Durham College names the Centre for Food after W. Galen Weston

Durham College (DC) announced today that it has named the Centre for Food (CFF) at the Whitby campus after Mr. W. Galen Weston in recognition of a $1-million grant being made to the college by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation (the Foundation). One of Canada’s most prominent business executives, Mr. W. Galen Weston is a leader in food innovation who has been at the forefront of change in the food retailing and baking industries for more than five decades. From bagging groceries in the supermarket to Executive Chairman of George Weston Limited, he has remained committed to the continued advancement of the food industry through teaching and learning.

Focused on the field-to-fork concept, the CFF opened to students in September 2013. Home to a range of complementary programs, the Centre boasts numerous sustainable features and extensive grounds including an apple orchard, agricultural planting fields and a ramped garden feature with a pollinator garden and two-acre arboretum, providing a teaching and learning environment for students, the local agri-food industry, community organizations and the general public. In addition, the grounds include an unheated hoop house, gardens and greenhouses that support applied learning and research while growing produce for use in the Centre’s kitchens and laboratories. The CFF also features Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a unique retail store for student-created goods, which are both open to the public. 

“Durham College is honoured to receive this significant gift from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “On behalf of the college, in particular the hundreds of students studying in our CFF programs, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the W. Garfield Weston Foundation for its generosity. Mr. W. Galen Weston is one of Canada’s most accomplished businessmen and philanthropists and well renowned for his leadership in the food processing and distribution industries. The Weston family has long supported the field-to-fork concept and we are extremely proud to have his name linked permanently to the CFF.”

The second significant contribution made by the Foundation in the last two years, this gift is being used to establish $100,000 worth of scholarships and bursaries for students studying in a two-year field-to-fork program; develop new research and testing programs related to food product development and food processing studies; and to purchase equipment to support new research programs related to agriculture and agri-food products.

“I have spent my entire life working in the food business and have seen it evolve dramatically since my younger days working in the bakery with my father. I am proud to be supporting the innovative programs offered in the Centre for Food,” said W. Galen Weston. “These young people are the future leaders of our industry.”

“Ontario’s food and beverage manufacturing sector is the third largest in North America with manufacturing revenues of more than $35 billion and the agri-food industry is the leader for goods production in Durham Region,” added Lovisa. “This gift will enable DC to further its commitment to bring the field-to-fork philosophy to life, harness the vibrant relationships in our region’s food industry, and provide a lasting legacy that will benefit our students and the region now and in the years ahead.”

Durham College honours graduates at 2016 Fall Convocation

While the fall season meant the beginning of school for many Durham College (DC) students, it has also brought an exciting culmination of post-secondary pursuits for others. Those achievements were celebrated on October 27 at the college’s annual fall convocation, commemorating the graduation of 1,159 students from 109 programs.

The event also honoured students who earned a place on the highly regarded President’s Honour Roll as well as recipients of scholarship and leadership awards.

Graduates from the Centre for Food and the schools of Business, IT & Management; Continuing Education; Health & Community Services; Interdisciplinary Studies; Justice & Emergency Services; Media, Art & Design; Science & Engineering Technology; and Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology were awarded their diplomas and certificates in front of hundreds of family and friends.

In his address to graduates, DC President Don Lovisa encouraged students not to buy into the negative perceptions of their generation often perpetuated by the media.

“Some of you are part of the generation that’s been loosely termed as ‘millennials’ or ‘Generation Y’ and for a lot of media commentators, it’s become a handy stereotype to say that this generation has a sense of entitlement when it comes to their work and personal lives,” said Lovisa. “My advice to you is simple. Don’t accept that. Don’t accept for a minute that your generation, and those who follow you, are any less prepared, any less capable and any less willing to work than previous generations. I know this to be true because of my work at DC, and when I look at you here today, I see individuals who are ready to take on the important issues of the world and make a positive difference.”

