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Seneca to receive more than $3.4 million for 50th anniversary legacy projects

Legacy projects to include new First Peoples@Seneca space

Toronto, April 25, 2017 – Seneca will use $3,443,600 in funding from the Government of Ontario to create a new Indigenous student space; revitalize the School of Aviation’s fleet of aircraft; reimagine the journalism program’s TV studio; and expand a laptop and tablet loaning program for students.

These projects will be funded through the Government of Ontario’s $50-million investment honouring the college system's 50th anniversary.

First Peoples@Seneca provides a home away from home and an ongoing connection to culture, education and tradition for Seneca’s growing number of Indigenous students. Counsellors and elders provide tutoring and career guidance, wellness programs, smudging, water blessings and drum circles.

First Peoples@Seneca will become a destination on campus for students and visitors. Infused with Indigenous designs, the new space, set adjacent to the on-campus tipi, will provide inspiration for students with lounges, elder consultation and counselling rooms, kitchen amenities for traditional food preparation and communal tables for meetings and crafts.

Seneca has a long history of supporting Indigenous education and culture. As part of Seneca’s 50th anniversary celebrations, students and staff published “A Celebration of Indigenous Culture at Seneca,” which features chapters on Indigenous art, dance, fashion and the connection to the land, which provide a snapshot of the richness of the Indigenous culture at Seneca.

Seneca’s School of Aviation will also purchase additional Cessna 172S planes and a flight simulator to strengthen the fleet and simulation training opportunities at the Peterborough Aviation Campus, housed at Peterborough Municipal Airport. The aircraft are flown by students and instructors in Seneca’s Honours Bachelor of Aviation Technology program. 

Seneca will pay tribute to former Premier and Minister of Education William G. Davis, who in 1965 introduced the legislation that created Ontario’s college system. A plane will be dedicated to him with the registration letters PWD for Premier William Davis.

In addition, the School of Media’s Seneca@York journalism TV studio will be redesigned into an integrated newsroom, where students will produce content for audio, video and online platforms in a real-world setting. Journalism alumni will advise on the project.

Seneca will also expand its existing laptop and tablet loaning program for students who could otherwise not afford the technology.  


“Congratulations to Seneca on their 50th anniversary. I’m excited and proud that Seneca is expanding and improving the First Peoples@Seneca service area to better support students and to ensure that services and resources are offered to students in a culturally appropriate way. With this investment, Seneca is helping to advance reconciliation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit students in Ontario.”
Honourable David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; MPP, Willowdale

“This important investment in state-of-the-art flight simulator technology and aircraft at Seneca’s School of Aviation in Peterborough will help ensure that students have the knowledge and skills they need to excel in a technology-driven economy.”
Honourable Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Minister Responsible for Small Business; MPP, Peterborough

“We are delighted to receive this funding to celebrate our 50th anniversary while expanding and enhancing the services, spaces and resources we offer to Seneca students. We thank the Government of Ontario for its contribution and are proud to pay tribute to the founder of the Ontario college system, former Premier and Minister of Education William G. Davis.”
David Agnew, Seneca President

“We look forward to enhancing our First Peoples@Seneca space to better serve Indigenous students and advance Indigenous education here at Seneca.”
Greer Atkinson, Co-Chair, Seneca Aboriginal Education Council

“This is an exciting opportunity for Seneca to provide updated aircraft that will help prepare graduates for a continually evolving aviation industry.”
Tony Appels, Chair, Seneca School of Aviation

“Seneca’s Journalism program is exactly what I needed to begin my career in broadcast journalism. Learning about the importance of meeting deadlines, networking, writing clearly as well as concisely for television and thinking creatively were just a few of the useful skills that put me on the right footing to work in the media industry. Seneca’s industry-leading equipment, technology and state-of-the-art studios make all the difference."
Janelle Griffin, Editorial Guest Producer, CNN 


  • Two per cent of Seneca’s population self-identifies as Indigenous, which equates to approximately 450 students.
  • Seneca’s Bachelor of Aviation Technology program is the only one of its kind in Canada. It provides a rigorous aviation technology-based curriculum and the application of this theory to aviation. It prepares students to operate a complex aircraft in a multi-crew environment, to understand the technologies and human factors that affect the successful operation of an aircraft and to assume the professional responsibility associated with being a commercial pilot. Students also learn about business management, airport operations and planning, and air carrier administration to gain a broad perspective of the aviation industry and ultimately gain access to a greater variety of careers in the industry.
  • Notable Seneca Journalism and Broadcasting alumni include Evanka Osmak (Rogers Sportsnet), Joelene Huber (CBC Health), Pooja Handa (CP24), Colin D’Mello (CTV News), and Melissa Grelo (CTV's The Social).


With campuses in Toronto, York Region and Peterborough, Seneca offers degrees, diplomas, certificates and graduate programs renowned for their quality and respected by employers. It is one of the largest comprehensive colleges in Canada, offering nearly 300 full-time, part-time and online programs. Combining the highest academic standards with work-integrated and applied learning, expert teaching faculty and the latest technology ensure Seneca graduates are career-ready.

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For more information, please contact:

Emily Milic
Media Relations and Public Affairs Specialist
Seneca College
416.491.5050 ext. 77018