Art Contest Invites Student Submissions


Contributed by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)


For the fifth year in a row, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is looking to showcase student talent on the walls of the association’s national office at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.

For the 2018 Art Showcase, CICan invites students from colleges and institutes across the country to submit their artwork.

This year, CICan will be selecting a winner from the following six categories:

• printmaking, including etching, lithography, relief, silkscreen-printing, or papermaking;

• textile, mixed media, or sculpture, from stitching rich tapestries to molding clay, carving wood to unique dyeing techniques;

• photography;

• digital illustration or animation, including comic strips, posters, or multi-dimensional living images;

• painting; and,

• drawing.

Each winner will receive a monetary prize of $350,

The winning artwork will be displayed at the CICan offices, and will receive recognition on CICan’s website and in various association publications.

The final voting will take place during CICan’s annual conference, April 29 to May 1 in Victoria, British Columbia.

The submission deadline is March 9.

For more info and to enter, go to


2018 is here and there are a lot of things on our mind. In no particular order, here are the Top Ten Topics for the coming year:


With July 2018 looming, Canada’s provinces and territories are working hard to ensure everything necessary is in place in advance of the legalization of cannabis. Recognizing a new skills gap to be filled, colleges and institutes like Niagara College, CCNB and Loyalist College have quickly developed and launched programs to train students and conduct research in the burgeoning industry – becoming the first postsecondary institutions in the country to offer programs in areas ranging from cannabis production and cultivation, to facilities and business management. This year, we’ll be watching to see how colleges and institutes continue to partner with industry to develop programs in response to increasing demand, as well as to adapt programming in other areas affected by cannabis legalization, such as healthcare, law enforcement, and social services.


The future of trade is definitely on Canada’s radar in 2018. The implementation of Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will significantly liberalize trade between Canada and the European Union. Meanwhile, Canadian and U.S. diplomats are in active discussions to renegotiate NAFTA, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team recently embarked on a mission to open trade discussions with China. Amazon also recently launched a bidding process to find its new headquarters, with several Canadian cities attempting to woo the tech giant. This year, we’ll be looking at these changes through a jobs and skills lens. Trade renegotiations could mean big changes in the flow of goods and labour, with big implications for sectors like advanced manufacturing. We’ll be watching to see how colleges and institutes step up to partner with industry, adapting to changes and training local workforces accordingly.


Towards the later part of 2017, brave individuals began speaking out using the hashtag #MeToo to describe their experiences of sexual harassment and violence. The campaign grew to such heights that Time magazine named the Silence Breakers – the women and men of the #MeToo movement – its 2017 Person of the Year. Colleges and institutes have worked hard to address sexual harassment and violence on their campuses. In Quebec, for example, “Ni viande, ni objet”, a multi-platform campaign conceived by the Cégep de Sherbrooke and its student association, and aimed at preventing violence of a sexual nature, has grown quickly since its inception in 2016. It is now present in various forms at cégeps across the province. This year, we’ll be watching to see how colleges and institutes tackle #NowWhat, incorporating sexual harassment and violence prevention into their curriculum, in order to train future executives, managers, and labourers to identify, report, and prevent sexual harassment and violence in the workplace.


In 2017, we saw the federal government sign individual health accord agreements with provinces and territories, which included new funding for homecare and mental health care. Colleges and institutes have long worked to tailor their programs to industry demand in collaboration with various stakeholders, so this year we will be watching to see how colleges and institutes evolve their training to meet the needs of the mental health workers and home-care deliverers of tomorrow.


Innovation was the big buzz word of 2017, with the Government of Canada committing to a review of its business innovation and clean technology programs, expanding the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program, creating Innovation Canada as part of Budget 2017, and announcing the shortlist of applicants for the Government’s Supercluster Initiative. As partners and leaders of many of Canada’s most innovative projects, colleges and institutes will be well positioned to bring the federal innovation focus to life in 2018. We’ll be watching to see where college and institute innovation takes us in the coming year, particularly in terms of inclusive economic growth.


With details of Canada’s new Infrastructure Bank coming to light towards the end of 2017, we can expect to see investments in several large public infrastructure projects over the next few years. This could mean big changes for cities, rural areas, and isolated communities; but it also begs the question of where the skilled workforce needed to complete these projects will come from. We’ll be watching to see how colleges and institutes, as the key providers of training in the skilled trades professions, respond to the challenge.


In 2017, UPS, PepsiCo., Wal-Mart, and Canadian chain Loblaws Companies Ltd. were among the first companies to pre-order Tesla’s new all-electric semi-truck, which is expected to revolutionize the shipping and cargo industry with lower-costs and cleaner operations. We also saw the first Canadian test-drive of an autonomous car on a public street in the west end of Ottawa – partners on the project included the City of Ottawa and Algonquin College. Technology could soon be changing how we get around in our day-to-day lives. Red River College has long been conducting research into the future of transportation at its Advanced Transportation & Energy Centre, notably with the use of Hybrid Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines (HHICE) in public buses, which they have been cold-weather testing to ensure that the vehicles are adapted to cold Canadian climates. This year, we’ve got the future of transportation, and what it means for the climate, manufacturing, geography, and access to services for isolated communities on our mind.


Media and news have taken on a very different face in the past few years. Print media is in decline as readers move online and to social media to find up-to-the-minute developing stories. This has many people questioning the reliability and relevance of traditional mainstream media outlets, though in the era of “fake news” we are seeing a renaissance for some trusted outlets. A recent deal between Postmedia and Torstar saw the closing of dozens of local newspapers, mainly across Ontario. It seems everybody is asking, “What’s next?” For colleges and institutes training media, communications, journalism, and public relations, we’ll be watching to see how curriculums are adjusted to prepare students for the current and future media landscapes.


From Canada’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth recommendations to the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) Jobs Strategy forum, many conversations were had this year on what tomorrow’s jobs might look like and how to best prepare a skilled workforce. By offering valuable hands-on learning experiences, developing programs in collaboration with industry, focusing resources on reskilling and life-long learning, and ensuring that vulnerable populations are equipped with soft or foundational skills, colleges and institutes are cementing their leadership, ready to ensure that Canadians are equipped with the skills to succeed amid labour market disruption. This year, we’ll be watching to see how Canada’s economy changes and what micro-credentialing could look like in formal postsecondary institutions.


New data from Statistics Canada, tells us that Canada is becoming more linguistically diverse, with 19.4 percent of Canadians reporting (in the 2016 census) that they speak a language other than English or French at home. The data also indicated that the number of people speaking Indigenous languages in Canada has grown by 3.1 percent since 2006. Following an extensive national consultation, the federal government is expected to launch a new Action Plan for Official Languages in the coming months, to increase and promote bilingualism across the country, and support the vitality of official language minority communities. Colleges and institutes make important contributions to Canada’s linguistic diversity by not only providing instruction in both official languages, but also by being among the few providers of Indigenous language education in the country. We’ll be watching to see what progress can be made at these institutions, to not only promote bilingualism, but also to incorporate Indigenous languages in education delivery.

No matter which way you look at it, 2018 is sure to be exciting.