Vancouver Island University COVID-19 status report

This week has seen lots of changes for our community as we made the decision to transition to alternate course delivery and assessment and moved most of our employees to a work from home model.

Understandably, this rapidly evolving situation is causing anxiety and stress for both students and employees. We wanted to remind everyone of the counselling supports that are in place for both students and employees and encourage people to reach out and access support if they find they are not coping. And, if you think someone needs help, please share this information with them. 

Finally, as we move into the weekend, we hope everyone will take a few moments to disconnect and do something to lift their spirits. We are all focused on trying to manage the impacts of this crisis, but it is critical that we look after ourselves so that we can, in turn, continue to look after each other, our community, and those in our community who are most vulnerable.

One way we are going to do this is by giving everyone a small break from the Daily Update so there will not be an update sent out tomorrow, Saturday, March 21. The next Daily Update will be on Sunday, March 22, in the evening.

However, we are still here for you. If you need something, please connect with us through

Please note: New information is in the New Items section; information that’s already been shared is in the Reminder section.

In both the ‘New Items’ and ‘Reminder’ sections, you’ll find information for both students and employees highlighted in green; information specifically for students is highlighted in yellow; and information specifically for employees is highlighted in blue.



VIU holding women's basketball championship tourney

VIU Mariners Women’s Basketball in season play versus Camosun College.
Photo by Northfield Photography

The top women’s university and college basketball players from across the country will be giving it their all in high-paced action at the 2020 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s National Basketball Championship hosted at Vancouver Island University (VIU) March 18 - 22. 

VIU Mariners women are going into the competition as this year’s Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) BC champions with a 17-1 record and will be looking to earn a national gold medal for the first time since 1998. The women won provincial gold medals in 2013, 2016 and 2019 and are currently ranked the No. 2 team in the country behind Dawson College out of Quebec.

“It's hard to predict who will come out on top at this year’s tournament,” says Tony Bryce, VIU Mariner’s Women’s Basketball Head Coach, and 2020 PACWEST Coach of the Year. “We will have the top eight teams from across the country coming to Nanaimo and they rarely, if ever, get a chance to see each other until this event. From being there last year, I feel we are right there, and have as good a chance as anyone of winning it all. It should be exciting to see the matchups and battles over the three-day tournament.” 

The action gets under way Thursday at 1 pm for the quarter-final matchups with the Lakeland Rustlers taking on the Capilano Blues. The Mariners play their first game at 6 pm Thursday and have the home court advantage after a fourth place finish last year.  

“For us, it's just about trusting our preparation and playing our game,” says Bryce. “Last year heading to Quebec, I felt perhaps there was a bit of doubt. There is no doubt anymore, we know we belong, and so we will be confident and ready to get after it.” 

Since 2007, VIU has hosted CCAA National Championships on five occasions: men’s volleyball in 2007, women’s volleyball in 2012, women’s basketball in 2015, badminton in 2016 and men’s soccer in 2017.

“Vancouver Island University is honoured to be hosting this tournament and to have the opportunity to showcase both our campus and our varsity athletics program,” says Dr. Deb Saucier, VIU President and Vice-Chancellor. “It is no easy feat to maintain a good academic standing while being a member of a varsity team that is excelling at the national level, in addition to balancing other commitments. All of the competing athletes should be incredibly proud of their accomplishments.”

All games will take place in the VIU gymnasium, which was resurfaced in the summer of 2019.

“We are focused on delivering the best experience for all the student-athletes, coaches and fans at this tournament,” says Bryce. “Fans will see the incredible athleticism and talent that these young women possess. At the National level, the pace and intensity is ramped up to another level and you can truly feel it in the gym. Hoping hoops fans young and old come and take in the excitement and support your local Mariners.”

The tournament schedule can be found on the CCAA website.  The games will be live streamed on

PWST Champions – Mariners, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC
ACAA Champions - Mount Mystics, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
OCAA Champions – Fanshawe Falcons, Fanshawe College, London, Ontario
ACAC Champions – Lakeland Rustlers, Lakeland College, Vermillion, Alberta
RSEQ Champions – Dynamiques, Cégep de Sainte-Foy, Sainte-Foy, Quebec
BC PWST Host – Capilano Blues, Capilano University, North Vancouver
ACAC Wildcard – Keyano Huskies, Keyano College, Fort McMurray, Alberta
RSEW Wildcard - Dawson College Blues, Dawson College, Montreal, Quebec

VI University opens recruitment office in Ecuado

From the Canadian Embassy in Ecuador - Tyler Wordsworth, Head of Commercial Affairs; Sylvie Bédard, Ambassador of Canada in Ecuador; Irlanda Price, VIU Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs; Carla Torres, VIU Alumni; Bruce Condie, VIU Director, International Marketing, Recruitment and Business Development; Daniela Asan, Vice Mayor, Municipality of Milagro; Pamela Cisneros, VIU Recruitment & Marketing Representative.
Vancouver Island University photo


Vancouver Island University (VIU) is enriching its international student population with the opening of a recruitment office in Quito, Ecuador.

“Reaching out to potential students across Latin America is a logical extension of what we have to offer,” says Bruce Condie, VIU’s Director of International Marketing, Recruitment and Business Development. “Canadian education, and our ideals and lifestyle, is valued in many Spanish speaking countries extending from Mexico into South America. They are also looking to expand their awareness and abilities in English, which will enhance their career prospects and VIU is well-positioned to provide a variety of programs to meet these requisites.”

A 2019 Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) report states the country has moved into a top five position among leading global study destinations and the number of international students studying in Canada grew by 73 per cent between 2014 and 2018. 

VIU has recruitment offices in China, India, Vietnam and Germany. In 2019, more than 2,600 international students from 93 countries came to study at VIU. 

“The university is attractive to international students because of the wide range of flexible and career-oriented credentials and programs we offer and they can obtain relevant and market-ready skills,” says Condie.  

As people become more mobile worldwide and students have considerably more destinations and institutions to choose from, having an agent positioned in emerging markets such as Latin America provides value-added services. 

VIU Recruitment & Marketing Representative Pamela Cisneros will be the Head of Operations for Latin America operating out of the Quito office.

“Being from Ecuador, she can offer assistance in a timely manner, in the first language of the Spanish speaking countries of Latin America, and students and parents appreciate having someone from their own culture being able to act as a facilitator,” adds Condie. 

The Quito office was officially opened February 5 at a special ceremony attended by Sylvie Bédard, Ambassador of Canada in Ecuador, along with a number of other notable Canadian government officials, local authorities, high school counsellors, prospective students and Irlanda Price, VIU Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs.

“The recruiting office in Quito is an opportunity for VIU to raise the profile of the University and encourage new relationships and collaboration with institutions in Latin American countries,” says Condie. “It also helps us focus our efforts on diversification of the student population which strengthens the quality of student and employee experiences in a global world.”