COVID-19 latest update:

VCH and VCC partner in COVID-19 testing site


VCC joins Microsoft in launching the Canada Skills Program

Posted on September 18, 2020

VANCOUVER - Vancouver Community College (VCC) partners with Microsoft as the first public college in B.C. to join the newly launched Canada Skills program. By offering affordable, instructor-led training, VCC is supporting the need for skills upgrading in this evolving digital economy. 

“At this critical juncture when people are looking to build a solid future in uncertain times, the opportunity to upgrade and learn new and in-demand digital and technology skills is imperative,” says Claire Sauve, interim dean, Continuing Studies. “VCC is delighted to be partnering with Microsoft on the Canada Skills program to prepare British Columbians for the future of work, with practical skills and certifications in data analytics, AI, and cloud computing.”  

VCC is launching the program by offering five components of Microsoft Azure training to start – Fundamentals, Administrator, Architect Design, Architect Technologies, and Data Scientist. Courses will begin online throughout October and November 2020. Free online info sessions are scheduled for those wanting to learn more. Register at

Microsoft release: 

Additional links: 

Media Inquiries: 

Danielle Libonati 
VCC, Marketing Communications Officer 


Nominations open for VCC Board of Governors and Education Council

Posted on September 14, 2020

Take part in shaping the future of teaching and learning at VCC.

Nominations are now open for vacancies on VCC’s Board of Governors and Education Council.

How to apply

Please fill out a nomination form and email it to before 4 p.m. on Friday, September 25. 

Online voting will take place from 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7 until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact

Nomination forms for Board of Governors

Student – Broadway campus / Annacis Island

Student – Downtown campus

Support Staff


Nomination forms for Education Council

Student – Broadway campus / Annacis Island

Student – Downtown campus

Faculty – College-at-Large

Faculty – School of Arts and Sciences

Faculty – School of Hospitality, Food Studies, and Applied Business

Faculty – Student Services

Additional resources

See VCC's election rules [PDF]

Learn more about VCC's values, vision, and mission on our About page. 

VCC’s new, dedicated ECCE space promotes independent play and learning

Posted on February 26, 2020



If you’ve ever simply sat back and watched a small child interact with the space around them, you realize that learning is constantly happening. 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.

One respected approach to early childhood education, called Reggio Emilia, embraces the environment as “the third teacher” and recommends free access to stimulating resources for uninterrupted exploration, play, and learning, promoting self-expression, communication, logical thinking, and problem-solving.

Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce the opening of a new, dedicated Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) space at the Downtown campus.

Formerly a typical classroom, the new 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 folding tables that are easy to move around. The setup of the room can change based on the content being taught. Some days, it becomes an art studio. Other days, it’s a storytelling circle, a music room, or a science lab. By integrating space design as an essential component of the ECCE program, it also encourages students to take initiative in their own learning and the construction of the environment.

Additionally, collaboration and partnership are important attributes of the ECCE profession, so two cohorts share the new space. Elements like sinks, cupboards, and bulletin boards allow other training crucial for child care, including organizing resources, working with families, documentation, and the creation of aesthetically pleasing classrooms.


Register now for individual VCC Early Childhood Care and Education courses starting in Spring 2020, or our two-year certificate or 15-month diploma starting in September.

What to know before coming to campus: Fall 2020

Posted on September 3, 2020



While most Vancouver Community College (VCC) programs and courses are being delivered off-campus during the Fall 2020 term, some students will be required to attend a VCC campus for in-class activities.

If you have been notified that you will be required to visit a VCC campus, review the following important information prior to your arrival on campus.

While we are happy to welcome you back to campus, students are required to follow all safety procedures as a way to help keep each other safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to give students updates through the VCC's COVID-19 information site.

If your class is on campus, please review the following topics:

Student self-assessment and Student IDs

  • Your instructor will send you a self-assessment survey via Moodle. Complete the survey before any visit to a VCC campus.
  • Bring your student identification card (VCC ID) with you
    • You will be required to show your VCC ID to security at the Downtown campus
    • You may be required to show your VCC ID to security while at the Broadway or Annacis

On-campus safety

To ensure the safety of all VCC students and employees, please:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands upon entering the campus and regularly throughout the day.
  • Limit your time on campus.
  • Maintain a two-metre distance from others, and respect all signs posted.
  • Avoid touching surfaces whenever possible.
  • Use proper respiratory hygiene practices.


Currently, approximately 30 per cent of washrooms at VCC are closed. Washroom availability will be based on ongoing campus occupancy. Open washrooms are clearly marked and located near high-traffic areas, central locations, and areas adjacent to elevators and stairs for ease of access.


Food service outlets including cafeterias, bakeries, and restaurants are closed. If you must spend a full day on campus, please plan to buy food elsewhere or bring a meal with you. Vending machines remain available. Please refrain from eating in classrooms.


The wearing of non-medical masks is recommended by the BC Centre for Disease Control, BC's Provincial Health Officer, and the Public Health Agency of Canada to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in instances where physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained.

To support the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors, it is strongly recommended that non-medical masks or face coverings be worn in all indoor common areas while on campus.

  • Common areas include building entryways, classrooms, labs, shops, washrooms, study areas, hallways, elevators, and stairwells.
  • According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, face coverings can also include a bandana, niqāb, scarf, or neck gaiter.

Masks and face coverings do not replace physical distancing, hand washing, and staying at home if you are sick as the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It is also important to remember that some people may have barriers that prevent them from wearing a mask. Whether someone is wearing a mask or not, all students and staff at VCC should be treated with respect. 

Learn more about how to access VCC student services remotely by visiting VCC's COVID-19 information site.

How to access free counselling and mental health services for students

Posted on September 9, 2020

Woman's hands with grey manicure holding iPhone outdoors


As post-secondary students hit the books this fall, Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the Government of B.C. want to ensure that students who need mental health support know how and where to get it. 

Launched in April 2020, 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.

“I want anyone who feels alone or isolated or overwhelmed to know that it is ok to not be ok and that there is help for you when you need it,” says Melanie Mark, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

“Students experience high levels of stress and anxiety compounded by the pandemic,” says Judy Darcy, B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “No matter where they are, access to mental health services shouldn’t depend on where you live or the size of your bank account.”

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 Morneau Shepell, 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.



Indigenized VCC program launches careers in dental reception

Posted on September 8, 2020

VCC dental reception student Chantelle Davis in Aarm Dental office

A version of this story was originally published in Say Magazine

When Chantelle Davis started working for Aarm Dental Group in the fall of 2019, she knew a successful future lay ahead. “I had other job offers, but I knew my worth. I wasn’t accepting anything less,” says Davis.

Chantelle accepted her new dental reception position after graduating from Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Indigenous Dental Reception Coordinator program, which was designed in partnership with the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS).

“I now have financial freedom and am better able to support my family,” says Chantelle, who is from the Nisga’a First Nation. She adds that support provided by VCC and ACCESS helped her be interview- and career-ready.

This fully-funded, nine-month Indigenous program starts with the ACCESS-delivered Essential Skills program that strengthens proficiencies like reading, oral communication, and working with others. Essential Skills prepares students to immediately tackle course materials with the confidence and creates a classroom where you feel like family.

The program was limited to 12 students and included Indigenous elements, such as setting desks in a circle and dedicating a day to cultural activities. “Cultural Friday” began with a smudge, followed by an activity like going to a gallery or on a canoe trip, or making drums and cedar hats.

“The smaller class meant that when I got distracted, VCC was able to bring me back in,” says Davis. “I’ve been in courses where there were 300 students; it was easy to fall through the cracks.”

Fewer students and the flexibility to deliver the program to meet student needs enabled Michele Rosko, the program’s lead instructor, to offer individual attention.

ACCESS Director of Programs Gary McDermott also admires the success of this program. “This partnership proves a course can be reformatted to Indigenous standards ensuring Indigenous Peoples succeed in the classroom and workplace,” he says.

Learn more about Essential Skills and other career training opportunities through ACCESS by calling 604.251.7955 or visiting

Revised U-Pass BC program to resume in September 2020

Posted on August 25, 2020


Following consultations with participating Lower Mainland post-secondary institutions, Students’ Union representatives, Translink, and the Province of B.C., a revised U-Pass BC program will resume on Sept. 1, 2020.

U-Pass BC criteria

The U-Pass program was created to assist students with transportation costs to and from their post-secondary institution. As such, under the terms of the U-Pass agreement, all U-Pass programs follow a set of non-negotiable criteria. Students cannot opt-in or opt-out of the U-Pass program. 

  • Students who are in distance-only (online) courses will not be eligible for the U-Pass. 
  • Students who are in classes that require regular on-campus activity (i.e. at least once a week on campus) are eligible and will be assessed U-Pass fees. 
  • Students who are in clinical or practicum placements are eligible for the U-Pass during the months of their placement. 

U-Pass fee reassessments

VCC will update all U-Pass fee assessments made prior to Sept. 1 to ensure any U-Pass fees match student eligibility. 

Learn more about how to access VCC student services remotely by visiting VCC's COVID-19 information site

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: 

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


LinkedIn Learning now available to all VCC students

Posted on May 28, 2020


Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased announce the launch of LinkedIn Learning as a complementary educational resource for registered VCC students. 

LinkedIn Learning offers an extensive collection of expert-led videos covering a wide variety of topics including technology tips, communication skills, creative expression, personal hobbies, and more.

Using an existing myVCC account, students can now access:

  • Thousands of topics. Choose from more than 5,000 videos.
  • Convenient learning. Access on your schedule, from any desktop or mobile device.
  • Personalized recommendations. Explore the most in-demand skills based on your experience.
  • Helpful resources. Gain and reinforce new knowledge with quizzes and exercises, and track progress.

VCC’s development of the LinkedIn Learning platform for students was already underway prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its launch was accelerated in order to provide students with a wider variety of resources as they study remotely. 

“LinkedIn Learning is a rich resource to complement educational learning, career development, and personal growth for our students. We are excited to offer all VCC students this unique opportunity to enhance their post-secondary experience for free, at the convenience of their own time and place,” says Jane Shin, VCC Associate Vice President, Student Success.

How to access VCC’s LinkedIn Learning 

1. Activate

Visit VCC’s LinkedIn Learning portal, and read and accept the VCC Privacy Policy.

2. Connect

Connect your pre-existing LinkedIn account or create a LinkedIn account to get customized learning recommendations.

3. Customize

Select your interest areas to access customized content based on your skills, employment history, connections, and networks. 

4. Learn and share

Take expert-led video tutorials ranging from 10 minutes to multiple hours in length, at your own pace and on your own time, and display your progress on your LinkedIn profile. 

We’re here for you. VCC Student Services is working hard to ensure VCC students continue to succeed in their programs and courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Services include free tutoring, library services, counselling, and more.

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.


Mishel Bouillet – One to Watch

Fashion artist and entrepreneur

Mishel Bouillet has both a diploma in fashion design and a certificate in small business management from VCC. She has stayed true to her roots in fashion, but adapted where necessary to survive—and thrive—in a tough industry. CCurrently, Mishel is lead designer for Davie & Chiyo, and will be launching Studio BOUQUET, a new line of gender-fluid, minimally-silhouetted matrimonial wear due out in the Spring of 2020.


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.

5 ways to help you de-stress on campus

Posted on April 28, 2014

‌Being a student can be very stressful, especially during exams. It's important to take some time and take care of yourself.

In recognition of Canadian Mental Health Association's Mental Health Wellness week, VCC is hosting Mental Health Wellness day - an inspiring event offering free activities, expert speakers and helpful information from community agencies, counsellors and nursing students. Enjoy music and refreshments, as well as demonstrations of mind/body healing techniques. Make sure to join us at the event!

VCC also offers many services to help you unwind. Nimmi Takkar, the Student Union of VCC's (SUVCC) interim executive director, has provided her recommendations for five ways to help you de-stress on campus. Read on!

  1. Exercise – Take a free yoga class every Tuesday through SUVCC
  2. Eat well – Have a delicious meal at our student-run cafeterias
  3. Be well – Make an appointment and meet with the VCC Counselling department
  4. Get help – Get some one-on-one help from professional tutor at the VCC Learning Centre
  5. Relax – Get a relaxing service from the VCC Salon and Spa


Mental health wellness event news

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. 

VCC’s six-day Tooth Trolley gives kids a reason to smile

Posted on June 3, 2019



From Tuesday, May 21 to Tuesday, May 28, Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) on-campus dental clinic opened its doors to hundreds of children from across the Lower Mainland during the 13th annual Tooth Trolley. 

During this year’s event, VCC’s certified dental assistant (CDA), dental reception coordinator, and dental hygiene students and instructors welcomed 315 pre-registered children from 15 local schools for free dental checkups, preventive services, and oral health education.

Traditionally held over four days at the end of May, this year’s Tooth Trolley was expanded to six days in order to allow for greater participation. In total, over $45,000 in dental care was provided. 

“It’s heartbreaking to see how many children are in need but never have an opportunity to seek dental care in a safe and fun environment,” says VCC Dental Clinic coordinator Ling Lo Yan. “Extending the program also allowed our students to have a greater number of patient experiences before starting their practicums.”

In addition to offering free checkups, VCC’s Tooth Trolley also aims to reduce children’s anxiety about dental care. The day is filled with fun and positivity, starting with a morning ride on an old-fashioned Vancouver Trolley Company bus, followed by appointments with VCC’s “tooth fairies,” and finishing with educational activities and crafts, and a healthy snack.

"The attitude changes we see are sometimes quite transforming,” says Ling, highlighting one particular patient who had avoided dental care for many years due to past experiences, but felt safe coming with classmates. “She was very happy throughout the whole appointment,” says Ling. “This is the kind of transformation we are striving for.” 

The 2019 Tooth Trolley was made possible thanks to enthusiastic participation by the Vancouver Trolley Company, and through generous donations by lead sponsor, Chevron, with a $30,000 gift, and Telus with a $15,000 gift. 

See the photo gallery.


Do you have a heart for helping people? Learn about the many program options in health sciences available at VCC. 


VCC Outstanding Alumni Awards 2018 winners

Posted on March 20, 2019

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 communities. Honorees represent four categories and each winner stands out with unique stories of success, inspiration, and dedication.


Curtis Krahn, Community Contribution

Founder/Principal, Synthesis Design Inc.

An early start in drafting led to a career in architecture. Curtis opened Synthesis Design Inc. in North Vancouver in 1993, and has been designing residential homes ever since. Over the years, he has employed many VCC grads, and continues to stay connected with VCC’s CAD and BIM (Drafting) programs through the Program Advisory Committee and by offering tours to current students. Curtis is actively pursuing building methods that are more affordable, follow green building practices, and are less intrusive to neighbourhoods during the building process.


Jeremy Inglett – Changemaker

Co-director, The Food Gays

Jeremy has taken a VCC baking diploma and created a whole new paradigm for success in the field. Jeremy is a food blogger, photographer, and author. He is one of the duo behind The Food Gays, having created a virtual empire, complete with television appearances, books, and over 62,000 followers on Instagram. Jeremy’s success is blazing a new path in an ancient tradition.


Alan Matheson – Career Success

Musician, VCC music instructor

Alan is a professional and multi-talented jazz and classical trumpet player, a pianist, composer, conductor, and teacher. VCC students and faculty are extremely fortunate to have such a world-class expert on the history of jazz in their midst. In addition to teaching, Alan enriches the lives of countless music lovers by leading his own big band, nonet, septet, and trio, and writing arrangements for such jazz legends as Clark Terry and Bud Shank.


Kyoung Yong Lee – One to Watch

Clinical Informatics, Vancouver Coastal Health

Kyoung is a proud member of VCC’s very first Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) cohort. After VCC, she went on to complete a graduate degree at the University of Victoria in health informatics. Kyoung is demonstrating strong leadership in the development of health care in a way that empowers clients and addresses health inequities through the innovative use of technology. Most of her work focuses on treating older adults with chronic illnesses. Kyoung has presented her findings in a number of forums; she is definitely one to watch in the field of disease management for those with significant barriers to localized care.


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

Flourish Gala 2019 recap

Posted on March 18, 2019



A fabulous night was had by all at the third annual Flourish gala, held on Wednesday, March 13 at the Vancouver Community College (VCC) Broadway campus. VCC's signature "green-tie" fundraiser has quickly become a popular evening where hundreds of alumni and supporters come together for one great cause.

This year's event featured 16 culinary action stations operated by prominent local chefs, 14 Okanagan wineries, a live band, silent auction, photo booth, fashion art competition, spa treatments, and a Nespresso coffee bar. Proceeds from the Flourish gala support student scholarships and awards through the VCC Foundation. This year’s contributions will serve students in our hair design and esthetics programs.

Flourish guests enjoyed innovative tasting plates from chefs including culinary olympian Poyan Danesh of Ocean Mama Organics, Top Chef Canada finalist Mark Singson, The Great Canadian Baking Show judge and VCC instructor Bruno Feldeisen, rising star Heat Laliberte of One Arrow Meats, and many more. For VCC baking, culinary arts, and hospitality management student volunteers, this was also a coveted opportunity to work alongside some of B.C.'s biggest names in food and wine.

We were privileged to have CBC personality Fred Lee return to emcee the event, while a VCC alumni band entertained the crowd with groovy energy. Among the generous selection of silent auction items were six original illustrations by VCC fashion students, all of which had been part of an online competition in the weeks leading up to the Flourish gala. Congratulations to winner Nataly Kingsley, who claimed the $750 prize.

This year's gala also marked the beginning of a new educational partnership with Nespresso Canada and a scholarship from Hy's Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar.

In his address, VCC president and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda shared the college's deep gratitude for the support of guests and alumni alike. “Your contributions help the students we serve," he said. "Your impact is wide-reaching and we're very proud of the excellence you all strive for.”

The VCC Foundation would like to thank the many other sponsors who contributed to the night’s success, including Loungeworks, Naramata Bench Wineries Association, Ocean Mama Organics, TD Insurance, White & Peters, Color Compass Corporation, Craftsman Collision, and The Georgia Straight.



See the photo gallery >


Want to make a difference in the life of a deserving VCC student? Learn about the many ways to give through the VCC Foundation.

Spring 2019 Convocation recap

Posted on July 2, 2019


Passion is what has pushed you over the finish line and it is passion that will guide you through your career. Do not underestimate the value of the education you have just received.

– Curtis Krahn, VCC drafting alumnus

Among photos, flowers, and family members, on Thursday, June 27, proudly gowned Vancouver Community College (VCC) graduands proceeded from the Downtown campus to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to celebrate one of their biggest academic milestones. 

Over 1,250 guests were in attendance to celebrate the graduation of 1,335 students in this Class of 2019.

VCC awarded degrees, diplomas, and certificates to the following program 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

This spring, Samuel Dabrusin of the Bachelor of Applied Music program gave the valedictory address:

Our graduating class is extremely rich in diversity. The VCC experience was one where the open exchange of ideas could be shared respectfully. It was a place where we could take risks and pursue our passions. Thanks to the supportive environment created by the staff and students, we experienced a reinvigorated energy to learn, create and play. It was a place where we could make friends to inspire us one day and humble us the next.

Curtis Krahn delivered the alumni address, offering some words of wisdom to the Class of 2019:

Throughout your career, remember to always celebrate your successes, big and small. They are often hard-earned, often involve a team effort, and are fun to share! Passion is as individual as you are, and it has no limits.

Curtis is a local architect, an alumnus of VCC's drafting program, and recipient of a 2018 VCC Outstanding Alumni Award. He continues to stay connected with VCC's CAD and BIM (drafting) programs by offering mentorship and serving on the program advisory commettee.

View the full photo gallery online. 

Replay the Facebook Live broadcast

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

VCC Spring 2020 Student Awards recap

Posted on June 2, 2020

On Tuesday, June 2, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was proud to celebrate 189 deserving students at our Spring 2020 Student Awards ceremonies. 

To maintain safe physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony was held via Zoom for donors and recipients, with a Facebook Live stream available for friends and family. 

The ceremony began with a video message of congratulations, gratitude, and encouragement from VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel, and a live greeting from VCC Foundation Board chair Ken Cretney. 

VCC’s deans then introduced the awards and displayed the names and bios of award recipients for the School of Health Sciences, the School of Hospitality, Food Studies and Applied Business, the School of School of Trades, Technology and Design, the Centre for Continuing Studies, the School of Instructor Education, and the School of Arts and Sciences.

Student Awards video feature

Each year, the VCC Foundation selects one or more outstanding Student Award recipients to profile in a video feature. This spring, the honour went to four international students from VCC’s automotive collision and refinishing program, Junghoon Song, Dalvir (Lucky) Singh, Tien Du, and Yulianto (Mike) Setaiawan, all recipients of awards from BMW Group.

A special tribute was also paid to Paul Bird, Regional Development Specialist at BMW, who passed away only a few weeks ago. Paul coordinated the BMW awards with VCC and was a treasured friend to the college and the VCC Foundation.  

Special alumni presentation

As a unique surprise for attendees of our first-ever online Student Awards ceremony, a group of VCC Music alumni (who had never worked together before this!) created an original music video arrangement of the 1939 Wizard of Oz classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Did you know? The VCC Foundation has been working hard to help students meet their basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. LEARN MORE >

New VCC Associate of Science degree opens doors into university and the workforce

Posted on August 17, 2020

Student writing code on a computer

Originally published in The Georgia Straight

An Associate of Science degree is a fairly common credential in the United States, but according to Jennifer Kelly, department leader of Science at Vancouver Community College (VCC), it’s not nearly as well known in Canada. 

"B.C. is the only province that offers them," she says. VCC’s Associate of Science degree program accepts new students three times a year—in September, January, and May.

In the program, students complete two years of undergraduate science to earn a standalone credential, enabling them to analyze and interpret data collected through research or in the lab.

The Associate of Science degree can be applied to address real-world problems or be used as ladder to higher education. “It can be used either to transition into a career or transfer into the third year of a four-year bachelor’s program,” Kelly explained.

“SFU actually gives preferential admission to associate degree holders,” Kelly noted. “UBC doesn’t do that, but they do guarantee full transfer credit for 60 credits for the associate degree,” she said. “That can save students quite a lot of hassle in the transfer process.”

Online and safe, on-campus learning

Due to COVID-19, most VCC classes are being delivered remotely. According to Kelly, instructors have worked exceptionally hard to keep classes as interactive and engaging as possible over Zoom. “It is working very well,” Kelly said. “The students can share their screens, follow along with real-time changes to the code that the instructor is making, and so on.”

In the first year, there are 24 science credits—including biology, chemistry, and physics—along with six math credits and six English credits. “We’ve got the go-ahead to do in-person chemistry labs, thank goodness,” Kelly said.

Second-year students take one introduction to statistics course and 24 more science credits. In addition, the second-year students are required to obtain six credits in arts courses other than English.

Is an Associate of Science degree right for you? 

Kelly pointed out that those with an aptitude for math, computing, and engineering might be interested in this program. “It’s really about problem-solving and critical thinking as much as it is about practical training,” she said.

VCC offers small class sizes, with no more than 40 students, and students pay significantly lower tuition than at B.C.’s research universities.

Kelly emphasized that VCC faculty love teaching and "they're good at it." 

Mature students have often done very well in math or science at VCC, she added. “They tell us later on that they didn’t think they were any good at math and science before they came to us,” she said. “But we have this very supportive environment and show students what they’re capable of, which is quite gratifying.”

VCC has a diverse student body, and people of all ages and cultural backgrounds enjoy studying there. “Feeling like you belong is important to succeeding in education,” Kelly noted. 

Learn more about the new Associate of Science degree at VCC.

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 to learn more, or email the program coordinator at

Sign up for our new email newsletter to keep informed on the latest computer and software courses at VCC.

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 & CSSJavaScript, 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 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

Turn your enthusiasm for music into a career at VCC

Posted on August 5, 2020

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

Imagine getting paid to do something that you love. How exciting would it feel to work every day as a musician, music teacher, or composer?

At Vancouver Community College (VCC), students are given the opportunity to turn their passion for music into a successful career.

This fall, the music department at VCC will deliver programming through a mix of in-person and online learning via Zoom and Moodle. Due to COVID-19, VCC has had to temporarily modify the ensembles, masterclasses, and rehearsals that typically take place at the Broadway campus to ensure the safety of students.

“VCC Music is a uniquely broad program, deeply exploring many ways of making music across all genres, styles, and time periods,” says Laurence Mollerup, music department leader at VCC. The industry-leading department was created in 1975.

Potential students can hone their skills and learn about the industry through three different programs offered at VCC.

The  is a two-year program with training that includes: advanced compositional techniques, solo and ensemble performance craft, music history and theory, improvisation, ear-training, and other skills. Graduates from this full-time program will also gain great insights into developing repertoire, supporting their career goals, marketing, copyright law, conducting, and much more. Many VCC graduates have gone on to study at notable universities all over the world.

Anyone looking to launch their own career in music should seriously consider enrolling in VCC’s two-year . Students can specialize in any genre including jazz, rock, contemporary, classical, and electronic music. Within the full-time program, students will study rehearsal methods, composition, instrumental and vocal technique, self-promotion and marketing, solo and ensemble performance psychology, ethnomusicology, orchestration, and more.

Beginners can learn the essentials of music theory and practice through VCC’s . Dedicated instructors and some of Canada's top musicians will teach students chords, scales, triads, intervals, music sight reading, ear-training and other basics. These part-time classes are ideal for musicians with limited theoretical knowledge.

“We offer real-world training with specialized classes led by highly credentialed, award-winning professional musicians, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators,” says Mollerup.


Hone your skills in the music genre of your choice. Learn about the music program by attending an information session online. 

Graphic designers connect to raise COVID-19 funds

Posted on August 4, 2020

VCC’s first-ever Connected by Design event turned out to be a big hit.

Despite not being able to network in person, the graphic design industry got behind the July 22 event resulting in 109 tickets sold and raising more than $1,000 for VCC’s COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund.

“Overall, the event was a great success and a nice spinoff from all the new work we've been doing with online learning in our department,” says Anne Emberline, department head of VCC Digital Media Design, which hosted the two-hour educational and social event on Zoom.

“We were happy to give our design community such a beautiful opportunity to connect and we’re looking forward to building the event with future iterations.”

The post-event survey confirms there should be a future for Connected by Design. Eighty-eight percent replied that they would attend the event again.

Attendees praised the event for its group discussions, digital painting demo, and speakers, including keynote Amy Balliett, founder of Killer Visual Strategies, an award-winning visual communication agency located in Seattle.

Read more about our student bursary and award recipients, and the donors who are helping them reach their goals.

Japanese baker inspires mothers to pursue their dreams

Posted on March 2, 2017

In a chat at her East Vancouver café with the Georgia Straight, Hitomi Syvertsen explains that after she became a mother, she began hosting her friends at her place because she was found it too challenging to go out with her children. When her friends praised her cooking, she became inspired to enroll in Vancouver Community College's culinary program.

After a decade of experience in the food industry, including stints at Pan Pacific Hotel, Four Seasons, Terminal City Club, and the Delta Hotel Burnaby, she collected all of her best recipes and began to think about opening her own business.

Then at an auction, she saw a table she fell in love with. She told herself that if she won the auction for the table, she would pursue her dream.

As the story would have it, she wound up opening Baker and Table Café and Bakery at 6414 Fraser Street on February 3.

If you haven't already guessed, the name comes from what she started with: herself (the baker) and the table (the—wait for it—table).

Her love for repurposing used or old items is reflected not only in her friendship with her faithful table companion (who was hired to support the cash register) but also in the décor, such as her collection of mismatched tables and chairs (which seat up to 16 people), and various household items on display that she collected over the years or brought from Japan.

With her 600-square-foot retail space (the total premises are 1,800 square feet), she's sought to create a homelike feel. She's been successful.

In fact, it's been so cozy that some people have been falling asleep when she puts on jazz music in the background. (She had to switch to putting on the radio.)

"That means people [feel] comfortable here, and they feel secure," she says. "It's so busy outside on Fraser. It's just people go-go-go but you come in here and it's different."

Syvertsen, who hails from Nagoya, Japan, but has lived in Canada for 15 years, offers a combination of Western and Japanese food and baked goods on her menu. With a special attention to ingredients, many of her items are vegan or gluten-free.

In fact, she uses balsamic vinegar instead of soy sauce because, she explains, soy sauce has wheat in it. How thoughtful!

Continue reading in the Georgia Straight


Learn more about baking and culinary arts at VCC:

Unique VCC program welcomes newcomer women into trades

Posted on June 1, 2020



VCC baking instructor Leanne Bentley (top center) and Trades Sampler students meeting via Zoom

What do a former restaurant owner from Turkey and a mother of three from South Sudan have in common? They both discovered a love for hairstyling, thanks to a unique Vancouver Community College (VCC) career training program for newcomer women. 

The first Hair Design, Culinary, and Baking Trades Sampler program for newcomer women ran March 2 to May 29, 2020. Designed and delivered by VCC instructors in partnership with Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) and the B.C. Industry Training Authority (ITA), the program offered customized, practical introductions to a variety of trades careers in Canada.

Ten women began the program with hairstyling training at VCC’s Downtown campus Salon and Spa. After COVID-19 restrictions suspended face-to-face instruction, the students continued the program remotely via Zoom and Moodle.

Lyazzat Alkan, originally from Kazakhstan, immigrated to Canada three years ago and has enjoyed learning hairstyling skills in the program. She now has her sights set on working as a hairstylist in the film industry. “Thanks to an excellent teacher, Mr. Stewart Anderson, we learned to cut and colour hair, and got a lot of knowledge in a short time,” says Lyazzat.

Nelly Duku arrived in Canada in 2005, having fled the civil war in South Sudan. She previously learned hairstyling techniques by watching online videos, and has now also built up employable skills in culinary and baking. “The instructors were super supportive and experienced,” says Nelly.

According to Pam Khinda, senior program coordinator at VCC’s Partnership Development Office (PDO), students have remained engaged and inspired to apply their learning at home, such as cutting hair and making professional-quality meals for their families. “This speaks to the students' commitment to learning and project team's passion, dedication, and creativity despite the lack of hands-on teaching options as originally planned for,” she says.

Opening doors to trades careers

According to Statistics Canada, only one in 10 trades apprentices today are women. Since VCC offers many of the most sought-after trades training programs in B.C., Pam jumped at the chance when the ITA approached her to help deliver a trades program specifically for immigrant women. 

“Many immigrants in B.C. miss out on rewarding opportunities in the trades, mainly because of the lack of awareness. New Canadians are an integral part of the community, and apprenticeship fast-tracks their ability to participate in the economy,” says Paulette Higgins, ITA Training Investment Director.

In addition to trades training, program participants also learn job-search skills and get personalized support from a PICS employment counsellor. "These women bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, but prior to this, were not able to pursue their passion," says Raj Hundal, PICS executive director.

For a number of the students, this is their first formal educational opportunity in Canada. “We were thrilled to be able to help address this need,” says Pam. “We saw this as a great opportunity to assist immigrant women explore different trades in a safe, welcoming, and group-based environment.”

Learn about more VCC programs that are are thriving using online and hybrid delivery. 



A taste of history: Introduction to Chocolate

Posted on February 19, 2019



What’s your favourite type of chocolate? Have you ever wondered how it came to be? VCC instructor Caroline Griffiths shares a few flavourful facts ahead of her new evening course, Introduction to Chocolate, starting March 20.

The cocoa bean originated in Mexico (Mesoamerica), and was cultivated by Indigenous peoples for use in beverages and other rituals as far back as 1900 BC. In 1502, Christopher Columbus was the first European to find cocoa beans but he didn’t recognize their value at first, calling them “almonds.” 

Cocoa consumption soon caught on in Europe, however, and by 1580, the first chocolate factory opened in Spain. In 1617, chocolate was produced for the first time in Switzerland, and by 1679, France was manufacturing chocolate as well. It was Daniel Peter of Vevey, Switzerland who invented milk chocolate in 1865. 

Cocoa production today

Today, the Ivory Coast supplies 30 per cent of the world’s total cocoa, leading the rest of the world by over half a million metric tons with a total crop of 1,448,992 tonnes. Ghana has the sec­ond largest cocoa plantation in the world.

A tropical environment with an average temperature of 26 to 28°C and high humidity is required to grow cocoa. The trees take about three years to produce fruit, and for the first few years, the young trees need to be grown under cover. The cocoa flower buds only remain open for four days and it takes about five months from a flower being pollinated to develop into a fully ripe pod.  

Know your chocolate

Do you know what the shelf life for chocolate is? For both white and milk chocolate it’s six to eight months. Dark chocolate can last for up to a year. Also, chocolate with fat content below 33 per cent is best suited for decorations, dessert mousses, shavings, and ganaches while chocolate with fats above 33 per cent is best suited for desserts, fillings, enrobing, and molding.

Ready to learn more? Registration is now open for VCC’s new Introduction to Chocolate course. Join us Wednesday evenings starting March 20 to learn top techniques for working with one of the world’s favourite and most in-demands foods.

Other new VCC Continuing Studies courses starting in Spring 2019 include: 

Baking and Hospitality


Business Communications

Creative Writing

Early Childhood Care and Education



Building Service Management


Learn something new. Pick up the Spring 2019 Continuing Studies course catalogue at any VCC campus, download the PDF, or explore the full selection of Continuing Studies courses online. 



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.

VCC receives second Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™

Posted on July 27, 2020


Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that our Building A at the Broadway campus is now officially certified through the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program, which recognizes meaningful access for people of all abilities. Building A, constructed in 1983, was VCC's first building at the Broadway campus, and is home to VCC's automotive trades programs, international culinary arts, academic upgrading, university transfer programs, and more. 

Areas assessed include accessible routes to the main entrances, accessible outdoor parking lots, proximity to transit, wayfinding, emergency systems, and more. VCC's Broadway campus buildings are now listed on the RHFAC Registry and will be displaying window decals at the entrances.

Building B, which is home to VCC's health sciences programs, Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department, and serves as a public event space, earned VCC's first RHFAC certification in April 2020. Evaluation of VCC's Downtown campus is also planned in the near future.

Access for all

RHFAC is an organization that aims to improve the accessibility of the built environment for people with vision, hearing and mobility disabilities – the places where we live, work, learn, and play. RHFAC has created a national rating system that helps both owners and tenants measure the accessibility of their buildings and sites based on a consistent methodology, and promotes increased access through the adoption of Universal Design principles. 

VCC is also proud to have trained many of the RHFAC professionals in Vancouver through a one-of-a-kind educational partnership formed in 2016.

Since its launch via VCC Continuing Studies, RHFAC Training has since expanded to five other post-secondary institutions across Canada. Over 1,250 sites have been rated across Canada thus far, with over 800 achieving RHF Accessibility Certified or Certified RHFAC Accessibility Certified Gold status. 


Are you ready to help Canada become more accessible? VCC’s two-week, 48-hour Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) Training course runs in both the Spring and Fall terms at VCC. 


Celebrate Pride Week 2020 online with the VCC community

Posted on July 27, 2020



A message from VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel

As Vancouver heads into a very different Pride Week this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what does not change is the importance for all of us to reflect on the storied history of LGBTQIA2S+ rights in our communities, our country, and around the world.  

In Canada, Pride happens from coast to coast throughout the summer. From the smallest communities in B.C. to major cities like Vancouver, allies and activists stand with our LGBTQIA2S+ community together to create space for dialogue, solidarity, and advocacy. 

This summer, Pride in Vancouver will be without the annual parade, one of my favourite Vancouver events every year – so how do we celebrate? 

At VCC, while we may not be able to wave our LGBTQIA2S+ flags together in person, we recommit ourselves to our work of creating inclusive, equitable, and safe spaces for all our students and employees. I also want to express my personal appreciation and gratitude to the Positive Space committee at VCC. Thank you for your efforts at VCC and in our community.

Vancouver Pride Society also has a number of wonderful online and accessible events and activities planned, and we at VCC will be sharing an array of wonderful content on our social media channels during Pride Week. I encourage everyone at VCC and in our community to engage in your own safe celebration. 

I wish you a kind, joy-filled Pride!



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

Minister Mark announces $750K boost for VCC nursing programs

Posted on July 23, 2020



Vancouver Community College (VCC) was pleased to welcome Melanie Mark, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to our Broadway campus today for an exciting announcement about new funding for health sciences education.

During a physically distanced visit to VCC, Minister Mark announced $750,000 to expand a bridging program for licensed practical nurses who choose to continue their education by completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). 

This is part of a new $4.4 million injection in funds for health profession-related education and training at multiple B.C. post-secondary institutions. It adds to annual funding of more than $125 million for health education programs around B.C. 

“For years, British Columbians have been calling for more trained health professionals in their communities,” said Minister Mark. “We heard that call to action and we’re investing in valuable, in-demand training in every corner of the province.”

"This funding will make us stronger as we continue to provide the highest quality health-care graduates, especially important during this challenging time with COVID-19," said VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel.

Programs receiving funding include training for health-care assistants, anaesthesia assistants, mental health and community support workers, and programs for nurses. The funding also creates opportunities for existing health professionals to further enhance their skills. 

"VCC is among the few places that offer a bridging program for LPNs to become BSN registered nurses," said Ananda Crouse, an LPN who has bridged into VCC's BScN program. "Who is better to become an RN than an LPN who has skills and experience in the field of nursing?"

Top five Valentine’s Day gift ideas from VCC Salon & Spa

Posted on February 11, 2019

When you fall for a beauty product, that relationship that can last a lifetime. This Valentine’s Day, VCC Salon & Spa instructors are letting us in on their long-term love for five hair and skin care products.

Whether you’re shopping for a special someone or boosting your own beauty routine ahead of the big day, check out these top picks, all available for purchase at VCC Salon & Spa.



AG Fast Food $24 

Recommended by: Keeleigh, VCC Salon and Spa program assistant

Silk and keratin proteins work together in this super popular leave-on conditioner. Fast Food adds moisture deep into the hair cuticle for strong, silky hair that stands up to everything February throws at it!   

Salon tip: Use a quarter-sized amount and apply to damp hair focusing on the ends. Comb through.


Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Styling Oil $22.50

Recommended by: Emma, VCC hairstyling instructional assistant

Tame frizz for a smooth, shiny, Valentine’s Day selfie-ready look with this keratin-rich styling oil.  

Salon tip: Start with a minimal amount and apply to hair focusing on ends. Add more if needed. 



Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant $80

Recommended by: Paula, VCC skin and body therapy instructor

Natural rice bran is the secret ingredient in this fresh exfoliant that helps to smooth and even out skin tone. Highly recommended after a box of chocolates.

Spa tip: Use daily after cleansing to unclog pores and get rid of dry skin.


Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer $74

Recommended by: Tyra, VCC Salon & Spa business manager

Prevent sun damage and aging with this SPF-30 powerhouse primer. Skin is left looking smooth, feeling hydrated, and loving you back. 

Spa tip: Mix with your moisturizer for a light tinted coverage.



Eminence Stone Crop Hydrating Mist $44

Recommended by: Chika, VCC skin and body therapy instructor

Hydrate and calm irritated skin with this fresh, fragrant toner. A gentle bouquet of stone crop, aloe, and bearberry help leave your face clear, invigorated, and free of impurities.

Spa tip: Use morning and night after cleansing to keep your skin hydrated.



VCC Salon & Spa Gift Card

Honourable mention

Can't choose? Go with a VCC Salon & Spa gift card, redeemable for VCC Salon & Spa services including manicures, pedicures, facials, massage, hairstyling, and more.


Do you love helping people look and feel their best? Learn more about VCC’s hair design and esthetics programs at an upcoming free information session.


VCC graduates will go for gold at WorldSkills competition in Russia

Posted on August 7, 2019



Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Vancouver Community College (VCC) baking and pastry arts graduate Clarissa Roque did something amazing in May at the 2019 Skills Canada National Competition in Halifax.

She created seven different pastries over a 14-hour period in two days, wowing the judges and winnning a gold medal in her category.

This has enabled her to advance to the WorldSkills competition in August in Kazan, Russia.

But that wasn’t the only VCC–related accomplishment in Halifax. One of its recent culinary arts grads, Leah Patitucci, also won a gold medal in her category.