DC also bestowed its prestigious Faculty Emeritus award to retired professor William (Bill) Marlow in recognition of his outstanding contributions and exemplary service to the college community. During his more than 30 years with the college, Marlow brought his expertise and good humour to several positions including professor and co-ordinator for the Computer Programmer Analyst program, field placement co-ordinator, and acting dean of the School of Business, IT & Management. He also served as a faculty member of DC’s Academic Council where he helped select the software and best practices that have supported the college’s evolution into a modern post-secondary institution.

With the fall convocation, Durham College now boasts more than 76,000 alumni over its 49-year history.

Golden Again! DC wins their 18th OCAA women’s softball title

Durham College won their unprecedented 18th Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) women’s softball title last weekend with an 11-6 victory over the St. Clair Saints in the gold medal game.

A week prior, Durham’s spot at the championship was in jeopardy as they sat in fifth place with eight games remaining in the regular season. The Lords reeled off seven wins over that time to qualify for the championship, where they went 3-0 outscoring their opponents 28-7 en route to the gold medal victory.

“Our bats came alive,” said head coach Jim Nemish. “The coaching staff told the girls that their pitching and defence was where we wanted it to be but they just needed to believe in themselves at the plate. Everyone started hitting and it became contagious. I am so proud of the way we rallied.”

Durham earned a berth in the gold medal game with a 10-3 win over Fanshawe and an 8-4 victory over St. Clair. The Saints beat Fanshawe 7-1 on Saturday morning to get back into gold medal contention.

In the top of the first inning in the finals, St. Clair loaded the bases with none out. Durham managed to get two fly outs and a ground out to keep the Saints off the board.

“That was a real turning point,” said Nemish. “The game could have easily gone the other way but we managed to stay composed and escape the inning.”

Ashley Black (Waterloo, Ont.), who was the Lords hottest pitcher down the stretch, threw the complete game managing to shut down the Saints offence in the first four innings. Following the tournament she was named a championship all-star. Rebecca Ropp (Milverton, Ont.) was 3-for-4 in the championship game with two runs and four RBIs. She was named championship MVP.

Durham finishes the year with a 24-11 overall record, giving Nemish 471 career victories in 28 years on the bench.

For more information please visit durhamlords.com.

DC to host the inaugural National College Baseball Invitational

Durham College will host the top intercollegiate baseball teams in the country at the 2016 Canadian College Baseball National Championship from Thursday, October 27 to Saturday, October 29.
Six teams will participate in the championship that features 13 games over three days.
“We are very excited to host a national college baseball championship for the first time,” said Durham College athletic director Ken Babcock. “Baseball is growing throughout the country and we felt it was necessary to host a national championship at the collegiate level. With a national championship on the line, teams will be going all out on the field making for some thrilling action for fans to appreciate.”
The teams vying for the national championship will include the St. Clair Saints (Windsor, Ont.), John Abbott Islanders (Montreal, Que.), Fanshawe Falcons (London, Ont.), Holland Hurricanes (Charlottetown, P.E.I.), Humber Hawks (Toronto, Ont.), and the host Durham Lords (Oshawa, Ont.).
“Durham College and Ritson Field will be excellent venues to host this year’s national championship,” said Durham Lords head baseball coach Sam Dempster. “The program has a rich history that is second to none and I’m certain that nationals will be a success for all of the participants involved.”
First pitch for the championship will take place at 1 p.m. as the Lords match-up against the St. Clair Saints at Kinsmen Civic Memorial Stadium. Action will run through the weekend with the national title game set for Saturday, October 29 at 5 p.m.
The Lords have hosted award-winning and highly regarded national championships in the past including men’s volleyball (1990 and 2003), women’s volleyball (1990), men’s soccer (1999), women’s soccer (1999), men’s and women’s golf (2001 and 2002), baseball (2009), men’s basketball (2011), golf (2012) and women’s softball (2015).

For more information visit www.durhamlords.com.

Participants and sponsors go the #distanceforDC at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

On Sunday, October 16 more than 26,000 people took part in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon including 28 participants from Durham College (DC). Three teams of DC walkers and runners comprised of employees, students and alumni, participated in the marathon, half-marathon and 5 km events raising over $22,000 for the construction of the new Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE) at the Oshawa campus.

