Community celebration highlights career and accomplishments of Niagara College president Dan Patterson

On the evening of November 22, over 600 members of the Niagara community packed Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts centre to celebrate the legacy of Niagara College president Dan Patterson and reflect on his accomplishments at a special event hosted by the Niagara College Board of Governors. In May 2019, Patterson announced he would conclude his tenure as president after a 25-year career at the College.

In a surprise presentation, the Niagara College Board of Governors announced that the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus would be proclaimed the Daniel J. Patterson Campus, in recognition of Patterson’s outstanding contributions to the College – which includes the campus’s evolution into one of Canada’s most unique learning environments.

The evening began with an Indigenous welcome by elder Gary Parker and a rousing performance by Chorus Niagara, which led into the first of three themes for the evening – the unrelenting passion and energy Patterson has shown throughout his career. Dr. Bonnie Rose, a former vice president academic at Niagara College and at Niagara University, in Lewiston, NY, and a former member of the college’s Board of Governors, reflected on Patterson’s passion for student success, which has been a prime motivating factor in the college’s transformation into one of Canada’s leading post-secondary institutions.

“Dan’s DNA is always intertwined with that of the college,” said Rose. “He is passionate, trailblazing and welcome. A visionary and exuberant risk-taker, with the discipline and drive to make dreams come true.”

Niagara College’s Student Administrative Council demonstrated in powerful form the lasting impact Patterson’s student-focused approach has had on Niagara College students through the years, as NC alumni from every year of Patterson’s tenure – from 1995 to 2019 – joined together on stage to thank ‘Dr. Dan’ for the many years of support he’s given to students across the College.

The second portion of the evening drew attention to the strong relationships Patterson has built and fostered within the Niagara community and beyond. Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario, spoke about Patterson’s legacy of advocating for Ontario college system.

Patterson also received several honours that reflected the immense impact his career has had on the economic and social fabric of the Niagara community. St. Catharines mayor Walter Sendzik presented Patterson with the key to the City of St. Catharines, while Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Betty Disero, Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and Welland Deputy Mayor Adam Moote each declared November 22 as Dan Patterson Day in their respective communities.

“The key to the city is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions and I can think of no leader more deserving than Dr. Dan Patterson,” stated Mayor Sendzik. “Dan has been a passionate and energetic champion of Niagara. Through his infectious energy and passion, Dan has inspired generations of students, entrepreneurs and local leaders to pursue their dreams. He has left an indelible mark on Niagara College and our entire community. On behalf of the City of St. Catharines, congratulations on a remarkable career. We thank you for your leadership, vision and commitment to Niagara.”

Welland Deputy Mayor Adam Moote, Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley, Niagara College President Dan Patterson, Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Betty Disero, St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik and Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati celebrate Patterson’s 25-year career and accomplishments with Niagara College. Patterson received the keys to the City of St. Catharines, while the City of Niagara Falls, the City of Welland and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake all proclaimed November 22, 2019 Dan Patterson Day. Patterson also received a special certificate of acknowledgement from Niagara Region.

In addition to the distinguished guests who brought greetings to the event, several others sent video greetings, including Ontario premier Doug Ford, former premiers Kathleen Wynne and Mike Harris, Lt. Governor of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell, and former US ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, and his partner Vicki.

The final segment of the evening celebrated Patterson’s legacy as a builder, as Dr. Suzanne Johnston, retired president of the Niagara Health System and a member of the Niagara College Board of Governors spoke about Patterson’s identity as a builder of relationships, and his ability to engage with the Niagara community leaders and employers.

John F.T. Scott, Chair of Niagara College’s Board of Governors and the evening’s emcee, also shared that, in addition to the proclamation of the Daniel J. Patterson Campus, the College will establish the Dan Patterson Legacy Fund, which will provide support for bursaries, world experiences and scholarships for Niagara College students. Surplus funds from the evening will support the new fund.

“Throughout his tenure as president, Dan has not only led a significant transformation of Niagara College, but has also played a significant role in the growth and development of our community and beyond – and those contributions shone brightly in our celebrations this evening,” said Scott. “The Niagara College Board of Governors is honoured to join with Dan’s colleagues, and business and community leaders from Niagara and beyond in expressing our thanks to Dan, and recognizing his remarkable legacy.”

Following an Indigenous honour song by the Ohnia:kara Singers, Patterson’s partner Saundra, who herself has been a passionate supporter of Niagara College and its students, shared her own personal thoughts on Patterson’s career. “When Dan joined Niagara College, he did so with amazing enthusiasm. He had truly found what wanted to do in life. With his dedicated leadership and that of the others who worked with him, Niagara College is what it is today.”

In his address to the crowd, Patterson shared the remarkable career path that led him through several positions within the federal government, culminating in his leading the training branch. It was through that experience that he grew to understand the power of a college education, leading him to Niagara College.

In his remarks, Patterson expressed gratitude for the evening’s tributes, and looked back at his fondest memories from his 25-year tenure.

“My fondest memories and points of pride were all captured here tonight,” said Patterson. “I always felt it was a privilege to lead Niagara College, and I never took it for granted.”

