2024 Convocation and Commencement

Missed a ceremony? View previous ceremonies online.

Looking for photos from your ceremony? View and download photos.

Apply to graduate

Apply to graduate through your myOkanagan account.

Frequently Asked Questions

All students must apply to graduate in order to receive their credential. 

Please fill out an  in your myOkanagan account. 

For students in BC Campus programs, please fill out the BC Campus graduation application.

Once you have applied to graduate, you can register to attend a ceremony through self-service in . Complete the following steps:

  1. After you have submitted your application to graduate, log into myOkanagan Self-service, and click on “View my application for graduation.”
  2. This will prompt a window that says your application has been received, as well as a button that says “Register” for convocation
  3. Click on the register button and choose your ceremony.

There is a $30 non-refundable fee to attend a ceremony. This fee covers regalia rental, a souvenir grad cap and an Ƶ parchment folder.

Those registering after the deadline may be charged a late fee of $50.

On-Campus Grad Photos

April 9-11, 2024, Kelowna campus, Centre for Learning atrium

Sitting fee $50 plus the cost of photos and shipping (payable when you arrive for your photoshoot)

  • sitting fee includes a variety of poses with and without cap and gown (provided), a photo for the composite board (if applicable) and a complimentary 8x10 print

Online signup required at
No drop-ins permitted

For more information contact convocation@okanagan.bc.ca.

June 15, 2024, Kelowna campus, S building

Basil Cooper will be set up next to the gown pick up area on June 15 for drop-ins.

Vernon Graduation Portraits
June 17, 2024, Marie Fleming Studio at the Performing Arts Centre

Red Door Photographic will be at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre during convocation ceremonies to take Graduation Portraits. Pre-registration is required.

Sign up here


Can't make it to the Kelowna campus for grad photos?

Local Kelowna photographer, Melissa, of Voth Photography is honoured to take your graduation portraits.

Grad photos can be scheduled and take place at 1126 Richter Street (in The Film Factory).

Appointments are available to book on various dates until spots fill up.

  • If the date is greyed out that means we are fully booked for that day.
  • If you also want some group photos we ask that you book an extra session to allow for time. Thank you.
  • When more dates open up they will be posted on the same link, please check back again 

Packages and Prices

Voth Photography offers different photo packages - general prices are: $60 for the session fee, this includes the photo shoot, use of gown, cap, hood and props, detailed styling of each portrait, as well as a personal, private online gallery of pre-edited images for you to purchase from. You can then purchase photo packages online and they range from as low as $30 for a small print, or $90 for a high resolution printable digital file as well as other options upwards in price for print and digital packages. 

When you book please put in the notes your degree, diploma or certificate.

Summary of the Process for your graduation portraits:

  1. Book photo time session and pay $60 session fee
  2. Day of grad portrait session - Arrive to the studio location 5 minutes early.
  3. Have your portrait taken.
  4. Receive photo gallery of graduation portraits approximately one month after the session.
  5. Share gallery with friends and family.
  6. Pick and purchase final photos.
  7. Galleries come off website 1 year after graduation. Order before this final date. We recommend ordering when you receive your gallery.

Contact info:
Voth Photography Melissa McHugh and team
E-mail: VothPhotoGrad@gmail.com 
Phone: 250-486-8686

The sells diploma and portrait frames at most Convocation and Commencement ceremonies at Ƶ and year round at the Kelowna campus Store. Frames can be purchased and are available for pick up at the Kelowna campus Bookstore or can be shipped Canada wide.

The net proceeds from these sales provide funding to support student and alumni programming. 

The Alumni Association also offers options for advance purchase of flowers with convenient pick up at Convocation ceremonies in Kelowna only at this time. .

Bouquet of red roses

For all Ƶ convocation ceremonies, students and employees with Indigenous ancestry may choose to wear their traditional Indigenous regalia, in lieu of a gown and hood. Traditional regalia refers to the traditional and sacred clothing, accessories and pieces worn or carried by Indigenous peoples during various ceremonies, such as powwows, celebrations and pan-national gatherings. As regalia are personal and sacred outfits, it is appropriate to approach and inquire, however, please refrain from touching without consent.

Family members and guests are invited to attend Convocation and Commencement ceremonies to celebrate the accomplishments of Ƶ’s graduates. Tickets are not required. 

Ceremonies in Kelowna, Penticton and Salmon Arm are held outdoors on campus. Ceremonies in Vernon are held at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

International Students Inviting Family and Friends from Outside Canada
If you are inviting your parents, family or friends from outside Canada, please see the Inviting Friends or Family to Canada Information Sheet and sample letter.

All parking lots on campus, except metered parking, are available and free to guests on Convocation day.

