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The Westcoast Reader’s new online community

For more than 30 years, The Westcoast Reader has served the needs of those who are not fluent in English. The award-winning newspaper has expanded its offerings – and its audience – to include an online learning community.

The WCR Learning Community features a wide range of content related to current events, entertainment and topics of general interest that reflect everyday life and culture in Canada. Teachers and beginner English readers can download articles and exercises, participate in polls and contests, and connect to each other by way of social media tools  such as Facebook and Twitter.

The WRC Learning Community invites ideas, suggestions, photos and stories from teachers and learners around the world. Visit:




Capilano University VP wins Women of Distinction Award

Capilano University’s vice-president of international programs, external relations and new initiatives, Catherine Vertesi, is a 2012 Women of Distinction Award recipient for her work in international education.

Friday, May 25, 2012
Contact:  Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596

(NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.) – Congratulations to Catherine Vertesi, Capilano University’s vice-president, International, External Relations and New Initiatives, for winning a 2012 Women of Distinction Award.

Catherine was nominated in the Education, Training and Development category and honoured at the May 24 event in Vancouver for her work in international education.

“On behalf of the entire Capilano University campus community, I would like to say how proud we are of Catherine for her contributions to international education at the local, national and international levels,” said Capilano University’s president, Dr. Kris Bulcroft. “This is an amazing capstone to a remarkable career.”

Catherine joined Capilano University (then College) as dean of Business programs in May 2001 and has been a vice-president since March 2006. She is the recipient of several awards for excellence in teaching, student service and in program innovation and has received the Canadian-wide award for Leadership in Internationalization from the Canadian Bureau of International Education. She was also a founding board member of the International Educators Association of Canada and is often requested to present on various issues in international education at conferences around the world.

Catherine is the former vice-chair of the board of the provincially-sponsored BC Council for International Education, and in 2011, she chaired the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Annual Conference that was held in Vancouver for approximately 10,000 attendees from more than 125 countries.

The YWCA’s Women of Distinction Awards is recognized nationally as one of Canada’s most prestigious awards program for women. It honours women whose outstanding achievements “contribute to the well-being and future of our community.” In addition to recognizing the nominees, this event highlights and raises funds for the programs and services that help improve the lives of more than 50,000 women and children each year.


Capilano University Business instructor new Honorary Consul of the Republic of Paraguay to B.C.

Capilano University Business instructor, Luis Villalba, has been appointed Honorary Consul of the Republic of Paraguay to British Columbia.

Capilano University Business instructor, Luis Villalba, has a new title to add to his name. As of March 29, Luis a resident of Burnaby, is the Right Honourable Luis Villalba after being appointed Honorary Consul of the Republic of Paraguay to British Columbia at a ceremony in Victoria.

Paraguay’s President Fernando Lugo and the minister of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay issued a presidential decree on February 3 appointing Luis to the prominent post, which is based in Vancouver. The diplomatic credentials were presented to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) by Paraguayan Ambassador to Ottawa, Manuel Shaerer Kanonnikoff.  Those credentials were accepted and then sent to the province of B.C. Luis was accredited by the province in a ceremony on March 29 with Mr. Marc-André Ouellette, director and chief of protocol – Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, Office of the Premier.

“My main tasks will be to foster commercial, cultural and educational relations between B.C. and Paraguay,” the Right Honourable Luis Villalba said. “I believe that it is worth noting that the appointment was partially made by the fact that Capilano University participated in the Paraguay community-based tourism training program and we had the chance to contribute in a small way to Paraguay’s development.

“I believe that by bringing educational and professional perspectives from different points of the globe, including distant, yet growing countries such as Paraguay that today belongs to the South American common market powerhouse, will benefit our students and our academic community by fostering global citizenship.”

Capilano University honours outstanding alumni, individuals and organizations


Dianne Whelan

Elicia MacKenzie (with Andrew Lloyd Webber)

Rob Butler

Seanna McPherson

James Haga and friends

Monday, April 26, 2010
Contact:  Janis Connolly at 604.990.7968


(NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—Several outstanding individuals and organizations were recognized April 22 for their contribution to Capilano University’s mission of enabling student success at the 2010 Alumni Awards of Excellence.

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients were: Rob Butler, one of Canada’s top ornithologists and wildlife biologists who has inspired generations of biologists; and bestselling author, Anosh Irani, whose books The Cripple and His Talismans, The Song of Kahsunsha, and his latest novel, Dahanu Road,  have received literary acclaim worldwide.