This means that for the first time, one school—Vancouver Community College—has Canadian bragging rights in both of these categories for the upcoming global event. It takes place every two years and attracts competitors from more than 60 countries.

VCC’s dean of hospitality, food studies and applied business, Dennis Innes, told the Straight by phone that the success of the students doesn’t reflect only the quality of the culinary and baking and pastry arts programs. It’s also a testament to the commitment and dedication of the two former VCC students.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Innes declared. “They really have to want to do it.”

He pointed out that Roque and Patitucci were both enrolled in high school programs created in partnership with VCC. These programs provide an opportunity to earn academic and trades training credits before going to college.

Innes is on the board of Skills Canada B.C. and will be in Kazan for the WorldSkills Competition. But this is not the only chance for students and recent grads to demonstrate their mettle. According to Innes, they’ve competed for the national Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship and in the Culinary Olympics.

“In both the culinary and baking programs, we have our own internal top-student competition,” he added.

VCC has the largest culinary arts and baking and pastry arts programs in the province. Because it receives funding from Industry Training Authority B.C., VCC is more affordable for students than other schools that don’t have this affiliation.

Continue reading in The Georgia Straight


Get a taste of VCC's world-class training. Sign up now for an upcoming baking or culinary arts info session.

Start your VR/AR design career at VCC this September

Posted on July 22, 2020

Woman using VR headset and handsets in classroom with whiteboards


According to Vancouver VR/AR Association president Dan Burgar, British Columbia is already a world leader in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) development, which makes it a perfect place to cultivate new VR/AR design professionals. “We need to support the future generation of talent to create new worlds beyond our imagination,” he says.

Thanks to industry leaders like Dan and an exciting partnership with Vancouver Film School (VFS), Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to help students explore these new worlds through a VR/AR Design and Development diploma program starting in September 2020.

This two-year program will harness the best assets, training, and knowledge of both VCC and VFS to launch future careers in this burgeoning field. Yes, students will learn to develop video games, but they’ll also discover the many innovative VR/AR solutions for business, engineering, education, and more. During the program, students will work with real clients while also developing their own capstone projects and professional portfolios.

“Our students will learn from industry leaders and be well-positioned for their future careers as virtual and augmented reality experts,” says David Wells, VCC Vice President, Academic and Applied Research.

The program starts with a four-month study term at VCC, where students receive an introduction to computer programming, 2D/3D design, and game engines Unity3D and Unreal Engine. Students then spend two more terms sharpening their skills at VFS, and finally participate in a hands-on industry practicum. 

Both VCC and VFS campuses are located in Downtown Vancouver, offering the convenience of access and shared resources.

“VFS and VCC have been physical neighbours in Vancouver for many years. It is particularly satisfying and exciting to pool our resources and offer students a unique, sophisticated VR/AR program,” says VFS president James Griffin.

Graduating students will receive a two-year diploma from VCC and an advanced production diploma from VFS. International students will also be eligible to apply for post-graduation work permits. 

Are you ready to create the tools of tomorrow? Learn more about the VR/AR Design and Development program, starting in September 2020. 

Loud and proud, Queer as Funk make Motown their own

Posted on August 1, 2018



Alison Gorman is the trumpeter for Queer as Funk, a seven-piece cover band who market themselves as: “Vancouver’s hottest, queerest band.” And when the Motown pop/neo-soul septet plays the Commodore Ballroom Aug. 3 it will be more than a point of pride, Gorman says. It will be a political act.

“It’s going to be a big, sweaty beautiful dance party. Furthermore, there’s something important about taking a space like the Commodore on a Friday night on Granville Street and filling it with queer bodies and queer allies.”

Granville can feel intimidating, Gorman says.

“I walk through the world and more often than not I get misidentified as a guy,” she says. “It’s not something that I’m complaining about because it in some ways can afford me a certain amount of invisibility.”

But LGBTQ folks without that measure of invisibility end up hearing catcalls, which is bad enough, Gorman says, but worse are creepiness-laced comments that leave people feeling unsafe.

“We want all of our straight allies to come out and celebrate and be proud,” Gorman says. “It’s important that we get to know each other.”

To help create that familiarity, Queer as Funk will likely pepper their setlist with newer hits like “You Are the Best Thing,” by Ray LaMontagne, soul classics by Aretha Franklin and Etta James, as well as standards from the Motown catalogue.

When discussing Motown – the label that boasted Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and The Marvelettes – founder Berry Gordy, Jr. said the music was for: “white and black, blue and green, cops and the robbers.”

Choosing to play music that was accessible to everyone was a conscious decision, Gorman says.

“You can’t not dance,” she says.

Gorman first arrived on the North Shore at 13. Sipping her coffee, Gorman describes sitting in the band room at Balmoral Junior Secondary School after moving to North Vancouver from Ottawa. At her old school she’d lobbied to play trumpet because she didn’t want to lug a trombone around. Then she’d learned a scale and not much more.

At Balmoral the music other kids were playing seemed beyond her.

“I wanted to quit,” she remembers.

But her mother – as mothers often do – presented an alternative. She signed Gorman up for the North Vancouver Youth Band under the premise Gorman could quit after two months if she didn’t like it.

“Which was a lie,” Gorman laughs. “I knew that even then. We don’t quit things.”

She eventually studied music at UBC but had less than fond memories of performing in front of a faculty jury.

“They grade you and decide whether or not you’re worthy as a person,” she says. “That’s what it felt like.”

At the urging of a teacher, she switched to Vancouver Community College and found a contrast to the competitive pressure cooker of UBC. She also found a heap of bands in need of a horn player.

“Everyone is constantly asking you to play in their band,” she says, noting she connected with Queer as Funk keyboardist Luis “Babyface” Melgar through VCC.

Continue reading in the North Shore News >


Explore your musical potential in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Meet VCC music faculty and learn about upcmoing auditions at our next free information session

VCC and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Posted on June 18, 2015

vancouver international jazz festival-logo

For over 40 years, the music department at Vancouver Community College (VCC) has helped hone the natural talent of many musicians, composers and bands; many of who graduated from VCC to big and bright careers in the music industry. VCC is proud of the many music alumni and faculty who are performing at this years Vancouver International Jazz Festival, running from Thursday, June 18 to Wednesday, July 1 at multiple venues around Vancouver. 

Interested in learning more about VCC’s music programs, the talented faculty, and the opportunities for success in the music industry?  Attend an info session to learn more about the Bachelor, diploma and community programs VCC music offers. 

Schedule of TD International Jazz Festival performances involving VCC faculty and alumni (all events are free, unless noted otherwise):

Jared Burrows Sextet (with faculty member, John Korsud, trumpet)
Thursday, June 18, 3 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

Tanga (with alumnus, Malcolm Aiken)
Thursday, June 18, 7:30 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

Karin Plato Ensemble (with faculty member, Laurence Mollerup, bass)
Friday, June 19, 12 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

SICK BOSS with Debra-Jean Creelman (with alumna, Debra-Jean Creelman, vocal, and Tyson Naylor, accordion)
Friday, June 19, 1 p.m. - Granville Island - Performance Works

Hugh Fraser (alumnus, trombonist) & VEJI
Friday, June, 19, 6 p.m. - Pat’s Pub ($20)

Pugs and Crows (with alumnus, Ben Brown, drums) and Tony Wilson
Friday, June 19, 9:30 p.m. - Innovation Series - Ironworks ($25)

Ben Henriques Quartet (with faculty member, Bernie Aral, drums)
Saturday, June 20, 1:30 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Robson Stage (free)

Tony Wilson Tribute to Jim Pepper (with alumnus, Ben Brown, drums)
Saturday, June 20, 3 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Robson Stage

John Korsud’s Latin Ensemble (with faculty member John Korsud, trumpet, and alumni, Niho Takase, keyboards, Chris Couto, timbales, Sangito Bigelow, congas, Ronnie Swirl, bass).
Saturday, June 20, 6:45 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Robson Stage

Tia Brazda (with faculty member, Sharon Minemoto, keyboards)
Sunday, June 21, 12:30 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

Hugh Fraser (alumnus, trombonist) and VEJI
Sunday, June 21, 2:15 p.m. - Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

Benoit Delbecq with François Houle, Gordon Grdina and Kenton Loewen (with faculty member, Francois Houle, clarinet, and alumnus, Kenton Loewen, drums)
Sunday, June 21, 9:30 p.m. - Innovation Series - Ironworks ($25)

Official Jazz Jam - Phil Boniface Trio (with alumna, Sharon Minemoto)
Monday, June 22 / Tuesday, June 23 / Thursday, June 25 / Monday, June 29 / Tuesday, June 30, 8:30 p.m. - Pat’s Pub

Samuel Blaser and François Houle Duo (with faculty member, Francois Houle, clarinet)
Tuesday, June 23, 5 p.m. - Innovation Series - Ironworks

Tyson Naylor Trio
Tuesday, June 23, 6:30 p.m. - Libra Room

Alumnus, Tim Sars (baritone sax) and Friends
Tuesday, June 23, 9:30 p.m. - Libra Room

Alumnus, Tyson Naylor, keys, with Nils Berg, Russell Sholberg and Chris Cantillo
Thursday, June 25, 5 p.m. - Ironworks

Tim Sars Trio (with alumni, Tim Sars, baritone sax, Brendan Krieg, drums)
Friday, June 26, 12 p.m. - Granville Island - Public Market Stage

Peregrine Falls (with alumnus, Kenton Loewen, drums)
Friday, June 26, 11:30 p.m. - Innovation Series - Ironworks Late Night ($15)

Electric Miles (with alumus, Hugh Fraser, keyboards)
Saturday, June 27, 12 p.m. Roundhouse - David Lam Park Stage (free)

Mazacote (with alumni, Chris Couto, timbales, Niho Takase, keys, Robin Layne, congas)
Saturday, June 27, 3:30 p.m. - Roundhouse - David Lam Park Stage

Tiny Pyramids (with alumnus, Tyson Naylor, keys)
Saturday, June 27, 5:30 p.m. - Roundhouse - Exhibition Hall

Minemoto, Coon and Danderfer (with faculty member, Sharon Minemoto, keyboards and melodica)
Sunday, June 28, 1 p.m. - Granville Island - Performance WorksPerformance Works

Trio Boujou (with faculty member, François Houle, clarinet)
Wednesday, July 1, 5 p.m. - Granville Island - Ron Basford Park Stage

Alumnus, Brad Turner Quartet
Wednesday, July 1, 7:30 p.m. - Granville Island - Performance Works

Kate Hammett-Vaughan Quintent (with faculty member, Kate Hammett-Vaughan, vocals)
Wednesday, July 1, 9:30 p.m. - Granville Island - Performance Works

Company B Jazz Band  (with alumnus, Dave Taylor guitar)
Wednesday, July 1, 8 p.m. - Granville Island - Railspur District Stage

Daphne Roubini and Black Gardenia (with alumnus, Andrew Smith, guitar)
Wednesday, July 1, 12:30 p.m. - Granville Island - Railspur District Stage 

Stay connected with VCC's alumni newsletter! Hear about exciting news about VCC alumni, contests and new partnerships. 




Congratulations to our Mayor’s Arts Awards winners

Posted on October 11, 2017

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that four members of the VCC community have been recognized by the City of Vancouver in the 2017 Mayor’s Arts Awards.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards recognize established and emerging artists who have made significant contributions, displayed excellence, or provided leadership in Vancouver’s creative sector.

News-Leah-Patitucci-145Leah Patitucci
Culinary Arts – Emerging Artist award

Leah Patitucci is a 20-year-old cook/pastry cook currently working at the Pear Tree Restaurant under Chef Scott Jaeger. Since entering the culinary world in 2012, Patitucci has completed her training at Vancouver Community College, earning her Red Seal Certification. Patitucci also studied baking and pastry arts.

Patitucci has also cooked at some of Vancouver’s top restaurants including Hawksworth and Blackbird Bistro, and spent two years at Temper Chocolate and Pastry, rising to the role of head baker. In 2016, Patitucci traveled to Germany with Culinary Team Canada as a pastry support member for the International Culinary Olympics. In 2016, she won the title of Vancouver Community College Student of the Year.

News-Artemis-Gordon-145Artemis Gordon
Dance award

Artemis Gordon is Artistic Director of the Arts Umbrella dance program. The program is now internationally recognized for producing graduates who dance in companies around the world such as Ballet BC, Nederlands Dans Theatre I & II, and Batsheva Dance Company.

Gordon has toured the Arts Umbrella Dance Company to the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, New York, and Montreal and fostered collaborations companies around the world. In 2015, Gordon secured the affiliation between Ballet BC and Arts Umbrella, extending the impact of international choreographers in Vancouver and increasing opportunities for young dancers in Vancouver.


News-Giorgio-Magnanensi-145Giorgio Magnanensi
Music award

Giorgio Magnanensi is an Italian Canadian composer of orchestral, chamber, and multimedia works that have been performed throughout Europe and elsewhere. He is also active as a conductor and live electronics performer.

As a conductor, he served in many permanent positions in Italy, and as principal conductor of the Vancouver New Music Ensemble since 2000. As a guest conductor, he has conducted in Europe, Japan, and Canada. Giorgio taught composition in various positions in Italy from 1984-1999, and lectured at the College of Music in Tokyo in 1996 and 1998. He is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Community College, and is the artistic director of Vancouver New Music.


News-Earle-Peach-145Earle Peach
Community Engaged Arts award

Earle Peach is a singer, songwriter, composer, conductor, arranger, teacher, and performer. He leads four choirs in the city: the Highs and Lows, a mental health choir; the Solidarity Notes Labour Choir; the Gathering Place choir, a free drop-in group; and InChoiring Minds, a community choir.

Peach hosts a monthly community coffee house in Mount Pleasant called Beats on Broadway. He teaches privately and records musicians for demos and albums. He has written extensively for choirs, folk groups, film, theatre, and dance. He performs with Barbara Jackson as a duo called Songtree, and also has a band called Illiteratty. Earle studied music at VCC.


Explore your options for a creative career. Meet VCC's award-winning chefs, bakers, musicians, and more at Experience VCC on Oct. 18.

Culinary department head named Chef of the Year

Posted on February 18, 2016

BC Chef of the year award‌Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) culinary arts department head, Chef Collin Gill was honored this weekend at the 40th Annual Presidents Ball where he took home the British Columbia Chef’s Association ‘Chef of the Year’ award. The event raises funds to provide scholarships to junior chefs in the province.

“I feel very honored to be named Chef of the Year. This award is also recognition for all that our department does in conjunction with the BC Chefs to serve the community, provide education, create scholarships, and deliver competitions,” says Chef Collin. “I feel this award is a tip of the hat for the VCC Culinary program, not only to myself.”

Read more about Chef Collin and his involvement with the VCC 50 Years 50 Chefs gala here.

Pictured at right: Dean of School of Trades, Dennis Innes with Department Head of Culinary Arts, Collin Gill.


Love to cook? Come check out our culinary arts programs! RSVP now for VCC Info Night on April 20.



New funding equips trades and technology students for the future

Posted on June 7, 2019



Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to be one of 19 B.C. post-secondary institutions to receive $160,000 to fund technologically advanced trades equipment, as announced Thursday, June 6 at the VCC Downtown campus.

The announcement was hosted at JJ’s, VCC’s recently refurbished on-campus fine dining restaurant, and was emceed by Vancouver-Fraserview MLA and B.C. Minister of State for Trade George Chow. Speakers included B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark, VCC president and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda, VCC culinary arts department head Chef Collin Gill, and VCC culinary student Jefferson Bueno. 

“By investing in up-to-date equipment, we’re ensuring students at VCC and throughout the Lower Mainland and the province are developing the skills they need to be the next generation of tech and trades leaders in B.C.,” said Minister Chow. 

Prior to the announcement, Minister Mark toured many of VCC’s training kitchens and on-site bakeries, meeting with dozens of students and sampling their creations. 


See more photos.‌



BC Government News: Cooking up success for trades and tech students

Jefferson’s story: from curious kid to molecular mastermind


Are you interested in a career in trades or technology? Learn about these in-demand industries at a free program info session


Heat’s story: blazing trails in food and business

Posted on July 26, 2018



Heat Laliberte never wanted to be a chef. When he moved from rural Saskatchewan to Vancouver at age 20, his hobby was dancing. He was busy, too, touring with a hip-hop troupe and performing across the United States, but never earning enough to do it full-time. 

To make ends meet, Heat applied to be a server at Moxie’s Grill & Bar. They didn’t need servers, however. They needed cooks, and over the next decade, what started as a “side job” would become Heat’s profession, his passion, and his path to success.

As an Indigenous kid growing up in foster care, Heat remembers struggling with poverty. Raised in a non-Indigenous family, he feels that he also lost much of his cultural identity. In the end, even growing up and moving away only offered a brief escape. Shortly after Heat came to B.C., his 19-year-old brother was killed in a violent crime. A year later, his mother died of a drug overdose.  

At this point, Heat was working as a cook at the Westin Grand Hotel. “I wasn’t really going anywhere,” he says. That’s when his chefs suggested a trade certificate. “They had only the best things to say about the instructors and the programs at VCC.”

With no savings or family support, Heat began researching his options, eventually turning to the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) for help. Here, he received funding through their ACCESS Trades program to enrol in VCC culinary arts. “I was so broke,” he says. “I just really wanted that trade ticket. It would mean I accomplished something.”

A world of opportunity

Heat excelled in culinary school and apprenticed in some of Vancouver’s most upscale and demanding kitchens. He also enjoyed the competitive edge that came from being in class with cooks from other top restaurants. “You get to see their ideas and what they cook, and you’re all pushing each other to be more creative,” he says.

And culinary school was only the beginning. In 2016, Heat travelled to Brazil to work as head chef at USA House during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In February 2018, he worked as a private event chef during the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Korea. “There’s no way you could have told a 15-year-old me that I would be cooking all around the world,” he says. “I would have laughed.” 

Down to business

Today, Heat is pursuing a long-time interest in charcuterie, making and selling artisanal bacon under his own brand, One Arrow, available at Vancouver Farmers Markets

While some chefs may shy away from the risks of entrepreneurship, Heat is fulfilling a lifelong dream for independence. “I make everything start to finish and I love being able to sell it to my customers face-to-face,” he says. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

One Arrow’s Indigenous branding is also a deliberate decision by Heat to share his personal journey and cultural pride. “I want to show that I am an Indigenous entrepreneur,” he says. “There are so many barriers for Indigenous people – racial, financial, addictions. Too often, you’re a statistic. My brother was a statistic. I want to show that it’s possible for people to overcome these obstacles.” 




Learn more about the opportunities, support, and facilities available to Indigenous students at VCC by contacting our Indigenous Education and Community Engagement office.

Have a flair for food? Explore your options for a cooking career at an upcoming free info session and kitchen tour with VCC Culinary Arts.  

Transforming kitchen culture at VCC

Posted on February 25, 2019


As a young chef in Switzerland, VCC honorary alumnus Bruno Marti recalls a men-only kitchen culture of intimidation and competition where apprentices did their assigned work and little more. Bruno, who began cooking as a teenager, tells stories of spying from a staircase just to learn the recipe for his chef's coveted Café de Paris butter.

A few decades later in Delta, B.C., Bruno had established his famed countryside restaurant La Belle Auberge and earned a reputation as one of the region's top culinary mentors.

At seventeen, VCC culinary arts student Scott Jaeger was one of Bruno's first apprentices. While Scott admits to conducting investigations of his own to unearth certain recipes, he also considers Bruno to be one of the most generous chefs in the business. "He would help us out in a heartbeat," says Scott.

For Bruno, departing from a cutthroat kitchen was ultimately due to his love of cooking. "If you're not happy, you're not a good cook," he says. "I was happy mentoring. Eventually your apprentices make you look better, too, so why would you not?"

Today, in his own Burnaby fine-dining restaurant The Pear Tree, Scott carries on Bruno's mentorship tradition, which, continues to diverge from the stereotypical "cook culture" of overwork and burnout. Scott says his apprentices' enthusiasm is what keeps him striving for excellence. "Young chefs are what keep me alive and wanting to do this," he says.

Award-winning VCC alumna and The Pear Tree apprentice Leah Patitucci has already worked in several notable restaurants throughout her training, including Hawksworth and Temper Chocolate & Pastry. She finds that if a kitchen has a good teaching environment, everyone contributes. "It's a family feel," she says.

The chefs also agree that, during any labour shortage, a restaurant's culture plays a major role in retaining good staff. Alongside openness and respect, Scott also believes in finding smarter ways to cope with a sparse workforce, like adjusting opening hours rather than simply asking employees to work harder. "You need a balance," he says. "I want everyone to still love what they do at the end of the day."


Meet VCC chefs in person and learn about your options for a culinary career at our next open house, Experience VCC, on Wednesday, April 24 at the Downtown campus.

Connor Sperling wins the 2017 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship

Posted on October 17, 2017

News-HYCS-Connor-292Congratulations to Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Chef de Partie and VCC culinary arts alumnus Connor Sperling on winning the 2017 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship culinary competition.

After emerging as a finalist in the Vancouver regional heat earlier this year, 26-year-old Sperling went on to wow the judges at the national final held Oct. 14 at George Brown College in Toronto.

The scholarship competitors tackled a black-box challenge, in which they were required to produce a main course and dessert from lobster, rack of lamb, rutabaga, banana, maple syrup, buttermilk, and pine mushrooms.

Sperling’s winning dishes included parsley crusted lamb, butter poached lobster, farro lobster risotto, and vanilla grapefruit parfait with buttermilk emulsion and maple banana purée. Sperling's grand-prize efforts have earned him $10,000 and a stage (culinary internship) at an acclaimed international restaurant.

About Connor Sperling

Sperling’s culinary career began as a teenager washing dishes and helping in various Vancouver kitchens. Deciding to further his career, he enrolled in culinary school at Vancouver Community College where he won the Culinary Arts Student of the Year Competition in 2013 and graduated with top honours. That same year, Sperling travelled to France to support Vancouver’s Chef Alex Chen, who competed in the 2013 Bocuse D’or in Lyon.

He then completed an apprenticeship at La Belle Auberge under the legendary Chef Bruno Marti, and went on to work for Chef Hamid Salimian at Diva at the Met.

As part of the opening team of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster, Sperling has played an integral role in the success of the Vancouver restaurant since 2014. “He’s a dedicated and passionate individual who has great poise and focus. He leads by example and has a very bright future ahead of him,” describes Chef Roger Ma, Chef de Cuisine of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, who attended the national finals to show his support. 


Come see where great chefs start. Sign up now for an upcoming info session and kitchen tour by VCC culinary arts.



Chef tips: how to cook in small spaces

Posted on February 18, 2016

News-Chef-Shelley-380Local artist John Ferrie’s live/work studio is an open-concept space that not only functions as a workspace and gallery; it’s also a place where, over the last 15 years, he has honed his cooking skills. It doesn’t matter that his kitchen is tiny. The painter is almost as passionate about what he comes up with in the kitchen as what he creates on canvas.

“My counter space is a foot and a half wide, but I love cooking and I’ve become really, really good at it,” says Ferrie, whose next show, If ONLY I Had a Helicopter, runs at the South Main Gallery (279 East 6th Avenue) in March. “I do this age-old thing: I follow a recipe. My signature dish is a roasted poblano and tomatillo chicken enchilada.”

Ferrie genuinely enjoys cooking and entertaining, but he’s motivated to eat at home in part because of the cost savings.

“Lattes and dining out: they’ll skyrocket your credit card into oblivion,” he says. “I try and make sure I always have food in the fridge. I’ll make a big Crock-Pot of chili or chicken noodle soup or taco mix so I’ve got those things as leftovers—so I’m not going ‘Oh, look, let’s just go here for a quick bite.’ I shop every day on Granville Island or at the farmers market or the little grocery store up the street.

“When I have people over for dinner at 6, I try and have everything prepped by 2,” he adds. “And dinner at my house means an appetizer, a salad, an entrée, and dessert.”

Create a mood and save cash

In a city where there are so many appealing dining options, it can be hard for Vancouverites to avoid the temptation to go to a restaurant several nights a week. It’s always nicer to have someone else do the cooking and cleaning. Dining out can be especially difficult to resist for people living in small spaces, who don’t have gourmet kitchens like you see on the Food Network.

The good news is there are plenty of things people can do to make cooking and eating at home a more pleasurable experience—while easing the strain on their cash flow.

Start by making the most of your own surroundings.

“The thing I really enjoy the most, sometimes more than the actual food, is creating the ambiance,” says Shelley Robinson, regional executive chef for Coast Hotels and chef instructor in the culinary program at Vancouver Community College. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money. I’ll go to IKEA and get nice, inexpensive dish sets and set a nice table with cool plates. Put out some place mats, light candles, put on some music, and make it relaxing. Part of why people go out is because they don’t like their space, it’s not comfortable. You can re-create that restaurant ambiance even if you have a small space. Clear the crap away, clear the clutter. Take the time to make the meal a pleasurable part of your day.”

Get rid of excess pots and pans

Having an organized kitchen will make it more likely that you’ll want to channel your inner chef.

“Minimizing is key,” says chef David Robertson of Dirty Apron Cooking School. “At the end of the day you can cook any meal anywhere in the world with two knives. Everything else is add-ons. Look at what’s in the knife drawer, and if there’s anything you haven’t used in three or four years, maybe it’s time for a garage sale or to give it to your neighbour.”


For more great tips from Chef Shelley and Chef David, see the original story in The Georgia Straight.


Love to cook or entertain? Come check out our culinary arts and hospitality management programs! RSVP now for VCC Info Night on April 20.


Kathryn McNaughton wins Chair Academy Award

Posted on March 29, 2017

News-Kathryn-McNaughton-award-292Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Kathryn McNaughton, Vice President Academic, Students and Research, has been selected as a recipient of The Chair Academy’s 2017 International Exemplary Leadership Award.

This award recognizes exceptional leadership by individuals or teams in post-secondary institutions, and is awarded by The Chair Academy, an international leadership development organization. The award will be presented at the Chair Academy’s 2017 conference March 28 – 31, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.

McNaughton joined the college in August 2015, and quickly forged deep and productive relationships across the institution. “Kathryn, almost immediately upon her arrival, improved the atmosphere of the organization,” says Todd Rowlatt, department head, Library Public Services. “People trust her… she acknowledges everyone by name, and always takes the time for moments of human connection.”

With a CV that lists teaching and leadership positions across Canada, including Red River College, University College of the North, Thompson Rivers University, and University of Regina, McNaughton brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and insight to VCC.

Samples of her exemplary leadership at VCC thus far include contributing to VCC's Integrated College Plan development, ramping up applied research along with associated funding and infrastructure, redeveloping Culinary Arts programming, and serving on various B.C. Ministry of Education committees in order to ensure VCC is well-positioned in relation to provincial objectives.

Above all, it is McNaughton's openness to ideas and ability to listen, relate, and to bring the right people together that has earned her not only this leadership award, but also admiration and respect from all of us at VCC.



Looking for a great value lunch spot downtown?

Posted on November 8, 2016

News-Cafe-335-MOBILE-292Original article from Hastings Crossing

Looking for a great value new lunch spot? Cafe 335, located at 335 West Pender Street, may just do the trick. This social enterprise serves up breakfast and lunch, and is run by graduates of the Culinary Skills Training Program, a collaborative program between Coast Mental Health and Vancouver Community College (VCC).

The Culinary Skills Training Program, which began in late 2014, provides training to at-risk young adults who struggle with various barriers to employment. The program is 4 weeks long and run by a VCC culinary instructor. Graduates are invited to continue onto VCC’s 12-month diploma program. Cafe 335 provides an arena for these students to practice their learned skills in a real-world setting. There have been 29 graduates of the program and many have moved on to work at places such as The Keg, Liquids and Solids, JamJar, the Vancouver Fish Company, Safeway, the Foggy Dew and BC Place.

LeeAnn Deacon is the manager of Cafe 335 and has seen all of the graduates go through the program since 2014. She has witnessed firsthand what the program can do for struggling youth. Though the process can have its challenges, graduates of the program come out with not only employable culinary skills, but soft skills that they can take with them throughout their lives. “The reward is witnessing incredible growth in our employees,” she says of the program.

Cafe 335 serves a breakfast menu from 8 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., which contains a variety of options from breakfast wraps to bagels. The lunch menu, served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., contains a selection of affordable sandwiches, soups and salads, with a different feature every day. Be sure to try the butter chicken sandwich! With all menu items being under $8, it is definitely one of the more affordable lunch options in the downtown area. For your next office event, Cafe 335 also offers catering for breakfast and lunch.


Evonne’s story: Cultivating community

Posted on April 1, 2019


If you're a VCC hospitality management student with a question about anything, you go to Evonne Strohwald. As department assistant, Evonne knows as much about the program as any instructor, and thanks to her unique blend of kindness and efficiency, she'll always find an answer.

When Evonne first came to VCC as a student, however, she says she was a different person. Looking for a better job to support her young child, she enrolled in the administrative assistant program, not even knowing how to type. The initial encouragement she received from a VCC advisor has remained with her to this day. "I still remember his face and leaving VCC feeling like I had a hope," she says.

After graduating, Evonne got a job in VCC's Continuing Studies department, then worked for the School of Instructor Education (SIE) before moving on to hospitality management. Over the past 24 years, she's not only become a major asset to VCC but also a champion in her community.

Part of the Klub

With a passion for protecting urban green spaces, Evonne has volunteered extensively for sustainability and environmental organizations including Evergreen and the Edible Garden Project. In her North Vancouver community, she leads by example, having raised chickens as part of the Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub (CLUCK) and converted her own front lawn into a neighbourhood flower garden.

Most recently, Evonne has developed her own eco-tourism destination on the Sunshine Coast featuring sleeping cabins, a flower farm, a goat pasture, and, of course, chickens. She also plans to open the land this summer to campers via the website

Evonne says just being a part of VCC’s hospitality management department has given her the knowledge and confidence to pursue these projects. "It's endless what I've learned, even as an employee," says Evonne. "They want to see you succeed here. That's what makes the difference at VCC."

Get to know VCC's outstanding faculty and staff at our next open house. Register now for Experience VCC at the Downtown campus on April 24.

Top Skills Canada performances launch VCC students onto the world stage

Posted on June 3, 2019



Following career-topping performances at the WorldSkills Team Canada qualifying event last week in Halifax, two Vancouver Community College (VCC) students have earned spots on the team heading to WorldSkills Kazan 2019 in Russia. 

VCC culinary arts apprentice Leah Patitucci and VCC baking and pastry arts apprentice Clarissa Roque have worked incredibly hard for this opportunity. Both bring years of past competition experience, including standout performances at Skills Canada 2018, which qualified them to try out for the national team. Both women also benefit from quality industry experience and significant extra-curricular training and practice with VCC chefs.

Leah (@leah_patitucci), whose credits include both baking and culinary training at VCC, brings remarkable focus to her craft as well as mentorship from numerous well-known, gourmet restaurants across Vancovuer. 

Clarissa (@roqueclarissa), who began competing already in high school, is known for combining creative drawing skills, impeccable taste, and precise organization in her pastry creations. 

Stay tuned for updates from WorldSkills 2019, held August 22 to 27, and share your support with Team VCC and Team Canada online using the hashtags #myVCC and #WSTC2019.

Skills Canada 2019

The Team Canada qualifying event was held in conjunction with the Skills Canada National Competition 2019 (SCNC) from May 27 to 29 in Halifax, NS.

VCC sent eight provincial champions to this year’s SCNC, and we are extremely proud to congratulate the following national medallists. Well done, everyone! 

Automotive collision repair – post-secondary
Ricky Guan – SILVER 

Baking – post-secondary
Farzin Irani – SILVER

Car painting – secondary
Reilly Ouwerling (Elgin Park Secondary) – BRONZE

Culinary arts – post-secondary
Anh Tran – BRONZE

Culinary arts – secondary
Julia Broda (Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary) – SILVER


Can you picture yourself in the skilled trades? Learn more about apprenticeship options at VCC at an upcoming free information session

Introducing Austin Granados - baking’s golden boy

Posted on June 18, 2015

Introducing Austin Granados - baking’s golden boyIf you ever find yourself in need of an impromptu marzipan figurine, you’d better hope Austin Granados is nearby.

Over the past few months, the 21-year-old VCC baking and pastry arts student spent countless hours perfecting his pastry techniques in campus kitchens. On April 15, his hard work paid off with a gold medal at the Skills Canada BC provincial competition held in Abbotsford. Six weeks later, after more exhaustive practice, Austin was competing again, this time sponsored by the Tourism Industry Partners Society (TIPS) to attend the Skills Canada national competition in Saskatoon.

When the judges announced Austin’s name as the national gold medal winner for 2015, he could hardly believe his ears. “I was speechless. I was paralyzed,” he says. 

Crunch time

Each year, hundreds of skilled trade and technology students from both high school and post-secondary programs compete for a spot on the Skills Canada podium. While baking is delicate work, Austin will attest that the contest itself is not for the faint of heart.

For the provincial competition, post-secondary bakers are given a highly structured eight-hour window in which to produce many specific items to exacting standards. These include marzipan figurines, numerous French pastries, mousse cakes, chocolates—both moulded and hand-dipped—and sculpted chocolate show pieces. The national competition lasts for not one, but two days at five hours each and includes these same elements but adds a “mystery box” of ingredients.

"It was super intense and super fun at the same time," says Austin, who spent the night before competition day fine-tuning his marzipan figurines (a beaver and praying mantis) in his hotel room.

Baker’s secrets

Growing up in Winnipeg in a food-loving Filipino family, Austin says it just felt right to pursue cooking and baking as a career. During a culinary career skills program in high school, Austin’s teacher recommended culinary arts at VCC. For a creative and energetic young guy excited to travel, Vancouver was the perfect destination.‌

Austin first completed culinary arts level one at VCC before moving into the baking and pastry arts program. Eventually, he says he’d like to obtain his Red Seal in both areas. It’s not that he can’t decide—he just wants to do it all!

Even as he strove for perfection in both the provincial and national competitions, Austin says he never expected to win gold. He jokes about the mistakes he made —dropping a delicate chocolate flower right front of the audience, burning some pineapple under the scrutinizing gaze of the judges. Austin’s casual, positive attitude is contagious, but the easygoing way in which he describes the many pastries and techniques also hints at how deep-rooted his knowledge really is.

Above all, Austin attributes his success to the support of his family, friends and especially his VCC instructors, namely Nancy McRae and Alan Dobko, who oversaw his extracurricular training during the week and were right there alongside him on many an eight-hour Saturday trial run. For future Skills Canada competitors, Austin’s advice is simple. "Show up to practice," he says. "It makes a huge difference." And when you’re on the road with no kitchen? Apparently a bit of marzipan in your bag can come in handy too.


Introducing Austin Granados - baking’s golden boy


The participation of Austin and his instructors in the Skills Canada national competition was made possible by a generous travel donation by the Tourism Industry Partners Society.

Interested in exploring the sweetest career on earth? Learn more about VCC baking and pastry arts programs at an upcoming info session.



VCC baking receives large research grant for new study

Posted on March 25, 2015

VCC baking receives large research grant for new study

VCC baking and pastry arts have been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to conduct a two-year applied research project with BCIT in naturally leavened baking with a goal to reducing the digestive sensitivities of wheat breads.

Together with BCIT’s Natural Health and Food Products Research Group (NRG) and Rogers Foods, VCC will work to develop a methodology and guidelines to produce high quality sourdough breads, the characteristics of which naturally reduce gluten content.  VCC students and faculty will devise the formulas and recipes and BCIT’s NRG will evaluate the bread qualities.

The baking and pastry arts department is thrilled to receive this prestigious NSERC grant.  “It’s a wonderful opportunity to have VCC, BCIT and industry working together to support the tradition of our craft,” says Fionna Chong, the department head and instructor of baking and pastry arts at VCC.​

Elizabeth Mudge, an applied researcher with BCIT’s NRG says “We are excited to be involved in this collaboration with VCC and Rogers Foods to have a better understanding of traditional bread making and its impact on bread quality.”



Nespresso national competition finds pastry prodigies at VCC

Posted on March 18, 2019


After months of practice that put all their pastry training to the test, on Wednesday, March 13, six VCC baking and pastry arts students competed in the Nespresso Café Gourmand semi-final, held this year for the first time in Western Canada. 

Their challenge sounds simpler than it was: create two bite-sized pastries, or mignardises, to pair with Nespresso coffees. One pastry had to harmonize with a Nespresso “Master Origin” coffee from either Ethiopia, Indonesia, or India. The other was required to contain Nespresso coffee as an ingredient. 

Prior to the competition, our six VCC competitors attended workshops with Nespresso Coffee Sommelier Élyse Lambert where they learned the science behind coffee fermentation, roasting, and blending as well as professional tasting techniques and culinary tips. 

On competition day, family, friends, and fellow students gathered in VCC’s Downtown baking lab for a (literal) taste of the action. Each competitor had three hours to create six portions of their signature mignardises. The bakers then bravely presented their dishes to a panel of prestigious industry judges including Thomas Haas, Lukas Gurtner of Sonora Resort, Adam Chandler of BETA5, and Marie-Andrée Pelletier representing Nespresso Canada.  

In the end, the judges selected Level 2 apprentice Angela Wu as Vancouver’s semi-final winner. Second place went to Megan (Youngheon) Lee and third place to Sammy Zheng. Congratulations to all competitors including Joshua Nacar, Rea Lopez, and Joyce Peng (pictured below) on stellar perormances.

Following her victory, Angela will travel to Toronto to compete in the Nespresso Café Gourmand National Finale on Monday, April 1 against semi-finalists from George Brown College and Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ).

See more photos >



Think life would be sweet as a pastry chef? Come chat with VCC’s world-class baking and pastry arts instructors at our next Experience VCC open house on Wednesday, April 24.


Adrianna's story: a pathway to pastry arts

Posted on June 20, 2018


When Adrianna Scotchman is baking, she can't help but smile. Seeing her at work in the kitchen of Vancouver's True Confections dessert café is a joy. It's hard to imagine her in any other job.

Two years ago, however, Adrianna wasn't so confident. She'd baked birthday cakes for her nieces and nephews, but hadn't yet chosen a career. As an Indigenous young person from the T'it'q'et First Nation near Lillooet, B.C., she had seen many of her friends drop out of school to start families or care for struggling relatives, but was determined to take a different path. 

When Adrianna moved to Vancouver in her mid-20s, her sister urged her to take a professional baking course offered at the Musqueam Indian Band office. "You've always wanted to bake," her sister had said. "You have to do this!"

Launched in the fall of 2016, VCC's Pathways to Baking and Pastry Arts Program – Indigenous Perspectives was designed for Indigenous students with enthusiasm for the trade, but with various barriers to formal education. The program is taught by VCC instructors and offered both on-campus and in Indigenous communities, using a curriculum that reflects individual student interests as well as Indigenous cultural contexts.

"If it hadn't been for that program, I don't know where I'd be," says Adrianna, who has now completed Level 1 of her provincial trade certification at VCC. In the bakery, her favourite task is decorating and she dreams of one day crafting spectacular wedding cakes. "I love to get everything looking pretty," she says.


Learn more about the supports and services available to Indigenous students at VCC including funding, scholarships, elder support, and more by visiting VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement

Read more stories about VCC's local partnerships and connections in the 2018 VCC Community Report.

Pastry practice: behind the scenes with Team VCC

Posted on May 24, 2019

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to be sending a solid team of competitors to the 2019 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC), happening Monday, May 27 to Wednesday, May 29 in Halifax, NS. 

Earlier this week, we visited the top-secret Skills Canada practice sessions happening inside the VCC bakeries. Meet two of our most talented and promising pastry artists:



Clarissa Roque

Team Canada candidate – WorldSkills 2019

Clarissa is a Level 3 baking and pastry arts apprentice who is no stranger to intense competition. Having participated in Skills BC “just for fun” in Grade 10, Clarissa soon found herself repeatedly topping the podium in the secondary school category. 

This year, with three SCNC appearances already under her belt, Clarissa will be trying for an opportunity to represent Canada at WorldSkills 2019 in Kazan, Russia. 

