2015 BCCCA Achievement Awards

The 2015 BCCCA Achievement Awards were announced at our Conference in Vancouver. The Hon. Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education, presented the awards to our winners. BCCCA received many worthy nominations from career colleges across the province whose stories inspired, however, two outstanding individuals were chosen to receive our awards.

Congratulations to both of our winners! BCCCA is thrilled to recognize the success of both Sherry Bragg and Justin Bote. Both individuals are tremendous ambassadors for the career college sector across British Columbia.

The 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award recipient is Sherry Bragg.

Sherry teaches in the Community Support Worker Program at the Discovery Community College campus in Nanaimo. She has worked in adult education for 10 years, helping countless students achieve their goals. Sherry demonstrates what it means to be an excellent teacher, mentor and leader by helping students dealing with a variety of needs, including issues with self-esteem and history of abuse.

She is known for going above and beyond her duties in the classroom. In one particular case, a student withdrew from the program due to several challenges. Sherry spent three days looking for this student and convinced her to continue on with her education. This student went on to graduate from the program, thanks to the encouragement and support from Sherry.

Sherry is of First Nations Cree/Sioux descent and she is an Acknowledged Elder of the Pine Ridge Reservation who has dedicated much of her time to teaching aboriginal and Metis students in Canada. Sherry has helped support the education system by revising curriculum to promote First Nations knowledge and diversity in the classroom.



The 2015 Outstanding Graduate of the Year is Justin Bote.

Already a graduate of Marketing Management from BCIT, and after 10 years of working in sales, Justin Bote decided to change careers. He did his research on potential schools and chose to go to Stenberg College for Practical Nursing.

A dedicated and hardworking student, Justin liked the idea of giving back to the community. He organized group sessions with his classmates and if one started to fall behind, he would do his best to help them succeed as well.

Mid-way through his program, Justin suffered a heart attack and underwent open heart surgery. Incredibly, he returned to school after only 3 months, despite doctors recommending a 6 month break to recover. Upon his return, he started living a healthier lifestyle and continued helping his fellow students.

He went on to volunteer as a spokesperson for healthy lifestyles, encouraging others to make positive changes in their own lives. After graduating, Justin went on to work as an LPN and health care aide. He plans to complete his RN in the future.



2015 Federal Cabinet

Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet were sworn in this week. With MPs elected from all provinces, and 184 MPs to choose from, Prime Minister Trudeau had to find a balance of experienced MPs and rookies, while keeping in mind his promise for gender parity in the cabinet.

The tone of this Cabinet swearing-in ceremony was very different from those of previous governments. Rideau Hall was opened up to the public and an estimated 3,500 Canadians came out to watch on big screens out front. Aboriginal Canadians were very prominent throughout the swearing-in ceremony.

The Prime Minister noted that the new Cabinet will focus on implementing the real change that he promised during the campaign. He added that the economy, strengthening the middle class, job creation, running a more transparent government and mending relationships with Aboriginal Canadians are top priorities.

Of note for the career college sector:

The Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos has been appointed as the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Riding: Québec, QC
Elected: 2015-Present
Biography: Dr. Duclos was first elected in the 2015 election. He studied at the University of Alberta and the London School of Economics. Before entering politics, he was the department head of the economics department at the Université Laval and he was the president-elect of the Canadian Economics Association.

The Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk has been appointed as the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

Riding: Kildonan-St. Paul, MB
Elected: 2015-Present
Biography: Ms. Mihycuk was first elected to Parliament in 2015. Prior to entering federal politics as a Liberal, she spent 9 years as an NDP member of the Manitoba Legislature. During that time, she was Minister of Industry, Trade and Mines and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Trade. She ran for Mayor of Winnipeg in 2004 and was unsuccessful. Prior to entering politics, she worked as a geologist in Newfoundland and Manitoba. She worked on Justin Trudeau’s economic team.

The Hon. John McCallum has been appointed as the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Riding: Markham-Thornhill, ON
Elected: 2000-Present
Biography: Mr. McCallum has been a Member of Parliament since 2000. Prior to entering politics he was a professor of economics, an author, and Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at the Royal Bank of Canada. He served as Minister of Defence, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of Revenue in the Chretien and Martin governments.

