Colleges and Institutes Canada

A Year in Review



Letter from CEO and board chair

It’s already been two years since the start of the pandemic, and in that time, we’ve seen continued calls for social and racial justice, soaring costs of living and record inflation, and some of the largest humanitarian crises in decades. As we continue to learn and adapt, we are faced with a unique set challenges and opportunities.

Canada needs leadership and colleges and institutes are stepping up to futureproof their communities. They continue to redesign programs and delivery methods to meet evolving conditions and workforce needs, and to ensure that more Canadians are given the chance to meaningfully contribute to a more prosperous future. That’s what it means to be future-proof:  we are ready for any and all challenges that might arise. And with the largest post-secondary footprint in the country, our collective impact is unmatched.

January of this year marked our 50th anniversary as a national association, advocate, and leader in the post-secondary sector. From humble beginnings with a dedicated staff of three, we’ve grown in every possible way! In this year alone, we’ve experienced record growth: more staff members, more projects and funding, more members and associates than ever before in our history, and more ways to connect and share through a record number of advisory committees, networks, and communities of practice.

In celebrating throughout 2022, we are also using this milestone as an opportunity to reflect of the past impact we have had and reimagine the way forward. As an employer, that means reimagining what work life looks like at CICan, and we were excited this past year to officially implement a truly hybrid work policy. We’re also deeply committed to integrating the Sustainable Development Goals and the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion across everything we do. These are strategic elements that will allow us to continue serving our members in innovative ways, with exponential impact!

If we’ve learned anything in recent times, it’s that the future is unpredictable. Still, we can try to plan for what we know and prepare for what we don’t. Colleges and institutes anticipate the needs of our economy, then train, upskill, and reskill thinkers and doers. They are vital to making Canada future-proof. As always, it’s a privilege to be their national representative.

Denise Amyot
President and CEO

Dr. Paula Burns
Board Chair


We are proud to be the national voice of Canada’s colleges and institutes and have worked tirelessly over the past year to ensure their priorities are heard and understood by Canadians and key decision makers.


The voice of colleges and institutes in Ottawa

The way we advocate isn’t just about speaking up for our members; it’s also about making sure that the federal government understands how colleges and institutes support their own priorities. This year, we prepared over 11 federal submissions, policy papers, and reports and held nearly 70 meetings with parliamentarians and senior government officials!


Continued advocacy during COVID-19

In year two of the pandemic, we continued to work closely with government, including Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Transport Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Canada Border Services Agency to ensure that the needs of members and their students were heard and addressed. This year, much of the conversation was focused on international students, the changing nature of program delivery, study permit processing capacity, post-graduate work permit eligibility, and changing restrictions on international travel.


Support for refugees

In February, Russia invaded Ukraine. We immediately set to work to ensure that our members were well placed to support Ukrainians fleeing violence in their country. In less than three months, 43 CICan member colleges and institutes came together to provide over 150 scholarships and other support for Ukrainians students.

From October to March, we also engaged with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to discuss how colleges and institutes across the country could contribute to resettlement efforts for Afghan refugees. Overall, we met with 34 settlement organizations to share how our sector could help.


Sharing our story

We continue to speak up for colleges and institutes in both traditional and new media to ensure that the public knows how colleges and institutes help make Canada futureproof. In the past year, we published op-eds, provided interviews, and were featured in media such as the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Canadian Press, Maclean’s magazine, the PIE News, New African magazine, Radio Canada International, University World News, the National Observer, Times Higher Education, Canadian Immigrant magazine, Study Travel Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, Education for Employment magazine, and our own Perspectives newsletter.

  • Facebook: up 11% (total page likes 2,325)
  • LinkedIn: up 25% (total followers 8,011)
  • Twitter: up 7% (total followers 7,215)
  • Web hits: up 2% (total page views 827,693)
  • Newsletter readership: up 24% (nearly 8,000 total readers in English and French)

Building capacity

We are dedicated to bringing our members together and forging strong partnerships to empower the system as whole. By working in collaboration, we have created many new opportunities for colleges and institutes this year.


Microcredentials and innovation in learning

Building on our national framework and guiding principles from last year, we launched a deeper investigation into microcredentials across the country to better understand the current state and potential of this new trend in lifelong learning. Based on an environmental scan and a survey of colleges and institutes, the report shows how these flexible and accessible learning options are gaining ground across the country.

