The Bunker, as its affectionately called by Vernon’s Okanagan College students and staff, features more than 20,000 pounds of vintage printing presses. (Contributed)

Okanagan College invites Vernon into the Bunker

A series of open houses shows prospective students, creative writers the on-site printing press

Okanagan College is inviting Vernonites into the Bunker to learn more about publishing and printing presses.

The Okanagan College Print Shop, or the Bunker, as its affectionately called by students and staff, features more than 20,000 pounds of vintage printing presses and metal type that students use to apply their typography and design skills using machines that are more than 100 years old.

Instructor Jason Dewinetz said the Bunker experience provides a unique learning experience for students, especially in the digital age of publishing.

“I can’t stress enough what working in the Bunker does for students,” he said. “It’s transformational.”

“When they go back to the computer, they are thinking of things completely differently,” Dewinetz said.

The open house, hosted Jan. 31, Feb. 29 and March 20 between 2-4 p.m. at the college, will be a great opportunity for future writing and publishing students to meet instructors and current students and ask any questions they may have about writing and publishing careers, Dewinetz said.

The Diploma of Writing and Publishing program infuses English, creative writing, editing and communications material with applied technical skills in graphic design, typography, coding and book publishing. Those who complete the program can then go onto publishing quality content in a variety of medias.

“Our students love this program and the hands-on experience they get from it,” Dewinetz said. “They’re getting dirty, the have ink on their hands and the real benefit comes when working in the three-dimensional world and applying it to the two-dimensional screen.”

Students also study industry-standard publishing software including Adobe Photoshop and InDesign which prepares them to work in a variety of fields ranging from journalism and public relations to graphic design.

“We have a large number of business students who take our courses because they are interested in learning the software and it gives them valuable skills for a variety of industries,” the instructor said.

The first open house will take place next Friday and parking will be free. Signs will be place directing visitors to the Bunker’s outdoor entrance.

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