NC welcomes Shannon Boeckner as Senior Director Development and Donor Stewardship

A message from Vice-President Advancement Gord Arbeau:

I am pleased to share the news that we will soon welcome Shannon Boeckner as NC’s Senior Director Development and Donor Stewardship.

Shannon comes to the College from the Equality Fund, where she serves as Director of Development and Community Relations. The Fund is a $300-million federally assisted program that supports equality and social justice measures globally. She also has experience in the education and health sectors, and has served in previous roles at Appleby College, Toronto Metropolitan University, and at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Shannon holds an MA from the University of Toronto, an undergraduate degree from York University, and a post graduate diploma in communications from Seneca. She has earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation.

Shannon joins our Advancement team as we begin implementing strategies to advance NC, and to grow and expand community support for our students and strategic priorities. She will be a significant addition to our Advancement leadership team bringing considerable experience and knowledge to our accomplished group.

Please join me in welcoming Shannon when she begins her role at NC on June 19.

31st Annual Niagara College Gala – Celebrating Dreams

After a three-year hiatus, the reimagined “Niagara College Gala – Celebrating Dreams” returns on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at the Fallsview Casino Resort.

The new name and theme – Celebrating Dreams – reflects an event that brings together business, community, and other friends of Niagara College in celebration of – and support for – Niagara College students’ pursuit of goals, ambitions and dreams.

Previously known as the Seafood Gala, Niagara College’s annual fundraising event has raised more than $3 million in support of equipment, learning resources, scholarships, and bursaries over its 30-year history.

This premier event features a wonderful dinner prepared by award winning chefs of the Fallsview Casino Resort, accompanied by a selection of Niagara College wines. Guests will enjoy an elegant evening filled with live entertainment, music, dancing, and silent and live auctions valued at nearly $100,000.

Supported by nearly 75 Niagara College students, this event is one not to be missed.

Please join us at the 31st Annual Niagara College Gala – Celebrating Dreams on Saturday, April 15th, 2023 at the Fallsview Casino Resort Grand Hall in Niagara Falls, ON. Further details included below:

  • Reception: 6:00 p.m.
  • Dinner: 7:00 p.m.
  • $300 Per Person | Tables Seat Ten
  • Black Tie Optional

To order tickets, and for event details please visit

If you have any questions, please contact Joanne Cousineau at ext. 7775 or via email at [email protected]

The gala has consistently sold out for the past several years, so please don’t delay.

We are looking forward to enjoying a wonderful evening with you.

Reminder to register for Feb. 21 Black History Month talk with NC alumna Erica Williams

As part of Niagara College’s celebration of Black History Month, students and employees are invited to register for a free Black History Month talk via Zoom with NC alumna and social justice worker Erica Williams on Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Register here for In Conversation with Erica Williams.

About Erica Williams

Social service worker-turned-entrepreneur, Williams founded Erica’s Embrace during her final year at NC, an organization which supports Caribbean, Black and African communities across the province through advocacy and the donation of Black hair care and beauty products to women’s shelters.

Williams has spoken at her alma mater several times over the years since graduating. This event – a collaboration between ncLibraries, CPOD, and Development and Alumni Relations – will highlight Williams’ transformational work and community advocacy, and will be a chance to discuss the importance of that work in relation to Black history, presents and futures.

New Pilot Program Aims to Grow Indigenous-led Early Childhood Education (ECE) Training in Niagara

Below is a media release issued by the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre.

A new pilot program is helping to train Indigenous early childhood educators for First Nations communities in Niagara, widening opportunities for cultural learning while at the same time filling staffing gaps faced by licensed child care service providers.

Delivered as a partnership between the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, Niagara College, Six Nations Polytechnic and the Region of Niagara Children’s Services Division, the Indigenous-led Early Childhood Education (ECE) Pilot Program aims to grow the number of qualified staff in the workforce and increase access to high quality licensed child care for families.

The pilot project stems from critical staffing shortages across all communities but especially for Indigenous-led licensed childcare service providers because of the importance of cultural knowledge needed by Registered Early Childhood Educators.

There are 16 students currently enrolled in the program with no fees or costs to the students to undertake this program. An instructor from Six Nations Polytechnic will deliver lessons remotely and in person via the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre.

Classes commence on Jan. 9, 2023, and will conclude in April 2024.

As Registrar for the ECE program, Niagara College is responsible for the administration of student registrations into the program.

Niagara Region Children’s Services contributed funding to encourage the delivery of innovative strategies to support the recruitment and retention of Registered Early Childhood Educators.

Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre provided administration assistance for eligible students, space accommodations and other supports for students as they undertake the program.


“The Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre is grateful for the relationship we have with the Niagara Region Children’s Services. This program is ReconcilliAction and an example that when we move beyond policy into innovative solutions, there are benefits to everyone. We are proud to help our people and be able to do this with established partners and new partners. When we as a community succeed, all of Niagara succeeds. This is an important lesson that innovation and ReconcilliAction are possible when people are priority over policy. Policy can change with good leadership guiding the way and we thank all of our partners for being good leaders with us.” Jennifer Dockstader, Executive Director, Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre

“Niagara Region Children’s Services is pleased to be part of this innovative pilot project led by the local Indigenous community and post-secondary partners. The success of this pilot not only means that we are continuing to learn and build stronger ties, we are ensuring Niagara families get access to high-quality licensed child care that meets the unique needs of their community.” Satinder Klair, Director Niagara Region Children’s Services

“Access to high quality, licensed childcare that meets the cultural needs of our community is so important for our region. With our history in offering a leading Early Childhood Education program, and a longstanding commitment to Indigenous Education, we’re pleased to work with our partners to address this significant need in Niagara.” Carol Phillips, Dean, Community Services, Justice and Fitness Studies, Niagara College.

“Six Nations Polytechnic (SNP) is very pleased to work with our partners in the Niagara region to meet the need for Indigenous early childhood educators for First Nations communities. SNP’s culturally supporting approach to teaching and learning will strengthen the graduates’ cultural knowledge which in turn will support wholistic wellness among our children. Together we can make a positive difference for our collective generations.” Rebecca Jamieson, President/CEO, Six Nations Polytechnic.

Niagara College Canada



Media inquiries, please contact:

Courtney De Caire
Communications Consultant
[email protected]

Message from President Kennedy: Gord Arbeau to join NC as VP, Advancement

I am very pleased to share that Gord Arbeau, an experienced senior leader in the postsecondary sector, will join Niagara College as Vice President, Advancement in the new year.

Gord comes to Niagara College from Brock University, where he is Associate Vice President, University Advancement and External Relations, and he brings a wealth of communications, development, and alumni and community relations experience to NC.

As I shared at the start of the Fall term, the new Vice President, Advancement position was created to provide key support for our bold and ambitious goals for the future – from our new strategic plan, to significant growth in students and employees, new programs and facilities and an updated Master Plan.

As Vice President, Advancement, Gord will lead the communications, development and alumni relations, and community relations and events functions and he will be responsible for significantly growing our endowments and raising funds in support of our students and learning environments along with enhanced alumni and partner engagement.

In his current role at Brock, Gord is responsible for development, donor relations, alumni engagement, and marketing and communications. Since joining the university in 2019 he has increased fundraising, expanded the university’s donor base and secured transformational gifts while instituting digital communications and marketing strategies that enhance student enrolment and retention.

Prior to Brock, Arbeau held leadership positions at McMaster University, including Director of Communications and Community Relations and Director of Marketing and Communications at the DeGroote School of Business. A graduate of the Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) Journalism BA program, Gord began his career in broadcast journalism before moving into leadership positions in marketing, communications and operations in the private sector.

A recognized leader in postsecondary advancement, Gord has also served as a chair and trustee for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and national conference co-chair for the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education.

Gord’s first day at NC will be Monday, January 16. Please join me in extending a warm Niagara College welcome to our new Vice President, Advancement.

Giving Tuesday: Support NC students, families in need on Nov. 29

Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to give back during the holiday season and support NC students and families in need.

NC will participate in the one day give-a-thon, to be held on November 29, by raising funds for two College initiatives: the Nourishing Minds Fund and the Give Back Committee’s Adopt a Family program. The college community is encouraged to participate by making a donation on Giving Tuesday via NC’s Giving Tuesday page via Charity Village here.

Nourishing Minds Fund

Giving Tuesday: Donate to the Nourishing Minds Fund here.

Established by NC Student Administrative Council, the Nourishing Minds Fund addresses food insecurity by supplying electronic grocery cards to help students in need, to buy food, toiletries, and other life necessities.

Donating to the fund helps alleviate the food insecurity faced by many NC students. About 100 students have been receiving a free breakfast each morning at the Welland and Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake. To date, during Fall 20222 term, NCSAC has handed out 35 emergency grocery gift cards to students and has recently increased the value of the cards to be $50 for an individual student, and $100 for a student with dependants at home.

“We encourage donations to be made each year. The more money raised, directly translates to more students being helped,” said Andy Hall, NCSAC Marketing Communications Manager. “Each week, between both campuses, hundreds of students start their mornings off with a free breakfast. We also see around a dozen students each month receive an emergency grocery gift card to help with food at home.

