Globe and Mail: Meet the country’s next top chefs

Alumnus from Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Benjamin Lillico, has been named among Canada’s next top chefs.

Lillico, who is the now the executive chef at Holt Renfrew’s new flagship location in Toronto, was featured in a Globe and Mail article posted on October 11, ‘Canada’s Kitchen: 2019 edition, Meet the country’s next top chefs.’

A graduate of NC’s Culinary Management, and Bachelor of Applied Business and Hospitality programs (2014), Lillico was a member and former captain of Junior Culinary Team Canada, which was comprised of students and recent grads of NC’s CFWI from 2013 to 2016.

The team was among 20 junior national culinary teams from around the world to compete at the IKA / Culinary Olympics in Octobr 2016 where they won a gold and a silver medal . In November 2014, the team won a gold and silver medal and ranked fifth overall at the Expogast Villeroy and Boch Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg. In August 2015, the team captured a gold and silver medal and the overall championship title at the American Culinary Classic in Orlando, Florida.

Lillico was also named among the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Top 30 Under 30 Rising Stars in 2015.

View the October 11  Globe and Mail article here.

NC nominates seven outstanding alumni for 2019 Premier’s Awards

They’ve each built successful careers in their own respective fields – a corporate chef, a filmmaker, a professor, a CEO, an athletic trainer, an entrepreneur, and a hotelier. Together, they are now among a select group of Niagara College alumni to enter the provincial spotlight as prestigious award nominees.

Niagara College has nominated seven members of its alumni community for 2019 Ontario Premier’s Awards. Presented annually by Colleges Ontario, the Premier’s Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of college alumni in Ontario and throughout the world. Awards are presented in seven categories: Apprenticeship, Business, Community Services, Creative Arts and Design, Health Sciences, Recent Graduate, and Technology.

Niagara College’s 2019 Premier’s Awards nominees:

Apprenticeship – Todd Clarmo

Corporate executve chef, Charcoal Group of Restaurants (Burlington), and graduate of NC’s Chef Apprentice program (1986)

An award-winning executive chef, Todd Clarmo (Milton) has studied the art of cuisine in world-class, Michelin-starred restaurants globally. Recruited for exceptional start-up skills, Clarmo opened 14 restaurants including the famous Canoe Restaurant in Toronto. Chef Clarmo is currently in command of food operations for all eight restaurants under the Charcoal Group of Restaurants and spent over a decade working with Toronto Taste, a celebrated culinary extravaganza supporting Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue charity. In 2019, Clarmo cooked alongside Jamie Kennedy at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, a testament to his exceptional culinary skills.

Business – Tim Hansing 

Founder and CEO of Red Planet Hotels, and graduate of NC’s Hotel and Restaurant Administration program (1987)

Tim Hansing (Thailand) is a seasoned hotelier, co-founder and president of Red Planet Hotels (RPH) and has built 30 hotels in four countries, redefining the value hotel experience in Asia, the world’s fastest growing travel market. Attaining over $280 million in investments since 2010 and achieving $50 million in revenue in 2018, Hansing has consistently grown RPH, while leveraging its success to help make a difference in the communities it serves. Whether creating a community-welfare project that boosts education opportunities for underprivileged children, or empowering his employees to actively clean oceans and coastlines, Hansing believes firmly in giving back.

Community Services – Kevin Rempel

Founder and CEO, The Sledge Hockey Experience, and graduate of NC’s Event Management (2009) and Business Administration Marketing (2005) programs

Kevin Rempel (Toronto) is a retired world-class sledge hockey Paralympian with four medals including three World Championships and a Team Canada 2014 Paralympic bronze medal. He is a former freestyle motocross competitor, author, corporate motivational speaker, and founder/CEO of The Sledge Hockey Experience. Rempel reinvented himself as an entrepreneur after a motocross accident left him as an incomplete paraplegic in 2006 and has since devoted his career to making the world a better place for people with disabilities. He helps individuals and organizations unlock new perspectives about the disabled community, while creating an inclusive culture where everyone can embrace change.

