Capilano University

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Capilano University
CapU CoA.jpg
Type Public
Established 1968[1]
Chairman Dr. Robin C. Brayne[2]
Chancellor Peter Ufford[3]
President Kris Bulcroft[4]
Undergraduates 7,500[5]
Location Canada North Vancouver, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada
Campus Suburb
Colours      Blue
8 varsity teams
Capilano University Athletics Logo
Nickname Capilano Blues
Mascot Blues
Affiliations ACCC, NWCCU, CBIE, CUP
CU logo-blue 200px.png

Capilano University is an undergraduate-focused, public, coeducational, teaching-intensive university located in the District of North Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. It is enabled by the University Act,[6] enrolling its first students in 1968. The school was established by local school boards and residents of the North Shore and Howe Sound on the need for a public institution serving the local communities. Initial enrollment was 784 students in 1968,[1] and as of 2009, student enrollment has grown to 7,500 students.[5] Under the direction of President Greg Lee, Capilano was redesignated from a community college to a university in 2008.[3] Capilano's academic offerings include liberal arts, professional, and career programs, leading to certificates, diplomas, and degrees at the primarily undergraduate level.

In addition to its main campus in North Vancouver, the university has two regional campuses located in the British Columbian cities of Squamish and Sechelt. Capilano serves the North Shore, Howe Sound, and Sunshine Coast communities, a region spanning from Metro Vancouver to Whistler.[1]

Capilano's sports teams are nicknamed the Blues, and periwinkle blue is the official school colour. The Blues have won numerous national titles in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association, and even more provincial titles in the British Columbia Colleges Athletic Association.[7]



The school boards of North and West Vancouver, Howe Sound and Sechelt formed a committee to determine the need for a community college to serve the North Shore. The proposal to build a college on the North Shore passed by a plebiscite in North and West Vancouver and the Howe Sound in 1967. However, the motion was defeated in Sechelt. The provincial government granted approval and Capilano College got its name selected from submissions made by North Shore residents. Capilano opened on September 10, 1968 with 784 students attending classes after hours at West Vancouver Secondary. The Capilano College Foundation was created in 1970 to provide scholarships and bursaries for students.[8]

In 1970, construction began on the North Vancouver campus in the Lynnmour area. Three years later, the permanent North Vancouver campus opened with 1,965 students in attendance. The first vocational programs were offered in portable buildings brought from West Vancouver Secondary. The first permanent structure at the North Vancouver campus, the original library building, also opened. In 1976, the Arbutus building at the North Vancouver campus opened, and the Fir building at the North Vancouver campus opened in 1982. In 1991, the Cedar building, the Sportsplex, and Horticulture building were completed. Two years later, a new library replaced the former at the North Vancouver campus, tripling the size of existing library space. In 1996, The Birch building at the North Vancouver campus is completed, housing a performance theatre, classrooms, student services, and providing teaching space. The Child Care Centre also opened in the same year.[8]

The Squamish campus began as liberal art classes that were offered in the fall in Squamish in 1973. The Learning Centre opened in 1974, housing an office, student services, and classes. In 1979, the permanent Squamish campus opened. In 1995, the official induction for the Capilano Squamish campus was held.[8]

Development of the Sunshine Coast campus began in 1977, when the Sunshine Coast School District became part of Capilano’s region and the first college classes were offered in Sechelt. In 1980, the Sunshine Coast campus (then called the Sechelt campus) opened a permanent facility in 1987.[8]


Capilano offered its first bachelor degree, a collaborative degree in music therapy with the B.C. Open University in 1990. A second music degree in jazz studies was offered by 1992.[9] Business administration was offered in 1993. That year, Capilano also conferred its first associate degrees. Tourism management was added to degree offerings in 1997. The college was authorized by the provincial government in 2003 to become the first college in British Columbia to independently grant applied degrees after the dissolution of the B.C. Open University. Capilano was also named by the provincial government as host of the British Columbia Centre for Tourism Leadership and Innovation in 2004, in preparations for the 2010 Winter Olympics. In 2008, Capilano became a candidate for accreditation with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, joined the OpenCourseWare consortium, and was redesignated as a university.[8]


Capilano University has three campuses. The main campus is at 2055 Purcell Way in the District of North Vancouver, on Metro Vancouver's North Shore. It is approximately a 20-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver. The majority of the programs are offered at this campus.

Capilano University also operates satellite campuses in Squamish and Sechelt, although only specialized programs are available at these locations.



Capilano offers six bachelor's degrees, twelve associate degrees, over thirty diploma programs, certificates, and citations.[10] These credentials are conferred by the university under six academic divisions: arts and sciences, business and professional studies, tourism and outdoor recreation, health and education, fine and applied arts, and continuing education.[10] Interdisciplinary programs unique to Capilano include the global stewardship program,[11] and British Columbia studies.[12] Capilano also offers niche programs with an applied focus, such as Applied Behaviour Analysis - Autism, applied ethics,[13] illustration/design (IDEA),[14] and music therapy.[15] The Capilano School of Motion Picture Arts offers motion picture technical skills training awarding various certificates and diplomas including an applied Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts degree.