“Fundraising initiatives like ‘Giving Tuesday’ tremendously help by enabling us to continue to offer our supportive services each and every month.”

The cards are e-gift cards for Walmart which enables the student to get a very wide range of items to help them during difficult times.

Adopt a Family

Giving Tuesday: Donate to Adopt a Family here.

Each year, during the holiday season, NC’s Give Back Committee organizes the Adopt a Family program in support of student families in need. Some families will receive gifts for each child, food, Christmas dinner, gifts for mom and/or dad, as well as some gift cards for groceries, gifts, and other necessities.

“The need to support our NC families during the holidays is incredibly important and very near and dear to my heart,” said Valerie Regehr, who has led the initiative at NC for the past 15 years with assistance from her co-workers at the NC Libraries and Learning Commons.

“Seeing the difference that this generosity makes for these families is what motivates me to continue these important initiatives that have become such a big part of our College community.”

About Giving Tuesday

Created in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a global movement that started with a simple idea: what if there was a day that encourages people to do good. This message has since reached over 73 countries, with $36 million collectively raised in Canada last year alone.

Mid-term break week events: What staff, faculty need to know

The Welland Campus will be buzzing with activity during the week of October 24-28.

Several important College events are on the roster for Fall mid-term break week- including Niagara Day, a Virtual Grad Reunion and Fall Convocation – and they will all take place at the Athletic Centre.

To best prepare for the week ahead, staff and faculty are asked to take note of the information below, including event details and operational notices for the Welland Campus.

Operational notices

Welland Campus Parking – Oct. 27, 28

On Thursday, October 27,  Parking lots A and C will not be available to staff (starting at 8 a.m.)

On Friday, October 28 (Fall Convocation), Parking lots A, B and C will not be available to staff (starting at 8 a.m.)

To view a map of parking lots at the Welland Campus, visit:

Welland Campus gym closure

The Welland Campus gym will be closed from October 24-28.

The Core/ The Shack closures

The Core will be closed from October 24-28.

The Shack will be closed on October 28 (Fall Convocation).

Ancillary services remain open

All ancillary services (including Chartwells) will be open on campus during mid-term break week.

Enrolment Services

Enrolment Services staff members from the Welland Campus and Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake will be dedicated to convocation duties on October 28. The Enrolment Services office in Niagara-on-the-Lake will be closed during this time, while the Welland office (Secord 106) will remain open, operating with limited service.

Event info

Please view the following information related to Niagara Day, the Virtual Alumni Reunion, and Fall Convocation below.

Employees are reminded that NC campuses are mask-friendly environments where all members of the College community are supportive and respectful of individual choices with regards to masking. Masks will be available at the events. Those who feel unwell or are experiencing symptoms are asked to remain at home.

Niagara Day – Oct. 26

Niagara Day will take place at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre on October. 26, beginning at 10 a.m. This year’s event is an exciting opportunity for employees to reconnect in person at and recognize their colleagues for their extraordinary work and contributions over the past year.

Light refreshments will be served at 10 a.m. with the program beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Welland Campus gym, followed by lunch to be served in the Learning Commons.

A reminder to all employees: please register for Niagara Day in advance.

Please view the notices and reminders about the event below, from organizers (Centre for Professional and Organizational Development):

  • Our NC Cares United Way workplace campaign is underway! Everyone is encouraged to stop by and say hello to members of the committee who will be at the event to help make giving accessible for anyone wishing to donate. The campaign has raised $33,500 to date towards a goal of $50,000.
  • In the spirit of giving and supporting our students, members of NCSAC will be on hand collecting monetary donations for the Nourishing Minds fund, a program created to battle food insecurity on campus which has already helped thousands of students.
  • Please be aware that the Allanburg (Highway 20) Bridge in Thorold is scheduled to be closed Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

Virtual Grad Reunion – Oct. 27

NC will welcome recent graduates from its classes of 2020-2021 to campus for a Virtual Graduate Alumni Reunion. The celebration will be held at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre on October 27, 3-5 p.m.

While the event is not intended to replicate in-person convocation ceremonies, alumni who graduated with virtual convocation ceremonies over the past two years will have an opportunity to return to campus, reconnect with their classmates as well as College staff and faculty. They will also have a chance to hear from speakers and pose for photos in convocation gowns.

Doors will open at 2 allow alumni the opportunity to pose for photos prior to the event.

