Holland College Blog

News and views from around the college

Archive for July 2010

Holland College students create mascot

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The kidney is now preparing his next appearance.

The staff and students at Holland College frequently get requests for assistance from local non-profit organizations. Whether it’s a request for students to volunteer their time and skills for a worthwhile cause or something a little more ambitious, like building cottages for a children’s camp, if there’s a way for us to help, we gladly do so.

So when Wood Manufacturing – Cabinetmaking learning manager Graham Hicken received a request to build a kidney last spring, he immediately put three students on the job, and the college entered the wonderful world of mascot manufacturing!

The request came from the Kidney Foundation’s PEI Coordinator, Crystal Fall. She and her volunteers had been toying with the idea of creating a mascot to raise awareness for the foundation. A friend suggested contacting the college about the project, and three students stepped up to the plate.

Student Chris Strang (right) and learning manager Graham Hicken (right) with the mascot before he was painted.

Chris Strang, Eric Gilmore, and Oscar Hornyck set to work creating a pattern from drawings supplied by Crystal. It took about a week to construct the mascot, and then a little more time was spent fine-tuning it to make sure his wiper motor-powered arm was up to the task of waving for prolonged periods of time.

Kidney Foundation president Leslie Hunter, picked the little guy up in the late spring,  and Crystal painted him a cheery yellow. He debuted at the Summerside Lobster Carnival parade earlier this month.

“The Kidney Foundation is so pleased with the construction of our new kidney mascot.  He was a crowd pleaser, particularly for all of the children who waved, sometimes frantically, at him!” Crystal said. “We are especially grateful to the Holland College staff and students who took our design and created such a cheerful character for us.”

His debut at the Summerside Lobster Carnival, surrounded by volunteers and well-wishers. (Photo courtesy of the Kidney Foundation)

“Prince Edward Island now has a Living Donor Reimbursement Program so that donors don’t lose financially when they assist a loved one or a co-worker who needs a transplant. Having our mascot in parades give us the opportunity to discuss this program with people,” she said.

His next appearance will be in Charlottetown’s Gold Cup and Saucer Parade next month. For this parade, he will doff the lobster claw he’s currently sporting, and don an outfit more suitable for the parade’s theme of Alphabet Soup, A – Z and Everything in Between.

So if you happen to see a kidney sporting a chef’s hat and waving his oven-mitted hand on the day of the parade, wave back, won’t you?

Written by Sara Underwood

July 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Alumni, Staff, Students

How does our garden grow? With bronze fennel and leafy lovage and grapevines all in a row!

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I dropped in at The Culinary Institute of Canada this morning to see how things were progressing  in the garden. The sun was shining, and a fairly strong wind was blowing in from the mouth of the harbour when I met up with Instructor Jack Wheeler and student Jared Ritz.

We’ve had a lot of rain recently, but also a lot of sunny days. The garden looks fantastic! Things that were mere seedlings three weeks ago are now lush and richly coloured, and Jack and the students have been busy planting new donations as word of their project spreads.

Recently, John Rossignol of the award-winning Rossignol Winery donated grape vines to the garden. Rossignol Winery is located in Little Sands in the eastern end of the Island, and John’s vines surely must be accustomed to the wind. His vineyard stretches from the front of the property all the way back to the cliffs overlooking the Northumberland Strait. If you’ve never been there, it’s well worth taking a trip to this beautiful region.

Jared visited the Inn at Bay Fortune at the suggestion of Chef Michael Smith last weekend. The inn’s chef, Warren Barr, generously donated bronze fennel and lovage, a leafy plant that tastes a lot like celery.

Several employees of the college have also dropped off ornamental plants and flowers, and it seems that interest in the garden is growing almost as quickly as the plants themselves. Culinary students have started gathering there in the morning for coffee and a chat as they discuss their plans for the day and pull a few weeds. And increasingly, neighbours have been stopping by to sit in the shade and enjoy the atmosphere. The culinary institute is located in the Tourism and Culinary Centre, which is separated from the sea by a narrow stretch of grass and a few rocks. Sometimes the only sounds are of distant traffic and the clopping of horse’s hooves as a carriage carrying tourists passes, and the viewer’s eye is drawn from the neat rows of plants in the garden down to the boardwalk and out into the harbour.

The transformation of what was once merely a strip of grass into an attractive and functional extension of the culinary programs at the Tourism and Culinary Centre is impressive, and I have a feeling things are only going to get better. I’ll drop down again in a couple of weeks to see what’s new … and what grew!

Written by Sara Underwood

July 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Staff, Students