Patterson also shared what his life might look like post-Niagara College. “Saundra and I intend to stay in Niagara.  It’s our home and to help in any way we can to ensure Niagara continues to be a special place for all of us,” said Patterson. “I’m sure I will continue to find fulfilling professional involvement in post-secondary education.” Patterson was recently appointed as chair of the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and also serves on the Board for Colleges and Institutes Canada – a national advocacy group committed to promoting the important role colleges play to support economic development.

A video recording of the entire event can be found here.

Dan Patterson, Ph.D, has been president of Niagara College since 1995. Under his leadership, enrolment has grown from 4,500 to over 11,000 full-time students in over 130 programs. Patterson has presided over significant changes to the College’s two pioneering campuses, and the introduction of unique academic programs geared toward the workforce needs of the Niagara economy that have made Niagara College one of Canada’s most innovative post-secondary institutions.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit


Niagara College’s federally funding Greenhouse Technology Network to make waves in Ontario’s greenhouse sector

A new network for research and technology in Southern Ontario’s greenhouse sector is about to blossom, thanks to $5 million in new FedDev Ontario funding that will allow Niagara College to create an innovative Greenhouse Technology Network.

On September 3, St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle and Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey announced the project at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, where the network will be anchored. The ground-breaking new initiative will bring together research institutions, greenhouse growers and technology providers to accelerate the development, commercialization and adoption of new technologies that will ultimately increase the competitiveness of the greenhouse industry.

The network will accomplish this by conducting collaborative projects, where industry partners will work side-by-side with faculty, scientists, graduates and students from the University of Guelph, Vineland Research & Innovation Centre, and Niagara College, to develop technology solutions to address industry challenges, and to share those findings.

A new, modern greenhouse will also be raised at Niagara College, equipped with sustainable technologies that will serve as pilot projects for greenhouse industry partners. Technology industry partners will also make use of the greenhouse to develop new products, processes and services for the greenhouse industry. These new products from Ontario companies will enable better use of energy and water in greenhouses, and establish the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 principles that will be crucial for industry in Ontario and beyond.

“Niagara College is thankful that the government has so enthusiastically supported our project to create a new Greenhouse Technology Network in Southern Ontario,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson, PhD. “This ground-breaking new initiative will combine our longstanding tradition of excellence and leadership in the horticultural and agri-business sectors with our experience in conducting world-class applied research to further encourage innovation and develop new technologies in this rapidly evolving field.”

Niagara College has a long history and deep experience in engaging academic, research and industry partners in various proven models, including the highly successful Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI), which serves as the model for the Greenhouse Technologies Network. The Network will help stimulate the economy in Niagara, and across Southern Ontario, and is forecast to support over 130 businesses and organizations in projects that could create over 200 new jobs.

“This investment by FedDev will mean a lot to our greenhouse and technology industries in Southern Ontario, but also to students who will be able to participate in applied research projects, putting into practice what they have learnt in the classroom, in collaboration with industry partners” said Marc Nantel, NC’s vice-president, Research, Innovation and Strategic Initiatives. “The Greenhouse Technology Network will transform these students into industry leaders, and unlock new job opportunities, as well as a greener future.”

“This project will create a more diverse economy for Niagara, boosting our strong agri-business and digital media sectors, while adding good jobs for the region we call home,” said MP Badawey. “Our region continues to join forces and collaborate with our post-secondary institutions to keep jobs and opportunities local,” added MP Bittle.

on Sept. 3, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre Vance Badawey, joined MP for St. Catharines Chris Bittle and other politicians and dignitaries to announce $5 million in FedDev Ontario funding for Niagara College to create a new Greenhouse Technology, anchored at the trailblazing NOTL campus.


Celebrating 20 years of research excellence, Niagara College’s Research & Innovation Division provides real-world solutions for business, key industry sectors and the community through applied research and knowledge transfer activities. They conduct projects that provide innovative solutions, such as producing and testing prototypes, evaluating new technologies, and developing new or improved products or processes for small- and medium-sized businesses. With funding support from various regional, provincial and federal agencies, students and graduates are hired to work alongside faculty researchers to assist industry partners leap forward in the marketplace. For more information, visit

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit



Media inquiries please contact:


Andrew Korchok

Communications Consultant

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7430

Cell: 905 329-1642


Michael Wales

Communications Manager

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7773

Cell: 905 328 4101

Niagara College agrees to purchase Niagara Corporate Business Centre

As its campus spaces continue to grow and evolve, Niagara College has agreed to purchase the Niagara Corporate Business Centre (NCBC) in Niagara-on-the-Lake from Trivieri Investments Limited and is scheduled to assume ownership of the property on August 23.

Located on Glendale Avenue East in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the 33-acre property, which includes a three-story office building, is adjacent to Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, and is already home to Niagara College offices that were previously leased from Trivieri Investments Limited. “With its size and location right next door to our Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, the Niagara Corporate Business Centre property provides long-term flexibility and room for expansion,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “As we look to the future, this acquisition will help ensure the College’s ability to accommodate the needs of our growing community, and remain among the most innovative and unique learning environments in Canada.”

The NCBC is currently home to 18 businesses and agencies as well as some Niagara College administrative offices. Current building operations at the property will continue unchanged. Niagara College will work with Niagara Region and the Town-of-Niagara-on-the-Lake to explore options for the property under the Glendale District Planning process.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit


Media inquiries, please contact:

Andrew Korchok

Communications Consultant

Niagara College

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7430

Cell: 905 329-1642