“Thank you to our amazing college community, along with our alumni and valued community members for supporting our walkers and runners and helping us to surpass our original fundraising goal of $20,000,” said Linda Marco, associate vice-president, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. “Everyone who participated in Run for DC at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in support of the new Centre for Collaborative Education, is contributing to a new modern learning space where students, employees and the broader community can work together in ways that transcend traditional concepts of education.”

A legacy project tied to the college’s 50th anniversary in 2017, the CFCE will replace the aging Simcoe building, which was built at the Oshawa campus in 1969. It will provide inspiring space for students, employees and the broader community to access a wide variety of programs and services, including ones focused on providing students with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in post-secondary studies and health sciences programs. It will house the Aboriginal Student Centre and the Entrepreneurship Centre, and special, flexible space that will enable faculty, students and the broader community to use technology in creative ways to gain unprecedented access to students, educators, thought leaders, subject matter experts and other visionaries from more than 40 countries around the world.

DC’s three Run for DC teams included:

  • Durham College IS Awesome with team members Nicole Mastnak (team captain); Sue Hawkins; Stephanie Ball; Karen Founk, Susan Smith; Tanya Roberts; Dave Smith; Ramon Morales; Claire Mastnak; Leilani Morales and Kevin Griffin.
  • Team Durham College with team members Jennifer Clark (team captain); Sally Hillis; Judeline Innocent; Meri Kim Oliver; Elaine Popp; Don Lovisa; Marianne Marando; Elaine Garnett; Linda Marco; Catherine Hardman; Debby Allbon; Michelle Forrest; Dan and Simon Blomme; Sandra Mairs; Maureen Calhoun; Joanne Paterson; Dennis Donnelly and Hannah Elkington.
  • Team DC Whitby with team members Mary Pearce (team captain); Pam Stoneham and Falon Hurlburt.

In support of the event and to raise awareness on campus, team Durham College IS Awesome held Run for DC Day on October 12 at the college’s Oshawa campus. Fundraising activities included a boot drive, a combined effort of students (primarily in the Firefighter program) and employees; a bake sale; motivational poster signing and live entertainment provided by students. In total the students and employees’ efforts raised over $900.

Thank you and congratulations to everyone who participated and supported the event.

DC celebrates student’s hit single with take on Carpool Karaoke

Durham College (DC) president Don Lovisa is giving James Corden, host of The Late Late Show with James Corden, some competition! Lovisa has teamed up with DC alumnus (and returning student) Sarah Mark to celebrate her recent achievements, including her Top 40 hit song Tun Up, with a take on Corden’s popular Carpool Karaoke videos.

“Sarah’s success story is quite unique, so we knew we wanted to share it in a unique way,” said Lovisa. “And what better way to celebrate a graduate of our Music Business Administration program and her burgeoning music career than with a video that features her song and lets us have some fun at the same time?”

An international student from Trinidad and Tobago, Mark graduated from DC in June 2016 just as her song was beginning to get airtime on popular radio stations across Canada, and even catching the attention of TV personality and radio host Ryan Seacrest. She returned to DC in September to complete a third year of studies and earn additional credentials in DC’s Music Business Management program.

The two-year Music Business Administration and three-year Music Business Management programs prepare students to enter the competitive music industry equipped with a solid foundation of business knowledge and plenty of hands-on experience. Students develop skills in management, marketing, promotions and small business while also learning the essentials of event production, live sound reinforcement, studio operations and media.

Kia Canada Inc. donates luxury sedan to Durham College

Kia Canada Inc.’s (Kia) slogan – The Power to Surprise – was in evidence today as the award-winning automotive manufacturer donated a 2014 Kia Cadenza Premium to Durham College’s (DC) School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology.

Representatives from Kia, including Ted Lancaster, vice-president and chief operating officer, were joined by DC President Don Lovisa and DC students and employees at an event held at the college’s

Whitby campus to reveal the details of the donation. This includes the importance of community partnerships to both organizations and the value that donations such as this provide in terms of offering students access to hands-on training opportunities using current and in-demand technology and equipment.  

