New Online Registration System Now Live for GPRC Apprentices

New Online Registration System Now Live for GPRC Apprentices

Photo Randy Vanderveen
Fairview, Alberta, Canada
Heavy Duty Mechanics Trades at the Fairview Campus of GPRC.

Apprentices at GPRC now have a new way to enrol in and manage their courses. Using MyTradesecrets, apprentices can now update their profiles, enrol for courses, view marks and pay fees all from a PC or smartphone.

After months of planning and collaborating with Apprenticeship and Industry Training to activate the online registration system, Ben Driedger, Associate Registrar at GPRC, said the system will make enrolling for apprenticeship programs a breeze.

“Apprentices are not so different from our traditional academic students,” said Driedger. “They are just as likely to be coming to us from a significant distance, or be working long hours that make registering in person a challenge. Registering online is one method of streamlining this process and making it more convenient for our apprentices.”

GPRC is committed to making the education process easier and more streamlined for all students.

Are you an apprentice at GPRC? Check out MTS to enrol, pay fees, check your marks, and more.

From the Road to the Classroom: GPRC Instructors Share their Experiences with Professional Leave

From the Road to the Classroom: GPRC Instructors Share their Experiences with Professional Leave

Two GPRC instructors shared their Professional Leave experiences with staff and faculty on Friday. Business Administration instructor Cibylla Rakestraw and Electrical instructor Charles Sanderson have both returned from twelve months of sabbatical leave, time that was mostly dedicated to research, travel, and rejuvenation.

Business Administration instructor Cibylla Rakestraw and Electrical instructor Charles Sanderson spoke at GPRC on Friday on their research done during their Professional Leaves last year.

Sanderson’s leave was spent researching solar power optimization. He has been interested in the topic ever since he began working with Dr. Weixing Tan on his Pollutants to Products research initiative more than a decade ago. “The whole premise of my sabbatical was to see if we could do this research [carbon capture with microalgae]—all the pumps, the refrigeration, the computer work—using solar energy, so that we were carbon neutral in our research for GPRC,” he explained. “The sun gives us about 1000 watts per square metre, but our best solar panels are only about 18–22 per cent efficient. So if we could harness the thermal energy for all of our heating loads, that may be more efficient.”

GPRC Electrical instructor Charles Sanderson presenting his research.

According to Sanderson, training electricians in today’s world may mean preparing them for a career in solar energy. “Because of this economy, we’re seeing some individuals who have steady jobs in oil and gas looking to see if they can move into [solar],” he said. Sanderson believes research he has done over the past year will inform his teaching and help him prepare his students for the future of the energy industry.

While Sanderson studied the efficiency of solar panels, Cibylla Rakestraw spent her leave in part developing a co-op internship opportunity for Business Administration students. Participants in the new course will complete a 420-hour internship between May and August where they will learn on-the-job skills while earning a pay cheque. “I think it will do lots of wonderful things for the students,” said Rakestraw. “It will help them to really get clear in terms of their career objectives. And then when they are finished with their studies, they go to the employer with some relevant experience – they’re not coming in totally green.” The program will pilot next summer.

Rakestraw has also been developing an optional study tour course, where students in the business administration program will have the opportunity to travel to places like New York, Panama, and China as part of their coursework. Her other two projects involved transitioning one business entrepreneurship course to an online format and making improvements to another online course.

Rakestraw and Sanderson both say that their Professional Leave has made them better instructors. Rakestraw valued the time she had to rest and rejuvenate while she studied.  “I’m feeling like I’ve got a lot more to contribute,” she said, adding that she will now be able to bring “a lot of richness” to her courses. Sanderson agreed, and added that his leave has given him the opportunity to become a part of something bigger. “For renewable energy, the door is opening,” he said. “It’s going to be happening, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

GPRC Business Administration instructor Cibylla Rakestraw presenting her research.
Meet your new GPRC Student Success Officers

Meet your new GPRC Student Success Officers

Hey GPRC, meet your new Student Success Officers covering the GPRC Fairview campuses.

Meet Alaina Archibald

My name is Alaina Archibald, and I am the new Student Success Officer on our Fairview Campus!  I moved to Alberta from Terrace, B.C. in August of 2010 to be closer to my boyfriend, who was born and raised in Fairview.  I participated in Business Administration courses at GPRC, but quickly succumbed to the pressures of being in a new city with no friends, and even though my boyfriend and I were significantly closer together, the distance still felt vast.  Luckily, my passion for horses never subsided through my move, and it acted as a fantastic crutch to support me through a troublesome area of my life.  Luckily, I managed to pick myself up and I’m now happily married – and still riding horses!

I began riding horses at the age of 9, and it didn’t take long before I was completely obsessed.  Until the age of 17, I was heavily involved in our local drag racing community, but at this point I am no longer involved to the depth of previous years. During this period, I was also involved in soccer, and participated in both house and rep leagues for a number of years.