Clarissa, who inherited a love for baking from her parents, brings to the competition deep creative skills in drawing and sculpting, a sophisticated flavour palette, and remarkable organization and focus. “Competitions are really stressful but somehow I kind of like the stress,” she says.

During the WorldSkills Team Canada trials in Halifax, Clarissa will have to produce seven different types of pastries in 14 hours over the course of two days.



Farzin Irani

Baking competitor – SCNC 2019

Farzin is a Level 1 apprentice who started the VCC baking and pastry arts program in April 2018. After high school, Farzin first entered a science degree program but switched to baking after only one semester. “I took the risk and fell in love with it,” she says.

In addition to having great organization skills and extraordinary attention to detail, Farzin stands out by using Persian flavours like saffron and rosewater that she grew up enjoying. “I don’t want to use the same things as everyone else, like strawberries,” she says. “I use flavours that I like and I know well.”

Since January, Farzin has been going above and beyond her coursework to train in the VCC kitchens multiple times per week. She appreciates the helpful feedback offered by her instructors, as well as their willingness to work with her after hours. 

During the SCNC competition in Halifax, Farzin will have to produce five different types of pastries in a single, eight-hour session. 


Did you know you can begin a baking apprenticeship while still in high school? Learn more about the Youth Train in Trades program offered at VCC.

A fresh look for graphic design at VCC

Posted on July 5, 2018

News-2017-Visual Communications-0049-800


Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver. 

In Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) recently redesigned graphic design program, students are being equipped with the latest industry knowledge to ensure they are employable as soon as they graduate.

“The central components of the program are print and web design as well as a focus on entrepreneurial learning and technology,” says Lorena Espinoza, department head of the graphic design program. 

“What’s evolved is that we now have a stronger focus on web design and web is blended throughout the program. It is the ecosystem of a graphic designer and you can no longer talk about web in isolation. We’re also focusing on multiplatform thinking.”

The two-year diploma program prepares students for the industry through seven key foundational pillars: conceptual thinking, workforce, studio practices, client interaction, client-centred project, curriculum and flexible pathways. In fact, says Espinoza, it is the only program in Western Canada in which students take on real-world clients.

“Client-driven programming is really important at VCC and it gives students the opportunity to become more confident in their skills,” she says. “Because our program is very community-based, we also have many opportunities for students to get the most out of a practicum they complete at the end of the program.”

With the first cohort of students having graduated from the redesigned offering, Espinoza says she is already seeing success stories. Hot Soup Marketing Group, for example, has hired two students who completed their practicum with the company, while another student is already working in marketing development at the Vancouver Opera.  


Learn more about graphic design at VCC by attending a free information session at our Downtown campus. 


Digital graphic design instructor becomes VP

Posted on June 27, 2016

Congratulations to VCC's own, Ashlea Spitz, who was recently appointed to the position of VP Education for the National Board of the Graphic Designers of Canada.

"It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce that Ashlea Spitz has been appointed to the position of VP Education for the National Board of the Graphic Designers of Canada. Ashlea is looking forward to spearheading the membership of new design students across Canada as well as allocating sponsorships and awards to our talented student members.  Ashlea's mandate is to increase awareness and ethics that surrounds a professional designer. Her expertise and teaching enthusiasm make her a great asset to the GDC community and graphic designers as a whole." says the GDC website.

Ashlea is instrumental in the instruction of VCC's digital graphic design (DGD) students, and we wish her the best in this new position.

Learn more about VCC's DGD program.

Talking shop with auto trades grad Sarah Jin

Posted on November 5, 2018



When Sarah Jin started VCC's Automotive Service Technician (AST) program in 2013, she didn't even know how to open the hood of a car. At the time, Sarah had simply noticed her university-educated friends were struggling to find work, so she decided to try automotive repair. "I figured fixing cars would be good to know, even if I didn't go into the trade," she says.

By the end of VCC's eight-month introductory program, Sarah's hard work and study skills had propelled her to the top of her class and she was offered an apprenticeship at VCC instructor Mike Coard's own business, L&S Toy Shop.

Four years later, Sarah has earned her full trade ticket and is now the shop manager, dealing with everything from customer service to payroll, as well as doing repairs. "She's good. She's really good," says Mike. "I'd give her the shop today if she wanted it."

Sarah brushes off the praise. While not currently interested in becoming a business owner, she also knows she could do it. "I'm at a loss when I'm not working," she says. "It's nice to go home and be able to say ‘I did that.'"

Thus far in her career, Sarah says she has felt nothing but respect and support in this male-dominated field. She's aware that there are still unwelcoming workplaces out there, and is grateful to have found her place in the VCC family tree. "I'd definitely like to see more women in the trade," says Sarah. "More shops like this would be nice."


Read more about transportation trades at VCC

Meet Experience VCC tuition winner Brian Chan

Posted on June 7, 2018


Say hello to the grand prize winner from our recent Experience VCC open house! Brian Chan won $500 in VCC tuition after attending the event and filling out our survey. We recently caught up with Brian to find out what’s in store for him at VCC.

What do you do now?
Right now I'm in IT. I’ve been with the same company for almost nine years.

Why did you attend Experience VCC?
I’ve always loved cars. I’ve loved cars since I was a child. My current job is good but I recently started thinking I’d like to become an automotive service technician. I went to the open house, got a tour of the shop, and it was really exciting. 

Have you decided to go back to school?
Yes, but I didn’t decide right away. Winning the $500 was a big sign. I rarely enter contests. I wasn’t even thinking I would, but I figured why not? Another big sign came when I went on a trip to Spokane, Washington shortly after winning the draw.

What happened in Spokane?
I was in Spokane with my friends. I’d never been there before. We had just eaten at a buffet, we walked outside and there in the next parking lot were ten DeLoreans – my favourite car! They were all in town for the Spokane Lilac Festival. I didn’t even know about it. I told my friends, “Stop, stop, stop!”

You know Macklemore’s music video for the song “Thrift Shop?” There’s a DeLorean in it, and that exact DeLorean was right there. I met the owner, Faisal. I also met Shawn, the President of the DeLorean Club, and Toby, the owner of a DeLorean shop near Seattle. They are such a positive group who are always willing to have a conversation about their cars. I got all these great pictures. It was just crazy!

And now you’re ready for a career change?  
Yeah. At first, I wasn’t sure but now I know. Winning the cheque, then seeing all those cars and meeting the owners – there’s no way it was a coincidence. Everything just came together. I’m super delighted about this.

What are your hopes for the future? 
My goal is to buy a DeLorean. And now, if I become a mechanic, I would be confident to do it. Classic cars may have a lot of issues to sort out, but if I can fix it myself, that would be perfect.




Missed Experience VCC? Stay tuned for details on our next open house in Fall 2018 or register now for an upcoming program info session.

VCC shines at Skills Canada BC 2019 provincials

Posted on April 23, 2019


Congratulations to Vancouver Community College (VCC) students for winning 19 medals in the Skills Canada BC 2019 provincial competition held in Abbotsford on Wednesday, April 17. 

After weeks of preparation and training, all 38 members of Team VCC spent the full day putting their skills to the test in front of industry judges and the general public at the Abbotsford Tradex.

In the end, VCC’s auto collision and refinishing department swept the podium, earning gold, silver, and bronze in the categories of Automotive collision repair (post-secondary) and Car painting (secondary).

Students from VCC and associated high schools also earned gold medals in the areas of Esthetics (post-secondary), Baking, (secondary and post-secondary), Culinary arts (secondary and post-secondary), and Hairstyling (post-secondary). See the full list of medallists below.

Check out the photo album and share your support using the hashtags #myVCC and #SkillsBC as our winners head to Halifax for the Skills Canada National Competition on May 28 and 29.

Automotive service – post-secondary
Mitchell Eastman – SILVER

Automotive service – secondary
Alexander Nguyen (Britannia Secondary) – SILVER

Automotive collision repair - post-secondary
Ricky Guan – GOLD
Milton Javier Davis Flores – SILVER
Steve Bakirgis – BRONZE 

Automotive collision repair - secondary
David Zamora (Moscrop Secondary) – BRONZE 

Baking - post-secondary
Farzin Irani – GOLD
YeJin Park – SILVER 

Baking - secondary
Isaac Carswell (Sullivan Heights Secondary) – GOLD
Mandy Liu (Sir Charles Tupper) – SILVER 

Car painting - secondary
Reilly Ouwerling (Elgin Park Secondary) – GOLD
Antony Harrington (Victoria High School) – SILVER 
Mark Alcantara (John Oliver Secondary) – BRONZE 

Culinary arts - post-secondary
Anh Tran – GOLD 

Culinary arts - secondary
Julia Broda (Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary) – GOLD 

Esthetics – post-secondary
Nicole de Lima Girardello – GOLD 
Sierra Jin Lee – SILVER 

Hairdressing – post-secondary
Kennedy Pabuaya – GOLD

Hairdressing – secondary
Kala’i Seaman – BRONZE 


Can you picture yourself on the podium? Learn more about skilled trades at VCC by joining a free information session in the area of your choice. 

Government announces streamlined process for student grants, more online resources

Posted on July 15, 2020



Thanks to significant new investments by the B.C. government, every student who applies for a student loan through StudentAidBC will now be automatically assessed for the new B.C. Access Grant. 

More great news for B.C. students announced today includes increased funding for open textbooks and online educational resources (OER), and extra support for students with cognitive, mental health, or physical disabilities.

“Whether you’re a high school grad, a current student, or are returning for new skills and training, these new government supports mean the doors are wide open for you to get a post-secondary credential and pursue your dreams,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

B.C. Access Grant 

Today’s announcement about the streamlined B.C. Access Grant application process is welcome news to students concerned about continuing their education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Introduced in February 2020, the B.C. Access Grant offers up to $4,000 of non-repayable funding per year to low- and middle-income students in B.C. post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree programs. As requested by student groups, these grants are now available to students at the beginning of their studies to help with up-front tuition costs. The B.C. Access grant is gradually replacing the B.C. Completion Grant and others that awarded funds following the completion of a post-secondary program. 

Learn more about the StudentAidBC loan program and the B.C. Access Grant.

BCcampus resources and Open Textbooks

Increased funding ($275,000) was also announced today that will support BCcampus to build up its selection of online courses, support services, and Open Textbooks. Over 310 free textbooks, supplementary manuals, and guides are currently available. These materials are the result of calls to action from students wishing to reduce education expenses. 

The new funding will specifically help BCcampus expand its selection of webinars and videos on topics such as adapting to online learning, building resilience, stress management, and understanding financial supports. These webinars, launched in April 2020, will run regularly into 2021 with sessions available to students, faculty, and staff.  

Explore the BCcampus Open Textbook collection and webinar series.

Students with disabilities

As the COVID-19 pandemic forces us to adjust our lives and learning styles, it’s also important to make sure that students with disabilities aren’t left behind. Thanks to additional funding ($1.5 million to be shared by 20 B.C. public post-secondary institutions), the government has announced extra efforts to develop or build upon supports for physical disabilities to create the conditions they need to succeed. 

“The financial grants and open education resources that the B.C. government has announced today are welcome news to post-secondary students. This support is critical to providing easier access to the necessary courses and programs students require to get their credentials, achieve their career goals and contribute positively to our economy and society,” says Fillette Umulisa, Lansdowne Campus executive, Camosun College Student Society. 

To request learning accommodations due to a disability, please contact VCC Disability Services to speak with a helpful advisor.



Students impacted by COVID-19 find financial help through VCC

Posted on April 29, 2020


Pictured: Evan Look, VCC culinary arts student in Professional Cook 1

Vancouver Community College (VCC) Practical Nursing students Dona Pathirana and her husband, Jay, knew things were getting desperate when they were only eating bread for their daily meals.

Both found some relief after receiving financial assistance through VCC’s COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund, which has helped them care for their two-year-old child and Jay’s visiting parents, all of whom are temporarily living together in a one-bedroom apartment. 

“My in-laws visited us and they are stuck here due to the COVID-19 travel policies in Sri Lanka,” says Dona. “My family is going through a really hard time these days and your fund is such a big help.” 

Dona and Jay are now attending classes online. Due to the closure of public libraries, they study in the hallway of their apartment building — one studies while the other takes care of their son inside. Jay works night shifts, but his work hours have been cut back due to the pandemic.  

“Honestly, we eat bread and jam for all three meals sometimes. With the funding, I bought three months’ worth of baby food for my son. There are not enough words to say ‘thanks’ to you and the donors,” says Dona. 

Dona is among 312 domestic and international students who recently received bursaries from $195,000 in funding made possible through the provincial government, VCC, its various student and employee unions, and the VCC Foundation.

Keeping opportunity a reality

Evan Look, a musician and aspiring chef, was working part-time at Chambar Restaurant in Downtown Vancouver and was on his way to completing VCC’s Professional Cook 1 program when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

In a matter of days, both his access to professional culinary kitchens and his source of income disappeared. Evan is one of 28 culinary students who received emergency funding from VCC.

“Suddenly, life takes a complete 360-degree turn on you, you have no money, and worst of all, you can’t even hang out with your friends,” says Evan, who is continuing his studies online. 

Evan also offers encouragement to his fellow students. “Don’t quit because of something you can’t control,” he says. “VCC made an opportunity a reality for me, and I ask my fellow VCC students and staff to rally around each other during these times to finish what we started!”

The bursaries have also helped 110 of VCC’s international students, many of whom are unable to return home due to travel restrictions.

Jenny Banaga was laid off from work while in her last month of studies in the Administrative Assistant program.

“Being away from home and family, there was a lot uncertainty that came from with the quarantine. This grant has given me peace of mind in these trying times,” she says. “I hope one day I will be able to pay it forward to other students just as you have helped me.” 

The time to give is now

In all, 312 students from 40 VCC programs received COVID-19 emergency bursaries, but these represent less than half those who applied for assistance. To try to meet this overwhelming need, VCC Foundation has kicked off a second fundraising campaign with the goal to raise an additional $50,000.

This will also coincide with Giving Tuesday Now, a global day of giving and unity inspired by the exceptional need caused by COVID-19. 

Giving Tuesday Now will take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. To double our community’s generosity VCC Foundation will match the first $20,000 received in donations before Sunday, May 31, 2020. 


“Never has the need been so great for students,” says VCC Foundation Director Nancy Nesbitt. “We recognize that these are difficult times for all of us, but it is uplifting to hear back from bursary recipients that they have made the leap to online learning and are weathering the storm.” 

If you have the means to help students like Hashini, Evan, and Jenny, please do.

To donate, visit the VCC Foundation donation page and select the COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund. Bursaries will be distributed via VCC’s need-based application process. Thank you for anything you can give.  



Vancouver fashion programs design their own take on virtual learning

Posted on May 15, 2020

Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Whether it’s learning to feel the difference between textile fibres or to steer an industrial sewing machine, fashion education comes with a hands-on element.

So what does that look like during social distancing, as instruction pivots to more e-learning? And how will that education shift as the entire fashion industry grapples with the challenges of fitting and producing garments during a lockdown that’s only gradually loosening? Local institutions are in the midst of finding that out, getting creative amid COVID-19 measures.

Over at Vancouver Community College’s fashion design and production program, coordinator Andrea Korens explains how shifts in the industry prepared her team well for the changes that are happening now. “One of the great things about working in fashion is we are so poised for a pivot already,” she observes. “I think we had less stress than other programs.”

Theory classes easily moved to virtual learning, and the school has found creative ways—both high- and low-tech—to translate more hands-on instruction with social distancing.

One example is VCC’s Fashion Cycle 4 collaborative garment-production class for custom clients. Though it had to be put on pause because of COVID-19, instructor Jason Matlo and producer Brenda Gilbert decided to donate their time to hosting a Zoom-based “What’s Next for Fashion” series. “They’re meeting with students every week about what’s coming up next in the market given the current climate, to keep them inspired and engaged,” Korens says.

Elsewhere, Korens has used a simple tactic message to get into the tactile world of teaching fabric and textile studies right now. “I am actually mailing them pieces—I’ve got swatches and I send them to them in the mail,” she says with a laugh, pointing out that, as she’s based at home, the fabric pieces are sitting all around her.

With large studio space at VCC and the chance to return with social distancing in the fall, she looks forward to finding ways use to the classroom with some new approaches.


Develop technical and business skills while expressing your creativity. Sign up for one of our free information sessions.

Samsung Tech Institute a fast-track into appliance repair jobs

Posted on July 10, 2017

What’s behind the sleek glass walls of Vancouver Community College's (VCC) Samsung Tech Institute? Find out at our next info session at the Broadway campus.

After establishing a successful training program for experienced technicians in early 2017, VCC's Samsung Tech Institute is now opening its doors to newcomers to appliance repair with a 14-week, full-time Entry Pathway program starting Sept. 5, 2017.

"Our goal is to have job-ready grads at the end of the 14 weeks," says Sid Khullar, program coordinator. "The appliance repair industry is in need of technicians and with this training, we’re able to fast-track our students into in-demand jobs."

The Entry Pathway program has no technical prerequisites. With admission requirements of Grade 12 English and Grade 11 Math, the program is ideal for students of all backgrounds, including those new to Canada.

Entry Pathway students get hands-on training on major appliances at the Samsung Tech Institute. The program covers everything from customer service essentials to gas appliance service certification, with a focus on Samsung products.

The Samsung Tech Institute is only one of two in Canada, and the only one of its kind in Western Canada. As a leading major appliance brand in Canada, Samsung is offering three $1,000 scholarships for the Entry Pathway program. Scholarship application deadline is August 31, 2017.


All info sessions will be held at the Samsung Tech Institute (room 2602) at VCC’s Broadway Campus.

Learn more about the program and RSVP for an upcoming info session at

VCC-trained chef finds “Phamily” success during COVID-19

Posted on July 13, 2020



Late last year, Vancouver Community College (VCC) Culinary Arts alumnus Brandon Pham had a big decision to make. With just over a decade of professional cooking under his belt, he was ready to take his next big step as a chef. But what would it be? 

Many cooks dream of opening their own restaurants. Others want to travel the world, host a TV show, or write a cookbook. Brandon, however, followed a desire to connect to his cultural roots that turned out to be one of the smartest moves of his career.  

The chef life

Growing up in Surrey, B.C., Brandon developed a love for food thanks to his mother’s Vietnamese cooking. This eventually led him to VCC’s culinary arts program. “I started cooking when I was 16,” he says, “but I really started cooking when I got to VCC.”

After completing his Professional Cook 1 training, Brandon went on to apprentice under now-VCC instructor Chef Hamid Salimian first at The Westin Wall Centre, then the prestigious Diva at the Met restaurant. 

“I was really, really lucky to be with Chef Hamid when he was at the restaurants,” says Brandon. “He taught me about life. My heart still races when he sends me encouraging messages. He’s still the chef.”  

Within a few years, Brandon’s promising career took him to Denmark, where he completed a stage at Michelin-starred restaurant AOC, while also working his off-days at equally acclaimed restaurants Noma and Relae

Back in Vancouver, Brandon continued building his resume at numerous local high-end restaurants and hotels, eventually earning his first promotion to Chef de Cuisine at Asian fusion restaurant Sai Woo.

“Brandon was just a teenager when he first came to VCC,” remembers VCC Culinary Arts department head Ysabel Sukic. “He got to where he is today with passion, perseverance, and unwavering commitment.” 

Home cooking 

While working in Denmark, Brandon says he was often asked about his Vietnamese heritage, but found he didn’t have many answers. “It made me realize I needed to go home and figure out my roots,” he says.

In 2017, Brandon took the leap and launched his own Vancouver catering business, The Phamily Table, aimed at bringing a Vietnamese-inspired “chef’s table” experience into peoples homes. “Everything just fell into place,” he says.  

Brandon’s catering business was still thriving when news of a coronavirus epidemic started coming in from China in December 2019. With incredible foresight, Brandon immediately transitioned his business model away from catering inside peoples’ homes to offering takeout meals. He also started pursuing a less-typical business plan to launch a product line of Vietnamese sauces. 

“I was being really hard on myself in December,” he says about developing the product line. “I thought it could turn out to be the worst mistake of my life!” 

Fortunately for The Phamily Table, demand for takeout meals has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brandon's sauces, branded Re/de/fine foodshave also proven to be a popular item in grocery stores and are available at farmers’ markets across the region. “I love working with and supporting other local businesses,” says Brandon. “I’ve been very, very grateful.” 

For Brandon, creating his line of chili and lemongrass sauces has been especially meaningful because it’s allowed him to express his Vietnamese heritage using local, Canadian ingredients. “I didn’t realize farmers in B.C. can grow 300 varieties of chilies!” he says.

Most meaningfully, perhaps, the Re/de/fine product line also became tribute to Brandon’s parents and their immigrant experience. “This is something that will leave a legacy,” says the not-quite-30-year-old chef. “It honours my family. It shows that they didn’t come here for nothing.”

Do you want to make your mark in the culinary world? Start by learning from the best at VCC Culinary Arts. Free information sessions monthly.

VCC Hospitality students win LinkBC competition

Posted on November 7, 2013

On October 27th, the 7th annual LinkBC Student Case Competition kicked off the Connect Trade Show & Conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre, with a record 16 teams demonstrating leadership and business skills as they presented solutions to 2 topical case studies. Students presented their business cases to a panel of industry judges.

Vancouver Community College was announced as the winning team at Connect's Industry Lunch. The winning team, composed of Hospitality Degree students Khaled Attalaoui, Caitlin Cindric, Emma Dagg and Kathryn Gidluck took home a $500 prize.


Hospitality diploma and degree linkbc competition teams

 Left to right: Degree hospitality team and Diploma hospitality team

 Find out more about Hospitality Management Diploma


Five ways VCC supports international students

Posted on October 3, 2018


It takes unique and courageous individuals to learn a foreign language, leave their families, and travel overseas to pursue an education. At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we’re proud to educate about 1,500 international students annually from over 40 countries. We value the many things they teach us as well—about their lives, their goals, their cultures, and the world outside our city.

As one of British Columbia’s longest-standing public colleges, VCC is committed to supporting international students in many ways:



1. Extensive student support

At VCC, international students can access many services to support their cultural and academic transition:

  • VCC’s international office offers daily drop-in advising hours to answer students’ questions and address concerns.
  • Highly trained VCC staff have the ability to assist international students with topics ranging from new student orientation to medical insurance, educational planning, and working in Canada.
  • In select international programs including Hospitality Management and Canadian Business Management, English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors are available in-class to provide language and cultural support at no extra cost.
  • VCC has recently launched the position of Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) to help students with immigration-related inquiries.



2. Competitive tuition fees

Studying in Canada is widely considered to be more affordable than many other English-speaking countries (e.g. United States, United Kingdom, Australia). At VCC, any increases to international tuition over the past three years have matched domestic increases (to a maximum of two per cent).



3. Students get jobs

VCC’s interactive, career-oriented programs are taught by highly qualified instructors with experience and connections in their respective industries. In class, students learn practical, hands-on skills, becoming fully qualified to enter the workforce upon graduation. VCC’s cohort structure also assists students in making personal and professional connections in Canada.



4. Great campus services

Life is good on VCC campuses. Thanks to our wide variety of trades and professional programs, the whole community benefits daily from affordable, fresh-made food in our cafeterias, bake shop, and restaurants. Students can also receive professional hairstyling in our on-campus salon as well as discounted dental care, automotive service, and more. See the full list of free and low-cost services at VCC.



5. Location, location, location

We love our city! Located in the heart of Vancouver, VCC is accessible by public transit from across the region. Many of our classrooms have beautiful mountain views and our students enjoy quick access to beaches, hiking trails, and parks. Alongside its natural beauty, Vancouver boasts clean water, a mild climate, high-quality health care, safe public spaces, and world-class arts, entertainment, food, and shopping.

Vancouver is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable places and was named one of the 20 Best Student Cities in 2018 by QS World University Rankings.


Ready to start your VCC journey? View the full list of programs for international students or connect with our international office by emailing

New! UT Engineering and Computer Science

Posted on January 13, 2015

Smaller classes and a pathway to SFU.

VCC is now offering two new University Transfer certificate programs that will enable students to gain transfer credits into second year SFU degree programs.

The first-year University Transfer Engineering (SFU or UBC transfer)  and Computer Science and Software Systems certificate programs provide students with the opportunity to explore options and demonstrate success at the first-year level of university studies. Students will gain transfer credits to the SFU Engineering or Computing Science and Software Systems degree programs, or others. 

Join us at an info session and learn more about these programs! 

VCC also offers a number of University Transfer options throughout the year. 


Lesley’s story: from home-school to health science

Posted on July 27, 2015


Meeting Lesley Miller, you’re immediately struck by her intelligent eyes, quiet confidence and strong, healthy demeanor. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she’s studying health and nutritional science.

Like many young people diving into post-secondary education for the first time, Lesley’s face lights up as she talks about her chosen field—the biochemistry of foods and how diet relates to the aging of cells and chronic diseases. Speak to her for a few minutes, and you can’t help but share her anticipation to start a Bachelor of Science program in Food, Nutrition and Health at the University of British Columbia this fall.

Unlike many students, however, Lesley’s path did not follow a straight line from high school to university. In fact, her educational journey took its first of many twists and turns before she was even old enough to choose the course.

Out of the system

With mixed feelings, Lesley describes growing up in Ohio where she and her brother were home-schooled. Even though her father had worked as a schoolteacher, Lesley remembers her parents disapproving of many aspects of the American public school system, and wanting to give their kids the freedom to focus on their own talents and interests. “There was method to the madness,” she says.

Even today in the state of Ohio, however, home-schooled students do not automatically obtain a recognized high school diploma. And so, following a lifelong love of books, reading and school supplies, at the age of 17, Lesley finished studying without any official documents or transcripts. While she still had the option to write equivalency tests and obtain a GED, Lesley remembers being confused about the process, as well as insecure about entering an academic institution for the first time in her life.

Food for thought

While still in her early 20’s, Lesley ended up moving to Vancouver with her husband who works in the film industry. “We just packed up the car and said ‘Here we go! We’re moving to Canada!’”

Only a few years into her new Canadian life, however, Lesley’s father passed away, much too young, from cancer. According to Lesley, her father’s death had a major impact on the whole family. While there was no way to know what specifically caused her father’s illness, Lesley, her husband and her mother all experienced it as a wake-up call to drastically improve their food and lifestyle choices. It was then that Lesley also developed her passion to study the relationship between food systems, nutrition and health. “It changed me forever,” she says.

With a newfound drive for learning, Lesley immediately began looking into Bachelor of Science programs specializing in nutrition. When talking to university advisors, however, Lesley soon learned that most admissions systems had no way of accommodating someone without official high school records to submit. “They weren’t really sure what to do with me!” she says. “And so, I came to VCC.”

After speaking with a VCC program advisor, however, Lesley says she was instantly encouraged and relieved. “It was the first time that I didn’t have to explain myself,” she says. “Everybody here comes from a different place. There are so many types of students, filling in holes, taking the classes they need. I just felt accepted.”

Tiny steps, big results

It’s been about a year and a half since Lesley first entered the self-paced Academic Upgrading/High School programs at VCC. She’s worked especially hard in mathematics and sciences—areas that never received much focus at home. Through courses both at VCC and at Langara College, Lesley has now earned the credentials needed to enter university and been accepted to UBC’s Bachelor of Science program in Food, Nutrition and Health.

When asked how she feels about tackling subjects like calculus and chemistry at a university level, Lesley doesn’t hesitate for a moment. “I’m excited,” she says, laughing. “It’s like a big demon that I will slay!”

Looking back on her winding, decade-long journey from home-school in Ohio to university in Vancouver, Lesley finds she’s gained a unique and valuable perspective. “It’s taken me this long to really become comfortable with obstacles,” she says. “So you want something? The first thing you need to do is break the process down into tiny little steps and start with the smallest thing. Don’t let obstacles overcome you. Overcome the obstacles.”


VCC offers programs for students of all skills, abilities and levels of education. Learn n more about academic upgrading courses including Grade 12 diploma and university transfer.

VCC auto students assist with taxi safety inspections

Posted on April 18, 2013


Do you know if the taxi you’re flagging down will be safe to ride in?

It’s an important question and that’s why Vancouver Community College's automotive service technician program teamed up with the City of Vancouver's taxi inspector and police from Vancouver and Delta to perform vigorous safety checks on rebuilt taxis. The inspections took place over a two-day period inside the Broadway campus auto shop.Automotive service technician students teamed up with the taxi inspector and police to perform vigorous safety checks on rebuilt taxis.

“We want students to get involved in the inspection process to help police, learn from police, and develop the same moral compass as certified technicians who wouldn’t allow a dangerous vehicle to hit the streets," says Jason Devisser, department head, automotive service technician program. “Real world experience is an important part of our curriculum.”

Students worked side-by-side with experts to look for things like brake or suspension issues and body work problems. Many vehicles that are written off are rebuilt into taxi cabs.

Police and the Vancouver Taxi Association added they are grateful that VCC is able to offer its full-service auto shop to help perform important services to keep the public safe.

VCC auto students assist with taxi safety inspections

Posted on April 18, 2013


Do you know if the taxi you’re flagging down will be safe to ride in?

It’s an important question and that’s why Vancouver Community College's automotive service technician program teamed up with the City of Vancouver's taxi inspector and police from Vancouver and Delta to perform vigorous safety checks on rebuilt taxis. The inspections took place over a two-day period inside the Broadway campus auto shop.Automotive service technician students teamed up with the taxi inspector and police to perform vigorous safety checks on rebuilt taxis.

“We want students to get involved in the inspection process to help police, learn from police, and develop the same moral compass as certified technicians who wouldn’t allow a dangerous vehicle to hit the streets," says Jason Devisser, department head, automotive service technician program. “Real world experience is an important part of our curriculum.”

Students worked side-by-side with experts to look for things like brake or suspension issues and body work problems. Many vehicles that are written off are rebuilt into taxi cabs.

Police and the Vancouver Taxi Association added they are grateful that VCC is able to offer its full-service auto shop to help perform important services to keep the public safe.

VCC automotive students pay attention to detail

Posted on February 7, 2020

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

There’s no shortage of poorly paid artists in Vancouver. But Tate Westerman studied fine art and still managed to earn a decent living, thanks to his passion for automobiles. In 1995, he studied to become an automotive technician at Vancouver Community College (VCC) because it was a pathway for him to express himself creatively and escape poverty.

“I was a starving artist for a while and I realized I couldn’t raise a family on it,” Westerman told the Straight by phone.

He had learned some things about the automotive trade from his father and grandfather. His two options were to become an auto mechanic or an autobody-repair specialist—and autobody seemed to be the more creative option. While in his 30s, he bought his own shop in Port Moody—and similar opportunities exist today for those who obtain interprovincial Red Seal accreditation.

“There are lots of opportunities to buy into existing body shops [and] to open up your own restoration shops, even at home.”

Twenty-two years later, Westerman returned to VCC to become an instructor in transportation trades. He said that anyone interested in enrolling can visit the college and take a free tour and learn how to become an automotive collision repair or refinishing technician. According to him, those with an artistic eye can really excel if they’re also attentive students who show up on time and try to do their best.

Westerman pointed out that a technician can do a beautiful repair in a customer’s vehicle yet leave greasy handprints on the steering wheel. And that’s what the customer will notice, no matter how well the job was done.

He added that women are far more prominent in the industry in the 21st century, which is a big change from when he entered the business.

“Women tend to take a bit more attention and care,” Westerman said, “but having an artistic eye and good hand-eye coordination is very important [in] this industry to become successful.”

With baby boomers retiring, Westerman said there is increasing demand for technicians. Companies like BMW and B.C. Transit ask about the best students before they’ve even completed their coursework.

“When they exit the program, they are already either signed up as an apprentice or offered a scholarship or offered an apprenticeship or a job,” he said. “So right now the industry is really strong and is actually paying to have these students come. They’re paying good wages and are willing to pay incentives, like signing bonuses.”

The automotive collision repair technician program will accept its next group of students in September. It’s a full-time, eight-month certificate program at VCC’s Broadway campus. The automotive refinishing prep technician program is a full-time five-month certificate program, also at the Broadway campus. Students can also enroll in apprenticeship programs and obtain a B.C. trade certificate while earning a living in the industry.

For Westerman, it has been a natural progression from being a VCC student to working in the industry, owning his own shop, and then coming back to school to teach the next generation of automotive technicians.

“I think the thing that sticks with me the most—being a graduate and being alumni with the college—is when you start a program at this college, it’s a relationship,” Westerman said. “That sticks with you throughout your whole career and for your life. From the day I set foot at VCC, I always felt welcomed by my instructors.

“I could always come visit, even if I wasn’t a student anymore,” he continued. “I can reach them for advice, for job opportunities, even to come into the shop [when I] need a piece of equipment that I can’t find anywhere else. I’ve always felt welcome there. And most every student that comes through here comes back to visit.”

Motivated by hands-on work that feels rewarding at the end of the day? Sign up to tour our auto service shops, speak with instructors, and watch current students in training at one of our information sessions. 

Bianca’s story: from desk job to automotive calling

Posted on July 8, 2015

News-Bianca-Then-Mobile-292Ever since high school, Bianca Then had always worked in an office. She started as a receptionist, and by the time she was 22, she was already a financial advisor—but something just didn’t feel right.

“I realized that throughout every office job I’d had, the mentality was the same,” she says. “It’s just all drama. And that’s just not what I’m into!”

Then one day, after a particularly bad episode of office politics, Bianca decided it was time for a new career. She first looked at university programs. Psychology interested her; so did programs in Human Resources, but even these left her knowing she’d eventually be back in an office.

Bianca had always enjoyed doing things with her hands, so she decided to try helping out at her uncle’s auto body repair shop, “just to see where it would go.” It wasn’t long before she realized auto collision repair was a perfect fit. “I just fell in love with it,” she says.

Welcome to the workshop

Even after realizing what she loved to do, for Bianca, it was still a daunting step to not only return to school, but to enter a highly physical and male-dominated trades program. “I was really nervous,” she admits, “just thinking: what are they going to say, what are they going to think? Are they going to take me seriously or just worry that I might hurt myself?”

Today, after 8 months in VCC’s Automotive Collision Repair Technician program (as the only woman in her class) and having just started an apprenticeship sponsored by Craftsman Collision, Bianca is more excited than ever in her new career.

Bianca credits her instructors with creating an atmosphere unlike any she’d ever experienced before—one of friendship, respect and an incredible amount of learning. “They want you to succeed so they’ll do whatever they can to help you get there,” she says.

Now more than ever, Bianca also appreciates the importance of her new field of work. After spending an entire month on safety training, she says the pressure to do the job right becomes quite intense. “We’re not only working with tools that can kill us, we have to do everything correctly because we’re putting someone in that car,” she says. “That’s someone’s life.”

The road ahead

While it’s possible to complete all three levels in succession, VCC instructors encourage students to spend a year in the workplace after each level building practical experience and gathering a large portion of the full 6,750 apprenticeship hours needed to obtain Red Seal certification.

In total, Bianca expects to spend nearly four years as an Automotive Collision Repair apprentice, but is looking forward to every moment. She compares it to a four-year bachelor’s degree. “The difference is I’m getting paid to do this,” she says, smiling. “I won’t be in debt. And I’m never working in an office job ever again!”


VCC’s Automotive Collision Repair Technician program offers training in a wide range of skills appropriate to today's advanced automobile collision repair industry. Students who complete the foundation coursework can receive up to a year’s worth of apprenticeship credit and could be eligible for government grants. Learn more at an upcoming info session.

Q&A with John Martinolich: Making it in auto collision repair

Posted on March 19, 2015

auto collision, news, john martinolich, 380x293, instructor, success storyJohn Martinolich started out fixing cars as a teenage hobby, but it wasn’t long before he made this high-demand trade his profession. Now an instructor at VCC, John was kind enough to answer a few questions about his career:

Why did you choose to study at VCC?

I did a work experience at VCC when I was in high school and enjoyed it. I took the course so I could repair cars as a hobby, but I ended up enjoying it so much, I left my other job and stayed with it. That was 17 years ago.

What do you love about working in the auto collision repair and auto refinishing industry?

I really enjoy working with emerging technologies. Although it’s a really physical job, it requires mechanical aptitude, attention to detail and problem solving skills. I also really enjoy payday—I’ve averaged $98,000/year over the last five years!

Would you recommend the program to others looking for a new career?

Absolutely. I was hired before my course was even completed. Today, the industry is in need of skilled technicians. It’s a well-paying, high-demand trade.

Why did you decide to teach?

I liked helping people at work and training apprentices.


Do you have a passion for technology and the drive to succeed in a rewarding career? Learn more about the industry-respected Auto Collision Repair program at VCC.  Join us at a free info session and jumpstart your career.

VCC students earn two medals at Skills Canada competition

Posted on June 7, 2013


Congratulations to all of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. You made the VCC community very proud!

Adam Sliacky one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. Adam Sliacky
Age 17
Automotive refinishing - high school
Delta, B.C.
Ashlie Mackie one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors.
Ashlie Mackie
Age 26
Skin and body therapy
Vancouver, B.C.
Georgine Chung one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. BRONZE WINNER
Georgine Chung
Age 19
Baking and pastry arts
Chilliwack, B.C.
Keith Stonehouse one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. Keith Stonehouse
Age 25

Chilliwack, B.C.
Kurtis Gordey one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. Kurtis Gordey
Age 16
Automotive collision repair - high school
Enderby, B.C.
Meghan McDonell one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. Meghan McDonell
Age 26
Architectural drafting
Vancouver, B.C.
Michelle Macasling one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors. Michelle Macasling
Age 24
Hair design
Rachelle Garcia one of VCC's Skills Canada competitors.

Rachelle Garcia
Age 18
Hair design - high school
Maple Ridge, B.C.

Dr. Peter Nunoda joins Innovate BC board

Posted on May 16, 2018

‌Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, has announced that VCC president and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda has been appointed to the board of directors of Innovate BC. Ralston made the announcement at the #BCTECH Summit on May 14.

Innovate BC is an expansion of the former BC Innovation Council with a mandate to guide and promote growth in the province’s technology sector.

Peter will join a diverse team of 11 experts in research, academia, and entrepreneurship, along with Innovation Commissioner Alan Winter on the Innovate BC board of directors. Peter’s appointment was based on his past research and expertise in Indigenous history, as well as his leadership at VCC in creating industry partnerships and furthering technological innovation.


Learn more about entering the tech sector opportunities at VCC:

New Computer Systems Technology program opens doors to software careers

Posted on June 10, 2019



If all goes according to schedule, the first grads from Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) new Computer Systems Technology Diploma (CST) program will be entering the workforce shortly after Amazon opens its doors only a block away from VCC’s Downtown campus.

Will VCC grads be crossing the street into ready-made jobs? CST head instructor Reza Nezami believes it’s definitely possible, but also knows there are plenty of jobs in Vancouver’s growing tech industry ­­– even if the new neighbours aren’t hiring.

"Software engineer and developer jobs in Vancouver just keep opening up. It’s endless right now,” says Reza.

According to WorkBC, computer programmers continue to be in high demand with more than 8,000 job openings predicted between now and 2028. The B.C. Tech Association estimates there are 100,000 people employed provincially in the sector with a median salary of more than $80,000 per year.

New work, new space

CST students this September will also be the first to study in VCC’s new, state-of-the-art computer labs featuring a street-level entrance, plenty of natural light, and cutting-edge equipment.

Taught by industry professionals, the two-year, full-time CST program will offer students hands-on instruction in software solutions, mobile apps, and website development, while introducing the latest concepts in enterprise systems, cloud computing, machine learning (AI), and security.

Who is best suited for this in-demand career? According to Reza, creative problem-solvers and team players will thrive in this industry. “Writing, updating, or debugging code can be a long process and it requires a great attention to detail,” says Reza, “but it’s very rewarding for those who have an interest in creating new and innovative products.”

Learn more and ask questions about the widely-recognized Computer Systems Technology Diploma at an upcoming free info session.

Media Release: Coast Capital supports higher ed for cognitively challenged youth

Posted on April 30, 2019

News-2017-CASE Students-0089-800

VANCOUVER – Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union has donated $20,000 to support Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Gateway to Post-secondary (GPS) program. The program provides an opportunity for cognitively challenged youth to bridge their education between high school and post-secondary.