The One to Watch recipients included filmmaker Marshall Axani, whose short film The Light of Family Burnam, garnered seven awards at the Vancouver Short Film Festival, including Best Director and Best Picture; James Haga, a graduate from Capilano University’s Global Stewardship program who completed an internship with the African Canadian Continuing Education Society in Kenya and earned accolades for quickly building efficiencies into their programs in the Kakemega region. Upon graduating from Cap, James went on to Simon Fraser University where he became a Rhodes Scholarship nominee; Capilano University Musical Theatre graduate, Elicia MacKenzie, who captured the hearts of the Canadian public in 2008 when she auditioned for and won the coveted role of Maria in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Sound of Music. Elicia won a Dora for her performance in the production that ran for 15 months at Toronto’s Prince of Wales Theatre. She is currently rehearsing for the starring role of Sherry in the Mirvisch production musical, Rock of Ages; Dianne Whelan, an accomplished photographer and documentary filmmaker who is currently at 17,000 feet on Mt. Everest filming her next production, 40 Days at Base Camp. Her film, This Land, was awarded Best Short Canadian Documentary at the 2009 Planet in Focus Film Festival in Toronto. Her experience in the Canadian High Arctic was the subject of her first book, This Vanishing Land

The Outstanding Teaching Award recipient is Seanna McPherson. Seanna brings years of experience working in the film industry and has been teaching in Capilano’s Motion Picture Production Program since 2003. In addition to her commitment in the classroom to teaching, Seanna led the process for developing the Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts Degree that has just received final approval from the Ministry of Advanced Education.

President’s Service Award Recipients include: The Advisory Council  for the McRae Institute for International Management. The Advisory Council was instrumental in the development of Capilano’s award-winning McRae Institute for International Management. Members of the Advisory Council included: Atonio Arreaga-Valdes – Honorary Consul General of Costa Rica in Vancouver; Dr. David Fung – founder of ACDEG International; Bill Johnson, former Canadian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City; Johnathan Manthorpe, The Vancouver Sun’s International Affairs columnist and foreign correspondent; Andre Nudelman, chairman of Addexo and leader of its international expansion; and the late Jonathan Powles, who was one of the most significant figures in Canada-Japan relations, including Japan chair for BC’s Asia Pacific Trade Council, among other official posts; Sewell’s Marina, a family run operation that has over the years offered professional, positive work experiences for many Capilano students; Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities, which, as the lead sponsor of Capilano’s Eldercollege program, has enabled Capilano to offer programming accessible to seniors at locations around the North Shore. PAG has also provided funds to support Continuing Education’s summer camps for children and last year funded the Pacific Arbour Speaker Series at Capilano’s Performing Arts Theatre, which featured discussions by renowned author Margaret Atwood and Canadian physician Ray Wiss, who wrote a memoir of his experiences working on the front lines in Afghanistan; and, RBC, which has become a partner in working with arts programs at Capilano to help ensure our students have the opportunity to engage in the kind of relevant hands-on experience that is essential for them to move their art careers forward.


New Bachelor of Legal Studies (Paralegal) degree program offered at Capilano University

Thursday, November 12, 2009
Contact: Program chair, John Fairlie, at 604.986.1911, local 2297

(NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—Capilano University has become the first university in Canada to offer a unique Bachelor of Legal Studies (Paralegal) degree program.

The degree was recently approved by the provincial government and will complement the university’s current Paralegal certificate (online and onsite versions) and Paralegal diploma programs.

“This was a long time in the planning,” program chair, John Fairlie, said of the full-time four-year program. “It is the only Paralegal degree program in Western Canada and it’s something that we’re very proud of.”

Capilano University was the first post-secondary institution in British Columbia to offer paralegal training, developing its certificate and diploma options in 1976. Humber College in Ontario offers the only other Canadian paralegal degree.

“Capilano’s degree program will open further doors to students who want to continue their studies in the discipline and who want to work in a fast-paced legal setting,” Fairlie said. “Graduates can expect to find employment in law firms, government offices, and corporate and non-profit legal departments.”

The new degree is primarily designed as a full-time program and will have a six-month work practicum component. It will appeal to those students who want to go directly into Paralegal studies from high school, as well as to students and graduates of the university’s diploma or certificate programs who are looking to acquire a degree.

“To enter our two-year diploma program, students need to have some post-secondary education and preferably some work experience before they’re accepted,” Fairlie explained. “However, students will be able to apply directly from high school to enter the four-year degree program.”

Courses from the Paralegal certificates and diploma programs will be transferable into the degree program, and some graduates may consider continuing on to complete their master’s degree.

Fifteen to 20 degree students per year will be accepted into the program, which starts in September 2010. Applications are being accepted immediately.

For more information, call the Department of Paralegal Studies at Capilano University at 604.983.7594, e-mail paralegal@capilanou.ca, or visit the website at www.capilanou.ca/programs/paralegal


Capilano University Motion Picture alumnus, Jon Anctil

Capilano University Motion Picture alumnus and filmmaker, Jon Anctil, said a few words at a groundbreaking event on Aug. 24 for the university’s new $30.2 million film centre. The centre is expected to open in the fall of 2011.

Vodpod videos no longer available.