Silversmith Brewing rolls out weekly cask beer crafted by Niagara College Teaching Brewery

NC Brewmaster student Dan Clark pours a pint of his beer, Loggerhead, from behind the bar at Silversmith as Jon Downing (NC Brewmaster professor), Ben Goerzen (Silversmith marketing and communications), and Ian Evans (NC Brewmaster student) look on.

Real ale’ enthusiasts can now savour the flavours of a new cask-conditioned beer every week at Silversmith Brewing Company, thanks to a new partnership with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery.

Silversmith Brewing Company, a Vigil-based destination brewery popular with Niagara residents and tourists alike, began offering weekly cask beers crafted by students from Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program in early November. They plan to feature a new cask beer selection from the NC Teaching Brewery each week, year-round. The cask beers from the NC Teaching Brewery are available exclusively at Silversmith.

The fresh, all-natural cask beers are designed and brewed locally at the College’s Teaching Brewery in Niagara-on-the-Lake by third-semester Brewmaster students – all using hops from NC’s on-campus hop yard. Each Monday, a new cask is delivered to Silversmith to be tapped and ready to enjoy by Tuesday.

“As part of Niagara region’s tourism area for food, wine and drink, we believe it’s important to support Niagara College and its Teaching Brewery – which is the first of only two brewing schools in Canada,” said Ben Goerzen, marketing and communications, Silversmith Brewing Company. “We’re proud that this is the first partnership of its kind in Niagara and we’ve had a great response. Every week, the featured cask beer sells out well before the next one comes in.”

“We thank Silversmith for their tremendous support for beer education at Niagara College through this monumental new partnership,” said Steve Gill, general manager of the College’s Learning Enterprises. “It not only validates the quality of student-created products made on campus at our Teaching Brewery but boosts public exposure for our students and the products they create through their applied learning experience at NC.”

The idea stemmed from NC Brewmaster student Ian Evans who works part-time at Silversmith as a tour guide and server. Passionate about cask beer, Evans approached his employer about the possibility of featuring them more frequently and suggested they offer Niagara College beers.

“They loved the idea,” he said.

Evans’ beer Sherlock’s Cap – a British-style brown ale he created for his third semester Target Brew project – was the first NC cask beer featured at Silversmith in early November. It sold out in three days.

“I’m excited that all term three students will now have a chance to do this. It’s really cool to get feedback from the wide range of people enjoying a pint of it at Silversmith, and from the servers and brewers as well, in addition to my peers at the College,” said Evans. “When I talk to my regulars at Silversmith, they always want to know about the next cask beer that’s coming up.”

On December 3, a west coast-style ale called ‘Loggerhead’ created by third-semester Brewmaster student Dan Clark became the latest to join the lineup of NC featured cask beers at Silversmith.

“I didn’t expect to see a beer that I created available anytime soon at my favourite brewery,” said Clark. “We learned about cask beer in class, but to actually get to do it for a brewery like Silversmith is really cool because it gives us an opportunity to get our beers out there for more people to try.”

Brewmaster professor Jon Downing noted that the prospect of coming up with 52 different casks a year for a local brewery may have seemed daunting when they were first approached by Silversmith about the idea, but it aligned perfectly with what students in the third semester of the program are learning.

As part of their Target Brew project, all 18 third-semester students are required to create a competition-style beer for the Canadian Brewing Awards, brewed according to CBA guidelines. While the Target Brews are typically put into kegs and cans and sold at the Teaching Brewery under its Small Batch Beer label, now most of the 64 Target Brews created each year will also be cask-conditioned for Silversmith – a process which adds sugar and yeast to give the beer natural carbonation and distinct flavour.

“For many of our students, it is the first beer they are designing,” said Downing. “This is a valuable opportunity for them to apply their learning to create cask beers from their Target Brew projects and have them enjoyed by the public.”

While the students have been learning about cask beer in the program, Downing noted that there was little demand for casks when the Teaching Brewery began offering them five years ago, but they seem to be getting more popular.

“Many didn’t have the facilities or the tap, didn’t know how to look after it or didn’t think it could sell fast enough so we stopped,” he said. “Now, there are cask festivals with thousands of people showing up and hundreds of different beers on cask.

“For me, it’s the best style of beer no matter what variety or style. It’s always fresh, always naturally carbonated.”

Goerzen also noted that cask beer has become more popular in recent years – enjoyed by older and younger crowds alike.

“As a consumer, you get to try different beers more often with cask beer and it’s a different way to experience beer,” he said. “As a brewery, cask beers allow us to experiment in a small batch format and it might actually make its way to a new beer in the future.”

