It’s a home run – DC’s summer sports camps are back

Summer is almost here and that means Durham College’s (DC) summer sports camps are about to jump into high gear!

Utilizing the state-of-the-art sports facilities available on campus, campers aged 7 to 17 will have the opportunity to enhance their skills with the help of head coaches from DC varsity teams, local high schools and club programs. Weekly camps are available for baseball, basketball, badminton, soccer, volleyball, tennis, hockey development and floorball.

For those looking for an all-in-one experience, the multi-sport camp is the way to go. With three, one-week camps available, children will play a variety of sports including basketball, volleyball, soccer, scooter and floor hockey, and many other fun games.

“At Durham College, we say that success matters and the summer sports camps follows that belief,” said Michael Duggan, the camp co-ordinator. “We want each camper to leave at the end of the week with a memorable experience, new friends and, of course, learning important life skills.”

To accommodate various family schedules, extended care is available for early drop-off and late pick-up, while healthy meal plans are also available to campers. 

DC also offers a variety of other summer camps focused on art, cooking, drama and design. For more information, please visit the summer camps website. 

Lights, camera, action — DC’s Summer Shorts program is back

With the school year coming to an end, it’s time for Durham College’s (DC)  summer camps to kick off again. DC’s summer camps are for individuals aged seven and over offering a diverse range of programming in sports, general interest, technology and the arts.

One of the most popular activities is the Summer Shorts program, which starts on Monday, July 7 and runs for three weekly sessions. Teens aged 13 to 17 can choose from one of five different weeklong workshops: Game Development, Animation Studio, Digital Design, Digital Video or Digital Photo.

“Summer Shorts is offered through the School of Media, Art & Design at Durham College and is geared towards teenagers,” said Megan Pickell, Summer Shorts program co-ordinator. “They are studio-based workshops that are versions of the full-time college programs.”

“Students will work in our state-of-the-art studios with the latest software and classes are small with no tests or assignments. By the end of the week, students will have created, designed or produced great work for their portfolios!”

The Game Development workshop focuses on the concepts of modelling, basic game theory and rendering, while the Animation Studio workshops concentrates on teaching the art of storytelling, character development, rendering and the principles of animation.

The new Digital Design workshop is perfect for students with artistic flair. Throughout the week, they will be introduced to the world of graphic design, using conventional drawing techniques and ideas and incorporating them into a digital space. They will be using the latest version of Adobe Creative suite, with emphasis on Illustrator and Photoshop, to tackle a multitude of tasks including logo creation, branding techniques and packaging design.

For students more interested in capturing images, the Digital Photo and Digital Video workshops provide a great option. Through access to industry-level equipment, attendees will learn the basic composition and post-production editing skills needed for their portfolio pieces.

Recent graduates and/or college faculty assist the attendees’ creation of portfolio-ready projects by the end of each week of the workshops.

Summer Shorts workshops will be operating during the weeks of July 7 to 11, July 14 to 18 and July 21 to 25.  For more information or to register online, visit the Summer Shorts website.

North, East, South, West – The Medicine Wheel has been blessed

It was a beautiful day and a beautiful turn-out for the unveiling of the Aboriginal Student Centre (ASC) Medicine Wheel rock garden at Durham College (DC). Approximately 40 friends and faculty gathered in the bus loop of the Oshawa campus to celebrate the creation of the garden, with Elder and member of the Bird Clan Shirley Williams leading the ceremony. Originally from Manitoulin Island, Williams told stories of her childhood and taught on-lookers the importance of the Medicine Wheel. Everyone came together and formed a circle and then the ceremony commenced. Williams started by sprinkling tobacco around the rock garden, which is typically used in the offering of prayer to the Creator, acting as a medium for communication. Next, was the burning of sage, used to rid of bad spirits or feelings present. After the ridding of bad spirits, Aboriginal Student advisors Peggy Forbes and Julie Pigeon made their way around the circle offering guests a drink of water, which was also used to wash. This ritual is used to cleanse the soul and restore positive thoughts. Finally, time was taken to greet each other by giving everyone in the circle a hug and thanking them for their participation. The process was very educational and relaxing and gave guests a whole new meaning to the Medicine Wheel.

 “It’s all part of Indigenizing the campus,” said Forbes. “It’s a movement that we’re taking, so the Aboriginal culture becomes part of the Durham College culture. It’s a visual for people, so they can know and understand that we’re here. We’re hoping it will spur interest in people because we want to share and help people understand what we’re about, why we’re here and what we do.”

The Medicine Wheel is used as a teaching tool, promoting balance in one’s life and teaching how to live in harmony with all creation. There are four quadrants, each representing an important aspect: in the north, the spiritual quadrant – promoting intellectual wisdom and the ability to see the past, present and future as interrelated; in the east, the physical quadrant – promoting the importance of play and fun and representing the promise that the Creator is always willing to listen; in the south, the mental quadrant – promoting the importance of maintaining a healthy brain in order to stay connected; and in the west, the emotional quadrant – promoting the importance of prayer and reflecting on one’s life, attracting the spirits’ attention.

“The Medicine Wheel is really important to us. It’s an important symbol and a way of life,” said Forbes.

DC kicks off national Emergency Preparedness Week

Durham College (DC) helped the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services celebrate the start of Emergency Preparedness Week on May 6. The event, held at the Student Services building on the Oshawa campus, showcased work created by six students from the college’s School of Media, Art & Design (MAD) who have been working in conjunction with the ministry on video-based projects since January.

“We are honoured that the ministry has chosen Durham College’s Oshawa campus as the host site for this event,” said Greg Murphy, dean of the School of MAD. “We are also grateful for the opportunity it is providing us to showcase the creative talents and artistic skills of our amazing MAD students.”

DC faculty, staff and students were joined by Barney Owens, the director of Response with the Ontario Fire Marshal and Emergency Management office (OFMEM) and a number of emergency services officials from throughout the Durham Region, in viewing the videos created by students from the Contemporary Web Design, Contemporary Media Production and Multimedia Design programs.

The informative short features are being used as a promotional tool in raising awareness about Emergency Preparedness Week, with focus being placed on various topics including nuclear preparations, campus preparedness and weather radios. Students in the Contemporary Web Design program also developed a mobile-friendly website that highlights key features of the OFMEM’s emergency preparedness portal.

For more information on Emergency Preparedness Week, visit the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ specialized website.

DC alumni share wisdom at Alumni in the Pit

Two of Durham College’s (DC) most successful young graduates, Russ Montague and Ian Ball, visited the Oshawa campus on April 3 as part of the college’s Alumni in the Pit event.

Hosted by the college’s I heart DC Committee, the event enabled Montague and Ball to pass on pieces of wisdom to current students pertaining to both their time at DC and after graduation.

Montague, a graduate of the Advertising and Marketing Communications program, is a young entrepreneur who took his passion for pop culture and created the successful flash retail website, ShirtPunch. The website sells a popular culture-themed shirt for a 24-hour period, capitalizing on its ability to create exclusive content and ramping up the exclusivity of the design while selling it for the low price of $10.

The impressive sales results from ShirtPunch then allowed Montague to create the subscription-based company Nerd Block which delivers a monthly package filled with popular culture collectibles, toys and an exclusive shirt to subscribers.

Ball, the president of McEwen Mining and one of the youngest presidents on Bay Street at just 32, found his success after completing the college’s Business Administration – Marketing program.

One of the youngest-ever vice-presidents of a publicly traded Canadian company by the age of 22, Ball was discovered by well-known businessman Robert McEwen who, after a chance meeting and vigorous follow-up, agreed to take Ball under his wing.

With McEwen’s guidance, Ball  flourished, acting as head of Investor Relations at Goldcorp Inc.; successfully completed a number of corporate mergers and acquisitions; and playing a critical role in the creation of McEwen.

During his ascent, he has used unconventional methods in the discovery of silver mine El Gallo 2 and assisted with the development of gold and silver mine El Gallo 1, achieving the build under budget and on schedule, a rare feat in mining construction. Ball now oversees the operation of mines around the globe including in Nevada, Mexico and Argentina.

The two alumni took questions from an audience of students, faculty and staff in the Gordon Willey building at the Oshawa campus and via Twitter, providing tips on subjects such as the benefits of a heavy workload, pursuing your passion and handling success. As well, all those in attendance were provided the opportunity to touch and pose with a real bar of gold valued at approximately $600,000, provided by McEwen Mining for the event.

DC showcases diversity on International Mother Language Day

Durham College (DC) showcased its multicultural student population at the International Mother Language Day festival, a collaborative event hosted by DC’s International office, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s (UOIT) Student Experience Centre and the shared Diversity office of DC and UOIT. The event took place at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre.

Giving students the opportunity to share their linguistic and cultural diversity by showcasing elements of their culture such as traditional dress, artifacts, food and dance. The festival encouraged students to consider learning additional languages to enhance their global competitiveness while enriching their lives and broadening their horizons.

A spectacular capoeira performance by Groupo Axé showcasing the Brazilian martial arts technique which combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music was a highlight of the occasion.

“The internationalization that is happening at DC is gaining speed and seeing all the cultures represented on campus at today’s event exemplifies this,” said Larissa Strong, manager, International Student Support, DC. “We have nearly 400 students from 32 countries that chose to continue their studies at DC and bring their international understanding, culture and energy to our campus every day.”

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999 as a way to promote multilingualism and cultural diversity.

