Indigenous Gathering Spaces are open

VCC’s Indigenous Gathering Spaces promote cultural safety and belonging while offering the use of computers, printers, kitchenettes, and casual meeting areas. Our Downtown and Broadway Gathering Spaces are pleased to be open once again to support Indigenous learners and guests. 

Connect with your Students' Union

Be in the know about events, services, and campaigns available to you that are organized by students for students. Stay connected by downloading the SUVCC app in the App Store or Google Play.

Let’s connect

Follow VCC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to keep up to date on college news like campus closures, events, web maintenance, student success stories, and more. Feel free to send us messages and questions, or share your own photos and stories using the hashtag #myVCC.

 Important dates 

Labour Day

Did you know Labour Day has been an official Canadian holiday since 1894? It was established to honour the labour and rights of tradespeople and the working class. VCC closed.

Date: Monday, Sept. 6

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

This new holiday commemorates the history and legacy of residential schools, and honours Indigenous survivors, families, and communities. VCC closed.

Date: Thursday, Sept. 30


VCC bursary deadline

VCC bursaries are non-repayable grants given to students who demonstrate financial need.

Date: Thursday, Sept. 30

The Great ShakeOut

Prepare to “drop, cover, and hold on” as VCC participates in this annual, worldwide earthquake safety drill.

Date: Monday, Oct. 21
Time: 10:21 a.m.


VCC partners with Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre to offer basic education courses

Posted on September 8, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to partner with Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre to offer tuition-free basic reading, writing, and math upgrading classes to our neighbours in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Start dates

September 2021 (then monthly) 

Class schedule

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.


VCC’s Basic Education program welcomes students who want to refresh and build skills for personal, training, education, and employment goals. During COVID-19, students may participate in person or online.

Classes are held at Ray-Cam, 920 East Hastings St., Vancouver.

Admission requirements

This program is for adults (16 years or older) who speak English fluently.


  • Math
  • English reading and writing


This program is tuition-free. 

Support services available through Ray-Cam

  • Child-minding is available
  • Meals for students
  • Technology and other supports available

Sign up now

Contact: James Ash at Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre
Email: james.ash@vancouver.ca
Phone: 604.220.7277


We respectfully acknowledge that we work and learn on the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlilw̓ ̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh First Nations).


President’s welcome – Fall 2021

Posted on September 7, 2021

I acknowledge that Vancouver Community College (VCC) is located on the traditional, unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəyəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx ̓ ̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples who have been stewards of this land from time immemorial. 

As VCC president, I have the distinct honour of welcoming all new and returning students, faculty, and staff to the 2021-22 school year. Over the past 18 months, we’ve endured many things and accomplished many more. Now, we get to come back together and I could not be more excited.

Above all, VCC is about community. Supporting our students, our city, and our province is what we do best. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud to say VCC never closed – never stopped providing the quality education and responsive support that our students count on, or the critical skills our community needs. This is the “VCC Effect” we’re known for. 

I want to personally thank and acknowledge every member of the VCC community who contributed to COVID-19 prevention and relief, whether by administering tests and vaccines, fundraising for bursaries, or by simply adapting to working or learning remotely. You have made this return to campus possible.

What to expect on VCC campuses

Following numerous talks with public health professionals in recent weeks, I want to share my full confidence that returning to campus is safe, and that our entire community will be better for it. Please remember that masks will be mandatory in many indoor public spaces until further notice, and this includes most spaces on VCC campuses, including classrooms.

Please also be prepared for new BC Vaccine Card requirements to come into effect Monday, Sept. 13, when everyone 12 years old and over will need to provide proof of vaccination to access many services and events in B.C. This will include some publicly available services on VCC campuses. 

For anyone who is still hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, I want to stress that vaccination is not only safe, but also the best tool we have for ending the COVID-19 pandemic. To anyone who is eligible and able: please visit your local clinic and get vaccinated.

After being distanced for so long, I realize that everyone will have different levels of comfort about returning to in-person learning. I urge you all to practice kindness, courage, and respect as we navigate these changes together, and as we continue to be the leaders our community needs.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

information symbol  Please continue visiting vcc.ca/covid-19 for the latest information regarding VCC operations.


Fall 2021: Health and safety on VCC campuses

Posted on September 2, 2021

A message from VCC Director, Safety, Security and Risk, Surinder Aulakh

Warm greetings to the VCC community,

Next week, students, faculty, and staff will return to campus, many for the first time in a year and a half.

Although it is exciting to be able to see each other again and learn together in-person, I know that there are some concerns about what to expect when you arrive.

Public health experts in British Columbia fully support the Sept. 7 return to on-campus instruction for all post-secondary institutions. We also know that educational settings like colleges are low-risk sites for COVID-19 transmission.

For the past 18 months and prior to vaccine availability, VCC remained open and successfully navigated the challenges of the pandemic with no person-to-person, on-campus transmissions.  

Today, we know that vaccines are proven to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infections, serious outcomes, and sustained transmission. Full vaccination (two doses) offers a high level of protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Immunization has resulted in much lower infection rates, hospitalizations, and death rates in B.C., even as society has re-opened.

At VCC, we are committed to the health and safety of our community. We are also responsible for the delivery of post-secondary programs without barriers. Over the past 18 months, young adults aged 18-29 were among the hardest hit by pandemic-related response measures, and now is the time to support their recovery.

The plan to return to in-person learning this fall is about everyone to coming back together safely, so we can continue to offer hands-on, dynamic programs for our students.

How you can do your part

In preparation for next week, there are three key ways everyone can do their part to keep themselves and each other safe:

Get vaccinated

Vaccination is the best line of defence we have against COVID-19.

VCC strongly encourages all students and employees who are eligible and able, to get vaccinated.

We expect to receive new detailed information in the coming days about specifics around the BC Vaccine Card, and how to incorporate this measure into daily operations at certain on-campus services such as JJ’s Restaurant and The Bistro. We will continue to share updates with the VCC community as details are made available. 

Conduct a daily self pre-screen

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 7, all students and employees are required to perform a daily self-assessment before coming onto VCC campuses. This online tool will determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.

Wear a mask

Masks are currently required in all public indoor settings for all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+).

At VCC, this applies to all indoor public areas on campuses including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, libraries, cafeterias (when not eating), classrooms, and labs. 

Please remember, there are those for whom wearing a mask is not an option. Wear a mask if you are able, and respect those who cannot.

Additionally, personal hygiene measures such as proper hand washing and sanitizing, and coughing and sneezing into elbows continue to be strongly recommended.  

The VCC community has done a tremendous job navigating and responding to new orders and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer over these many months, and I am confident that we will continue to do so. 

Please get vaccinated, and let’s continue to do our very best to take care of each other.



Surinder Aulakh
Director, Safety, Security and Risk
Vancouver Community College

Fall 2021: Health and safety on VCC campuses

Posted on September 2, 2021

A message from VCC Director, Safety, Security and Risk, Surinder Aulakh

Warm greetings to the VCC community,

Next week, students, faculty, and staff will return to campus, many for the first time in a year and a half.

Although it is exciting to be able to see each other again and learn together in-person, I know that there are some concerns about what to expect when you arrive.

Public health experts in British Columbia fully support the Sept. 7 return to on-campus instruction for all post-secondary institutions. We also know that educational settings like colleges are low-risk sites for COVID-19 transmission.

For the past 18 months and prior to vaccine availability, VCC remained open and successfully navigated the challenges of the pandemic with no person-to-person, on-campus transmissions.  

Today, we know that vaccines are proven to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infections, serious outcomes, and sustained transmission. Full vaccination (two doses) offers a high level of protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Immunization has resulted in much lower infection rates, hospitalizations, and death rates in B.C., even as society has re-opened.

At VCC, we are committed to the health and safety of our community. We are also responsible for the delivery of post-secondary programs without barriers. Over the past 18 months, young adults aged 18-29 were among the hardest hit by pandemic-related response measures, and now is the time to support their recovery.

The plan to return to in-person learning this fall is about everyone to coming back together safely, so we can continue to offer hands-on, dynamic programs for our students.

How you can do your part

In preparation for next week, there are three key ways everyone can do their part to keep themselves and each other safe:

Get vaccinated

Vaccination is the best line of defence we have against COVID-19.

VCC strongly encourages all students and employees who are eligible and able, to get vaccinated.

We expect to receive new detailed information in the coming days about specifics around the BC Vaccine Card, and how to incorporate this measure into daily operations at certain on-campus services such as JJ’s Restaurant and The Bistro. We will continue to share updates with the VCC community as details are made available. 

Conduct a daily self pre-screen

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 7, all students and employees are required to perform a daily self-assessment before coming onto VCC campuses. This online tool will determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.

Wear a mask

Masks are currently required in all public indoor settings for all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+).

At VCC, this applies to all indoor public areas on campuses including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, libraries, cafeterias (when not eating), classrooms, and labs. 

Please remember, there are those for whom wearing a mask is not an option. Wear a mask if you are able, and respect those who cannot.

Additionally, personal hygiene measures such as proper hand washing and sanitizing, and coughing and sneezing into elbows continue to be strongly recommended.  

The VCC community has done a tremendous job navigating and responding to new orders and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer over these many months, and I am confident that we will continue to do so. 

Please get vaccinated, and let’s continue to do our very best to take care of each other.



Surinder Aulakh
Director, Safety, Security and Risk
Vancouver Community College

Q&A with jewellery designer and entrepreneur Mariana Carneiro

Posted on September 1, 2021

Can you tell us about Kaju Creations?
For the past two years, Kaju Creations has been my full-time job. I do everything myself from designing to making the jewellery to customer service and packing orders. Kaju started as a hobby, as a desire to make things with my own hands. I am grateful that my passion turned into a business and I can do what I love the most for a living! 

What made you want to take jewellery courses at VCC? 
I designed jewellery for other companies for many years but never made the jewellery. When I started to dig into the making process I got really interested and could learn a lot online but I felt the need for a structured course with a knowledgeable teacher. That is when I found the VCC Jewellery Techniques 1 course.

What was the best part about studying at VCC? 
Learning in practice! Every class the teacher would talk about the theory, but most of it was actually making. The course was short but filled with so much information! I was given new tools to create my designs. 

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting your business? 
One can never stop learning, there is so much to learn and improve! 

What is your best piece advice for someone starting out in this industry? 
Don’t overthink it; take one step at a time. It’s overwhelming to look around at a saturated market, but each designer has a different view and style, and there is space for everybody. Do your own thing, at your own pace. 

What is your goal for Kaju Creations? 
I want to keep creating new designs, improving my skills, and offering great quality handmade jewellery.

Take your creativity to the next level through VCC’s jewellery and gemmology programs and courses, including:


Media Release: Canada’s first Gladue report writing credential to be offered at

Posted on August 15, 2019

VCC Downtown campus with sun and reflection


VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Community College (VCC) and consulting firm IndiGenius & Associates have partnered to pioneer a credentialed Gladue report writing program from an Indigenous perspective, the first of its kind at a post-secondary institution in Canada.

The part-time certificate program launches in October 2019.

Intended to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in Canada’s criminal justice system, Gladue is a sentencing principle that takes intergenerational traumas and systemic discrimination into account during sentencing.

“It is truly an honour to be part of a journey in instructing and creating curriculum for Gladue training with VCC, but also in helping pave a path for a national standard in Gladue training for our people,” says Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow, Founder & President, IndiGenius & Associates. “Despite a majority of reports being court-ordered, there hasn’t been a program in Canada that has allowed writers to receive a certificate or recognition of credentials to be acknowledged as a professional – until now.”

A Gladue report is an individual’s ‘Sacred Story’. It shares with the courts the personal history and relevant factors that give detail of the individual’s life continuum that could possibly give insight to why he/she became involved in the justice system. This sacred information plays an important role in crafting recommendations in accordance to the individual’s needs to assist the judge in making well-informed decisions. It also plays another crucial role in creating a healing journey for the individual. 

Across Canada, courts have identified a demand for certified Gladue report writers as well as common standards and increased funding for Indigenous justice initiatives.

VCC’s Gladue report writing program was offered as a three-month, part-time pilot in 2018, and has now been expanded to a full certificate program designed for law students, lawyers, advocates, judges, First Nations Court workers, Indigenous community members, and anyone interested in writing Gladue reports. The program can be completed in one year and training is delivered at VCC’s Downtown campus and online.

“We are grateful to be part of this collaboration”, says David Wells, Vice President Academic and Applied Research at VCC. “The Gladue report writing program is the perfect opportunity to build capacity within Indigenous communities, reinforce the importance of Indigenization within the post-secondary system, and honour our commitments to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the Indigenous Education Protocol.”

The program advisory committee overseeing the design and development of VCC’s Gladue report writing certificate includes representation from the Legal Services Society of B.C., the Gladue Writers Association of B.C., the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General, MediateBC, and VCC's Indigenous faculty members and Elders.

VCC is committed to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and fulfilling its commitment to the Indigenous Education Protocol through existing services and the development of unique programs.


VCC Continuing Studiesmission is to connect everyone in our diverse city to high-quality, flexible, and practical learning opportunities with industry practitioners. VCC Continuing Studies offers certificate and diploma programs, industry certifications, and professional development courses that are designed and delivered to develop skills that can be quickly applied to the workplace. Our over 60 program areas teach skills that translate into increased job opportunities for students, based on the need and feedback of Vancouver employers. No matter the area of study, whether it is related to administration, business, design, health, or human services, our expert instructors teach course content so that students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to succeed in today’s workplace.


IndiGenius & Associates was born of the passion to help Indigenous people and encourage a positive change in the justice system possessed by its founder, Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow. Mark and his team have extensive experience working with Indigenous people and communities in a range of justice and justice-related contexts. Mark has several staff that work closely with him using a multidisciplinary team approach to ensure Gladue reports are done effectively and efficiently and delivered to the courts in a timely fashion. In addition, Mark has secured many community partnerships across Canada and works closely with others who share a similar interest in Indigenous justice. 

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Media can contact:

Danielle Libonati
Marketing Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7531
E: dlibonati@vcc.ca


Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow
IndiGenius & Associates
T: 613.366.2268
E: indigeniusandassociates@gmail.com

Meet VCC’s Gladue report writing Instructor Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow

Posted on April 28, 2021

In 2020, the over-representation of Indigenous people in federal custody reached an all-time high, which means that Gladue report writers are needed more than ever to play an important role in reconciliation.

The first of its kind in Canada, Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Gladue report writing program was developed in collaboration with IndiGenius & Associates, a consulting firm dedicated to eliminating the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. Its founder, Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow, is a proud Ojibway and member of Whitefish River First Nation located on Manitoulin Island in Ontario.

Mark, who also teaches in the program, has a wide range of experience with Indigenous justice, including researching community needs within the justice system, developing and monitoring restorative justice programs, and participating in peacemaking and sentencing circles. Mark is also an Indian Residential School Crisis Line counsellor, and has over 17 years of experience as case manager with youth and adult offenders.

Mark has held several positions within Indigenous organizations, helping to develop and oversee First Nations justice programs. In addition to providing Gladue training and Gladue report writing services, Mark has worked consistently to ensure the courts and Indigenous people have a better understanding of the options for bail, incarceration, diversion, or reintegration back into the community.

Mark’s mission to improve the lives of Indigenous people also extends to his other initiative, Birch Bark Coffee Co., which donates a portion of proceeds towards clean water solutions for Canadian Indigenous communities. 

What are Gladue reports?

In 1996, Canada’s Criminal Code was first amended to require judges to consider alternative sentencing to reduce the number of Indigenous people in Canadian prisons. In 1999, a case involving a 19-year-old Cree woman named Jamie Tanis Gladue established “Gladue” rights, requiring judges to recognize the historical trauma that continues to affect Indigenous offenders in Canada. 

Gladue report writing is playing an important role in reconciliation. A Gladue report is a written document which tells a person's "sacred story", and identifies and suggests options to consider during sentencing such as addiction treatments, restorative justice, or other paths to address past trauma. It also aims to incorporate community members and the victim in determining a fit sentence, when possible.

Play a role in reconciliation. Register now for VCC’s unique, part-time Gladue report writing program starting in September 2021.

VCC jewellery student donates small business profits to food bank

Posted on May 5, 2020


The moment Vancouver Community College (VCC) international student Mariana Carneiro saw people struggling to meet their basic needs due to COVID-19, she started thinking of ways to help. 

As a fashion professional and jewellery designer, however, Mariana’s skills weren’t typically the kind needed in a global health emergency. Having only recently moved to Canada from Brazil, her connections were limited, and living with an at-risk family member meant she also had to be extra careful about leaving the house. 

Still, she was resolute. “I really wanted to do something that would help people beyond my friends and neighbours,” she says.

Watching the news one day, she saw that the food bank needed extra help, so she decided to donate 10 per cent of sales from her online jewellery shop, Kaju. Additionally, she gave numerous pairs of earrings as a token of thanks to health care workers, and began promoting donations to Canadian Blood Services on her popular Instagram account.

“If you can, I think you need to share,” she says. “Every little bit counts right now.”

An artistic journey

Before moving to Canada, Mariana studied industrial design and earned a master’s degree in fashion business in Brazil. She started her career in a large clothing company where she also designed jewellery, but never crafted it herself. 

“I drew the designs, picked the stones and materials, but someone else would make it,” she says. “I love jewellery but I never learned the making process.”

In Vancouver, Mariana began experimenting with jewellery at home using colourful clay and metal. Her designs soon became popular on Etsy, but she wanted to refine her techniques, so she enrolled in the Jewellery Techniques 1 course through VCC Continuing Studies.

“I learned so much in two and a half months,” says Mariana. While the focus of the class was making silver rings, once Mariana had learned the basic techniques, she’s grateful that the instructor allowed her to shift to her real passion – making earrings.  

Mariana is now planning on taking Jewellery Techniques 2 in the coming months, and enrolling in VCC’s full Jewellery Art and Design diploma program in 2021. 

No small gift

A ten per cent donation may sound small, but for a solo entrepreneur, it’s huge. “I wanted to find some way I could help, and I wish I could do more,” says Mariana, who independently looks after every aspect of her business, from manufacturing to web design to customer service. 

With her elderly mother and grandmother homebound in Brazil, Mariana is especially grateful for a family friend who has been shopping for them, and encourages everyone in Vancouver to seek out a need and lend a hand right now. “You can always help,” she says. 


Earrings by Kaju Creations

Read more about how VCC students, grads, and employees are working together to fight the spread of COVID-19

International Week of the Deaf 2020

Posted on September 21, 2020



As a proud member of B.C.'s the Deaf and hard of hearing community, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to recognize this year's International Week of the Deaf (IWD) from Sept. 21 to 25, 2020.

IWD is a celebration of Deaf culture first launched by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in 1958. It is recognized annually by Deaf communities all over the world during the last full week of September. Activities and events take place that welcome the participation of all members of Deaf communities, including families of Deaf people, professional and accredited sign language interpreters, and peers.

"It's about gathering together, becoming united, showing that unity to the rest of the world, and promoting the human rights of Deaf people," says Mari Klassen, department head of ASL and Deaf Studies at VCC.

This year’s theme for IWD is “Reaffirming Deaf People’s Human Rights,” and participants are encouraged to learn more about Deaf culture and human rights through daily themes, including:

Monday, Sept. 21 – Sign Languages
Tuesday, Sept. 22 – Inclusive Sign Language Environments
Wednesday, Sept. 23 – International Day of Sign Languages – Sign Language is for Everyone!
Thursday, Sept 24 – The Legal Recognition of National Sign Languages
Friday, Sept. 25 – Equal Opportunities for All Deaf People

For more information, visit www.wfdeaf.org

View Mari Klassen's video message in ASL

Explore a new language and culture. VCC offers a certificate program as well as individual courses in ASL and Deaf studies




COVID-19 updates from VCC's Student Service team

Posted on April 14, 2020

 Watch an American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message

Dear VCC student,

Over the past few weeks, we have seen the COVID-19 pandemic change how we learn, work, play, and live. Our collective response to these unexpected challenges has brought to light the strength, resilience, and heart of our college community. As we navigate through this, please know that VCC’s Student Service team is here to support you.


With information changing fast and coming from many sources, please bookmark VCC's new COVID-19 information site and check back frequently for the latest updates on student services, resources, and frequently asked questions.

Emergency funding

Information on relevant and helpful government and community funding can be found by visiting the resources page on VCC's COVID-19 information site. For information on VCC's Indigenous emergency assistance fund, please contact indigenous@vcc.ca.

International students

For international students, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has stated that the transition of Canadian post-secondary programs to online studies will not impact visas, study permits, or post-graduate work permits. If you have questions, please contact VCC International student support.

Studying from abroad

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is now allowing international students with study permits for programs starting in May or June to complete up to 50 per cent of their program online from abroad, before travelling to Canada. ‌


Campus and technology access

Need access to the Internet or a computer? VCC’s computer labs are available:

Downtown campus
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Learning Centre

Please bring VCC or government-issued ID and a letter from your program confirming your active student status. The computer lab can be accessed from the Dunsmuir St. entrance only, and by signing in with Security.

Broadway campus
Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Building B, room 2231

The computer lab in Building B can be accessed from the 7th Ave. entrance.

Libraries and tutoring

VCC's librarians are available! Chat online with them using AskAway, or get personalized help in English, Business, Math, Life Sciences, and Sciences from our Learning Centre tutors using Zoom. You can book your sessions via WCOnline

Get tips on resume writing, practice one-to-one interview skills, and explore careers online using Career Guidance

Disability services and interpreting 

As our classes shift to online and alternative delivery modes, VCC’s Disability Services and Registered Sign Language Interpreting teams are available to ensure your new learning environment and materials are accessible. Please get in touch by emailing disabilityservices@vcc.ca or interpreting@vcc.ca.

Dispute resolution

If you have any concerns that you are being treated unfairly, have a specific complaint, or would like to appeal a grade, the Arbiter of Student Issues at VCC is an impartial, neutral, and confidential resource for you. The office provides information on student rights and responsibilities, and assistance with college policies and procedures. Please contact the Arbiter by emailing tmarks@vcc.ca or calling 604.871.7000 ext. 7040.

Your health and well-being 

VCC's Student Service team cares about your health and well-being. It is very normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious at this time, with the heightened stressors that surround us. If this is your experience, VCC counsellors are just a call away. Check out your health and dental plan and student savings card at SUVCC's Green Shield Canada.

Very soon, LinkedIn Learning will also be available to VCC students, which includes many wonderful webinars on self care. Watch for a special announcement and stay up to date by checking your myVCC student portal


Student loans

Effective March 30, 2020, all British Columbia (StudentAid BC) and national (NSLSC) student loan borrowers will temporarily have their repayments suspended.


The Government of B.C. is introducing a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions, and freezing rents. 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

For eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19, the Government of Canada is offering temporary income support.  

B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

The Government of B.C. will provide a one-time payment to people who lost income because of COVID-19. 

Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)

Post-secondary students hired through SWPP may now access more flexible start dates and duration of placements. Students may also be permitted to work from home, and post-secondary institutions may access a wage subsidy.

Canada Summer Jobs Program

Up to 70,000 summer jobs will be created for youth between the ages of 15 and 30, thanks to more flexible hiring policies and increased wage subsidies.

We’re here for you

If you have any other questions or concerns, please connect with our Student Service Centre team by calling 604.871.7000, option 2. Please stay safe, take care of yourself, those you love, and those you don't know – we are all in this together.

Jane Shin, MEd MD
Associate Vice President, Student Success
Vancouver Community College

Media Release: VCC becomes first academic partner of Hydrogen BC

Posted on August 26, 2021

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce its partnership with Hydrogen BC (HyBC) to assist the college’s future direction of providing technician training for hydrogen fuel. VCC became the first academic member to join the regional branch of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA), a provincial partnership to promote and accelerate the use of hydrogen technologies in B.C.

VCC’s automotive trades training programs are among the largest and oldest in the province. Our program success comes from our ability to innovate to keep up with employers’ needs and provincial mandates, such as climate initiatives.

To this end, VCC is currently in the initial planning stages for technician training for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The college is currently working with a major automotive manufacturer on the development of FCEV training programs and will begin to offer the new curriculum as part of its current programming in the coming months. 

The specific goals of the Hydrogen BC partnership will be to work together to provide technician training on the repair, service, and maintenance of FCEVs for light, medium, and heavy-duty applications.

"VCC is excited to be the first post-secondary to join Hydrogen BC. We look forward to working together to implement the province’s CleanBC strategy by providing education and training opportunities to VCC students related to fuel cell electric vehicles”, says Ajay Patel, VCC President and CEO. “This is just another great example of how VCC stays ahead of the curve when it comes to training our students for B.C.’s future”. 

“We are thrilled to see the VCC embrace hydrogen and participate in Hydrogen BC. Education and familiarization with hydrogen are important steps towards building the low-carbon future we want to live in and leave behind for future generations,” says Colin Armstrong, Chair, Hydrogen BC; President and CEO, HTEC. 

About Vancouver Community College

Vancouver Community College is a public community college in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Founded in 1965, it is the largest and oldest community college in British Columbia, offering 78 certificate programs, 28 diploma programs, and 3 bachelor's degree programs. VCC has three campuses in Vancouver and Annacis Island.

About Hydrogen BC

Hydrogen BC is the regional branch of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) in British Columbia.  Established with the support of the BC Government, Hydrogen BC is a public-private partnership mandated to support the growth of the BC low-carbon hydrogen energy ecosystem by coordinating the deployment of new supply infrastructure and applications across the province. In addition, Hydrogen BC works to ensure the safe handling of hydrogen and the safe operation of hydrogen equipment and FCEVs by sharing best practices developed in Canada and abroad.

About the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA)

The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) is a national, non-profit association that supports Canadian companies, governments, research institutions and academia in the development, demonstration and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in Canada and overseas.  Established in 2009, the CHFCA has over 100 members across Canada as well as regional branches in British Columbia (Hydrogen BC), Quebec (Hydrogène Québec) and Ontario (Hydrogen Business Council of Canada).  The CHFCA’s members specialize in fuel cell stack development, hydrogen production, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, energy storage, vehicle manufacturing, components and materials, research, engineering and consulting.

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Media can contact:

Karen Wilson
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7429
E: kwilson@vcc.ca

Q&A with VCC Paralegal instructor MaryAnn Reinhardt

Posted on August 26, 2021

MaryAnn ReinHardt has been teaching torts, personal injury practice, and litigation courses at Vancouver Community College (VCC) since 2019. Learn more about her love of teaching and industry experience.

What do you love about teaching?
I like interacting and connecting with my students. Although the weekly discussions happen in online forums, I am always taken aback at the insightful and interesting perspective of students. Many students draw from experiences that hit close to home. I feel privileged that these personal experiences are shared as they provide a little window into understanding and appreciating each of my students. 

What are some highlights from your courses?
I love guiding students in understanding principles of law through case law. Through these courses, we regularly review and analyze previous decisions handed down by the Court. These decisions are sometimes unexpected and always interesting. Truth really is much stranger than fiction. I love that “aha” moment when the concept suddenly becomes clear for students through interpretation and discussion of the decision. I also love some of the great students’ arguments in opposition of the Court’s decision – impressive! 

What is your experience in the legal field?
I have been in this industry for more than 30 years. Currently I am a designated paralegal with RDM Lawyers LLP specializing in personal injury. I have had the opportunity to work on some very interesting cases which both fascinated and challenged me, and I have even been lucky enough to travel overseas in my role.

My experience also extends beyond the walls of my office. I have participated on various boards including the BC Paralegal Association and access to legal services committees which allowed me to give back to my profession. I have also had the privilege of co-chairing and presenting at seminars through both the Trial Lawyers Association of BC and the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC

What kinds of opportunities are there for paralegals?
The role of a paralegal is diverse and exciting. It requires you to exercise your critical thinking, your people skills, and most of all, your resourcefulness. There are many environments where the skills of paralegals are valued – from government positions to private business to law firms. It is my hope that the paralegal’s role here in B.C. will continue to expand and we can play a greater role in the efforts to increase access to legal services for all British Columbians. 

Learn the skills to be an essential part of any legal, medical, or business team by exploring Legal and Office Administration courses and programs from VCC Continuing Studies.


Safety updates for VCC campuses

Posted on August 24, 2021

Good afternoon VCC community,

On Tuesday, Aug. 24, Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training (AEST), and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO) announced updated safety measures for post-secondary institutions for the 2021-22 school year.

Key points

  • Effective Wednesday, Aug. 25, everyone 12 years old and over must wear a mask when in indoor public settings.
  • The mask order will apply to all indoor public areas on post-secondary campuses including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, libraries, cafeterias, classrooms, and labs.

For VCC this means that all employees, students and visitors are to wear a mask when:

  • walking in hallways,
  • moving through common traffic spaces (e.g. stairwells, elevators),
  • when in non-academic group activity spaces (e.g. cafeteria, bookstores, bakery, library, etc.),
  • in the classroom (masks will be required to be worn by students and faculty)

Social distancing is not required.

Please remember, there are those for whom wearing a mask is not an option. Wear a mask if you are able, and respect those who cannot.

Returning to campus

VCC strongly encourages all students and employees who are eligible and able, to be vaccinated.

Vaccination is the best line of defence we have against COVID-19. 

Starting Monday, Sept. 13, everyone 12 years old and over will need to provide proof of vaccination to access a broad range of social, recreational, and discretionary events and businesses throughout the province. This will include some services on campus that are also accessible to the broader public.

VCC will continue to work with AEST and the PHO on details on implementation of these requirements and any further actions we may need to take.

Learn more about vaccinations at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated. For more information for student vaccinations, visit the Vancouver Coast Health webpage for students.

Keeping our community safe

It goes without saying that over the last 18+ months we have been navigating dynamic health and safety issues, and we will continue to do so.

I am proud of all we have accomplished to keep our community safe. And, I know we will continue to work together to ensure our classrooms and our workspaces remail safe and in-line with the orders from the PHO.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email secure@vcc.ca.



Surinder Aulakh
Director, Safety, Security & Risk
Vancouver Community College


More Information

VCC Music introduces new Indigenous Vocal Ensemble

Posted on August 25, 2021

Coastal Journey by Kelly Cannell, 2011

This September, the music department at Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to introduce a new Indigenous singing group to its collection of talented ensembles.

VCC’s Indigenous Vocal Ensemble is open to singers of all levels and serves as an introduction to Indigenous music and Salish music forms. The ensemble will rehearse and perform a number of Indigenous songs utilizing voice and percussion.

The new group will be under the direction of Russell Wallace, a composer, producer and traditional singer from the Lil’wat Nation.

"Russell is a warm and knowledgeable instructor with years of experience facilitating music events, as well as being a solo artist who composes and performs his own music," says Laurence Mollerup, Department Leader, VCC Music and Dance. "We are really excited about this new direction."

Indigenous students and staff are also encouraged to take part in the group. Traditional songs along with original compositions will serve as the basis of the repertoire but collective improvisation will also be explored. Student arrangements and harmonies will be welcome.

VCC's Indigenous Vocal Ensemble will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays during the Fall 2021 term. The first rehearsal is on Tuesday, Sept. 7 and runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The ensemble's first concert is planned for Wednesday Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in the VCC Auditorium (level 2, building A), with the Mount Pleasant Brass Ensemble.

For more information or to register for VCC's Indigenous Vocal Ensemble, contact music@vcc.ca.




New Automotive Collision and Refinishing Foundation expands options for VCC students

Posted on August 24, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to introduce a new program option that will broaden opportunities for students in both the automotive collision repair and automotive refinishing prep industries.

VCC’s new Automotive Collision and Refinishing Foundation program combines learning that was formerly offered in two distinct programs: automotive collision repair (identifying damage, removing and installing parts, repairing, welding, and bonding parts), and automotive refinishing prep (restoring corrosion protection, paint repair and preperation).

VCC’s new harmonized foundation eliminates course overlap between the two programs and offers introductory training in both fields, allowing students to learn a wider range of skills before specializing in future apprenticeship levels.

According to VCC Automotive Collision and Refinishing department head Keith Mew, past students have often switched between programs or taken both. “I did it myself,” he said. “I wanted a deeper understanding of the trade, from welding to paint.”

In coordination with B.C.’s Industry Training Authority (ITA), VCC’s new Automotive Collision and Refinishing Foundation will now also be recognized across provinces, offering students greater flexibility to complete their apprenticeships wherever they may be working. 

“I wish I’d had a core program like this,” says Keith. “These students will have a better understanding of both sides of the trade and be more successful on any path they take.”

Limited seats are still available in VCC’s Automotive Collision and Refinishing Foundation program for September 2021 and January 2022. Apply now >



Welcome back! Winter 2019

Posted on January 1, 2019



Welcome to Vancouver Community College. Whether you’re starting a brand-new program or you’re back for another term, we want to make sure you have the information and resources you need to succeed throughout your studies.

Where's my class?

Know where to go on your first day. Use this chart to look up your building and room number on the first day of school.

If you have any questions, just find one of our friendly Peer Helpers. They’ll be around campus wearing "VCC" T-shirts.

myVCC student email

Get access to your own myVCC student email:

  • Log in to my.vcc.ca and select "Email" to access your student email.
  • If it's your first time logging in, your password will be your birthday (MMDDYY).
  • Important notifications may be sent to this email address, so it's a good idea to check it regularly or forward your myVCC email to your personal email account.

You can also use myVCC to look up grades, order transcripts, access tax forms, and receive campus news and alerts.

Welcome Days

Welcome Days is a fun, interactive opportunity for all students to ask questions and learn about life at VCC. Enjoy music, games and snacks, and win great prizes while getting acquainted with classmates, staff, and all the on-campus services.

Welcome Days will be held from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at the Broadway campus and Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the Downtown campus.


On-campus services

VCC offers a wide range of services to help you meet your educational goals and make the most of your time at college.

Student services

Eat, shop + more


Cannabis on campus

As many of you know, cannabis is now legal for non-medical use in Canada. VCC is committed to providing a safe working and learning environment, and the well-being of our students and employees is always our first priority.

VCC expects all students to be fit to perform their learning activities in a safe and secure manner. This includes being free from the effects of any intoxicants (such as cannabis) while engaging in educational activities at one of our campuses or at an offsite location. Learn more >

Safe and respectful campus

VCC expects students to conduct themselves responsibly and respectfully. As such, students are required to be familiar with the student non-academic code of conduct. Please review the student code of conduct policy and procedures.

Talk to us

facebook  twitter  YouTube  flickr  instagram

Follow and engage with your college online via VCC's official social media accounts. Mention us in your posts or use the hashtag #myVCC to share your talents, your projects, or even just the view from your classroom. 



Message from the President: Upcoming Mask Information

Posted on August 20, 2021

Dear VCC community,

I would like to acknowledge that VCC is on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples who have been stewards of this land from time immemorial.

We have heard your concerns about wearing masks on campus, and what might be done at VCC to ensure masks are taken seriously on campus this fall. Please know we share your concerns.