Silversmith Brewing Company is located at 1523 Niagara Stone Road, Virgil. For info visit

Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program was launched in 2010 as the first of its kind in Canada. The award-winning, two-year program offers extensive hands-on training at an on-site, state-of-the-art Teaching Brewery to prepare students for employment in the expanding brewery, microbrewery and brewpub industries. Located at NC’s Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake, students learn from award-winning faculty and have access to on-site hop yard and local farm products to brew a full range of beer styles. 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:


Julie Greco

Niagara College, Communications Consultant

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7368

Cell: 905 328 2532


Benjamin Goerzen

Silversmith Brewing Company, Marketing & Communications

Office: 905 468-8447

Cell: 905 360-1241

Niagara College builds empathy into Paramedic program training

Paramedic students (from left) PParamedic students (from left) Shyann Woods, Eric Vangoch and Nathan Wise lend a hand at the Hope Centre food bank. They are pictured with NC clinical supervisor Nate Alaimo (back right) and Hope Centre staff Shannon Munro and Gina Couldery.

A food bank or a community lunch program may not be typical training grounds for aspiring paramedics, but Niagara College has launched a new initiative to do just that for its Paramedic students in an effort to add empathy and other ‘soft’ skills to their tool kits.

From helping with meal prep to stocking food bank shelves, second-year Paramedic students have been working shifts at the Hope Centre in Welland, which serves some of the most vulnerable citizens in the area. The experience has been part of their clinical placement course since September. All 50 students enrolled in the course are required to complete two three-hour shifts at the Hope Centre: one assisting with the community lunch program, and another at the food bank.

In addition to experiences that help to improve their technical or ‘hard skills’ such as ride-outs in ambulances with Niagara Emergency Services, the new initiative aims to help students build ‘soft skills’ like empathy, compassion and communication. It also serves to teach them the value of community service, and help them become more comfortable with clients from vulnerable populations such as those who experience poverty and homelessness, mental illness or addictions.

“This is truly a lesson in humility for our students,” said Community and Health Studies dean Carolyn Triemstra. “Paramedics can be challenged in the field, particularly when working with clients from vulnerable populations. Through this new initiative, our students gain experience with vulnerable populations before they enter the field, while enhancing their ‘soft skills’ that are valuable to being a paramedic.”

Clinical supervisor Nate Alaimo noted that the new initiative was launched as a response to a recent shift in the types of calls paramedics have been responding to.

“While we were typically used to responding to calls at a person’s house, a lot of paramedicine has recently turned to mental health and to the vulnerable populations who don’t have houses, don’t have food, or the options of many of the services we take for granted,” said Alaimo. “By working with some of the more vulnerable populations, our students are learning to be empathetic, be compassionate and really be able to understand the differences in peoples’ lives, and where they’re coming from.”

Niagara EMS system transformation project lead Karen Lutz-Graul, who is also the commander of quality assurance and performance standards, noted the need for such training.

“The addition of this new initiative in paramedic education aligns with the transformative changes occurring within Niagara EMS and across the field of paramedicine as a whole, which are aimed at ensuring all those that we serve are provided care that is holistically able to better treat those in our community who may be vulnerable or have social inequities,” said  Lutz-Graul. “Ensuring that future paramedics have the skills and training to provide this care is crucial to their future careers as paramedics within our community of service providers.”

At the Hope Centre’s Community Lunch program – which serves a hot lunch at noon for to up to 80 people Monday to Friday – students assist with tasks like food preparation, cleaning and serving; while at the food bank – which averages about 30 clients per day – they help stock shelves and assist clients with their grocery lists. When they aren’t needed to complete tasks however, students focus on mingling with clients.

Shannon Munro, fund development and community coordinator at the Hope Centre, said that the students’ contributions have been invaluable – not only as needed extra hands to assist with the delivery of the Centre’s services but in their client interactions.

“It’s a two-way street with what’s learned and gained between our clients and the students,” she said. “There can be a lot of barriers between the vulnerable population and people in uniform, and this is a good opportunity for our clients to become more comfortable with them.”

“Our clients build trust talking to the Paramedic students,” said Gina Couldery, food services coordinator. “They’ve been very interested in the students who have been coming here every week.”

Students noted they value the experience they are gaining. Nathan Wise believes it will improve the kind of paramedic he will be. “To be the best patient advocate, we need to feel like we’re on the same team to better connect with and treat patients,” he said. “I think it’s important for us to knock down those barriers that divide us, like socioeconomic status, and just be able to connect with people.”

Shyann Woods valued the experience of interacting with clients. “It gave me insight into how other people live that I wouldn’t normally have been around,” she said. “Having conversations, asking people who they are and what they’ve done, it was simple – just like having a conversation with a friend.”

