NC nominates seven graduates for 2018 Premier’s Awards

Seven members of the College’s alumni community have been nominated for this year’s Premier’s Awards celebrating Ontario’s outstanding college graduates.

Colleges Ontario’s annual Premier’s Awards honour the important social and economic contributions college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world.  Nominations are submitted from each of Ontario’s 24 community colleges, and graduates are recognized in seven categories, including Apprenticeship, Business, Community Services, Creative Arts and Design, Health Sciences, Recent Graduate, and Technology.

View NC’s 2018 nominees for each category below.

Apprenticeship

Julia Falvo

Owner of Studio W Salon; Hairstylist and Hairstyling professor at Niagara College

Graduated from Hairstyling, 2011

Julia Falvo has accomplished so much in her 10 short years in the Hairstyling industry. She is the winner of numerous international, national and Skills Ontario competitions over the years including placing fifth at an international competition is Seoul, South Korea in 2016. She was awarded the inaugural Skills Ontario Alumni Award of Excellence in 2017 for her continued involvement and mentoring of students in the Skills Ontario competitions. Falvo is a Hairstyling Professor at Niagara College and she recently opened up her own salon, Studio W, where she employs recent graduates from her program

 

Business

Miriam Laundry

Miriam Laundry

Author and speaker, Laundry Books

Graduated from Business Administration – Human Resources, 1997

Miriam Laundry is an award-winning author, success coach, and international speaker. After a personal tragedy, she was inspired to make a difference in children’s lives by promoting positive mental health. Her dream was realized with her first best-selling book I CAN Believe in Myself. The book  a Guinness World Record™ in 2014 after it was read by more than 100,000 children in more than 29 countries within 24 hours. This set. Her books have garnered numerous awards including Mom’s Choice Award, Royal Dragonfly Awards and Reader’s Favourite. Miriam was awarded the 2014 Winspiration Award as a person who exemplifies making a difference in the world.

 

 

Creative Arts and Design

Mark Montefiore

Mark Montefiore

President and executive producer, New Metric Media

Graduated from Broadcasting, Radio, Television and Film, 2003

As president of New Metric Media, Mark Montefiore executive produces the multiple Canadian Screen Award winning CraveTV original comedy series Letterkenny and What Would Sal do? and CityTV and FX drama series, Bad Blood. Montefiore produced the Toronto Film Festival Film Circuit Audience Choice winning film, Cas & Dylan, starring Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss and Emmy Award winner Tatiana Maslany. He negotiated the landmark partnership deal with Bell Media to produce more than 40 episodes of Letterkenny in the next three years. He was named The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Generation Under 35 (’14) and Playback‘s Top Ten to Watch (’12).

 

Community Services

Scot Filer

Scot Filer

Founder/chief executive officer, Lions Gate Risk Management Group and ARC Protection Group

Graduated from Law and Security Administration, 1977

After three decades in progressively senior positions in the RCMP, Scot Filer founded one of the most respected intelligence-based risk management firms in Western Canada, Lions’ Gate Risk Management Group. His experience in law enforcement spans major crime investigations, geographic profiling, threat evaluation and management, surveillance and tactical human tracking. Filer has provided expertise to law enforcement agencies across Canada as well as in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, England, Sweden, Belize and South Africa. He is recognized as a global expert in geographic profiling methodology used to investigate serial criminal violence.

 

Health

Blaine Lucas

Blaine Lucas

Commander, Professional Standards, Toronto Paramedic Services

Graduated from Ambulance and Emergency Care, 1995

Blaine Lucas is an advocate of people-focused public service. As the commander of Professional Standards for the Toronto Paramedic Services, he is responsible for the regulatory oversight of unionized and management staff, identifying trends in continuous quality improvement and developing targeted quality assurance initiatives. The Toronto Paramedic Services has a workforce of 14,400 staff who respond to more than 300,000 paramedic emergencies each year. The Professional Standards Unit conducts complaint investigations, maintains a medical record database of 2.3 million ambulance call reports and management oversight of over 35,000 medical quality assurance transactions annually.

 

Recent Graduate

Shane Malcolm

Shane Malcolm

Executive director, Leadership Niagara

Graduated from Culinary Management, 2011; and Bachelor of Applied Business – Hospitality Operations Management, 2014

Shane Malcolm was the first international student in Niagara College history to lead the Student Administrative Council. As president he was involved in a number of advocacy efforts related to regional transit and played an integral role in putting mental health awareness in the spotlight. As executive director of Leadership Niagara, Malcolm led the organization through a governance reform and spearheaded the incorporation of the organization as a not-for-profit after 10 years of existence. He is recognized as a community leader and often tapped to contribute the emerging generation’s perspective on local community issues at municipal and regional levels.

 

Technology

Darl Crick

Executive vice president of Technology, CrossView Inc.

