Olds and Niagara Colleges Sign Partnership Agreement for Canada's Sole Brewmaster Program

OLDS, AB, April 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Two Canadian colleges—one from Alberta and one from Ontario—officially signified their intent to deliver Canada's sole, national post-secondary Brewmaster program by signing a new east-west partnership agreement today.

By formalizing this agreement, Niagara College has committed to share its expertise and knowledge with Olds College as it launches the Brewmaster program in western Canada.  Alberta's Olds College and Ontario's Niagara College will deliver common curriculum and courses and will use identical infrastructure and brewing equipment to educate Brewmaster students under terms of the new agreement signed today on the Olds campus.

"This is an historic day for Olds College as not only do we become the first teaching brewery in western Canada, but this Brewmaster program also marks our first new, two-year diploma program in the past five years," President  Dr. H. J. (Tom) Thompson said today.  "In Niagara College's Canadian Food and Wine Institute, we also gain a wonderful national partner with impeccable credentials and impressive achievements."

Dr. Steve Hudson, Acting President of Niagara College, said the expansion of its Brewmaster program to Olds College is a testament to the program's success.

"When we created our Canadian Food and Wine Institute, our objective was to create a Canadian presence focused on food, wine and beer, and academic programming that can serve as a model for applied education," he said. "We are delighted that Olds College approached us to establish this collaborative relationship. The program has elements of agriculture, business and hospitality. It is an exceptional program, and will only grow stronger drawing on Olds' strong agricultural background and Niagara's strengths in hospitality."

The Olds College teaching brewery will be housed in the Pomeroy Inn and Suites at Olds College, a hotel and conference centre currently under construction on the campus.  It is expected to be ready to handle the first class of Brewmaster students beginning in September, 2013.

Olds College Vice-President  Academic and Research Dr. Jason Dewling  anticipates the Brewmaster program will deliver a track record of academic achievement he envisioned from the outset.

"This Brewing Program supports Olds College's on-going efforts to define and deliver academic uniqueness and performance excellence," he said today.  "Furthermore, I'm pleased that  today's national program agreement delivers clear support for the mission and mandate of the Canadian Institute of Rural Entrepreneurship at Olds College."

Project teams from both colleges will collaborate on all aspects of development for the Olds Teaching Brewery to complete installations and operational testing by the target start-up date.

Based on Niagara College's unprecedented success with its commercial Teaching Winery, the college launched its two-year Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management Diploma program in 2010. Its first class of about 20 students will graduate in June, 2012.


For further information:

Jason Dewling, Vice President, Academic & Research,
Olds College (403) 556-8337/ jdewling@oldscollege.ca
Toby Williams, Project Manager, Canadian Institute for
Rural Entrepreneurship at Olds College (403) 507-7702/
TWilliams2@oldscollege.ca

Gordon Hunchak, Director Marketing & Communications
Niagara College (905) 735-2211, ext. 7567/(905) 650-7820