Eric Vangoch believes that learning about the process of using a food bank and what it means for clients will help him and his classmates remain judgement-free as paramedics.

“The big thing for me was to gain a sense of what the clients go through on a daily basis and what it takes for them to feed their family – the humility it takes,” he said. “The more we know about our clients and what they go through daily, why they’re in the position they’re in, it gives us a better idea when we’re responding on the road.

“People are in these positions for a reason and that reason may not be in their control, so why would we make a judgement about that, or provide any lesser form of care because of their situation?”

Additional community experience

As part of their clinical placement class, Paramedic students also complete shifts assisting seniors at the South Niagara Health and Wellness Centre (SNHWC) and Community Support Services of Niagara (CSSN).

At CCSN’s Welland, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls locations – all Niagara Regional Housing sites – students assist with a Wellness Supportive Living program. They interact with senior clients/tenants at coffee and breakfast programs, engage in conversations and provide one-on-one attention.

“We are challenged with time and resources to have meaningful one-on-one conversations with all clients while delivering a variety of both congregate dining and social/recreation programs in a group setting,” said CCSN executive director Carolyn Askeland. “The students have allowed CSSN to ensure that those clients with the greatest need are provided with a dedicated individual to listen and engage in conversation. In addition, it has allowed CSSN staff to give attention to our ‘well’ clients who are sometimes overlooked within the busyness of day-to-day operations.”

At the SNHWC, students assist with the wellness component of the Ambulatory Rehab program – geared to helping older adults – and practice their hard and soft skills. They take blood pressure and vitals on clients and work on their communication skills by participating in health education sessions and exercises alongside clients.

“Students are provided opportunities to work among a team, problem solve, and practice different communication strategies, all essential skills needed to be successful on the job,” said SNHWC wellness resource coordinator Jenn Bandi. “Our clients love the opportunity to interact with the students and learn about their field of study and future aspirations.

“In turn, our clients get the most current information in the field and practical strategies to manage their health.”

Niagara College’s Paramedic program is a two-year diploma program based at its Welland Campus. For 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:


Julie Greco

Communications Consultant

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7368

Cell: 905 328 2532


Michael Wales

Communications Manager

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7773

Cell: 905 328 4101

License to Brew: NC students infuse ‘killer flavours’ at Project Brew this holiday season

On Friday, December 6, student brewers from Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program will serve up their top-secret recipes – unique beers infused with ‘killer flavours’ at Project Brew: License to Brew.

Nineteen student brewers will be at Market Square in St. Catharines for the College’s celebrated student-run craft beer festival. The event, held each semester, features highly innovative and thirst-quenching beers crafted by NC students, and is a chance for beer lovers in the community to sample their small-batch creations.

“This term’s graduating class has learned the complexities of planning a beer festival,” said April Tyrrell, faculty advisor for the event. “They developed their event-planning skills through the hands-on application of marketing the event, creating a sponsorship package, designing the floor plan and décor. The execution of the event will bring everything together at Market Square.”

Student brewer Nate Byrnes recognizes the irony in the event’s theme; James Bond’s drink of choice was a martini, not a beer.

“We’re putting a spin on the Casino Royale theme. One of the class beers we’re producing is a gin-inspired beer in honour of Bond,” said Byrnes. “We like the James Bond that drinks beer.”

This winter, students will be previewing a variety of styles and flavours, from fruity sours to a darker coffee maple stout, berry porter, and chai-spiced brown ale, among others.

“The beers being produced are our own creations from start to finish,” said Byrnes, who noted the breadth of hands-on experience students are exposed to in preparation for Project Brew will prepare them for their careers as brewers and business owners.

Largest female brewing class in program history

The event is hosted by students in their fourth and final term of the Brewmaster program which includes eight female students – representing the largest number of women in a NC Brewmaster class to date.

“The students in this class have been amazing. The dedication they have shown to learning their craft, taking part in industry events and how they have come together as a team in the brewery shows that diversity really benefits everyone,” said NC brewmaster professor Jon Downing who has been with the program since its inception. “It is going to be fun to see how they grow and become a part of the brewing community. The craft brewing industry is constantly changing and improving. I know they will each be a huge asset no matter where they end up or what they do.”

Brewmaster-in-training Laura Milukow returned to her home province of Ontario in 2018, joining the program after six years working in forestry in western Canada. Her brew, Golden Spruce, has a personal touch; a double dry hopped mango IPA with juniper and spruce tips – a tribute to her time spent tree planting.

“I planted over half a million spruce trees out west, so it was a really important ingredient to me,” said Milukow, who is an environmentalist at heart. Milukow describes the flavour as “woody, refreshing and seasonal.”

