Algonquin College students help organizations create a digital presence

OTTAWA — Setting up a digital storefront or creating a social media campaign can be tough.

Students at Algonquin College are helping local organizations create an online presence.

Having an online presence is crucial, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Chocolatier Pierrette Vézina is busy putting the finishing touches on hand-made chocolates at the Wabano Centre, a group of students is creating an online store, to make selling them easier.

“Because of COVID, it’s a good idea to go online,” says Vézina. The chocolates are a delicious way to help support the Wabano Centre; an organization that serves Ottawa’s Indigenous community.

“This is my way of helping my community,” said Vézina

Through Algonquin College’s Social Innovation Lab, students from various programs come together, helping organizations create an online presence – they’re like a one-stop marketing agency.

“We can all apply our different skills and bring them together to promote organizations like this, and their growth,” says Molly Drinnan, a second year student at the college. “We are primarily working on developing their brand.”

Working in small groups, it’s a chance to gain real-world experience, with real clients. Tori Sheen did product photography of the chocolates for the project. “Be able to showcase all their product with all of their branding, so people can get a feel of who they are,” said Sheen.

Kevin Holmes is the Managing Director for the Social Innovation Lab, “It’s absolutely amazing what they came up with, including highlighting the indigenous art.” He says that to-date, the program has helped eighteen organizations in Ottawa.

“Getting students engaged with the social sector to me, is amazing; it’s like the perfect match,” said Holmes.

As for the chocolates, Wabano plans to have their online storefront up and running just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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