After an incredible year for Building Capacity in Long-term Care (the Supportive Care Assistant micro-certificate program is currently being delivered at 18 partner institutions!), we began work on the first national occupational standard for personal care providers. The Standard will identify the skills, knowledge, and abilities required to succeed in the role and help employers, job seekers, workers, students, and educators make informed decisions about hiring, skills training, and career choices.


Making international learning experiences more accessible to Canadian students

After travel-related delays due to COVID-19, we officially celebrated the launch of the long-anticipated Global Skills Opportunity with Universities Canada! Over four years, 54 colleges and institutes and 56 universities will implement a total of 124 GSO-funded projects in collaboration with international partners in over 100 countries.

More than 16,000 Canadian students – especially those for whom international learning and work experiences in post-secondary education have traditionally been less accessible – will acquire the global skills employers want and the Canadian economy needs!

Beyond good intentions to action

We’re serious about equity, diversity, and inclusion, not only as an ethical and moral responsibility, but also as necessary for sustainable pandemic recovery. This year, we launched our ImpAct-EDI initiative and we were proud to surpass our objectives as part of the 50-30 challenge, achieving 50% gender parity on our board and senior management team; as well as at least 30% representation on our board of other under-represented groups, including Indigenous people, racialized persons, people living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community! (And we are almost there at the senior management level). 

We also officially became an ecosystem partner for the 50-30 challenge and were awarded a $10-million contract to share resources, promote equity, and bring the sector together in addressing structural and systemic barriers to inclusion in ways that move beyond good intentions to action.

Equal access to quality education

As the labour market continues to evolve, it is more important than ever to support Canadians looking to develop their skills and to ensure that access is equitable. That’s why we launched Skills Compass, which supports Indigenous and newcomer youth who are Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET) in accessing education and training, wrap-around supports, and career pathways.

Unlocking Inclusive Pre-Apprenticeship Pathways, which helps those facing barriers to education – including women, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, and persons with disabilities – access tailored pre-apprenticeship training also continued this year in partnership with the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.

And, in a new approach to essential skills, our new Mapping Skills for Success program builds on Employment and Social Development Canada’s new model for foundational skills and will prepare Canadians to succeed in the workforce, help them find jobs, and adapt to changes at work.

This year, another 20 students demonstrating financial need and facing barriers to post-secondary education were awarded bursaries through the CICan Paul and Gerri Charette Bursary Program. And, with Bird Construction Inc & Paul and Gerri Charette, we launched a brand-new bursary supporting four Indigenous students attending a college or institute!


There is no future without net-zero

With the largest post-secondary footprint in the country, our collective engagement goes a long way. This year, at close to 700 locations, we pledged to achieve net-zero emissions on campus by 2050! And, our new Impact-Climate initiative set to work raising awareness among colleges and institutes and enhance engagement to reduce their environmental footprint.


Further action on sustainability

In January, we launched a nation-wide call for institutions to sign the SDG Accord. The Accord inspires, celebrates, and advances the critical role of education in delivering on the SDGs. As signatories, we maximize the impact of our efforts, share knowledge, commit to doing more, and hold each other accountable.

Since formally adopting the SDGs as the guiding principles of our strategic plan and signing the SDG Accord in 2020, our first report on the SDGs highlights how each one of our programs and partnerships advance the SDGs, in Canada and abroad.

While everything we do is tied to at least one SDG, the report focuses on key goals that have inspired our strategic plan: Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Quality Education (SDG 4).

We also launched the brand-new ImpAct Internships stream of Career-Launcher to help employers address labour shortages, diversify their workforce, and strengthen their industry while creating work opportunities for students and graduates that contribute to Canada’s 2030 SDG Agenda!


Taking international education in a new direction

The world is a very different place than it was only two years ago. This year, we laid out a plan to restructure and strategically organize the way we approach international education and development. Our new three-year International Strategy will futureproof the Canadian college and institute network through internationalization and global engagement.

Based on three pillars, the strategy will support CICan members as they pursue new opportunities in international education. It will enhance outbound student mobility and help Canadian students develop highly sought-after global skills, diversify student recruitment, improve pathways in Canada for international students, and strengthen international cooperation with new models for business development.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have devastating social and economic impacts on many countries around the world. With our members we work tirelessly to respond to the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people, particularly women and girls, through our international projects. This year we signed four new contribution agreements to expand our international work in key areas (in Kenya, Senegal, and Tanzania).