“I’m inspired by seeing other women in the industry, and having so many female brewers in the class definitely gave it a different dynamic. We were all excited to brew together,” she said.

Milukow hopes to be part of the movement of more women and diversity represented in the craft brewing industry. “When I tell people I’m brewing, they assume I’m making wine. No, I’m making beer,” she said proudly.

“The fact that there are eight of us in this class, it seems like it’s looking up,” said Milukow. “The women in this class are going to be among my closest resources once I hit the industry.”

“We’re proud to have strong female representation in this class and hope to see women’s interest in brewing grow in the years to come,” said Tyrrell. “The students have learned how events like Project Brew can be an inclusive space for all people. Our female graduates are creating their own inclusive spaces as they boldly head into the craft beer industry.”

Proceeds from Project Brew support the Matt Soos Memorial Fund, which awards a scholarship each year to the student who brews the best beer at the College’s Brewmaster Competition.

Meet the brewers, get a sneak peek at the brews, order tickets and find more details at

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:


Julie Greco
Communications Consultant
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7368
Cell: 905 328 2532

Michael Wales
Communications Manager
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7773
Cell: 905 328 4101


Niagara College nominates seven 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 annual 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 include:

  • Apprenticeship – Todd Clarmo (Milton) corporate executive chef, Charcoal Group of Restaurants (Burlington), and graduate of NC’s Chef Apprentice program (1986);
  • Business – Tim Hansing (Thailand), founder and CEO of Red Planet Hotels, and graduate of NC’s Hotel and Restaurant Administration program (1987);
  • Community Services – Kevin Rempel (Toronto), founder and CEO, The Sledge Hockey Experience, and graduate of NC’s Event Management (2009) and Business Administration Marketing (2005) programs;
  • Creative Arts and Design – Christopher Bessette (Niagara), writer, producer, director, New Reformation Pictures, and graduate of NC’s Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program (1984);
  • Health Sciences – Sarah Moore, PhD (Maple Ridge, British Columbia), full-time professor, Douglas College, and graduate of NC’s Therapeutic Recreation program (2003);
  • Recent Graduate – Matrixx Ferreira (Niagara) founder and CEO, Iron Performance Center, and graduate of NC’s Exercise Science program (2015);  and
  • Technology – Sandro Perruzza (Oakville) CEO, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, and graduate of Environmental Management program (1995).

“We are pleased to nominate these outstanding members of our alumni community for Premier’s Awards and are immensely proud of their achievements,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “Our 2019 Premier’s Award nominees are a testament to how Niagara College graduates are contributing to every sector of the economy and are making their mark in the Niagara region, across Canada, and around the world.”

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

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:

Julie Greco

Communications Consultant

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7368

Cell: 905 328 2532


Michael Wales

Communications Manager

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7773

Cell: 905 328 4101

Faceless but deeply ‘felt’

Emily Jeanscalzo creates a faceless doll in memory of her aunt at the Welland Campus Workshop.

College community crafts dolls to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women

They were adorned with outfits, hair and even accessories, but there was something prominent missing from the felt dolls crafted with care at the Welland Campus on November 27 – not one had face.

These dolls are not toys. The omission of facial features was intentional and impactful. Each doll visually represented and honoured a missing or murdered Indigenous woman or girl in Canada.

Hosted by the Academic and Liberal Studies division, the interactive Faceless Dolls Workshop was attended by students, staff and faculty who had an opportunity to learn about and reflect on the meaning behind the dolls while crafting them.

The workshop builds on the legacy of the Native Women Association of Canada’s Faceless Dolls Project launched in 2012 to visually represent the countless ‘faceless’ victims of crime, Indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada.

NC began hosting Faceless Dolls workshops in 2015 – organized initially by then-student Alkiie-Babe Froman, and supported by the College’s Indigenous Education department. Froman’s mission was to create 1,200 dolls to represent the estimated number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. This year’s workshop continued her original goal and each newly created doll was added to the College’s collection.

For Emily Jeanscalzo, participating in the workshop was highly personal. The former Horticulture student returned to the College to take part once again, through her continued connection to the Indigenous Education department.

“My aunt, Denise Bourdeau, was murdered and this is my way to remember her, to inform people, to let people know that this happens,” she said. “We do have faces, we do have names. When people come here to make a doll because women are murdered, I say, ‘no, you’re making this doll to represent my aunt.’ This has a lot of meaning to it.’”

After participating in the workshop at NC last year and learning about its meaning from its founder, Jeanscalzo organized a similar workshop at her daughter’s high school last November to spread awareness about the initiative.