It is important to remember that during a health crisis like COVID-19, post-secondary institutions take direction on safety protocols from government, the Provincial Health Office, and local health authorities.

I want to share with you this morning that, while VCC continues towards full on-campus operations in September, we have also been advocating for, and working with our ministry and the Provincial Health Office on mask and vaccine guidelines for the post-secondary sector.

We anticipate new information from the PHO and Ministry on these issues in the coming days.

VCC remains committed to the health and safety of all our employees and students. We appreciate all the feedback we have received by our community, and thank you for your support.

If you are not already fully vaccinated, please register immediately and schedule your vaccination.  If you are already fully vaccinated, thank you for doing your part to protect yourself and those around you.

You can find out more about vaccinations at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.

Stay safe and well, and continue to follow the PHO guidelines.

Look for further updates from the college in the coming days.



Ajay Patel

VCC President & CEO

Get your career moving with new fall courses from VCC Continuing Studies

Posted on August 19, 2021

VCC Continuing Studies is back this fall with a variety of brand-new courses designed to help you move forward on your professional journey. And thanks to our new, streamlined registration system, signing up just got a whole lot easier.

Tech industry professionals will definitely want to check out a variety of new credentials including the IT Operations Professional certificateIT Operations Professional short certificate, and the Network Security advanced certificate.

For anyone seeking career inspiration or personal growth, this fall’s lineup of Transformative Learning courses may be just for you. Our new course Design a Meaningful Career (TRLN 1301) helps you blaze a career path that brings true wealth and fulfilment. You can also learn the tools of mindfulness, how to work your wardrobe for a smaller environmental impact, or learn how the city plays a role in gender equity

Feel that chill in the air? Fall fashions are coming back fast, and designers can now get an intro to leather work by learning how to cut and stitch professional-looking accessories. 

Finally, what skill is greater in life than language? VCC’s part-time, evening language courses are back in full force this season, with helpful instructors using tried-and-true methods to help you find your voice. (But don’t take it from us, let our all-star Japanese language students shine by example.)

Our new website is ready. How about you? Visit vcc.ca/cs now to claim your spot for Fall 2021.

VCC graphic designers contribute to Ronald McDonald House refresh

Posted on August 19, 2021

When Jenna Gasbarro, Roiz Enriques, and Pham Kim enrolled in VCC’s graphic design program last fall, they knew they’d come away with job-ready skills. What they didn’t expect was that they’d work alongside a prominent B.C. interior designer on a charitable project that would touch the lives of thousands of children per year. 

Since the 1970s, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) have made it possible for families to stay close to their sick children who need medical treatments away from home. Earlier this year, RMHC British Columbia & Yukon reached out to popular interior designer Jamie Banfield for assistance in renovating several children’s play spaces inside Vancouver’s 73-bedroom Ronald McDonald House facility. As part of the project, Jamie, a past VCC instructor, requested the talents of VCC graphic design students.

“This is a very meaningful project,” says Kim, about the pro bono work being done under VCC’s Studio Nuvo. “Jamie and his team are great to work with and I’ve learned a lot throughout the process.”

Ronald McDonald House reading nook rendering

VCC’s student design team has been tasked specifically with creating wall graphics for a playhouse “village,” an outer-space themed reading nook, and an eco-friendly “garage” for the house’s fleet of child-sized ride-on cars.

As Vancouver's Ronald McDonald House hosts families from across B.C. and Yukon, one main focus for the students was to incorporate elements that would help the children feel at home. Inspirations included recognizable B.C. and Yukon landmarks, animals, license plates, and even a game of I-spy that challenges kids to find RMHC logo hearts hidden throughout the designs.

“I felt a bit intimidated,” says Roiz about working on the large-scale illustrations, “but I am also really excited to have this opportunity as these designs would be seen by many kids and families.”

Make your difference in VCC’s creative industries. Apply now to VCC graphic design programs for 2021-22.


VCC president Ajay Patel a finalist for Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards

Posted on August 9, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to share that our president and CEO Ajay Patel has been nominated and selected as one of 75 finalists for this year’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.

This prestigious people’s choice awards program honours inspirational immigrants who have made a positive impact on their communities since arriving in Canada, and recognizes the achievements of all immigrants including community advocates, volunteers, successful entrepreneurs, and cultural icons.

Past winners from B.C. include Senator Yuen Pau Woo, SUCCESS CEO Queenie Choo, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan, and BroadbandTV Corp Founder Shahrzad Rafati. 

The public can now vote for up to three of their favourite finalists online at www.canadianimmigrant.ca/top25 until Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.

This year’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards winners will be announced on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021 online at www.canadianimmigrant.ca and in Canadian Immigrant magazine.

Learn more about Ajay's inspiring journey by visiting VCC – About the President.

Scheduled registration system maintenance August 13-16

Posted on August 4, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be conducting planned upgrades to our Banner online registration system from Friday, August 13 at 5 p.m. until Monday, August 16 at 6 a.m.

During this time, the following services will be unavailable:  

  • Program applications (via EducationPlannerBC)
  • Course registrations
  • Tuition payments
  • Grades and schedules 
  • Student records
  • Financial aid information

Please plan ahead to conduct important tasks outside of this period.   

This outage will not affect student email, Moodle, or Continuing Studies.  

Thank you for your patience as we continue to advance VCC’s web systems. 

Learn by doing in VCC’s dedicated early childhood education space

Posted on August 12, 2021

If you’ve ever watched a small child interact with the space around them, you realize that they’re constantly learning. From hitting blocks together to picking up stones to sticking little fingers where they don’t belong, every action is building knowledge – blocks make noise, stones are heavy, water is wet.

Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) early childhood care and education (ECCE) programs embrace this concept of using the environment as “the third teacher” (known the Reggio Emilia approach), especially in their dedicated Downtown campus learning space.

Formerly a typical classroom, VCC’s ECCE space is split in two, with half composed of four mock learning areas (dramatic play, language and literature, science, and manipulative), and the other half serving as a classroom equipped with tables and chairs that can be moved around as needed.

VCC ECCE classroom

The setup of the room changes based on the content being taught. Some days, it’s an art studio. Other days, it’s a storytelling circle, a music room, or a science lab.

In an early childhood education setting, such features allow for important elements such as uninterrupted exploration, play, and learning, self-expression, communication, logical thinking, and problem-solving. 

VCC’s classroom also contains elements like sinks, cupboards, and bulletin boards that enable other important training for child care providers, including organizing resources, documentation, and working with families.

Is your future in child care? Learn more about the early childhood care and education programs offered via VCC Continuing Studies.


New paid work placement program supports hospitality students and industry

Posted on August 11, 2021

As Canada’s tourism sector prepares for a rapid post-COVID-19 recovery, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to be an early adopter of a new, paid work-integrated learning program for students.

The program, called Propel, is the latest addition to the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program and offers post-secondary students job opportunities to develop work-ready skills while employers receive a 75 per cent wage subsidy of up to $7,500 for each student hired.

“Propel creates a direct link between students looking to enhance their workplace skills and employers who can provide that valuable experience while also showcasing the depth and breadth of career pathways in the industry,” says Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada.

A wide range of placements are available with employers representing all facets of Canada’s visitor economy, including accommodations, culinary, recreation, entertainment, culture, events, transportation, travel services, and more. 

Applications are now open for the fall and winter semesters of the 2021-2022 school year, and placements are posted on the Propel online portal.

“Our students and community partners in hospitality have been deeply impacted by the pandemic, and we know there is uncertainty across the industry as Canada begins its recovery process,” says Dennis Innes, dean of VCC’s School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business. “The funding from Employment and Social Development Canada for the Propel program creates opportunities that support students and employers, while also highlighting the importance of paid internships and the value of skilled labour. We are excited to be a part of the launch of this program.”

Discover your exciting tourism-industry career through VCC’s hospitality management programs.

Cybersecurity – the need, demand, and talent crunch

Posted on August 6, 2021


Pause for a minute…and think about all the things you do on your phone, tablet, or laptop – the sites you visit, the social media you engage with, the pictures you share with friends and family, the assignments you submit, or the banking you do. The advancements and reliance on technology has increased the level of cyber risk that people, and organizations are facing.

No company or individual with an online presence is immune to attacks from criminals who try to steal money and identity, and disrupt business continuity. In fact, ransomware attacks, where malicious actors encrypt files that make systems unusable and then demand ransom in exchange for decryption, are becoming more common. A recent (May 07, 2021) cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, the largest pipeline system for refined oil products in the U.S., resulted in a shutdown of all of pipeline’s operations. The pipeline carries fuel from Houston to New York, its halting had serious implications for this critical infrastructure that provides basic services, and also for national security.

Cybersecurity is about the constant pursuit to protect systems that we rely on, such as healthcare, finance and banking, telecommunications, energy and utilities, and transportation. The demand for digital talent remains high. An estimated 19 million Canadians have been affected by data breaches since November 2018, underscoring the importance of Cybersecurity Specialists who help secure information systems. The global cybersecurity workforce shortage is projected to reach 1.8 million unfilled positions by 2022, and in Canada, the number of jobs for cybersecurity professionals is growing by 7% every year. Cybersecurity Analysts are among the top 15 most in-demand digital occupations.

At VCC, we are helping fill this gap by providing training to those who want to step up to a career in network security by leveraging their prior education or experience in IT. The new Network Security Advanced Certificate, launching in January 2022, provides essential skills for a career in information systems security, including network analysis, architecture, forensics, and defence.

Over 28 million Canadians were affected by data breaches in a one year period (2018-2019) according to numbers released by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The global cybersecurity workforce shortage is projected to reach 1.8 million unfilled positions by 2022, and in Canada, the number of jobs for cybersecurity professionals is growing by 7% every year (The Changing Faces of Cybersecurity, Deloitte). ICTC’s Canada’s Growth Currency: Digital Talent Outlook 2023 identified Cybersecurity Analysts as among the top 15 most in-demand digital occupations.

Future-proof your career in the tech sector. Sign up for an information session to learn more about becoming an IT operations professional

Media release: VCC Commits to 50 — 30 Diversity Challenge

Posted on August 4, 2021

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) has accepted a national diversity challenge to ensure that the leadership of the college and its Board of Directors reflects a commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Developed by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the 50 – 30 Challenge asks companies and organizations to make two aspirational commitments to increase diversity on their boards and in senior management, and report on their progress.

The 50 – 30 Challenge asks that organizations aspire to two goals: Gender parity ("50 per cent") on Canadian board(s) and senior management; and significant representation ("30 per cent") on Canadian board(s) and senior management of other under-represented groups.

“I thank VCC for joining the 50 – 30 Challenge and for being a part of this initiative. As a member of the education industry, VCC is fostering innovation by embracing diversity and inclusion, which invites new perspectives and insights into their work,” says François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

“Ensuring diverse leadership in these areas will create a more equitable, inclusive Canada for everyone.”

Known for its inclusive programs and accessibility for all learners, VCC was eager to accept the challenge set forth by government.

VCC’s current executive team is comprised of 50 per cent women (persons who identify as female) and 50 per cent of the team identify as ethnically diverse or from an under-represented group. As well, the 14 members of the college’s Board of Governors identify as 71 per cent female and 64 per cent as ethnically diverse or from an under-represented group.

"Initiatives like the 50 – 30 Challenge are a way for organizations, like VCC, to evaluate their position and be intentional around creating diverse representation in leadership. It is a point of pride for us that our leadership reflects our community," says Jane Shin, Vice President Students & Community Development.

A requirement of the challenge is for participating companies, organizations, and not-for-profits agree to voluntarily take action towards achieving meaningful and substantive improvements in supporting diversity and inclusion within their organization.

Adds Shin, "We are committed to developing and supporting all voices in leadership at VCC. It is meaningful to be a woman and a person of colour help steward this remarkable college with my colleagues. And it’s so important that we continue to foster diverse ways of being in positions of leadership at VCC, and across the post-secondary sector.


About Vancouver Community College

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career goals for over 50 years through hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.


Media contact:

Jen Hill
Communications Manager
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.828.0974
E: jehill@vcc.ca

VCC Nursing pin project supports 2SLGBTQIA+ patients

Posted on July 23, 2021

This spring, Vancouver Community College (VCC) 
nursing student Meaghan Brannagan brought up her recent training on the topic of gender diversity in health care with a close friend, J.L., who identifies as non-binary. Their response was candid – “It’s about time,” they said. 

This friend went on to describe numerous scenarios that ranged from uncomfortable to traumatic. With J.L.’s permission, Meaghan presented what she’d learned to her class at VCC. This eye-opening report soon grew into a special campaign called “We Care for all Bodies” that will use pins to identify health care workers who are responsive to the needs of trans and non-binary people.  

“Even as a queer woman, I identify with my assigned sex at birth and I’ve only ever been treated the way I wish to be treated,” says Meaghan. “I never clued into these issues until I heard about others’ experiences.

Already at a young age, J.L. remembered feeling hurt and dismissed by their family doctor when asking about gender-confirming health care. When J.L. later required a hysterectomy for medical reasons, they recalled waking up in a maternity ward alongside breastfeeding mothers, who were visibly uncomfortable with J.L.’s presence. 

“J.L. felt so guilty for distressing these mothers, they chose to ignore their pain and leave the hospital before the intended time of discharge,” recalls Meaghan. 

Similarly difficult experiences Meaghan learned about from J.L. and others included being accused of identity theft, enduring remarks about their body parts, and refusals to use chosen names or pronouns, all while in states of pain or distress and needing medical care. 

Signs of safety 

Following Meaghan’s class presentation, VCC nursing instructor Maki Iwase reached out to VCC Jewellery Art and Design department head Karin Jones who invited students to create an inclusive pin that nursing students can wear on their scrubs after completing gender diversity training.  

The chosen design was created by award-winning VCC jewellery student and 2SLGBTQIA+ advocate Kale Needham, who as a trans and nonbinary person directly relates to J.L.’s experiences in seeking gender-affirming health care. The design features a heart-shaped diversity pride flag with the message “We Care for All Bodies” at the top and “VCC Nursing” underneath. 

Maki believes these pins will be an important signifier of inclusive care“Especially now when everyone’s wearing masks, it’s hard to read expressions and you don’t know if you have psychological safety,” she says.  

Meaghan and Maki say that these symbols, coupled with questions about names, pronouns, and care needs, could make a world of difference for 2SLGBTQIA+ patients.  

“It’s important that people with all bodies feel safe in health care facilities,” says Meaghan. “You should never feel worse than when you went in.” 

The first batch of pins is currently in production for late July 2021. Watch for students sporting them in local health care settings this fall. 

Make your difference in the health care system. Discover a wide variety of career options through VCC Health Sciences programs. 


VCC convocation recap – Spring 2021

Posted on June 28, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to celebrate the hard work, commitment, and excellence of 1,488 graduands in an online Spring 2021 convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 24.

Guests were welcomed with a greeting, prayer, and territorial acknowledgment from Elder Deanna George, followed by a performance from ‘The Coastal Wolfpack.’

In the wake of recent tragic news and events surrounding Canada's Indian Residential Schools, this spring, VCC took the time to reflect on the collective work we all need to do to support the healing of Indigenous communities.  

The event was conducted on Zoom and live streamed for friends and family of the graduands. Separate Zoom rooms were set up to recognize students from the different Schools.

Degrees, diplomas, and certificates were awarded to the following areas: 

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
  • School of Trades, Technology and Design
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Continuing Studies
  • Library and Teaching & Learning Services

Graduands received messages of congratulations from Anne Kang, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, as well as Jenny Kwan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East.

Following remarks from the Board of Governors as well as VCC president Ajay Patel, valedictorian Vanessa Anderson addressed the graduating class of 2021 with words of wisdom, courage, and inspiration.

Vanessa Anderson

As we move forward onto the next chapters of our lives, it is important to remember that it is only through this change and uncertainty we are able to break down the barriers holding us back and become the incredible people we are meant to be.

Outstanding alumnus and president of Craftsman Collision Rick Hatswell welcomed the graduates to the alumni family and shared his wisdom with the group:

Rick Hatswell

Never be afraid of change. Be open to possibility because you never know what is waiting for you if you're ready to accept it. 

Missed the event or want to relive the moments? See videos below:

    • Presentation of graduates
      • Zoom Room 1 - School of Trades, Technology, and Design, School of Arts and Sciences (including Music), School of Instructor Education, School of Health Sciences, and Centre for Continuing Studies
      • Zoom Room 2 - School of Hospitality, Food Studies, and Applied Business

Congratulations to our VCC grads! Learn about the perks and benefits you now receive as VCC alumni


New VCC course reveals the power of creative writing to heal trauma

Posted on September 2, 2020



In one of VCC Continuing Studies’ newest courses, Writing to Heal Your Life, students are invited to discover the power of creative writing to navigate the challenges of loss, trauma, or illness. Through guided techniques, exercises, and reading recommendations, poet and author Renée Sarojini Saklikar will reveal how creative writing can help heal both the author and the reader. 

How can this course benefit those struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Using simple writing prompts and creative ideas, I’ve been exploring what “at home” means to those who might be facing all kinds of change both in their personal lives and in the world of work. In the course, we will design a writing practice that makes sense for each individual. 

How can writing together heal trauma? 

I invite folks to explore and write with me as a way to gain space for personal exploration. This course will give us the opportunity to look back on this time as both a window to our past and as a map for going forward. This refers to the idea that it is better to have something than to want more, as it will often leave you with nothing. 

What inspired this course? 

In developing this course, I have leaned into some of my personal favourites, such as the writings and wisdom of Louise Hay, Brené Brown, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Natalie Goldberg. I’ve used my hours alone during this pandemic to re-visit the teachings of these beloved authors and am looking forward to sharing them. 

