From the first strains of the ceremonial bagpipes in the morning to the last happy shrieks of children on the carnival rides late in the afternoon, the GPRC Fairview College Campus was busy with visitors, activities, and above all thanks and congratulations to all of those involved in the Northwest Transition project to facilitate this merger guided by Alberta Advanced Education and Technology.

“This moment is about service to learners, service to our region,” said Don Gnatiuk, President and CEO of Grande Prairie Regional College. “We are proud to assume the stewardship responsibility for post-secondary education in our region. These two campuses are now united through our common Vision, Mission and Core Values, to which we are committed and accountable.  

“It is our Vision that our combined institution ‘be recognized by its learning communities for leadership in education excellence,’” Gnatiuk explained.  “Our Mission is ‘creating connections to knowledge, experience and community, one life at a time.’  In all that we do, we are guided by our Core Values; Student Centred; Integrity; Respect; Accountability; Innovation and Passion.”

The combined strengths of GPRC Fairview College Campus and GPRC Grande Prairie Campus ensure that opportunities in post-secondary education for the people of northwestern Alberta will continue to include everything from academic upgrading through certificates, diplomas, apprenticeship and trades, through to university transfer and degree completion programs. The program mix at both campuses will continue to grow and evolve in response to the needs of learners, industry and communities, strengthening the social and cultural wellbeing of the region.

The merger celebration “College Carnival” event spanned the entire GPRC Fairview College Campus, and included numerous free activities for the whole family.  Over one hundred volunteers from the Fairview community and both campuses helped with everything from entertainment to parking management to tours, and the enthusiastic participation of groups and businesses in the Fairview area combined to make the event a huge success.

Mayor Lloyd Campbell on behalf of the Town of Fairview spoke during the merger celebration, expressing support for the merger and welcome to GPRC as stewards for the region.  “We are looking forward to continuing our relationship and our dialogue about the needs of our community,” he said.

The Honourable Hector Goudreau, MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace also brought congratulations and enthusiasm for the opportunities presented by the Northwest Transition.

Michael O’Connor, Chair of the GPRC Board of Governors and an alumnus of Fairview College Campus, assured the assembled crowd that the Board and the Administration are committed to strengthening and building both campuses and the Peace Region communities they serve, through steadily enhanced opportunities for post-secondary education.

Source: Susan Thompson, Communications Assistant, Grande Prairie Regional College