The GPS program was developed in partnership with the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to prepare students for VCC’s industry-specific Adult Special Education programs such as Food Service Careers and Retail and Hospitality Careers. The program is customized to serve diverse learners needing to complete and/or advance their education and includes a mix of classroom and supported field activities.

“This funding addresses a significant education gap where education assistance for students with developmental disabilities drop off after high school,” says Ingrid Defert, VCC Community and Career Education (CACE) department head.

According to the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario, students with learning disabilities enroll in post-secondary programs at one-tenth the rate of the general population. Their post-secondary graduation rate is 3.6 per cent compared to post-secondary students without disabilities, who graduate at 62.1 per cent. 

“Student outcomes from GPS have been outstanding due to the experiential, hands-on learning that students participate in over the course of the program,” says Pan Neuman, VSB district resource teacher, secondary transition. “The program offers students a necessary bridge between high school and college life that facilitates a successful transition. Students, parents, and teachers at VCC often comment on how prepared the students are for college once they complete the GPS program.”

The $20,000 donation is provided by Coast Capital’s Youth Get It Community Investment program, which aims to empower Canadian youth to break down barriers in their journey to independence.

“Coast Capital Savings is committed to supporting youth in our local communities,” explains Maureen Young, Director of Community Leadership at Coast Capital Savings. “Through our Community Investment Grants, we are able to support youth-serving organizations like Vancouver Community College, who provide essential programming and support to local youth who need some extra help. We are thrilled to enable programs like VCC’s Gateway to Post-Secondary program that provide young people with access to resources and supports that help them navigate post-secondary education and find success.”

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 120 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With campuses located in Downtown Vancouver, on East Broadway, and on Annacis Island, VCC offers hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.

About Coast Capital Savings

Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s largest credit union by membership and B.C.’s first credit union to be granted federal credit union status.  An Imagine Canada Caring Company and a certified B Corporation in recognition of its social performance, the credit union invested $5.9 million into local communities in 2018, focusing on empowering and engaging youth. Coast Capital is one of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, and is a winner of the Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club designation. In 2018, Coast Capital was awarded the Corporate Responsibility Award at National Philanthropy Day by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Vancouver Island Chapter. It has 52 branches serving its 555,000 members in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Okanagan regions of British Columbia. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. To learn more, visit

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Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7538


Media release: Vancouver Foundation gift supports Deaf and hard of hearing

Posted on September 5, 2018



VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Community College (VCC) has accepted a generous gift of $150,000 from the Vancouver Foundation to support the expansion of employment training programs for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. 

This gift will enable VCC to design and offer bridging programs that provide Deaf and hard of hearing students with accessible, certified trades training in four major industries: food services, transportation trades, salon and spa, and technology.  

Deaf and hard of hearing individuals experience significantly higher unemployment rates than the general population for numerous reasons including lack of access to job training. 

“When a program can be tailored towards the needs of Deaf and hard of hearing students, it offers them the opportunity to fully participate through group activities and class discussions. VCC continues to develop important programs that are instrumental to Deaf and hard of hearing people’s lives. These types of programs prepare the students for the workforce,” says Linda Franchi, PhD, Head of Counselling Services at Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH). 

VCC has championed Deaf education in B.C. for over 40 years, working with community service partners and local businesses to educate potential employers on the benefits of hiring a Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind individuals. Through VCC’s current Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Job Readiness program, students have participated in internships at nearly 100 businesses across Metro Vancouver, with many moving on to full employment.

About the Vancouver Foundation 

The Vancouver Foundation is Canada’s largest community foundation, working throughout B.C. to harness the gifts of ideas, money, time and energy to build a lasting legacy: healthy, vibrant, and livable communities. VCC is proud to partner with Vancouver Foundation to develop greater opportunities for people of all abilities.

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Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Marketing and communications officer
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7538

Media Release: VCC celebrates the accomplishments of Red Seal graduates

Posted on August 19, 2019



VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is celebrating alumni who have received their Red Seal endorsement (RSE) at its inaugural Red Seal recognition event, held today at the VCC Downtown campus. While most academic accomplishments are celebrated with a graduation ceremony, that isn’t usually the case when it comes to receiving a Red Seal – the interprovincial standard of excellence in the skilled trades. 

VCC recognizes that the work that goes into earning a Red Seal should be celebrated. 

“BC’s future will require carpenters, chefs, welders, and Red Seal trades professionals, just as much as we will need nurses, doctors, and teachers in order to build, and sustain a strong economy,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Trades workers are in high demand in B.C. and we expect more than 70,000 trades job openings in the next decade. 21St Century skills, like the ones achieved through trades training, apprenticeships and Red Seal designations, give students the tools they need to be industry ready, and be part of building the best B.C.”

“The goal of the event is to recognize and honour the hard work and dedication it takes for grads to obtain their Red Seal,” says VCC Associate Director, Alumni Relations Carolyn Hornell. “For many graduates, receiving their Red Seal is incredibly meaningful and VCC is thrilled to celebrate their accomplishments. We anticipate this will become an annual celebration.”

VCC’s first Red Seal recognition event includes all those who have received their Red Seal at VCC in the past five years. Six Red Seal trades are offered at VCC: cooking, baking, hairstyling, auto body and collision, automotive refinishing, automotive service, and heavy duty equipment. 

“A Red Seal is the sign of true excellence. By formally recognizing VCC students who have received their Red Seal, we honour the dedication these skilled tradespeople have to their craft and their commitment to the industry,” says VCC President and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda.  

VCC is also well-known for producing winning Skills Canada competitors at the regional, provincial, and national levels. This week, two VCC graduates, a cook and a baker, will be competing at the WorldSkills Kazan 2019 competition in Russia. This is the first time a Canadian school will have competitors in both categories. 

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) provides funding to the VCC trades training programs, including Red Seal-recognized trades. This funding has helped lower the financial barriers to give students a more affordable way to start their journey into a career in the trades. 

The ITA is honoured to join in the recognition of VCC Red Seal graduates. “The dedication that goes into earning a Red Seal is cause for celebration,” says ITA CEO Shelley Gray. “A career in the trades opens up many pathways – be it as a journeyperson, business owner, or educator. Achieving the Red Seal gives this group the opportunity to not only further their career growth, but also support the success of the next generation of skilled trades professionals.”


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 120 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses, located in East Vancouver, Downtown Vancouver, and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, and music.


About Industry Training Authority 

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system. The ITA works with apprentices, employers, industry, labour, training providers, and government to fund training, issue credentials, support apprenticeships, set program standards, and increase opportunities in the trades. For more information, visit


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Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Vancouver Community College
Marketing and Communications Officer
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7538


Nicole Adams 
Director of Communications 
Industry Training Authority 
T: 604-364-1039 

See all programs taking applications for the fall term

Posted on July 25, 2013

We are still accepting applications for many programs that start in late August or early September. Attend an info session, speak to a program advisor about admission requirements, or apply online now.

Choose your new career:

American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf studies

Auto refinishing prep technician (car painting)

Auto collision repair

Auto service technician

Hospitality management

Culinary arts and Asian culinary arts

Digital graphic design

Drafting technician - architectural

Drafting technician - architectural-civil/structural

Drafting technician - steel detailing

Hair design

Jewellery art and design

Skin and body therapy (esthetics)

Administrative assistant

Medical transcriptionist

Theatre production supports VCC's Deaf, hard of hearing, and visually impaired departments

Posted on October 2, 2018



Love, Loss & What I Wore is a benefit performance in support of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH), Visually Impaired (VIP), ASL and Deaf Studies, and Interpreting Services (IS) departments at Vancouver Community College (VCC).

This staged reading will not disappoint! Proving that great entertainment never goes out of style, the presentation of Love, Loss and What I Wore by award-winning screenwriters and authors Nora and Delia Ephron (based on the book by Ilene Beckerman) comes to Presentation House Theatre stage for two evenings only.

Like a long heart-to-heart with your best friend, this intimate and engaging collection of stories meanders from musings over wedding-day attire to a rant about loathing a purse and everything in between. Odes to first bras, cowboy boots, and outfits that made our mothers cringe, LoveLoss and What I Wore evokes funny memories and poignant stories about tyrannical dressing rooms, painful heels, comfy Birkenstocks, and having to choose between the two!


Love, Loss and What I Wore
Dates: Sunday, Oct 28. and Monday, Oct. 29
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Presentation House Theatre
333 Chesterfield Ave., North Vancouver
(3rd. St. W and Chesterfield)
Tickets: $30 adults, $15 students/seniors
For questions, please contact Marcia Tanaka at 778-227-2000.
ASL interpreting will be provided.
Funds raised from ticket sales and a rummage sale following the performance will go towards scholarships for Deaf, hard of hearing, and visually impaired students at VCC. 
Cast (in alphabetical order)
Nicola Cavendish
Kathy Daniels
Dolores Drake
Tai Grauman
Anna Hagen (Monday Performance)
Jenny Mitchell
Suzie Payne (Sunday Performance)
Programs will be available for download soon.
Presented by special arrangement with Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

VCC at the 2016 Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Posted on June 24, 2016

For over 40+ years, VCC's music department has been helping musicians from all walks of life hone their musical talent. It's not a surprise that so many of the musicians playing the Vancouver International Jazz Festival this year are VCC faculty members, alumni and current music students. The Vancouver International Jazz Festival takes place from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, July 3 at venues around the city, including free concerts at Granville Island, David Lam Park and downtown, by the Vancouver Art Gallery. With so many events taking place over the week, it will be hard to pick and choose who to see, so we've helped you narrow down your choices.

Friday, June 24

Rossi Gang (with alumni, Skye Lambourne, trumpet, Noah Gotfrit, bass, and Aaron Levinson, drums)
Friday, June 24, noon – Granville Island – Public Market Stage

Copilots (with alumnus, Karma Sohn, keys)
Saturday, June 24, 2:15 p.m. – Downtown Jazz – Georgia Stage

Alicia Hansen with Hiromi: The Trio Project (with alumni, Alicia Hansen, vocals and Ben Brown, drums)
Friday, June 24, 8 p.m. - The Vogue Theatre

Saturday, June 25 

Paul Keeling Ancient Lights Quintet (with faculty member, Bernie Arai, drums)
Saturday, June 25, noon – Downtown Jazz – Robson Stage

Longhand (with alumnus, Tyson Naylor, keys)
Saturday, June 25, 5 p.m. – Downtown Jazz – Robson Stage

Sunday, June 26 

Only A Visitor (with alumnus, Kevin Romain, bass)
Sunday, June 26, noon – Downtown Jazz – Robson Stage

Debra-Jean & the Dreams (with alumnus, Debra-Jean Creelman, vocals)
Sunday, June 26, 2:15 p.m. – Downtown Jazz – Georgia Stage

Monday, June 27 

Malleus Trio (with VCC music student, Geordie Hart, bass, and alumni Dominic Conway, tenor sax, and Ben Brown, drums)
Monday, June 27, noon – Granville Island – Public Market Stage

Marin Patenaude (with alumnus, Kenton Loewen, drums)
Monday, June 27, 8 p.m. – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
$79 - $140

Wednesday, June 29 

Tyson Naylor’s Tribute to Paul Bley (with alumnus, Tyson Naylor, keyboard)
Wednesday, June 29, 2:30 p.m. – Performance Works

Faculty member Giorgio Magnanensi, laptop/electronic,  alumnus Kenton Loewen, drummer, Chris Kelly and Sam King
Wednesday, June 29, 5 p.m. – Ironworks

Thursday, June 30 

Hildegard’s Ghost (with alumni, Roisin Adams, composer/keyboards, and Justin Devries, drums)
Thursday, June 30, noon – Granville Island – Public Market Stage

Common Grounds with Alan Matheson Septet and Pacific Baroque Orchestra (faculty member, Alan Matheson, trumpet/composer)
Thursday, June 30, 7:30 p.m. – Christ Church Cathedral

Friday, July 1

The Art Arntzen Quintet (with alumnus Art Antzen, banjo)
Friday, July 1, noon -Granville Island – Ron Basford Park Stage

Robin Layne Quartet (with alumnus, Robin Layne, percussion and marimba)
Friday, July 1, 12:30 p.m. – Granville Island – Railspur District Stage

Benoit Delbecq with VCC faculty member, Francois Houle (clarinet), Gordon Grdina and alumnus Kenton Loewen (drums)
Friday, July 1, 2:15 p.m. - Granville Island – Performance Works

John Korsrud’s Latin Ensemble (with faculty member, John Korsrud, trumpet)
Friday, July 1, 5 p.m. – Granville Island – Ron Basford Park Stage

Anita Eccleston (with alumnus Andrew Smith, guitar)
Friday, July 1, 5:30 p.m. - Granville Island – Railspur District Stage

Big Fate (with alumni Malcolm Aiken, trumpet and Dominic Conway, tenor sax)
Friday, July 1, 8 p.m. – Granville Island – Railspur District Stage

Saturday, July 2

Mattias Risberg and VCC faculty member, Francois Houle, clarinet
Saturday, July 2, 1:30 p.m. – Roundhouse – Performance Centre

Star Captains (with music student, Jim Black, guitar)
Saturday, July 2, 1:45 p.m. – Roundhouse David Lam Park Stage

Jennifer Scott Quartet featuring Dave Sikula (with alumna and former faculty member, Jennifer Scott, vocals/piano
Saturday, July 2, 2:30 p.m. – Performace Works

Ron Samworths’ Dogs Do Dream (with alumni JP Carter, trumpet and Tyson Naylor, keyboard/accordion)
Saturday, July 2, 3:15 p.m. – Roundhouse – Performance Centre
$10 (tickets at the door only)

Crane Wreck (with faculty member, Francois Houle, clarinet)
Saturday, July 2, 5:30 & 6:40 p.m. – Roundhouse – Exhibition Hall

Gordon Grdina’s Haram (with alumni JP Carter, trumpet, Kenton Loewen, drums, and facult members Jesse Zubot, violin, and Francois Houle, clarinet)
Saturday, July 2, 9 p.m. – Performance Works

Sunday, July 3

Sarah Kennedy Quintet (with alumna, Sarah Kennedy, vocals)
Sunday, July 3, noon – Granville Island – Public Stage

Camaro 67 (with alumni Jimmy Baldwin, Brendan Krieg, Tim Sars, and alumnus and faculty member, Georges Couling)
Sunday, July 3, 1:45 p.m. – Roundhouse - David Lam Park Stage

Bernie Arai’s Goat Logic (with faculty member, Bernie Arai, drums/composer)
Sunday, July 3, 5:30 & 6:40 p.m. – Roundhouse – Exhibition Hall

Jaclyn Guillou (with faculty members Jillian Lebeck, piano and Bernie Arai, drums)
Sunday, July 3, 8 p.m. – Frankie’s Jazz Club

Delhi 2 Dublin (with alumnus, Jaren Freeman-Fox)
Sunday, July 3, 8:45 p.m. – Roundhouse - David Lam Park Stage

Mary Halvorson / alumnus JP Carter/ Tommy Babin/ Skye Brooks
Sunday, July 3, midnight – Innovation Series – Ironworks Late Night


To learn more about VCC's music programs, please attend one of our info sessions

Stay connected with VCC's alumni newsletter! Hear about exciting news about VCC alumni, contests and new partnerships. 




Barbara Vargas: VCC's tap dancing percussionist

Posted on July 25, 2016

As published in Vancouver Metro.

Barbara Vargas danced her way into being the first percussionist at Vancouver Community College’s music program to graduate with tap dancing shoes as her instrument.

Using her shoes, hands and body to make music with others seemed like the natural thing to do, said the 30-year old dancer. The school was initially hesitant about the idea but jumped on board when they saw her audition she said.

“Tap dance in general is a very percussive art form. Even just solely being a tap dancer, it’s very musically focused,” said the Vancouver dancer.  

“You really have to be conscious of what you’re putting out here in the world, musically as well as visually.”

Vargas, who is originally from Edmonton, started tap dancing when she was three years old and has since performed in Germany, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. She plans to continue dancing for decades to come, something that not all dancers are able to do, depending on the type of dance they specialize in.

“The stretch of your tap dancing career is so vast. There are tap dancers who are amazing and they’re in their 60s, 70s, and 80s and they’re still growing and they’re still learning,” she said.

“I don’t see myself taking off my shoes anytime soon.”

Studying music, even as someone who has tap-danced for 27 years, has made her a better performer, she said. Much of her lesson time was spent trying to imitate the wide variety of drum sounds and rhythms using only her shoes.

“Gravity is not an issue when you’re sticking – but it can be when you’re dancing,” she said, laughing. tap dancer shoes

Vargas graduated from VCC in December and was a feature soloist with the VCC Jazz Orchestra.

“Its amazing. It brings back that old-school Cotton Club feature dancer idea which is great.”

But the transition from dancer to musician had its challenges for the accomplished tap dancer who was once part of the Canadian national tap dance team.

Other musicians sometimes don’t take her seriously, said Vargas.

“They ask me, what are you going to play? I say, I’m a tap dancer and then they laugh,” she said.

“There are still a lot of walls separating the two art forms, which can be a task for sure.”

With her music diploma in hand, Vargas plans on breaking down those walls.

“My dream job would be to create an institute for musicians and dancers to learn and create together much like the Royal Winnipeg ballet, but for the rhythmic arts,” she said.

“It’s an exciting time for tap dance – it’s coming back.”

Watch Barbara's video.


Learn more about VCC's music program by attending an upcoming information session.

VCC and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2017

Posted on June 21, 2017

‌For over 40 years, the music department at Vancouver Community College (VCC) has helped hone the talent of musicians, composers, and bands; many of whom graduated from VCC to big and bright careers in the music industry. VCC is proud of the music alumni and faculty performing at this year's Vancouver International Jazz Festival, running from Thursday, June 22 to Wednesday, July 2 at multiple venues around Vancouver. 

See below the schedule of Jazz Fest performances involving VCC faculty and alumni (all events are free, unless noted otherwise): 

June 23 

Last Ark Out (with alumni Justin Gorrie, Colin Parker, James Huumo and Arthur Smith)
Noon, Granville Island, Public Market stage 

Dálava (with alumnus Tyson Naylor)
$30, 9:30 p.m., The Ironworks

June 24

Tim Sars Sextet (with alumni Tim Sars, Bryan Milks, Jen Lewin and Brendan Krieg)
Noon, Downtown, Robson stage

June 25

The Boom Booms (with alumnus Geordie Hart)
7:30 p.m., Downtown Jazz, Georgia stage

ReBop! A tribute to Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (with faculty Kate Hammett-Vaughn, Craig Scott)
$15, 8 p.m., Frankie’s Jazz Club

June 26

Sessions at the Patricia with Sharon Minemoto (with faculty Sharon Minemoto)
8 p.m., Pat’s Pub and Brewhouse

Broken Merchandise (with alumnus Kenton Loewen)
$15, 11 p.m., The China Cloud

June 27

Good Noise Gospel Band (with faculty Laurence Mollerup)
Noon, Jazz Vespers at St. Andrew’s

Luc Ex/Loewen/MacQuarrie/Zubot (with alumnus Kenton Loewen)
5 p.m., The Ironworks

Turning Point Ensemble meets Hollenbeck, Nachoff and Houle (with faculty François Houle)
$25, 8 p.m., SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Steelin’ in the Years (with alumni Talia Butler-Gray, Kerry Galloway)
$25, 8 p.m., The BlueShore at Cap

Sick Boss (with alumnus Jeremy Page)
$15, 11 p.m., the China Cloud

June 28

Geoff Claridge Quartet (with faculty Bernie Arai)
Noon, Granville Island, Public Market stage

Turning Point Ensemble meets Hollenbeck, Nachoff and Houle (with faculty François Houle)
$25, 8 p.m., SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

June 29

Laura Crema and Blue Shadows on the Trail (with alumni Laura Crema, John Sponarski)
Noon, Granville Island, Public Market stage

Angell/Brown/Capurso/Kallerdahl (with alumnus Ben Brown)
5 p.m., The Ironworks

June 30

Gordon Grdina Septet featuring Jon Irabagon (with alumnnus Kenton Loewen)
$21, midnight, The Ironworks

July 1

Coco Jafro (with current student Sangito Bigelow)
Noon, Roundhouse, David Lam Park Stage

Elisa Thorn’s Hue (with alumnus Justin Devries)
Noon & 1:10 p.m., Roundhouse, Exhibition Hall

Jen Hodge All Stars (with alumni Dave Taylor and Arnt Arntzen)
Noon, Granville Island, Ron Basford Park stage

Lan Tung’s Proliferasian featuring Xiaofen Min (with faculty Bernie Arai)
Noon, Granville Island, Performance Works

Ayelet Rose Gottlieb's Who Has Seen the Wind? (with faculty François Houle)
$10, 1:30 p.m., Roundhouse, Performance Centre

Sharon Minemoto Quartet (with faculty Sharon Minemoto, Bernie Arai)
2 p.m., Granville Island, Performance Works

Hyper+ featuring François Houle (with faculty François Houle)
3:45 p.m., Granville Island, Performance Works

Daphne Roubini and Black Gardenia (with alumnus Andrew Smith)
5 p.m., Granville Island, Ron Basford Park stage

Gabriel Palatchi Trio (with alumnus Kerry Galloway)
5:30 p.m., Granville Island, Railspur District stage

Tom Wherett’s Evil Three with Skye Brooks (with alumnus Sky Brooks)
6 p.m., Roundhouse, Exhibition Hall

Big EviL (with alumnus Elliot Langford)
7 p.m., Roundhouse, David Lam Park stage

July 2

Gavin Youngash Trio (with alumnus Skye Brooks)
Noon & 1:10 p.m., Roundhouse, Exhibition Hall

Malcolm Aiken & New Futures (with alumnus Malcolm Aiken)
1:45 p.m., Roundhouse, David Lam Park stage

Greasy G and the Poole Party featuring JAKITO! (with faculty Jack Duncan)
3 p.m. & 4:10 p.m., Roundhouse, Exhibition Hall

Gordon Grdina’s Haram (with faculty François Houle)
$35, 9 p.m., Performance Works


Stay connected with VCC's alumni newsletter! Hear about exciting news about VCC alumni, contests, and new partnerships. 

Interested in learning 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. 




Music can improve your quality of life

Posted on August 14, 2014



A recent article written for The Week, by Eric Barker, sites the 'nine ways music can improve your life'. From helping you relax, to reducing pain, to making you a better person, music resonates within each and every one of us.

VCC’s music department offers numerous ways for you to explore your passion for music on a casual, part-time or full-time basis:

Community members are given the opportunity to explore their appetite for music through VCC’s community music offerings.

  • Join a VCC ensemble
  • Attend one of the various workshops offered on campus
  • Enrol in a theory, musicianship or history course that will enable you to expand your musical knowledge

VCC offers introductory courses in theory and ear training, as well as part-time access to many of our diploma courses.

VCC welcomes instrumentalists and vocalists in rock and popular music, as well as classical, new music and music traditions from other cultures. Students who are considering entering the diploma or degree program in the future can apply most part-time credits toward these credentials.

Learn from the best instructors the province has to offer and study alongside a group of supportive and encouraging peers. 

Click here to learn more about VCC's music programs. 

Best of Vancouver 2016

Posted on September 21, 2016


Vancouverites have spoken.

In the Georgia Straight’s 21st annual Best of Vancouver issue, Vancouver Community College was the Readers Choice winner as the #1 professional culinary school in the Lower Mainland.

Voters in the online survey also selected VCC among the top three places to learn a new language and best college/school/university for continuing education in the region.

Many VCC alumni have been recognized as well, check out the growing list below:

Best local classical ensemble: #2 Turning Point Ensemble
VCC faculty members Francois Houle (clarinet), Marc Destrube (violin)
Best local band (signed): #1 Mother Mother
VCC alumni Ryan Guldemond, Jasmine Parkin, Jeremy Page
Best local band (signed): #2 Dan Mangan
VCC alumni John Walsh, Kenton Loewen
Best local band (unsigned): #2 Two Apple Tobacco
VCC alumnus Jordan Kling
Best custom jewellery store: #2 Era Design
VCC alumna Rosemary Bartram

Best local jewellery designers: article
VCC alumna Kara Koo and Anita Sikma Design


VCC student wins B.C. logo design contest

Posted on January 3, 2014

By day, Semelie Tumulak is a registered nurse in Abbotsford and part-time nursing instructor at two local post-secondary institutions. She's also enrolled in VCC's B.C. Provincial Instructor Diploma program.

In her spare time, Tumulak has a passion for design. And it just so happens her brother, Romel, is a graphic designer and computer consultant.

In November, the pair the British Columbia Applied Research and Innovation Network's logo contest and won the $500 prize.

"The design is all about linkages -- institutional, business and community partnerships that give the network its unmistakable help the world one project at a time," they said in their written submission.

Tumuluk says they wanted to incorporate colours that represent B.C. and the chain symbol was meant to be rich and highly visual.

What's new for fall 2019 in Continuing Studies?

Posted on August 13, 2019

CS Fall 2019 800

VCC Continuing Studies is pleased to annouce the following new courses and programs starting throughout the fall and winter terms.

Gladue Report Writing Certificate



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.

New online event to help graphic design students make industry connections

Posted on July 3, 2020



For many up-and-coming graphic designers, industry events, public showcases, and conferences are important venues to help launch their careers. When the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to large gatherings, however, Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Digital Media Design faculty knew they had to find a new way to help students make professional connections.

Using expert skills in online learning, department head of Digital Media Design at VCC Anne Emberline and her team came up with a unique, interactive, online event built specifically to give designers that missing social boost.

Connected by Design, to be held Wednesday, July 22 from 1 to 3 p.m., promises an engaging program including opportunities to interact with other design lovers on the fly, participate in small groups, and take on a real-time creative challenge designed to get people thinking (and laughing) together. 

 “We want to give designers something they’re sorely missing – the ability to meet each other and nerd out about design,” says Anne.  

Tickets are available at $10 ($5 for students), and 100 per cent of sales will be donated to VCC’s COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund for struggling students. Thanks also to VCC Graphic Design program alumni, who volunteered their time by designing the event’s promotional materials.

“I hope students will meet people that are already working in the industry and see how nice and supportive they are, and won't be scared to ask for help or feedback,” says event volunteer and VCC alumna Diana Hojdan.

Connected by Design is our way of giving back,” says Anne. “As the COVID-19 crisis forced us to move our face-to-face graphic programs online, we ended up wondering how we could use our innovations in online learning to offer something valuable to our industry.”


For tickets and more information, visit

Learn more about VCC’s Graphic Design diploma programs and see samples of student work. 


New community service program supports B.C. youth during COVID-19

Posted on June 29, 2020

On Monday June 29, the BC government announced new measures to help B.C. students access jobs and financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Communities around B.C. can apply to fund a community-service project of their choosing – like trail building, beach clean-up, invasive species removal, upgrading local parks, or working for a local charity. In turn, they provide skills and work experience to young people who are unemployed, between 15-29 years of age, through the project. 

“We recognize that COVID-19 continues to dramatically impact young people’s prospects for work, which they typically use to leverage future job prospects or to pay for their education or training,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Now, more than ever, young people are looking for ways to support themselves, while giving back to their communities. Engaging in safe, physically distanced local projects is an incredible opportunity for young people to acquire new skills, earn money and contribute to building back an even better B.C.”  

Visit WorkBC to learn more about this provincial Youth Community Partnership program.

Media Release: Unique online event to create connections in graphic design

Posted on July 2, 2020



VANCOUVER – Many design professionals rely on industry events and conferences to make connections and build their careers, but with a ban on large gatherings in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vancouver Community College (VCC)’s Digital Media Design department has developed a new way to forge social connections in the industry.

Using expert skills in online learning, VCC faculty created Connected by Design – a unique, online social event built specifically to help designers and design enthusiasts make lasting connections. 

“We want to give designers something they’re sorely missing – the ability to meet each other and nerd out about design,” says Anne Emberline, department head of Digital Media Design at VCC and director of the event. 

Taking place Wednesday, July 22 from 1 to 3 p.m., Connected by Design will use short talks as fuel for small-group activities where attendees will make meaningful connections through intimate, guided discussion and collaborative, creative challenges. The point isn’t to present information – it’s to allow attendees to be social.

The event is supported by VCC graphic design alumni, who volunteered their time by designing the event’s promotional materials. Tickets are available at $10 ($5 for students), and 100 per cent of sales will be donated to VCC’s COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund for struggling students. 

Connected by Design is our way of giving back,” says Anne. “As the COVID-19 crisis forced us to move our face-to-face graphic programs online, we ended up wondering how we could use our innovations in online learning to offer something valuable to our industry.”

For tickets and more information, visit


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Media can contact:

Anne Emberline
Department Head, Digital Media Design
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.916.2663

Reg Romero
Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7133


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 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.



The Fall 2017 Continuing Studies catalogue is out!

Posted on August 15, 2017

‌‌VCC Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the following new offerings for September and beyond:

· Adobe Illustrator for Interior Design: Level 1
· Board Development
· CGA Diamond Grading
· Ethics and Fiscal Management for Volunteer Managers
· Event Planning for Volunteer Managers
· Fashion Show Production
· Introduction to Industrial Sewing Machines
· Leadership and Management for Volunteer Managers
· Mend, Transform, Renew
· Mutual Performance Evaluations
· Orientation, Training and Supervision of Volunteers
· Pojagi Workshop
· Policies and Procedures for Volunteer Managers
· Risk Management for Volunteer Managers
· Samsung Repair Technician – Entry Pathway Program
· Volunteer Management Foundations
· Volunteer Recognition and Retention


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 an extensive range of diplomas, certificates and courses, scheduled during the day or in the evenings for maximum flexibility.

Italian cuisine and culture come to Vancouver Community College

Posted on November 14, 2017

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

Our town has been blessed by Italy before. Chefs such as Tuscany-born Umberto Menghi and Calabria-born Pino Posteraro have set the bar high for Italian cuisine in Vancouver.

But early in the new year, local residents will have a chance to learn from Italian masters in the kitchens at Vancouver Community College’s downtown campus.

That's because VCC will accept another batch of students for Cucina Italiana-Italian Master Class Series, which is offered through VCC continuing studies.

The dean, Gordon McIvor, told the Straight by phone that students are not only going to learn new culinary skills, they’ll also get the full-meal deal when it comes to Italian culture, courtesy of charismatic head chef Giovanni Trigona.

"These courses are really designed more for the entertainment value as opposed to training people to become chefs," McIvor acknowledged.

News-Italian-Master-Class-pizza-EMBED-300VCC has partnered with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada West to offer five three-hour evening classes over a five-week period. They focus on the culture of Italian cuisine from a specific region.

Each evening is devoted to a region’s pasta, pizza, breads, pastries, the pairings of Italian wine and food, and even gourmet gelato. There’s a 20 per cent discount for those who enroll in all five courses, though they can also be taken individually.

"Giovanni has a lot of energy," McIvor said. "You’re really getting a very authentic experience."

VCC's senior program coordinator of continuing studies, Claire Sauvé, told the Straight by phone that what sets the Italian Master Class Series apart is how it weaves together traditions, customs, regional history, and Italian food.

"There are certain classifications of ingredients from Italy, depending on their regional authenticity," Sauvé explained. "An even higher measure of authenticity is if the ingredients come from a particular region and have been 100 per cent prepared in that region. So they are really focused on regional delicacies."

McIvor attended a session this fall in which the chef insisted that dough be left to sit out for 18 hours before students could start kneading it. McIvor also recalled how it felt having flour poured over his hand and hearing the chef talk about its consistency.

He was delighted by how much joy there was in the room during the class, which he described as "highly interactive."

"It's almost like a party," he recalled. "If people are looking for an active evening, I think it’s something they would enjoy."

‌Accessibility assessors will be trained at VCC

The Italian Master Class Series reflects how staff in the VCC continuing studies can seek partnerships before embarking on new programs.

"It's not just about us creating a course from scratch," McIvor said. "It's really about engaging with people who have the subject-matter expertise and the curriculum and us delivering it and making it accessible to people from where we sit."

Along the same lines, VCC continuing studies will offer an Accessibility Assessor Certification Training course in the spring in partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation.

‌"The training is to become an accessibility assessor—to go into buildings and assess how accessible the buildings are," Sauvé said.

This can involve measuring the width of stairways or doorways and making recommendations to engineers about any retrofitting that needs to be done. But it also incorporates accessibility for people who are hearing or visually impaired, those who have companion dogs, and even people with strollers.

"It's a holistic view of accessibility," Sauvé noted.

McIvor noted that the Accessibility Assessor course will take place in a large room at the Broadway campus.

Obstacles will be created there and students will rely on wheelchairs to navigate around them and around the campus. They’ll also find their way while blindfolded and walking with a cane.

"A lot of buildings in Vancouver and all across Canada are required to be retrofitted," McIvor said. "The Rick Hansen Foundation is trailblazing this. We're going to be the 'train the trainer' spot for Canada, and the goal in the long term is we roll this out across Canada and people come here for training."


See what other new and unique courses VCC Continuing Studies has to offer. Programs start year-round.



mLearning pilot program

Posted on November 20, 2018

The future of education will have a familiar ring to it when Vancouver Community College (VCC) launches education program delivery by cellular phone (mlearning).

VCC will be providing language learning to 600 students who otherwise may not have access to classrooms due to distance or waitlists.

In partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the project starting this November will test mlearning as an alternative to traditional education.

“In 2018-19, IRCC will provide $32 million in funding for as many as 100 service delivery improvement projects across Canada,” said the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “Understanding newcomer needs and developing innovative approaches, as the Vancouver Community College has done, is what IRCC’s new Service Delivery Improvement funding stream is all about.”

The immediate goal of the VCC project is to provide language learning to refugees and immigrants currently on the waitlist to attend VCC’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Participants will be able to learn on a cellular phone on their own schedule and pace using the Cell-Ed English language training platform.

“We believe in innovative technologies that create more access to education,” said VCC President Dr. Peter Nunoda. “Although we’re the first college in B.C. to deliver mlearning, it has a proven track record in the USA, Europe and Africa. Many people are comfortable with the use of cellular phones. And they’re more accessible than computers ”

VCC has partnered with Cell-Ed, an experienced, award-winning provider of mlearning, to enable learners access to courses anywhere and anytime. The program will also allow participants to connect with supportive coaches through face-to-face workshops and the phone to provide additional learning support.

The program will be evaluated after two test phases of approximately 300 students each. The pilot project is expected to be completed by April 2020.

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Media can contact:

Tanis Sawkins
Director, Partnership Development Office
Vancouver Community College
604-871-7000, ext. 8350

VCC students rank high at WorldSkills Kazan 2019

Posted on August 30, 2019



For the first time, two Vancouver Community College (VCC) students have ranked among the best in the world in their skilled trades.  

After six days of Olympic-esque ceremonies and intense competition, WorldSkills Kazan 2019 wrapped up on Tuesday, August 27 in Kazan, Russia with VCC baking and pastry arts apprentice Clarissa Roque placing 5th out of 23 competitors in her category, and VCC culinary apprentice Leah Patitucci placing 11th out of 48.

Of the 32-member Team Canada competing in Kazan, 14 were also awarded Medallions of Excellence for their work, including Clarissa and Leah. In total, over 1,300 young professionals from 63 countries and regions competed in the event. 

Over the past two years, both Clarissa and Leah have continuously won their way into higher and higher levels of competition, starting with regional Skills Canada competitions, then provincials, nationals, and finally earning spots on WorldSkills Team Canada 2019.

In addition to school and work, both competitors spent countless hours training in VCC kitchens alongside chef instructors and other culinary experts and coaches. Both students also generously gave their time to local media for news and radio interviews (see more below). 

Upon her return to Canada, Leah will continue her work in fine dining at The Pear Tree Restaurant in Burnaby, B.C., and Clarissa will continue perfecting her craft at Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie.

Please join all of VCC in congratulating these women for their outstanding performances on the international stage, and stay tuned for more stories from Russia! 




Top 10 VCC stories of 2019

Posted on January 7, 2020



How’s 2020 going so far? Get inspired for the new school year by reading 2019’s most popular online stories featuring VCC students, instructors, and alumni.

10. VCC partnership with Musqueam advances early childhood education 

No-cost ECCE program for Indigenous students honours culture while launching careers 

9. VCC students rank high at WorldSkills Kazan 2019 

Two outstanding apprentices recognized for excellence on the global stage

8. Nespresso national competition finds pastry prodigies at VCC 

Six VCC baking students craft coffee-themed sweets for Nespresso Café Gourmand

7. Top five Valentine’s Day gift ideas from VCC Salon & Spa

Our expert instructors share five hair and skin care products worth falling in love with 

6. New Computer Systems Technology program opens doors to software careers 

Hundreds of tech industry jobs await grads from VCC’s newest program 

5. VCC shines at Skills Canada BC 2019 provincials 

Skilled trades students earn 19 medals including two podium sweeps in Abbotsford

4. Top Skills Canada performances launch VCC students onto the world stage 

VCC to compete in baking and culinary arts at WorldSkills 2019 in Russia

3. VCC will train Gladue report writers to advance justice for First Nations

New certificate program helps move Gladue reporting toward a national standard

2. VCC announces new Dean of Indigenous Initiatives 

Clayton Munro joins VCC to advance Indigenization of academy, space, and culture

1. Immigrant women find "Sewmates" in new VCC business program

New Sewing collective builds up women’s confidence to do business in Canada


Stay up to date on what's happening in the VCC community year round by visiting


Keeping progress alive for women in culinary arts

Posted on March 8, 2020


Left to right: Chef Ysabel Sukic, Chef Erin Vickars

There are amazing women chefs out there. We see them in restaurants and hotels, we read about them, and we celebrate them. This International Women’s Day, at Vancouver Community College (VCC), we want to recognize the incredible progress that women have made in the culinary industry, but also take an honest look at how far we still have to go. 

The culinary climb

Chef Ysabel Sukic has a huge amount of professional cooking experience. After training at VCC in the mid-90’s and earning her Red Seal, she went on to work in a variety of kitchens from luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants to private yachts. In 2006, she joined VCC as an instructional assistant and also earned the prestigious Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) designation. In January 2020, Ysabel was elected department head at VCC Culinary Arts – the first woman to ever hold this position. 

Looking at her career thus far, Ysabel remembers often trying to fit in as the only woman in the kitchen. “There were a lot of questions about my capability,” she says. Ysabel remembers never doubting her own skill or commitment, yet getting passed up for promotions and having to show skills far above the bar to be taken seriously. In one hotel, she remembers a chef genuinely asking why she wasn’t working in housekeeping. 

“I tweaked my personality to be ‘one of the boys,’” remembers Ysabel. “It’s sad, but it made my life easier. It kept me from getting bullied out of the industry.” Today, she somewhat regrets this compromise, but also recognizes that it got her where she is today. “Now, I can hire women and stand up for them,” she says.

Top of the class

One of VCC’s newest instructional assistants, Chef Erin Vickars, joined the college in November 2019. Over the past 14 years, Erin has worked in some of Vancouver’s finest hotel restaurants and private clubs, cooked for a sailing company, and completed a stage with triple-Michelin chef Dominique Crenn in San Francisco, all in addition to earning her Red Seal, sommelier certificate, and CCC designation. 

Erin was always outnumbered by men in kitchens, but her outgoing personality and absolute love of cooking didn’t leave much room for intimidation. “When you truly fall in love with food, the rest falls away,” she says. “I enjoyed the ride. I never felt like I was working.”

It wasn’t until Erin began exploring the elite levels of Canada’s culinary industry that she began to feel the absence of women at the table. After completing her CCC exam in 2019 as the only woman in her cohort (and for exclusively male judges), she was surprised to learn how few women in Canada actually hold this title.  

Another moment that surprised Erin was when Canadian chef Lynn Crawford became the first woman to hold the title of executive chef at any of the Four Seasons’ properties around the world. The year was 2006. “It blew my mind,” says Erin. “We were in the mid-2000’s and we had yet to have a female executive chef in a hotel.”

Learning forward

Both Erin and Ysabel agree that things have changed for the better since they started in the industry, and that education will be key to continued progress. “To be a good chef, you need to be highly intellectual,” says Erin, who dreams of connecting trades like cooking with university programs in environmental sciences or medicine.  