Graduated from Computer Programmer, 1995

Darl Crick has more than 20 years of experience in software development and software services. As executive vice president of Technology with CrossView Inc., he plays a pivotal role in defining the strategy and direction of technology-based products and services. His advanced skill set in technical business development, strategic decision-making and collaborating with Fortune 500 executive stakeholders has culminated in lucrative and dramatic business growth. Over the years, Crick has been able to apply his strong technical background to produce patents that are utilized in today’s software industry.

 

Nominees will be celebrated, and the winners will be announced at a gala event in Toronto on  November 26 as part of the Colleges Ontario Higher Education Summit. For more details about the awards visit co-awards.org

-Info submitted by Development and Alumni Relations

 

Niagara College prof, grad Christopher Bessette wins Best Director award

2012 film Trade of Innocents makes a comeback at CIFF


Niagara-based writer / director Christopher Bessette doesn’t only reach for the stars, he shines among them.

The Niagara College Broadcasting graduate and current part-time faculty member was among the star-studded nominees and winners at the second annual Canadian International Faith and Family Film Festival (CIFF) held September 14-16 in Toronto – including Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Dennis Quaid and Mira Sorvino. Bessette attended CIFF with multiple award nominations for his 2012 film Trade of Innocents, and walked away with the Best Director award, while cast member Sorvino also won Best Lead Actress for her role in the film.

Trade of Innocents — which raises awareness of child exploitation through human trafficking – was selected one of the featured films at CIFF and Bessette was invited to participate in a film festival panel alongside Oscar winner Roger Christian (Star Wars) and other industry experts.

CIFF festival co-founders and co-directors Jason Barbeck and Rafael Kalamat noted that Bessette was a great asset  to CIFF 2018, and that Trade of Innocents was very well received and is creating a lot of awareness. The film’s presence at the festival, they noted, attracted the attention of two foundations dedicated to the cause – Ratanak and Mighty Oaks.

“Rafael Kalamat and myself felt very strongly that this film was important to our festival and needed to shed light on the subject matter,” said Barbeck.  “Christopher’s insight and presence inspired filmmakers and gave his film a new life. As a result, he has made waves from Toronto all the way to Hollywood with social media.”

In addition to Bessette’s and Sorvino’s nominations, Trade of Innocents was nominated for Best Picture (which was won by Lions Gate/Mission Pictures feature I Can Only Imagine), and cast member Trieu Tran was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role (that award was won by Liotta for The Identical).

“This is remarkable and unprecedented,” said Bessette. “Our film had never really seen a release and when I was first contacted by the festival directors that it fit under their Revival qualifications and they suggested I should submit it – suddenly we are nominated, with some very recent big, high-grossing films.”

Bessette said he is grateful for the profile the recent awards have brought to Trade of Innocents, which he wrote and directed. “So many people put in such hard work into this film with passion because the topic deals with human trafficking and the child sex trade that it is too important to go unseen,” he said.

In addition to raising awareness about human trafficking, the film itself became an instrument for saving lives. At one of its only public screenings in Canada, it raised $43,000 in one night to rescue girls from the human traffic trade.

Since he graduated from Niagara College in 1984, the long-time Thorold resident has built a career as a multiple-award-winning filmmaker, motion picture writer/director/producer. His international career in the television and film industry has led him across Canada, the U.S. and Europe, as well as to Central America, Russia and Southeast Asia. In addition to Trade of Innocents (2012), his feature films include and The Enemy God (2008) which he directed, that spans 50 years of an Amazonian tribe. He wrote directed and produced the documentary Niagara: Thunder of the Waters (2016). His novel The Mythamohre was published in 2013.

Bessette has won two previous Best Director awards and 10 Best Picture Awards and his work has been seen on screens around the world. In 2012, he was nominated by Niagara College for a Premier’s Award in Creative Arts and Design.

Since 2013, he been passing on his valuable skills and experience to the next generation of film and television industry professionals at Niagara College as a part-time faculty member. He currently teaches two courses: Dramatic Scriptwriting, and Directing for the Screen.

Bessette often tells his students, “Hey, I am just a local guy that went to film school at NC. I had no idea that I would travel in this career throughout Europe into Russia, the deep forbidden zones of the Amazon jungle and into South East Asia.”

“I wrote and directed a movie working with an Academy-Award-winning actress and worked in Hollywood,” he said. “I had no idea any of that would happen when I look back at my 20-year-old self at film school. I was just following my passion.”

For info visit his website at christopherbessette.com.  For information about the Canadian International Faith and Family Film Festival (CIFF) visit www.cifflix.com

NC grad Ryan Grande named new resort manager for Hotels Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica

Luxury Travel Advisor featured an article about NC grad Ryan Grande, who has been appointed as resort manager of  Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo on the north Pacific coast of Costa Rica. In his new role, Grande will lead the resort’s guest experience and oversee day-to-day operations.

Grande graduated in Hospitality Management from Niagara College in 2005.