Welding student Whitney Dedam heard about the workshop through a friend and wanted to participate.  “A lot of people walk by and ask about what we’re doing and it’s cool to share with others the meaning behind it,” said Dedam. “A lot of people don’t know, not because they don’t want to know but because there’s so much going on in the world. I like to share why this is important.”

Several students in the Palliative Care program participated as part of their Diversity class.

“We learned about why this is important in class, it’s very new for us,” said Jasleen Kaur and Amandeep Kaur. “We’re taking initiative to tell people about it. It’s raising awareness.”

Sociology professor Crystal Adams Coons, who organized the workshop, noted that many students enrolled in Diversity and Inclusion courses participated.

“Within our department, our Sociology faculty have been working diligently to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous voices into our Diversity courses,” she said. “Beyond being a learning experience for the NC community (and many of our Diversity students), it is important for our team that we model the inclusivity we teach in the classroom and that we actively work towards reconciliation.”

Ashley Buck, a student success leader with Indigenous Education, was pleased to see the workshop’s continued popularity this year, to raise the profile of Indigenous issues and awareness throughout the College.

“While students are making on the dolls, it’s a great opportunity for them to reflect on why this is meaningful, and while they are tangibly holding the dolls, they have deeper conversations,” said Buck. “The more they participate in that dialogue, the more likely they may be interested in learning more – rent out a book, or attend another Indigenous event, or come visit our lounge. Events like this help increase visibility for our students campus-wide.”

The Faceless Dolls workshop is among a roster of activities held at the College during Indigenous Awareness Month in November. NC’s Student Services and Indigenous Education encourage the College community to get involved in activities throughout the month, aimed at building stronger relationships and generating dialogue.

“Marking Indigenous Awareness Month is an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to learn about Indigenous culture and celebrate the richness and diversity of Indigenous peoples,” said Lianne Gagnon, director of Student Services. “As a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action, Indigenous Awareness Month builds student capacity for intercultural understanding and engagement.”

Events have included an Indigenous Cuisine Experience hosted by the Bachelor of Business Administration Hospitality program (Nov. 11), free screenings of Catch the Dream featuring biographies of Indigenous people (Nov. 7, 14 ,21 and 28), Hiking the Wetland Ridge Trail to highlight the natural environment and Indigenous knowledge hosted by the Office of Sustainability (Nov. 6), and more.

Rock Around the Clock: Niagara College 24-hour radiothon to help battle student hunger   

Third-year CRNC department heads (from left) Ryan Szeideman (music director), Olivia Palermo (program director), Al Johnson (production director), and Shimpei Adachi (marketing/promotions) are ready to Rock Around the Clock on November 28-29.

Bring on the caffeine and pump up the volume; a group of Niagara College Broadcasting students are ready to Rock Around the Clock for a worthy cause.

On November 28-29, a group of more than 20 students from College radio station CRNC The Heat, who are enrolled in the Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program, will continue the NC tradition of hosting the annual 24-hour Rock Around the Clock radiothon. Students have dedicated this year’s event to raising funds for Niagara College Student Administrative Council’s Nourishing Minds program, which provides grocery gift cards to students who need them.

Beginning at noon on November 28 and running straight until noon on November 29, the radiothon will feature specialty shows and various music genres. Third-year Broadcasting student Olivia Palermo, program director for CRNC, said that she – along with the station department heads – will stay awake for the duration of the 24-hour event, and noted that there will plenty of games and food to help the participating students power through.

“This event is the perfect blend of giving and receiving,” said Palermo. “Not only do we get to give back to our community, but we have the chance to do what we love, and gain skills for our future in radio broadcast.”

Broadcasting professor Bruce Gilbert noted the initiative provides students with a valuable opportunity to manage and participate in a typical radio fundraising event.

“Radiothons are truly experiential learning,” said Gilbert. “More importantly though, it’s a chance for BRTF students to give back a little to the College community by raising money for the Nourishing Minds program.”

NCSAC president Tom Price noted that the importance of the Nourishing Minds program, as well as the Rise and Shine Breakfast program which provides a free meal to students Tuesday and Thursday mornings. An average of 240 students use the program each Tuesday and Thursday.

“The radio students in the BRTF program hosting the 24-hour Rock Around The Clock in support of NCSAC’s Nourishing Minds program is the epitome of the ‘Niagara College DNA.’ They are an inspiration to their fellow classmates in motivating students to help students,” said Price. “The Nourishing Minds program is vital to the retention and success of all Niagara College students, as is the Rise and Shine Breakfast program, and the grocery store gift cards address and endeavor to reduce food insecurities.”

During the radiothon, students will be stationed near The Heat studio at the Welland Campus (beside International in the Simcoe foyer) where they will collect cash donations for Nourishing Minds.