Creative Arts and Design – Christopher Bessette 

Writer, producer, director, New Reformation Pictures, and graduate of NC’s Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program (1984)

During his 36-year career as a writer/director/producer, Christopher Bessette (Niagara) has logged over a thousand hour s of produced broadcast television and film, receiving multiple awards including three Best Director awards for his feature films. Fulfilling his passion to tell powerful stories that make an impact, Bessette’s Trade of Innocents is a raw representation of the work done on the front lines against human trafficking. The film, which stars actors Mira Sorvino and Dermot Mulroney, raised global awareness about the issue and was a catalyst in raising funds that contributed to the rescue and rehabilitation of human trafficked women and children. In September 2019, Bessette also won Best Screenplay for his epic television series pilot Prophets & Kings at the Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival (CIFF) in Toronto. Bessette is also a part-time faculty member at Niagara College. He currently teaches two courses: Dramatic Scriptwriting, and Directing for the Screen.

Health Sciences – Sarah Moore, PhD

Full-time professor, Douglas College, and graduate of NC’s Therapeutic Recreation program (2003)

Sarah Moore, PhD, (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) is an award-winning, internationally recognized professor participating in life-altering research to help understand barriers to and benefits of play and physical activity in children with and without disabilities and their families. She has an interest in tracking healthy lifestyle behaviours from childhood through adulthood believing that several adult conditions have pediatric antecedents and targeted early interventions can reduce the likelihood, or delay the onset of, these conditions and improve quality of life. As a mother of two boys, she has instilled community service in both by demonstrating commitment to her community through volunteerism and fundraising efforts.

Recent Graduate – Matrixx Ferreira

Founder and CEO, Iron Performance Center, and graduate of NC’s Exercise Science program (2015)

Matrixx Ferreira (Niagara) is an accomplished athlete and founder of Iron Performance Center (IPC), a top-rated, world-class facility built on his relentless pursuit of knowledge with practical application to ensure the success of his athletes and clients. As head strength coach, Ferreira trains athletes looking to achieve global success. Whether helping an elite competitor on a national team obtain a medal on a global stage, helping a high school athlete achieve his dream of getting into an ivy-league school, or encouraging women to get active through its Lift Like a Girl seminar, IPC is impacting lives all over the world.

Technology – Sandro Perruzza

CEO, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, and graduate of Environmental Management program (1995)

A steadfast leader and a voice for over 15,000 members of the engineering profession as the CEO of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, Sandro Perruzza (Oakville) supports the evolving needs of the industry by advocating with governments, offering valued member services and providing ongoing learning and networking opportunities. A committed volunteer, Perruzza actively sits on multiple boards to share expertise and advocate for change in the industry. His volunteer efforts included lobbying for the Pay Transparency Act, which achieved unprecedented pay equity at multiple pay levels for female engineers in Ontario when it was enacted in 2018.

Ontario Premier’s Awards

Nominations were submitted from each of Ontario’s 24 community colleges, with 118 nominees overall for the 2019 awards. Nominees will be celebrated and winners will be announced at a gala event on December 2, as part of the Colleges Ontario Higher Education Summit in Toronto.

Over the years, several Niagara College alumni have been recognized with Premier’s Awards, including:

  • 2014 winner Royal Canadian Navy Capt. Rebecca Patterson (Nursing grad, 1987);
  • 2012 winner David Pratt (Greenhouse Technician grad, 2007);
  • 2011 winner Jerry Howell (Computer Engineering Technology grad, 1988);
  • 2008 winner Jordan Harris (Winery and Viticulture Technician grad, 2004);
  • 2003 winner Heather Kilty (Social Welfare Worker grad, 1969); and
  • 1995 winner Carol Alaimo (Journalism-Print grad, 1984).

For information about the Premier’s Awards and 2019 nominees, visit

Golf Classic is a hole in one for NC student athletes

Over 160 golfers spent a day on the green helping to raise an incredible $54,000 at the 18th annual Niagara College Golf Classic.

The sold-out event, held on Tuesday, September 17 at Peninsula Lakes Golf Club, raised funds in support of scholarships and bursaries for NC student-athletes.

Lequan Cseri-Hylton, a member of the men’s basketball team and general business student, spoke to participants about the impact that donor-funded scholarships and bursaries have for student-athletes who work hard on and off the court.

“On behalf of the entire athletic family at Niagara College, we are incredibly grateful for the community’s financial support throughout the school year,” said Cseri-Hylton. “This support impacts the lives of student-athletes tremendously, providing aid for tuition, books, groceries, bills, and other costly expenses.”