View the article, posted September 7, here.

Q&A with Andrew Miele, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Hotel Business magazine shines the spotlight on Niagara College grad Andrew Miele, who is director of development, Americas, for the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Based in Miami, he is responsible for growing and strengthening the company’s portfolio of hotels and resorts across the region. 

Miele has worked for the Four Seasons his entire career, since he graduated from Niagara College. He was a member of the first graduating class of the College’s Bachelor of Applied Business – Hospitality Operations Management program in 2007. In June 2015, he returned to the College as a spring convocation speaker where he received a Distinguished Alumni Award.

View the article posted by Hotel Business magazine here.

Film festival spotlight shines on NC grad, prof Christopher Bessette

Trade of Innocents nominated for Best Picture

Writer/ director Christopher Bessette has a new reason to believe in second chances, with several new award nominations announced for his 2012 film Trade of Innocents.

The film – which raises awareness of child exploitation through human trafficking, starring  Academy Award-winning actor Mira Sorvino and Dermot Mulroney – has been nominated for Best Picture at the  Canadian International Faith and Family Film Festival (CIFF), which will take place in Toronto between September 14 and 16 – and that’s not all. Bessette, who is a Broadcasting graduate of Niagara College as well as a current part-time faculty member, has been nominated for Best Director for the film. Two cast members have also earned nomination for roles in the film, including Mira Sorvino (Best Lead Actress) and Trieu Tran (Best Supporting Actor).

Bessette will also take the stage as part of a festival panel discussion, along with Star Wars Academy Award winner Roger Christian, producer Cindy Bond of Mission Pictures International, TV executive Isaac Hernandez of UpLiftTV/Parables, producer and film historian Paul Burford, and screenwriter John Patus of Left Behind.

Christopher Bessette (photo by Robert Nowell)

The film’s resurgence at the festival came as a surprise to Bessette, who has built up a career as a multiple-award winning filmmaker, motion picture writer/director/producer, and author since graduating from NC’s Broadcasting program in 1984, and has been a part-time faculty member at the College since 2013.

“I am not entirely sure why this happened after all these years but I am grateful because of the subject the movie represents and all of the passion and hard work every single crew and cast member poured into it,” said Bessette.

“I am excited about the nomination. The significance is slowly setting in,” he said. “There are a lot of great new films at the festival and we are in the mix. It is extraordinary.”

Trade of Innocents has won awards in the past. Bessette received Best Director and Best Drama award for the film at the 2012 Breckenridge film Festival in Colorado and the film was the focus of a symposium on human trafficking at Yale University.

Besides raising awareness about human trafficking, the film which has itself become an instrument to save lives. At one of the only public screenings in Canada, it raised $43,000 to rescue girls from human traffic trade in one night. “800 people showed up and the organization that promoted it was hoping to raise $12,000 to rescue 10 girls from the human traffic trade,” he said. “What do you think happened? $43K was donated in one night!  Money kept rolling in and by the end of the month a total of $76,000 was received.”

The festival is “a wonderful way to see the movie on the big screen,” he noted.

Trade of Innocents plays at the festival on September 15 at 4 p.m. Bessette is scheduled for a Q& A following the movie. On September 16 at 2 p.m., he will participate in the industry panel. For tickets visit filmfreeway.com/cifflix/tickets

The second annual Canadian International Faith and Family Film Festival (CIFF) takes place at Innis College, University of Toronto September 14-16 and is making its mark with an over the top group of nominated films from around the world. Visit www.cifflix.com

About Bessette

Bessette grew up in Thorold on his family’s 200-acre farm where he currently resides today. He first became interested in a career in the film industry while he was a Broadcasting student at Niagara College during the early 1980s. Since his College graduation, Bessette built an international career in the television and film industry which has led him cross Canada, the U.S.and Europe, as well to Central America, Russia and Southeast Asia.

In addition to Trade of Innocents (2012) which he directed and wrote, his feature films include and The Enemy God (2008) which he directed, that spans 50 years of an Amazonian tribe. He also wrote, directed and produced the documentary Niagara: Thunder of the Waters (2016). His novel The Mythamohre was published in 2013.

Bessette has won two Best Director awards and 10 Best Picture Awards and his work has been seen on screens around the world. In 2012, he was nominated by Niagara College for a Premier’s Award in Creative Arts and Design.

Bessette has been passing on his valuable skills and experience to the next generation of film and television industry professionals at Niagara College since 2013. He currently teaches two courses: Dramatic Scriptwriting, and Directing for the Screen.

For info visit his website at christopherbessette.com

Related articles

Prof Christopher Bessette’s new doc to air Dec. 7 (December 2016)

March grad spotlight: Filmmaker, author Christopher Bessette (March 2014)

Chapters to host Bessette book-signing event Jan. 25 (January 2014)

Niagara College nominates five outstanding alumni for Premier’s Awards (November 2012)