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Windsor Plywood Transforms VIU

The expanded and renovated Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex at the Nanaimo VIU Campus includes the carpentry shop, a student commons, and a collaboration area for industrial partners to conduct learning seminars, hold events, and collaborate with students and faculty on innovative research projects. These new spaces are having a positive impact on these industries in our region, and have allowed for a 33.5% increase in trades apprenticeship opportunities for students.

In recognition of the Windsor Plywood Foundation’s long-term partnership with Vancouver Island University and their support of the Imagine VIU Campaign, we are proud to announce the naming of the Windsor Plywood Trades Discovery Centre. In further recognition of their support, VIU names the accelerator / discovery room within the centre the Windsor Innovation Space. Read the full story here.

Over the last two years, our generous supporters have helped us raise 80% of our $5.5 million goal of completing and equipping our new buildings and supporting our students. 

Imagine the difference you can make.

The Nanaimo Foundation has contributed to the success of the Imagine VIU campaign with a $10,000 gift in support of the Simulation Exam Room in the Dr. Ralph Nilson Centre for Health and Science.

The Nanaimo Foundation has been supporting Vancouver Island University in a variety of ways since 2002. They actively support the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Scholarship annually, along with the Canadian Letters and Images Project and the VIU Indigenous Speakers Series, to name a few. Thank you!

Lewkowich Engineering Associates Ltd. is continuing their 17 years of supporting @VIU with a gift toward the development of an Interpretive Centre for the District Geo-Exchange Energy System. The unique system, which utilizes the water in flooded mines under the campus as a heat sink and cooling system, works to reduce the carbon footprint of our new buildings at the Nanaimo campus to near zero.

 The Interpretive Centre will allow educators, learners, and visitors to learn about the system in an interactive and engaging way. 

Yamaha Motor Canada has partnered with VIU by giving two brand new motors and tools to our Motorcycle and Marine programs! Yamaha dealers hire many VIU grads because of the high quality education they receive in our Motorcycle and Marine Technician training program, housed in the new Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex. This donation will give our students increased opportunities to train on cutting-edge equipment, better preparing them for the competitive job market.

At the start of WWII, 19-year-old Gerry McKinnon enlisted in the army. At the same time Mary Campbell left her job at St. Paul’s hospital and joined the up. Gerry developed pneumonia and ended up in the army hospital in Nanaimo, where he met and fell in love with Mary. 

In August of 1944, Gerry was badly wounded overseas and ended up in a Canadian hospital, where his ward nurse just happened to be Mary. They married in 1945, and moved to Vancouver Island to be close to their son Tim in the 1960s.

Tim made a gift to the Imagine VIU Campaign in support of the Centre for Health and Science in honour of his mother’s Nursing career. #VIU thanks Tim for his generosity, and his late parents for their service to Canada during WWII. 

Harbourview Volkswagen has been a wonderful partner to VIU for over a decade, supporting VIU Mariners and events, and now to the Imagine VIU Campaign in support of Trades. “We were excited to support further access to education for students, which will support our business and other businesses in the community,” said John Wynia, retired owner of Harbourview Volkswagen. “There is also a great benefit to VW—our workers have access to a great facility with the finest instructors, with a diversity of future workers. We need more than just mechanics – The growth of VIU needs to match the growth of Nanaimo.” 

The Nanaimo Port Authority is supporting the Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex as Imagine VIU partners, donating $50,000 to complete the Boat Work Bay and Dyno Lab!

The NPA has been a great partner to and our students since 1998, along with many other local organizations.

Island Savings made a leadership gift to Imagine VIU of $150,000 to name the 75-seat classroom in the Centre for Health and Science and the green rooftop at the VIU Cowichan Campus.

This gift builds on a rich history of ongoing support of VIU's students in both Cowichan and Nanaimo.

Want to make a difference in another area? Check out all these other ways to support VIU!

VIU Partners in Success

2nd year Resource Management Officer Technology (RMOT) student John Kodama grew up in eastern Canada and has spent his life out on the water, which is why he is studying to become a Fisheries Law Enforcement Officer. “A lot of the job is about busting the bad guys,” says Kodama, “but it’s also about education. If someone in violation has kids with them in the boat, we educate them about conservation so the kids aren’t put off by officers.”

As a new father, Kodama’s family life is wrapped up in education. He even welcomed his daughter last year during his midterms! “I was studying in the hospital. The day she was born, I had three midterms! I was only able to postpone two of the three tests, so I quickly left the hospital, wrote the one test, and got back all on about two hours of sleep. But I still did well,” Kodama said.

In addition to his studies, Kodama is an active member of the VIU Mariners Badminton Team. He also coached the Dover Bay High School Badminton Team last year, leading them to Provincials for the first time in seven years.

This year, Kodama received $2,500 from the BC Oil and Gas Commission to further his education. “It’s definitely allowed me to focus on my family and my studies. It’s allowed me to hone in on where I want to go after I finish my diploma this year.” We think so!

VIU Partners in Success

The Long Beach Lodge Resort staff, longtime friends of the Miller family, has created the Long Beach Lodge Resort Sandy Miller Memorial Award in memory of the keen VIU Fisheries and Aquaculture student.

The $1,000 annual award supports a VIU Fisheries and Aquaculture student interested in salmon conservation.

VIU Partners in Success

Run by the Community Cousins, Thuy’she’num Tu Smun’eem (Indigenous Summer Camp) connects Indigenous youth with peers, Elders, and VIU students to create strong relationships and support their future educational journey.

The VIU Foundation and Office of Aboriginal Education is grateful to the Peter Cundill Foundation, who has provided over $400,000 to create and sustain this program. Hay ch qa’ sii’em.

VIU Partners in Success

The Pieter de Reuver Foundation has been supporting various programs at Vancouver Island University since 2009, including a focus on the Post Care Tuition Waiver (PCTW) program. The foundation awards 30 $500 bursaries to PCTW students every year.

"This bursary has helped me to pay for my car insurance, gas money, make sure I have food to eat, get that last bit of money for my textbooks, and support my family. Thank you so much, Pieter de Reuver, for your support. It really helps." - PCTW Student

Get the whole story from our students on YouTube.

VIU Partners in Success

The Rotary Club of Nanaimo has given ANOTHER $10,000 gift in support of the Canada Learning Bond SmartSAVER Accelerator program at VIU! The fund generates money for the future education of low income kids in our community. Want to find out if your child can get FREE MONEY? Email CLB@viu.ca or call 250.740.6217.

VIU Partners in Success

Jane and Frank Gregory were some of VIU's most active community leaders. They were with VIU from the very start in the 1960s, ensuring our successful progression from college, to university-college, to university.

The Jane and Frank Gregory Memorial Fund has been created in honour of their legacy at VIU. The fund supports Milner Gardens and Woodlands, Jane's favourite place to be.

VIU Partners in Success

The New Car Dealers Association of BC (NCDA) has once again supported Vancouver Island University Automotive and Business students with $2,000 each, totaling annual support of $10,000! An celebration and student award event was held in the newly-renovated Auto Bay, which was full of wonderful praise of the academic achievements of our students.

VIU Partners in Success

"School is necessary for what I want to do, but managing the demands of life financially is hard. Receiving this award from Mid Island Co-op makes it possible to fulfill my dream and move forward."     -Mathieu Soucy, 2nd Year RMOT student at VIU

Mid Island Co-op has been supporting VIU students since 1995, providing $7,500 annually in student awards. Their support gives students like Mathieu a healthy work-life balance. Thank you, BC Oil and Gas Commission!

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