In addition to raising funds for scholarships and bursaries, the event also provided nearly 30 student volunteers with practical program-related experience. Students from NC’s event management program gained hands-on experience helping with logistics at the tournament, paramedic students offered blood pressure checks, esthetician students provided mini hand massages and athletes from the NC Knights varsity golf team provided clinic instruction to golfers before they teed off.

Participants were also treated to the best in food and beverage that NC has to offer. Lunch was provided by NC’s Bench-on-the-Go food truck and a selection of wine, ale, lager and cider tastings was offered from NC’s Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery.

To round off the NC experience, representatives from NC Research & Innovation, Sustainability and Career Services gave an overview of their current initiatives and projects.

The event concluded with a buffet dinner and awards ceremony where top golfers and winners of the tournament’s various competitions, including a putting challenge, longest drive competition, beat the NC student-athlete and a closest to the NC Keg competition, were honoured.

The tournament was supported by several sponsors including:

  • Presenting Sponsors: Rankin Construction and TD Insurance;
  • Presenting Media Sponsor: Niagara Dailies – St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, and Welland Tribune;
  • Ace Sponsor: CIBC;
  • Eagle Sponsors: Campus Living Centres, Chartwells, Commercial Cleaning Services, Cooper Wealth Management, and Meridian.

Save the date for the 19th annual Golf Classic on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Where are they now? Find out here:

In addition to providing solutions to business and key industry partners through applied research projects and technical services, Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division also supports the development of hundreds of students and graduates each year. We wanted to share the success stories of these NC graduates who have put their innovative and specialized knowledge into action in new, exciting careers.

To celebrate their post-NC successes, we have launched a new section of our website filled with profiles, called Alumni.

These NC alumni all share something in common: they’ve all been part of the Research & Innovation team, having the opportunity to work alongside expert faculty, staff and industry partners, supported by leading-edge facilities, technology, and equipment – all to prepare them for real-world professions.

Each has spent time as either a co-op Research Assistant or as a graduate hired as a Research Associate, and all in diverse roles across R&I’s division, conducting applied research or technical services for industry partners from the food and beverage, agriculture and environment, advanced manufacturing, business and commercialization, and digital media sectors.

They were able to interact with industry partners to help develop prototypes, evaluate new technologies, improve products and processes and create new recipes. They had the opportunity to work on real-life applied research projects and technical services, with real-life deadlines, budgets, and deliverables.

For Justin Vigneux, from the Renewable Energy Technician program, the experience in the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre helped prepare him in all his positions since graduating from NC in 2013. “It was the first chance that I had to experience project-based employment where we had to sit and meet on a regular basis to keep everyone on the team up-to-date,” says Vigneux. “It also introduced me to things like budgeting, deadlines, and experimental troubleshooting.”

More recently, Ankita Mathkar, a 2018 graduate of the Culinary Innovation and Food Technology program, says she learned what research and development was like in the “real world” from her time at the Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre. “R&I was a fast-paced place to work, with all the projects coming in and deadlines sneaking up daily,” she says. “Most importantly, I was able to make connections with various influential people and suppliers that still come in handy.”

We invite you to spend some time and learn where these graduates have gone on to pursue. As you’ll read, there’s unanimous agreement that, in addition to their education, the real-world experience gained at R&I has played a pivotal role in preparing them in their current careers. Some were hired by the very industry partner they worked with while at R&I, while others took their knowledge base to the dream job in their field.

To the current and future R&I alumni, we encourage you to GET IN TOUCH with us and share your success story!


ReuKnighted: Calling all past NC Knights for alumni tailgate on November 1

Staff and faculty who are NC alumni are invited to join the fun! Registration is now open.

On Friday, November 1, former Knights will reign on Niagara College’s Welland Campus for ReuKnighted, the first alumni reunion of its kind.

Alumni Relations and Athletics and Recreation are pleased to invite NC alumni who work and teach at the College to join former Knights athletes and graduates of NC’s Broadcasting – Radio Television and Film, and Sport Management programs, for an exclusive tailgate party beginning at 4:30 p.m. in The Core.

The indoor tailgate will be followed by the men’s and women’s basketball home-opener games in NC’s Athletics Centre. An after-party featuring entertainment will follow.