“We understand college students can’t afford a big donation, we just want to help as many students as we can,” said Palermo. “If every student gave a dollar or two, we could certainly make an impact.”

The event also marks a ‘changing of the guards’ at CRNC. It is staffed by the current department heads at the College radio station, with support from the incoming group who will officially take over in the new year. On-air duties will be covered by students who host weekend specialty shows.

Tune into Rock Around the Clock by listening to CRNC online at

CRNC The Heat is the campus radio station for Niagara College. Located inside Niagara College’s Welland Campus, The Heat is on-air 24/7. Listen for music, news and information, all presented by Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film students.

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


Julie Greco

Communications Consultant

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7368

Cell: 905 328-2532


Michael Wales

Communications Manager

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7773

Cell: 905 328-4101

Niagara College reaps hard-core success at international cider competition

Tastes like gold! Meet NC’s latest award-winning ciders: Cider 101 and Brut Cider.

For craft cider lovers, Niagara College is proving to be the apple of their eyes.

The College’s Teaching Winery had a fruitful showing at the recent 2019 U.S. Open Cider Championship, with two gold-medal-winning ciders and a third place overall ranking.

Known as one of the largest cider competitions on the continent, the recent sixth annual championship drew more than 300 entries from the United States and Canada, as well as from Europe and the United Kingdom. The top three ciders in 24 categories were awarded gold, silver and bronze respectively; and the top three cideries overall were announced, with NC tied for third place.

NC’s popular Cider 101 captured the top spot in the Modern Cider Dry category, while the College’s single batch Brut Cider won the Brut Cider category. NC also made the competition’s list of the Top 10 Most Creative Cider Names for its ‘Peach Better Have My Honey Cider.’

Dow Scoggins, director of the U.S. Open Beer, Cider and Whiskey Championships, applauded NC’s standout achievements.

“It’s truly amazing when a college can be only one of two cideries to win two gold medals at the U.S. Open Cider Championship, the second largest cider competition in North America,” said  Scoggins. “Also, what is equally amazing is that Niagara College’s Cider 101 is the only cider to win three gold medals at the U.S. Open.”

The wins were welcome news at the College’s Teaching Winery.

“When it comes to beverage production at the NC Teaching Winery, the apple doesn’t fall far from the vine,” said Steve Gill, general manager of NC’s Learning Enterprises. “Winning two gold medals and ranking in the top three overall at an international cider competition is a testament to how Canada’s first commercial Teaching Winery has not only built a reputation as a leader in the wine industry, but in the craft cider industry as well.”

“This recognition validates the high-quality of the ciders we take pride in creating, whether it’s our consistently award-winning Cider101 or our single batch Brut Cider,” said College winemaker Gavin Robertson, who has been leading cider production at the Teaching Winery since Cider 101 was first introduced in 2015.

The Teaching Winery has been rolling out Cider 101 ever since, as well as varying seasonal ciders as part of its Single Batch Cider series, launched in 2017. Robertson noted that the Teaching Winery continues to ramp up its cider production efforts, with the recent purchase of a new apple mill and cider press which will enhance its capacity to work with small batches.

“Cider has been growing in popularity since we first introduced it to our Teaching Winery four years ago. We are now making between nine to 12 different batches per year,” noted Robertson. “With many wine students who have been showing interest in cider, we are pleased to be able to expose those working in our Teaching Winery to the production of award-winning ciders.”

This is Cider 101’s third gold medal in four years at the U.S. Open, after winning gold in 2017 and 2016. Cider 101 also won bronze (traditional apple category) at the Ontario Cider Awards in 2016. The modern, approachable cider is fresh, vibrant and fruit-forward, made from locally-grown apples, with 5.5% ABV.

For Brut Cider, this is its first award and first competition entry. The Single Batch cider was released last summer and will be available only while supplies last. Made from Russet apples, it was naturally carbonated and bottle fermented. The result: a traditional cider with complex characters and 9% ABV.

Staff from the NC Teaching Brewery as well as students and graduates from the College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program were involved as part of the judging panel, when the final judging took place in Buffalo, New York. They were led by NC Brewmaster professor Jon Downing who is the director of judging for the U.S. Open beer, cider and whiskey championships. Since judging for this competition is blind, judges do not know which ciders they are tasting.

Downing noted that judging the cider competition was a valuable experience for students who participated.

“For Brewmaster students, it gives them experience judging a different fermented beverage that has some overlap as far as ingredients such as fruits, spices and hops,” said Downing. “I think a broader education helps any student getting into the food and beverage, and hospitality industries. Brew students who know about distilling and wine would certainly pad their resumes.”

