Conestoga news

February 3, 2021 11:40 AM

Conestoga receives record donation from graduate

Conestoga recently received its largest-ever donation from a graduate. Montreal native Bernard Forster, a 1974 graduate of the college’s Broadcasting - Radio & Television program, has provided a gift of $250,019.70 to support the expansion and growth of Conestoga’s School of Creative Industries.

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Bernard Forster celebrating Oktoberfest as a Conestoga student in the 1970s and as he is today.

Forster began his studies at Conestoga in 1970, at a time when the college had a total enrolment of approximately 1,200 students, and translated the skills and knowledge he gained in the program into a successful and rewarding 25-year career with CBC Television.

Now retired, Forster views education as “the great equalizer” and looks back on his Conestoga education as the catalyst that gave him the opportunity to learn, grow and prosper. He credits the college and his instructors for the placement program that had him working in network television the day after he completed his last class.

Students hoping to build successful careers in digital content development and storytelling will be the beneficiaries of Forster’s generous gift to the college’s School of Creative Industries. The School delivers a range of programs in the areas of media, communications and design, from broadcasting, journalism and advertising to animation and game design, interior decorating, visual merchandising and graphic design. Programs are designed to develop creative professionals with the strong technical skills required for success in an increasingly digital world.

Industry experts anticipate continued growth in the demand for graduates with the knowledge and skills to create high quality digital content, whether for information and learning purposes, entertainment or marketing.

“I hope that this donation can support the development of world-class digital media teaching facilities,” Forster said. “I also hope that this gift may inspire other alumni to consider supporting the institution that launched their successful careers.”

“We are very grateful for this gift which will have a significant impact on our School of Creative Industries,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “While Conestoga graduates are widely recognized for their many contributions to the success, well-being and prosperity of the businesses and communities they serve, Mr. Forster’s decision to invest in the success of future generations of graduates is a remarkable testament to his personal generosity as well as his commitment to our college.”

 “The global pandemic has necessitated a transformation in the ways we live and work, and the rate of change within Creative Industries has accelerated,” said Chair Heather Ryall. “As we look ahead, it is clear that our reliance on digital content and storytelling will continue and the demand for quality content will continue to grow.”

“This gift from one of our early graduates will help prepare students to successfully meet the skill demands of the future,” she continued.

Read Bernard Forster's story

For more information about Conestoga’s School of Creative Industries, visit

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