How will the course be taught?

Our learning environment will be Zoom; we will use the “rooms” to create a sense of smaller gatherings and we’ll include time to mute microphones and cameras because it’s okay to connect in silence.

We’ll also take the time to check in with our own feelings and with those of others; to be gentle with ourselves, staying calm and kind and alert, all while exploring creative writing. 


Writing to Heal Your Life starts Wednesday, Sept. 16. REGISTER NOW >

Learn more about other creative writing courses available this term from VCC Continuing Studies: 

How to start a small business with confidence

Posted on December 9, 2020

As B.C.’s labour market continues to recover from the initial shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are starting to see the world of work from a new perspective. For some, job security may continue to be uncertain. Others may have discovered new skills, identified a need they could meet, or just loved the convenience of working from home, and considered starting a small business.
There are many motivations to becoming an entrepreneur, but starting out can be daunting. Fortunately, VCC’s small business courses offer an efficient way to gain the foundational knowledge and skills to start and grow a successful small business. 
Courses include:

To help your bottom line, we're now offering a $100 discount for students who register for all 10 courses at the same time. 

Starting later in the winter term, VCC will be introducing an Ecommerce Award of Achievement for entrepreneurs wanting to build their business online. Courses will range from creating websites to coaching to data analytics and more, so stay tuned!

Learn something new this winter. VCC Continuing Studies courses are now open for reigistration.



VCC grad combines child care and ASL skills to support the fight against COVID-19

Posted on May 14, 2020



Like many people around the world, child care assistant Jordyn Mitchell saw her workplace change dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once bustling with 60 young children, her preschool now sat virtually empty. 

Jordyn’s job wasn’t the type she could do from home, yet thanks to an extra-special skill set, she was still able to offer much-needed support to one of Vancouver’s frontline health care workers.

Jordyn graduated from Vancouver Community College (VCC) in 2019 with an American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies certificate and was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal for academic excellence and community service.

Today, this high-achiever works as an early childhood care assistant at a daycare operated by the Deaf Children’s Society of BC (DCS). In this role, Jordyn has been able to continue her work at the facility by providing interpretive services and Kindergarten programming to the five-year-old child of a registered nurse in New Westminster. Jordyn also cares for the nurse’s two-and-half-year-old child. 

“My role in the classroom at this time looks a little different than it would if there was not a worldwide pandemic,” Jordyn says. Over the past months, Jordyn has taught the children about proper hand washing, and coughing and sneezing into their arms and tissues. Of course, physical distancing in a preschool setting is nearly impossible. Jordyn adds that she is unable to wear protective face masks since mouth and facial movements are an essential part of ASL communication.

Jordyn admits she is concerned for her safety, but remains fully committed to her work. “The services we are providing allow nurses and doctors to not worry about child care and be in the hospital caring for the sick,” she says. 

In her personal life, Jordyn is also trying to stay as isolated as possible to ensure the children in her care – and by extension, their mother – are safe. “I go straight from work to home,” she says.

“We are super grateful to VCC for the programs they offer,” says Lisa Meneian, Executive Director at DCS. “Their graduates often become strong allies in the Deaf community, and we are extremely grateful to have Jordyn on our team!”  

Based in Burnaby, B.C. the Deaf Children’s Society of BC is a not-for-profit agency that provides resources, programs, support, and information to families with? Deaf and hard of hearing children from birth to age five.?

Learn how you can make a difference through VCC’s Sign Language Studies. Apply now for September 2020.

Welcome to VCC – Winter 2020

Posted on January 1, 2020



Welcome new and returning students to Vancouver Community College! Let's make sure you have a great start. See below for information and resources to help you now and throughout your studies.

Where's my class?

Know where to go on your first day. Use this chart to look up your building and room number on the first day of school.

If you have questions, find one of our friendly Peer Helpers wearing a VCC T-shirt.

Student email

Get access to your myVCC student email:

  • Log in to my.vcc.ca and click the "Email" icon.
  • If it's your first time logging in, your password will be your birthday (MMDDYY).
  • Important notifications may be sent to this email address, so please check it regularly or forward your myVCC email to your personal email account.

You can also use myVCC to look up grades, order transcripts, access tax forms, and receive campus news and alerts.

Welcome Days

Welcome Days is a fun and interactive carnival meant to help new and returning students learn about life at VCC. Join us for music, games, snacks, and prizes while getting to know classmates and staff, and learning about the many on-campus services available to you.

Welcome Days will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22 at the Broadway campus and Wednesday, January 22 at the Downtown campus.

VCC Welcome Days collage, musicians, cotton candy, hot dogs, games

Student services

VCC offers a wide range of services to help you meet your educational goals and make the most of your studies.

Student services

Eat, shop and more

VCC also offers breastfeeding rooms and prayer spaces, please check with  for location information.

Student SIN numbers required

Starting in the 2019 tax year, the Canada Revenue Agency requires all post-secondary institutions to collect Social Insurance Numbers in order to issue Tuition and Enrolment Certificate (T2202) tax forms.

VCC students have already begun receiving official communications by email. Please update your SIN numbers by logging into myVCC or through our secure online form. Learn more >

Safe and respectful campus

VCC expects students to conduct themselves responsibly and respectfully. Please review the Student Code of Conduct policy and procedures, and learn about your rights and responsibilities.

Smoking and cannabis use

Cannabis is now legal for non-medical use in Canada. VCC is committed to providing a safe working and learning environment for our college community members, and the well-being of our students and employees is always our first priority.

VCC expects all students to be fit to perform their learning activities in a safe and respectful manner. This includes being free from the effects of any intoxicants (including cannabis) while in class, on campus, or offsite. Learn more >

Let's connect

Follow VCC on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to stay up to date on college news like campus closures and other stories and announcements. Feel free to send us messages and questions, or share your own photos and stories using the hashtag #myVCC.

Instagram-icon-grey‌   Twitter-icon-gray‌   Facebook-icon-grey


Welcome to VCC

Posted on September 4, 2018



Welcome to Vancouver Community College. Whether you’re starting a brand-new program or you’re back for another year, we want to make sure you have all you need to succeed.

See below for tips and information that will help you now and throughout your studies.

Where's my class?

Know where to go on your first day. Use this handy chart to look up your building and room number on the first day of school.

If you have any questions, just find one of our friendly Peer Helpers. They’ll be around campus wearing "VCC" T-shirts.

myVCC student email

Get access to your own myVCC student email:

  • Log in to my.vcc.ca and select "Email" to access your student email.
  • If it's your first time logging in, your password will be your birthday (MMDDYY).
  • Important notifications may be sent to this email address, so it's a good idea to check it regularly or forward your myVCC email to your personal email account.

You can also use myVCC to look up grades, order transcripts, access tax forms, and receive campus news and alerts.

Welcome Days

Welcome Days is a fun, interactive opportunity for all students to ask questions and learn about life at VCC. Enjoy music, games and snacks, and win great prizes while getting acquainted with classmates, staff, and all the on-campus services available to you.

Welcome Days will be held from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at the Broadway campus and Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Downtown campus.


On-campus services

VCC offers a wide range of services to help you meet your educational goals and make the most of your time at college.

Student services

Eat, shop + more


Safe and respectful campus

VCC expects students to conduct themselves responsibly and respectfully. As such, students are required to be familiar with the student non-academic code of conduct. Please review the student code of conduct policy and procedures.



Bees, flowers, and sustainable fashion blossom at VCC

Posted on October 15, 2020

Mason bee hovering next to habitat tube


Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to welcome some helpful new members to our campus community – a colony of mason bees! 

Unlike honeybees, who build complex hives and work together in large numbers, mason bees are solitary but effective pollinators that live in small, reed-like tubes. Mason bees are non-aggressive and do not make honey, instead eating the pollen they collect.

VCC’s new mason bees and their custom-built houses were the result of a special sustainability project led by VCC science instructors Klaudia Jurkemik and Jacqueline Shehadeh. The initiative was made possible thanks to VCC’s Environmental Community Action Team (ECAT) and the Eco-College Small Grants program that provided up to $500 for winning sustainability proposals in late 2019.

Want to see the bees in action? Two of the mason bee homes in VCC’s Broadway campus courtyard have plexiglass sides, which allow the colony to be viewed by the community and used for educational purposes in our Biology classes.

Mason bee house at VCC Broadway

Garden bed upgrades 

To keep our bees happy and our urban ecosystem thriving, additional recipients this year’s Eco-College Small Grants have worked to keep flowers and vegetables growing at the Broadway campus. 

Thanks to the funding, mathematics department assistant and volunteer gardener Jotie Grewalson was able to re-soil and clean the courtyard beds, while student Xianan Bai planted a variety of perennial flowering bulbs including allium, gladiolus, and lilium. “I wanted our garden to be beautiful for a long time,” says Xianan.


Xianan planting bulbs and red gladiolas


Fighting fast fashion

Our final group of Eco-College grant winners approached the idea of “green” a little differently – by looking deep inside our closets. In their proposal, VCC Adult Special Education students in the Managing Your Money (CCED 0608) class wanted to call attention to issues surrounding “fast fashion” and textile waste. In doing so, they researched key statistics for an information campaign that would encourage the VCC community to reduce, reuse, and recycle their clothing.

In collaboration with VCC Graphic Design, the grant winners produced a series of posters and flyers that were launched at VCC Fashion’s “Clothing Mend-It" event in March 2020 and subsequently distributed across VCC campuses. 

Two poster images: Buy Less Wear More and Reduce, Repair, Reuse.

Poster design "Buy Less Wear More" by Kylie Woo
Poster design "Reduce, Repair, Reuse" by Lera Matsumura

Read more about how VCC continues to integrate energy conservation and sustainability into campus culture. 

See all programs with space available

Posted on February 13, 2020



Considering college? Don't wait! These VCC programs still have space available for 2020.

(Updated Feb. 13, 2020)

Spring 2020


Administrative Professional 1

Baking and Culinary

Baking & Pastry Arts – Pastry 

Professional Cook 1 Plus

Professional Cook 2

Hair, Esthetics and Makeup


Esthetics and Spa Therapy

Health Sciences

Dental Assisting – Certified

Health Care Assistant

Information Technology

Computer Systems Technology

Transportation Trades

Automotive Service Technician Harmonized Foundation


Apply online now, attend an upcoming info session, or book an apointment with a program advisor

Bake with Bruno Feldeisen at VCC

Posted on March 3, 2020


Fans of The Great Canadian Baking Show will undoubtedly recognize Bruno Feldeisen. After three successful seasons as a judge on the beloved CBC baking program, the smiling, bespectacled pastry chef has become a household name for home bakers across the country. 

Less known, perhaps, is that Bruno not only calls Vancouver home, but also teaches part-time baking and pastry classes at Vancouver Community College (VCC). In his courses, he shares his love of baking and pastry using a combination of expert skill and encouragement. 

In one popular course, World of Breads (CUIS 1106), Bruno says his goal is to take away the fear of breadmaking. “It’s intimidating to a lot of people,” he says. The secret to better bread, according to Bruno, is to learn the essential steps but avoid getting stuck on a recipe. Rather, he encourages students to get a feel for the process, then get creative and have fun. “It’s OK to play around,” he says.

Why would a chef who has consistently wowed high-class diners from France to California to New York choose to teach baking basics? As a troubled teen, Bruno got his own start in the industry when a famous French chocolatier took him on as an apprentice. Today, he’s the one with a heart for anyone wishing to learn. 

“I meet people who are very good bakers with great ideas,” says Bruno. “My work is always so professional, and I enjoy the challenge of communicating with people who don’t speak the same culinary language.”




VCC Continuing Studies offers baking courses from French pastry to chocolate showpieces at a fraction of the cost of private culinary schools. 

VCC’s CAD and BIM drafting grads are in demand

Posted on July 29, 2020



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

The remarkable work of graduates from the drafting programs at Vancouver Community College (VCC) is all around us. The offices we work in, the roads we drive on, the bridges we cross over, and the buildings we live in—construction of these structures is based upon intricate design plans laid out by a drafter.

To meet the increasing demand for drafting technicians, VCC is offering six computer-assisted design (CAD) and building information modelling (BIM) programs:

“We have been producing drafting technicians since 1949 and our graduates have helped build our airports, sports arenas and stadiums, roads, bridges across the Lower Mainland, and beyond,” says Bruce McGarvie, department leader at VCC. 

Despite rising unemployment rates due to COVID-19, VCC has not noticed any slowdown in demand for its drafting graduates by local architectural firms.

“Certificate and diploma program statistics, averaged over the last five years, show that 84 percent of graduates find full-time work within four months of graduation,” McGarvie says. “Many of our students have jobs lined up before they even finish their programs.”

Safe and innovative online learning

Students can complete the majority of coursework for these programs online through virtual classrooms. This computer-based format is convenient for those hoping to gain an education while following social-distancing guidelines during the pandemic. With lectures, discussions, and peer collaborations taking place online, students are not required to commute to campus and can conveniently construct their own learning schedule.

Students in need of assistance with the course material can contact their instructors via Zoom and share their screens with peers when working on group projects. Additionally, all students have access to the specialized program software and can access course resources on Moodle at any time.

People with an interest in mathematics, technical drawing, 3D modelling, commercial and residential construction, and sustainability should consider pursuing an education in drafting.

“Drafting technicians prepare engineering designs, 3D virtual models, construction and fabrication drawings, and related technical information,” says McGarvie. “Drafters work in teams or with engineers and architects for consulting architectural and engineering firms, construction companies, resource and manufacturing companies, and in many levels of government.”

According to WorkBC, graduates from the CAD and BIM drafting programs earn a median wage of $27 per hour. The six programs available at VCC vary from 14 weeks to 10 months. Ideal for detail-oriented, self-motivated students, this is a small time investment considering that most graduates gain meaningful employment shortly after finishing their program.

Apply now to secure your seat in VCC’s CAD and BIM drafting programs this September or chat with VCC instructors during an upcoming online info session.

Five skills to help you prepare for the future of work

Posted on August 7, 2020

Experts predict that the nature of work will change substantially in a post-COVID world. Are you ready for the changes impacting businesses? Check out the following courses, available online this fall to help you round out your skill set and prepare you for the future of work: 

Online documentation 
Working from home indefinitely? Learn how to maximize your written communication skills in an online environment from our industry professionals and be sure you are getting your message across

Memos, emails, reports
Master the art of a well-crafted email and hone your business writing skills for a digital environment. 

Web development and programming
Improve your digital literacy by learning a coding language. VCC offers courses in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python. Coding and web development skills are in demand in the emerging digital economy. 

Leading a team through a crisis is tough. Courses in change management, problem solving and action planning, and building productive teams will help you and your team weather the storm and prepare for the next one.
Finance and accounting
Sound financial management practices are crucial to business success, especially during a crisis. Check out our introductory level courses in financeaccountingpayroll, and bookkeeping to ensure you have a solid understanding of business principles that are relevant in any field.

Browse through all the available Continuing Studies courses offered online this fall.

The future is cloud computing

Posted on August 11, 2020

Amazon, Google, Microsoft... these names need no introduction, but did you know that these technology giants offer much more than a shopping platform, a search engine service, or Office software? They are also among the top providers of cloud computing services for organizations around the world, from small businesses to large enterprises.

Cloud computing, which has quickly spread in recent years, is the use of computing resources, including servers, storage, software, computing power, over the internet (‘the cloud’). With virtualization technology, multiple virtual machines can be run on one physical server and the cloud computing provider can enable you or other clients to access the power of that server to run operating systems and applications, use software, utilize storage, perform analytics and intelligence, and much more, all through the internet.

The advantages are many. It offers flexibility – of computing power/storage/resources, elasticity – for scaling up or down your resource utilization, and automation – of resources and updates. All these benefits can result in efficiency of operations and lower operating costs for the business. As your or your organization’s needs grow, with cloud computing, you can add capacity on the fly. Cloud computing eliminates the cost of purchasing hardware and software, and the operating expenses related to running and managing IT infrastructure. In addition, data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity is easier and less expensive.

Cloud computing is on a global scale, with providers offering data centers across multiple geographic locations, thus reducing latency while complying with local laws and regulations. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, cloud computing services can provide valuable insights and intelligent models of the data for making informed decisions.

Whether you have a general interest in cloud computing, or are managing a team of technology professionals, the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals course at VCC can help you learn the fundamentals of cloud computing and prepare you for the AZ900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification exam.

If you're currently an IT professional or have fundamental experience VCC is proud to be the first public institution in B.C. to offer Microsoft Azure Architect TechnologiesMicrosoft Azure Data ScientistMicrosoft Azure Administrator, and Microsoft Azure Architect Design.

Join us for a free online infosession, visit vcc.ca/microsoft to learn more, or email the program coordinator.

Sign up for our new email newsletter to keep informed on the latest computer and software courses at VCC.

Introducing Transformative Learning – new courses for positive personal change

Posted on August 19, 2020

Two-sided image of urban garden and woman hiking a mountaintop


What about your life do you wish you could transform? Are there elements of today’s world that you wish you were better prepared to face?

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies is pleased to launch a new program area – Transformative Learning – featuring courses designed to help people thrive in an evolving world and reach their fullest potential in health, wellness, careers, and relationships.

"The world around us is rapidly changing. That’s why it’s important to build a knowledge base around critical topics and develop methods for embracing our unknown future,” says Transformative Learning program coordinator Sarah Murray. 

Browse the new courses for Fall 2020 below or attend an upcoming free information session to learn more about this exciting new program area from VCC Continuing Studies.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Learn to live the mantra “stay calm and carry on.” Discover ways to understand your triggers and acquire the skills and practices needed to manage stress. 

Work That Reconnects
Strengthen your relationship with our world by developing compassion, connections, and hope through a series of interactive practices.

Systems Change
Discover how to map a system, identify leverage points, dismantle silos, and envision a system that can lead to positive change.

Let’s Talk about Death
Open a dialogue about dying and develop a set of end-of-life resources by uncovering new and traditional approaches to death. 

Urban Farming Essentials
Stock your pantry and your bank account with a combination of gardening tips, crop planning, and small business know-how.

Local Economies
Create a list of personal values you can use when shopping as you learn how to contribute to the re-establishment of our economic health. 

Get to know the benefits of online learning and see what else is new from VCC Continuing Studies this fall. 

Future-proof your career with VCC technology programs

Posted on September 23, 2020

 Young Asian man using tablet and laptop computer 

Did you ever try to imagine what a COVID-19 lockdown would be like without technology? From online shopping to virtual meetings to Netflix and Instagram stories, digital technology has played a crucial role in keeping us connected and our society functioning over the past months.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the development of technology in countless fields. Most of these advancements are here to stay, which means new jobs are also in the making. 

The Government of BC’s Economic Recovery Plan places technology development and education at the core of a “resilient economy, ” and Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies interim dean Claire Sauvé sees this future fast approaching. “There are a lot of great opportunities right now to join this growing workforce; to re-skill or up-skill in technology,” she says. “These are directly employable skills.”

Check out some of VCC’s newest courses and programs designed to help you embrace the technology of today and be ready for tomorrow.

New Microsoft Azure credentials

VCC is proud to be the first public college in B.C. to offer Microsoft credentials in cloud computing – today’s leading trend for scalable, flexible storage and business operations that has proven to be an immense benefit during COVID-19.

Learn more about the new Microsoft Azure courses at VCC by attending an upcoming info session or the Technology session at our Experience VCC virtual open house on Oct. 6 and 7.

Digital business 

From restaurants to clothing boutiques, businesses small and large have turned to the digital world during COVID-19 to keep their products and services front of mind and available to customers. Part-time VCC courses like Digital Marketing (CMPT 1426), Facebook for Business (LERN 1420), and Solving Fit for Online Customers (FASH1125) offer expert, practical advice.

Learn more about these courses and more by attending the Business session at our Experience VCC virtual open house on Oct. 6 and 7.

AR/VR Design and Development

While still a great option for “escaping” into a fantasy world or video game, virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) technologies are also behind many key advancements (and jobs) in technical trades training, health care simulations, industrial design, and more. 

Learn all about VCC’s new VR/AR Design and Development program offered in partnership with Vancouver Film School by attending the Technology session at our Experience VCC virtual open house on Oct. 6 and 7.

Associate of Science in Computing Science

New high school grads or those seeking comprehensive training in computing science can now complete two years of university-level credits at VCC. Unlike first- and second-year lectures at major universities, VCC classes are kept small, with students benefitting from individual attention and support. Students can obtain an associate’s degree for entry-level technician or programmer jobs, or advance into the third year of bachelor’s degree programs at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, or other institutions. 

Learn more about this and VCC’s many other post-secondary pathways by attending the University Transfer session at our Experience VCC virtual open house on Oct. 6 and 7.

Let's talk about your future! Connect with a VCC program advisor by phone or Zoom to ask questions and plan your studies. 


Q&A with VCC creative writing instructor Kevin Spenst

Posted on April 6, 2021

What do you teach?
I teach Writing Sparks to Completion (CWRI 1123), a newer creative writing course that focuses on poetry but opens to other forms of writing.

What do you love about teaching?
I love how the classroom is a community writ small, a place where we test out, practice, and develop eloquences. It’s exciting to be part of that process. This means I could teach anything. I have, over the course of my life, taught business, drama, English Literature, and even yoga, but as I love poetry and creative writing the most, it’s what I’m most excited about teaching.

What is your current career?
I’m an author. My third book of poetry was published last year. Currently, I write reviews, conduct poetry interviews on co-op radio, give talks, and I’m working on my fourth book.

What is your best piece of advice for someone starting out in this industry?
Find a way to incorporate the craft of writing into the rhythm of your everyday life. For four years, I wrote a short-short story everyday. That helped get me started.

Who are your favourite authors?
James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and W.G. Sebald. Yes, the heavyweights!

What is your motto?
I do love Beckett’s “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Spark your creativity this spring with a wide variety of courses from VCC Continuing Studies.

Step up with Craftsman, Deeley to support COVID-19 emergency bursaries

Posted on May 27, 2020

VCC automotive student measuring blue car bumper


When we finally beat COVID-19, Rick Hatswell wants to be part of a revitalized and re-energized collision repair industry. 

To that end, the Vancouver Community College (VCC) Automotive Collision Repair Technician alumnus and president of The Craftsman Group donated $5,000 to the Giving Tuesday Now campaign funding emergency bursaries for VCC students.

The campaign, administered by the VCC Foundation, was launched on the Giving Tuesday Now global day of generosity (May 5, 2020) and runs until Sunday, May 31. Through donation matching, the campaign aims to raise $50,000 for a second round of emergency bursaries for VCC students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our industry’s future

Despite experienced technicians potentially making six-figure incomes, Rick says it’s difficult to get apprentices, even in normal circumstances. “We’re looking at any way we can help them build a career.”

Rick estimates that Craftsman Collision has 54 apprentices across their 40 repair locations. Rick completed his own apprenticeship through VCC in 1997 and earned his Red Seal.

One future apprentice is Minsu Kim, a 27-year-old international student from Korea who received one of the emergency bursaries in the first round of applications. Minsu is grateful because he says life in Vancouver is so expensive. “Thanks to the bursary, I was able to cover my living expenses, like buying food,” he says.

Rick and Craftsman Collision also have a long history of giving to VCC through annual Student Awards and sponsorship of fundraising events such as the Flourish gala. This time, however, Rick realized the need was different – and urgent. “COVID-19 has had an impact on us. It’s changed how we do things,” he says.


Rick Hatswell portrait and throwback

The Craftsman Group president Rick Hatswell today and as a young apprentice, circa 1988

Making the match

Others in the transportation industry are also answering the call to help students. Motorcycle retailer Deeley Group donated $1,000 to the campaign, knowing their donation would be matched by the Foundation.

“We celebrate VCC students in their pursuit of gaining skills and knowledge. We’re pleased we can support our community during this time of need,” says Peter Van Dyke, director of investments for Deeley Group.

Since April, the VCC COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund has distributed $195,000 to 312 students from 40 different programs.

VCC Foundation director Nancy Nesbitt shares gratitude for the continued student support, and also emphasizes the importance of acting now. “Never have students needed our help more,” she says.

There’s still time to help students in need. The first $20,000 donated before Sunday, May 31 will be matched, and we’ve almost reached our goal! To donate, visit the VCC Foundation donation page and select “COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund.”

Vice President’s statement: Acknowledging our past and facing our present

Posted on July 21, 2021


A message from David Wells, Vice President Academic & Research

Dear VCC community,

Last Monday, July 12, the Penelakut Tribe let the world know about 160 unmarked graves located on the nation’s grounds and foreshore near the site of the Kuper Island Residential School on Penelakut Island, off the coast of Vancouver Island. And, on July 15, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation released their final report on the preliminary findings of 215 children announced in May. These children represent the tip of the iceberg, an iceberg that residential school survivors, and the family members who have experienced and lived with the consequence of that trauma, have long known exists. 

The children taken from their families, from their communities, represents an absolute failure of society. More than that, the treatment of these children, and their families, as less than human in life and in death, represents nothing less than genocide. Genocide is not one specific example, genocide does not have a continuum; in all examples the intentions are clear and the consequences incontrovertible; lives were lost and communities destroyed.  

As a post-secondary educator, I believe our role is to grow knowledge, and create capacity. We must come to terms with a racist educational system that has a long history of engaging in genocide, in taking away Indigenous knowledge and removing capacity from Indigenous communities, and in relying on ways of being and doing that deny Indigenous knowledge and community. With institutional roots dating back to 1880, VCC is very much a part of this legacy that we must acknowledge, understand, and address.

I pray that what comes to light, and what continues to come to light in the coming weeks, months, and years forces us to confront the national crimes committed against the people Indigenous to Turtle Island, and the consequence of those crimes that continue to limit our ability to heal, and our ability as society to move forward in a good way. 

As an Indigenous person in a position of leadership within this broken system, I must reflect on the colonial and genocidal motivations that are behind our educational institutions, and work cooperatively to co-create a better way. Each day that we look at this as a problem of the past as opposed to a reality of the present, means that we are part of the problem, and that I am continuing to fail my ancestors, those who I walk alongside in this journey, and those that are yet to come. We can, and must, undertake the dialogue and the work to prioritize Indigenous knowledge and capacity, and return space to Indigenous knowledge holders and communities to create a healthy and safe way forward.


David Wells, MA JD
Vice President Academic & Research
Vancouver Community College

If you are a former residential school student in distress or have been affected by the system and need help, a 24-hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available at 1-866-925-4419, or the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll free line at 1-800-721-0066.

Additional mental-health support and resources for Indigenous people are available here.

President’s message: No place for anti-Asian racism

Posted on April 6, 2021

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

Dear VCC community,

I wanted to take the opportunity to share my deep sadness and anger over the recent and ongoing acts of hate and racism towards Asian individuals and communities across North America.

The tragic shootings in Atlanta were truly horrifying, and the violence we continue to see locally reminds us of the unacceptable discrimination our Asian friends, family members, students, and colleagues face every day. 

At VCC, there is no place for racism, discrimination, or hate-speech. It is especially during these difficult times that our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our own Asian students, staff, and faculty must be at its strongest. We are committed to working with our diverse community to ensure all voices are heard and everyone is protected and supported to live, work, and learn in a respectful, kind, and anti-racist environment. 

As members of an educational community, we have a shared responsibility to respond to these challenges by training the next generation with opportunities for learning and leadership.

A quote that is very important to me is from Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.  This is at the heart of the sacrifices my family made for my brothers and me, and I believe it is through education that we will advance reconciliation and win our fight against racism and injustice.

Nelson Mandela quote

For our students, if you would like to talk about the impact of these events on your life, I encourage you to reach out to our counselling department by booking an online appointment.

For our employees, Morneau-Shepell's call centres are available for you as well as your eligible dependents, 24/7/365 in 147 languages and six different formats.

As well, I invite you to explore our employee “Learning for Life” series at VCC for the following learning opportunities and resources:

  • Anti-racism Response Training (ART)
  • Intercultural Development Inventory
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for Students with Disabilities
  • Respectful Workplace Training

For further information and support, please see the list of community services below.

Also remember VCC’s “Safe Walk” program if you feel unsafe on campus or walking to your transit stop or car. Our security guards will escort you within a block of either campus to ensure your safety.

Please stand with me in solidarity with our Asian communities at VCC and across North America.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College



Fight COVID Racism
A platform that aims to allow individuals to share their experiences of racism, and tracks and records instances of Anti-Asian racism during COVID-19. Includes resources and support for individuals.

Asian Canadian Equity Alliance (ACEA)
A non-profit organization with a mission to confront bullying and harassment due to discrimination of one’s Asian heritage. Educates the public about racial, ethnic, and minority groups to explain the difference between stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and racism, and identify different types of discrimination. 

Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society
A registered non-profit charity with a mandate to advocate and provide support services for hate crime and systemic racism, as well as public education about institutional racism.

Canadian Anti-Hate Network
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network monitors, exposes, and counters hate groups.

Canadian Race Relations Foundation
Dedicated to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society.

POC in Play
An independent organization creating initiatives and events designed to increase the visibility and representation of People of Colour in the video games industry. The POC in Play team comprises of game industry professionals from a range of backgrounds and experiences, but who all share a passion to drive impactful change and open the door for more People of Colour.

A message from the VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement Department and VCC’s President

Posted on May 28, 2021

The 215 Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation children buried at a former Indian Residential School in Kamloops is a sad and stark reminder of the trauma that continues for Indigenous residential school survivors and their families. Our healing is not complete and our collective work in supporting this healing is far from over.

The damaging and lasting impacts that the residential school system continues to have on First Nations people, their families and communities cannot be understated. We have to face our history, not just acknowledge it.

Today, we call out to our Ancestors for care and healing for the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and for all the Indigenous families and communities across Canada that have lost their children.

This news is difficult and deeply emotional. For those who need to talk or get support the National Residential School Crisis Line for former students can be accessed 24-Hours a day at: 1-866-925-4419


VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement Department



We at VCC are deeply saddened to learn of the 215 children buried at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

I would also like to echo words of healing from VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement Department, and the reminder that our work towards reconciliation and truth is not done.

VCC is resilient in our commitment to the work of Truth and Reconciliation, as we face such a dark history, that we are painfully reminded of today.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College


President’s Message: National Day of Awareness for MMIWG

Posted on May 5, 2021

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

Dear VCC community,

I would like to acknowledge, with gratitude, that we work, live, and learn on the traditional unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

Wednesday, May 5 is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. I ask you to join me in wearing red in remembrance of the Indigenous women, girls, and transexual and two-spirit individuals who have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada.

Also known as Red Dress Day, May 5 is an opportunity for all of us to acknowledge the systemic racism and violence against Indigenous women and girls all across Canada, which deeply impacts our Indigenous colleagues, their families, and our broader Indigenous community. 

At VCC, we acknowledge the pain and barriers many of our Indigenous students and colleagues face in our society, and our college is committed to decrease the number of murdered or missing Indigenous women and girls through education and advocacy, both in the classroom and in community.  

As we look towards VCC’s next chapter, our college will continue to focus on building community-based supports that foster safe, inclusive spaces for Indigenous women and girls, and educational opportunities that are easily accessible from all areas of the province.

Please join VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department in wearing red on Wednesday, May 5 to honour and raise awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Additional ways to participate include free webinars, social media campaigns, and a physically distanced gathering outside Vancouver City Hall.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

President's statement on the missing children of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools

Posted on June 25, 2021

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

The disturbing news of the remains in unmarked graves recovered by the Cowessess First Nation at the former Marieval Indian Residential School is another sad and stark reminder of the real horror that continues for Indigenous residential school survivors and their families. I know this an extremely difficult time. 

This news is deeply emotional for the VCC community, especially our Elders, Indigenous learners, and employees. We are heartbroken and grieving with our Indigenous community and those across the country impacted by the continuing traumas inflicted by our collective history. Our work towards Truth and Reconciliation is far from over.

Indigenous peoples have long known about trauma of residential schools. The magnitude of the damage and lasting impact that the residential school system continues to have on their families, communities, and culture cannot be understated. We all have to face the truth of our history, not just acknowledge it.

I know that VCC is resilient in our commitment to the work of Truth and Reconciliation. I encourage all of our community to read the calls to action in the Honouring the Truth Reconciling for the Future report.   

For those who need to talk or get support the National Residential School Crisis Line for former students can be accessed 24-Hours a day at: 1-866-925-4419.



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

Moving forward with a cleaner and healthier outlook

Posted on July 20, 2021


Cleaners are among the essential, and often unseen, workers who have helped fight the spread of COVID-19. They work in a variety of sectors, including municipalities, educational institutions and schools, malls, grocery stores, hospitals, and private businesses. 

A clean and safe work environment is crucial for business continuity, and it is a matter of accessibility and equity for the health of all citizens. The work of cleaners is an integral part of our society. As part of the government’s economic growth strategy, Canada is offering permanent residency to around 90,000 foreign students and workers in jobs as diverse as plumbing and cleaning.

Since COVID-19 has changed how we conduct business in the world, the cleaning industry has also changed in how it hires and trains workers. The Building Service Worker (BSW) course at VCC has revised and upgraded its curriculum to reflect these changes in cleaning standards and its impact on all of us going forward. Our BSW course will examine the following standards that are here to stay:

  • More frequent cleaning 
  • Focus on high touch areas 
  • COVID-19 disinfectants, cleaners and soaps 
  • Electrostatic sprayers / foggers 
  • Enhanced ventilation 
  • Better PPE practices 
  • Proper and frequent hand-washing practices 

At VCC, we have been providing BSW training for over 30 years. In keeping with the times, the curriculum has adapted to include updated cleaning approaches, sustainable use of chemicals, and enhanced cleaning practices such as antiviral cleaning and disinfection. 

If you are interested in learning more about a fulfilling career driven through environmentally sustainable cleaning practices, join us at one of our free, online Building Service Worker information sessions. To sign up, visit vcc.ca/info.


VCC Continuing Studies launches new, streamlined registration system

Posted on July 11, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Continuing Studies is excited to introduce a new and improved online registration system featuring a streamlined, easy-to-use shopping-cart format.

For this major upgrade, which launches July 12, 2021, VCC selected the Destiny One student information system (SIS) by cloud computing leader Modern Campus due to its inherent focus on improving the experience of continuing learners.

“At VCC, our aim is to ensure our students are able to easily identify, locate, and enroll into a course or program. We want them to get the most out of the course offerings that best align with their professional aims and interests,” says Adrian Lipsett, VCC Dean of Continuing Studies.  

Not only will this new system improve the Continuing Studies registration experience, but also give current students the ability to access their transcripts and payment history, while offering staff and instructors an enhanced platform to develop and launch new programs.

“This registration system update has enabled us to greatly improve the VCC student’s journey, and we are excited to see the impacts this makes in the years ahead,” says Adrian.