“We’re excited to welcome alumni back to Niagara College,” said Michele O’Keefe, associate director, Athletics and Recreation. “Alumni are integral to NC Knights tradition and ReuKnighted is our way to celebrate and engage them.”

“ReuKnighted is a great opportunity for alumni to come back to campus and reconnect with former classmates, teammates, faculty, and friends of Niagara College,” said Jana Boniferro, NC alumni engagement officer. “We’re very excited to host members of our alumni community and look forward to getting ‘ReuKnighted’ as we help cheer on our NC Knights.”

ReuKnighted is a family-friendly, ticketed event and a chance to reconnect with former classmates and teammates. Registration is now open at

The first 100 alumni to register will receive a special gift, courtesy of Alumni Relations.

Being the first alumni reunion of its kind, NC is considering future events to engage the wider alumni community, numbering over 90,000 worldwide.

Alumni Relations and Athletics and Recreation look forward to seeing staff and faculty there!

Niagara College Golf Classic 2019 is sold out

We are thrilled to announce that through the generous support of our community partners, our 2019 Golf Classic is sold out and online registration is now closed.

If you would like to have your name added to our wait list please contact Joanne Cousineau at 905-641-2252 ext. 7775 or

For tournament details please visit

Proceeds from the Golf Classic will support scholarships for student athletes.

Students and alumni to benefit from career-inspiring coffee chats

What if every student and alumni from Niagara College had five to fifteen new connections that provided opportunities to share, learn, and grow professionally?

The Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership and the department of Development and Alumni Relations are excited to launch NC Alumni Connect. The aim of this initiative is to help expand professional connections for the Niagara College community.

NC Alumni Connect is an exclusive networking and mentoring program that matches alumni with students and recent grads for a career-inspiring coffee, either online or in-person. The program is powered by Ten Thousand Coffees, a social learning solution that works with leading organizations and schools to build networks between students and alumni.

“We are excited to be part of the Ten Thousand Coffees initiative that connects students and alumni based on mutual career interests,” said Lianne Gagnon, director of Student Services at Niagara College. “The connections made through this innovative project create an online career community for our students, widening their networks, increasing their professional interactions, and providing guidance and advice on starting their careers.”

Funding for NC Alumni Connect has been provided by RBC through its Future Launch program, which helps prepare students for the future of work by helping grow their networks and make the necessary connections to ensure a successful transition from school to work.

In 2018, RBC Future Launch partnered with Ten Thousand Coffees with a common interest in increasing access to, and delivering support for alumni networking and mentoring for students at post-secondary institutions across Canada.

“Research indicates that as many as 85 per cent of jobs are filled via networking,” said Jennifer Santamaria, RBC regional director, Community Marketing and Citizenship, Southwestern Ontario. “Through our partnership with Ten Thousand Coffees, RBC Future Launch is helping young Canadians, including students at Niagara College, make meaningful connections to bridge the gap between education and employment.”

Having a diverse network can help students gain a better understanding of what careers are available, develop communications skills through real-world practice, share ideas and explore innovative new skills and opportunities.

“We know that human-to-human interaction is what sticks when it comes to learning and growing, professionally,” said Dave Wilkin, CEO, Ten Thousand Coffees. “Each month, RBC Future Launch and Ten Thousand Coffees facilitates thousands of coffee chats to help young Canadians prepare for the future of work. Through providing structured access to the tools they need for the future of work, RBC Future Launch helps not only prepare students for the future of work, but also enables them to become more engaged, innovative and productive in a work setting. Together, RBC’s Future Launch and Ten Thousand Coffees are building relationships and connecting with students in a meaningful way.”

Matching through NC Alumni Connect is done through a private online community and connections are made based on specific career interests, skills and goals. Whether it’s career advice, job shadowing, or a mentoring chat, participants can get matched based on what interests them most.

To help make the coffee connections as easy as possible, students and alumni are provided with simple, step-by-step instructions on how to network effectively including conversation themes and icebreakers for each chat.

“NC Alumni Connect is a wonderful opportunity for both our students and alumni to expand their knowledge networks,” said Wendy Dueck, director, Development and Alumni Relations. “It’s a chance for our alumni to give back to their alma mater through the gift of their time and talents, and to inspire students and fellow alumni as they navigate their future careers. We are grateful to RBC for generously funding this new initiative.”

