Keeping GPRC in the Loop

Insider is GPRC's internal staff and faculty e-newsletter, published bi-weekly. Feel free to submit story ideas, GPRC related news, events and photos to

In this issue

Back to the Books

This fall classes on GP Campus kicked off with not one, but two welcome orientations. On August 30, we welcomed approximately 32 students in 3rd year Millwright Machinist and Pre-Employment Welder. On August 31, over 500 students filled the theatre and were welcomed much like the trades students the day before. Doug Frattini, forever the court jester, hosted the Theatre event and did a great job of keeping the students engaged. The comedy continued, as the Student’s Association with the help of Phil Gorman (filmmaker extraordinaire) went to great lengths, and produced a film highlighting all of the services that the SA provides GPRC students (I think it’s on YouTube).

Student Success Sessions hosted by Gord Pellerin, Doris Hoveland, Mark Coates, Joel Thibault, and Carla Basarab were well attended and feedback was great. A BBQ hosted by the Students' Association and sponsored by PTI served over 400 hamburgers to hungry students. The amphitheatre and Howler’s lounge were packed. A great energy and culture could be seen developing.

Collaborating with Student Services, and the Students' Association made for a great welcome. Thanks to Don Gnatiuk, Susan Bansgrove, Joanne Ballance, Nate Smith, Dan George, and the Community Relations dept. for helping with the welcome bags.   - submitted by Megan Ryan-Walsh

The Student Services Dept. was hopping!

Students enjoyed the free SA BBQ outside in the Howler's Courtyard.

Celebrity burger flippers Geoff Whittall and Doug Frattini.

Brad Mates Visits New Recording Studio

Brad Mates and Emerson Drive recently paid GPRC a visit. Their fourth annual Benefit Concert at the Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre was once again a sell-out event.  Proceeds from this event have been donated by Emerson Drive to support a music scholarship at GPRC and to contribute to the completion of the professional recording studio at GPRC.

Brad took some time out of his busy schedule to tour the new recording studio in the recently renovated Fine Arts Department. Heading the tour were Geoff Whittall, Chair of the Fine Arts Department, Chris McIntyre, GPRC music instructor and Executive Director of Community Relations, Carmen Haakstad.

Brad was very impressed by the quality and professionalism of the recording studio and remarked at how fortunate music students at GPRC and the community were to have such a top of the line facility.  He plans to record an album in the studio in the near future.

Brad Mates signs an Emerson Drive poster in the Recording Studio.

Brad Mates, Carmen Haakstad & Chris MacIntyre.

Business Fair at Fairview Campus

On September 16th in the Atrium on the GPRC Fairview College campus, Fairview businesses set up tables to acquaint the students with the many and varied services Fairview has to offer.

Elder in Residence Welcomed at GPRC

At a welcoming ceremony and press conference on September 21, GPRC's first Elder in Residence, Miriam Youngchief, was introduced to both the GPRC community and the community at large.  Her role as Elder in Residence will allow her to provide guidance to youth of the community and students at GPRC.  She will also provide teachings about Aboriginal culture and spirituality and serve as an important resource for faculty and administration.

The Elder in Residence Program is a partnership of the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre and GPRC. The initiative has been supported by the City of Grande Prairie, Alberta Education, and funded through a gift by Alliance Pipeline and matching grants from the Alberta Access to the Future Fund.  Welcome Miriam!

Fairview Campus Golf Tourney

AUPE Local 71, Chapter 7 (Fairview Campus support staff) held their annual fun golf tournament at the Hines Creek Golf Club on Saturday, August 28th. The slightly wet weather did not dampen spirits!  Members and their guests enjoyed a delicious steak supper catered by the Golf Club and 9 holes of golf. The winning team is pictured above, Carl & Shannon Ball, Karen & Dan Litke. Many thanks go to Don Koyman and Karen Lazorko for organizing the event and gathering prizes. - submitted by Cheryl Frank

New Playscape at GPRC Children’s Centre

On September 16th, the GPRC Children's Centre held its official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of their new Playscape.  The occasion was well attended by GPRC staff & faculty, members of the Executive Team, parents, community members, and the children who attend the Children's Centre.

In the new natural playscape, the children will also have more opportunity to interact with nature and with each other. According to Pat Caulfield Fontaine, Chair of the Human Services department,  the naturalized environment provided by the playscape follows a growing trend in response to research which shows that young children prefer natural landscapes and materials rather than conventional playgrounds, and this type of environment is also known to encourage more constructive and creative play.

Pat Caulfield Fontaine announces the official reopening of the Children Centre Playscape

The children helped to cut the ribbon!


Road Ranger Training

Brett Bartel, Western Canadian Training Manager with Eaton Corporation, was recently at the GPRC Fairview College campus conducting a three-day "Road Ranger transmission and Eaton differentials" training course for Industry participants as well as five instructors in the Heavy Equipment Technician program. Brett has been delivering this specialized training at the Fairview campus for some years and has been instrumental in securing donations of equipment and service information for use in student instruction – this year’s is a new model Road Ranger transmission.

Brett Bartel (Training Manager) and  Richard Smith (GPRC Instructor), Kaily Metcalf, David Neufeld and Ben Stewart (GPRC Apprenticeship Students)
Inset: GPRC Instructors left to right:  Erwin Vhal, Gavin Winter, Harry Frykas, John Stiles