Ysabel believes that education is the best thing to foster respect and mutual understanding, and encourages women who are passionate about cooking to support each other and to strive for advanced trades credentials. She also wishes more women would pursue leadership in local chefs’ associations, which are still primarily made up of men. “If decision makers all have the same perspectives and experiences, you’ll never know if you’re wrong!” she says.

Its’s 2020. You very likely know a woman chef. Perhaps you know a woman auto mechanic, CEO, or tech entrepreneur. Take this International Women’s Day to celebrate them, but also ask: why aren’t there more?


Chef Kimberly McNeill and VCC culinary arts students at the WORTH Association YES Shef! long-table fundraiser August 12, 2019



Read more about women in culinary trades this International Women’s Day

VCC students join forces with leading female chefs for a cause

Posted on August 23, 2019

Photo: Vision Event Photography

Five VCC students, led by Culinary Arts instructor Kimberly McNeill, had the opportunity to work alongside some of Vancouver’s top female chefs and sommeliers at the YES Shef! long-table fundraising dinner on Monday, August 12 at the Chambar Restaurant.

The event, hosted by the WORTH Association (women of recreation, tourism and hospitality), aims to empower women in the local food and wine industry by having leading female chefs mentor the next generation of up-and-coming female culinary talents.

This was also a chance for the students to build their networks in the industry and each of them received a monetary gift of $400 from WORTH to use at VCC to further their culinary careers.

VCC Students

  • Jaqueline Guadalupe
  • Katherine Aguilar
  • Sarah Moroso
  • Anne Nguyen
  • Jeraldine Sarmieto



View the full photo gallery of the Yes Shef! event on Flickr.

Do you see yourself making your mark in Culinary Arts? Visit our state-of-the-art kitchens and talk to our award-winning faculty members at our next tour

VCC Music Fall 2019 concert series

Posted on November 8, 2019


VCC Music is returning with free fall concerts starting Friday, Nov. 15! The first in our Fall 2019 concert series features VCC's Caribbean ensemble. Get your blood pumping with fun and festive music from the Caribbean islands. We’ll bring the sunshine! Also on the same night, VCC's Gamelan ensemble provides intricate and atmospheric percussion music from Indonesia, while the Future ensemble plays funky, grooving, electronic music made by VCC’s student composer/musicians.

Fall 2019 concert schedule

Ensembles: Caribbean, Gamelan, Future
Friday, Nov. 15
7 - 8 p.m. Broadway campus auditorium
Free admission

Ensembles: Brass, New Orleans
Wednesday, Nov. 20 
7 - 8 p.m. Broadway campus auditorium
Free admission

Ensembles: New Music, CarsBeck
Friday, November 22
7 - 8 p.m. Broadway campus auditorium
Free admission

Choral Concert: V4C, Voices Plus, Willan Choir
Tuesday, November 26
7:30 - 9 p.m.
St. John's Shaughnessy Church, 1490 Nanton Ave., Vancouver
Free admission

Concert: Chamber Jazz Orchestra, New Orleans
December 2
7 - 8 p.m.
Vancouver Public Library, Alice McKay Room, 350 W. Georgia Street
Free admission

VCC’s music programs fully prepare you to be a music-industry professional. Learn more at an upcoming free information session.


VCC receives Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™

Posted on April 22, 2020


Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that our Building B at the Broadway campus is now officially certified through the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program, which recognizes meaningful access for people of all abilities. Some of the areas rated include accessible routes to the main entrances, accessible outdoor parking lots, proximity to transit, wayfinding, emergency systems, and more. Building B is now listed on the RHFAC Registry and will be displaying window decals at the entrances.

“This achievement is a proud accomplishment for VCC and speaks to our values of being accessible and inclusive for everyone,” says Ajay Patel, VCC president and CEO.

RHFAC aims to improve the accessibility of the built environment for people with vision, hearing and mobility disabilities – the places where we live, work, learn, and play. RHFAC is a national rating system that helps both owners and tenants measure the accessibility of their buildings and sites based on a consistent methodology, and promotes increased access through the adoption of Universal Design principles. 

Rick Hansen Foundation Vice President, Access and Inclusion Brad McCannell offers his congratulations. “This is a testament to your commitment to ensuring meaningful access for students, staff, and visitors of all abilities," he says. "We are proud to partner with VCC and this certification means that students, no matter their physical ability, have equal access to learning.” 

Beyond our buildings

In addition to earning this prestigious certification, VCC is proud to have trained many of the RHFAC professionals in Vancouver through a one-of-a-kind educational partnership formed in 2016.

Patricia Short, the main RHFAC assessor who rated Building B, is both an alumna of VCC’s Provincial Instructor Diploma program (PIDP) and an RHFAC Training instructor, who helped to develop the RHFAC Training curriculum. “VCC has shown great commitment to this program, right from the beginning. I am proud to be a member of this community,” she says.

Since its launch via VCC Continuing Studies, RHFAC Training has since expanded to five other post-secondary institutions across Canada. Over 1,250 sites have been rated across Canada thus far, with over 800 achieving RHF Accessibility Certified or Certified RHFAC Accessibility Certified Gold status. 

VCC is currently completing the rating process for Building A at the Broadway campus, and the Downtown campus will be rated once physical distancing measures are lifted in British Columbia.   


Are you ready to help Canada become more accessible? VCC’s two-week, 48-hour Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) Training course runs in both the Spring and Fall terms at VCC. 


Media Release: VCC and VFS announce joint VR/AR design program

Posted on June 25, 2020

Woman using VR headset and handsets in classroom with whiteboards


VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) and Vancouver Film School (VFS) are proud to announce they have partnered to create a cross-institutional joint diploma program in VR/AR Design and Development.

Training future specialists in the burgeoning field of virtual and augmented reality, this two-year diploma program will harness the best assets and industry training knowledge of both institutions to elevate the quality of student projects and launch future careers. The program focuses on VR/AR solutions for a cross-section of industry and enterprise, allowing students to work on client-based projects while also developing their own capstone VR/AR projects and graduating portfolios.

The program starts with a four-month study term at VCC, where students receive an introduction to computer programming, game engines, and 3D design. Students then spend two more terms honing their skills at VFS, followed by a hands-on industry practicum. Graduating students will receive a two-year diploma from VCC and an advanced production diploma from VFS. International students will also be eligible to apply for  post-graduation work permits. Both campuses are located in downtown Vancouver, offering the convenience of access and shared resources.

“VCC is very excited to partner with VFS on a new AR/VR dual diploma program,” says David Wells, VCC Vice President, Academic and Applied Research. “The unique collaboration between our schools will provide a dynamic learning experience for our students where they will learn from industry leaders and be well-positioned for their future careers as virtual and augmented reality experts.”  

“VFS and VCC have been physical neighbours in Vancouver for many years, and separately have been important contributors to post-secondary education and to industry,” says VFS president James Griffin. “It is particularly satisfying and exciting to pool our resources and offer students a unique, sophisticated VR/AR program focused squarely on the future.”

“B.C.’s VR/AR ecosystem is leading the industry on a global scale,” says Dan Burgar, co-president of the Vancouver VR/AR Association. “In order for us to keep shaping the future of spatial computing, we need to support the future generation of talent to create new worlds beyond our imagination. It's refreshing to see two institutions working together to build this bright future.” 

About Vancouver Community College

Located in the heart of the city, Vancouver Community College (VCC) offers academic, cultural, and social environments that inspire relevant, real-world training. VCC is proud to inspire a new generation of students to discover their passions, gain essential skills, and learn what it takes to succeed in a competitive workforce. VCC's connections to industry ensure that students have direct access to employers, and partnerships across the post-secondary sector assist students to reach their goals at any stage of their career journey.

About Vancouver Film School

In 1987, VFS revolutionized entertainment arts education with the introduction of the world’s first one-year intensive film production diploma program. Today, VFS is Canada’s premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution, offering acclaimed and award-winning one-year diploma programs in 3D animation, film, TV, programming, video game, motion and interactive design. For the past 30 years, VFS has been devoted to delivering the highest quality education, and developing the next generation of leaders in the entertainment and creative media industries.


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Media can contact:

Jen Hill
Communications Manager
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.828.0974

Evan Biswanger
Creative Director and Head of Marketing
Vancouver Film School

Scott Steiger
Director, International Admissions and Business Development
Vancouver Film School


Continuing Studies Winter 2019 guide out now!

Posted on November 29, 2018

A lot of great things can happen in the hours after school lets out and before the workday ends. For many kids from working families, after-school care programs fill this gap and play an important role in their learning and development. 

Studies show that children who have access to after-school programs with caring, responsible adults:

  • develop critical thinking skills,
  • develop social and emotional skills,
  • have meaningful self-direction social time with friends,
  • feel a sense of well-being and belonging as result of having access to a consistent, caring adults and learning community,
  • are able to take part in exciting and fun group games, creative arts activities and community field trips and events, and
  • have access to nutritious snacks.

Unlike the field of early childhood education, there is no standardized training for school-age care professionals. Most often, organizations develop internal training for the new employees or hire people with varying profiles and levels of education.

VCC’s Introduction to School-Age Care course, launching in January, is your starting point to one of the most comprehensive school-age care programs available. 

Participants in this course will gain broad-based, foundational knowledge required to work successfully in school-age programs. Key concepts include child growth and development, three school-age domains (group games, self-directed social play, and creative/fine arts), curriculum/program development, care and guidance best practice including elements of the British Columbia Early Learning Framework. 

The course is taught by VCC instructor Tyler Summers who has been working in school-age care for two decades and is the executive director at Jericho Kids Club Child Care Society and a member of the School Age Child Care Association of British Columbia. 


Other new VCC Continuing Studies courses starting in Winter 2019 include: 

Business Communications
Google AdWords Training
Visual Analytics with Tableau

Creative Writing
Writing Sparks to Completion
Mystery and Crime Writing

Early Child Care and Education
Introduction to School-Age Care

Personal Pattern Making 1 – Bottoms

Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) – Wine Sommelier Level 1
World of Breads

Jewellery Repair


Electronic Discovery and Litigation Technology

Personal Finance
Building a Stock Portfolio
Financial Literacy 101
Understanding the Stock Market

Designing Infographics with Google Tools
Google Fusion Tables: Creating Interactive Visualizations and Maps
Introduction to Logic Pro
Introduction to Python Programming
Photoshop Level 1 (Mac)

Pool Operator


Learn something new. Pick up the Winter 2019 Continuing Studies course catalogue at any VCC campus, download the PDF, or explore the full selection of Continuing Studies courses online. 


CS Winter 2019 Guide 800‌‌ 

New Continuing Studies workshops explore children’s play and behaviour

Posted on August 2, 2018



A toddler ties a cape around his shoulders, thrusts a fist into the air, and dashes into action as the world’s newest superhero. This classic (and unavoidable) act of “playing superhero” helps kids feels strong, positive, and engage in physical activity. But how much play fighting is actually OK? And what should parents and teachers do when a toy turns into a weapon?

According to Vancouver Community College (VCC) Early Childhood Education program coordinator Katarina Jovanovich, superhero play has both benefits and challenges. “There are debates on how it affects the development of young children,” she says. 

In Superhero Play, one of four new Early Childhood Education (ECCE) workshops to be offered in Fall 2018, parents and educators can learn to notice red flags and use handy techniques to keep their little heroes flying in a positive direction. 

Other new ECCE workshops this fall include The Need for Unstructured Play, exploring the ways in which free play promotes independent learning; Inclusive Trauma – Informed Process, teaching ways to identify and address emotional trauma in children; and Mistaken Goals of Young Children’s Behaviour, offering the latest research on interpreting and managing challenging behaviours.


Other new VCC Continuing Studies courses starting in Fall 2018 include: 

Creative Writing
Writing Sparks to Completion

Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) – Wine Sommelier Level 1


Electronic Discovery and Litigation Technology

Google AdWords Training
Introduction to Python Programming
Visual Analytics with Tableau

Building Service Management
Pool Operator


Learn something new. Pick up the Fall 2018 Continuing Studies course catalogue at any VCC campus, download the PDF, or explore the full selection of Continuing Studies courses online. 



Seats now available! Complete your science prerequisites

Posted on August 22, 2019

If you still need to complete prerequisites for entry into your post-secondary program, it’s not too late to get started this September. Credits transfer across B.C.

Classes begin September 3, 2019.

Seats are currently available in the following courses:

Apply now or attend the University Transfer info session to learn more on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2 p.m., Broadway campus, building B, room 1227.


Journeying together towards indigenization and reconciliation

Posted on June 19, 2020


A National Indigenous Peoples Day message from VCC president Ajay Patel

Dear VCC community,

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day. Vancouver Community College (VCC), being situated on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, is enriched by the diverse Indigenous peoples, cultures, and knowledge that have been and continue to be on this land. 

For the majority of my life, I have had the privilege and opportunity to study, live, work, and play on the homelands of the Coast Salish people and for that, I am personally grateful. 

During these unique times, when so much of our college work is happening remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’d also like to acknowledge more broadly the unceded territories of the many other Nations on which our students, staff, and faculty study and work.

At VCC, we take our indigenization journey very seriously, and with it, the commitments that our province has recently adopted related to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, I encourage all members of our VCC community to join me in this important acknowledgement. From this standpoint, I also challenge you to engage in meaningful study and conversation, as our personal journeys combine to form collective steps towards reconciliation. 



Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

How trades schools are thriving in the new normal

Posted on June 11, 2020


VCC automotive student using virtual reality (VR) automotive welding technology on campus 

Originally published in The Province

Teaching the trades has always been about learning by doing. Whether it’s welding, mechanics, electrical, carpentry, or even hair cutting, much of the instruction is hands-on and this makes COVID-19 a unique challenge for educators in the trades.

Vancouver Community College (VCC) was forced to quickly come up with options for its trade programs when the campus shut down in March, said Brett Griffiths, the dean of trades, technology, and design.

They shipped off mannequins to hairstyling students isolating at home, and estheticians-in-training practised on family members and filmed the process. Mechanics programs turned to Zoom, and with Go Pro cameras, students and instructors did deep dives into engines.

Now the welding and automotive painting programs at VCC are enhancing their at-home learning options with virtual reality, and the technology is so promising they will likely continue to use it when COVID-19 restrictions ease.

“We are rolling out a new virtual reality program for welding and automotive painting, and it’s the first of its kind in Canada,” said Griffiths.

Virtual reality has advantages for welding: there are no sparks or fumes and no danger for learners, and studies show that training with welding simulators increases proficiency, said Griffiths.

The college already had a virtual reality booth onsite for welding but the technology wasn’t transportable. Now it is.

VCC worked with a software engineering company in India to design the VR welding and painting practice program, and bought the computers and virtual reality headsets that will allow students to practice at home.

“Through gameification students can use the VR and the hand controller to practice distance speed and angle. It helps to train them up before they get into the shop and can help bring that experiential piece,” said Griffiths.

Of course, eventually students will have to spray a real panel on a car, and glove up and weld a real door. Griffiths said the college will soon be hosting smaller cohorts for on-site portions of their programs, and is adapting their shops to meet WorkSafeBC guidelines so everyone feels comfortable and stays safe.

At VCC, one unexpected side effect of the pandemic has been an uptick in applications from domestic students, said Griffiths. “We seem to have seen an increase in domestic student enrolment, and it may have more to do with the current labour market… it’s a good time to get a trade.”

Learn how you can get thorough, in-demand automotive and heavy equipment training with VCC Transportation Trades

VCC recognizes Spring 2020 grads, postpones convocation ceremony

Posted on June 10, 2020



Graduating from college is a major milestone, and it’s important to us at Vancouver Community College (VCC) to celebrate it well. That’s why we have made the difficult decision to postpone our Spring 2020 convocation ceremony (originally scheduled for Wednesday, June 10) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While a future ceremony date is yet to be determined, the college is looking at ways to fully celebrate the accomplishments of our students in the future, including the possibility of an addition to our Fall 2020 convocation ceremony. Of course, all will depend on provincial health and safety guidelines in place at the time.

Special messages for the VCC Class of 2020

Students graduating today have worked extremely hard to complete their programs, and it’s important for us to recognize and honour their achievements. One very meaningful tradition of any convocation ceremony is to hear words of wisdom and encouragement from leaders in our community. 

Please watch the following messages from VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel and B.C. Premier John Horgan, and B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Traning Melanie Mark prepared especially for our grads on this momentous day.

Address to graduates from VCC president and CEO Ajay Patel

Graduation greeting from B.C. Premier John Horgan

Graduation greeting from B.C. Minister of Advanced Education Melanie Mark

Welcome VCC grads to our alumni family! Learn about your new perks, deals, and lifelong professional network. GET STARTED >

VCC Hospitality Management programs prepare students for the return of tourism

Posted on June 10, 2020

VCC Hospitality Management students serving a restaurant customer


Originally published in The Georgia Straight

With Vancouver being a popular destination for international and local travel, hospitality is one of the most important and lucrative industries in our city. Even though the pandemic has put travel on pause, there will be a pent-up demand in tourism and hospitality in the near future. The industry is extremely resilient. 

For those with dreams of working at a hotel or resort, or managing a restaurant, right now is the time to invest in your education. By registering for one of the online Hospitality Management programs at Vancouver Community College (VCC), you’ll be ready to start your career in either two or four years.

Prospective students can enroll in VCC's two-year diploma program or opt to take the full four-year bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. Since both programs are web-based, students can gain the diploma or degree at a speed that is conducive to their schedules and learning styles.

Even though the majority of the course is completed online, a portion of the program requires students to attend unique in-person learning opportunities. “For example, we give our students some restaurant experience in both the kitchen and front of house,” says Dennis Innes, dean of Hospitality, Food Studies, and Applied Business at VCC. “This way they gain an understanding of what goes into food preparation and cooking but also learn how to run the restaurant.”

Within both the diploma and degree program, students will also learn about service management, marketing, organizational behaviour, sales, accounting, communications, law, and more. “Students can expect to cultivate many transferable skills, like problem solving, empathy, critical thinking, and customer service,” says Innes. “Having a good understanding of customer service will help you in any job position.” 

VCC’s diploma program provides students with a well-rounded introduction to the industry whereas the degree allows students to dive deeper into the areas that they enjoy most. “Hospitality and tourism will come back and be a vibrant industry once again,” says Innes. “Our programs teach students a fulsome range of skills so that they can successfully enter the industry once it bounces back.”

Get a personal introduction to over 140 programs at the Experience VCC virtual open house on Wednesday, June 17. RSVP NOW >

Scheduled website maintenance

Posted on May 15, 2020

VCC will be conducting scheduled server upgrades from Saturday, May 23 at 9 a.m. until Sunday, May 24 at noon (PDT). As a result, users will experience limited functionality across

Access to course registrations and applications will be limited during this time.

We apologize for any inconvenience. If you require immediate assistance or additional information, please contact the VCC Helpdesk at 604.871.7000 ext. 8700.


President’s message: Take time to listen

Posted on June 3, 2020

Vancouver skyline with "president's message" text overlaid


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:



Baking with the best: Clarissa Roque earns top recognition at WorldSkills

Posted on January 29, 2020



At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we’re extremely proud of our skilled trades competitors, whether they’re aiming for medals in regional, provincial, or national competitions. Every two years, however, the WorldSkills competition offers a chance for ultimate international recognition. 

After countless practice sessions and advancing through multiple levels of competition over the past two years, in August 2019, VCC baking and pastry arts apprentice Clarissa Roque found herself on the way to WorldSkills 2019 in Kazan, Russia. 

The 37-hour journey included stops in Montreal, Frankfurt, and Moscow, before arriving in the riverside city of Kazan. Clarissa and the rest of Team Canada (including VCC culinary arts competitor Leah Patitucci) spent the next few days settling in and sightseeing. Then, following an Olympic-like opening ceremony, the baking battle began. 

Gearing up 

Over four days, Clarissa was required to create hand-piped and hand-dipped chocolates, marzipan figurines, a two-tiered buttercream cake, petit fours, a plated dessert, and a sugar showpiece – all representing Formula One Grand Prix racing. 

When the theme was revealed only three months prior to the competition, it sent Clarissa and her instructors into creative action. “It was bizarre,” she says, “I didn’t even know what Formula One was!” Nonetheless, she got to work researching the rules, traditions, and symbols of this international car racing tournament. In the end, Clarissa’s creations included an ingenious “tire” cake, a buttercream winner’s wreath, sugar cars, and even a marzipan groundhog (Team Canada’s mascot) wearing a little racing uniform.


The stress test

Clarissa knows from experience that competitions never go exactly as planned, even on the international stage. In Kazan, a near-disaster came on the first day of competition when her induction stove stopped working. “I was doing sugar work,” she says. “It’s a good thing I noticed right away.” In the end, the stove replacement put her behind schedule by about an hour, but she stayed focused and, with only an extra 10 minutes granted, still completed on time.

“I always get nervous, no matter how many times I do something,” says Clarissa, “but I know now more of what to expect.” During practice sessions at VCC, instructor Wolfgang Dauke‎ would bring up all kinds of scenarios – including equipment failures – to help Clarissa troubleshoot. 

Any chef will agree that unexpected situations crop up in kitchens and bakeries regularly. Thanks to her Skills experiences, Clarissa says she’s now prepared for nearly anything in her day-to-day work. “I feel like I can handle more crisis situations because of the competitions.”

World class

Clarissa’s personal goal was to finish in the top 50 per cent of WorldSkills competitors. In the end, she surpassed her own expectations by placing fifth out of 23 in the Pâtisserie and Confectionery category, and was also awarded a Medallion of Excellence for earning a total score above 700.

“The medallion meant a lot to me,” she says. “I’m happy with everything I made. I’m also very proud that I didn’t back out.”

At only 19, Clarissa has a world of opportunity ahead of her. Thanks to travelling and competing internationally, she’s started to dream of working abroad. For now, she’s enjoying her work in one of Burnaby’s finest chocolate and dessert shops, Chez Christophe

At the end of a busy day crafting (and tasting) impeccable chocolates and sweets, however, even Canada’s most promising pastry artist needs a break. “Sometimes I just cannot look at any more chocolate,” she says. “I crave steak, fried chicken, anything salty and meaty – especially if it’s cooked by someone else!”


Help us congratulate Clarissa! Join VCC’s annual Flourish fundraising gala on Wednesday, Feb. 5 where she’ll be receiving an Outstanding Alumni Award in the “One to Watch” category. Tickets still available >



Learn more about VCC's wide range of baking programs including Youth Train in Trades, specialized certificates in baking or pastry artsapprenticeship levels, and part-time courses


VCC drafting program a launchpad for innovative, sustainable architecture

Posted on October 9, 2019


Left to right: VCC alumni Kevin Li, Curtis Krahn, Jacob Dobrinsky

Architectural design has changed a lot since Curtis Krahn attended VCC’s drafting program in 1982. "Houses are way more sophisticated now than when we started," he says. "What took four to five months to build now takes two years."

In a city with a limited housing supply and soaring real estate prices, however, smarter homebuilding is coming back in style.

Today, at his North Vancouver firm Synthesis Design, Curtis and his team are consistently working on ways to increase both productivity and sustainability in the industry. Recent projects include modifiable laneway houses, Passive House (ultra-low energy) designs, and new, time- and waste-saving modular construction techniques. 

After getting his drafting certificate from VCC, Curtis went on to earn an architecture degree from the University of Manitoba and then a master’s degree from the University of Oregon, eventually returning to B.C. and starting his own company. "VCC was an awesome stepping stone," he says.

Over the years, Curtis has stayed connected by hiring numerous VCC grads, speaking to classes, and serving on the Program Advisory Committee for VCC's Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Building Information Modelling (BIM) programs.

As our communities strive for a sustainable future, working together is more crucial than ever. It is VCC alumni and employers like Curtis who keep us on the cutting-edge, ensuring that students not only find jobs, but make an impact when they do.


Synthesis Design MODCUBE


Find out how far drafting has come and where it can take you. Lear more about VCC’s CAD and BIM (Drafting) programs at an upcoming info session or at our Experience VCC open house on Wednesday, Oct. 16. 

Second round of COVID-19 emergency bursaries now open

Posted on June 3, 2020



Thanks to generous donations from last month’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign, the VCC Foundation has been able to open a second round of COVID-19 emergency bursary funding, with $50,000 now available to VCC students in need of financial assistance due to the pandemic. 

This second round of bursaries is possible thanks to donations by longstanding supporters including Rick Hatswell of The Craftsman Group, motorcycle retailer Deeley Group, as well as both existing and new donors, including VCC alumni, employees, and community members. 

Who can apply?

Any VCC student can apply who:

  • is able to show financial need,
  • is registered in full-time/part-time studies at VCC, and
  • has no outstanding debts at VCC.

When to apply

Applications for the second round of emergency bursary funding opened on June 1, 2020, with a deadline of June 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. 

How to apply

Complete the Emergency Bursary application form and email it to‌.‌ 

More funding options 

To learn more about other financial help available to VCC students, please see the list of resources on our COVID-19 information page.

Students are also encouraged review VCC's online Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide, available through VCC Financial Aid

Read more about our student bursary and award recipients, and the donors who are helping them reach their goals.


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.”

Media Release: VCC selects Ajay Patel as President and CEO

Posted on May 26, 2020



VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Community College (VCC) Board of Governors is pleased to confirm Ajay Patel as VCC President and CEO, effective immediately. Patel has been acting president since September 2019. He joined VCC in May 2019 as Vice President of Enterprise and International Development and was named interim president just two months later, replacing the departing Dr. Peter Nunoda. 

The Board of Governors unanimously endorsed Patel as president. “We knew that Ajay brought a high calibre of leadership and experience when he came to VCC. The Board was confident that he would provide skilled leadership as the interim president, and he exceeded expectations. Ajay has worked tirelessly to steward the college’s initiatives forward and we are delighted that he accepted the position on a permanent basis, ” says Board Chair Joey Hartman.

An award-winning leader in B.C.’s competitive sports community, including 12 years as Chef de Mission of Team B.C. for Canada Winter and Summer Games, Patel spent the most recent 17 years at Langara College, rising from an instructor in the Kinesiology department to Vice President, External Development. In that role, he participated in the development and ongoing implementation of Langara’s Strategic Plan, overseeing operations and initiatives that were crucial to securing the college’s financial sustainability.

That experience will be especially valuable at VCC where, in addition to leading the college as President and CEO, Patel will be instrumental in revising and implementing the Campus Master Plan, a 10-year capital project designed to build VCC’s future. 

“I look forward to serving the college community and feel privileged to work on the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh lands on which our three campuses reside,” says Patel. “Over the past year, I have witnessed VCC’s strengths and values for which the college is known – providing an inclusive and welcoming environment, equipping students with the skills employers demand, and supporting the city and province.” 

Born in Fiji, Patel moved to Canada in 1975 at age 6, and was raised and educated in East Vancouver. After completing his Kinesiology studies at what was then known as VCC (Langara Campus), Patel went on to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of B.C. He then enjoyed a successful career in the provincial sport sector, serving in administrative roles with the Sport Medicine Council of B.C., Badminton B.C. and Gymnastics B.C., and leading Team B.C. through seven Canada Games (Winter and Summer). He was the Chair for the Vancouver Sport Strategy and sat on the City of Vancouver Healthy City for All Leadership Table.

Patel joined Langara College as an instructor in 2001 and moved through a series of increasingly senior positions, including Department Chair (Kinesiology), Division Chair (Health Sciences), Dean (International Education), Associate Vice President (International and External Development) and Vice President (External Development).

As a provincial leader in the international education sector, Patel serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Bureau for International Education and was honoured with the B.C. Council for International Education Distinguished Leadership Award in 2019. Patel also serves on the College and Institutes of Canada’s International Advisory Committee and a number of other committees. Patel lives with his wife of 24 years and their two teenage children.

- 30 - 


Media can contact:

Karen Wilson
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.612.2653  |  E:

VCC chef Tobias MacDonald explains how program has adapted to new reality

Posted on May 14, 2020


Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Vancouver Community College’s culinary arts program has earned a reputation as one of the best training grounds for B.C. chefs. Grads have gone on to work at such respected places as Fairmont Hotels, Earls Kitchen and Bar, Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, and Hawksworth Restaurant, among many others.

COVID-19 isn’t putting a pause on developing the chefs of tomorrow.

Chef instructor Tobias MacDonald is a certified master chef who has been teaching at VCC for the past eight years.

When he received the CMC title, the highest culinary designation in Canada, in 2015, he was just the second person to do so. Only four other people in the country hold the esteemed rank.

It’s just one of several culinary achievements for MacDonald. He competed with Culinary Team Canada over a period of several years and helped it earn multiple gold medals at the Culinary Olympics. He has also coached Culinary Team Canada, as well as the junior national team. From 2010 to 2012, he qualified to represent Canada in the World Association of Chefs Societies’ Global Chefs’ Challenge, winning the semifinals for North and South America and placing third in the finals in South Korea.

Although the global pandemic hasn’t stopped VCC from training future chefs, operations look much different now than they did in the recent past.

Three of the VCC kitchens have transformed into commissary space where support staff prepares meals for residents of the Downtown Eastside.

“Otherwise, it is a bit of a ghost town,” MacDonald tells the Straight. “Students have been all working remotely since mid-March and will continue to until we get the Provincial Health Officer guidelines in the next few weeks.”

There’s a Zoom lecture daily to provide the theory and academic side, as well as activities, quizzes, and assignments via a Moodle online classroom. Students are also tasked with completing short essays (or video essays), a small research project, and other assignments.


Learn the latest culinary techniques from VCC's award-winning chefs. Sign up now for our next free information session.

VCC donates 60,000 pieces of PPE to the fight against COVID-19

Posted on April 2, 2020


Left to right: VCC staff members Pierce Dunne and Joshua Johnson

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is lending a hand in the efforts against COVID-19 by donating 60,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local health care providers.

VCC has collected 55,000 gloves and 5,000 other items including masks, sanitizers, gowns, viral swabs, and other cleaning supplies from its Downtown and Broadway campuses.

The materials came from across the college and involved the dental, esthetics and makeup, hairstyling, health, science, jewellery, and auto collision programs, all of which began transitioning to online learning on Wednesday, March 25. Additional cleaning supplies were sourced from VCC Security and Facilities.

All materials were donated to Vancouver Coastal Health.

“VCC has a long history of being involved in the community," says VCC president Ajay Patel. "We know how important it is right now to get our resources to where it matters most.”  

For the latest updates on what VCC is doing to support students and the commuinty, visit and our COVID-19 FAQ page.

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

COVID-19 Emergency Bursaries available

Posted on March 30, 2020

VCC unveils new website look.‌ 

VCC Foundation, Students' Union of VCC, the Association of VCC Administrators, VCC Faculty Association, and VCC made non-repayable emergency funding available for part-timand full-time VCC students who need financial assistance due to being impacted by COVID-19. The combined funding totals $55,000, and was available in addition to the increased student emergency funding and emergency supports for Indigenous students announced by the B.C. government.  

Update – Thursday, April 9, 2020:

Applications for the first round of emergency bursary funding closed on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. VCC will re-open applications upon securing additional funds.

Students are also encouraged review VCC's Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide, available through VCC Financial Aid

Who can apply?

Any VCC student can apply who:

  • is able to show financial need,
  • is registered in full-time/part-time studies at VCC, and
  • has no outstanding debts at VCC.

When can I apply?

Update – Thursday, April 9, 2020:

Applications for the first round of emergency bursary funding closed on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. VCC will re-open applications upon securing additional funds.

Students are also encouraged review VCC's Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide, available through VCC Financial Aid

How to apply?

VCC will re-open applications upon securing additional funds.

More funding options 

To learn more about other financial help available to VCC students, please see the list of resources on our COVID-19 information page.


Please bookmark and visit this page frequently for the latest updates on COVID-19. 

Coast Capital donation opens career doors for cognitively challenged youth

Posted on May 22, 2020



Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that Coast Capital Savings has donated $25,000 to support the Gateway to Post-secondary (GPS) program.

GPS was developed in partnership with the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to help students with cognitive disabilities and diverse learning needs successfully bridge their education to post-secondary programs.

Through this program, students split their time between their high schools and VCC’s Downtown campus, participating in classroom activities, fieldwork, and community employment practicums.

“The GPS program has opened the doors to many possible careers for students that they may have not been aware even existed,” says VCC Community and Career Education (CACE) department head Ingrid Defert.  

Many students transition smoothly from the GPS program into VCC’s industry-specific Adult Special Education programs in food service, retail, and hospitality. 

Ingrid looks back proudly at one participant whose experience in VCC's Food Service Careers Program connected him with an Indigenous chef who ended up hiring him for her catering company. "He has grown into a competent and confident young man," Ingrid says. 

Despite the many financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, Coast Capital has increased their annual donation by $5,000.  

The GPS program has been an ongoing pilot since 2014, serving 10 students each fiscal year, totalling 70 students thus far.

Learn more about VCC's wide variety of progams and servies for people with disabilities


VCC is helping educators across Canada adapt to online learning

Posted on May 20, 2020

Man with beard sitting at desk with laptop and pen

Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, e-learning and the use of online resources was rising in popularity among students and faculty members. Students no longer have to spend endless hours commuting to campus and they are able to work through course material at their own desired speed. But with this switch, instructors have had to adjust and find new ways that they can engage with their students. The role of the educator has certainly changed.

To ease this transition, Vancouver Community College (VCC) developed the Facilitating Learning Online Fundamentals course for instructors at public and private schools across Western Canada. Since the online courses began on May 4, more than 100 instructors have signed up to gain a better understanding of how to support students through e-learning.

“We’re overwhelmed by the response to the course,” says Doug Mauger, department leader for the VCC School of Instructor Education. The course is six weeks in length and will provide instructors with tools to help them facilitate collaboration between students and promote student interaction with the online resources.

Prior to COVID-19, a 2018 survey of Canadian post-secondary schools revealed that they were already delivering the equivalent of 1.36 million course credits online. The same survey showed that one in five students were taking at least one online course per year.


For more information and to register for Facilitating Learning Online Fundamentals (PIDP 3320), contact the VCC School of Instructor Education by emailing .

VCC Continuing Studies offers courses that you can complete at home

Posted on May 21, 2020


Originally published in The Georgia Straight

Many students have had to put their education plans on hold due to pandemic-related college and university closures but Vancouver Community College (VCC) offers a valuable solution. VCC Continuing Studies has a diverse selection of online courses that students can take through the spring and summer.

“At a time like this, you may also want to consider the many benefits that online learning offers,” says Claire Sauve, dean of VCC Continuing Studies. “You can learn from anywhere, including the comfort and safety of your home, while following public health guidelines.”

With more than 60 different programs, the instructors at VCC teach students skills that can be utilized within numerous fields of employment. Whether it’s related to design, administration, business, health care, or human services such as the new Gladue report writing program, graduates from the college have the knowledge and abilities required to succeed.

“Now, as always, VCC Continuing Studies strives to connect everyone in our diverse city with high-quality, flexible, and practical learning opportunities with industry practitioners,” says Sauve. 

Several of the online programs offered through VCC can help you elevate the success of a business or support your future entrepreneurial endeavours. Students can learn essential leadership skills, finance basics, small business bookkeeping, how to proficiently market through social media, and more.


See the complete list of online programs offered this spring through VCC Continuing Studies.

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.

Jewellery Student Exhibition

Add it to your calendar

Date Day Time Room Location
May 28, 2020 Thursday 12:00 PM - 12:00 PM
1386 Cartwright St., Vancouver, BC


This year we will be going online with our student exhibition. We have also teamed up with the Craft Council of BC to create a window display of selected works that can be viewed from the outside of the gallery on a socially-distant stroll. Come check out the creativity and resourcefulness of these emerging art jewellers.

In lieu of the traditional gala opening and public exhibition at the VCC Downtown Campus, this year we will be going online (via Facebook) with our student exhibition. We have also teamed up with the Craft Council of British Columbia to create a window display of selected works that can be viewed from the outside of the gallery on your socially-distant strolls through Granville Island.

This year's exhibition is a testament to the adaptability and ingenuity of our students, all of whom had designed collections in anticipation of this exhibition only to have their studio access disrupted by the necessity of physical distancing to halt the spread of COVID-19. Due to this lack of studio & equipment access, all of what you will see is the product of experimentation and resourcefulness, as these students used what tools they had and what they could find around their homes (and in their recycling boxes) to create truly contemporary art jewellery.

Online Exhibition - May 28th, 2020 via

(For those who don't have Facebook, the exhibition will also be available on the official VCC Flickr page.)

Window Gallery Display - May 28th to June 11th, 2020 at Craft Council of BC on Granville Island, 1386 Cartwright St, Vancouver, BC

New government programs support student summer jobs during COVID-19

Posted on April 23, 2020



On Wednesday, April 22, the Government of Canada announced new measures to help post-secondary students and recent graduates access jobs and financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To promote a sustainable economic recovery, we need a strong workforce and good job opportunities for young people,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “That means giving them the support they need to continue their studies and encouraging them to serve their communities.” 

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

Updated May 13, 2020

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) will provide support for eligible students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit provides $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for students with dependants or a disability. 

The benefit will be available from May to August 2020. Applications can be made starting Friday, May 15, 2020 via the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). LEARN MORE >

Canada Student Service Grant

A new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 to students who choose to do national service and help their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The government has announced plans to launch a new “I Want to Help" platform to provide information about available service opportunities, as well as the application process. 

Additional changes announced to benefit post-secondary students include:

  • increasing the Canada Student Grants amounts to $6,000 for full-time students,
  • broadening eligibility and raising amounts for the Canada Student Loan program,            
  • increasing supports for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students,
  • removing the maximum 20-hour per week work restriction for international students in essential services, and
  • boosting youth employment strategies to create 76,000 summer jobs for young people.

For ongoing updates on resources and supports available to VCC students, visit VCC’s COVID-19 information site.




Making our community proud this National Nursing Week

Posted on May 12, 2020


This year in Canada, National Nursing Week is celebrated May 11-17, which also coincides with the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth on May 12. As well, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 as International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

As we celebrate National Nursing Week this year and pay homage to Florence Nightingale – a British nurse considered to be the founder of modern nursing, I don’t believe anyone could have predicted the critical role that nurses would play in the health care system, and how the work of nursing and all those who work in health care would be featured front and center on the world stage.

During this unprecedented National Nursing Week, I would like to acknowledge all the VCC nursing faculty and students in the current BScN and PN programs

In the past, our annual celebration was held on campus to acknowledge the profession of nursing. Although we can’t be together in person this year, the nursing faculty has organized a VCC Nurse’s Day Zoom Conference on May 12 (Florence Nightingale’s Birthday), and all nursing faculty and students have been invited to celebrate virtually.

Finally, I would like to thank all our VCC nursing graduates who are working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic and making our VCC community very proud. 

Many other VCC Health Sciences grads are also on the front lines and they are doing excellent work. We are so thankful for their contributions during this challenging time. Please join me in extending our gratitude to all the VCC Health Care Assistants, Health Unit Coordinators, Medical Lab Assistants, Pharmacy Technicians, Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistants, and others. 

Nurses are real-life superheroes who, through applying their specialized body of knowledge, are currently making an enormous impact in the fight against COVID-19.

I invite you to watch this video that highlights the history and unique contributions nurses have made to our world. 


Thank you,

Jo-Ellen Zakoor
Dean, VCC Health Sciences

Counselling programs at VCC offer pathway for helpful people considering a career change

Posted on March 18, 2019

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

Vancouver Community College makes it relatively easy for prospective students to determine if they’re well suited for a career in counselling.

A 12-week introductory course called Basic Counselling Skills is offered to anyone interested in the field, providing insights into client-centred counselling and offering foundational skills for most models of counselling and practice under the supervision of someone experienced in the field.

According to program coordinator Matt Stevenson, this course is a prerequisite for anyone who wants to enroll in a counselling certificate program. It’s offered on a part-time basis during days and evenings starting in April, September, and January.

“We market it as an opportunity for anyone who wants to do any sort of personal development or anyone who is working in a people-facing role,” he told the Straight by phone. “We feel that it’s very beneficial for anyone who wants to upgrade their communications skills.”

