New fund encourages college students to pitch creative projects

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ontario colleges start of something-amazing

To help mark the Ontario colleges’ 50th anniversary celebrations in 2017, colleges have launched a new William G. Davis Innovation Fund contest that encourages students and alumni to pitch creative projects and initiatives that will compete for cash prizes.

The fund has been named after former premier William G. Davis, who served as Ontario’s education minister from 1962 to 1971 and brought in the legislation that established the college system. The fund has been named in his honour as a tribute to the bold and creative thinking that revolutionized post-secondary education in Ontario.

“When we launched the Ontario college system 50 years ago, I had hoped that we would create a meaningful and rewarding system that prepares students for a broad range of careers,” said the Honourable William G. Davis. “That hope was not only realized but surpassed. Today’s colleges are preparing students for many of today’s most challenging careers.

“This new fund will promote some of the truly innovative ideas being developed at colleges throughout the province,” he said. “It is truly an honour to have it established in my name.”

Entrants can be a graduate or current full-time student from one of Ontario’s 24 colleges with an idea that could improve Ontario and beyond. Applications can be made in the categories of entrepreneurialism, health and welfare, arts and culture, or community benefit.

The first-place winner will receive $15,000 to help fund the project and the second-place entry will receive $5,000.

“It would be quite an honour for a Sault College student to receive this award in the name of Bill Davis. Our students have demonstrated to me time and again their innovative capabilities and I encourage their participation in this endeavor,” said Ron Common. “It will be intriguing to see the proposals that are pitched for this fund.”

The detailed timeline for submissions and voting, full contest rules and regulations are available online at amazing50.ca/innovationfund. Successful entries must be achievable, sustainable, measurable, original and linked to the individual’s college experience.

Students and alumni will be able to start posting proposals in March. A shortlist of the top applications will be publicized in August and the winners will be announced in November.

“As colleges continue to grow and evolve, students acquire the professional and technical qualifications that equip them for meaningful employment,” said Don Lovisa, president of Durham College and chair of the college sector’s 50th anniversary task force. “This new fund will showcase great examples of how colleges prepare graduates to launch their own ventures and bring imaginative ideas to the workplace.”

Full details about the fund can be found here: amazing50.ca/innovationfund

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About Sault College

The vision of Sault College is to provide a transformative life experience through empowering those who study with us to think and learn in progressive, innovative ways, including those we have not yet imagined. Sault College grants Ontario College certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, graduate certificates, and degrees to its graduates. The College is the largest deliverer of apprenticeship training in all of Northern Ontario. Educating over 2,300 full-time and 4,000 part-time students each year, Sault College has a significant economic impact on the community, with spin-offs in excess of $158 million. Over $1.8 million dollars in scholarships, bursaries and awards are distributed annually to students at the College. Located on the border to the United States and situated in the middle of three of the largest Great Lakes on the planet, Sault College is one of 24 publicly-funded colleges in the province of Ontario.