With the launch of the Canada 150 celebrations, 2017 was a busy year as Canadians across the country celebrated, but also reflected on their history. This coincided with the 50th anniversary of the college systems in Ontario and Quebec, which were both the result of ambitious education reforms. For colleges and institutes, this was an opportunity to reflect on the deep contributions they have made to their communities, while also thinking about the road ahead and focusing on the impact they will have on building the Canada of the future.
At CICan, we embraced this unique opportunity and launched our own Canada 150 national anthology to share the incredible success stories of our members from across the country. These stories resonated strongly with audiences, both at home and abroad, who loved the window into our system’s accomplishments in areas as broad as green spaces and innovation.
With many, if not most, industries facing significant disruption in the years ahead, be it from new technologies or shifting markets, a focus on rethinking the future of skills and innovation was also front and centre this year. Colleges and institutes clearly have a critical role to play in this space and have shown over the years that they are up to the task. In fact, they may just be Canada’s best chance to weather the change and are increasingly being recognized this way by industry and politicians alike.
Though no one can predict the future, we believe this is a great moment for our system to prove the value of our hands-on and employment focused approach to education. These core principles have withstood the test of time and have helped us keep up with changing industries. Thanks to this strong foundation, we are confident that colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics will continue to be leaders in delivering skills for the future.
Denise Amyot, President and CEO
Liane Roy, Board Chair, President and CEO, Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick