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College Celebrates Official Grand Opening of the SUCCI Wellness Centre, Minowaadiziwiin

January 11, 2018
Community News
Campus: All campuses
Ceremonial Jog

Community Invited to Access Free Trial of Centre until January 19

January 11, 2018, THUNDER BAY, ON – Confederation College celebrated the official Grand Opening of the SUCCI Wellness Centre, Minowaadiziiwin Thursday. The event recognized the contributions of project funders and partners and showcased the new facility. To mark the milestone, the Centre will offer a week-long free trial until January 19, 2018 so members of the community can see and experience the space for themselves.

First introduced to the College community and general public during the College’s 50th Anniversary Homecoming weekend in September, the $13.4 million, 37,000 square foot facility boasts a gymnasium, running track, cardio and strength training rooms, as well as space designated for academic needs. Connected to the Shuniah Building, the Centre also incorporates some renovated and repurposed space.

The SUCCI Wellness Centre, Minowaadiziiwin, was named in honour of the Student Union, which made an unprecedented financial contribution of $8.5 million, and to respect the traditional lands the facility is built on, as well as to represent the College’s longstanding ties to Indigenous education the traditional lands the facility. The name Minowaadiziiwin means “Lead a Good Life”, which perfectly reflects the values of the facility. Confederation College would like to thank elders Gerry Martin and Wanda Baxter for the wisdom they shared in selecting an Indigenous name.

An additional $2 million in funding was received from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. The remaining $2.9 million was financed by Confederation College. Tom Jones Corporation and FORM Architecture Engineering led the construction and design of the Centre.


“We are thrilled to be able to share in this pinnacle moment with our generous funders – our Student Union and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. This is also an important opportunity for us to acknowledge Confederation College committee members and the Wellness Centre staff, who have provided their leadership and guidance throughout the project. Finally, this event allows us to highlight the Centre’s beauty and modern approach to wellness, made possible through the hard work of project partners Tom Jones Corporation and FORM Architecture Engineering. Thank you to all involved in developing this space for our students, employees and community.”
- Jim Madder, President, Confederation College

“Through the NOHFC, our government has invested $2 million in Confederation College’s SUCCI Wellness Centre, Minowaadiziiwin. Today, I am very pleased to help celebrate the grand opening of this modern new facility, which will inspire students to maintain good health and well-being, while encouraging members of our local community to improve their own lives.”
- Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Chair of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North

“Congratulations to Confederation College and SUCCI on the Grand Opening of the state of the art SUCCI Wellness Centre, Minowaadiziiwin. I am very pleased that the Province has supported this Project with a $2 million contribution from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. The connection between body and mind has been clearly determined and this Centre, by supporting the health and well-being of students, will better prepare them for success both while they are studying at the College and after they graduate. The Centre serves as another example of Confederation College’s commitment to meeting the needs of our community. I commend the College, and Student Union at the College, for their vision in supporting student success, and their commitment in partnering together on many important projects including this one.”
- Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs and MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“We are proud to have been a part of this project and have already witnessed how much it benefits our students. For SUCCI this project began several years ago with a past Board, under the leadership of President Chris Cartwright, in an effort to better meet the wellness needs of our students. The Board members who have been involved since then have ensured that we honoured the original vision as the development process continued. The new facility is a modern and vibrant space to support in their pursuit of a healthy and balanced life.”
- Jodi Afonso, President, Student Union of Confederation College Inc. (SUCCI)

Dignitaries Including Project Funders and Partners Help Celebrate the Grand Opening of the SUCCI Wellness Centre, Minowaadiziiwin
Ceremonial Jog Around the Track
1975 Ceremonial Jog Around the Track (Fitness Centre-Bubble)
Tire Lift - MPP Bill Mauro, SUCCI President Jodi Afonso and College President Jim Madder


  • Caption 1 – Dignitaries including project funders and partners join honourary students, employees and community members to celebrate the grand opening of the SUCCI Wellness Centre, Minowaadiziiwin. Represented are the government of Ontario and NOHFC, SUCCI, FORM Architecture Engineering, Tom Jones Corporation and Confederation College.
  • Caption 2 – A ceremonial jog around the track highlighted all of the Centre’s user groups including students, employees and community members. The commemorative moment was a recreation of the ceremonial jog which took place at the grand opening of the College’s original Fitness Centre and Bubble in 1975.
  • Caption 3 - The original 1975 photo that inspired the ceremonial jog around the track.
  • Caption 4– From left, MPP Bill Mauro, SUCCI President Jodi Afonso and College President Jim Madder work together to flip a tire in the Strength and Cardio Room of the new Centre.


Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has eight regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Geraldton, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Wawa. 

Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 7,800 combined full and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 805 full and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $411.2 million annually.


For more information, please contact:
Ashleigh Quarrell, Communications Consultant
Ph: (807) 475-6565, Cell: (807) 632-5296, Email: