March 18, 2021 – Atlantic Towing Limited (ATL) is pleased to announce two recurring financial awards for Indigenous students enrolled in Camosun College’s Bridge Watch Rating and Culinary programs. Camosun College is a community college located in Greater Victoria, serving approximately 19,000 students. The awards will provide financial assistance with tuition and living expenses, work placement opportunities and full-time employment with ATL upon graduation.
The Bridge Watch Rating Award is intended to assist with costs of living (transportation, childcare, PPE, etc.) for Indigenous students, as tuition and accommodation costs are waived for women and Indigenous students participating in the program. The amount will be determined based on the financial needs of the selected recipient.
The Culinary Program Scholarship is a $6,000 financial award intended to cover the cost of tuition for the program, spanning the apprenticeship and technical training.
To be considered for either award, students must self-identify as an Indigenous Person, be in good academic standing and complete all application requirements. To begin the application process, please visit:
Students currently enrolled in Camosun College’s Bridge Watch Rating or Culinary programs, or persons expected to enroll in either program are invited and encouraged to apply.
This announcement follows a $700,000 commitment to support a new, state-of-the-art marine simulator for Camosun College in March 2020, a joint endeavor by Atlantic Towing and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. The simulator was installed in the Fall/Winter of 2020 and allows Camosun to offer a wider range of programming for marine professionals entering a vital industry.
“The National Shipbuilding Strategy is about more than building ships,” said Mary Keith, VP of Communications with Irving Shipbuilding. “We are growing opportunities for talented young Indigenous students in the marine sector with great partners like Camosun College and the Songhees First Nation in British Columbia. The new simulator funded by Irving Shipbuilding advances Canada’s ocean economy while building on our highly successful Pathways to Shipbuilding programs for under-represented groups. We are pleased to see continued investment in the next generation of mariners and wish them safe and successful careers at sea!”
“We have been working with multiple Indigenous communities and Camosun College to develop Bridge Watch and Culinary programs for nearly three years,” said Gilles Gagnon, Vice President and General Manager of ATL. “The simulator upgrade was a fantastic step forward in the Bridge Watch program. We are taking the next step to support students in their studies and provide job security, so we can continue to thrive on Canada’s West Coast and strengthen relationships with our neighbours and communities. This is an investment in both the company’s and these students’ futures.”
“Our programs are focused on giving students the skills they need for a range of in-demand careers,” said Sherri Bell, President of Camosun College. “The generous support from Atlantic Towing and Irving Shipbuilding for a new marine simulator allowed more students to train closer to home. These awards will allow more students to remain close to home following graduation.”
ATL has been working to establish a strong presence on Canada’s West Coast. In August 2018, following a rigorous and transparent bid process, the Canadian Coast Guard awarded a three-year contract to ATL for the provision of two emergency offshore towing vessels that operate in BC coastal waters. These vessels – the Eagle and the Raven – are capable of towing large commercial ships in distress, helping to prevent potential marine pollution incidents, assist with search and rescue operations, and contributing to Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan.
In April 2019, ATL announced that conversations with Coastal First Nation Communities had resulted in three new relationships: a Joint Venture Agreement between Songhees Events and Catering and ESS-Compass Group Canada; a contract with Salish Sea Industrial Services; and, a plan to implement Bridgewatch and Culinary training programs for local students via Camosun College.
Continued Support of Coastal First Nation Communities
Camosun College operates two campuses on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples on Vancouver Island, and its Camosun Costal Centre housed on Songhees Nation Territory. The establishment of the Bridge Watch Rating and Culinary programs allows potential cadets (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) to stay on Vancouver Island to complete their training. Previously, students interested in seafaring or marine services must leave the island to receive necessary training.
“Songhees Nation’s economy was intimately connected to the Salish Sea for millennia,” said Christina Clarke, Corporate Executive Officer of Songhees Nation. “Forming Salish Sea Industrial Services with Ralmax and Esquimalt Nation is one of our strategies for returning to the marine economy. Camosun College has been a key partner for Songhees Nation for many years. We are thankful to Atlantic Towing Limited for their support of the marine simulator and the financial awards. It will be a game changer for our students.”
Atlantic Towing Limited is committed to continued work with BC’s Coastal Communities, and to sustaining a local support system between the Canadian Coast Guard, local partners, and the ongoing effort to protect our oceans for generations to come.
“Having operated in British Columbia’s coastal environment for over two years, we have established strong partnerships and found a welcoming community,” said Gagnon. “Our ability to help young students with their training will enrich lives and lead to more local hiring aboard our vessels.”