The Hon. Carolyn Bennett has been appointed as the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

Riding: Toronto-St. Paul’s, ON
Elected: 1997-Present
Biography: Dr. Bennett has been the MP for the St. Paul’s area since 1997. She is a former Cabinet Minister, having been the Minister of State for Public Health during the SARS crisis. She ran for Liberal Leadership in 2006. Most recently, she has been the Liberals Aboriginal Affairs critic. Prior to entering politics, Dr. Bennett was a family physician at Wellesley Hospital and Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.

Of note to BC:

The Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould has been appointed as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

Riding: Vancouver Granville, BC
Elected: 2015-Present
Biography: Ms. Wilson-Raybould is a new Member of Parliament after the 2015 election. She is an Aboriginal Canadian. Prior to entering politics, she was a crown prosecutor and a Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations.

The Hon. Harjit Sajjan has been appointed as the Minister of National Defence.

Riding: Vancouver South, BC
Elected: 2015-Present
Biography: Mr. Sajjan was first elected in the 2015 election. He is an immigrant of Indian descent. He served in the Canadian Armed forces for 25 years and served as an intelligence officer in Bosnia and Afghanistan. He also spent 11 years working for the Vancouver Police Department.

The Hon. Carla Qualtrough has been appointed as the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.

Riding: Delta, BC
Elected: 2015-Present
Biography: Ms. Qualtrough is a new Member of Parliament after the 2015 election. She has been visually impaired since birth, and competed as a swimmer for Canada in the Paralympic Games of 1988 and 1992. She is a human rights lawyer and was chair of the BC Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility. She is a former President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

Of particular note, Dan Ruimy who was elected as MP for Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows formerly worked as a contract instructor for Discovery Community College and has brother who works as their campus manager. We can look forward to having someone who is familiar with the issues of our sector around the government caucus table.

2015 BCCCA Conference

The 2015 BCCCA Conference is taking place this week from October 7-9 in Vancouver at the Marriott Pinnacle Downtown.

The conference is an important event for the association. It is designed to provide a benefit to our members and to raise funds for the association. The funds allow us to lobby on your behalf in order to ensure that programs created by the provincial governments benefit career colleges and not only public sector institutions, advocate that the burden of regulations do not create a situation where it is not feasible to properly operate a career college in our province, and promote the sector through targeted promotional and public relations efforts.

This conference will be one of the most exciting and relevant to our members, and will include workshops from:

  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Microsoft
  • Ministry of Advanced Education
  • BC Council for International Education
  • …and many more!

To see our finalized agenda, click here.

There is still time to register for the conference! We thank you for your support.

News: Roundtable on access to skilled labour for the international education sector

Gov of BC News – September 22, 2015

Representatives from the international education sector met with the federal and provincial governments today to discuss skilled labour initiatives and human resource planning, as part of a series of roundtables being held over coming months with sectors highlighted in the BC Jobs Plan.

The roundtables, co-hosted with industry associations and employers, aim to stimulate discussion and create awareness about how sectors can access skilled labour and satisfy human-resource requirements, as a result an aging population. These demographic realities ─ together with economic growth ─ place significant pressure on key sectors to find innovative solutions to address skills shortages.

Participants were invited to share information and discuss the unique challenges in the international education sector, of attracting and retaining students from around the world who come to B.C. for its high-quality education and training.

This is another way government is working to provide employers and industry the opportunity to ask and respond to questions and inform the provincial and federal governments of key labour issues.

International Education is one of the eight key sectors in the BC Jobs Plan because of its social, cultural and economic benefits to the Province of British Columbia. Last year a total of 114,600 international students attended elementary, secondary schools, private language-training schools, public and private post-secondary institutions in B.C.

In 2013, international students spent nearly $2.3 billion on tuition, accommodation, other living expenses, arts, culture and recreation, which supported close to 25,500 jobs and had a positive effect on communities throughout the province.

The government launched BC’s International Education Strategy in 2012 to promote the two-way flow of students, educators and ideas between B.C. and partner countries.


Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour

“Through ongoing dialogue and sharing of ideas, we are working to address the shifting needs of B.C.’s labour market. This roundtable will provide an excellent forum to engage with key stakeholders and take a closer look at how our government as well as industry can continue to partner to meet employers’ labour market needs.”

Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education —

“Our government has an ambitious goal to increase the number of international students who select British Columbia as a study destination. It is imperative for the provincial government to continue working with federal government counterparts and industry representatives to ensure the two-way exchange of students, faculty and ideas is as smooth as possible. ”

Quick Facts:

  • B.C. is reaching a tipping point where more people are leaving the workforce than entering it. That is why government is taking action now to address this rapidly changing labour market.
  • Canada enrols approximately 5% of all international students in the world, while B.C. hosts nearly one-third of all international students in Canada.
  • The top five countries with students attending all school types at the K-12, post-secondary and language schools levels are:
    • 1. China: 28,700 students
    • 2. South Korea: 13,600 students
    • 3. Japan: 13,500 students
    • 4. Brazil: 8,900 students
    • 5. Saudi Arabia: 6,200 students

Learn More:

International students in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/factsheet-international-students-in-bc

BC Jobs Plan, International Education Strategy:http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/internationaleducation/welcome.htm

B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills

BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/


Read more here.

Education Leads Canada Announces National Commercial Campaign

Education Leads Canada (E-Leads Canada) is thrilled to announce their upcoming launch of a national TV commercial campaign for this fall.  This is the first initiative of its kind that will promote Private Career Colleges throughout the entire country on 15+ networks.  They are excited to continue helping their partner Colleges significantly increase the number of students that they serve towards a better life.  If you haven’t seen their latest, please visit www.canadacolleges411.ca.

For additional information, please feel free to contact Martin Durlak.  647.638.1880 or martin@eleadscanada.ca.


Conference Board of Canada Report on PCCs

The Conference Board of Canada is undertaking a study about private career colleges in Canada and they are looking to survey and interview students and graduates. This is a great way to raise the profile of our sector!

For more information, click here.

BCCCA’s 2015 Conference

Join us in Vancouver for BCCCA’s 2015 Conference on October 7-9 at the Marriott Downtown! This years theme is “The Future of Private Education in BC: New Demographics and New Directions.”

Why should you attend the BCCCA Conference?

  • Learn from the industry-specific workshops
  • Network with colleagues and industry leaders
  • Get updated on the latest developments in the career college sector
  • Browse the exhibitor showcase to meet potential suppliers


For more information on booking your hotel room, flights, and pricing, click here.

Screen Day in BC


On July 27, the BC provincial government proclaimed “Screen in BC Day” in support of the screen based entertainment industry in our province. With help from the BCCCA, our member institution, the Vancouver Film School, was included in the full day event that included the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, Sam Sullivan, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, and Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour, as well as other select officials.

Following stops at North Shore Studios and Encore/Deluxe Post Production studio, the tour arrived to tour VFS’ Water Street campus. Led by President James Griffin, the group was shown around VFS’ campus which included classes on lighting, set design, animation and digital effects, as well as the facilities to teach classes on a number of other screen based entertainment skills.

The motion picture industry is an important economic driver in the province of BC. It supports more than 20,000 direct and indirect jobs and expenditures reached an estimated $2 billion in fiscal year 2014-15, an increase from the $1.45 billion in fiscal 2013-14. There are a number of reasons that the industry continues to grow in the province of BC, but one factor continuously mentioned by production companies is a large, well-trained and talented workforce. It’s these very people that draw companies like Sony Pictures Imageworks to our province.

The important job of training this workforce is what the Minister and her colleagues visited VFS to see. They were impressed by the world class facilities at VFS, and our CEO Kyle Marsh was on hand to explain that high-level training of that nature is done across the province at institutions like Lost Boys Studio, CG Masters School of 3D Animation and the Centre for Arts and Technology.

It was an exciting event for our association to be a part of and the BCCCA looks forward to being a part of future government events and announcements that touch on all of the various sectors and industries our membership train a skilled and educated workforce for.

Welcome to our new CEO, Kyle Marsh!


BCCCA is excited to welcome our new CEO, Kyle Marsh. Kyle joins us after having worked in senior positions for several BC Cabinet Ministers. He brings a wealth of knowledge to our organization and will be a huge asset to our lobbying activities in Victoria.

You can reach Kyle at ceo@bccca.com or 236-237-1431.