Smart Education in Canada : Skills Canada-Ontario leader inspires new Niagara College graduates

“When opportunity knocks, open the door and take a leap of faith.

That was the first lesson that executive director of Skills Canada- Ontario Gail Smyth offered to Niagara College’s Class of 2013 as they gathered for their fall convocation ceremony on the morning of October .

Smith – whose involvement with Skills Canada-Ontario helped take the not-for-profit organization from a venture with an outreach of 3,000 to a dynamic province-wide organization – inspired the College’s newest graduates and their guests by sharing lessons from her personal experience as she delivered the convocation address.

She advised graduates to “avoid the naysayers,” “fly with eagles,” “feel the fear and do it anyway,” “focus on what’s important in life,” and to “practice an attitude of gratitude” as they embark on this new chapter of their lives and throughout their careers.

In recognition of her accomplishments, Smyth received an honorary diploma in Technology Studies during the ceremony.

More than 950 graduates of Niagara College received diplomas or certificates during the ceremony, which honoured graduates from several program areas including: Academic and Liberal Studies, Business and Management Studies, Hospitality, Tourism and Administrative Studies, Justice Studies, Allied Health Studies, Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies, The Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Environment and Horticultural Studies, Technology Studies, Apprenticeship and Technical Training, and Continuing Education.

College president Dan Patterson spoke of the vital role of college graduates.

“It is you who will help drive our economy and future prosperity, because it is college graduates who make our communities work, and in no place is that more evident than right here in Niagara,” he said. “If you look at all of the major sectors of the economy, you will see college graduates succeeding and leading.”

The fall convocation ceremony took place at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit

"Canada is not only known for it's picturesque locations, but also for it's high standard of education. The Colleges in Canada are at par with the best known Colleges in the world, in terms of the educational programs offered and the facilities provided to the students " , says Mr. Deepak, Education Manager, Career XL Services..


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