Eventually, I decided to sink all my time into horses and for the majority of my life, I was raised by a single mom who worked tirelessly to support my desire to ride along with my older brother’s love for hockey.  I was truly blessed to be granted the opportunities I did that surrounded horses, and my love and devotion has never wavered.  Currently, I continue to actively ride and train my own horses, have a private list of dedicated students, and I am the Founder and President of the Fairview Sport Horse Society.  With the help of my board members, we run 2 All-English Horse Shows per year, and a variety of Dressage and Jumping clinics at the lovely Hawker Pavilion right here on our GPRC Fairview Campus!  I am also involved in the horse racing community and spend nearly every free summer weekend at Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie as a result.

When my husband and I aren’t busy with our horses, we often enjoy travelling, exploring with our husky (because seriously, exercising him is a never ending chore), and participating in various outdoor activities – we never miss an opportunity to go hunting, fishing or camping with friends and family as a result.  While I feel incredibly content in the northern prairies, the mountains will always be my home and I am truly at ease in the outdoors.


So, what is she most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to helping the post-secondary students in our community achieve their academic goals. It is so exciting and inspiring to see others overcome various obstacles and hardships in order to earn amazing achievements! I look forward to providing the support required that current and future students require, and assisting them in finding the path to a successful career!  It is a privilege to get to celebrate and play a small role in the incredible accomplishments of our GPRC students.

How to contact her:

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Alaina Archibald

Student Success Officer

School of Trades, Agriculture & Environment

Office: FAC131, Fairview Campus


Phone: (780) 835-6763

GPRC Fairview Convocation

GPRC Fairview Convocation

GPRC honoured the achievements of their latest graduates of the Fairview campus this weekend in a packed auditorium. The total graduating class is approximately 430 for the 2016-2017 Academic Year.

17265040_1459888840689075_4917964461549386051_nThis year’s Valedictorian was Motorcycle Mechanic Certificate graduate, Ines Gerber. Gerber who has completed her GPRC credentials with academic excellence was honoured to represent her fellow classmates.

College is so much more than gaining knowledge to ignite your career,” said Gerber. “It is also an opportunity for all of us to gain independence and explore new and exciting experiences. College has given us the freedom to realize our true callings in life and opening our eyes for whatever else may come, said Gerber.


Gerber represents students from an array of programming and apprenticeships available on GPRC Fairview’s campus.

In her inspiring speech, she left her fellow classmates with this before congratulating the Class of 2017.

I hope you all continue creating new goals and dreams for yourselves,” concluded Gerber. “Never give up on yourselves even when a weld is not perfect, an animal is not improving its health, an engine will not startAlways remember to tell yourself ‘it is just one day and tomorrow will be better’.”

Before graduating students, family members and honorary guests in attendance of convocation left the auditorium to enjoy some mingle time at the President’s Tea in GPRC Fairview’s atrium, GPRC President and CEO, Don Gnatiuk addressed the graduates.

“Our students continue to amaze us with their personal and academic accomplishments,” said Gnatiuk. We are exceptionally proud of each and every one of these graduates as they go off in pursuit of their life dreams. We thank them for choosing GPRC to begin their academic journeys with. We know each and every one of them are a vital part of a better future for all of us.” 

To see more photos of GPRC Fairview 2017 Convocation, head to our Facebook page. 

Read the full news release here.

GPRC honours World Plumbing Day

GPRC honours World Plumbing Day

GPRC is proud to honour World Plumbing Day on March 11, 2017. 



Our GPRC Fairview and Grande Prairie campuses are proud to provide learners with a wide range of trades, certificates and apprenticeships.

Learners looking to start, carry-on or finish their plumbing apprenticeship can do so at our GPRC Fairview campus. 

This year our college has received membership with the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating.

GPRC Fairview has been the location for training plumbers, gasfitters and steamfitter/pipefitters in the Peace Country since the first graduating plumber programs in 1983/84.



“This group [above] has been working for years already towards their professional certification as a Plumber and Gasfitter “B”. We have a diverse group representing different parts of the country. From Nova Scotia to Ontario to Alberta and British Columbia, our class has come together for a common goal of becoming plumbers,” says Brett Dillman, GPRC Plumbing Instructor.

Brett commented on the importance of celebrating World Plumbing Day. 

“We would like to showcase our trade because we are proud to be the protectors of safe drinking water and ensure that waste is removed in a sanitary way.”

Fun facts:

The plumbing trade has evolved a lot over the years. The title plumber originated from the “worker of Lead” Pb = Lead. Ironic that lead is now banned from most materials plumbers use.  Now, the trade is filled with a wide range of tasks including most recently solar thermal water heating, geothermal heating and cooling, rain water harvesting, and grey water recycling.

GPRC prepares their learners to enter the workforce by covering topics such as installing and servicing bidets, hydronic radiant heating, thermal and electrical controls, gas venting, air supply, vent stacks, and finally, yoke vents to name a few.

On March 11, help us celebrate World Plumbing Day by appreciating plumbing and plumbers in your own way and remember, plumbing is vital to our health.