In addition to networking benefits, students can include their participation in the NC Alumni Connect program in their co-curricular record, enhancing their resume and career or academic portfolios, and helping showcase their involvement to future employers, graduate schools, and as eligibility for certain grants and bursaries. Based on their level of commitment to the program, both student and alumni participants receive an official LinkedIn certificate to recognize commitment to continuous learning and career advancement.

Staff and faculty are encouraged to promote this new networking opportunity to students and alumni to help facilitate lasting human connections for the whole NC community.

Staff and faculty alumni are also encouraged to sign up as mentors through the program. Internal alumni who sign up by September 30, 2019, will receive a voucher for a complimentary coffee that can be redeemed at either The Shack (Welland Campus) or The Undergrounds (NOTL Campus).

Alumni Relations staff will be available at Niagara Day on August 28, 2019 to answer questions and provide more information.

To sign up, visit

To learn more about the program, visit:
Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership
NC Alumni Relations
Ten Thousand Coffees
RBC Future Launch

Questions? Contact Elisabeth Vint, Student Engagement and Leadership Program coordinator, Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership, at or ext. 7298.

Reminder: Helen Armstrong retirement celebration

A message from Wendy Dueck, director, Development and Alumni Relations:

On behalf of the Development & Alumni Relations team, it is with mixed emotions that I advise of the retirement of Helen Armstrong from her role as Development Officer – Scholarships & Bursaries, effective August 31.

While we are very happy for Helen that her retirement from this position allows her to spend more time on an activity that she has pursued with passion for the past nine years – teaching ESL part-time at Niagara College – she is a valued member of our team and will be greatly missed.

Helen has served in various roles at NC for almost 17 years. During this time, she has been committed to fundraising for scholarships and bursaries, helping to ensure ongoing financial support is available for our students. Helen has built many positive relationships with donors, including one that resulted in the College receiving the largest gift ever as a bequest in a Will of a long time donor whom Helen had thoughtfully stewarded over many years.

We are pleased to invite members of the NC community to an Open House to celebrate Helen’s many years of service and dedication, extend congratulations on her upcoming retirement from her full-time position, and wish her well in the next phase of her ncstory!

Date: Thursday, August 15, 2019

Time: 3 to 5 p.m.

Location: Development & Alumni Relations Office
Suite 303, Niagara Corporate Business Centre
509 Glendale Ave. E, Niagara-on-the-Lake

NC alumna Carrie Vondrau elected president of Ontario Dental Hygienists’ Association

Niagara College graduate and dental hygienist Carrie Vondrau has been elected President Elect of of the Ontario Dental Hygienists’ Association (ODHA), a not-for-profit organization with close to 8,000 members.

Vondrau, of Cambridge, who graduated from the College’s Dental Hygiene program in 11998, began her  one- year term on May 24, 2019.

A registered dental hygienist, she brings a wide range of clinical experience and knowledge to the position. As a member of the Board of Directors, she joins a team of professionals whose main objective is to advance the profession of dental hygiene, educate the public about the importance of good oral health for overall health, and to advocate for access to oral health-care for all Ontarians.

As essential members of the health-care team, dental hygienists have a distinct role to play in the prevention of oral disease and in the promotion of oral health. This positions dental hygiene as an integral part of Ontario’s primary health-care system.

Dental hygienists work in a variety of public and private health-care settings. With more than 250 independent dental hygiene clinics and mobile practices located across the province, the public has increased access to affordable dental hygiene services.

Those who benefit most are low-income families, the uninsured and those who are physically unable to get to a dental office such as the sick or the homebound, residents in long-term care homes and those living in remote areas.

Established in 1963, the ODHA advocates for the profession. Dental hygiene is one of the largest regulated health-care professions in the province. In Ontario, all dental hygienists are registered with the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario, which regulates the profession to ensure the public receives safe and comprehensive oral health care.

Source: ODHA news release

Niagara College Class of 2019 to make history at Spring Convocation

Canada’s first-ever Cannabis and Distilling graduates to cross the stage

Niagara College is preparing to celebrate its largest spring convocation ever – and make history in the process.