In September, VCC will launch its revised counselling-skills foundational certificate. It incorporates core aspects of certificate programs in addiction counselling and community counselling, which are being wound down.

“One of our mandates is to evaluate programs on a regular basis and update them as necessary,” Stevenson explained.

He said that the decision to bring them together came in response to discussions with people in the industry, who felt that it was important for graduates to be familiar with both components, in part because substance use and addiction are very prevalent.

The counselling-skills foundational certificate is offered on a part-time and full-time basis at VCC’s downtown location at 250 West Pender Street. Courses are offered in the evenings.

Depending on how quickly students want to finish, they can take between one and four courses per week, Stevenson said. “The full-time option enables students to complete our program in one year to get them in the field right away.”

Stevenson said that all the instructors are practising counsellors who are up-to-date with the latest developments in the field. And he noted that they bring real-life examples from their practice into the classroom.

VCC has made certain that the new program includes courses ensuring that students become familiar with traditional and contemporary Indigenous practices, as well as diversity, different cultures, and inclusion. Stevenson also said that VCC is looking at developing an advanced certificate with a focus on addiction. The average age of VCC counselling students is about 40.

“They have this desire, ultimately, to help people,” Stevenson said. “That’s what brings people into our program.”

He said some mature students were previously involved in manual labour but are looking for a new career that won’t take such a toll on their body as they get older. He said the school is aware that making the transition back to school after many years in the workforce can be challenging—and it tries to ensure that this takes place smoothly.

Some students are eligible for full funding through Work B.C., provided they meet its requirements for completion of the program within a certain time frame.

“It’s a great option for those students that qualify,” Stevenson stated.

VCC Continuing Studies also offers professional-development courses in counselling for professionals working in a wide range of fields, including youth work, settlement services, social work, and health care.

“We’ve had nurses who work with clients facing substance-use challenges,” Stevenson revealed. “They have contacted us in the past to see if they could take those select courses from our program to get that knowledge so that they can better serve their clients in their professional life.”

He added that some of these courses are prerequisites for those who are planning to enroll in a university master’s program in counselling psychology.

Are you ready for a career transition in the human care and family services industry, or interested in advancing your career in counselling? Apply now to gain the confidence you need in your role as a counselling professional. 

Lessons from Apartheid: Q&A with counselling instructor Joanne Schwartz

Posted on May 31, 2016

‌‌Joanne Schwartz - Instructor - Counselling Skills.Meet Joanne Schwartz, Instructor, Counselling Skills.

1. What do you teach?
I teach Basic Counselling Skills and Personal Professional Development. I have also taught Counselling Skills: A Youth Perspective. 

2. How long have you been teaching at VCC?
I have been teaching since February 2012.

3. What do you love about teaching?
I love the students! Teaching adults with diverse backgrounds and experiences makes for wonderful discussions and debates. I learn a great deal from my students and feel sad to say goodbye at the end of the term.

4. What is your current career?
I have a private counselling practice where I focus primarily on online video counselling and groups. I work with people from all walks of life who are looking to work through challenges and learn to cope better in their lives. I also work part-time as a social worker at St. Paul's hospital.

5. Can you share an interesting thing (or two) about your journey to reach this moment?
I was born in South Africa during the Apartheid era. From a young age, I recognized the injustice and pain that racism and hate can cause; the experience taught me to value social justice and want to make a difference in the world. I became a Social Worker to help people who were less-fortunate, and eventually I wound up working in strictly a counselling role. About ten years ago, my family started a fund-raising organization to support women with HIV in South Africa, and that experience sparked my interest in working in Vancouver to support people with HIV and addiction. I discovered that I was passionate about counselling and helping people make changes in their life. My enjoyment of that work led me to want to teach and inspire others to work in this field.

6. What is your best piece advice for someone starting out in this industry?
To be a good counsellor, you must strive to take good care of yourself. I find that when people do not have good self-care strategies, they can get compassion fatigue or become overwhelmed by all of the sadness they witness. No matter how busy I am, I try to remember to care for my own mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health.

7. What is the biggest lesson you have learned through counselling people?
I have learned that people have the capacity to change despite all kinds of adversity. I have seen people overcome terrible addictions and trauma and ultimately become counsellors themselves. It is very inspiring.

8. How do you personally define success?
I define success by feeling as if I am making a difference in the world. If I can even help just one person each day, it is a success. Sometimes just being present for a client and hearing their story can give them the strength they need to move forward, which is what counselling is all about.


 Want to make a difference? VCC offers certificates in Addiction Counselling Skills, Community Counselling Skills, as well as professional development courses.


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

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

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 or

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 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

Free, 24/7 counselling service now available for B.C. post-secondary students

Posted on April 16, 2020


The Government of B.C. has launched Here2Talk, a new mental-health counselling and referral service for 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.

“Until now, post-secondary students have never had access to 24/7 province-wide mental-health support services,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Students advocated for years to fill the gap in available mental-health counselling services in British Columbia… I’m very excited to say that Here2Talk is now available for all 555,000 post-secondary students registered across B.C.”

Over the past several months, the Government of B.C. has been working with students to develop this new service. Hundreds of students throughout B.C. provided feedback and ideas that were used to develop Here2Talk. With the advent of COVID-19 and the increased stress it has put on students, efforts were doubled to get students the supports they need. 

“Now, every student can access supports 24/7 without stigma or judgment – and it’s free, because access to mental-health care shouldn’t depend on the size of your bank account,” says Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

For the first time, every student in B.C. has access to 24/7 mental-health services – whether they are rural, urban, domestic, Indigenous, international, public, private, full-time, part-time or in trades training. Here2Talk will complement other supports on campus and in the community, including new virtual mental-health supports announced Thursday, April 9, by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

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 Morneau-Shepell, 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.

Read the Government of B.C. news release: Free counselling service launches for post-secondary students

Learn about more emergency resouces and supports for students by visiting VCC's COVID-19 information page.


VCC immigrant entrepreneurs sew face masks to fight COVID-19

Posted on April 9, 2020


Update April 24, 2020: the Sewmates Craft collective has made and delivered 800 masks to date with over 500 more on order! Follow @sewmatescraft_ on Instagram for the latest info. 

Six participants of a Vancouver Community College (VCC) entrepreneurship program have turned their business skills to volunteerism in the fight against COVID-19.

The six women were part of the Make It! program, a community partnership started in 2018 to help newcomers to Canada gain skills in sewing or cooking, and get support to develop home-based businesses.

Along with Florence Kao, who is coordinating the group’s efforts through the Intercultural Women’s Maker Society (IWMS), MakeIt! participants donated the time and material to sew their first 100 cloth face masks, which were completed on Tuesday, April 7. The women make the masks at their homes, and all products are washed and packaged prior to delivery.

The first donation was sent to Mission Possible, a Vancouver community development agency that is coordinating the distribution of masks to people in the Downtown Eastside 

The sewing group is currently seeking donations to help purchase material for thousands more masks.

“We are hoping to leverage the initiative to do some fundraising,” says Florence. “We want to invite people to sponsor some donations to designated care home facilities or homeless shelters.”

Donations can be made through the IWMS website. DiverseCity, a Surrey-based community organization and partner in Make It! have kicked off the fundraising with a $1,000 donation.

Florence emphasizes that the masks are not a replacement for medical-grade masks, which should be reserved for front-line workers. 

Since 2018, the women in the Make It! program have been honing their sewing and small business skills in workshops at VCC’s Downtown campus. Today, their sewing collective, branded Sewmates Craft, produces and sells a variety of handmade items in shops, fairs, and online.

Michael Yue, manager of VCC’s Partnership Development Office, is especially proud of the group’s participation in the mask-making initiative. “It certainly is a great legacy of the Make It! project,” he says.




According to Health Canada, wearing a non-medical mask in the community has not been proven to protect against COVID-19, however, it can be used as a measure to protect others around you. Canadians are currently advised to wear non-medical face masks in situations where proper physical distancing can’t be ensured.


Please visit VCC's COVID-19 information site regularly for official college updates, FAQs, and helpful resources. 


Q&A with Bernie William Johnson

Posted on June 4, 2015

News-Bernie-380It was the glamour of the world’s top hotels that first attracted Bernie William Johnson to the hospitality industry. Now with over 15 years’ experience working everywhere from luxury resorts to the high seas, he’s landed at Vancouver’s most dazzling establishment of all. Bernie shares more about his exciting career:

How did you choose your profession?

I didn’t—it found me. A friend was in the program, and I had just returned from a year of travelling. I was part way through an education degree, but the allure of glamourous hotels was overwhelming. I enrolled in Hospitality Management at VCC because my friend raved about the program.

What was it about the program at VCC that you found so compelling?

The content was extremely interesting, relevant and practical—at the end of my second year we ran a simulated hotel with all the day to day challenges that are regularly encountered.  My instructors were reputed hospitality professionals from within the industry. Their stories, advice and experiences were firsthand, and that made a difference. I found that when applying for jobs, my time at VCC was a conversation point as general managers and human resource directors knew many of my instructors from within the industry.

I got my first hotel job while still at school. I worked front desk at a four star hotel while going to school and was able to graduate without student loans. Taking a job in a hotel while going to school allowed me practical learning opportunities which helped in my studies. It was also that practical knowledge that set me up for success as a hospitality professional!

What have you done since graduating in 1999?

I spent six years in the rooms division of a luxury hotel before moving to the high seas. I spent over six years working for various cruise lines, and was promoted through the ranks to become a human resources manager.

In 2010 I came back to Vancouver and worked as a human resources manager recruiting for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Since then, I have been at the Metropolitan Hotel, the River Rock Casino Resort, the Hastings Racecourse and currently the Shangri-La Hotel, the only five diamond hotel in Vancouver.

What would you say are the top reasons to choose hospitality management at VCC?

Reputation, cost, location, core content and quality of instructors.

Double your support for VCC students on Giving Tuesday Now

Posted on April 21, 2020

Giving Tuesday Now VCC May 5


Vancouver Community College (VCC) students are doing their part to keep our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re staying home and practicing physical distancing while continuing to pursue their goals by studying online.  

Post-secondary students across the province, however, are also particularly hard-struck by unemployment. Prior to COVID-19, our students worked in restaurants, tourism, retail stores, salons, spas, child care centres, and more. These jobs allowed them to provide for their basic needs like food and housing while training to be future health care workers, skilled tradespeople, educators, and professionals. Without this work, they are struggling. 

Initial combined funding from government and internal donors has already allowed us to distribute 332 emergency bursaries to students from 40 different programs, but less than half the applicants were helped, and their need continues. If you have the means, please consider supporting a second round of funding to help our students weather this storm.


Inspired by the international Giving Tuesday campaign (held the Tuesday after Black Friday), Giving Tuesday Now has been created as a global day of giving and unity to fill the exceptional need caused by COVID-19.

Giving Tuesday Now will take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. 

To double our community’s generosity, starting on Tuesday May 5, VCC Foundation will match the first $20,000 received in donations before Sunday, May 31, 2020.

To donate, visit the VCC Foundation donation page and select “COVID Emergency Bursary Fund.”


Funds will be distributed via VCC’s need-based bursary application process. 

Thank you for anything you can give.  

For ongoing updates and information on resources and supports available to VCC students, visit VCC’s COVID-19 information site.


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. 

- 30 -


Media can contact:

Danielle Libonati
Marketing Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7531


Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow
IndiGenius & Associates
T: 613.366.2268

COVID-19 update – VCC open, transitioning to alternative delivery

Posted on March 15, 2020

VCC is open, transitioning to alternative delivery to allow students to continue programs

A message from Ajay Patel, Interim President of Vancouver Community College

To students and employees at VCC,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this very challenging and complex time. Vancouver Community College (VCC) continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and has the health of our college community, students, and employees as our top priority.

The VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and deans met today to discuss additional measures on how we can maintain social distancing on campus to minimize close contact with each other. This is in alignment with the guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, and we are working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Until further notice, our campuses will remain open and services will continue to be provided. The college will continue to review its actions as the situation evolves.

Alternative program delivery

Where possible and reasonable, VCC is transitioning to alternative modes of instruction and assessment for the rest of the term, which may include online delivery for some students.

Given the wide range of programs and courses at VCC, it will take time to transition to these new measures. Classes will continue as scheduled unless students learn otherwise from their instructors, who will be taking guidance from their department leaders and deans.

Because of the diversity of the types of programs we offer, we recognize that not all programs, courses, labs, and shops may be suited to alternative deliveries. Our deans will be working with instructors, departments, and program areas to determine whether and how best to accommodate alternative methods of instruction and assessment. Students will learn of the changes affecting them through their instructors as the changes are implemented. 

COVID-19 and the VCC community

This step is being taken out of an abundance of caution and a desire of VCC to do its part in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19. It is important to note that, at this time, there are no known COVID-19 cases at VCC. At this point, there is no direction from the Provincial Health Officer to close campuses, and the risk of infection remains low.

Providing a safe and healthy learning and working environment for students and employees is a focus for our deliberations and decision-making in these matters. We also want to ensure that students receive the education and assessment that will deliver the learning outcomes they seek.


What is VCC doing?

Our announcement on Friday, March 13 was the latest in a series of steps we have already taken as we have followed the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and health authorities. In response, other recommendations from government that we have put into place include:

  • All events over 250 people are cancelled until the end of April 2020.
  • All events planned to take place on VCC campuses within in the next two months will be reviewed. Information about cancellations or postponements will be shared as soon as possible.
  • All VCC work-related travel outside of Canada is cancelled immediately until further notice. We recommend against all travel outside of Canada, including to the United States.
  • Staff and students returning to VCC from travel outside of Canada are asked to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work. VCC is working with government and other agencies to determine best approach and implications for those who self-isolate.

  • All external bookings for meeting space have been cancelled on all of our campuses (to be reviewed end of April).

  • Additional cleaning measures have been implemented at all our campuses, as well as distribution of additional hand-sanitizing stations and posting of information about recommended measures to help avoid the spread of the virus.

My gratitude to all students and employees for your hard work and understanding during this challenging time. It is our desire to ensure students complete their studies this term.

Please continue to visit for updates and relevant information.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College


Experience VCC open house adopts hands-on approach

Posted on October 8, 2018




Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

With its Experience VCC event on Oct. 24, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is re-imagining the standard open house structure by offering experiences that showcase its offerings in ways that reflect the school’s hands-on nature.

And while attendees will be able to explore 120 programs at Experience VCC through workshops, demos, and entertainment, those who are especially interested in a hospitality career will gain a unique passport.

“The Passport to Hospitality event will explore where a career in hospitality can take students,” says Monique Paassen, head of VCC’s Hospitality Management department, of this particular aspect of Experience VCC.

“Attendees will get their ‘passport’ at the door and then collect stamps by visiting activity stations hosted by our department as well as the culinary arts, Asian culinary arts, and baking and pastry arts departments.”

Each activity station, says Paassen, will offer attendees an interactive way to learn about the programs, interact with faculty and alumni, and get their hands dirty.

For example, while in past years attendees were able to sample a pastry made by baking and pastry arts students, this year they may have the opportunity to decorate one or learn to properly set a table at the hospitality management station.

“We wanted to do something different that would really get the attendees involved and engaged so they understand our approach to teaching from their first interaction with us,” says Paassen, whose department offers both a two-year hospitality management diploma program and a four-year Bachelor of Hospitality Management option.

“If they fill their passport, they will have the chance to win prizes.”

Experience VCC, which takes place at the Broadway Campus from 3 to 6 p.m., will also allow attendees to explore the campus, meet students, and talk to instructors about programs in arts, sciences, certified trades, university transfer, and more.


Skip the line on Oct. 24 and RSVP for Experience VCC today.



Five reasons to choose hospitality management at VCC

Posted on March 23, 2015

Five reasons to choose hospitality management at VCC


As a leader in hospitality management training in B.C., VCC strives to meet employer demands and respond to industry trends. We are proud to deliver a new and revitalized curriculum – built on our reputable programs and driven by industry experts.

Here are the top five reasons our graduates recommend our diploma and degree programs:‌

Grads get jobs
“Getting a job in the industry after graduation was never a concern when being affiliated with VCC.”
– Amanda

Strong reputation
“I chose VCC because it’s in the heart of hospitality in Vancouver and has a fantastic reputation. The course load is relevant and the instructors are industry professionals.”
– Caitlin

Industry connections
“VCC’s program was a conversation point as employers knew many of the instructors from within the industry.”
– Bernie

Industry-relevant curriculum
“The program continues to be relevant and practical. VCC instructors are industry experts who provide knowledge and insight to future employees.”
– Kristina

“VCC was an excellent investment in my future – from valuable life lessons and a well-rounded education, to networking and job preparation.”
– Brock

Join us at a free info session to see how our programs can work for you!

Success Story: Bachelor of Hospitality Management, Brock Martin

Posted on February 13, 2015

Meet Bachelor of Hospitality Management alumnus, Brock Martin, Account Manager at RoomKeyPMS - an RSI International Company.

What is RoomKeyPMS?
RoomKeyPMS is more than property management; it’s a complete Guest Management System. RoomKeyPMS is entrusted to handle over 20 million transactions for its hotel partners each year. It's the leading, cloud-based PMS - easy for front-desk staff to use - while providing robust management reporting and extensive guest insight. I seek opportunities for properties to maximize revenues and build relationships so that we can deliver on our brand promise: More Guests. Better Managed.
Is this a lateral move or the next step in your career path?
This is certainly the next step for me. provided me the revenue management component of Account Management, and RoomKeyPMS allows me to explore the more technical components of much-needed software to help hotels operate successfully. By combining my education and my work experience, I'm able to get a look at the bigger picture involved in hotel operations, whilst still working directly with industry professionals and assisting them in achieving their goals. 

What most attracted you or what are you enjoying the most?
What keeps the job exciting is that every property is unique and has different needs. Widespread geographical areas means varying target markets and sales strategies. Understanding our clients' needs and goals makes my role exciting and no two days are ever the same!

Did you know that your VCC hospitality management degree would land you here?! When I started at VCC, I had little knowledge of hospitality as an industry. My understanding was that hospitality meant hotels, and that hotels meant front desk and housekeeping departments. I really had no idea of all the different layers and departments within a hotel: from Sales and Revenue Management to Software and IT, there is so much behind the scenes of any hotel! My post-VCC experiences have allowed me to experience front-line operations to now more of a partner and consultant to our clients.

Lin’s story: a world of opportunity in hospitality management

Posted on October 5, 2018



Lin Tang is the kind of person you'd want managing your finances. She’s good with numbers, a strategic thinker, and a natural problem-solver with an associate degree in business and a background in statistics.

Early in her career, however, Lin found that her skills were perfectly suited to another industry altogether – hotel management.

Lin was in the middle of a university statistics program when she realized she enjoyed her part-time hotel job more than her studies. “I was sitting in the lab and I had no clue what my T.A. was talking about,” she says. “At that moment, I figured this is not what I wanted.”

Lin then began researching post-secondary hospitality programs and found that Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Bachelor of Hospitality Management (BHM) program was the best fit. “I wasn’t interested in tourism. I wanted to learn hotel operations, cost controls, and accounting. That’s why I chose VCC.”

Keeping the peace

Thanks to her past jobs as well as practicum experiences in the BHM program, Lin has also discovered a special talent for dealing with “drama.”

During a recent windstorm and power outage, Lin remembers running the halls with flashlights, reassuring panicked guests, and carrying luggage through stairwells. “It was so fun!” she says.

On another occasion, her hotel’s computer system was unexpectedly cut off, leaving the staff without access to bookings, accounts, or even housekeeping schedules. “We had over 350 rooms and did everything manually,” she says, smiling. “I’m so glad that I went through that. Now, whatever happens, I know I can handle it.”

Going global

Today, Lin works as a reservation agent at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre – a part of Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain. Lin’s long-term goal is to move into hotel revenue management. “This is it,” she says. “This is the industry I’ll spend my life in.”

Lin’s other passion is travelling, so getting employee discounts at more than 6,500 properties in 127 countries is a definite perk. “I really enjoy my staff benefits,” she says.

Lin feels that the academic knowledge and industry connections she gained at VCC have set her up for success. Now with 12 years of hotel experience, she’s excited about the future. “Right now, I feel like I have so many opportunities,” she says. “It’s just up to me to figure out what I want to do next.”

Where can a hospitality career take you? Find out at Passport to Hospitality, a series of interactive workshops (with prizes!) at our Experience VCC open house Oct. 4 at the Broadway campus.


Film re-release offers resources to fight Canada’s opioid crisis

Posted on May 6, 2019



This National Nursing Week, (May 6 - 12, 2019) Canada’s National Film Board (NFB) is re-releasing Bevel Up, an innovative documentary featuring the day-to-day work of street nurses who provide care for people who use drugs in Downtown Vancouver. 

Originally produced in 2007 with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), Bevel Up is a raw and impactful 45-minute film offering a first-hand look at street nursing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). Vancouver Community College (VCC) nursing instructor Caroline Brunt is featured prominently in the film, demonstrating non-judgemental, compassionate, and trauma-informed health care to people who use drugs.

“There was really nothing but love and support from people in the DTES,” says Caroline about the making of the film. “They kept telling us ‘people don’t understand us,’ and ‘this film needs to get made.’”

The re-release of Bevel Up is a timely effort to offer education to health care workers and the public in the midst of today’s unprecedented overdose crisis. The digital version offers greater online accessibility and additional learning resources, including bonus interview clips with health care practitioners and people who use drugs, as well as a 100-page Teacher’s Guide.

“The stigma exists today as it existed back in 2007,” says Caroline. “The issue of substance use will never go away. This film teaches how to accept, love, and care for people where they’re at.”

Bevel Up was created in collaboration with Canada Wild Productions Ltd. and directed by award-winning filmmaker Nettie Wild. The 2019 re-release was made possible with additional support by the British Columbia Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR), and VCC.


The public is welcome to attend a free screening of Bevel Up followed by a panel discussion on Thursday, May 9, 5:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Hospital. REGISTER HERE >

Please note: this film contains coarse language, open drug use, and subject matter that some people may find disturbing or triggering.


Do you have a heart for health care? Learn more about prerequisites, programs, and career options in VCC Health Sciences.

Media release: Disaster simulations at VCC

Posted on October 15, 2018

Shakeout simulation 800

Disaster simulations following ShakeOutBC

Vancouver, B.C. – On Thursday, Oct. 18, 275 health sciences students from Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be participating in a college-wide disaster triage training through 16 simulations including 45 “casualties” with life-like wounds and injuries. The simulations will begin immediately following the ShakeOutBC earthquake drill and a full evacuation of the college. 

“The importance of this Interprofessional Education (IPE) simulation is to assist the health science students in understanding the importance of working within teams where collaboration is essential in responding during a disaster,” says Meridy Black, instructor, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN).

“Many people know they should plan for the ‘big event’ but few people do it,” says Shirley Clarke, instructor, BScN. “This event will heighten the awareness of the need for preparation, self-reliance, and cooperation.”

Interprofessional simulations such as this are based on the IPE and the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL). This is a foundation for achieving safe, high quality, accessible, patient-centered care. VCC plans for this to be a building block to disaster preparedness for the entire college, then outward to our community.

Video, photo, and interview opportunities available:

Date: Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018


10:18 a.m. Shake Out drill followed by full evacuation of college

10:40 a.m. Disaster triage simulations lasting approximately 50 minutes

Location: VCC Broadway campus, 1120 E. 7th Ave., Building B with simulations on 3rd and 4th floors


Media can contact:

Danielle Libonati
Marketing Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7531



Real life learning

Posted on September 16, 2013

Several VCC students studying to become registered nurses volunteered at the Alley Health Fair, held annually in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood (DTES).

Students designed their own signage, created a sexual health game to engage people, and had meaningful discussions with DTES residents and community agencies.

"Students learned from real people about their experiences with Hepatitis C, addiction, or HIV," said Janine Stevenson, nursing instructor. "It was an excellent and rewarding opportunity for our students to learn and network."

Students also helped serve free meals and built important relationships with people from Vancouver Native Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Portland Hotel Society, and many others.

VCC nursing students volunteer at the annual Alley Health Fair

Real life learning

Posted on September 16, 2013

Several VCC students studying to become registered nurses volunteered at the Alley Health Fair, held annually in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood (DTES).

Students designed their own signage, created a sexual health game to engage people, and had meaningful discussions with DTES residents and community agencies.

"Students learned from real people about their experiences with Hepatitis C, addiction, or HIV," said Janine Stevenson, nursing instructor. "It was an excellent and rewarding opportunity for our students to learn and network."

Students also helped serve free meals and built important relationships with people from Vancouver Native Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Portland Hotel Society, and many others.

VCC nursing students volunteer at the annual Alley Health Fair

Student perspective: health care assistant Natasha Wilson

Posted on June 12, 2019



My name is Natasha Wilson and I’m from the Heiltsuk Nation. I recently completed a health care assistant program (HCA) that was offered through the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) in collaboration with Vancouver Community College (VCC). 

I have always wanted to be involved in the health care field and this program gave me an opportunity to begin my new career! 

In December 2018, I successfully completed the 41-week HCA program with an ‘A’ average. This program was tough, and I had to sacrifice my time with family and friends. The program also entailed a lot of extra study time and clinical testing – which was done after school hours. 

I was very fortunate to have the constant support of ACCESS and the VCC Indigenous Education team, as well as the use of VCC’s Gathering Space, which was very useful for doing assignments to maintain my 3.8 GPA. 

Midway through the HCA program, it became very clear that I wanted to go further with my education and am currently completing more courses. After my prerequisites are done, I will go through the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (BScN) to work towards becoming a registered nurse. 

I am very grateful to ACCESS and VCC for allowing me to participate in the health care assistant program and begin my health care career. 

Sincerely yours, 

Natasha Wilson 


Learn more about opportunities and services available at VCC for Indigenous learners, such as priority enrollment, Gathering Spaces, advising, and more by visiting VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement.


Meet Experience VCC tuition winner Woori Chae

Posted on May 29, 2019



Congratulations to Woori Chae, the grand prize winner from our recent Experience VCC open house! Woori won $500 in VCC tuition after attending the event and filling out our survey. We find out what’s in store for her at VCC.

What will you do with the $500 tuition credit? 
I’d like to use it for the health care assistant program this September. I’m starting to feel really good about studying at VCC.

What do you do right now?
I am working at Starbucks now and also looking for a new career in the health care industry. The reason I chose health care is that I'd like to have more responsibility in my job. It will also let me get more education in the future.

Why did you come to Experience VCC?
At first, I was planning to take the medical lab assistant program and I visited the coordinator to see if I can transfer any of the credits I already have. Unfortunately, she said no but she told me about the open house and how I could apply for free at the event. That’s why I came. 

Did you expect to win the grand prize?
No! I usually don’t write down my name in those kinds of draws but this time I thought, ‘why not, who knows?’ And it worked! After winning, I felt that this is the right decision; I’m on the right track.

How do you feel about going back to school?
I hope I can make good friends. I’m living here by myself and I would love to make some longtime friendships with my classmates. I also want to keep improving my English at VCC.


Did you miss our Experience VCC open house? Stay connected for details on our next event in Fall 2019 or sign up now for a free program info session


How to start your health care career in 28 weeks

Posted on February 6, 2019


Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver

Over the next 10 years, WorkBC predicts more than 18,000 health care assistant jobs will be created. At Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) health care assistant program, students are prepared for this field in just 28 weeks. 

“In addition to the demand being caused by our aging population, the field isn’t subject to seasonality or economic booms and busts, and there isn’t a lot of room for automation to affect it,” says Lisa Beveridge, the acting leader of VCC’s continuing care department. “That creates a lot of job security.” 

Delivered through a combination of classroom and lab components, clinical experience in a complex care facility, as well as a community practicum that consolidates the application of learning into care-giving practice, the program places a heavy emphasis on experiential learning. 

“The program includes lots of engagement, discussions, and creative problem solving so students gain the ability to think critically and work in teams, which is important in health care,” says Beveridge. “There are two floors at VCC devoted to a lab environment with real equipment and we also use simulation technology, which is a good transition between classroom and helping real people.”  

Practice makes perfect 

VCC is currently in the early stages of exploring whether there is an opportunity to use virtual reality to offer students more occasions to practice communication or organizational skills prior to their clinical components.

“We’re excited to start looking at what is possible,” says Beveridge. “This is an example of the high standards we have in terms of the quality of care we seek to teach students to provide.”

According to the B.C. Student Outcomes Survey Results 2013-2017, more than seven out of 10 VCC health care assistant students find employment within two months. Additionally, 96 per cent of students said the program helped them develop skills in speaking effectively, analyzing and thinking critically, and working effectively with others.


Nurses and doctors are part of a much larger health care team. Explore the wide variety of health sciences career options at VCC.

Reason to smile

Posted on December 9, 2013

Here's more proof that VCC faculty are among the best in their fields.

Dental technology instructor Louis Chow has received the 2013 Dental Technician’s Award of Distinction from the Dental Technicians Association of B.C.

Chow was nominated for his unwavering dedication to teaching, passion for the profession, and determination to help improve the dental technology program at VCC.

He received his award during the DTABC’s annual conference in November.

louis chow wins dental technology award

Explore the ever-changing world of dental technology at VCC

Posted on April 12, 2019



Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver 

The dental technology industry has been changing dramatically, demographically, and technologically and the dental technology program at Vancouver Community College has revised their program to meet these demands.

“As in all professions, candidates interested in dental technology should embrace lifelong learning, a desirable trait allowing for adaptability to rapid changes in technology and materials,” says Ken Izumi, department head of the dental technology department at VCC.

“The new dental technology program was designed to reflect the ever-changing conditions of our industry and we are committed to continuing on this path.” 

VCC has recently committed substantial funds to create a new, dedicated dental technology computer room with a 3D scanner to enhance the students’ learning experience and give them valuable skills for the workplace. 

“Possessing skill sets in digital software and technology applications will enable graduates to assist and even train existing laboratory owners on how to maximize the use of their digital software and equipment,” says Izumi. 

Izumi says this program is especially suited for those individuals who are able to focus on tasks for extended periods of time and have an appreciation for accuracy, detail, and a sense of esthetics.

He adds that most students from this program have secured employment before graduation. 

“It is not unusual for students to be working part-time after school during their third and fourth semesters,” says Izumi. 

“Many of the VCC Alumni have become dental laboratory owners or key personnel in the laboratories.”

This is a five-semester diploma program and the next start date is September 2019. 

To experience which other programs VCC has to offer, be sure to check out the next free open house, Experience VCC, on Wedbesday, April 24 from 3 to 6 p.m. 

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet with department heads and tour program areas. 

Anyone who applies to a program during the open house will not have to pay the $35 application fee, and could also have a chance to win $500 towards their tuition.


Sign up now to join us on April 24 and meet instructors from all of VCC’s health sciences departments, get campus tours, and more.


The top five things we love about nursing

Posted on May 7, 2018

This National Nursing Week (May 7 – 13, 2018), we at Vancouver Community College (VCC) are shining a light on this time-honoured yet ever-changing profession. Here are the top five things we love about nursing:



1. Nurses literally save lives

Nurses go through a lot of studying and training; typically four years for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). The job can also be demanding, exhausting, and emotionally draining, but nurses around the world will tell you that nothing is more personally rewarding than the work they do.

“I’ve saved lives,” says VCC alumna and licensed practical nurse (LPN) Sarah-Zoe Pichette. “You go to bed knowing that you’ve been productive and you’ve been a good person every day.”



2. Nursing is so many things

Just as the nursing uniform has evolved from aprons and caps to scrubs and sneakers, the profession itself has also expanded into countless areas.  

Today, nurses can specialize in psychiatry, neuroscience, community health, paediatrics, gerontology, or emergency care, to name only a few. Nurses can also choose practice settings that range from hospitals and schools to research labs, disaster sites, refugee camps, the military, and even cruise ships and resorts.  



3. Nurses won't be replaced by robots

While many workers out there may be wondering if or when their jobs will be taken over by automation or artificial intelligence, nurses can rest assured they’ll always be needed. Predictions indicate that jobs requiring empathy, human interaction and dealing with unpredictability will be safest from the “robot workplace invasion.” 



4. Nurses are good for our health

Nurses have a massive amount of knowledge about the human body, and it isn’t confined to their hospitals or clinics. A nurse’s knowledge and experience will naturally extend into his or her family and wider community, whether by treating scraped knees, giving nutrition advice, or even offering guidance for addiction treatment options.

“Nurses don’t just go to work and come home,” says VCC nursing instructor Sarah Desbiens. “Nurses are part of an international community of people committed to health and wellness.”



5. Nursing can start (and take you) anywhere

You’re a natural caregiver, you’re not afraid of hard work, and you’re thinking of getting into nursing. What next? 

VCC’s 32-week pre-health sciences program is a combination of introductory biology, chemistry, mathematics, and other courses specifically designed to introduce learners to a wide variety of health sciences careers before they choose an individual path. 

For those already working as accredited health care assistants (HCA) or resident care attendants (RCA), VCC offers a condensed, 13-month curriculum that recognizes past training and experience while earning a Practical Nursing diploma.

Nursing doesn’t have to be a final destination, either. According to Sarah, nursing opens doors to further degrees in education, leadership, research, administration, and others. Many nurses also go on to attend medical school or law school. “Nursing is a great ticket into a great job,” says Sarah, “but it can also be a jumping-off point into so much more.”


Read more about National Nursing Week and join us in celebrating VCC’s health care professionals.



VCC introduces Eco-College grants for sustainability initiatives

Posted on October 21, 2019



Inspired by the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan initiatives, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to introduce the VCC Eco-College Small Grants Program.

This program provides grants of up to $500 to current VCC students, instructors, and staff who wish to develop projects that help make the college greener.

The VCC Eco-College grants will be allocated to projects based on VCC’s Environmental Sustainability Strategies:

  1. Environmental purchasing
  2. Local food
  3. Energy efficient buildings
  4. Green transportation
  5. Zero waste
  6. Sustainability curriculum development
  7. Community activations
  8. Water conservation

How to submit

Proposals must include:

  • A completed VCC Eco-College Small Grant application form (PDF)
  • Applicant name, Banner ID, phone number, email address, role at VCC (staff, student, instructor, etc.)
  • Project concept, location, budget, and related Environmental Sustainability Strategy (see 1-8 above)
  • All student proposals must include a recommendation letter from a VCC instructor, staff member, program, or service area.

Proposals may be submitted in any format (document, video file, audio file, or in person). To book an in-person proposal session, please contact VCC’s Environmental Community Action Team (ECAT) by emailing

What kinds of projects qualify? 

  • Projects must be free, accessible, and welcoming to all.
  • Participants must not profit financially from the project.
  • Projects will not be supported retroactively.
  • Grant money may be used to pay people for services. Total honorarium(s) may not be more than $100 per project.
  • Applicants must have a current ID in Banner (VCC’s registration system).
  • Applicants may apply for only one grant per year.
  • Team/co-applicants are permitted to apply.
  • Project should be implemented between November 2019 and February 2020, although they may be ongoing.


All proposals must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019.

Selection process

A panel will determine the eligibility of grant recipients based on the following criteria:

  1. Alignment with VCC’s Vision Statement (VCC – the first choice for innovative, experiential learning for life)
  2. Alignment with VCC’s Environmental Sustainability Strategies
  3. Community engagement
  4. Fun

Winners will be announced Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Using your grant

Grant recipients will be assigned an ECAT liaison member who will help navigate VCC resources such as room booking, printing, marketing, security, risk assessment, etc.

If the project is going to take place in a common area of the college, the grant recipient must obtain appropriate permission and insurance prior to their project start date.

Grant recipients are responsible for managing the grant money. They will be required to keep expense receipts to account for all project costs. While some projects may continue year-round, it is expected that grants are spent and receipts submitted no later than February 15, 2020.

Grant winners will be required to supply a 300-word report and images of the project after completion.


Did you know? VCC has surpassed its sustainability goals by achieving $2 million in energy savings in less than 10 years.

Fall 2018 Convocation recap

Posted on November 21, 2018


One has to endure challenges at work, home and in life. You may feel down, have doubts about yourself, but one must be strong to fulfill your dreams.” – Doreen Wong, Auto Collision

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to announce the graduation of 1,146 dedicated and hardworking students on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. Over 500 supportive friends and family members filled the seats at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre before the start of the ceremony at 1 p.m.

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

Valedictorian Russell Jang, graduate of the Food Service Careers program, addressed his graduating class with an empowering message:

“In life there will be challenges and adversities, but remember to acknowledge others for supporting you in your journey. Most of all, remember to enjoy those moments that bring you fulfillment and satisfaction.”

Russell was determined to succeed in his program and in the food service industry, while overcoming personal barriers. He worked hard to expand his comfort zone and strengthened his social skills to achieve that. His positivity, leadership and commitment paid off – Russell is now a team member at Tacofino Venables.

After the procession of graduates, VCC alumna Doreen Wong offered some words of wisdom to the class of 2018.

“Regardless of your age or gender, you must not let anyone tell you that you are not good enough. You are here today in this graduating class because you have succeeded in your training and your accomplishments are recognized.”

Doreen is a trailblazer for women in trades, being one of the first women to receive qualifications in the auto collision industry. As an instructor in VCC’s auto collision and refinishing prep for over 10 years Doreen has been a role model for so many young women in trades.

View the full photo gallery online.

Watch the video recording online.

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

Spring convocation recap

Posted on June 29, 2015

Congratulations graduates!

Convocation is a special day where we recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by our graduates.

Photos from the spring event can be found on VCC's official Flickr account.

Here's a short recap from our fall ceremonies:

  • VCC celebrated over 1,400 graduates with three ceremonies.
  • The amazing VCC convocation band was comprised of three current and/or graduating students from VCC's music program: Adam Jones, Max Ley and Tobias Oliviera.
  • Three valedictorians represented their fellow graduates during the ceremonies: ‌Adam Jones, Brody Bayley and Gaye Savoie.


Adam R Jonesnews-convocation-adam-jones.png

Adam is a graduate of VCC’s Music - Bachelor of Applied Music program.
Adam is a professional bassist, band leader, educator and composer. He has performed with orchestras, jazz ensembles, pop, rock, country, and hip-hop groups across Canada and the United States.  Adam has completed a Bachelor of Applied Music at VCC.

"…all of us have the opportunity to enrich our lives through our chosen professions.It is in your power to lessen someone's pain or discomfort, to make someone feel beautiful, to remind them of their happiest or most tragic moments. So I urge you all, find the good stuff in your life and share that feeling with the world.”

Representing: School of Health Sciences and School of Music, Dance and Design


Brody Bayley, valedictorianBrody Bayley

Brody is a graduate of VCC's hospitality management diploma program.
After an early introduction to the hospitality industry and some international travel, Brody came to Vancouver to gain more experience. He is employed at the Vancouver Marriott Hotel, where he is currently the front office supervisor.

“… push yourself out of your comfort zone. This has been something that I have really found beneficial over the past couple of years. If it wasn’t for faculty pushing me out of my comfort zone I never would have taken advantage of opportunities. In your workplace and even with your friends, ensure you are surrounding yourself with people who push you out of your comfort zone. You will discover much about yourself.”

Representing: School of Hospitality and Applied Business and School of Trades


Gaye SavoieGaye Savoie, valedictorian
Gaye is a graduate of VCC's medical device reprocessing technician certificate program.
After a full career as a hair stylist, Gaye decided to pursue a different career path and came to VCC to train as a medical device reprocessing technician. She currently works in her field with Fraser Health.

“Every single day that you are on this earth, you learn something new. From the very day you were born. It’s never too late to try new things and carve a new path."

Representing: School of Access, School of Hospitality and Applied Business, Continuing Studies & Contract Training, and Centre for Teaching, Innovation and Applied Research.

Become twitterpated about VCC restaurants

Posted on July 7, 2014

VCC launches our inaugural Summer Tweets to Eat this week. Every week during July and August, we will host a giveaway from a different VCC restaurant. VCC Twitter followers will receive a free treat at one of the college’s restaurants when they retweet this special promotion.

We want to reward our loyal customers for sharing news about us through Twitter, and it's a great chance for hungry patrons to check out VCC’s many varied restaurants.

