Reflections on Growing the North

Reflections on Growing the North

GPRC Business students attending the Growing the North Conference with GPRC President Don Gnatiuk, Minister of Energy Marg McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Economic Development Deron Bilous, GPRC Board of Governors Chair Natalia Reiman, and members of the Research & Innovation team

Thanks to support from members of the Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network and generous sponsors in the community, 16 GPRC students from the Business Administration program were able to attend the 9th annual Growing the North business conference this year. Terrilyn Parent was one of these lucky students. Here’s what she took away from this unique learning experience.

“I was sponsored by the Swan City Rotary Club to attend the Growing the North Business Conference in Grande Prairie on February 21 and 22. As a current GPRC business student, I thought this conference was such a huge success and has been one of the best things I have been given the chance to experience firsthand.

The entire conference, start to finish, was very informative and inspirational. The speakers were all incredibly knowledgeable in their fields and great at public and motivational speaking. The catering provided by Evergreen Park was also a great bonus.

My favourite quote that will forever change the way I look at the world was when keynote speaker, writer and community builder, Chris Fields mentioned, “We need to be the pink shirt at a table full of white shirts.” This really made me look at my own self and no longer judge my creative skills, even if my ideas are different from those of my peers. I learned that it’s okay to allow my creativity to come out in my personal and professional life and not to fear my differences.

During this conference I was given the opportunity to network with so many business professionals as well as members of the Chamber of Commerce and local government leaders. This networking gave me a bigger perspective on how the economy is running in Grande Prairie and how businesses are trying to recover after the recession we just had. I also got to see how the economy has affected local businesses in all industries and was given some great tips on how to strategically survive through future recessions.

Many of the speakers touched on the topic of fearing change and how fear can inhibit professional and personal growth. This really hit home as I often fear changes in my own life and find I thrive best in routine. Changes often throw me for a loop, but now I see these moments of change have also brought about the most growth in my life and have shown how resilient I can be when it feels as if the world is crashing down. The speakers have influenced me to believe it’s okay to be brave during these challenging times and push through, even though I may not know what the result will look like.

One final takeaway from this conference that really hit home was a quote by Bruce Vincent, President of the non-profit organization Communities for a Great Northwest. He mentioned in his speech, “The world is run by those that show up and when people lead, leaders follow.” This reminded me that showing up in life is half the battle. Whether it’s class, work or some other area of my life, the important part is that I show up and give my best in all that I do. I also took this to mean that I need to look up to and follow those that stand out of the crowd if I want to one day be considered a leader in my own career.

Overall, I really feel like this conference has changed my perspective on life and will have a great impact on my future. I will be using this newfound knowledge and change of perspective in April as I embark on a new journey to pursue my business hopes and dreams. If you are given the opportunity to attend this conference, do not let the opportunity pass you by. It is worth the commitment and the time spent.”


– By Terrilyn Parent, GPRC Business Administration Student

GPRC Business student Terrilyn Parent poses with Brian Glavin, President Elect of the Swan City Rotary Club, who sponsored Terrilyn’s conference experience.
Future Present: GPRC Alumni & Colleagues Exhibition

Future Present: GPRC Alumni & Colleagues Exhibition

Join us tonight, January 26 for the opening reception of Future Present.

GPRC is excited to partner with The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie in celebrating the College’s 50th anniversary with this special exhibition, curated by Faculty in the Fine Arts Department.

The exhibition will run January 26 to March 20 and will showcase artwork by past students, faculty and staff.

The concept for the art exhibition started during the College’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2016-17. The show features 15 artists.

Let’s meet those artists now.

Dan Arberry studied Fine Art at GPRC for three years before finishing his Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Calgary in 1998. He returned to Grande Prairie to give back to the arts community. Currently he teaches drawing at the Centre for Creative Arts and has been on the Board of Directors for eight years. In addition, Arberry helps others organize art exhibitions, mentors youth, and promotes the idea that art is for everyone.

Kasie Campbell is a visual artist working in Edmonton. Campbell’s work is provocative, combining elements of sculpture, photography, and installation into large scale arrangements. Her goal is to confuse notions of appeal with revolt and pleasure with disgust as well as generate a sense of empathy from the viewer. In 2015, Campbell won the Outstanding Student Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Centre in New Jersey for her work Scopophilia. Two of her sculptures are currently on view at the City of Edmonton’s public art collection in Borden Park until 2019.

Fiona Connell moved to Grande Prairie in 1973 where she studied set design and costumes for theatre at GPRC. She finished her Bachelor of Fine Art (painting) at the University of Calgary and her Master of Fine Art (Painting/Mixed Media) at the University of Alberta. Connell’s series of works, Dwellings, examines the home as a symbol of life. Her choice of materials represents the concept of stereotypical ‘women’s work.’ These pieces are meant to create a starting point for the viewer to make connections of their own and awaken narratives for themselves.

Janet Farnquist completed her Visual Arts and Design Diploma at GPRC in 2015. She works in painting and sculpture and has participated in several group shows in the Peace Region. Her recent works in painting focus on the exploration of the subconscious mind. Farnquist currently resides in Grande Prairie where she is the Coordinator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie.