Guest Seating
Guest seating is first-come, first-served. Guests should arrive up to an hour before the ceremony for a choice of seating.

Special Considerations
Seating is reserved for guests with special needs (i.e. wheelchair seating) and an accompanying guest.

All graduates and guests are invited to attend a reception immediately following the ceremony.

Inclement Weather
Outdoor ceremonies are held rain or shine. Please come prepared for the weather. In the event of sudden, extreme weather a decision will be made up to four hours before the ceremony to delay the start time.

Notification will be posted on the Convocation website, the Ƶ homepage and on the appropriate campus reader board.

Please note: if there is less than a 40% chance of rain or very light rain the ceremony will continue as planned. Please bring an umbrella. 

Convocation Ƶ
Convocation programs will be available at each ceremony from the ushers. Extra copies may be available after each ceremony (availability varies by year) from College Relations.

Trades and Continuing Studies students can attend any of the ceremonies in June, October or January in the region of your choice (see ceremonies above). 

Academic Regalia (Cap and Gown)
Wearing academic regalia is a tradition at Ƶ. Indigenous students may alternatively choose to wear traditional regalia. Visible items of clothing should be of dark colours. No adornments such as flowers, jewelry or emblems of any kind should be attached to the gown. Caps and gowns must be worn by all ceremony participants. Regalia must not leave the campus and must be returned within one hour of the end of the ceremony. Graduates will be charged $125 for unreturned regalia.

How to Hang the Tassel on your Grad Cap
The tassel stays on the right side until you receive your credential and then it is moved to the left side. Moving the tassel symbolizes the transition from student to graduate.

Arrival and Check In
Graduands should arrive at least one hour before the start of the ceremony. Please check in and get your name card, pick up your gown and proceed to the procession line ups.

Assembly and Procession
Once you have proceeded through check in and gown pick up, you will line up alphabetically within your program. Ensure that you retain the name card to hand to the reader on stage.

The procession starts punctually. You will be led to your seat. Please remain standing until you’ve been asked to be seated.

Stage Procedure
When it’s time for graduands in your program to cross the stage, a marshal will direct you to the appropriate location. It is essential that you bring your name card and hand it to the reader. When your name is announced, you will walk across the stage, receive your parchment folder and have your photograph will be taken. As you leave the stage you will proceed to the alumni table to receive a gift. After which you must return to your seat.

Walking across the stage marks a milestone in your life and is a highlight of your graduation day. Please be considerate of your fellow graduands and return to your seat after your receive your credential.

Personal Belongings
Please keep personal belongings to a minimum. Storage for coats will not be provided. Leave personal items (e.g. purse) with a guest.

Ceremony Duration
Each ceremony is approximately one to 1.5 hours in length.

Inclement Weather
In the event of inclement weather a decision will be made four hours before the ceremony start time to move/postpone as necessary.

Notification will be posted on the Convocation webpage, the Ƶ homepage and on the reader board in the appropriate region.

In the event of sudden, unexpected weather the ceremony may be delayed.

Please inform College Relations at 250-862-5473 if you or a guest require an accommodation at the ceremony (e.g. wheelchair seating or wheelchair access onto the stage to accept your diploma).

A professional photographer will be available at each ceremony for portraits on the day of Convocation and will do portraits on a first-come, first-served basis before and after the ceremony. 

A staff photographer will attempt to take a photo of each student as they cross the stage to receive their credential. The photos will be available online a few weeks after the ceremony for download.

Diploma Frames and Flowers
As a service to graduands, the  sells diploma frames at most Convocation ceremonies at Ƶ. The net proceeds from these sales provide funding to support student and alumni programming.

Flowers can be pre-ordered online from and are also available for purchase at the ceremony (with the exception of Vernon). 

After Graduation

The Ƶ Alumni Association (OCAA) welcomes all graduates into their ranks. As a graduate of Ƶ, you are eligible to access alumni benefits and services. Visit the  to discover the benefits of being Ƶ alumni!

International Students Inviting Family and Friends from Outside Canada
If you are inviting your parents, family or friends from outside Canada, please see the Inviting Friends or Family to Canada Information Sheet and sample letter.

Faculty and Volunteers

All Ƶ instructors and faculty members are invited and encouraged to attend Convocation and Commencement to celebrate the accomplishments of graduands. To indicate your participation and/or to order regalia, please contact convocation@okanagan.bc.ca. For faculty regalia orders please provide your height and highest credential awarded (i.e. 5'11" M.Sc., Alberta), and the ceremony you wish to attend.

Regalia Pick Up and Return
Kelowna - Pick up and return your regalia in the Boardroom (S103B) the day of Convocation one hour before the ceremony start time.
Vernon - Pick up and return your regalia in the greenroom at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre one hour before the ceremony start time.