DC to host OCAA All-Star Game Extravaganza

Coming off a successful hosting effort of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) women’s volleyball championship in February, the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre at Durham College will once again be a hub for intercollegiate sports action as the OCAA basketball and volleyball all-star games will be taking place on Saturday, March 22.
This will be the first time that both the OCAA basketball and volleyball all-star games will be hosted on the same day at the same site. With the facilities available at Durham College, the basketball and volleyball skills competitions and games are able to take place simultaneously.
The day will begin with the skills competitions at 9:30 a.m. followed by the women’s volleyball and basketball games that will tip-off at 1:10 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. respectively. The men’s volleyball and basketball games will begin at 3:40 p.m. and 4:10 p.m.
“We are really looking forward to hosting the best collegiate student-athletes in the province on All-Star Saturday,” said Durham College athletic director Ken Babcock. “It will be a full day of action on campus with over 200 participants and we hope to have a lot of fans from the Durham Region come out and cheer on the competitors.”
The four games will take centre stage on All-Star Saturday but there will also be a number of other competitions that fans will enjoy including a skills competition, mascots contests, fan promotions and even a performance by the Toronto Raptors dance pack. Not only will Ontario’s best players and coaches be represented, but the participating schools will also be sending their top mascots to perform.
“The host committee really wanted to make this event as fan friendly as possible. If you are at the event from start to finish, there won’t be a minute where you are not entertained.”
Durham College is no stranger to hosting major events having hosted a number of provincial and national championships.
“Hosting these events is a great opportunity to showcase our campus facilities, hospitality and the Oshawa community to the rest of the province,” said Babcock. “We are looking forward to both events and welcoming athletes from all across Ontario.”
For more information on the OCAA volleyball and basketball all-star games, visit
OCAA All-Star Games Schedule
*All events will take place at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre
9:30 a.m. – Skills Competitions
1:10 p.m. – Women’s Volleyball All-Star Game
1:30 p.m. – Women’s Basketball All-Star Game
3:40 p.m. – Men’s Volleyball All-Star Game
4:10 p.m. – Men’s Basketball All-Star Game

Graduating Class School Cup Challenge set to kick off today

The Durham College (DC) Alumni Office is pleased to introduce the first annual School Cup Challenge, offering participants the chance to win $500, a pair of tickets to see the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the St. Louis Blues and other great prizes just for sharing their favourite DC memories and relationships.

Students graduating at this year’s spring and fall convocation ceremonies can enter by filling out an online form revealing their best DC experiences and the faculty or staff member that had a positive impact during their studies between Monday, March 3 and Friday, March 21.

In addition to being eligible to win one of a number of great prizes, the academic school with the highest student participation will win a $1,000 bursary award to be given to a DC student for 2014/15 academic year plus the School Cup Challenge trophy and bragging rights!

The academic school with the second-highest student participation will win a $500 bursary award to be given to a DC student for 2014-2015 academic year.

Graduating students are encouraged to complete the online form any time between March 3 and 21. Students can also submit their entry in person at Countdown to Grad where they can also learn about the perks available through the Alumni Association; enjoy a slice of pizza; and receive a graduating gift. Dates and times for each campus are:

  • Oshawa campus: Monday, March 10, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre, Gym 3
  • Whitby campus: Thursday, March 13, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., student lounge
  • Pickering Learning Site: Wednesday, March 19, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., student lounge

For more information, please visit

Health Centre continues to grow and serve students

The Health Centre is an invaluable part of the Durham College (DC) campus, providing students with numerous services to ensure their needs are met while attending college. In order to continue providing students with a great overall experience, the Health Centre has expanded its offerings to now include psychiatric nursing care, alongside its existing counselling services, to assist students dealing with mental health concerns by providing the necessary support.

“College marks the start of many new transitions in peoples’ lives; moving away from home for the first time, finding independence, new friendships and experiences, as well as a challenging new class schedule,” said Lindsey Thomas, the Health Centre’s new psychiatric nurse. “We want to make sure that we are providing early detection and prompt care to decrease the amount of disruption that this may cause to someone’s personal life. The team will help support students in whatever way they need.”

Along with psychiatric nursing care and counselling services, the Health Centre also provides students with a medical clinic, pharmacy, massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic therapy and a nutritionist. The medical clinic and counselling services are covered under the DC health insurance plan that is included in every students’ tuition fees while the other offerings are all available for a nominal fee.

“The Health Centre staff members are knowledgeable leaders in their fields,” said Thomas. “It is a friendly, confidential space where students’ health care needs can be assessed, treated and maintained to ensure optimal and holistic functioning.”

The Health Centre is located in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre and is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Celebrate Black History month at Durham College

February marks the observation of Black History month and Durham College (DC) is proud to showcase Canada’s multicultural heritage and history which includes several founding and pioneering experiences from Black Canadians.

“Black Canadian students need to feel affirmed; need to have role models and need to be aware of the contributions made by other Blacks in Canada,” said Allison Hector-Alexander, diversity officer at DC.

As part of the month-long celebration, DC’s Diversity office is set to host the fifth annual Professional and Mentorship event on Thursday, February 6 at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event provides an opportunity for students to meet and connect with a diverse group of Black professionals from the community. Students will hear about education choices, career journeys and a typical day in the life of a professional.

When asked about the event, Hector-Alexander spoke of its ability to empower students and provide a dedicated experience.

“This is a chance to connect and create mentor relationships that can be invaluable throughout a student’s education journey,” she said.” This is our way of creating connections to continue to ensure that the student experience comes first.”