Jennifer Ferris was born and raised in Grande Prairie and graduated with a diploma in Visual Arts and Design from GPRC in 2016. Her work is inspired by Canada, nature, and the places that she has visited throughout her life. Her goal is to capture and share the beauty of her home and the places around her.

Ashley Gaboury attended GPRC before receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2003 from the University of Lethbridge. Gaboury uses a variety of mediums including watercolor pencils, alcohol-based markers, acrylics, and mixed media. She is a professional artist and has established herself as an art instructor having previously worked as an instructor at the Prairie Art Gallery (now the AGGP).

Tim Heimdal completed a Fine Art Diploma at GPRC and continued his studies at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary.  His work often displays figurative expression.  Heimdal started painting murals as one of his main modes of artistic expression in 1984.  He has designed and painted over 100 murals, over 100 sets for theatre events and exhibited paintings.  His work has been featured across Alberta, Canada, the US and Japan.

Dinosaur Tales

In 2005 Tim completed a series of murals for the Grande Prairie Heritage Museum expansion.  Roy Bickel, President of the Museum Board, told Tim he had a dream to build a dinosaur museum.  Tim replied that he would love to do a mural there.

Roy remembered his conversation with Tim and eight years later Tim was contracted to create a mural for the Aykroyd Family Theatre in the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Wembley, AB. Tim designed and painted Dinosaur Tales which he dedicates to the memory of visionary Roy Bickel.

Kenzie Housego attended GPRC and holds a Visual Communication certificate as well as a Bachelor of Fine Art (Print Media) from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Her art practice involves mixed media, performance, fashion design, and wearable artwork. Housego is drawn to found objects and imagery with a sense of history, investigating narratives of a romanticized past as well as reflecting on stereotypical images of the feminine by highlighting contemporary modes of beauty and addressing the notions of the relationship between hunger and desire.

Katherine Moe was born and raised in Northern Alberta and attended GPRC to pursue her passion for the arts. She received her diploma for Visual Arts and Design in 2017. Her acrylic paintings use bold colours and large gestural strokes exploring texture and experimental techniques to create light. Her inspiration comes from a sense of nostalgia carried by sounds, patterns of light, or the waft of a fragrance.

Candace Sanderson studied Visual Arts and Design at GPRC in 1994 and developed a passion for sculpting with wood. Her creations consist of organic forms that are rich with colour and depth. Sanderson spends part of each year in British Columbia and her sculptures reflect the influences of Canada’s West Coast yet remain grounded in the Peace Region that shaped her youth.

Kiren Niki Sangra received a diploma in Visual Arts and Design from GPRC in 2002. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design (Jewellery/Metals) in 2006, she returned to Grande Prairie and began working at the Centre for Creative Arts as the Creative Operations Coordinator. Sangra uses a variety of art media and mainly uses watercolor and acrylic paints in her art practice.

Marjorie Taylor graduated from the department of Fine Arts at GPRC in 1984. She became interested in Art History and was introduced to centuries of various art forms from many countries which became an inspiration in her paintings. She uses a variety of mediums in her artwork including acrylic, clay, wood, soapstone, and found objects. Taylor tries to expand boundaries and strives to perfect her techniques along her artistic journey.

Christina Wallwork is a Canadian artist from Peterborough, Ontario. She attended Nipissing University for Culture and Religion in North Bay, Ontario from 2005-2008 before completing her Visual Arts and Design diploma at GPRC. Her artistic process is one of self-discovery and expression. Her subjects focus on wildlife, nature, and spirituality and involve a variety of mediums including pastel, sumi ink, and acrylic paint. Wallwork currently lives in Grande Prairie where she works as a fine artist and a professional framer.

Lena Gilje fell in love with painting while studying Visual Arts and Design at GPRC and graduated in 2008. She earned her diploma from Western Academy of Photography in Victoria, British Columbia and has launched an exciting art career that includes both mixed media and photography. Gilje has travelled and explored art and culture throughout Europe meeting many great people along her journey.

Chris Kinderwater completed a diploma in Visual Arts and Design from GPRC and Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Lethbridge as well as several other courses from the University of Calgary and Alberta College of Art and Design. His work focuses primarily on portrait painting and his goal is to strike a balance between precise detail and vague chaos while simultaneously portraying a recognizable face. Last year at Isabel Campbell Public School’s annual Pink Shirt Day “Guardians” assembly Kinderwater unveiled a painted portrait of the school’s namesake.

“We’re extremely proud of all the work done by the College’s Fine Arts department and we’re excited to showcase the accomplishments of our visual arts alumni with the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie. This is truly an exciting opportunity for the community to see what our students, staff and faculty accomplish,” said Susan Bansgrove, GPRC Vice-President Academics and Research

Come on down and see for yourself.

The exhibition will run January 26 to March 20.


2017 Transfer Fair

2017 Transfer Fair

The 2017 Transfer Fair is on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 on our GPRC Grande Prairie campus.


Come stop by the Theatre Concourse from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a chance to talk to representatives from colleges and universities from across the region to answer all your transfer questions. 

A yummy pancake breakfast with all the toppings will also be provided

Check out the pictures from last year:

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We can’t wait to see all our GPRC Students there!