Explore VCC’s new Continuing Studies registration system now and apply for courses and programs starting in Fall 2021. 

See our list of Summer 2021 courses still accepting traditional applications.

How-to videos


Hope to see you at VCC Continuing Studies soon! Still have questions? Email us at continuingstudies@vcc.ca.

Return to in-person learning follows BC's restart plan

Posted on July 5, 2021

A message from the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training

Students, faculty and staff at B.C.’s colleges and universities are being supported to come back together for in-person learning this fall, informed by the release of new Return-to-Campus Guidelines.

This follows the announcement that B.C. has transitioned to Step 3 of the Province’s restart plan.

“The pandemic has made the past year and a half difficult for post-secondary students and institutions, but now, thanks to vaccines, brighter days are right around the corner,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “I am so thankful to students, faculty and staff for showcasing their professionalism, flexibility and compassion throughout the pandemic, and I am excited for students to return to in-person learning this fall.”

The Return-to-Campus Guidelines are designed to parallel B.C.’s four-step restart plan. The transition period between Step 3, which took effect July 1, and the beginning of September is a crucial time, as post-secondary institutions ramp up operations and welcome back faculty, staff and students. The guidelines highlight the importance of public health measures, such as daily health checks and hand hygiene, as well as classroom logistics and on-campus student housing and dining services. For example, on-campus student housing providers can plan for close-to-full occupancy for the fall. Access to mental health supports for students, faculty and staff, Indigenous gathering places and accommodations for on campus-services are also outlined to support the transition. 

“We have made excellent progress with our provincial immunization program in B.C. That, along with declining case counts and low hospitalization rates, means we can gradually and safely move ahead with our restart plan – including in-person learning at our colleges and universities,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “We will continue to carefully monitor any transmission episodes on campuses, just as we do with influenza or other respiratory illnesses this fall, to keep students, faculty and staff safe. This is something we have shown we can successfully manage in B.C.”

The new Return-to-Campus Guidelines are the result of consultations with a broad team of experts from the public post-secondary sector, including Indigenous organizations and student associations, alongside faculty and staff unions, in partnership with the ministry and public health experts from the BC Centre for Disease Control, regional health authorities and the Office of the Provincial Health Officer.

Previous versions of B.C.’s guidelines for post-secondary institutions have been adopted by other jurisdictions across Canada as a model for planning a return to on-campus instruction.

Further, post-secondary institutions will no longer be required to have a COVID-19 safety plan. Instead, institutions are developing communicable disease plans to reduce the risk of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. The goal for the fall is to transition from highly prescriptive COVID-19 specific orders and protocols back to normal institutional policies and guidance on occupational health and safety.

Quick Facts:

  • B.C.’s vaccination coverage is among the highest in the world, and that is what is transforming the ability to safely live with COVID-19.
  • On June 29, 2021, with the transition to Step 3 of BC’s Restart plan, almost 80% of British Columbians have had at least one dose of vaccine.
  • As of June 25, 2021, 64.63% of people aged 18 to 29 in B.C. have received at least one dose of vaccine. https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccination-coverage/#a3

Learn more at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021AEST0045-001298 

Stay up to date by visiting VCC's COVID-19 information site regularly. 

Associate Vice President’s statement: The hard journey to reconciliation

Posted on July 6, 2021

A message from Clayton Munro, Associate Vice President, Student and Enrolment Services (Interim)

Dear VCC community,

On Wednesday, June 30, the Ktunaxa First Nation community of ?aq’am let the world know about 182 unmarked graves located near the site of the former St. Eugene Residential School near Cranbook, B.C.

The official statement clarified that it is unknown yet whether the remains belong to adults or children. Still, the message has rung clear that yet another Indigenous community in Canada has unearthed proof of an unjust, painful, and all too recent history.

As we face ongoing news like this, I want to emphasize that the people affected are not long-lost historical figures; they are our own peers and relatives. Having grown up in the Kootenays myself, I know the region well and return there as often as I can. My own grandfather, who passed away last September at the age of 90, is also a survivor of a residential school in Saskatchewan that closed its doors only in 1996.

The hard truth revealed in these announcements is not new to me, but I recognize that for many, there is newness to it. My sincere hope is that this collective reflection will further our understanding that Canada’s residential school system must be called an act of genocide, and that acknowledging this will help lead to transformation.

In my work at VCC, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration for Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) are not things I leave at home. I take them everywhere I go, to every meeting I have. I know VCC’s leadership stands with me on this, and I urge the entire VCC community, employees, and students to do the same.

Reconciliation will be a hard journey, but it’s a journey we need to take together. None of us should be disconnected from this. Get comfortable with the discomfort. Start conversations, reach out, reflect, and please join me in making change.



Clayton Munro
Associate Vice President, Student and Enrolment Services (Interim)
Vancouver Community College

The Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24/7 for survivors and their families: 1.866.925.4419.

Counselling support and further information is available for VCC students through VCC's Counselling Services or Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department.



Hamilton/Dunsmuir entrance closed July 6 and 7

Posted on July 2, 2021

VCC's main entrance on the corner of Dunsmuir St. and Hamilton St. is temporarily closing Tuesday, July 6, and Wednesday, July 7. If you must access the Downtown campus, please use the Pender entrance during this period.



Kei Ikeda
Facilities Project Coordinator, Facilities Management
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000 ext. 8605
E: kikeda@vcc.ca





Hear from game-changing Canadian authors in VCC interview series

Posted on March 12, 2021

Updated June 30, 2021

Welcome to The Space Between. In this exciting new series presented by Vancouver Community College (VCC), Humanities department leader Larry Perras speaks with Canadian authors who are challenging the way we see our world and relate to the people around us.

Each of the three featured authors are leading the ever-evolving discourse surrounding gender, race, sexuality, and culture, and creating an open space of respect, compassion, and power.

Live interview sessions were between January and May 2021. Recordings of the interviews have been made available for a limited time only.


Avan Jogia ­– Jan. 22, 2021

Avan Jogia is truly a modern Renaissance man. An actor, screenwriter, a director and musician, an LGBTQ advocate, and a poet, Avan, the son of an Indian-British father and English-Irish mother, reflects a new voice in the poetry world, one that is contemplative, at times starkly real, but always authentic. His perspective as a man of a mixed racial background, thus the title of his collection, Mixed Feelings, is one that honours his heritage and shows clarity about the possibility of inclusive change.

Louise Bernice Halfe – March 24, 2021

Award-winning and highly respected writer and poet Louise Bernice Halfe, also known by the Cree name Sky Dancer, has been named Canada's new parliamentary poet laureate, the first Indigenous person to receive this title. Her books, Bear Bones and Feathers(1994), Blue Marrow (2004), The Crooked Good (2007), and Burning In This Midnight Dream (2016) have all received numerous accolades and awards. Sôhkêyihta features selected poems and was published in 2018. Her latest work Awâsis – Kinky and Disheveled will be released in the spring of 2021.

In our interview, we discuss how Louise Bernice Halfe’s work contributes to a greater dialogue about connection and resilience. One of the most striking aspects of her writing is the focus on language as witnessing and documenting, and language as a force of claiming and reclaiming identity. Her ability to convey historical atrocities while maintaining a beauty of language and ideological optimism provides a perspective that is decidedly unique in our often-unconstructive discourses about Reconciliation. 

Ivan Coyote May 12 2021

Ivan Coyote – May 12, 2021 (Video expired – thank you for watching!)

Ivan Coyote is the award-winning author of 12 books, the creator of four short films, and has released three albums that combine storytelling with music. Ivan often grapples with the complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity in their work, as well as topics such as family, class, social justice, and queer liberation, but always with a generous heart, a quick wit, and the nuanced and finely honed timing of a gifted storyteller. 

In their latest book, Rebent Sinner, Ivan takes on the patriarchy and the political, as well as the intimate and the personal in beguiling and revealing stories of what it means to be trans and non-binary today.

Discover your own writing potential through VCC’s Academic Upgrading and University Transfer programs.

Heat Warning for Metro Vancouver today

Posted on June 28, 2021

Environment Canada announced a heat risk to the Lower Mainland today; please take preventative measures to avoid heat-related injuries.

Please note that Vancouver Community College (VCC) Broadway and Downtown campuses are open for normal operations today and our HVAC systems are operational. VCC will be monitoring the heat situation and will apply all WorkSafeBC guidelines regarding heat stress.

Protection from heat stress

Heat exhaustion can come on quickly when the body overheats to 40 degrees C. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea, headache, clammy skin, and intense thirst. Worse, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, a more serious condition that can cause brain damage, unconsciousness, and even death.

How can you protect yourself from heat hazards at work? Here are some pointers, whether the work happens outdoors or indoors under hot conditions:

Stay hydrated

Drink lots of water. When your sweat glands are working overtime, you need to stay hydrated. Aim to drink about one litre of water every hour and stay away from caffeine and alcohol, which are dehydrating.

Avoid direct sunlight/stay in shade

Seek shade. Avoid working in the sun — particularly between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. And don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours if you work in the sun.

Dress appropriately 

Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to help sweat evaporate and keep you cooler. Avoid dark colors, which can absorb heat. If possible, wear a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat.

Moderate activities

Exercise in the morning or evening, when it's likely to be cooler outdoors. If possible, exercise in shady areas, or do a water workout in a pool. If possible, stay indoors. Work out at the gym, walk laps inside the mall, or climb stairs inside an air-conditioned building.

Heed the humidex

Humidex ratings tell us how hot we actually feel when heat and humidity mix to an uncomfortable or unsafe degree. The higher the humidex, the harder it is to cool down by sweating. It’s important that employers monitor other factors that affect how hot it feels in the workplace, such as air flow, workload, radiant heat sources, and the age and physical health of workers.

Pay attention to warning signs

Heat illnesses can happen quickly, especially during hot-weather exercise, watch for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Visual problems

If you develop any of these symptoms, you must lower your body temperature and get hydrated right away. Stop exercising immediately and get out of the heat. If possible, have someone stay with you who can help monitor your condition. If you do not act, your condition may worsen, resulting in a medical emergency.

WorkSafe BC has also created a guide for workers during extreme heat conditions.

Please look out for each other! People generally don’t notice when they have heat exhaustion, so it’s important that workers be trained in recognizing its signs and symptoms and when to call for medical help.

VCC and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2021

Posted on June 24, 2021

VCC Music instructor Francois Houle / photo: Diane Smithers 

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to present a roster of talented music alumni and faculty performing at this year’s Vancouver International Jazz Festival running from Friday, June 25 to Sunday, July 4 at various venues around the city.

Check out the schedule of Jazz Fest performances by VCC faculty and alumni (all events are free unless noted otherwise):

June 25

Sharon Minemoto Quartet (with faculty Sharon Minemoto, Bernie Arai)
7:30 p.m., Frankie’s Jazz Club

June 26

Malleus Trio (with alumni Ben Brown, Geordie Hart, Dominic Conway)
12 p.m., Ocean Art Works

4:30 p.m., The Ironworks

Katherine Penfold (with alumnus Matt Reid)
$11, 7 p.m., Pyatt Hall

$11, 9 p.m., The Ironworks

June 27

Idle Moon (with alumnus Ben Brown)
12 p.m., Ocean Art Works

Mary Ancheta Quartet (with alumni Dominic Conway, Matt Reid)
1:30 p.m., Ocean Art Works

Jillian Lebeck trio
2:30 p.m., Performance Works 

Roisin Adams Workshop
3:30 p.m., Tom Lee Music Hall

June 28

Electric Miles (with faculty Bernie Arai)
$10, 8 p.m., Blueshore Theatre, Capilano University

June 29

Ribcage (with alumni Jon Roper, Joel Fountain, Matt Reid)
1:30 p.m., Ocean Art Works

Emad Armoush’s Rayhan (with faculty Francois Houle)
2:30 p.m., Performance Works

Stop Time III (with alumna Roisin Adams)
4:30 p.m., The Ironworks

June 30

Itamar Erez Quartet (with faculty Francois Houle, Kevin Romain)
2:30 p.m., Performance Works

Kevin Romain acoustic trio
$20, 7:30 p.m., Frankie’s Jazz Club

Sax Jeopardy! (with alumni Steve Kaldestad, Cory Weeds, Dominic Conway)
8 p.m., Blueshore Theatre, Capilano University

July 1

Thad Bailey-Mai Quartet (with alumnus David Blake)
12 p.m., Ocean Art Works

Marin Patenaude (with alumnus Pete Schmitt)
1:30 p.m., Ocean Art Works

Lisa Cay Miller (with alumnus Ben Brown)
4:30 p.m., The Ironworks

Jimi James Quartet featuring John Gross (with alumnus Brad Pearson)
7:30 p.m., Frankie’s

Tommy Babin’s Benzene (with faculty Bernie Arai)
$11, 9 p.m., The Ironworks

July 2

Sharon Minemoto Workshop
3:30 p.m., Tom Lee Music Hall

July 3

San Pedro Cinco (with Robin Layne)
2:30 p.m., Performance Works

David Blake Quartet
7:30 p.m., Frankie’s Jazz Club

Dee Daniels (with alumnus Joel Fountain)
8 p.m., Performance Works

July 4

Christopher Fraser Quartet (with faculty Sharon Minemoto)
12 p.m., Ocean Art Works

Loewen/Carter + Not for Proper
9 p.m., The Ironworks

Immerse yourself in the field of music. Learn more about VCC’s music programs and opportunities for success in the music industry. Attend an info session to learn more about bachelor, diploma and community music programs.


New Mechanical Engineering Technician program fills needs in B.C. industry

Posted on June 22, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce a new program designed to meet the growing demand for mechanical drafters and 3D modellers in British Columbia.

Launching in September 2021, the Mechanical Engineering Technician program was designed in consultation with multiple industry partners and will be delivered by VCC’s CAD and BIM department.

According to CAD and BIM department head Bruce McGarvie, industrial firms have expressed a heightened need for two specific professions: process pipers and 3D modellers for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems.

In any industrial facility, there can be millions of kilometres of pipelines, carrying anything from water and air to fuel or industrial gases. The term process piping refers to the design and installation of these vast pipe networks.

Similarly, in today’s large residential developments, designing safe, efficient MEP systems requires advanced training and 3D modelling technology.

In developing the new program, VCC received direct input from the industry, notably design firms Bycar Engineering and AME Group as well as Wood PLC, Fluor Canada, and PML Professional Mechanical.

"These firms are expecting a large demand for technicians," says Bruce.

Program options

VCC’s new, 10-month Mechanical Engineering Technician program is available to both domestic and international students, and can also be taken as a speciality within VCC’s two-year CAD and BIM diploma program.

According to Bruce, CAD and BIM grads, alumni, and other professionals working in the construction and design industry can also look forward to exciting new part-time options in the near future, including courses in virtual reality (VR) for building design.

Learn more about the Mechanical Engineering Technician certificate program and apply now for September 2021.


VCC students stand out on National Skills stage

Posted on June 16, 2021

Congratulations to Vancouver Community College (VCC) students on winning four medals in the Skills Canada 2021 Virtual National Competition held on Tuesday, June 15.

Students in the baking, autobody repair and car painting categories demonstrated outstanding performances and podium-finishes against competitors across the country.

Both VCC baking champions Noeka Nimmervoll (secondary) and Katie Rempel (post-secondary) earned the top titles following their provincial gold last month. Both competitors were required to produce a set of cakes and bonbons reflecting the theme “Enchanted Forest.”

Meanwhile, both autobody repair student Keagan Behiel (secondary) and car painter Emmett Thompson (secondary) produced stellar results with bronze and silver respectively.

We’re so proud of each student who took part in every level of this competition. Your pursuit of excellence, hard work, and perseverance have shone on the national stage. Well done!

Automotive collision repair – secondary

Keagan Behiel – BRONZE

Car painting – secondary

Emmett Thompson – SILVER

Baking – secondary

Noeka Nimmervoll – GOLD

Baking – post-secondary

Katie Rempel – GOLD

National Skills Canada 2022

The next National Skills Canada competition is set to take place in Vancouver in 2022 at the Vancouver Convention Centre from May 25 to 28. Stay tuned for more and get ready to cheer on our competitors in our home city next year.

Do you see yourself excelling in the skilled trades? Join one of VCC's upcoming free information sessions to find your fit.

VCC students raise funds for Deaf seniors

Posted on June 7, 2021

Each year, the graduating class of Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) ASL and Deaf Studies program holds a fun and educational community event called Deaf Deaf World. This year, they couldn't gather together but still wanted to still make a community contribution.

During the month of June, our students have partnered with the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility to help assemble and deliver 100 gift hampers to Deaf and hard of hearing seniors in the Lower Mainland, and are aiming to raise $2,500 to buy gift cards and other essential items for the hampers.

The students are also seeking puzzles, used books, game books, magazines, colouring books, pencil crayons, playing cards, magnifying glasses, and phone stands/pop sockets to include in the hampers.

Donate here to help them reach their goal! Deadline for donations is June 20. If you have questions or material donations, please email vcc.senior.hampers@gmail.com.

Download and share the poster [PDF]


Flyer thumbnail (click to download PDF)

Are you interested in learning American Sign Language and connecting with Vancouver’s vibrant Deaf community? Apply now to VCC’s full-time ASL and Deaf Studies program for September.













New VCC program teaches top trends in nail art and nail enhancements

Posted on June 14, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce a new Nail Technology program designed to meet the rising demand for manicures and pedicures for all genders.

The new, four-month, full-time certificate program will start in September 2021 and is accepting applications now. There are 16 spots available in the first intake and no prior experience is required.

As nail enhancements rise in popularity, so do return customers, as most styles require consistent upkeep.

