Selkirk College Gala 2017 Inspires Dreams

Selkirk College’s Gala 2017 strikes at the heart of providing those seeking their dream career an opportunity to get the skills, knowledge and training required to succeed.

The annual night out at Mary Hall on Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus is a November tradition that invites the community to indulge in the skills of students in the Professional Cook Training Program, the Resort & Hotel Management Program and the Contemporary Music & Technology Program. This year’s Selkirk College Gala takes place on Saturday, November 25 with the theme of Inspiring Dreams.

“The theme is important because it feels like it belongs to each of us,” says second-year Resort & Hotel Management Program student Rahaf Zwayne. “We are trying to reach our goals as students, so it’s nice to think about how we would like to present our dreams to the guests and then they can be inspired by it.”

Originally from Syria, Zwayne arrived to Canada in 2016 from Damascus thanks to a private sponsorship from a family in Trail. With an eye on becoming employable quickly, she chose to start her Canadian post-secondary journey in Selkirk College’s School of Hospitality & Tourism. Zwayne spent the program’s required summer practicum at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise where her background helped confirm that she made the right choice.

“This industry requires an emotional intelligence and love to help people,” says Zwayne. “It also requires an open mind and love to communicate with people. It’s very important to understand other people’s culture and background because you are going to be working with people from all over the world, both as guests and co-workers.”

Zwayne is just one member of the second-year Resort & Hotel Management Program class that will be an important part of the Gala leadership team. With more than 250 guests arriving to Mary Hall, pulling off a major event is vital to the education the students are receiving.

“Last year they did a really good job and it was a great event,” says Katelyn Horning, a second-year Resort & Hotel Management Program student who was part of the team that helped serve at Gala 2016. “I’m very much interested in event management and this is an elegant evening, so I’m looking forward to taking a leadership position and making this year’s Gala even better.”

Horning grew up in Nakusp and graduated from Mount Sentinel Secondary before heading off to her first year of post-secondary at Kelowna’s Okanagan College where she took Business Administration. She returned to the West Kootenay last year and chose to enter the hospitality industry because of the variety of career options.

The Gala evening includes a delicious three-course meal prepared by the Professional Cook Program students and variety of wonderfully prepared appetizers.
“The feeling in the building is pretty special,” says Horning. “It’s a welcoming night where everybody is having a good time. The cooking students do such an amazing job, the quality and presentation of the food is five-star.”

The Gala is also an important fundraising evening that includes one of the most extensive silent and live auction layouts in the region. Money raised at the Inspiring Dreams Gala is helping put the finishing touches on the Selkirk College 50 th Anniversary Legacy Award which will create a $50,000 endowment to provide financial support through scholarships and bursaries.

After desert, those in attendance are treated to a live performance by the Gala Band, a collection of Contemporary Music & Technology Program students who always put on a stellar show.

Tickets for the Selkirk College Gala 2017 are $70 each or a $520 for a table of eight. They can be purchased online at