To participate, follow these easy steps:

1. Follow us on Twitter: @myvcc

2. Find the special offer on our page and retweet it to your friends.

3. Show the server/cashier you retweeted when you order your entrée and they will give you a free treat.

The first special starts at VCC's Four Corners restaurant at our downtown campus and runs July 7-18. Get a free dessert of your choice with the purchase of an entrée when you retweet our promotional message to your friends.

Four Corners is open for lunch Monday to Friday with seatings at 11:30 a.m. and noon. Reserve now at 604.443.8352 and then choose your free dessert from the delicious menu prepared by VCC culinary arts students.

Richmond baker heads to Russia for world competition

Posted on June 20, 2019



Clarissa (Claire) Roque needs to work on her sugar skills. Unfortunately, the closest sugar experts are in Seattle and Los Angeles, and the pastry chef she would really like to learn from is based in Belfort, France.

Roque, 19, has about two months to perfect her sugar skills before she needs to make a sugar piece extraordinaire at the World Skills bakery competition in Kazan, Russia.

The Richmond resident is fresh off a national win in Halifax, N.S., where she went head-to-head with another Canadian baker-in-training at the Skills Canada national competition. She created six items over two days and eventually beat her competitor for a spot to the world championship.

The recent post-secondary national competition gave her a good taste of what it will be like competing internationally. For the national competition, Roque trained five days a week, up to 10 hours a day, for three months with her Vancouver Community College instructor, Wolfgang Dauke, perfecting her timing and technique.

Roque said she was running on adrenalin, rarely taking breaks, eating while working. "When you don’t think about it, you’re fine,” she said.

On the first day of the national competition, Roque had to make two identical marzipan figurines – she had practised animals, fruit and a clown during her training. The day before, though, she found out she had to make two teddy bears. She had brought along some fondant, the thick layer used typically on wedding cakes, and practised making one that night in her hotel room.

She also had to make eight petit fours – small bite-sized cakes – and four plated desserts. For the latter, she made a platter with rose peach semi-freddo, a pistachio buttermilk sponge, peach raspberry coulis and chocolate soil.

Continue reading in the Vancouver Courier


Learn more about VCC's wide range of baking programs including Youth Train in Trades, specializied certificates in baking or pastry, apprenticeship levels, and part-time casual courses


B.C. brings in more emergency supports for Indigenous students

Posted on April 3, 2020

The VCC Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department is pleased to share that the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has announced an additional $27,000 of funding to support VCC Indigenous students who are facing unexpected financial hardship.

“We know there are a variety of financial challenges that can arise, often without warning, causing great distress," says Clayton Munro, Dean of Indigenous Initiatives. "This increase in Indigenous Emergency Assistance Funds can make a significant difference in our ability to respond quicker and provide much needed support, especially in light of these increasingly difficult times.”

Read the government announcement:

April 3, 2020 | B.C. brings in more emergency supports for Indigneous students

How to apply 

Indigenous students experiencing unexpected financial hardship are encouraged to inquire about the Indigenous Emergency Assistance Fund by contacting

A message from Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Posted on April 6, 2020



Dear post-secondary, skills and training community members,

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an exceptionally challenging time for every person involved in B.C.’s post-secondary, skills and training sector. I know that some of you are being directly affected by this virus or are concerned about friends and family here and around the world. I recognize that many of you are worried about paying your bills, finishing your programs, returning home and being disconnected from your communities. I understand that our daily lives have been turned upside down and want you to know that our government is doing everything we can to fight this pandemic and keep one another safe.

Everything we are doing is about protecting students, faculty and staff while also supporting the shift in delivery of B.C.’s world-class learning and training programs. This is equally true for the post-secondary system, as well as the hundreds of organizations who play a vitally important role in skills training across B.C. This is a uniquely unsettling time, but I want to assure you that your education and training goals will be met.

I want to express my gratitude for the leadership and resilience you have shown as we navigate these trying and uncertain times together. I know that some applied programming, like trades and health, may be more challenging to deliver online and I appreciate your continuous efforts to adjust and find safe ways for everyone to finish their studies.

For apprentices and trades students, I want to assure you that the Industry Training Authority is working hard to address your unique needs by providing creative pathways to support your completion.

For Indigenous teachers and learners, we recognize that you are facing urgent and unique challenges. We remain committed to working with Indigenous communities and institutions to ensure that training and learning is flexible and responsive.

For international students who are not able to return home and be with loved ones, I recognize that you must feel especially isolated. Please know that our government will continue to do our best to support you as much as possible.

For those who are continuing to deliver core services, I applaud all that you are doing to keep students and staff safe and healthy in the midst of an evolving situation. You worked around the clock to quickly transition to online or alternative delivery methods, and I am confident your swift actions helped reduce the risk for the hundreds of thousands of students, faculty and staff in every corner of the province. Whether it is supporting students, providing housing or food services, or keeping the lights on and the buildings clean – you are at the frontline of B.C.’s post-secondary system. Please know that I see you for the heroes that you are.

I want to thank all of you who are stepping up in innovative ways to support the provincial health and emergency management response. Namely producing the much-needed supplies and research to respond to COVID-19. Your efforts are saving lives.

As Premier John Horgan, Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have been saying, no one is in this alone. We are going to get through this by paddling together. My ministry and the public service are working hard to ensure that you have the latest information available from provincial and federal health officials.

Our government continues to mobilize resources to better support students. We moved quickly to suspend payments on student loans, we are increasing emergency financial aid for students at every public post-secondary institution in the province, including Indigenous students, and will continue to find practical ways to support the post-secondary, skills and training sector.

We are asking everyone to do all they can to support our efforts in breaking the chain of transmission and flattening the outbreak curve. We continue to put new tools in place to support people in B.C. during this challenging time, and people can now download a self-assessment app for their phones at:

I also want to remind you that for non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information,\covid-19 or call 1.888.COVID19 (1.888.268.4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week. For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: or follow @CDCofBC. For provincial health officer orders, notices and guidance, visit: We encourage you to distribute this message within your community.

Under normal circumstances, B.C.’s post-secondary, skills and training sector excels at tackling some of the biggest social, economic and environmental challenges. While this may be one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century, I know in my heart that we will get through this together.


T'ooyaksim' N'iisim',


Honourable Melanie Mark
Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Government increases emergency funding for B.C. post-secondary students

Posted on April 2, 2020



The Government of B.C. announced on Thursday, April 2 that it will significantly increase emergency funding available to post-secondary students. The one-time $3.5-million investment will supplement existing student emergency financial assistance.

Students who attend one of B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions can access these funds by contacting their school's financial aid office, which will assist with the application process. Each post-secondary institution will determine the specific amount a student can receive based on their individual needs. 

Read the full government announcement:

April 2, 2020 | Province boosts emergency funding supports for students

How to apply 

Update – Thursday, April 9, 2020:

Applications for the first round of emergency bursary funding closed on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. VCC will re-open applications upon securing additional funds.

Students are also encouraged review VCC's Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide, available through VCC Financial Aid

Media Release: VCC opens kitchens to support food security during COVID-19

Posted on April 6, 2020



VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) has opened its downtown kitchens as a meal-prep and distribution hub for those in Vancouver with barriers to food security during COVID-19. The project is a collaboration with the City of Vancouver, local chefs, food suppliers, and agencies.

“VCC has been part Vancouver’s fabric for over 50 years and we have a longstanding relationship with this community that is currently in need of additional support. With the world-class professional kitchens and tools at our Downtown campus, we are pleased to help our neighbours and friends,” says Ajay Patel, VCC president and CEO. 

City of Vancouver staff reached out to VCC requesting urgent assistance with support to supply and distribute food during the COVID-19 crisis. Much of the regular food distribution has stopped for the Downtown Eastside (DTES) community, and the need to provide nutritious meals and snacks to the residents of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units is a priority for the City.  

VCC has worked to orchestrate a huge meal and food delivery program that currently requires the creation of 2,000 meals, three times per week (1,000 lunches and 1,000 dinners). Each hamper includes four meals, snacks, napkins, drinks, and cutlery. The menu is determined based on the supplies available, and VCC culinary staff will strive to include a combination of hot and cold meals and snacks.

Adds Patel, “Our culinary staff, cleaners, and leadership teams have worked tirelessly over the past week to roll this out very quickly with the City. It is truly heartwarming to have so many chefs, restaurants, and local agencies come together. VCC is proud to do what we can in this uncertain time.”

Meal production and delivery are being coordinated through VCC’s Downtown campus, led by culinary arts assistant department head Chef John Lewis, prepared by Red Seal-certified chefs in VCC’s commercial kitchens, and packaged for delivery by VCC Food Services. Strict health and safety measures are in place in consideration of staff and public health, including using recommended physical distancing and other protocols as directed by regional health authorities.



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B-roll video available

To support physical distancing, and to maintain safe working spaces on campus during COVID-19, VCC has created professional B-roll footage available for media outlets. 

Media can contact: 

Jen Hill
Communications Manager
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.828.0974

A message from the VCC Board of Governors

Posted on March 27, 2020

 Watch an American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message 


VCC in a time of COVID-19 

The VCC Board of Governors has been working closely with VCC’s president, Ajay Patel, and the senior leadership team to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. An Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) began regular meetings in January 2020 when COVID-19 was first identified as a threat, and has implemented a proactive response plan ever since.
All decisions have been made in coordination with B.C.’s Provincial Health Authorities and other government leadership, including the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. 
VCC continues to remain open, although with limited in-person access, to support quality learning and training in alternative ways. We also remain open in order to support our community and the provincial response to this pandemic, and we will be part of the ecosystem that helps rebuild and shape our collective future.
VCC’s actions are consistent with the B.C. government’s objectives to balance health and safety with access to educational programs. Almost all VCC programs and services are now being provided through alternative (non-face-to-face) methods. This tremendous undertaking has been a collaborative effort across the college and has included: 
  • all curriculum being converted to online and alternative learning modes within one week,
  • all supports for students and employees being converted to online and telephone-based systems, and
  • the identification and continuation of essential services at VCC’s campuses, including: Cleaning Services, IT, Facilities, Security, Finance, and Human Resources. 
Please be assured that everyone at VCC is working hard to keep our community healthy while continuing to support student learning and services during this unprecedented time.  
We ask that you do your part by following the direction of our health authorities:  
  • Self-isolate if you have travelled, been exposed to COVID-19, or are experiencing any symptoms at all.
  • When you do go out, practice physical distancing by staying two metres away from others.
  • Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds several times a day, or use alcohol cleaners.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
We also encourage you to stay “virtually” connected with friends and loved ones, and to take advantage of the supports available through VCC, the government, and the community.  
Thank you for your leadership and assistance as we all do our collective best every day. Be kind and generous in spirit and action, and we look forward to the day when we can again come together in person. 
With gratitude, 
Joey Hartman, Chair
On behalf of the VCC Board of Governors

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

Media Release: VCC appoints new Vice President, Administration

Posted on March 31, 2020


VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ian Humphreys as Vice President, Administration, effective Wednesday, April 1.

Dr. Humphreys, along with VCC’s senior leadership team, will be an integral part of the implementation of VCC’s Strategic Innovation Plan. He will oversee operations and initiatives for the college by providing leadership for planning, including infrastructure, service areas, and support for the financial, academic, and enrolment planning.

“I am excited Dr. Humphreys accepted the position of VP, Administration. As a lifelong learner, Dr. Humphreys brings the kind of leadership and community-mindedness that is valued at VCC, and will support us to move forward with our key strategic initiatives,” says Ajay Patel, VCC President. 

With more than a decade of extensive leadership experience in education, Dr. Humphreys has dedicated his career to strategically solving complex post-secondary challenges. Most recently, he worked with Southern Alberta Institute of Technology to implement a new framework for Continuing Education.

“I am pleased to be joining the VCC team and I am looking forward to working to achieve their innovative and ambitious strategic vision,” says Dr. Humphreys

Previously, as Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Students for Langara College, Dr. Humphreys redesigned the college’s academic structure to expand faculties and administrative supports introducing new faculties of Business and Nursing. Before assuming responsibility for academic programming, he served in a variety of positions, including oversight of Langara’s International Education and Continuing Education departments, as well as for Student Services, Information Technology, Communication and Marketing, Institutional Research, and the College Foundation.

A longtime Vancouver resident, Dr. Humphreys holds MSc and PhD degrees in Human Performance from the University of Alberta, and a BSc in Sport Science from Liverpool Polytechnic in England. He is a member of Vancouver Board of Trade and Business Council of British Columbia.

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 120 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses, located in Downtown Vancouver, East Vancouver, and on Annacis Island, VCC offers quality, hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, and music.

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Media can contact:

Karen Wilson
Director, Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.612.2653


COVID-19 update – VCC pausing all face-to-face instruction for the time being

Posted on March 19, 2020, reviewed on March 24, 2020

Find answers to COVID-19 frequently asked questions


A message from Ajay Patel, Interim President of Vancouver Community College

Watch an American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message 


VCC students and employees, 

As VCC continues to receive updated information and guidance about the COVID-19 pandemic from the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training, I would like to update you on VCC program delivery and operations, campus services, and ongoing health and wellness for the VCC students and employees.The college, along with the public post-secondary system in B.C., remains open as directed by the Provincial Health Officer. Please remember, as the recommended response to COVID-19 continues to change, so too may the information. 

I want to extend my personal gratitude and thanks to everyone for the collaborative and extensive work by all of you, in a very short and disruptive time, to make the shifts and changes to the way we deliver education and operate.  I am heartened to see the support and care for each other, and inspired by the innovation and creativity many of you are showing in situations where time is of the essence.  You have all been REMARKABLE! 


1. Delivery of programs for students next week

This week, the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC), faculty, instructors and staff have put a tremendous amount of work into shifting course delivery from in person to online or alternative methods. These adaptations have been made to support the continuity of teaching and learning through the evolving situation of COVID-19. Our overarching goal is to ensure we are actively contributing to society’s greater efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

With most of our programs moving to alternate methods of delivery, we are pausing all face-to-face classes for the time being. Alternative delivery methods that have been established will continue to take place. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students accordingly.

At this time, our educational leadership teams are continuing to assess what needs to happen with some of these complex, hands-on courses and programs that are not easily shifted to on-line delivery. We understand that this uncertainty can be frustrating and worrisome for students and faculty. 

Instructors will be in communication with students about delivery and service changes soon, if they have not already done so.


2. Staff and the ongoing operations of VCC

VCC is currently transitioning to have some VCC staff working remotely. For employees wanting or needing to continue to come to work, plans and approaches are being developed to provide as much flexibility based on the provincial health officer’s guidelines.


3. Access to campus services

To ensure we are actively supporting ‘social distancing’ recommendations from the health authorities, we are temporarily moving all in-person/face-to-face on-campus services for students and the public, to online/phone call only options. 

For detailed information about accessing campus services online go to:


4. Health & Wellness 

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be worried about the health and safety of yourself or your family and friends. This is a challenging and uncertain time. It is not uncommon to experience higher levels of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. If this is your experience, please seek help and support.

Counselling and supports are available online to students and VCC employees who are affected by COVID-19. We encourage everyone who may need support at this time to contact one of the following services:


Students: Counselling Services or 24-hour emergency lines 

Employees: Employee & Family Assistance Program


Also, the BC Ministry of Health developed a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool to help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. Guidance and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer are available online at the BC Pandemic Preparedness website. Monitor the BC Centre for Disease Control website for updates, information and resources.

For non-health related COVID-19 questions (e.g. supports, programs, etc), a new dedicated phone line is available at 1-888-COVID-19.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College



COVID-19 update – VCC temporarily suspending face-to-face instruction for the week

Posted on March 18, 2020

Find answers to COVID-19 frequently asked questions


To mitigate further risk to the spread of COVID-19, we are closing face to face/in person registration at VCC.


Registration for Spring 2020 will open online at 8:30 a.m. on March 19, 2020.


Application information can be found here:


The Registrar's Office will not be open for in person registration.

Please register online or call 604.871.7000 and press option 4 for assistance.

Payments can be paid online:

VCC temporarily suspending face-to-face instruction and moving to alternate modes of delivery

A message from Ajay Patel, Interim President of Vancouver Community College

Watch an American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message. 

March 16, 2020


Dear VCC community,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during a very challenging and complex time. Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be temporarily suspending all in-person classes for the rest of the week beginning Tuesday, March 17 in order to transition to alternative modes of program and course delivery where possible.

VCC campuses will remain open and student services will be available during this time, although services for students may be modified. We encourage students to contact our offices online and by phone.

We realize that this is a very stressful time for many students and employees. These steps are being taken out of an abundance of ongoing caution and a desire for VCC do its part in promoting social distancing and containing the spread of COVID-19. It is important to note that there are currently no confirmed COVID-19 cases at VCC.

Alternative program delivery at VCC

Specific modes of alternative program delivery will be determined by individual VCC departments. Instructors will contact students with guidance about alternative modes, which may include online instruction, and assessment, or other forms of non-face-to-face learning. This process will be in place for the foreseeable future.

Given the wide range of programs and hands-on courses at VCC, the transition time will vary, and instructors have been asked to contact students as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this process. Alongside these increased health and safety precautions, VCC is committed to helping students continue their programs, where possible.

Commercial services closed 

VCC has many programs that support student-run commercial services throughout the college that serve the public. Until further notice, all commercial services will be closed, including the Dental Clinic, Salon and Spa, Automotive Shop, Seiffert’s Market, the Bistro, and JJ’s Restaurant.

This situation surrounding COVID-19 is unprecedented and stressful, but we are a resilient community. Thank you, not only for your patience with college decision making, but also for supporting one another mentally and emotionally at this time. At VCC, we greatly value the health and wellbeing of all our students and employees, and we will continue to follow the advice of health officials in order to come through this together.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College


To mitigate further risk to the spread of COVID-19, we are closing face to face/in person registration at VCC.
Registration for Spring 2020 will open online at 8:30 on March 19, 2020. 
Application information can be found here:
The Registration Office will not be open for in person registration. Please register online or call 604-871-7000 and press 4 for assistance. Payments can be paid online:




Skills talk

Posted on November 13, 2013

VCC President Kathy Kinloch -- who will be transitioning to the role of BCIT president in early 2014 -- was interviewed by CKNW’s Bill Good at the B.C. Business Summit in Vancouver on Nov. 13.

The summit brought together leaders in government, business, and post-secondary education to discuss skills training as it relates to B.C.’s economic future.

Kinloch also took part in a panel discussion called People Powered Prosperity: Skills Training and Human Capital.

Here are a few highlights of the live on-air discussion about skills training in British Columbia:


Kinloch: “The need for a skilled workforce in the next 10 years, if not the next 20 years, is key in the province. I see it as an opportunity to build on strengths of BCIT but also to work provincially within the system. VCC is one of the contributors to the skills agenda as well.”


Kinloch: VCC is “a college that has got so much to offer. We have trades. We also offer programs in degrees such as nursing. We have dental programs and (programs) across health sectors as well as well-known hospitality programs. The other area that I’m particularly proud of and that we continue to celebrate is our focus on language training and access.”


Kinloch: “There is a review of the ITA (Industry Training Authority) right now and we hope that there are simplified processes that emerge that will encourage employers to take more advantage of apprenticeships. A key factor is working together with employers. There’s resources needed across the province.”

Kinloch: “Only 20 percent of apprentice students are sponsored by business leaders. That’s an opportunity to not only focus on waitlists but to enable students across the province to get into apprentice programs and access education quicker.”

VCC makes hairstylist study more accessible

Posted on August 8, 2018



Originally published in Star Metro Vancouver. 

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is giving aspiring hairstylists the opportunity to enter a formal hairstyling apprenticeship through a compressed 10-week in-class structure.

“With the traditional apprenticeship route, you’d take a 10-month foundation program, find a salon in which you’d gain the required apprenticeship hours then come back to VCC and take Level 2 training, continue to get hours and take your Red Seal testing,” explains Lucy Griffith, VCC’s department leader of hair design and skin and body therapy programs. “With this new option, you find a salon sponsor first, complete 11 weeks in class, go back to the industry and continue working, and come back for Level 2.”

The option, says Griffith, will appeal to a wide range of learners, including those who wish to start earning money right away, those who have other commitments and will appreciate the streamlined 10-week format, and those who may not live in Metro Vancouver but wish to come to the area to complete their training before returning to their community to complete the 3,600 required on-the-job hours.

“It really makes education accessible to so many different kinds of learners,” she says. “Additionally, salons that sponsor apprentices receive grants from the government as an incentive to helping students enter the trades, and apprentices receive a $1,000 grant each time they complete an aspect of their apprenticeship training for a total of $4,000.”

With the route leading to a trade certification from B.C.’s Industry Training Authority and the Red Seal of endorsement, graduates, in addition to traditional roles in salons and barbershops, may work across Canada in roles within film, education or entrepreneurship. “As a Red Seal, you show that you have the highest amount of education a hairstylist can get,” says Griffith. “We have an 83 per cent employment rate upon graduation, so there is definitely a need for stylists.”


Learn more about hairstylist apprenticeship at VCC by attending a free information session at our Downtown campus. 


Red Seal hairstyling opens door to higher pay and greater career mobility

Posted on March 11, 2019

Originally published in the Georgia Straight

Many British Columbians don’t realize that in 2003, the B.C. government deregulated hairdressing.

This meant anyone could pick up a pair of scissors and work in this field.

But according to Emma Rasmussen, instructional assistant in the hairstylist certificate program at Vancouver Community College, this is expected to change now that hairdressing is recognized as a Red Seal trade.

“The Red Seal is recognized as the interprovincial standard of excellence in skilled trades,” Rasmussen told the Straight by phone.

She pointed out that this designation is a requirement for being a hairstylist in other provinces. And Vancouver Community College is offering a two-level Red Seal training program this year. This means graduates will be able to work as a hairstylist anywhere in Canada.

Level 1 involves 10 weeks of training, with intakes starting in May and September. Level 2 lasts five weeks, with intakes in April and July.

Rasmussen explained that a person needs to spend 3,600 hours of workplace training in the hairstyling apprenticeship program before obtaining the Red Seal designation.

She added that anyone who has already completed VCC’s hairstylist certificate program can use this as the equivalent of doing the Level 1 apprenticeship.

“You actually accumulate 900 hours in the hairstylist foundation program,” she pointed out. “Then you can go on to complete the hairstylist apprenticeship Level 2.”

The first thing a prospective student must do is register with the Industry Training Authority as an apprentice and obtain an ITA identification number.

About 80 percent of the time in a Red Seal hairstyling apprenticeship is spent in on-the-job training and about 20 percent involves classroom instruction. This enables students to earn money while pursuing their trade certification.

Level 1 involves 300 hours of classroom instruction at VCC’s Downtown campus and covers the foundations of hairstyling, including basic hygiene, sanitation, and disinfection practices, as well as the use and maintenance of tools.

In addition, Rasmussen said, Level 1 students receive an education in client services, hair and scalp care, basic cutting, hairstyling, colouring, chemical waving, and business management. At the end of Level 1, students take an ITA standardized written exam, and if they pass, VCC instructors recommend that they find a job.

This starts them toward accumulating the necessary training hours before returning for Level 2. “It’s building on the foundations taught in Level 1 but with more advanced technique and more advanced mastery of those skills that you learned,” Rasmussen stated.

These include learning about customized haircutting using specific tools and techniques, designing updos, performing more in-depth colour corrections, and resolving client concerns and complaints.

“One general misconception is that it’s an easy job and that hairstylists don’t require a lot of skill,” Rasmussen said. “There’s actually a lot of science and biology behind what we learn.”

She said that VCC hairstyling instructors all have been in the industry for at least 10 years and love what they do. The college provides them with professional-development training, which enables them to attend trade shows and take courses to stay on top of what’s happening in their field.

When asked what types of people thrive as hairstylists, Rasmussen replied that it’s ideal for those who are artistic, creative, and interested in fashion or visual arts.

“It’s an ever-evolving industry,” she said. “Like how fashion changes, so do hairstyles.”

She encouraged anyone interested in pursuing a Red Seal hairstyling certification to go to for more information.

Interested in working as a professional hairstylist anywhere in Canada? Apply now for our full-time hairstylist apprenticeship program beginning in April 2019.

The winter CS flyer is out!

Posted on November 16, 2016

‌‌VCC Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the following new offerings for winter and beyond:CS Flyer winter 2017 cover

• Makeup and Hairstyling for Indian Bridal
• ECCE Workshop: Exploration with Clay
• ECCE Workshop: Introduction to Ethics
• ECCE Workshop: Partnership with Families
• ECEBC Professional Development: Ethical Journey
• Hairstyling Level 1 for Evening, Bridal and Photoshoots
• Interpreting
• Introduction to Practice for Non-Registered Healthcare Workers
• Make a Copper Plate in a Day
• Make a Ring in a Day
• Portfolio Development: Photo Shoot
• Stone Setting in Jewellery 1- Bezels
• Stone Setting in Jewellery 2- Pave Setting


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.

Disaster simulation during ShakeOut teaches students life-saving skills

Posted on October 22, 2018


For 275 health sciences students at Vancouver Community College (VCC), the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill on Thursday, Oct. 18 involved more than the usual "drop, cover and hold on."

Following the drill, which also tested the college's emergency notification system, students from eight areas including nursing, medical lab assistant, occupational health assistant, dental hygiene and dental technology re-entered select areas of the Broadway campus which had been staged to look as though a disaster had occurred.

This was VCC's third annual college-wide disaster triage training, which involved about 45 "casualties" displaying life-like wounds and injuries and scattered across the third and fourth floors of health sciences Building B. 

The realistic-looking injuries, or moulage, were provided by VCC's makeup artistry instructors, who started at 7:30 a.m. making wounds, burns, and blood as believable as possible.

Some actors had lacerations or shards of glass protruding from their bodies. Others lay unconscious or acted disoriented or distraught. All of this happened in dark rooms and hallways where power was cut and furniture strewn across the floor. Chaotic audio effects added to the overall atmosphere. 

Bachelor of Science in Nursing student Martina Gueorguiva, who did the simulation for a second year running, says that for many of the students, the experience was eye-opening.

“It makes you realize you won’t always have the supplies or resources in the moment,” she says. “Here, the focus was to work together to sort, assess what’s going on, and see who needs help first and who can be delayed.”

Linda Glatts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing instructor and one of the coordinators of the disaster simulation, says these scenarios are meant to teach the importance of teamwork in a crisis situation and how to collaborate among various health care professionals.

“It stimulates thinking,” says Glatts. “What’s even more valuable is debriefing immediately after the exercise."

In debriefing rooms, facilitators and health care students reunited with their "casualties" and discussed together how a scene was handled. "Feelings, action, and thinking are explored to add to the whole learning experience,” says Glatts.

“A lot of it is about building interpersonal relationships,” she adds. “Having that presence and reassuring casualties that ‘I’m here with you’ is what we hope they can get out of this experience.”

The sight of a disaster-stricken campus had an impact not only on the simulation participants, but also the greater VCC student body who had completed the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill only minutes before.

“I walked in and it looked so real it almost scared me,” said one student passing by. “I think I need to go get my earthquake kit together at home.”

See more photos of VCC's ShakeOut BC disaster simulation.  


Do you see yourself working in the health care sector? Learn more about VCC's Pre-Health Sciences program and find out if careers like nursing, pharmacy technician, or medical lab assistant are right for you.



See all programs with space available

Posted on March 31, 2017

Do you want to start your career now? It's not too late to apply for these great programs with varying start dates. Attend an info session, speak to a program advisor about admission requirements, or apply online now. (Updated March 31, 2017)

Choose your new career: 

Adult Upgrading

Academic Upgrading - May 1, 2017

Applied Business Administrative Office Assistant - May and August, 2017

Professional Cook 1 - monthly

Professional Cook 2 - September, 2017


CAD & BIM Technologies, Steel Detailing Technician Certificate - September, 2017

Visual Communications Design Certificate - September, 2017

Visual Communications Design Diploma - September, 2017

English as an
Additional Language
ESL Pathways Certificate - September, 2017
Hair, Esthetics
+ Makeup

Hair Design - September, 2017

Skin and Body Therapy - September, 2017

Health Sciences

Access to Practical Nursing - September, 2017

Dental Reception Coordinator - September, 2017


Bachelor of Hospitality Management - September, 2017

Bachelor of Hospitality Managment, Executive Cohort - September, 2017

Instructor +
Teacher Training
TESOL Certificate - May and September, 2017
Sign Language Studies ASL and Deaf Studies - September, 2017
Transportation Trades

Automotive Service Technician Harmonized Foundation Certificate - September, 2017

Automotive Collision Repair Technician - August, 2017

Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician - September, 2017

VCC Salon & Spa gets head-to-toe makeover

Posted on June 10, 2013


VANCOUVER, B.C. --  We’re updating our style!

This summer, Vancouver Community College is excited to announce a full-scale renovation project at the Downtown campus VCC Salon & Spa. These facilities are open to the public year-round and home to students training in the hair design and skin and body therapy certificate programs.

“We hope these fresh, beautiful surroundings will inspire a new level of creativity in our students, and in turn attract more people seeking high quality, low cost beauty services in downtown Vancouver,” says Julie Wright, department head, hair design. “We’ve never felt more excited for current and future students, as well as our valued clients.”
VCC has contracted Edifice Construction Inc. and Red Design Ltd. to custom build a salon and spa area that will be comparable to any high-end facility in the marketplace. The space will also maintain functionalities essential for learning.

What’s new:

  • Public salon and spa area with private treatment rooms
  • Walk-in spray tanning booth
  • Public retail space with top-of-the-line hair and skin care products
  • Separate training area for students


VCC salon and spa gets head-to-toe makeover


Wright adds, “Our facilities are now going to reflect what our programs already are: up-to-date and highly regarded in the industry. When students graduate, they will be well-positioned for success, though they may never want to leave.”

Staging of the renovations has been carefully planned to ensure daily training activities are not interrupted. The college has also implemented safety measures to keep the salon open to the public and protect nearby students, staff and pedestrian traffic. The construction zone is cordoned off and signage in place to restrict access. The site and work crews will be monitored by VCC Facilities Management and Safety and Security.

Renovations are underway and expected to be complete in the fall.

See our price list and book an appointment today:

Hair, call 604.443.8332
Spa, call 604.443.8334

For more information:

Laura Shand
Marketing and communications officer
Vancouver Community College

New! VCC Salon & Spa

Posted on November 19, 2013

NEWS RELEASE -- On Nov. 18, Vancouver Community College unveiled a whole new look for the VCC Salon & Spa after a $1.7 million renovation.

The VCC Salon & Spa is where students get hands-on training in the college’s full-time hair design and esthetics programs. It’s also a place where the public can get great deals on high-quality services.

Graham Webber, Dean, School of Music, Dance and Design, says, “After two years of planning, we have a remarkably beautiful salon and spa training facility that finally matches the quality of instruction and services provided. We’ve never felt more excited for our current and future students, as well as our valued clients.”

manicure station at VCC Salon & Spa

The new VCC Salon & Spa is bright, modern and functional, offering:

•Public salon
•Product testing areas for clients to try new styling equipment
•Separate spa area with private treatment rooms
•Walk-in spray tanning booth
•Separate training area for students
•Boutique storefront featuring top-quality product lines from L’Oreal Professionel, Dermalogica, Eminence and St. Tropez

The facility will also generate revenue for the college. As the VCC Salon & Spa Business Development Manager, Geeta Charch will be responsible for leading and implementing the retail business strategy for the facility. Charach has managed several salons, most recently serving as a director at The Holt Renfrew Salon and Spa.

“We have partnered with leading brands like L’Oreal Professionel, Dermalogica, St. Tropez and Eminence so clients can experience these high-end products in state-of-the-art facilities that will soon become one of Vancouver’s top destinations for salon and spa services. This is what any salon and spa manager dreams of!”

In addition to renovating the physical space, the VCC Salon & Spa has also revamped its recycling program. It is now a member of the Green Circle Salon program and will be diverting 95 per cent of all waste from the landfill. This also makes the VCC Salon & Spa the largest Green Circle Salon in Canada.

All this and haircuts are only $11.

Media contact:
Laura Shand
Marketing and Communications Officer
Cell: 778.873.1516

Grand opening event

Posted on November 14, 2013

VANCOUVER, B.C. – We’ve never looked so good. And you can too.

After completing a 1.7 million dollar renovation, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is ready to unveil its stunning new VCC Salon & Spa at the vibrant Downtown campus. Bright and spacious, the facility is home to students training for careers in hair design and esthetics, and is open to the public. New features include a boutique storefront space and do-it-yourself area where guests can try various styling equipment on their own.

Media and guests (invite only) will be offered tours of the state-of-the-art facility and can enjoy free micro-treatments including hand massages, hair curling and hair straightening.

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 18, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
WHERE: VCC’s Downtown campus, 200-block Dunsmuir at Hamilton, two blocks west of the Stadium SkyTrain station
SALON LOCATION: Main floor, across from the Continuing Studies office

Media and guests are also encouraged to share photos with their followers on Twitter and Instragram using hashtag #VCCSalon&Spa.

Follow us on Twitter.

Media contact:

Laura Shand
Marketing and Communications Associate
Vancouver Community College

VCC skills training makes the cut

Posted on October 17, 2013

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Community College (VCC) students and staff today welcomed Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk to the newly renovated VCC Salon & Spa at the Downtown campus where he took advantage of his visit by getting a hair trim from one of the students.

“The newly renovated Salon & Spa will benefit current and future students at Vancouver Community College,” said Virk. “The new facilities and industry partnership will ensure that hair and beauty courses at Vancouver Community College are highly regarded within the industry.”

VCC is working to meet the growing demand for skilled workers and skills training and offers a range of advanced skills training programs including the popular hair design and skin and body therapy programs. The VCC Salon & Spa is open to the public year-round and home to students training in the hair design and skin and body therapy certificate programs.

“This salon and spa facility will provide comprehensive skills training to meet the growing demand for qualified hairstylists and spa professionals in B.C.,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond. “This is one more example of how government is working with post-secondary institutions and industry to ensure British Columbians are first in line for jobs today and in the future.”

“VCC recognizes the need for skilled workers in B.C., and part of meeting labour market needs includes attracting and retaining students for a range of industries, including hair design and skin and body therapy,” said Kathy Kinloch, VCC president. “VCC’s Salon & Spa provides high-quality, lower-cost services to the community, while the hands-on training our students experience ensures they are ready to enter the workforce and meet the needs of employers.”

The new salon features increased student and client capacity and students are looking forward to working and learning in the new facility.

“I have an amazing instructor, my fellow students are encouraging, and the program is a life changing experience. I would recommend it to anyone looking to make their dreams come true by gaining new skills to get a good job,” said VCC student Venessa Krishna.

By commercializing salon and spa services at VCC, the students benefit from having real life clients in addition to benefiting the local with affordable haircuts and generating revenue for the college.

VCC is known for providing a range of quality salon and spa services from its downtown Vancouver campus and is excited to welcome current and future students, as well as valued clients, to this new, high-end facility. Renovations began in June on the existing hair salon and spa, with completion expected in the spa area by late October.

Media contacts:

Dan Gilmore
Communications Manager
Ministry of Advanced Education

Kate Chandler
Vancouver Community College

Award-winning ESL curriculum offers a better pathway to Canadian life

Posted on January 29, 2018



Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that its innovative ESL Pathways program was recognized as the Gold recipient of the Program Excellence Award from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). The award was presented in a ceremony in Ottawa on May 1, 2017.

In contrast with traditional English as a Second Language (ESL) curricula focusing on English literature and grammar, ESL Pathways was created as a practical, culturally sensitive alternative targeting real-world scenarios such as job interviews, informal conversations, and public speaking. 

The ESL Pathways program is the result of a provincial government-sponsored curriculum development project aimed at overcoming the known language and cultural barriers newcomers to Canada face in accessing employment and education.

“The Pathways program is more than an English course,” says student Atousa Eskandari. “It covers a diverse range of topics, including usual life, academic study, and the cultural workplace. The course content reflects the challenges every immigrant faces in a new country.”

The new curriculum is also fully aligned with the Canadian Language Benchmarks, providing a common standard of assessment and eliminating the need for re-testing in many other educational and professional settings in Canada. 

“Vancouver Community College is often the first place newcomers go when they arrive in British Columbia,” says VCC president and CEO Dr. Peter Nunoda. “I am especially proud of this truly innovative way of teaching ESL— not only for its impact on our students and their confidence, but also for its positive contribution to society.”

VCC officially launched ESL Pathways in 2015 with 100 students and the program has grown remarkably since then. Currently in its fourth year, ESL Pathways has nearly 900 registered students and further growth is anticipated. Additionally, several other B.C. institutions have begun the licensing process for adopting the ESL Pathways curriculum. 


Read more


ESL registration is open for January

Posted on November 13, 2015

Registration is now open for January classes for English for Academic Purposes. Registration for ESL Pathways will begin on November 30.

How to apply and register

  1. Go to the Registrar’s Office
  2. Say: ”I want to apply and register in ESL Pathways” or ”I want to apply for the 098 English for Academic Purposes course” or "I want to apply for University Transfer 1101"
  3. Complete an application form and pay the $35 fee

Bring the following:

  • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) assessment (includes a LINC assessment)
  • Permanent resident card (if applicable) or English Language Assessment (ELA) results
  • Payment for application fee and tuition

If you don’t have a CLB or ELA assessment:

When you apply at the Registrar’s Office:

  1. Say: “I want to apply and register in ESL Pathways or English for Academic Purposes and I need to schedule an English assessment.”
  2. Pay the $35 application fee and the $60 test fee.
  3. Keep your assessment fee receipt.
  4. Schedule your assessment at the Assessment Centre.

When you take the test, bring the following:

  • Assessment fee receipt
  • Government ID

Information sessions

Check our website for upcoming info sessions and get all the information you need to apply and register into EAL at VCC.

If you have any questions, contact 604.871.7000, ext. 8953 or

Spring convocation recap

Posted on June 25, 2014

Congratulations graduates!

Convocation is a special day where we recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by our graduates. Fall convocation ceremonies will be held on Friday, November 21, 2014.

Photos from the spring events can be found on VCC's official Flickr account.

Here's a short recap from our spring ceremonies:

  • VCC celebrated over 1,400 graduates with three ceremonies.
  • The amazing VCC convocation band was comprised of five current and/or graduating students from VCC's School of Music, Dance and Design: Jason Smith, Aaron Pettigrew, Adam Kerby, Joe Harvey and Carlos Vallejo.
  • Winners from our Outstanding Alumni Awards 2013 were honoured.
  • Three valedictorians represented their fellow graduates during the ceremonies: Billy Gollner, Caitlin Cindric and Jennifer Kappler.


Billy Gollner2014 convocation valedictorian billy school of music, dance and design
Billy is a graduate of VCC’s Music - Bachelor of Applied Music program.
Changing career paths to pursue a career in music, Billy came to VCC instead of begining his Masters of Counselling Psychology.

"I wanted to sing. I had always wanted to pursue a career as a singer but I was held back by an expectation that I should pursue a 'real job'. But, singing was my life. I have never once regretted my decision. I have found work in my field as both a voice teacher and as a singer. I have gained the knowledge and musical insight to set me up for a successful long-term career in music. And I have found happiness."

Representing: School of Music, Dance and Design; School of Health Sciences and School of Transportation Trades



Caitlin Cindric2014 convocation valedictorian caitlin cindric
Caitlin is a graduate of VCC's Bachelor of Hospitality Management program.
Discovering her passion for the hospitality and tourism industry at a young age, Caitlin decided to pursue an education in the field.

“I was inspired by successful professionals in my life who were able to pursue their educational goals and complete a Hospitality Management degree while maintaining their careers. We can now proudly stand beside them as fellow graduates.”

Representing: School of Hospitality and Business (hospitality programs)





Jennifer Kappler2014 convocation valedictorian jennifer kappler photo
Jennifer is a graduate of VCC's fashion arts certificate program.
One of her earliest design memories involved her grandmother sitting her down with a huge jar of buttons and cording; she would spend hours stringing and re-stringing buttons in different patterns. Jennifer currently designs for her own company, de volk & gosche.