"Nail spas are recruiting and training employees to keep up with the newest trends,” says VCC Nail Technology program assistant Gabriela Silva Paula. “VCC Nail Technology grades will be industry-ready and have many career choices from working in a busy spa to owning their own businesses."

With social media-fuelled beauty trends spreading faster than ever, nail spa clients are looking for trained technologists to recreate the latest nail enhancements. According to VCC’s industry insiders, for 2021, these include metallic nails, holograph-inspired, double French tip, and even animal prints.

And the jobs don’t stop at neighbourhood nail salons. "There are lots of employment opportunities in the spa industry as a manicure, pedicure, or nail care specialist, but also retail jobs in beauty supply companies or even in the film industry," says Gabriela.

Three manicure trend samples

Additional program options

In addition to VCC’s new full-time Nail Technology program, there is also a part-time program that will run Saturdays from 9 a.m to 4 p.m, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This flexible schedule is designed students who would like to continue working or have other daytime obligations.

For students and grads from VCC’s Esthetics and Spa Therapy program who have already received a full introduction to manicure, pedicure and gel polish, the Nail Technology certificate is an excellent option for those looking to expand their skills and specialize in nail art and other enhancements.

Apply now for VCC's new Nail Technology program starting this September.

Skilled trades workers supported to strengthen B.C.'s recovery

Posted on June 11, 2021

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) welcomes the announcement on skilled trades certification from the Government of British Columbia to strengthen the province's economic recovery post-pandemic. 

"Today’s announcement on skilled trades certification from the B.C. provincial government will directly benefit all VCC students enrolled in transportation trades programs by creating a framework that supports apprenticeship training, workplace and public safety, and provides the well-deserved recognition of the high-level of skill required for tradespeople to work in these industries," says Brett Griffiths, dean of VCC's School of Trades, Technology and Design. 

The province is launching a made-in-B.C. certification system to support higher-paying, more stable work for trades workers and to help build the foundation of a strong economic recovery.

The new skilled trades certification system will help deliver steady employment for people and address the demand for skilled workers in B.C. It will also create more opportunities for women, Indigenous peoples and those just starting their careers.

“Skilled tradespeople are building B.C., especially with the largest infrastructure investment in our province’s history already underway,” said Premier John Horgan. “This is a made-in-B.C. solution to ensure confidence that a highly skilled workforce is behind our recovery while providing good, family-supporting jobs that tradespeople can count on. By working together, we’re ensuring B.C. comes out of the pandemic stronger, with a recovery that reaches people across the province.”

Every other province in Canada requires tradespeople to be certified. B.C. removed that requirement in 2003. Without a recognized credential, it can be challenging for workers to transition between projects and industries, resulting in lost wages for workers and their families – especially for people who already face greater barriers to employment in the trades. Skilled trades certification will enhance the strong industry and safety training system, which includes partnerships with WorkSafeBC and Technical Safety BC.

Skilled trades certification will increase prestige for the trades, helping attract more people to trades careers. It will formally recognize the skills of current and future trades workers, helping them keep working as the economy and industry’s needs shift over time.

Apprentices will be part of a certified workforce that will build the infrastructure and provide the services that British Columbians rely on every day. Following public consultation, implementation will start with 10 initial trades from electrical, mechanical and automotive disciplines.

“Skilled trades certification recognizes the professionalism of tradespeople throughout B.C., and ensures equity-deserving groups and every person who wants a rewarding career in the trades can access the highest level of education and training,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “Similar to a post-secondary degree, a certified trades worker has a certification that is recognized by employers – just like teachers, lab techs, nurses and other certified workers. By recognizing the worker’s skill, we will attract more people into careers in the trades in order to help address labour shortages across a variety of trades.”

Based on recommendations from a 16-member stakeholder advisory working group Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training representing industry associations, labour, post-secondary institutions, Indigenous skills trainers and the Industry Training Authority, the 10 initial trades designated for skilled trades certification are:

  • mechanical: gasfitter Class A and B, steamfitter/pipefitter, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic and sheet metal worker;
  • electrical: powerline technician, industrial electrician and electrician (construction); and
  • automotive: heavy-duty equipment technician, automotive service technician and autobody and collision technician.

Once implemented, individuals in these 10 trades will be required to either be a certified journeyperson or a registered apprentice to work.

Quick Facts:

  • Approximately 73,000 job openings are expected in the trades in B.C. through to 2029. With 77% of these openings replacing retiring trades workers, skilled trades certification will help ensure the success of the individuals who will fill these roles, while continuing to build prestige around trades for those already working in them.
  • In 2003, the B.C. government eliminated compulsory trades credentialing system. This removed 11 compulsory trades and prescribed journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios.

  • Skilled trades certification will be implemented in phases after the public engagement process is complete. Once a trade has been designated for certification, individuals will have at least one year to either register as apprentices or challenge an exam to certify as a journeyperson, allowing uncertified workers to continue working while accessing any additional supports they may need to.

– 30 – 

Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim 

Marketing Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College

For skilled trades certification information, business cases and a public survey, visit: engage.gov.bc.ca/skilledtrades

Virtual runway show a dream come true for VCC Fashion grads

Posted on May 19, 2021

Eleven students from Vancouver Community College's (VCC) Fashion Design & Production program showcased their 2020-21 grad collections as part of Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) held online this year from April 16 to 18.

In lieu of a physical runway, VCC Fashion students collaborated with VCC Graphic Design students to stream a virtual runway film featuring collections including kids wear, Mariachi-inspired designs, horror film-inspired creations, nature-inspired looks, and more.

In addition to the VFW showcase, VCC Fashion students Celeste Sudermann and Shadi Arastehmanesh had the opportunity to share their experiences on CBC's Early Edition with host Michelle Eliot. Listen to the full interview online.

For Celeste, the process behind designing her collection was about challenging her creativity using only the fabrics available from the VCC fashion lab and adding hardware material such as hinges and seat belts to her streetwear pieces. 

International student Shadi, who aspires to become an independent designer for bridal fashion and evening wear, found that she had to adapt her designs so her pieces could be worn for other occasions – especially after the pandemic had restricted celebrations such as weddings and parties.

fashion, models

Shadhi's collection, titled Turquoise Treasure, is a women's evening wear collection inspired by the Victorian era of the 1800-1900s, and is marked by transformative details in the sleeves, collars, and skirts that are meant to mix and match with four different dresses. See more of her work on Instagram @shadi_arastehmanesh

Learn more about all 11 students from the 2020-21 Fashion Show or watch the virtual runway on Facebook Live.

Express yourself by bringing garments to life. Sign up to learn more about the fashion industry in a free online information session.

Students needed to meet the growing demand for apprentices in Canada

Posted on June 2, 2021

Original version published in The Georgia Straight

Did you know that Vancouver Community College (VCC) offers 14 trades apprenticeship programs that combine on-the-job training with classroom learning? If you prefer hands-on experience instead of spending your time buried in a textbook, then apprenticeship training may be the right choice for your post-secondary journey. Along with gaining invaluable career experience, most apprentices also get paid while they learn, and many graduate debt-free.

Isabelle Maheu, a communications advisor at Employment and Social Development Canada, recently told CBC News that there is “still limited awareness about the wide range of opportunities in the skilled trades.”

“Many youths don’t tend to readily view trades as a first-choice career and apprenticeship is not always promoted to youth as a pathway to rewarding and well-paying jobs,” she added.

According to a recent report [PDF] put together by Statistics Canada and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, Canada needs to attract 167,739 new apprentices over the next five years in order to keep up with current demand. Because of the skyrocketing need for trained apprentices, now is the best time to start a program that interests you. 

VCC apprenticeship programs can be started during high school, after graduation, or at any point in a person’s career. 

After finishing an apprenticeship program, graduates will receive their Certificate of Qualification. This designation is otherwise known as a “ticket” and is recognized by employers across B.C. Grads can also challenge the exam to earn a Red Seal Endorsement, which allows their trade credentials to be recognized anywhere in Canada.

Popular apprenticeship pathways at VCC

The latest trade to get added to VCC’s apprenticeship list is the Hairstylist Apprenticeship pathway. Students with a passion for hair will learn the latest techniques in cutting, colouring, styling, shaving, chemical treatments, and extensions while earning a B.C. trade certificate. The pathway is made up of two levels and programs start on a regular basis with the next intake in August 2021.

Those applying for a spot in the program must be 16 years of age or older, or a high school graduate. If a student has not yet graduated, marks from the Hairstylist Apprenticeship can be converted into high school grades.

Other apprenticeship programs at VCC can help students become automotive collision repair technicians, automotive glass technicians, automotive service technicians, bakers, cooks, and more.

Most apprenticeships take four years to complete, with students spending about 80 percent of their time on the job, earning an income. Depending on the trade, apprentices must be prepared to attend full-time classes at VCC for four to seven weeks for each apprenticeship level.

Many apprentices are also eligible to receive the Apprenticeship Incentive from the Government of Canada. This can be up to $2,000 for men and $6,000 for women.

VCC has pre-apprenticeship (foundation) programs in many popular trades for those who want to get a head start while still attending high school classes. For example, VCC now offers a combined Automotive Collision and Refinishing Foundation to give post-secondary or high school students a taste of both trades.

Meet our experienced trades instructors and ask all the questions you want at an upcoming free information session.

VCC Spring 2021 Student Awards recap

Posted on May 31, 2021

On Friday, May 28, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to celebrate the success, hard work, and achievements of students in a virtual Student Awards ceremony. The event was held on Zoom for donors and recipients, while friends and family were able to tune in through Facebook Live.

Elder Jean Wasegijig opened the ceremony with a territorial acknowledgment and welcome and was followed by remarks from VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel.  

"Twice a year, Student Awards are given to honour you – our students, for your hard work, commitment and lifelong learning path that you've chosen here. Pursuing a career or learning a new skill or a language during a pandemic is nothing short of remarkable, and I want each and every one of you to know that we are all proud of you." – Ajay Patel

Deans then presented the names and bios of award recipients from the following schools:

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business
  • School of Trades, technology and Design
  • Centre for Continuing Studies
  • School of Instructor Education
  • School of Arts and Sciences

Student Awards video feature

Each year, VCC Foundation selects one or more Outstanding Student Award recipients to highlight in a video feature. This spring, we shined the spotlight on Angela Mawbey, recipient of the Dental Reception Coordinator scholarship, and Beatrice Antica, recipient of the Student Success Team Award for Excellence.

Special music alumni performance

In past virtual ceremonies, a group of VCC Music alumni produce a rendition of classic hits such as Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone. Many thanks to Georges Couling (keyboard, producer, and editor), Jimmy Baldwin (guitar), Catherine Hiltz (bass), Daniel Ruiz (drums), and Elaine Shepherd (vocals) for their interpretation of Ed Sheeran’s Photograph.

This Award ceremony could not have been done without the generous support from our many donors. Thank you for continuing to give the gift of giving. Learn more about how you can support VCC students in need.

Five VCC students compete for national titles at Skills Canada 2021

Posted on May 25, 2021

Winning chocolate box by Katie Rempel, Skills Canada BC

Earlier this year, Vancouver Community College (VCC) celebrated multiple gold-medal performances in the Skills Canada BC virtual provincial competitions. Now, VCC’s champions in baking, autobody repair, and car painting will showcase their talents at the Skills Canada 2021 Virtual National Competition.

Instead of travelling across the country to a single host city, this year, our students will follow COVID-19 guidelines by competing remotely and safely at VCC campus facilities from May 25 to 30.


Comfortable and confident in VCC’s campus baking labs, competitors Noeka Nimmervoll (secondary) and Katie Rempel (post-secondary) will tackle the demanding requirements designed to find the best student baker in the country. 

To follow her golden performance at provincials, Noeka will be making 16 French macarons, two identical Povitica breads, and a decorated bar cake.

Our post-secondary champ Katie will need to produce 20 hand-dipped chocolate bonbons, a decorated chocolate presentation box, and a two-tiered celebration cake. Both competitors must creatively reflect the theme “Enchanted Forest.”

Autobody repair 

Meanwhile, in VCC’s autobody repair shop, provincial gold medallists Keagan Behiel (secondary) and Noah Kew (post-secondary) will be aiming for the title of Canada’s top student technician.

With judges expecting perfection, both our competitors will conduct a plastic bumper repair followed by a measuring and damage analysis project. Noah will then go on to complete a sectioning project.

Car painting

Finally, over in VCC’s high-tech downdraft paint booth, one more secondary winner, Emmett Thompson, will be showcasing his hard-earned car painting skills through tasks including prepping, masking, refinishing, colour tinting, and more.

Skills Canada event June 15

While individual virtual competitions will not be live-streamed, all competitors, classmates, friends, family, and fans are invited to join the Skills Canada Virtual National Competition virtual fair on Tuesday, June 15 for highlights, games, prizes, and a closing ceremony starting at 3 p.m. PDT. RSVP NOW >

Watch VCC’s social media feeds for updates on our national competitors and share your support online using the hashtags #myVCC and #SCVNC2021 or by mentioning @myVCC @vccautobody, or @vccbaking on Twitter and Instagram.

Are you interested in the exciting world of skilled trades? Join one of VCC’s upcoming free information sessions to find a rewarding, hands-on career that’s right for you.


VCC jewellery students inspire through public window displays

Posted on May 19, 2021

From Saturday, May 29 until Sunday, June 13, Vancouver Community College (VCC) Jewellery Art and Design students will be presenting their annual showcase in a new and innovative location – outdoors.

Typically a champagne-and-canapés affair in VCC’s Downtown campus atrium, last year’s jewellery show was shifted to a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While indoor gatherings are still restricted this spring, VCC’s Jewellery Art and Design students were inspired to utilize the large glass walls of VCC’s Broadway campus building B, displaying their famously creative jewellery vignettes inside the building while inviting the public to view them safely from outside.

Twenty-four displays of student-designed and handcrafted pieces will be featured along the building’s covered walkway, which is accessible from East 7th Ave. and Glen Dr.

“It will be viewed from outside the building, and will be well-lit, so visible anytime of the day or night," explains Karin Jones, VCC Jewellery Art and Design instructor and department leader.

Guests are also invited to follow the VCC Jewellery Facebook page to see photos and share comments.

Participating Jewellery Art and Design students

Graduating students

Leah Lang Instagram grey @westcoastmetalproject
Raquel Campos Instagram grey @raquelale
Tam Rueter Instagram grey @anchierrajewellery
Angela Thien Kim Nguyen Instagram grey @atkimndesigns
Michael Hill Instagram grey @michaelhilldesigns
Kourosh Mirabian Instagram grey @kourosh.ca
Sayeh Nourbahksh Instagram grey @sayehnourjewelry
Chera Kim Instagram grey @ouri_fine
Kelsea Balata Instagram grey @kelseabalata
Jing Yang Instagram grey @echpo.aul

First-year students

Aimée Taylor Instagram grey @ameli_jewellery
Iris Lo Instagram grey @ilj.studio
Clemence Beurton
Sebastian Penner Instagram grey @allparsleyeverything
Evan Matthews
Weiwei Li
Monique Huynh Instagram grey @moniquehuynhjewelry
Jill Vickers-Kealy Instagram grey @jillvk.jewelry
Tata Sadeghi
Kale Needham Instagram grey @triplefivejewelry

Are you coming to VCC’s parking-lot clinic for your COVID-19 vaccine? Pop across the street after your “jab” for some creative inspiration and picture yourself wearing beautiful jewellery again soon!

Interested in expanding your hobby or making jewellery as a career? Learn more about VCC's two-year diploma in Jewellery Art and Design and apply now for September.

Vancouver ranked best city for youth to work in Canada

Posted on May 11, 2021

It’s a great time to be in Vancouver. According to the 2021 Youthful Cities Urban Work Index, Metro Vancouver achieved the highest ranking in Canada as a place for youth aged 15 to 29 to live and work. 

The project considered 76 indicators, grouped into 11 different topics, to rank cities across Canada on things that matter most to youth. 

Youthful Cities 2021 categories

Of the 27 cities considered, Metro Vancouver was ranked first overall, in addition to achieving the top score in the categories of Equity and Inclusion, Public Transportation, and Public Health. 

Youthful Cities 2021 rankings chart

At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we’re thrilled about this ranking and proud to play a major role in preparing youth to take part in B.C.’s promising workforce.

Explore VCC’s wide variety of certificate, diploma, degree, and apprenticeship programs now and establish your future in the best city in Canada! 

For the purposes of this index, “Metro Vancouver” included our many friends in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, West Vancouver, and White Rock.


New mental health training tool for B.C. post-secondary faculty and staff

Posted on May 11, 2021

When it comes to mental health and wellness of post-secondary students, staff and instructors are often the first point of contact for those seeking help.

That’s why Vancouver Community College (VCC) welcomes the introduction of a new training initiative, Capacity to Connect, which provides basic mental health and wellness knowledge for post-secondary faculty and staff to support students in distress.

Developed by BCcampus and introduced on May 11 by the B.C. government, Capacity to Connect is another important tool for post-secondary institutions to support our future workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

“This past year has been tough for all British Columbians, including post-secondary students who have had to deal with so many disruptions and unexpected challenges,” says Anne Kang, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. "Capacity to Connect means faculty and staff at our post-secondary institutions will have easier access to the tools and skills they need to provide intervention and help."

Capacity to Connect is an open educational resource consisting of a two-hour training session that can be completed online or in person. Participants will gain a better understanding of their role in responding to students in distress and gain basic tools for approaching and referring students to campus and community resources. 