“At Durham College we prepare our students to meet the demands of a technology-driven workplace,” said Lovisa. “Thanks to Kia’s continued support of our automotive programs and this donation of the world-class Cadenza Premium, our students will be equipped with the latest skills and training required to be successful in Canada’s competitive and evolving automotive industry post-graduation.” 

The Cadenza Premium, a fully-equipped sedan rivaling its luxury counterparts, was delivered to the college’s Whitby campus last week. It will serve as an important training tool for students enrolled in the Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship, Motive Power Technician – Service and Management program and the School-College-Work Initiative – Dual Credit and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship.

“Kia Canada is proud to be supporting the community at Durham College by donating a Kia Cadenza to prepare students for the future through education and experience.” said Lancaster.  “This vehicle offers cutting-edge technologies which will provide students hands-on experience and the depth of knowledge necessary to succeed in their careers.”

Known for its well-designed interior cabin, the 2014 Cadenza Premium has loads of standard features and a powerful 293 horsepower V6 engine. It has received high praise and numerous accolades for its smooth ride and handling as well as its high level luxury features including onboard navigation and entertainment systems, premium Nappa leather interior, heated and cooled front seats, Lane Departure Warning System (LDW), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Blind Spot Detection System.

Going the #distanceforDC at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Next month, 26,000 people will take part in The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) and this year Durham College (DC) will be front and centre! Earlier this year, DC was selected as an official charity for the event and on Sunday, October 16, three teams of DC walkers and runners, comprised of employees, students and alumni, will participate in the marathon, half-marathon and 5 km events to help raise funds for the construction of the new Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE) at the Oshawa campus. To support the Run for DC, please visit DC’s page on the STWM website.

A legacy project tied to the college’s 50th anniversary in 2017, the CFCE will replace the aging Simcoe building, which was built at the Oshawa campus in 1969. It will serve as an educational access point for students while bringing together local, Indigenous and global community groups and members of key business sectors.

“We’re very grateful to everyone who has signed up to participate in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to support the new Centre for Collaborative Education,” said Linda Marco, associate vice-president, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. “We hope that our terrific college community, along with our alumni and community supporters, will rally and sponsor our walkers and runners.  With the college’s 50th anniversary in 2017, now is the time to help us build something amazing at Durham College.”

The STWM, is an elite-level marathon with Gold Label status from the International Association of Athletics Federations. Both the marathon and half marathon begin at Queen Street West and University Avenue in Toronto and finish on Bay Street, with the 5 km starting on Lake Shore Blvd and also finishing on Bay Street. Event activities get underway at 8 a.m. with the 5 km kicking off first.

Go DC!

Taylor Murray’s FUNctional Accessories – A FastStart DC success story

What if guitars had clothes? The thought came to Taylor Murray at a young age when as her step-mom was teaching her to sew, she realized that any shape could be wrapped in fabric. It was a strange question, but it proved to be an important one. Murray took her passing thought and turned it into a business idea at age 11, then held on to it for years until she was finally able to make it a reality. In October 2015, Murray launched her first product, AcouSkins, a line of machine-washable fabric covers designed to personalize and protect acoustic guitars from daily wear, which eventually led to her founding FUNctional Accessories, a creative guitar accessories business.

Back when AcouSkins was still only an idea, Murray enrolled at Sir Wilfred Laurier University, where she pursued a degree in Concurrent Education with hopes of becoming teacher. However, by her third semester she felt teaching might not offer the kind of flexibility and creativity she craved. Murray left the program in pursuit of more control over her career path, and after careful consideration of numerous options, she chose the Entrepreneurship and Small Business program at Durham College (DC).

“I felt this particular program could help me gain the tactical skills I needed to support my ideas — and I was right,” said Murray. “By my second semester I was creating the business plan for what would become FUNctional Accessories. When I started, I didn’t know about marketing and branding strategies, so going through the programs, I learned a lot.”

It was also during this time that Murray learned about FastStart DC and met team member and mentor Jay Fisher. “Jay was extremely supportive in terms of solidifying my idea,” said Taylor.