"The decision to change careers and come to VCC has become a pivotal point in my journey thus far. Every day I know get to do the thing I love. And I believe that whatever lies ahead for each of us, we all know that in some way or another, with the help of this institution and its instructors, we are prepared to now move on and to take on whatever challenges come next."

Representing: School of Arts and Science; School of Hospitality and Business
(business programs); School of Language Studies; Centre for Continuing Studies and Contract Training;
Centre for Teaching, Innovation and Applied Research

Spring convocation recap

Posted on June 25, 2014

Congratulations graduates!

Convocation is a special day where we recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by our graduates. Fall convocation ceremonies will be held on Friday, November 21, 2014.

Photos from the spring events can be found on VCC's official Flickr account.

Here's a short recap from our spring ceremonies:

  • VCC celebrated over 1,400 graduates with three ceremonies.
  • The amazing VCC convocation band was comprised of five current and/or graduating students from VCC's School of Music, Dance and Design: Jason Smith, Aaron Pettigrew, Adam Kerby, Joe Harvey and Carlos Vallejo.
  • Winners from our Outstanding Alumni Awards were honoured.
  • Three valedictorians represented their fellow graduates during the ceremonies: Billy Gollner, Caitlin Cindric and Jennifer Kappler.


Billy Gollner2014 convocation valedictorian billy school of music, dance and design
Billy is a graduate of VCC’s Music - Bachelor of Applied Music program.
Changing career paths to pursue a career in music, Billy came to VCC instead of begining his Masters of Counselling Psychology.

"I wanted to sing. I had always wanted to pursue a career as a singer but I was held back by an expectation that I should pursue a 'real job'. But, singing was my life. I have never once regretted my decision. I have found work in my field as both a voice teacher and as a singer. I have gained the knowledge and musical insight to set me up for a successful long-term career in music. And I have found happiness."

Representing: School of Music, Dance and Design; School of Health Sciences and School of Transportation Trades



Caitlin Cindric2014 convocation valedictorian caitlin cindric
Caitlin is a graduate of VCC's Bachelor of Hospitality Management program.
Discovering her passion for the hospitality and tourism industry at a young age, Caitlin decided to pursue an education in the field.

“I was inspired by successful professionals in my life who were able to pursue their educational goals and complete a Hospitality Management degree while maintaining their careers. We can now proudly stand beside them as fellow graduates.”

Representing: School of Hospitality and Business (hospitality programs)





Jennifer Kappler2014 convocation valedictorian jennifer kappler photo
Jennifer is a graduate of VCC's fashion arts certificate program.
One of her earliest design memories involved her grandmother sitting her down with a huge jar of buttons and cording; she would spend hours stringing and re-stringing buttons in different patterns. Jennifer currently designs for her own company, de volk & gosche.

"The decision to change careers and come to VCC has become a pivotal point in my journey thus far. Every day I know get to do the thing I love. And I believe that whatever lies ahead for each of us, we all know that in some way or another, with the help of this institution and its instructors, we are prepared to now move on and to take on whatever challenges come next."

Representing: School of Arts and Science; School of Hospitality and Business
(business programs); School of Language Studies; Centre for Continuing Studies and Contract Training;
Centre for Teaching, Innovation and Applied Research

VCC fashion student Annie Kuan's collection 'Metamorphose of Paradox'

Posted on October 22, 2015

Fashion fiat mode 2016 AnnieFiat Mode XXVIII was held in a new venue this year. Vancouver Community College (VCC) offered their annual fashion showcase on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW). This year there were 24 graduates featured, each showcasing five looks - 120 looks in all.

What an amazing opportunity for this strong class of design students to be a part of an established fashion week - and how daunting. Their collections would be evaluated by more than just a supportive group of family and friends. The audience also held a wide range of media and industry professionals there so see a wide variety of shows. I am sure there were a few nerves backstage.

With a group this large, it's impossible for me to feature every student. I have written a show overview for Metro Living Zine offering the collections of ten students selected by looking at both their runway garments and the fashion illustrations in their portfolios. From those ten I have chosen three to offer individual spotlights here.

Today's interview is with Annie Kuan. There was a depth in this collection that made me want to see more. For grad collections the students usually design a full 20 looks and then at VCC, they complete five to show in the grad showcase. I have a feeling it would be very interesting to see all the other looks in between the five we saw on the runway. There were two soft, white ethereal looks followed by two harder edged black looks and then a very edgy floating number in soft watercolour hues for the final look. Interesting!

Read the full interview at Olio by Marilyn.


VCC's fashion arts programs develop in-demand technical skills while fostering individual creativity. Sign up for an info session today!

Technology shapes this year’s jewellery student exhibition

Posted on May 10, 2019

Woman looking at jewellery display


See the artistry of 27 up-and-coming designers at the VCC Jewellery Art & Design Student Exhibition. The annual show runs from Thursday, May 23 to Thursday, June 13 and promises to offer a peek into the future of jewellery design.

Each year, students finishing first and second year of VCC's jewellery art and dessign program are given five weeks to create a collection for the exhibition. This show acts as a capstone project, showcasing the technical and design skills they have learned throughout the year.

Each student designs and creates five pieces within a chosen theme. The display is also an important part of the project, and each student creates a display-case “environment” in which to show their pieces.

This year, technology forms the basis of several collections, with jewellery that speaks to the ways it shapes our lives. One collection is inspired by 1980’s space art. Another features kinetic jewellery for fidgeting fingers, designed to soothe the anxiety felt by so many in the digital age. Other themes include “Monsters of the Deep”, “Otherworldly Flora,” and cultural influences from students’ Scottish, Persian, Chinese, and Mexican heritages.

“We believe the best way for young designers to set their line apart from other jewellery collections is to look outside of jewellery for inspiration,” says VCC jewellery art and design department leader Karin Jones. “The broad range of inspiration is reflected in the diversity of styles seen at our year-end show.”

This year’s exhibition begins with a gala opening on Thursday, May 23 from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring award presentations, canapés, and a cash bar. Each year, the gala opening is a who’s who of Vancouver’s jewellery world, as alumni, jewellery professionals, and industry leaders mingle with students, friends, and family.

This year will also be the fourth year that Wade Papin and Danielle Willmore, founders of Pyrrha Jewellery, present the Pyrrha Scholarship, the largest award given to a VCC jewellery art and design student, consisting of one year’s tuition plus mentorship from the successful duo.

Audience looking at jewellery, display case, single ring


The VCC Jewellery Art & Design Student Exhibition runs until Thursday, June 13 and is open Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Atrium at VCC’s Downtown campus. (Enter at Dunsmuir and Hamilton Streets).



Karin Jones' ROM exhibition "undresses" racial identity

Posted on March 30, 2015

Karin Jones’ ROM exhibition “undresses” racial identity

The silhouette is iconic: a stiffly corseted waist, a high collar, a generous bustle at the rear. From Jane Austen characters to Cinderella to modern-day brides, the Victorian-style dress has symbolized wealth and beauty for over a century. In a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum, however, VCC alumna and Jewellery Art & Design instructor Karin Jones is putting this classic figure in a whole new light.

Jones’ contemporary art installation, Worn: Shaping Black Feminine Identity, is the first work in Of Africa, a three-year multiplatform project meant to pay homage to African themes and artists in Canada. The piece is a black, Victorian-era mourning dress, a symbol of both high culture and sadness in late 19th century Europe. Instead of cloth, however, Jones has woven the dress entirely from the synthetic braids used in popular African hairstyles. Scattered beneath the dress are bolls from a cotton plant, as well as a few that were crafted from the artist’s own hair.

For Jones, this piece expresses her own complex identity as an African-Canadian. In her artist statement, she writes:

“The work underlines African hairstyles as a craft as refined as any decorative art produced in Europe; it alludes to the invisible labour of the thousands of Africans who contributed to the wealth of the British Empire… [It’s] a mythic figure born of the cross-cultural forces of colonialism, commerce, and slavery. I wear my African-Canadian identity much as a Victorian woman would have worn this type of dress: proudly, but also uncomfortably, shaped but also constrained by it.”

An inspired start

It’s been over 20 years since Jones graduated from VCC’s Jewellery Art & Design program, but she fondly remembers her time here. “I loved going through the whole two years with the same group,” she says, “I have some close and lasting friendships.”

Jones also appreciates the focus on technical training she received in the program, something not as comprehensively taught in art school-based programs.

Today, Jones’s CV includes exhibitions in Japan and the United States, articles in numerous magazines, items sold in shops from Vancouver to San Francisco and a Social Sciences Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) award for graduate work at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Currently on hiatus from her Master of Fine Arts program, Jones has returned to VCC as a part-time instructor, something she has found quite rewarding. “The students feed my creativity as much as I help to feed theirs,” she says.

A beautiful progression

At first, it may seem like quite the leap to go from crafting intricate jewellery to weaving synthetic apparel, but for Jones, the progression was actually quite organic.

As a jewellery designer, Jones already had an interest the social customs of beauty. As an African-Canadian, she also held a longstanding unease about the trend to suppress natural black hairstyles. Motivated to raise awareness about this through art, Jones was first attracted to traditional Victorian hair jewellery—another popular trend of the era.

From there, she went on to learn weaving and lace-making techniques with the goal of recreating traditional European symbols of power, but from African-style braids. Eventually, in response to the ROM’s public call for its Of Africa series, Jones produced Worn, which has been extremely well-received.

Worn: Shaping Black Feminine Identity will be shown until November 1, 2015 at the ROM’s Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada. 

VCC's not-so-hidden gems

Posted on November 25, 2013

You might say these ladies are VCC's not-so-hidden gems.

Dominique Bréchault, a faculty member in VCC's full-time jewellery art and design program, won a 2013 Mayors Arts Award in the craft and design category.

Jewellery project.

Bréchault also teaches part-time jewellery making classes for VCC Continuing Studies and chose a VCC graduate to receive the emerging artist award in the same category.

Dominique Bréchault

Dominique Bréchault is an artist and educator who has lived in Vancouver for over 30 years. Born and raised in France, she moved to Canada after completing her university studies. She holds a master’s degree in art history from the University of Poitiers, and is a graduate of both the Emily Carr College of Art and Design and the Jewellery Art and Design Program at Vancouver Community College (VCC).

She has maintained a studio as a goldsmith since 1992, and has participated in many exhibitions nationally and internationally.
"Journeys and transformation, and the idea of 'home,' are themes close to my heart and ones that I have been exploring on and off for many years," says Bréchault. She taught Continuing Education jewelry classes with the Vancouver School Board for 20 years and is currently an instructor at VCC.

Emerging artist

Urszula of ZULA Jewelry + Design was born in Warsaw, Poland and lived in Germany before her family moved to Canada when she was five. Urszula has always used her hands to create adornment. While pursuing a career in acting, she had a small business as a bead and wire jeweller.

She studied silversmithing and completed a diploma in Jewelry Art and Design from Vancouver Community College. She was awarded the 2009 Page and Wilson Award for Overall Achievement for “CSI Verona,” a collection of evidence found at the scene of Romeo and Juliet’s death, and the 2010 Habson’s Award for Best Display for her “Dorsal Carapace.”
As a jeweller, she works with objects from nature that she finds in the forest, beach, and desert. In 2011, she was asked to exhibit at the Port Moody Arts Centre with her collection BONE.

Bios courtesy of the City of Vancouver

Q&A with VCC gemmology student Erica Dentinger

Posted on January 3, 2019



Get to know VCC gemmology student Erica Dentinger.

What brought you to the Gemmology program at VCC?
I found out about the gemmology program when I was already enrolled in the jewellery art and design program. Gemstones are my favourite part of jewellery, so I wanted to focus on that.

Why did you choose VCC?
I chose VCC because I have taken a few courses over the years and have been happy with the education. Bonus being that this program is offered in the best city in Canada and my hometown.

How would you describe your experience here?
My experience with the gemmology program has been great! I went in thinking I knew a lot about gemstones but I quickly realized there was so much more to learn. My favourite part of the program has been hands on learning with real gemstones and equipment like microscopes. (Instructor) Donna Hawrelko has been an enormous help with her wealth of knowledge, not just of gemstones
but the entire industry.

Anything unusual you’ve learned during the course of your studies?
I learned that there is an opalized dinosaur fossil!

Tell us about your designs
I use colourful gemstones in interesting shapes and design jewellery around them. I’m constantly amazed at the earth’s ability to create what are essentially beautiful rocks, so I like the focus to be on the natural beauty of gems.

What are your goals after the program?
My ultimate goal is to open my own jewellery store with a focus on gemstones. I hope to travel abroad to seek out ethical and eco-friendly gems straight from the source.


VCC offers four different Gemmology and Jewellery industry certifications as well as an assortment of part-time courses. Join us at upcoming info session to learn more.


CS Winter 2019 Guide 800‌‌ 

VCC announces national scholarship winner

Posted on December 16, 2014

VCC is pleased to announce that second year jewellery art & design student, Fiona Maclean has been awarded the 2014 Vaccaro Family Scholarship. The $3,000 scholarship is the premier scholarship prize for jewellery design students across Canada; one that many students use to kick-start their career. 


(Left to right): CJEXPOS owner Phil Payne, Fiona Maclean, and Giovanni Vaccaro, owner of Beverly Hills Jewellers at the gala ball on Nov. 22; the award winning sterling silver and 18-karat rose gold bridal hairpiece. (Photos courtesy of Beverly Hills Jewellers)

The stunning bridal headpiece that was designed as homage to 1920’s lace patterns was submitted to the competition when Maclean was still a first-year student at VCC.  Maclean found out that not only had she won the prestigious scholarship, but would also be sent to Toronto, expenses paid, to attend the gala dinner. An event that Maclean says was quite overwhelming.

“The guest list was a who’s who of the jewellery industry and media. I was introduced to jewelers, manufacturers and faculty from other schools. Everyone was encouraging and gracious.”

Maclean will use the scholarship money to pay for the gemmology certification program at VCC, which she attends in the evenings while in her second year of the jewellery art & design diploma program. Maclean says she chose to study her passion at VCC because of the program’s strong reputation in the industry. The quality of instruction she has received was an added bonus.

When asked if she had any words of advice for those wanting to explore education in jewellery art & design, Maclean says, “work hard, get obsessed and use your imagination”. This certainly worked for her.





VCC Continuing Studies creates convenient pathways

Posted on November 22, 2018

fashion merchandising 800 

‌As originally posted in The Georgia Straight

Vancouver Community College has been delivering career education for more than 50 years, including through its continuing-studies division. In an effort to increase accessibility, it has decided to offer three of its eight courses online for those seeking a fashion-merchandising-associate certificate.

“Textiles is currently online,” fashion-programs coordinator Sarah Murray told the Straight by phone. “Fashion forecasting is going to be offered online for the first time in the winter. And the fashion merchandising course will be offered online in the springtime.”

She pointed out that students can take the eight courses—including fashion marketing and promotion, fashion retail management, fashion styling, history of fashion, and retail buying—in whatever sequence they prefer. Students take two courses per term and they can receive a certificate within a year.

“It’s particularly good for people who are working in the retail industry already and are looking to move up,” Murray said. “Whether they want to work at head office or be a manager or supervisor, this program is great for that.”

That’s because it provides a comprehensive overview of the business side of the fashion industry. It’s a sector that will face far more demand for workers in the coming years, according to the 2016 B.C. Alliance for Manufacturing report on the B.C. apparel industry. It forecast that the industry will lose 37.8 percent of its workers through attrition by 2025.

Murray said that some of the greatest demand will be for people who are knowledgeable about merchandising and e-commerce.

As part of VCC’s philosophy of learning by doing, fashion-merchandising students work with local designers to develop marketing plans. Students also organize a photo shoot in their styling class, lining up models, hair and makeup artists, and photographers.

These can be included in the students’ portfolio when they go looking for jobs. “It’s less than $3,000 to get the certificate,” Murray said. “It is a valuable item to have on a résumé because I do think it helps you move up the ranks.”


It’s not the only style-oriented continuing-studies program. Justin Ewart is program coordinator for the makeup-artistry certificate. There are seven courses offered, but students only need to complete five of them to graduate.

The four required courses are makeup-artistry fundamentals, evening and bridal makeup, fashion and photography makeup, and freelance and career development. Electives include airbrushing makeup, theatrical makeup, and film-and-television makeup.

In a phone interview with the Straight, Ewart explained that it can be done part-time. On average, it takes a student just less than a year and a half, though they can stretch it out to five years if they register for one course per term.

“In the fundamentals course, they learn to identify different skin tones…and how to apply makeup to them, as well as identifying different face shapes, eye shapes, and lip shapes and how to do proper application to them, or even correction to them,” he said. “We teach them how to cover a blemish.”

In addition, students learn how to properly highlight a cheekbone or nose, as well as how to give clients a more defined jawline and adjust the shape of someone’s eye.

“If you take a brush and do the eyeliner down, it’s going to pull down the eye,” Ewart said. “If they angle the eyeliner up, it’s going to lift up the eye.”

He noted that this certificate program can lead to freelance makeup work, as well as employment in the beauty industry. Prospective students should have a good work ethic, a willingness to market their skills, and an ability to work well with clients. “You have to be a people person—someone with a positive attitude.”

Sewing camps let kids explore fashion side

Posted on May 1, 2017

Christine Hambleton started sewing when she was 10 years old.

Her mom showed her how to use a sewing machine and she started making clothes for her little sister's dolls. By high school she was making clothes for herself.

After working as a paralegal at a law firm for several years, her interest in fashion and sewing drew her back to school and she completed the Fashion Arts program at Vancouver Community College. She then worked with a local fashion designer for three years before deciding to start her own business about two years ago.

Made By Me Sewing Studio in North Vancouver is equipped with sewing machines, sergers, an industrial straight stitch machine, ironing stations, and a large cutting table, plus cutting shears, pins and other basic sewing gear. In this large, open sewing space, Hambleton offers a variety of classes, as well as private birthday parties and day camps. When she opened the business, Hambleton was surprised to discover more kids than adults signing up for instruction.

"It's been amazing. It’s super fun. They are so positive and energetic," she says of teaching kids.

Kids and teens are more willing to try new things and are generally "fearless" when it comes to learning new skills., she adds. "They inspire me to try new things and find new projects for them."

After a successful series of Spring Break camps, Hambleton is once again offering half- and full-day summer camps for boys and girls ages eight and older. Each camp has a different theme and is tailored to different age groups. In the beach-themed camp participants make beach-related items like a tote bag, a swimsuit cover-up, and a sunglasses case. In the sleepover-themed camp, kids learn how to make things like pajama shorts, a sleep mask, a toiletry pouch, and a stuffie.

Continue reading in the North Shore News


Learn more about fashion arts at VCC:

Five reasons to bring your creative flair to VCC fashion arts

Posted on July 15, 2015


Do you obsess over your outfits? Spend your evenings on fashion blogs and your weekends at the sewing machine? VCC's fashion arts programs are designed for both those passionate about entering the industry and professionals looking to upgrade their skills. Here are five reasons why you'll love fashion arts at VCC.

1. Learn from the best
You'll train with talented instructors who are exceptionally experienced and well known in the industry.

2. Location, location, location
Enjoy a spectacular view from the MAC Lab in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

3. Design what you love
Collections range from bridal and kids to costumes and ready-to-wear, and student designs hit the runway each year at our graduation show, Fiat Mode. Check out the class of 2014's designs. This year's students will also be showing at Vancouver Fashion Week.

4. Join the fashion family 
VCC's fashion arts students not only work together, they celebrate! Through everything from holiday parties to project runway-style competitions, you'll form rewarding relationships to last a lifetime.

5. Get real opportunities
Take advantage of unique access to design competitions, fashion practicums and job postings. “The instructors were all very supportive of helping find jobs after graduation. I highly recommend this program,” says Kristi Carignan, a fashion merchandising grad.


We make headlines too! Check out these recent stories by local media:

VCC fashion arts grads go on to design for Aritizia, Arcteryx, Lululemon (Vancouver Is Awesome)
Hemlines: Hats on at Vancouver Communty College (Vancouver Sun)
Be on the cutting edge of fashion technology (Metro News)

Applications to the September 2015 intake for VCC's fashion arts diploma and fashion merchandising programs are being accepted until July 27, 2015. To learn more and meet our instructors, RSVP now for an upcoming info session



Fashion Arts Design Challenge

Posted on May 28, 2015

News-DesignChallenge-380VCC Fashion Arts is looking for talented students to join their two-year diploma program. If you love to sew and have a talent for design, it could be you!

Graduating high school students: you could win acceptance to VCC’s Fashion Arts diploma program by submitting a garment you are currently working on along with a 300-word essay explaining why you want to launch a career in the fashion industry.

The winning entrant will receive a $500 VCC entrance award* and instantly be granted a seat in VCC’s Fashion Arts program – Vancouver’s most in-demand fashion school accepting only 20 students per year!

Download the application form (PDF)


Application deadline: June 15, 2015

Submit entries to:

Fashion Arts program
Vancouver Community College
250 West Pender St.
Vancouver, BC, V6B 1S9

Winner will be announced June 26, 2015

* Entrance awards are not cash awards, but are credits towards the Fashion Arts diploma tuition fee.


For more information, contact:

Fiat Mode XXVI

Posted on September 18, 2013


VANCOUVER, B.C. – On Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, Vancouver Community College (VCC) will celebrate all things fashion at VCC’s annual graduate fashion arts gala. Fiat Mode XXVI at VCC’s Broadway campus will showcase stunning designs created by this year’s 24 fashion arts graduates.

This year’s collections embrace new materials and a fresh spin on traditional attire. The show will also be presented in a unique, highly interactive format giving audience members a rare opportunity to get within a few feet of the collections.

“This year we want our guests to truly absorb the personality of each design,” says Tene Barber, dean, Continuing Studies. “They can expect a real up-close-and-personal fashion show experience unlike most others.”


Fiat Mode XXVI


Every year, VCC’s fashion arts graduates showcase raw talent through their refined collections. From evening gowns to hip-hop short shorts and street wear to wedding-inspired styles, our students never fail to impress.

“Fiat Mode gives up-and-coming designers a chance to prepare for the real fashion world,” adds Sarah Murray, show director. “They learn to produce a fashion show -- the industry’s most traditional marketing tool -- and get the opportunity to showcase their collections directly to buyers and the media.”

Fiat Mode XXVI is open to the public. Event details and tickets are available online.



- 30 -

For interview opportunities and high resolution photos, media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7152

Fiat Mode XXVI

Posted on September 16, 2013

VANCOUVER, B.C. – On Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, Vancouver Community College (VCC) will celebrate all things fashion at VCC’s annual graduate fashion arts gala. Fiat Mode XXVI at VCC’s Broadway campus will showcase stunning designs created by this year’s 24 fashion arts graduates.

This year’s collections embrace new materials and a fresh spin on traditional attire. The show will also be presented in a unique, highly interactive format giving audience members a rare opportunity to get within a few feet of the collections.

“This year we want our guests to truly absorb the personality of each design,” says Tene Barber, dean, Continuing Studies. “They can expect a real up-close-and-personal fashion show experience unlike most others.”

Every year, VCC’s fashion arts graduates showcase raw talent through their refined collections. From evening gowns to hip-hop short shorts and street wear to wedding-inspired styles, our students never fail to impress.

“Fiat Mode gives up-and-coming designers a chance to prepare for the real fashion world,” adds Sarah Murray, show director. “They learn to produce a fashion show -- the industry’s most traditional marketing tool -- and get the opportunity to showcase their collections directly to buyers and the media.”

Fiat Mode XXVI is open to the public. Buy tickets online.

- 30 -

For interview opportunities and high resolution photos, media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7152

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2015

Posted on June 12, 2015

 Fashion Arts at Vancouver Maker Faire 2015

Students and faculty from VCC Fashion Arts had a lot of fun hosting a design booth at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire on June 6 and 7 at the PNE Forum. They were busy all weekend with mostly women and girls (as little as 2 years old) lining up to create and construct their own outfit on mini dress forms using draping and pattern-making techniques.

One memorable visitor was a six-year-old girl who spent an hour and a half creating a couple of very impressive outfits. Others were excited to practice block printing techniques on a dress that could fit a doll when brought home.

The VCC team also chatted with many people interested in non-credit offerings and others who wanted to learn more about the technology behind the fashion, such as rendering fabrics for video games.

This was the first time VCC has been a part of the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. With all the positive feedback received from participants, it was deemed a great success and we look forward to returning next year!





Field trip takes VCC drafting students to new heights

Posted on May 14, 2012

Mann, what a field trip!

VCC drafting technician students (steel detailing) were given the chance of a lifetime on May 11, taking an end-of-semester tour of the ongoing Port Mann Bridge construction project.

Graham Huckin, department head, says VCC builds and maintains strong relationships with industry partners so that students can experience real world learning.

“Our students are always welcome for on-site tours of major construction projects in B.C., whether it’s the Port Mann Bridge, Canada Line or new cruise ship terminal."

VCC’s drafting technician programs consist of three specialties: Architectural, Architectural/Civil/Structural and Steel Detailing.

drafting class at port mann bridge construction site

Cliffwalk on the wild side for VCC drafting students

Posted on June 4, 2013


At VCC, we’re all about learning that’s hands-on. In this case, we mean hold on tight!

On June 4, students in VCC’s drafting technician programs ended their semester with a guided tour of the new Cliffwalk attraction at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver. Students were given a unique opportunity to question the people who designed and engineered the popular tourist attraction, learning first-hand what it takes to build something so complex.

"VCC builds and maintains strong relationships with industry partners so that our students can experience real world learning," says Graham Huckin, department head, drafting technician programs. "Our students are always welcome for on-site tours of major construction projects in B.C."

Drafting technicians play a critical role in the construction sector. Students in VCC's drafting programs can choose from three specialty study areas: architectural, architectural/civil/structural or Steel Detailing Technician Certificate (formerly Drafting)">steel detailing.

Our graduates have gone on to work on projects like the Canada Line, Port Mann Bridge, and Vancouver Cruise Ship Terminal.

Attend our next information session to meet faculty and learn how to apply for September.


VCC drafting students on a Cliffwalk attraction at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Get the tools to launch careers in CAD, BIM

Posted on March 12, 2019

Originally published in the Star Metro Vancouver 

At Vancouver Community College (VCC), learners in the area of study dealing with computer aided drafting (CAD) and 3D building information modelling (BIM) are receiving the latest know-how to enter various careers.

When she graduated from VCC in 2006, Christine Pimpao was one such student. Today, not only is Pimpao a project systems specialist, she is back at the college in a much different role.

"As an alumnus I was asked to sit on the Program Advisory Committee to give VCC advice about what’s happening in the industry and offer guidance to ensure the programs are completely up to date," she says. "That’s one of VCC’s strengths, ensuring courses are relevant and comprehensive."

At VCC, the CAD and BIM area of study — which covers the technology being used in residential and commercial architecture, public infrastructure and engineering — includes six full-time programs. Among these are architectural technician certificate, civil structural technician certificate, and computer aided drafting and building information modelling architectural diploma.

Pimpao says that while topics vary among programs, a staple she experienced during her studies, and which continues to be emphasized today, is practical application.

"Throughout the program, every project, every lecture, everything we did was to work towards a portfolio," she says. "It wasn’t just learning subjects, but creating a professional portfolio we could present to companies."

As a woman in a male-dominated field, Pimpao says VCC gave her the tools to confidently launch her career. She says today there is a shift in the CAD and BIM industries as more women are entering the field.

"As long as you have the type of solid understanding VCC offers, you’ll gain the respect anyone deserves,” she says. "Be confident because there are lots of opportunities."

To learn more about this area of study, attend VCC’s March 20 info session at 4 p.m. For more, visit

Media release: Brightening smiles for 10 years

Posted on May 19, 2016

VCC’s Tooth Trolley delivers free dental exams and smiles to kids

VANCOUVER, B.C.— The Vancouver Community College (VCC) Tooth Trolley is marking a decade of bringing free dental care and education to Metro Vancouver children. The annual program makes seeing the dentist fun for kids; often their first experience at the dentist, by picking them up in colourful, old-fashioned trolley buses to bring them to VCC’s Downtown campus dental clinic. As well as assessments and basic services, the families receive instruction in self oral care and a goody bag of dental products and wholesome snacks from the Tooth Fairy.

50,000 teeth checked

"This project provides a fun and exciting environment for children to receive dental care,' says Margaret Dennett, who co-founded the Tooth Trolley project with fellow VCC certified dental assistant (CDA) instructor Sherry Messenger. “From the feedback we have received over the ten years we know that the Tooth Trolley project is a very rewarding opportunity for students, patients and faculty. Although sometimes initially hesitant to sit in the big dental chair, the kids leave with shiny smiles and laughter.”

This year, the program runs from May 24 to the 27 at VCC’s Downtown campus, home of the college’s CDA, dental reception coordinator and dental hygiene programs.

Over the ten-year program:

  • About 2,500 children whose families do not carry dental insurance  have had a visit to the dentist on the Tooth Trolley.
  • Approximately 50,000 teeth have received free coronal polishing, fluoride and sealant application from students of VCC’s dental program.
  • Students and dentists have donated a total of about $180,000 worth of services.
  • 3,000+ toothbrushes have been given to children and parents.



Community project

Chevron has been the lead sponsor of the Tooth Trolley every year since the program began and is again, generously providing $30,000 to the event. Chevron spokesperson Adrien Byrne says, “For ten years, Chevron has been privileged to support the dental health education of more than 2,500 Burnaby and Vancouver school children.  This has been possible through a long-term relationship with the VCC’s dental programs and the amazing success of the Chevron Tooth Trolley initiative.”

The Tooth Trolley now gathers students from eight schools, up from one when the project began in 2006. Transportation has provided by the Vancouver Trolley Company since the program’s inception and Colgate and Sunstar provide dental care products for the kids to take home.

Providing essential dental care

Tooth Trolley patients are frequently found to be harbouring dental decay and other problems that, if left unchecked, can cause pain and further oral deterioration. Dental statistics have long shown that low-income families, Aboriginal communities and immigrants are least likely to be insured or engage in preventative dental care. For children especially, untreated dental diseases are also know to result in other issues such as lost sleep, poor growth, self-esteem issues and learning problems.

Inspiring students for half a century

VCC operates the largest and, at 46 years the longest-running training program for dental health professionals in BC, with more than 150 students graduating every year.

VCC celebrates 50 years of inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals, offering post-secondary training in 125 programs including bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades and music.

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For more information, please contact:

Vicky Noble
Vancouver Community College


50 Years. 50 Chefs: A memorable celebration

Posted on November 30, 2015

News-50Chefs-380The 50 Years. 50 Chefs. fundraising gala on Nov. 17 lived up to its billing as the “Culinary Event of the Year.” A packed Rocky Mountaineer Station enjoyed a unique culinary showcase served up by a roster of talented Vancouver Community College alumni chefs who have made their mark on the Vancouver food scene.

Chefs on hand represented Vancouver’s full culinary range including dining establishments, resorts, hotels, bistros, restaurant groups, bakeries, food trucks and more. What they all had in common was a connection to VCC’s renowned culinary and baking and pastry arts programs and perhaps a little friendly competition to see who could wow gala attendees the most.

The 50 Years. 50 Chefs. experience

Upon entering the finely-appointed venue, guests were immediately greeted with tasting-sized food creations served at 15 stations and as passed appetizers. Dishes ran the culinary spectrum from venison and bison to every type of seafood, incorporating both exotic and local ingredients and reflecting ethnic influences.

Desserts items, prepared by a collective of bakers and pastry chefs, included chocolates, s’mores and pastries, while liquid nitrogen was expertly handled to produce ice-cold treats on demand. Both savory and sweet items were meticulously assembled, demonstrating the artistry of the participants and providing a treat for the eyes as much as the palate.

As a perfect culinary complement, seventeen wineries from the Naramata Bench Wineries Association poured generous samples to the roving guests throughout the night.

Class reunion

Students from VCC’s culinary arts and international culinary arts programs got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assist many of Vancouver’s top chefs, while students in VCC’s hospitality management programs provided service.

The evening also turned into a reunion of sorts for chefs to re-connect with former classmates, instructors, culinary luminaries and others in the restaurant industry, with more than one chef overheard to say “We should do this more often”.

And the band played onNews-50Chefs-400

Live music provided by an all-star ensemble composed of VCC’s noteworthy music program faculty and alumni including Laurence Mollerup, bass, vocalist Tom Arntzen, Bernie Arai on drums, Daryl Jahnke, guitar, Bill Sample on keyboards, with special guest, saxophonist Karen Graves. 50 Years. 50 Chefs. served up more than an amazing array of food offerings, as other VCC programs provided the evening’s entertainment. These included:

  • The VCC/Arts Umbrella Dance Company broke out into a flash mob to the Beatles “Can’t Buy Me Love” with guests soon joining in, followed by a mesmerizing dance interpretation of Rufus Wainwright’s “Oh, What a World.”
  • VCC fashion arts students, alumni and faculty illustrated and created designs inspired by 1965, the year VCC was founded. The top 13 designs were showcased at the gala in a fashion show entitled “Eight Days a Week”, while the illustrations were on display and up for auction. The winning design and illustration were determined based on Facebook likes and judged by a professional panel, with each winner taking home $750.‌
  • VCC’s auto collision repair & refinishing program displayed a restored 1965 Pontiac Daytona that provided a backdrop for souvenir photos.
  • A silent auction was held by the VCC Foundation featuring jewellery, dining experiences at participating restaurants, sporting events, wine and food baskets, spa experiences and hotel accommodation.

A special thanks to our supporters

50 Years. 50 Chefs. would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors including:

50 Years. 50 Chefs. raised over $150,000 for Vancouver Community College Foundation which funds scholarships, bursaries and training aids for VCC students.

And finally, a toast to the chefs who are testament to VCC’s culinary programs and helped make VCC’s official 50th anniversary celebration such a memorable event.

Here’s to the next 50 years!

Full photo gallery:



Food networking

Posted on September 5, 2013

This is what you call breakfast television, VCC-style.

On Thursday, Sept. 5, Vancouver Community College’s hands-on training programs were featured on City TV’s Breakfast Television for Back to School Week.

Dozens of students and faculty pitched in to help host Thor Diakow get skilled in baking and culinary arts, while showing off their own talents and offering tips to viewers.

City TV host learns to bake at VCC.

Mouth-watering recipes featured on the program included chocolate covered strawberries, mango mousse cake, traditional omelette and bacon breakfast, and open-faced pizza sandwiches with tons of fresh toppings.

Diakow said, “That’s what I love about VCC and the culinary program, is that everything is all handcrafted, fresh and ready-to-go.”

Students in VCC’s hospitality programs programs get real world training. Their classrooms are our Downtown campus cafeterias, restaurants and bakery, all open to the public.

Media Advisory: 13th Annual Fair in the Square

Posted on May 22, 2019

Fair in the Square logos

13th annual Fair in the Square – Sunday, May 26 in Victory Square Park

VANCOUVER – Neighbours from around the city are invited to Fair in the Square in Downtown Vancouver for a celebration packed with live music, arts and crafts, a free BBQ lunch, and more. Join us in Victory Square Park at Hastings St. and Cambie St. on Sunday, May 26, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Hosted by Central City Foundation in partnership with Vancouver Community College (VCC), this year's annual celebration of the Downtown neighbourhood will feature live music, an expanded artisan and social enterprise market, and dozens of community groups with information to share.

There will also be thousands of burgers and cupcakes prepared by students from the VCC culinary arts and baking programs, family and kids activities, Brazilian dancing lessons, contests, prizes, and more.

Fair in the Square brings people from across the region to the inner city to offer a meeting place and a space of respite, remembrance, and renewal. This event is an opportunity for neighbours to come together, see the great things happening in the inner city, and to build hope.

What: Fair in the Square, a celebration with free food, music, arts market, and more

When: Sunday, May 26, 2019, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Victory Square Park, Hastings and Cambie in Gastown, Vancouver

Why: Neighbours celebrating with neighbours

Who: Performers include rockers Ronnie and Dynamix Band, Indigenous drumming group Wildflower Women of Turtle Island, rock/fund group Trilojay, and Latin dance group Brazilian Swag.


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 120 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, and music.


About Central City Foundation: 

Central City Foundation has been bringing neighbours together to build hope in the inner city since 1907. By building housing and other capital projects, investing in social enterprises that create jobs and opportunities as well as funding hundreds of non-profit organizations, Central City Foundation has provided help and hope to our neighbours in the inner city community for 112 years.



Media contacts:

Carla Shore
Central City Foundation  

Danielle Libonati
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7531 

VCC chef on Food Network

Posted on March 7, 2014

Watch and root for Shelley Robinson, VCC chef instructor for the culinary program, when she competes against 13 other chefs on Food Network’s no. 1 series, Top Chef Canada, starting March 10.

“Chef-instructor Shelley Robinson exudes confidence in the kitchen and her passion for food translates to the students. The fact that she keeps putting herself out there teaches students the need to test their skills – no matter how much training and experience they have,” says Collin Gill, department head for VCC’s culinary arts program.

Robinson appeared on Food Network's Chopped Canada in January and beat out three competitors. The Vancouver Sun featured the chef in a recent article.


Shelley Robinson - Top chef Canada

VCC students participate in HomeGround

Posted on February 10, 2015

VANCOUVER, B.C. – VCC culinary arts' instructors and students partnered with HomeGround last week to provide lunches and dinners to 500 people from the Downtown Eastside. This community-building event gives homeless and under-housed residents the best food and entertainment for three days straight at the Carnegie Community Centre and Oppenheimer Park.

The students and chef instructors donated their own time to provide outstanding service and received affectionate thanks from the community. "VCC truly has community spirit and to have our students be part of this experience is an incredible opportunity to share in this spirit." says John-Carlo Felicella, chef instructor and VCC event lead.








Chopping the competition

Posted on January 10, 2014

It was a great start to the New Year for one VCC instructor.

Shelley Robinson, VCC chef instructor for VCC's culinary program, won Food Network’s Chopped Canada on Jan. 9. In the intensive cooking competition, chefs prepare three dishes from mystery baskets of ingredients with only a limited amount of time.

Robinson who trained at both Dubrulle Culinary Institute and Vancouver Community College says, "I'm very grateful for my formal culinary education, which included attending VCC, to have the career I do now. I can't stress the importance of having strong role models and chef mentors for young aspiring cooks.”

“This is just another example showing the calibre of chefs instructing in VCC’s culinary program – our students learn from the top chefs in the city”, says Sandi Bailey, interim dean, School of Hospitality.

When asked what it felt like to show up in class today Robinson said," It just feels incredible to walk into a class I'm teaching and know I still have my culinary chops!"



VCC partners with the City to support incubator kitchen

Posted on July 10, 2014

Vancouver Community College is pleased to support the Vancouver Incubator Kitchen, a partnership between VCC, Mark Brand Inc., VanCity Credit Union and the City of Vancouver.

This week, the first group of VCC students will start working in an innovative kitchen space located in the Save-On Meats building at 43 West Hastings Street as part of VCC culinary arts education to better prepare today’s chefs for the evolving labour market.

The Vancouver Incubator Kitchen has three complementary goals:
• Support culinary education;
• Support food business development; and
• Provide free or low-cost access to commercial kitchen space for community organizations.

With the installation of state-of-the-art kitchen equipment in a renovated space on the ground floor of Save On Meats, this dedicated kitchen facility will meet a wide range of community needs.

In the next phase, Save On Meats will be seeking tenants for the business incubation component of project. In addition, community organizations will soon be accessing the kitchen for non-profit, community-based activities such as healthy cooking workshops, and training in canning and preserving fresh food.

“By pursuing shared goals, project partners are making food preparation space available to emerging food enterprises on a flexible and affordable basis,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We are proud to support the advancement of a vital community food hub in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.”

“This innovative incubator kitchen will serve as an experiential learning environment where students can interact with industry professionals, community members, and non-profit organizations,” said Irene Young, VCC Interim President. “This partnership provides an incredible opportunity for us to expand our culinary programming and promote job growth while supporting community groups and emerging entrepreneurs.”

“This project is a culmination of three years of partnerships and countless trials. I'm extremely proud of its impact to date and with the formalized incubator we're stacked with community applications. The future is bright,” said Mark Brand. 


Media contact:

Karen Wilson
Vancouver Community College