MQN Architecture is setting a foundation for the next generation of tradespeople with new bursaries at Okanagan College.
The Vernon trades awards will provide two annual $750 bursaries for any student entering a trades foundation program, along with a $1,000 bursary to a woman entering the trades.
“We believe in mentoring and teaching the next generation of designers and tradespeople. When looking at how we could do more, we decided providing financial support was the missing piece,” says Dora Anderson, a partner at MQN. “Had we not been given a hand up or support when starting out in our careers, who knows, we may not be here today.”
MQN is one of the largest architectural firms in the Interior and has a long history of working with the college, having designed its Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus along with the new Trades Training Centre in Vernon.
“For students to see that they can get trained and stay home and support their community is pretty exciting,” says Anderson.
Samantha Cook, 24, of Enderby is the first female recipient of the MQN Architecture and Interior Design Award. Cook is enrolled in the carpenter foundation program and says her goal is to help find solutions to the housing crisis affecting indigenous communities or where aging buildings may contain mould.
“I am so grateful to accept this award. This will help me focus on my studies right now, but it will also help my community after I graduate,” says Cook.
The fundraising campaign for the new trades centre resulted in more than $200,000 available for student awards.