Community events and provincial tributes celebrate Colleges Week in Ontario

TORONTO, April 3, 2017 /CNW/ - Community events, tributes at Queen's Park and special receptions that promote students' innovations and achievements will help mark today's official kickoff of Colleges Week in Ontario.

"College education is pivotal to Ontario's efforts to meet the heightened demand for highly qualified graduates with specialized skills," said Fred Gibbons, the president of Northern College and chair of Colleges Ontario. "Our graduates are enjoying tremendous success throughout the world. Their expertise will be even more important to Ontario's prosperity in the years ahead as new innovations revolutionize the world economy."

The Colleges Week activities in Ontario are part of a national celebration to help mark Canada's 150th anniversary. The scheduled activities include clean-up days, tree plantings, meal preparations for people in need, and other student volunteer events to support college communities.

Colleges Week is particularly important in this province as Ontario celebrates the 50th anniversary of the college system. Queen's Park has unanimously proclaimed the week of April 3 as Colleges Week, with tributes to be delivered in the legislature.

"This is a huge milestone year for students, alumni, and everyone associated with Ontario's colleges," said Don Lovisa, the president of Durham College and chair of the college sector's 50th anniversary task force. "It's exciting to reflect on just how much our college system has evolved and will continue to evolve in the years ahead."

Other Colleges Week highlights include:

  • Colleges Ontario chair Fred Gibbons will deliver a luncheon address – Rethinking College Education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – to the Canadian Club of Toronto on April 5. The speech will examine how colleges will be at the forefront of advancements in higher education.

  • A morning event today at Queen's Park, called the Creativity Zone, will feature a number of innovative and creative student projects from throughout the province.

  • The annual College Day hospitality reception takes place this evening at Queen's Park, with students from nine colleges preparing and serving a range of culinary specialties.

The career-specific programs at colleges give Ontario a competitive advantage over many competing jurisdictions that don't offer the same level of professional and technical programs at the post-secondary level. In fact, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says Canada is a world leader in post-secondary attainment rates because of the access to college programs.

"Growing numbers of students of all ages are acquiring real-world experience and expertise at Ontario's colleges," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "As we look to the next 50 years, colleges will lead the way in producing the highly skilled workforce that will be essential to Ontario's growth and prosperity."

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SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: Amy Dickson, Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Colleges Ontario, 647-258-7686, dickson@collegesontario.org

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www.collegesontario.org

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