More than 5,100 students will graduate from the College this spring, making NC’s Class of 2019 its largest to date, as the College marks its Spring Convocation ceremonies. To be held from June 17-21 at the Welland Campus, the ceremonies will also mark a special milestone for the College with Canada’s first graduates to earn a postsecondary credential in Commercial Cannabis Production (June 20, 10 a.m.) and Artisan Distilling (June 21, 10 a.m.) Both postgraduate certificate programs launched at the College in fall 2018 as the first of their kind in the country.

Convocation is the highlight of the academic year and a celebration of student success at NC.

“All of the students who cross the stage at Convocation are part of Niagara College’s legacy of student success,” said College president Dan Patterson. “Our graduates have the skills to take on industry challenges and become tomorrow’s leaders. Our faculty and staff take great pride in their accomplishments.”

Spring Convocation will include eight ceremonies over five days, all held at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre. Graduates and their guests will hear from a variety of distinguished business and community leaders who will deliver convocation addresses and receive special honours from the College.

Keith Segal

Ceremonies will begin on Monday, June 17 at 3 p.m. with the School of Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies. The convocation speaker for the afternoon will be Keith Segal, owner, president, and CEO of International Insurance. Segal is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist serving the education industry and supporting international students. He will receive an Honorary Diploma in International Studies.

Kim Plewes

Tuesday, June 18 will begin at 10 a.m. with a ceremony celebrating graduates in the School of Community Services. Kim Plewes, principal development director of WE, a movement and organization to help communities around the world create positive social change, will deliver the convocation address and will receive an Honorary Diploma in Community Studies. Tuesday morning’s ceremony will also see Child and Youth Care graduate Emily Stewardson Gregory receive the 2019 Governor General’s Academic Medal, which is presented to the graduate with the highest overall grade-point average. Stewardson Gregory will graduate from the Child and Youth Care program with a 98.43% grade-point average.

Richard Taylor

The 3 p.m. ceremony will see students in the School of Business and Management hear a convocation address from Richard Taylor, president of Niagara Casinos, a recognized gaming industry leader who heads one of the largest business operations in Niagara. .. Taylor will receive an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies.

Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji

Ceremonies will continue the morning of Wednesday, June 19 with the School of Justice and Fitness Studies. Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji, acting medical officer of health for the Niagara Region, will address convocation. Hirji’s career focus is on the public health and emergency services that protect Niagara’s 450,000 residents and 15 million annual visitors. Hirji will be granted an Honorary Diploma in Health Studies.

Betty-Lou Souter

On Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m., the ceremony for the School of Academic and Liberal Studies, the School of English Language Studies, and the School of Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies will open with an address from Betty-Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold. Souter is known as the voice of poverty in Niagara, advocating for a healthy and vibrant community. Souter will receive an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies.

Carolyne Watts

On Thursday morning, the ceremony for the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies and the School of Technology Studies will take place. Guest speaker Carolyne Watts, plant manager for General Motors, St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, and a former chair of the Niagara College Board of Governors will address graduating students. Watts has spent nearly four decades with General Motors and has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to environmental preservation, safety awareness and community outreach. Watts will receive an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies.

Mike Crawley

At the Thursday morning ceremony, School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies will see the first cohort of Commercial Cannabis Production graduates cross the stage. The first of its kind in Canada, the program launched in 2018 to meet the industry’s demand for highly skilled cannabis growers.

On, June 20 at 3 p.m., graduates in the School of Media Studies and the School of Trades will hear from CBC News reporter, Mike Crawley. Crawley is the Ontario provincial affairs reporter and has also reported on important global issues in Africa, Europe and the US. He will receive an Honorary Diploma in Journalism.

Kelly L. Brown

Spring Convocation Ceremonies conclude on Friday morning where graduates in the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport, and School of Food and Wine Sciences, will hear from Kelly L. Brown, senior vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs for Arterra Wines Canada Inc. Brown is considered one of Canada’s top lawyers and sits on the leadership team for Arterra, the leading wine producer in Canada. Brown will receive an Honorary Graduate Certificate in Wine Business Management.

Inaugural graduates from the Artisan Distilling program, from NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, will cross the convocation stage at the final ceremony on Friday morning. Launched in 2018 as the first of its kind in Canada, the program rounded out NC’s program offerings as the only college in Canada with full-time wine, beer and distilling programs.

Niagara College’s Spring Convocation Ceremonies are streamed live, and may be viewed at