For information and complete results from the U.S. Open Cider Championship, visit

Cider 101 and Single Batch Ciders are available for purchase at the Wine Visitor + Education Centre retail store, located at NC’s Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake (135 Taylor Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake). Visit

Niagara College’s Teaching Winery is the first and only commercial teaching winery in Canada. It is located at the College’s Daniel J. Patterson Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, along with the NC Teaching Brewery and – the latest addition in September 2018 – the NC Teaching Distillery which were also the first of their kind in Canada.

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, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit




Media inquiries, please contact


Julie Greco

Communications Consultant

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7368

Cell: 905 328-2532


Michael Wales

Communications Manager

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7773

Cell: 905 328-4101

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


Ready, Set, Grow! Niagara College hosts Ontario Colleges’ Marketing Competition Nov. 21-22

Niagara College’s team of Marketing students and their coaches are ready for OCMC 2019.

Niagara College is preparing to welcome future business leaders from across the province as this year’s host of the 2019 Ontario Colleges’ Marketing Competition.

Showcasing the top college marketing students in Ontario, the two-day competition themed ‘Ready, Set, Grow!’ will be held in Niagara Falls (Sheraton on the Falls Hotel) on November 21 and 22. This year’s competition will draw more than will 250 students from 12 participating colleges including Algonquin, Cambrian, Conestoga, Durham, Fanshawe, George Brown, Georgian, Humber, Niagara College, Seneca, Sheridan College, and St. Clair.

“We are excited to welcome the best and the brightest students from across Ontario to Niagara for OCMC 2019,” Terri Champion, School of Business and Management faculty member and coordinator of the Business- Sales and Marketing program who is this year’s OCMC event organizer, along with NC School of Business Management faculty member Malcolm Howe.  “This event not only challenges marketing students to put their skills to the test, it can be a life-changing experience for those who participate and the highlight of their academic career.”

“As a result of the months students spend training with faculty coaches, the thrill of competing, and the opportunity to present to industry professionals at the competition, OCMC is a springboard to future career success,” said Howe. “Year after year, we hear from students about how preparing for and participating in this event has helped them make contacts, land a job or has given them the confidence to succeed.”

School spirit will be in full force when the event kicks off on November 21 with a welcome from NC president Dan Patterson and a Quiz Bowl competition (7 p.m.). Students will team up with those from other colleges and the teams will face off in a game-show-style competition. With buzzers in hand, they will be ready to answer marketing questions based on textbook and magazine content.

On November 22, most of the competitive events will take place, spanning critical marketing environments, from direct marketing, entrepreneurship, international marketing, and integrated marketing communications, to marketing research, prospect pitching, retail, and sales presentations. In case competitions, students must race against the clock, with 30 minutes to read, analyze and create a PowerPoint presentation –  including problem identification, situation analysis, objectives, and identification of alternative, recommendation, and a plan for implementation – and 15 minutes to present to a room of judges. For Sales Presentation and Job Interview events, students are given information about the company and situation in advance and must present their pitch or mock interview to judges on event day.

OCMC will wrap on the evening of Nov. 22 with a gala dinner and awards banquet. Trophies will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners for each competition, and to the top three college teams who accumulated the most points overall.

Niagara College’s OCMC 2019 team includes 15 students from the Business- Sales and Marketing two-year diploma program and the Business Administration – Marketing (Co-op)  three-year advanced diploma program.

For second-year Business- Sales and Marketing student Niall Cain (Niagara-on-the-Lake), OCMC presents an opportunity to challenge himself, build his public speaking skills, and gain experience that will help him stand out to potential employers.

“This experience has been so valuable to me. Over the last two-and-a-half months, I have learned so much through OCMC training,” said Cain. “I feel being an OCMC competitor gives you a big advantage when looking for a job. It looks amazing on a resume and can usually turned into a talking point during an interview.”

NC faculty member Chris Treschak noted that students have been dedicating more than four hours per week since early September to prepare for the competition – double for those participating in two competitive events.  As a coach who has been preparing NC students and as a former OCMC winner, he knows firsthand the value of the competition.

“To this day, of all my experiences of all my levels of academia, OCMC was the single most memorable experience I have had the pleasure of being a part of,” he said.

Treschak noted that the experience benefits students in numerous ways, such as building camaraderie, providing additional learning opportunities, giving students a chance to receive direct feedback from industry professionals, and opening doors to networking opportunities.

“It is not uncommon for students to get job offers from this event,” said Treschak. “I have friends who still work for companies they met through their OCMC experience.”