Capilano has joint partnerships and projects as part of the school's commitment to international education.[1] It has dual degree programs and development partnerships with various schools abroad.[16]

2010 Winter Olympics[edit]

In 2004, the Province of British Columbia established the British Columbia Centre for Leadership and Innovation in Tourism at Capilano University.[17] This establishment came as part of the efforts by the provincial government to capitalize on the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. The centre addresses tourism issues, helps provide tourism education, and is part of the larger British Columbia Tourism and Hospitality Education and Training Consortium.[18] In 2008, the centre was merged into Link BC, an education network for tourism and hospitality with industry organizations.[19] This has resulted in partnerships with organizations, and opportunities for students.[20]

Scholarships and bursaries[edit]

The Government of Canada sponsors an Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool that lists over 680 scholarships, bursaries, and other incentives offered by governments, universities, and industry to support Aboriginal post-secondary participation. Capilano University scholarships for Aboriginal, First Nations and Métis students include: Bank of Montreal Award for Business Leadership; Irene June Wealick Memorial Award; HSBC Bank Canada Aboriginal Bursary; BC Aboriginal Student Award.[21]

Campus life[edit]


Capilano has eight varsity sport teams that play at the provincial and national levels. The official intercollegiate representing team is the Capilano University Blues. The Blues are based in Capilano University's North Vancouver campus and have their home court in the Sportsplex Building. Capilano University competes at the intercollegiate level in badminton, basketball, golf, soccer, and volleyball.[22]

Since 1974, the Capilano University Blues have won 40 provincial titles, nine national titles, eight coach of the Year distinctions and two aggregate champions. Between 1974 and 1999 they held the title for CCAA Soccer Supremacy Award.[7] In 2008 the Blues won the national championship in soccer.[23]


  • Until 2014 the University supported The Capilano Review, a journal which highlights experimental poetry, fiction, drama, and visual art. After funding was cut, the magazine relocated to downtown Vancouver
  • Until 2013 the University also supported Capilano University Editions (CUE), founded in 2008. A book publishing imprint of the Capilano Press Society focusing on Canadian avant garde writing and art, it now operates independently from the University.
  • The main student newspaper of the college is The Capilano Courier. The Courier, which operates independently of the college and the student society, is staffed by students. It is published weekly.
  • Capilano's creative writing students publish an innovative literary magazine, The Liar, in the spring and fall terms, with funding from the English department.

Student organizations[edit]

Every student enrolled in a credit program at Capilano University are members of the Capilano Students' Union (CSU). The CSU is the resident student society of Capilano University, and benefits the university and the community by advancing the interests of students. Like other British Columbian student societies, the CSU has the mandate generally to advocate for students, and provide services and events that improve the student experience. While the day-to-day management and operations is entrusted to a board of directors composed of elected students, governed by the constitution and bylaws of the society, students are ultimately in control the activities of the CSU. The board of directors consists of six constituency representatives, four issues coordinators, and the student representatives elected to the senate and board of governors. The CSU is registered under the Society Act of BC and receives funding from membership fees, collected from students by the university in accordance with the University Act.

The CSU provides some services to its members, including a low-cost transit pass, free day-planner, and a used book sale. More recently, a referendum was held in 2011 to approve the fee required for the student society to provide a supplemental health and dental insurance plan, and was approved with the support of 97% of voters. Student interests are represented by the CSU, and the views of students are presented and advocated for in meetings with university administrators and representatives of local, provincial, and federal governments. The student society also promotes the development of the campus community and improves the student experience by hosting events and through supporting the development of student clubs and associations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "About Capilano University". Capilano University. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  2. ^ "Board of Governors". Capilano University. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  3. ^ a b "First Chancellor for New Capilano University". Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  4. ^ "Administration". Capilano University. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  5. ^ a b "Student Enrollment Statistics". Capilano University. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  6. ^ "''University Act''". Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Blues History". Capilano University. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Pivotal moments at Capilano". Capilano University. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  9. ^ Patricia Rolston, Susan Spier. "Music at Community Colleges". The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Capilano University Calendar 2008 | 2009". Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Global Stewardship News & Events". Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  12. ^ "BC Studies". February 22, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Specialization in Applied Ethics". July 17, 2008. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  14. ^ "IDEA". Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  15. ^ "About Music Therapy". Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  16. ^ "International Partnerships & Projects". Capilano University. Archived from the original on March 16, 2010. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  17. ^ "Tourism, Hospitality Centres to Help Prepare for 2010". Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  18. ^ "Tourism & Hospitality Education and Training Consortium". Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  19. ^ "Who We Are". Link BC. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  20. ^ "MOU benefits Capilano’s tourism students and Tourism Vancouver in 2010". Capilano University. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  21. ^ Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool
  22. ^ 2008–09 Blues Teams Archived March 9, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ 2008–09 CCAA National Champions[dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°19′07″N 123°01′10″W / 49.31861°N 123.01944°W / 49.31861; -123.01944