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Niagara College launches its largest-ever fundraising campaign at annual Gala

With an ambitious vision to address some of the most challenging issues and opportunities facing the community it serves, Niagara College has launched Together, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to support new and expanded facilities, student access, diverse and inclusive learning environments, global competencies and perspectives, and productivity and innovation.

The Together campaign is built on six pillars: solving the skilled trades crisis, solving the healthcare crisis, empowering students to achieve their dreams, advancing a more equitable and diverse college, graduating tomorrow's global citizens, and closing Canada's productivity gap.

"We live in a changing world that is marked by significant needs - for frontline healthcare workers and skilled tradespeople; increased access and enhanced experiences for students; diverse and welcoming learning environments; global competencies and perspectives; and increased productivity and innovation," said Niagara College President Sean Kennedy. "Niagara College is uniquely positioned to address these challenges, but we can't do it alone. We're calling on our community to join us in embracing this historic opportunity to build a successful Niagara."

The campaign was launched in front of more than 700 business and community leaders and supporters at the sold-out Renaissance Gala on April 6. The annual Gala is Niagara College's premier fundraising event, which has raised more than $3.5 million in support of students in its 32-year history.

The multi-year Together campaign seeks to raise $50 million to support a range of projects and initiatives, from new and expanded health and skilled trades facilities to increased scholarships and bursaries, new classrooms, alumni and student spaces, new housing and student services opportunities, expanded support for BIPOC students, new study-abroad opportunities, expanded applied research and more.

Already, the campaign has attracted significant support, including three transformational gifts announced at the Gala:

  • The Joyce Family Foundation has provided an exceptional gift of $1.5 million to create the Joyce Family Foundation Healthcare and Skilled Trades Bursary program at Niagara College. The program will provide tuition and ancillary costs for several skilled trades, nursing and healthcare students each year who come from the Niagara region. These bursaries will be renewable for each year of the recipient's program of study. This transformational bursary fund will exist in perpetuity, supporting countless students over many generations, and directly supporting the urgent need for more frontline healthcare workers and skilled tradespeople. The Joyce Family Foundation is a private, family foundation created by legendary Canadian entrepreneur Ronald V. Joyce to enact philanthropy that reflects his deep-rooted sense of responsibility to give back to his community.
  • The McCall MacBain Foundation has provided a generous gift that will help to graduate more nurses, personal support workers and paramedics. The gift will be used to launch the ConfideNCe program, a student-focused and trailblazing initiative that will address anxiety and stress for students in applied health programs, while also providing new resources to help these students' success after graduation. The McCall MacBain Foundation is named for John McCall MacBain and his wife Dr Marcy McCall MacBain, who founded the McCall MacBain Foundation in 2007. The Foundation seeks to improve the welfare of humanity by providing scholarships and other educational opportunities that nurture transformational leadership, and by investing in evidence-based strategies to address climate change, preserve our natural environment, and improve health outcomes.
  • The Embark Student Foundation has provided a generous gift of $500,000 to help launch the Indigenous Student Success Pathways project, which aims to embolden Indigenous students and support their education and career aspirations before, during and after their postsecondary studies. Embark selected Niagara College as one of only seven inaugural postsecondary recipients across Canada, and its gift represents the College's largest single philanthropic gift in support of Indigenous education.  The gift will contribute directly to developing opportunities for Indigenous students and forwarding calls to action related to Truth and Reconciliation at Niagara College. The Embark Student Foundation is focused on providing specific funding for innovative programs, initiatives and services that support student success before, during and beyond their post-secondary years.

"These are remarkable, transformational gifts," said Gord Arbeau, Vice President, Advancement. "They come from donors within and outside of our community reflecting the reach of our College outside the boundaries of Niagara, and they create a tremendous momentum as we move forward with our ambitious campaign."

To learn more about the Together campaign, or to contribute, visit

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor's degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada's top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at



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