Speeches will begin at 3 p.m. Alumni will hear from College President Sean Kennedy and Vice-President Academic Fiona Allan, as well as alumnus Jason Ofield, President and CEO of Bulk Barn (Business – Sales and Marketing program in 2005). A reception will follow with food from Niagara College’s School of Culinary Arts.

Alumni from the classes of 2020 and 2021 have been invited to the event, and NC staff and faculty are also encouraged to attend to help make this in-person reunion a meaningful one for virtual graduates.

Please note that advance registration is required.

Members of staff/faculty who have not had the opportunity to register for the reunion or have questions pertaining to the event, may contact [email protected].

Fall Convocation – Oct. 28

It’s time to celebrate the highlight of the academic year!

On October 28, NC will celebrate Fall Convocation, to mark the special milestone for 1,200 graduating students. Two Fall Convocation ceremonies will be held at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre (10 a.m. and 3 p.m.).

NC staff and faculty are encouraged to attend the ceremonies in-person or virtually. View the ceremony schedule and access the livestreamed events on NC’s convocation website.

Employees are also encouraged to share congratulatory messages on social media using the dedicated convocation hashtag #NCGrad2022. Public posts will appear on screen during the in-person ceremonies and will be incorporated into the livestream.

Reserved seating will be available for all employees who attend Fall Convocation to support the latest class of NC graduates. Please ask Enrolment Services staff for directions to the reserved seating area upon arrival.

The School of Culinary Arts is also supporting food service for the event; a takeaway picnic package will be offered to graduates and their guests to enjoy around campus.

Visit NC’s convocation website for full details about Fall 2022 Convocation

What’s open and closed at Niagara College for Thanksgiving

Please refer to the list below for the status of Niagara College operations, services and learning enterprises for the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Monday, October 10.

NC wishes you a happy Thanksgiving long weekend.

Campus access: Campus doors will be closed on October 10.

Wine Visitor + Education Centre: Retail store, patio and indoor service open daily (including October 10). Tasting, shopping, drinks by the glass and snack service is available every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Products include NC wine, beer, cider and spirits. For pickup, local delivery, and shipping across Ontario, please visit or call 905-641-2252 ext. 4070.

Teaching Brewery: NC’s Teaching Brewery is closed on October 10. The Brewery is currently open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with plans to increase hours.

NC Teaching Greenhouse: The Greenhouse will be open for in-person shopping on Saturday, October 8. It will be closed on Sunday, Oct. 9 and on Thanksgiving Day (Monday, Oct. 10). Regular fall hours for in-person shopping are Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Online sales/curbside pickup is also available. Visit the Teaching Greenhouse’s online store to place an online order.

Athletics & Recreation: Fitness Centres and gymnasiums are closed October 10 and will reopen October 11. Visit the Knights website for facility hours.

Bookstores: Both campus bookstores will be closed on October 10 and will reopen on Oct. 11. Fall hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. Online ordering is also available via the Campus Bookstore website.

Community Employment Services: (43 Church St. in St. Catharines): Closed October 10. Virtual and in-person services resume on October 11 and are available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit the CES website for more information.

Enrolment Services: On-campus and virtual services closed on October 10. Students may continue to submit requests via email and student portal. Requests will be reviewed in priority sequence when Enrolment Services reopens on October 11. Visit the Enrolment Services website for information.
Food & Ancillary Services: All food and ancillary services will be closed on October 10.

Health, Wellness and Accessibility Services: HWAS is closed on October 10. Virtual, phone and in-person services are available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students looking for support can also access the following resources:

Good2Talk is a free, province-wide service for students in college/university and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It provides professional counselling, mental health information and connections to local resources. Students who are concerned about student life, health or mental well-being can contact Good2Talk via:

COAST Niagara / Mental Health and Addiction Help Line
COAST provides services to people in the Niagara Region who are in crisis and have a mental health concern. Ongoing telephone support and/or referral to appropriate follow-up services may be recommended to prevent further crisis.

Call 1-866-550-5205 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) and press 1 for COAST or press 2 for Mental Health and Addiction Help Line. Visit the COAST website for more information.

Indigenous Education: The Indigenous Student Centres will be closed on October 10 and will reopen Oct. 11. Visit for information about IE services.

International Centres: Centres will be closed on October 10. Student Assistants will resume operations on Oct. 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at both the Welland Campus and the Daniel J. Patterson Campus (NOTL).

ncLibraries and Learning Commons: In-person and virtual services, including student support, test centre, academic drop-ins and peer tutoring services will be closed Monday, October 10. Online resources are available 24-7 at

NCSAC offices and Student Centres: NCSAC offices, virtual chat services, student centres and cafes will be closed on Thanksgiving Monday (October 10).


Please check with individual transit providers for the most up-to-date information and holiday schedules:

Niagara Region Transit
St. Catharines Transit Commission
Welland Transit (including Port Colborne)
Niagara Falls Transit

For information, schedules and the latest updates, visit: Niagara Region Transit webpage

Visit for information and Frequently Asked Questions related to student transit.

Return to Campus website

For a comprehensive list of services and supports available for students, visit the
Campus Services page on NC’s Return to Campus website.


Message from President Kennedy: Honouring the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

As we prepare to mark the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, Niagara College continues to stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities.

This important day serves to recognize and reflect on the tragic history of residential schools in Canada. It’s a day to honour the children who never returned home, as well as survivors of residential schools, their families, and their communities.

September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day – an Indigenous-led grassroots movement that raises awareness of the impacts of residential schools, and that ‘every child matters.’ This is a day when we wear our support ‘on our sleeves’ as we don our orange shirts, signifying the culture, freedom and self-esteem that was taken away from Indigenous children over generations.

While our College has been a long-time supporter of Orange Shirt Day, we were fortunate to get a head-start this year with a special visit from Orange Shirt Day Founder and Ambassador Phyllis Webstad, a third-generation residential school survivor. Phyllis visited our Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake on September 22 and delivered her powerful message to our College community.

Staff and students stood side by side, clad in orange as a show of support, to hear Phyllis, her family members and others speak about the devastating impacts that residential schools had on their lives and on their communities.

It was an impactful and truly unforgettable experience.

I strongly encourage those who were not able to attend to watch the video recording of Phyllis’ speech, which was captured by a small team of students from our Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program (sent via Campus Notice email).

During Phyllis’ visit, we were proud to announce our new Dr. Phyllis Webstad Indigenous Scholarship at NC which will help more Indigenous students achieve their dreams. Beginning fall 2023, four students will receive a scholarship every year, and we strive to grow this scholarship until it becomes available to every Indigenous student entering NC.

Earlier this year, we introduced NC’s new strategic plan, which commits to working in partnership with students and Indigenous partners, and to actively respond to and support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

While we have made important strides, there is a long way to go on our journey towards reconciliation, and education is key.

Only truth will lead us to reconciliation. We all share a responsibility to learn about residential schools, so learn more and get involved whenever you can – on campus and in our communities.

Let’s open our minds and our hearts on September 30 and beyond. By shedding light on the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools, we can strive for a brighter future.

Learn more

There are events happening throughout Niagara featuring Phyllis Webstad’s Beyond the Orange Shirt Story. View Facebook: Beyond the Orange Shirt Story–Niagara Falls 2022 for event details.

Read about Phyllis Webstad and the Orange Shirt Day movement at The site also features a list of official orange shirt suppliers which help to support Indigenous communities.

Resources to enhance your learning journey about First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples across Canada are also available via a  Government of Canada website dedicated to Indigenous arts, culture and heritage.

Visit the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s site and read its final report detailing 94 calls to action.

On September 30, the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) will partner with major media outlets and radio stations throughout Canada to amplify Indigenous voices through A Day to Listen 2022. Visit for details.

Support for Indigenous students and employees

As we discuss truth and reconciliation, this can be a particularly difficult time for Indigenous students, faculty and staff. Know that your college community supports you and that there are resources in place to assist.

Resources and supports are available on the HWAS Indigenous Mental Health Resources website for students who are experiencing the impact of trauma inflicted by the residential school system that is affecting their ability to participate fully in their courses or programs.

The Employee and Family Assistance Program offers supports for employees through Human Resources (staff can call Homewood Health 24/7).


View Sept. 23, 2022: Orange Shirt Day Founder leaves legacy with College visit


Official opening for Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden Oct. 3

The Niagara College community is welcome to attend an official opening event for the Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden.

The opening will be an outdoor event to be held at the new memorial garden, located at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake (upper courtyard), from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. In the event of rain, it will be held indoors (Yerich Auditorium, E101).

The memorial garden was created in memory of Saundra Patterson devoted partner of long-time President Dan Patterson, currently President Emeritus, Saundra was a champion for NC who was well known and loved by the College community.

Plans for the new garden were first announced in March 2021. It was funded through the generosity of many donors who contributed to the Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden and Bursary fund.

Speakers at the event will include President Emeritus Dan Patterson, NC President Sean Kennedy, Vice President Academic Fiona Allan, Vice President Research and External Relations Marc Nantel, as well as students who were involved with the memorial garden project, and more.