Key features of Capacity to Connect

  • Free, open education resource
  • How to recognize signs of distress, how to respond, and where to refer students
  • Resilience and wellness focus, including a wellness wheel self-assessment tool
  • A decolonized perspective on mental health and wellness
  • Scenarios representing B.C.’s diverse student population

Mental health supports for students

B.C. post-secondary students can access 24/7 professional counselling services through Here2Talk by:

Students calling from outside Canada can also dial 604.642.5212 (international calling charges may apply). Phone services are available in additional languages upon request.

VCC students may also access free, professional counselling services through VCC’s Counselling Services department.




Media release: Four colleges partner to deliver workforce training

Posted on May 3, 2021

VANCOUVER – Four colleges from across Canada have partnered to support economic recovery in their regions with the launch of a new industry training program in the supply chain sector, funded by the Future Skills Centre and developed by City School by Mohawk. 

Nova Scotia Community College, Mohawk College, Red River College and Vancouver Community College have partnered to deliver the Material Handling 4.0 pilot program, designed to help people transition into careers in the supply chain sector. The program builds upon the successful training model used by Mohawk College’s City School initiative in Hamilton, combining industry-driven training, individualized student support, and practical work experience to provide comprehensive training services to people who face barriers to employment and education.

Upon completion of the program, participants receive a micro-credential and employment services to help them successfully transition into long-term, stable employment.

The Material Handling 4.0 pilot program will provide participants with six weeks of industry-specific instruction and a two-week paid work placement, complete with wrap-around supports, such as child care, all required PPE and supplies for work safety, and referrals to support services (legal clinics, housing, health, etc.). This program will provide training for 243 people across the four participating colleges. Mohawk begins its first local cohort of the program today, and the partner colleges will launch their cohorts starting in Fall 2021.

Future Skills Centre (FSC) announced an initial investment of $1.95 million in the first phase of the program at Mohawk College in 2020 to develop and establish the program in the Hamilton area. Today, it is announcing an additional $1.1 million to expand the program to the three additional communities across Canada.

“As we continue to recover from COVID-19, our government is helping jobseekers up-skill and re-skill to fill in demand jobs. Mohawk College’s Material Handling 4.0 project is helping workers transition into new job opportunities within the supply chain sector,” said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough. “Further investments through the Future Skills Centre will allow new partnerships to expand the project’s reach and continue this important work.”

“Employers in the supply chain sector are suffering from labour shortages and disruptive technologies have left some workers behind,” said Ron McKerlie, President and CEO of Mohawk College. “The City School by Mohawk model has had proven success in creating pathways to meaningful employment in Hamilton over the past five years. We are grateful that our partner colleges have chosen to adapt this successful model to train people for supply chain job opportunities in their regions.”

“Thank you to the Future Skills Centre and Mohawk College for the opportunity to become one of the four colleges across Canada to train individuals for the supply chain sector,” says Ajay Patel, President and CEO, Vancouver Community College. “This program model, delivered by VCC in the heart of the city, aligns perfectly with our values of providing community-based education and training to those who need it the most.”

“We are pleased to support the expansion of this program,” said Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre. “We know that employers in the supply chain and material handling sector face labour shortages, while workers need to acquire different, more technical skills to meet the demands of this evolving industry. This learning model has demonstrated promise and fills a gap in the skills ecosystem around the need to connect post-secondary education with workforce development to support career advancement. Rolling out this program to strong partners in different regions will support workers, employers and industries to adapt effectively to these changes in order to thrive in the economy of the future.”

“We appreciate the investment from the Future Skills Centre in recognizing the importance of a skilled workforce in the much-needed function of materials handling,” said Pat Campbell, Vice President at Supply Chain Canada. Supply Chain Canada supports post-secondary institutions as they provide the full spectrum of education and training needed to work as practitioners and professionals. “Across warehousing and distribution, there is a chasm that needs to be addressed – especially now. And we’re glad to have the opportunity of expanding our existing partnerships with Mohawk College, Nova Scotia Community College, Red River College and Vancouver Community College as they take this important step to address a growing need.”

Material Handling 4.0 Background

  • Partnering colleges include Vancouver Community College (BC), Red River College (MB), Nova Scotia Community College (NS) and led by Mohawk College (ON)
  • 243 people across Canada will benefit from programming through this initiative
  • Investment totaling $3.05 million from the Future Skills Centre
  • The project will bring the City School model of community-based, tuition-free training to three new communities across Canada
  • Partner colleges were selected for their connections to the community, employers and the local opportunities within the supply chain sector
  • All participants will be provided with wrap-around supports, including a dedicated employment consultant for the program, provisions for child care services, PPE and appropriate referrals to support services
  • The program will train adults who are not currently enrolled in post-secondary education, who have been historically under-represented or under-served in their local communities
  • The program will consist of a six-week virtual training component, followed by a two-week paid placement with a local employer
  • Mohawk is set to launch its first cohort of Material Handling 4.0 to the Hamilton community in May 2021, with partner colleges following in the fall of 2021
  • Supported by FSC’s evaluation partner, Blueprint ADE, the program will also conduct research to understand the necessary conditions for replicating a community-based education model such as City School by Mohawk in diverse communities


About the Future Skills Centre

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success. We believe Canadians should feel confident about the skills they have to succeed in a changing workforce. As a pan-Canadian community, we are collaborating to rigorously identify, test, measure, and share innovative approaches to assessing and developing the skills Canadians need to thrive in the days and years ahead. The Future Skills Centre was founded by a consortium whose members are Ryerson University, Blueprint, and The Conference Board of Canada, and is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.

The Material Handling 4.0 project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre. Le projet Material Handling 4.0 est financé par le Centre des Compétences futures du gouvernement du Canada.

About VCC

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 55 years, offering post-secondary training in over 130 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses located in East Vancouver, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.

– 30 –

Media can contact

Danielle Libonati
Marketing Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College 


Applications now open for VCC nursing programs

Posted on April 19, 2021

British Columbia needs health care professionals. Over the next ten years, WorkBC estimates there will be a need for over 19,000 registered nurses, 17,000 health care assistants, and 4,200 licensed practical nurses in the province.

In response to this need, Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program has now streamlined its application process to eliminate the need for waitlists.

In line with other B.C. institutions, VCC’s new BScN application cycle will reset yearly and no longer place applicants on a waitlist for future intakes. After a given year’s cohort is filled, any students not admitted will be required to reapply the following year.

This change will also provide our future health care professionals the flexibility to apply to other nursing programs or enter related VCC health care or bridging programs instead of waiting in academic limbo.

Applications for VCC’s Bachelor of Nursing program are now being accepted for the September 2021 intake. Application deadline is May 31, 2021 at 4 p.m.

Start your health sciences career now

There are countless options for those interested in a health care career. See the full list of VCC health sciences programs currently accepting applications:


Health Unit Coordinator
September 2021 - Currently filling

Medical Office Assistant
September 2021 - Currently filling

Medical Transcriptionist
September 2021 - Currently filling

Office Administration: Medical Office Skills (Continuing Studies)
May 2021 - Registering now
September 2021 - Registering now


Acute Care for Health Care Assistants
October 2021 - Currently filling

Health Care Assistant
May 2021 - Currently filling
September 2021 - Currently filling 

Health Care Assistant – ESL
September 2021 - Currently filling

Medical Device Reprocessing Technician (Continuing Studies)
May 2021 - Registering now
September 2021 - Registering now

Medical Laboratory Assistant
May 2021 - Limited space left
September 2021 - Currently filling

Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant (Rehab Assistant)
September 2021 - Currently filling

Pharmacy Technician
September 2021 - Currently filling


Practical NursingSeptember 2021 - Currently filling

Access to Practical Nursing
September 2022 - Next intake

Nursing (BScN)
September 2021 - Currently filling (deadline May 31, 2021)

Nursing (BScN) Advanced Entry
August 2021 - Full

Information is current as of April 19, 2021. Apply now to secure your seat in these popular programs.

VCC auto collision and refinishing hosts 2021 Skills Canada provincials

Posted on May 6, 2021

On Friday, April 30, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to host the auto collision and refinishing portion of the Skills Canada BC 2021 provincial competition.

A total of 19 VCC students from both post-secondary and Youth Train in Trades (secondary) programs participated safely, completing physically distanced tasks in VCC’s automotive repair shop at the Broadway campus.

Congratulations to our medallists for carrying on the long tradition of Skills BC victories for VCC automotive trades! See more photos >

Post-secondary Collision
GOLD – Noah Kew
SILVER – Gilbert Joshua Dichoso
BRONZE – Inveer Singh

Secondary Collision
GOLD – Keagan Behiel (Royal Oak Secondary)
SILVER – Shamahue Alam (John Oliver)
BRONZE - Maxine Santos (Total Education)

Secondary Car Paint
GOLD – Emmett Thompson (Earl Marriott Secondary)
SILVER – Jean Carlos Barcelona (King George Secondary)
BRONZE – Karl Dable (Britannia Secondary)

Can you picture yourself on the podium? Learn more about VCC automotive trades (including high school programs) by joining a free information session.


Good luck to VCC's Skills Canada BC 2021 competitors

Posted on April 27, 2021

Please join us in wishing all the best to the Vancouver Community College (VCC) students competing in Skills Canada BC 2021 this spring!

This annual provincial skills competition is normally held at the Tradex in Abbotsford, welcoming more than 600 competitors plus industry judges, as well as a public audience. The 2020 competition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year we’ve got our sights set on the podium again.

In the 2021 competition, multiple VCC students from various skilled trades programs will be competing safely in online challenges from their individual homes or schools, with proxy judges on site and official judges participating virtually.

Will VCC students continue to dominate in our famous skilled trades? Tune in to the Skills Canada BC social feeds to find out, and send your support to our students online using the hashtags #myVCC and #SkillsBC. Check back for updates on our medallists and go VCC!

Automotive collision repair – April 30 – See results


Gilbert Joshua Dichoso
Inveer Singh
Khang Do
Noah Kew


Kaisei Meighan
Behiel Keagan
Maxine Santos
Emmett Thomson
Romel Eyobe
Shamahue Alam
Steven Hayre
Kaiden Sao
George Babyuk

Car painting – April 30  – See results


Emmett Thompson
Alvin Sum
Michael Wong
Jean Carlos Barcelona
Karl Dable
Nathan Ram

Baking – April 17 – See results


Queenie Li Instagram grey @queenie_li16

  • Gold winner: 2018 Provincials
  • Silver winner: 2018 Nationals

Gabriela Robinson Instagram grey @gabi_bakes_

Yejin Park Instagram grey @yejimon_

  • Silver winner: 2019 Provincials

Katie Rempel


Noeka Nimmervoll (Eric Hamber Secondary)

Ethan Jireh Dunol

Think you might shine at a skilled trade? Connect with VCC instructors and ask all the questions you want at an upcoming free information session.

Related stories:


VCC student account updates: Important information

Posted on April 7, 2021

Updated April 15, 2021

During the weekend of April 9 - 11, Vancouver Community College (VCC) performed an important update to student online accounts. This update affects all student passwords and any files stored in the Office 365 environment.

What you need to know

Moodle access

Use the same password as myVCC.ca login. 

SharePoint access

As a result of a technical limitation, SharePoint access previously provided to students by instructors could not be maintained, and will need to be set up again. This is a one-time action required to reconnect student accounts.

Address Book

Due to privacy updates, students will now see a blank Address Book in Office 365. As a result, students will not be able to use the chat function with other students in MS Teams.

Student password change

Passwords provide the first line of defence against unauthorized access to your computer and personal information. The stronger your password, the more protected your data will be from hackers and malicious software. Complex passwords have now been implemented for VCC students to be aligned with all VCC users. 

What is my password after April 9?  

Students will log in with a temporary password initially. The new, temporary password incorporates your previous PIN/Password and starts with ‘VCC’ and ends with ‘#’.

  • Temporary password format: VCC[student’s PIN/Password from April 8]#
  • Example: VCC012345# 

After initial login, students will be prompted to change their temporary password to include the following: 

  • Password length of minimum 10 characters 
  • Must contain upper and lower case letters
  • Must include at least one number
  • Must include a special character (i.e.  ! # $ % …) 
  • Must not contain account holder's first or last name 
  • Must not be one of the passwords previously used 

For detailed guidance, watch our Student Password Video Tutorial.

Going forward, use this updated password to log in to myVCC , Moodle and email.

Where are my files? / How to retrieve files

Any files stored in Outlook or OneDrive were not included in the update and must be retrieved within 30 days (starting April 9). Please see appropriate guides for file retrieval instructions: 

For detailed guidance, watch our Moving Outlook Emails Video Tutorial.

Thank you for your patience during this important upgrade to VCC systems. For questions or assistance, the VCC Help Desk can be reached by calling 604.443.8700 or emailing helpme@vcc.ca.


David Blake: The relentless call of jazz

Posted on April 29, 2021

Most people would say they like music. They may even love it. When it comes to jazz musicians, however, they live it.

For recent VCC Bachelor of Applied Music grad David Blake, this devotion started young, as a typical teenage affinity to classic rock transformed into a lifelong passion for jazz guitar. 

In celebration of International Jazz Day (April 30), and as David gears up for his next chapter as a master’s student at New York University (NYU), he looks back on his complex journey and what it means to live and breathe this extraordinary genre.

The hard way

By the time David finished high school, jazz had already taken a firm hold. “I figured if I have to go to college, it’s going to be for music,” he says. “I knew I wanted to be a jazz guitar player but I didn’t really know what that meant.”

Despite having talent to spare, David struggled with post-secondary education. He remembers himself as an 18-year-old, failing most of his first-term courses at Capilano College (now University) and only showing up for ensemble practices. “I wasn’t ready for school,” he says. “I just had a bad attitude.”

Over the next decade, David continued to drop in and out of post-secondary music programs at both Capilano and the University of Toronto. “I’d hit a wall,” he says, remembering each time he quit out of frustration.

Even without a formal bachelor’s degree, David continued to grow into a strong and experienced musician. He credits much of his development to instruction and mentorship from certain Capilano instructors like Mary Jo Bischoff, Brad Turner, and Jared Burrows, David Occhipinti and Dave Young in Toronto, and his Vancouver jazz “heroes” Darren Radtke, Steve Kaldestad, and particularly Bill Coon.

In his pursuit of jazz, David naturally became a fixture in Vancouver’s music community. He recorded several independent albums and built a successful career around performing, teaching at the VSO School of Music, and curating popular concerts at the Tangent Café and for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Body and soul

Like many committed jazz musicians, David also made the occasional pilgrimage to New York City, immersing himself in its vibrant music scene and taking lessons with acclaimed guitarist Lage Lund. It was during one of these demanding (and expensive) trips, however, that David says he realized he was battling depression, and returned to Vancouver to seek help.

“It was many years of hard work and struggling,” David says of his treatment, but he’s grateful for the new perspectives it gave him, including a fresh take on school. “I was able to grapple with many of the issues that prevented my success, like struggling with authority and being afraid to ask for help when I needed it.”

Then, during a jazz workshop in the summer of 2019, renowned Canadian saxophonist Phil Dwyer suggested David pursue a master’s degree, and he surprised himself by considering higher education once again.

David soon applied and was accepted to a master’s program at New York University (NYU), but on one condition: that he complete the bachelor’s degree that had haunted him for over a decade. That’s when David approached VCC about finishing his Bachelor of Applied Music quickly, easily, and close to home. 

“I went into VCC thinking this is going be another grind,” David admits. “I was thrilled to find that VCC faculty were some of the most phenomenal university teachers I’d had ever had,” he says, endorsing Deirdre Morgan, Ken Morrison, and guitar instructor Daryl Jahnke in particular.

What is this thing called jazz?

Charmingly cool and self-deprecating, David will be the first to admit that his story is not the best example for up-and-coming music students. Yet after nearly 20 years of playing, teaching, and honing his craft, David’s appreciation for jazz is deep, intelligent, and infectious.

At the core of jazz is improvisation – making up music as you play – a technique rooted in African American music of the 1920s that by nature represented “freedom.”

“Improvising seems scary at first,” says David, “but it’s really not.” For aspiring jazz artists, David recommends simply listening to as much of the music as possible. “You need to know what you’re after – what it means,” he says.

Next comes practice, and lots of it. Once jazz chord progressions and scales are internalized, David says a musician can summon them without thinking. “They’re there because you spent the time,” he says.

After that, David approaches improvising as a natural process of creating tension and release – something he says we are very used to feeling already, as filmmakers, authors, even chefs play with tension and resolution in their creative expression.

Finally, comes commitment. From A+ students to restlessly creative souls, “nobody is going to get very far just learning a ‘little bit’ about jazz,” David says. “You need to become fairly obsessed with it.”

Please join us in wishing very best to Vancouver’s own David Blake as he heads to NYU this fall!

Explore your own musical potential in any genre through VCC Music programs and courses. Applications are now open for September 2021 with auditions in May and June.

VCC baking students claim top spots at 2021 Skills Canada provincials

Posted on April 21, 2021

Winning macarons by VCC Youth Train in Trades student Noeka Nimmervoll

Congratulations to Vancouver Community College (VCC) baking and pastry arts students for claiming two golds, two silvers, and one bronze medal in the Skills Canada BC 2021 provincial competition held virtually on Sunday, April 18.

In the 2021 competition, six VCC students from both post-secondary and Youth Train in Trades (secondary) programs competed safely in online challenges from their individual homes or schools. The post-secondary students were challenged to make intricate chocolate boxes and decadent truffles, while our high schoolers tackled bar cakes and macarons, all with dazzling results!

Chocolate box by Katie Rempel

Woodland-inspired chocolate box and truffles by VCC baking student Katie Rempel