  • This year, we operated 13 international projects in 16 countries.
  • Over 60 members participated.

On diversifying student recruitment, we are already actively working with partners around the world to strengthen and expand Canada-brand education. Most recently, we coordinated a virtual marketing and recruitment mission with trade commissioners in Southeast Asia during which 20 CICan member institutions participated in nearly 700 one-on-one meetings with pre-selected education agents!

Our events meet ever-increasing demand for Canadian college and institute education around the world.

Driving knowledge

We are proud to serve as Canada’s knowledge hub on the college and institute system, gathering data and producing studies to both improve understanding of the Canadian post-secondary sector and support our advocacy efforts, nationally and internationally.


More diverse virtual offerings

For the first time, we held a fully virtual Connection Conference bringing together over 1500 college and institute leaders and partners from every province and territory across the country and from 25 countries around the world – that’s an increase of more than 50% over 2019!

On top of that, we also hosted more than 45 virtual events, webinars, workshops, and information sessions to engage our members on key topics.

Our priority as a national association continues to be Strengthening the System. In times of great change, that means acting as a force multiplier that brings together members and partners to share knowledge and lead the way forward. In the past year, we’ve continued this work on priority topics, including microcredentials, trends in lifelong and virtual learning, post-graduate programs, climate action, applied research, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.


Colleges and Institutes Canada


The accompanying summarized financial statements of Colleges and Institutes Canada are the responsibility of management. They have been derived from the association’s complete financial statements which have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles using information available to May 6, 2022, and management’s best estimates and judgements.

Management has developed and maintains a system of internal controls to provide reasonable assurance that all assets are safeguarded and to produce relevant, reliable and timely financial information, including the accompanying financial statements.

The Board of Directors discharges its duties relating to the financial statements primarily through the activities of its Audit Committee. The Audit Committee meets at least annually with management and the external auditors to review both the financial statements and the results of the audit examination with respect to the adequacy of internal accounting controls. The external auditors have unrestricted access to the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee also considers, for review by the Board of Directors, the engagement and re-appointment of external auditors.

The financial statements have been audited by Deloitte LLP on behalf of the membership. The Board of Directors met on May 18, 2022 and approved the financial statements

Denise Amyot
President and CEO

Ramon Lashley
Vice President, Corporate Services


June 1, 2022


Colleges and Institutes Canada

Summarized Statement of Financial Position

March 31, 2022, with comparative figures for 2021



Current Assets $ 47,786,866 $ 35,183,214
Investments – unrestricted 2,749,225 2,676,794
Investments – Endowment Fund 1,416,777 1,134,587
Capital Assets, net 1,035,065 816,445
Intangible Assets 36,236 17,572
$ 53,024,169 $ 39,828,612
Liabilities and Net Assets
Current liabilities $ 47,373,902 $ 34,678,158
Lease Inducements 93,242 114,759
Net Assets 5,557,025 5,035,695
$ 53,024,169 $ 39,828,612
Summarized Statement of Operations
Year ended March 31, 2022, with comparative figures for 2021



Project Revenue $ 43,983,123 $ 35,009,323
Less: direct Project Expenses 32,940,075 26,489,099
Net project contribution 11,043,048 8,520,224
Membership fees 3,621,230 3,527,894
Other 367,838 255,551
15,032,116 12,303,669
Human resources $ 12,855,332 $ 10,543,385
Amortization of capital assets 282,814 266,213
Other 1,654,831 1,429,314
14,792,977 12,238,912
Excess of revenue over expenses
$ 239,139 $ 64,757


The things we were able to achieve this year would not have been possible without the continued support and contributions of our members and our many partners in industry, government, and from other associations in Canada and around the world who share our commitment to excellence in higher education.

Thank you also to the remarkable members of our Board of Directors, for sharing their strategic insights and guidance, their time, and knowledge, as well as to all the individuals involved in our various advisory committees whose input ensures we continue to meet the needs of our members.

Finally, thank you to the entire staff of CICan for their continued hard work and dedication throughout these challenging times.