In the course of her entrepreneurial journey, Murray has found the manufacturing process to be the most challenging. The production of AcouSkins was an intensive process. She first approached several professional sewers with the project only to hear that a customizable, one-size cover would be impossible to produce. Finally, Murray purchased a sewing machine and spent months learning how to use it just to be able to finalize a prototype that she could share with potential manufacturers.

Next, with her custom product designed, Murray moved into her sales and marketing mode, going so far as to audition for the hit reality TV show Dragons’ Den, where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists in the hopes of securing financing.

As she gained experience and confidence in her business abilities, Murray added to her stable of brands, including her own Freshly Picked line of guitar picks, which feature designs of fruits and flowers (pun intended!), as well as Strings by Aurora and Inlay Stickers, for which FUNctional Accessories holds the exclusive Canadian licensing rights. Now she is focusing on developing a family-oriented music accessory brand and getting her products into more major retailers. Murray has already found success with Long & McQuade, Canada’s biggest music store chain, and Amazon.ca, both of which are now carrying FUNctional Accessories products thanks to her hard work, persistence and passion.

Armed with a clearer understanding of her market segment, Murray plans to eventually launch an online store and hire staff, including sales representatives, administrative assistants and a social media manager.

The FastStart DC team has helped Murray throughout her journey and taught her how to see the bigger picture. No wonder she references the program when asked for her advice to young and aspiring entrepreneurs. “Just start talking to people and get useful feedback,” she said. “FastStart was great for this and it introduced me to the best tools.”

For more information or to connect with FUNctional Accessories:








Jennifer Whyte’s Barefoot Veggies – A FastStart DC success story

Jennifer Whyte’s interest in sustainable energy and living methods led her to the Renewable Energy program at Durham College (DC). But when she was faced with a serious health condition, Whyte was forced to change course — literally. She transferred to DC’s Office Administration – General program, and was inspired to make another move after taking a business course.

Whyte joined DC’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business program, where she met members of the FastStart DC team. During this time, she also came up with an idea to combine her passions for sustainability and business. Under the guidance of FastStart mentor Jay Fisher, she began to fill in her knowledge gaps and build a business. “Jay really made me aware of the realities of running a business,” said Whyte. ”His experience made him a great guide who could point me in the right direction.”

With a goal to provide fresh, local vegetables from her garden to her community, and a habit of picking them barefoot, Whyte officially launched Barefoot Veggies, an urban organic farm in Oshawa, Ontario, on July 15, 2015. She even threw a successful, sponsored launch party where not even rain could stop DC representatives and other attendees from showing up to support Whyte’s exciting venture and sample the produce.

Since its launch, Barefoot Veggies has captured the attention of local media and benefited from strong word of mouth that’s drawing customers from surrounding areas, including Courtice and Brooklin. The unique Barefoot Veggies shopping experience of buying groceries that can be picked at the time of purchase sets Whyte’s business apart from conventional grocery stores.

Whyte’s garden is also becoming an experiential learning ground where children discover the nature of healthy foods while having fun and picking their own green beans and tomatoes. Parents are drawn to Barefoot Veggies to not only buy fresh organic produce for their families, but to also let their kids explore a fun, new side to nutrition.

Following the recent milestone of Barefoot Veggies’ one-year anniversary, Whyte is now turning her attention to growing her team and expanding her business. She’s planning to build an irrigation system for the raised beds that were recently added to the farm, and her greenhouse includes a nutrient filtration system with the potential to support over 1,000 plants. Her five-year plan also includes keeping her home open as office space and expanding through partnerships with community-based organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity.

Whyte is also looking to move her business toward the edible landscaping field, where she can teach people how to use their lawn space as a garden and grow their own fresh food. She hopes to continue teaching kids about growing their own food and has several ideas for continuing education courses on organic farming that she’d like to teach, perhaps even at Durham College.

“It’s comforting to know that FastStart is always around and I can always come back for help,” said Whyte. “I didn’t know much about business when I started, but it really helped me out.”

Asked if she now has advice for students with a dream or a business idea, Whyte shared: “If you just ask, stuff happens — you can’t sell a secret. Just do it. Don’t overthink it and it will come together.”

For more information or to connect with Barefoot Veggies: 

Website: www.barefootveggies.ca