In addition to 11 competitive events, this year’s OCMC will offer a number of learning opportunities including webinars (hosted by Canada Post), a networking fair, a Career Corner (hosted by Performance Auto Group), a holiday-themed mixology workshop (hosted by NC), marketing-themed contests, and a faculty workshop, ‘Incorporating Data and Analytics into your Marketing Curriculum’ (presented by Environics Analytics).

This year’s OCMC will draw 125 faculty members, coaches and academic leaders from colleges throughout Ontario, as well as more than 50 community business leaders who will participate in judging panels. More than 80 volunteers from NC will be assisting with the competition.

NC students have been participating in OCMC competitions since 2004. The last time the College hosted OCMC was in 2008.

2019 OCMC sponsors include title sponsor Meridian; gold sponsors Canada Post and Pearson Education; silver sponsors Nelson Education, Abatement Technologies, Performance Auto Group, CAA Niagara, and Environics Analytics; bronze sponsors McGraw Hill Education, and Niagara College; and partner sponsors Boston Pizza Clifton Hill, the Great Canadian Sales Competition, Brand Blvd., and Vanier College Foundation.

For info 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  RSVP: Julie Greco at

ON-SITE EVENT CONTACT: Terri Champion at 905-704-9504


  1. Niagara College team photo

Reporters will have an opportunity meet the NC team, speak to students and faculty at this time.


November 21, 2:15 p.m.


Oakes Garden Theatre (weather permitting)

5825 River Rd, Niagara Falls, ON

From hotel: exit main lobby and entrance is directly across the street

Alternate location:

Sheraton on the Falls Hotel – Fallsview Studio C (third floor)

5875 Falls Ave, Niagara Falls, ON             


2. Quiz Bowl welcome and event


November 21, 7 p.m.


Sheraton on the Falls Hotel – Great Room C (third floor Conference Centre)

5875 Falls Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3K7


Media inquiries, please contact


Julie Greco

Communications Consultant

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7368

Cell: 905 328-2532


Michael Wales

Communications Manager

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7773

Cell: 905 328-4101


Niagara College Hospitality ‘underdogs’ earn spot as finalist among American universities in international competition

Sometimes, the underdog runs ahead of the pack.

Students in Niagara College’s Honours Bachelor of Business Administration – Hospitality program were right behind the likes of Michigan State University, California State Polytechnic University, and Virginia Tech on November 10 when they won fourth place in an international market study competition in New York City.

The NC team, made up of five Hospitality degree program students who self-describe as “underdogs,” impressed judges at the Smith Travel Research (STR) Student Market Study Competition. They became the top-placing Canadian college among 26 undergraduate teams from across North America and Asia.

Damian Goulbourne, associate dean of School of Applied Business and Tourism, noted that the NC team’s ranking is a testament to the quality of education offered at Niagara College.

“Niagara College’s School of Hospitality and Sport is proud of our students and their exceptional finish in this international competition,” said Goulbourne. “Their ranking among universities with global reputations for hospitality and tourism solidifies the place of our degree program among them. It demonstrates that our students can not only compete with students at top-tier, research-intensive universities – they can win.”

“I feel proud of my team for representing our small Canadian college so well and standing out,” said Erin Shoemaker, second-year Hospitality student, part of the College’s first team to enter the STR competition. “We were up against some really well-known, accomplished universities.”

During the competition, NC students presented their market analysis on the city of Buffalo, strategically selected for its proximity to Niagara.

“We felt, as Canadians, we would have a unique, outside perspective on this American city,” said third-year student Arnav Gupta.

The NC team presented the findings from their data analysis, including main clusters, trends, opportunities and market challenges, and successfully advanced to the final round of the competition where they presented once more and earned fourth place out of six finalists.

Third-year student Montana Marges described the moment she learned the NC team had placed in the top six of 26 schools.

“In that moment it felt like we won. Looking at my teammates and faculty coaches, I could see the pride and excitement in all of our expressions. It was a moment I will never forget,” said Marges. “Our success in the competition is proof of the quality of education we are receiving at Niagara College. Knowing that we as a Canadian college were able to stand as equals among strong American universities is a great feeling.”

NC professors Adam Weaver, Paul Willie and Heather Clark, coached the students through the weeks of preparation leading up to the competition.

“Our students performed incredibly well at the competition and this really is a coming of age for us as a degree program,” said Weaver.

The students praised their faculty coaches.

“I feel very thankful for the support our team had from our professors. They were alongside us in the long hours of crunching numbers and polishing slides, teaching and guiding us in the direction of success,” said Shoemaker. “The effort Niagara College faculty invest in their students is something to be very grateful for.”

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:


Julie Greco
Communications Consultant
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7368
Cell: 905 328 2532


Michael Wales
Communications Manager
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 7773
Cell: 905 328 4101