News Release Article from  Western Economic Diversification Canada

Archived - Harper Government partners with Olds College to establish the Apparel Innovation Centre in Calgary

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May 2, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada

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Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced $2,986,500 to support the Olds College Apparel Innovation Centre in Calgary.

Federal support will enable the College, in collaboration with Alberta Garment Manufacturing Ltd., to establish Western Canada’s first open-access apparel research and development facility. Once completed, Canadian-based companies and entrepreneurs will have access to a full suite of product testing and development equipment, as well as research services to create advanced textile-based products such as fire and chemical resistant safety gear for the energy, mining and manufacturing industries.

This industry-focused facility complements the Fashion Marketing and Apparel Technology programs offered at the College’s Fashion Institute by providing opportunities for fashion students to obtain necessary education and hands-on experience from market-driven collaboration projects.

Quick Facts

  • Federal funds will be used to acquire a broad spectrum of product testing and prototype development equipment ranging from thermal comfort, hot liquid and steam protection research testing equipment to various garment-related sewing and cutting machines, as well as garment design hardware and software.
  • By helping manufacturing businesses streamline production processes and expand product lines, this project may lead to increased sales and export activities in Western Canada.


“Our Government’s top priority remains jobs and economic growth. Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the continued success of western Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs in the apparel and textile sector.”

- Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

“This project showcases the leadership role Olds College takes in Research, Teaching and Entrepreneurship. The Apparel Innovation Centre celebrates our relationship with industry, government and stakeholders to deliver that trademark, hands-on approach. Through partnerships with industry and our stakeholders, we strive for limitless opportunities that ensure a sustainable future for our students - being industry-ready as they graduate from Olds College programs.”

- Dr. H.J. (Tom) Thompson, President, Olds College

“Alberta Garment is pleased to partner with Olds College to establish a state-of-the-art research, training and development facility for the apparel industry in Western Canada. We welcome the support of the federal government in this collaborative initiative. This facility will be a venue for hands-on training, world-class thermal comfort and protective apparel research and will support innovative entrepreneurs in bringing their ideas from concept to reality.”

- Adrian Bussoli, President of Alberta Garment Manufacturing Ltd.

Additional Links


Emily Goucher
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Telephone: 613-954-8097

Michael Bussoli
Alberta Garment Manufacturing Ltd.
Telephone: 403-671-2890

Dean Turnquist
Manager, Corporate Communications
Olds College
Telephone: 403-556-4631

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