Volunteers are an important and indispensable part of what makes Convocation a successful and memorable event for graduates and families. This is the most exciting time of the year and you are invited to be part of it. To volunteer, please contact convocation@okanagan.bc.ca.

Photos from 2024 Ceremonies

Photos from 2023 Ceremonies

Photos from 2022 ceremonies

Photos from 2019 ceremonies


Convocation & Commencement Information

Ƶ draws on a rich heritage of post-secondary education and training in the region that can be traced to the early 1960s when the B.C. Vocational School was established in Kelowna. Growth, changes and mergers led to the development of Ƶ and by 1968, the first university and career transfer students were registered in a full complement of academic and vocational programs.

Ƶ began to offer third- and fourth-year university courses in co-operation with the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria in 1989. By 1992 it had received its new mandate and was named Okanagan University College (OUC).

OUC offered joint degrees with UBC and UVic until 1995 when new legislation enabled university colleges to grant their own baccalaureate degrees. OUC conferred its first degrees on 123 grads at the Spring Convocation in 1998. At OUC’s last convocation ceremonies 900 degrees and diplomas were conferred.

On July 1, 2005, OUC evolved to become two new institutions, Ƶ and UBC Okanagan. Ƶ offers a broad array of diploma and certificate programs and two degree programs.

With campuses in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, and Salmon Arm (as well as several education centres), Ƶ is the largest college in the interior. It is an institution that serves the education and training needs of the region – stretching south to Osoyoos, west to Princeton, to Mica Creek in the north, and Revelstoke in the east.

Ƶ has become a vital and integral component of the social and economic fabric of B.C.’s interior. It serves not only this region, but also the world through its programs, services, community activities and enterprises.

Ƶ is dedicated to providing learning opportunities for people at every stage of life and educational experience. The College offers programs that lead to a full range of credentials, from basic literacy skills to bachelor’s degrees, and that cover a broad spectrum of subject matter, career opportunities and interests. Ƶ transforms lives and communities.

Education Council is an internal governance body of Ƶ as required by the College and Institutes Act. Education Council considers curriculum and educational policies relating to students, standards, planning and operations.

Education Council is the body that makes academic decisions at Ƶ. These decisions include approving graduates, academic achievement awards and honorary fellows.

Achievement awards are presented annually to students who achieve academic excellence. These awards are honorary with no monetary value attached. All students completing a degree, diploma or certificate program who have applied to graduate are automatically considered.

Ƶ Baccalaureate Medals
Medals in Bachelor of Computer Information Systems and Bachelor of Business Administration recognize outstanding performance in their respective baccalaureate program. These medals are awarded to the graduating degree student with the highest graduating grade average.

Associate of Arts Degree Medal
This medal is presented to the graduate who has successfully completed an Associate of Arts Degree program on a full-time basis, with the highest graduating grade average.

Associate of Science Degree Medal
This medal is presented to the graduate who has successfully completed an Associate of Science Degree program on a full-time basis, with the highest graduating grade average.

Governor General’s Silver Academic Medal
This medal is presented to the graduate who has successfully completed a degree program on a full-time basis with the highest graduating grade average.

Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Medal
This medal is presented to the graduate who has successfully completed an associate degree or diploma program on a full-time basis with the highest graduating grade average.

Ƶ President’s Award for Diploma Ƶ
These awards are presented to two graduates who have successfully completed an associate degree or diploma program on a full-time basis, with the highest graduating grade average (excluding the Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Medal recipient).

President's Award for Certificate Ƶ
This award is presented to the two graduates who have successfully completed a vocational certificate program on a full-time basis, with the highest grade average (excluding the Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal recipient).

Honorary Fellows

The award of an Honorary Fellow is recognition by Ƶ of Honorary Fellow Medal distinguished achievement or outstanding service by an individual.

The criteria for the award are mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment. The College welcomes nominations that reflect the values of the College and the diversity of Canadian society.

Nominees will be persons who have made significant contributions to the College, the Okanagan Valley, the province, the nation or on an international level.

Ƶ will keep all nominations and the information contained therein confidential. We request that a nominee not be informed that s/he has been nominated for an award. This saves embarrassment in the nominee is not selected by the Committee.

Distinguished Service Award

This award is to honour and recognize former Ƶ employees, who have given outstanding service to Ƶ, who share and support the mission, vision and values of Ƶ, and who are active within and outside the Ƶ community. This award will not be given as a matter of routine and is extended to only those who are most deserving.

To nominate someone for a Distinguished Service Award click here.

To find out who Ƶ and Okanagan University College have recognized with these awards click here