Community Partners

Culinary Arts Co-operative Education

The Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island trains students for a challenging and exciting profession in the Culinary Arts. The Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island is producing quality graduates that are in demand by employers. Invest in your future, hire a VIU Culinary Arts co-op student!

VIU Culinary Arts Co-op Program Information

  • Students are seeking minimum 300 hours of paid work experience.
  • VIU Culinary Arts co-op students are often available to remain on as full-time employees after the co-op term.
  • Co-op work terms start in May-June each year (students working locally are available earlier on a part-time basis).
  • VIU staff will complete an evaluation of the student during the co-op work term.

How Does Co-op Benefit the Employer?

  • Co-operative education provides employers with a continual supply of motivated and well trained students who are eager to apply their culinary skills in a professional work environment.
  • Students at VIU are trained in classical and contemporary food preparation techniques and are an asset to your business.
  • Excellent opportunity to meet short- or long-term hiring needs or seasonal employment.

Hiring a student

Employers can post co-op opportunities at no charge on the VIU online career and work-integrated learning portal, Experience Hub.

Employer Testimonials

“VIU has been a tremendous asset to us. Their students have a strong work ethic and are trained in such a way that they pick up whatever responsibilities are put in front of them quickly.”

Executive Chef Warren Barr
Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, BC


“The Fairmont Japer Park Lodge looks forward to welcoming VIU Culinary Co-op students to our hotel annually! The students are well prepared, trained and passionate culinary professionals. Always a great addition to our team!”

Katie Kuruliak | Assistant Director, Human Resources
The Fairmount Jasper Park Lodge, Jasper, Alberta


“We are very proud that all our Kitchen staff at Westwood Lake Bistro including our new Chef Christina Paterson graduated from VIU’s Culinary Arts Program. They are all well trained as highly professional cooks and have always been an asset to our restaurant. Also at the Cafe Bakery Mon Petit Choux all our pastry Chef’s and Cooks also graduated from VIU. We are so thankful that these excellent programs are offered in our community at VIU.”

Gaetan Brousseau | Owner
The Bistro at Westwood Lake, Nanaimo, BC


As a proud alumnus of Malaspina (VIU) I hold the students of the culinary arts program to a very high standard. I have yet to be let down in my schoolmates.”

Executive Chef Matthew Batey
The Nash, Calgary, AB


"We have a great partnership with VIU, and hold at least 2 positions every year for students at Hillside Winery. The effort that is put into student training and placement by the VIU staff is of incredible value to both the students and to our kitchen brigade.”

Chef Robert Cordonier
Hillside Estate Winery, Naramata, BC


“The Fairmont Chateau Whistler has partnered with the VIU Culinary Arts program in the past and have been very impressed with the talent and passion of their students. We are in this for the long haul!”

Sabine Bell | Human Resources Manager
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, BC


“The Culinary Arts students from VIU have been a valuable addition to our team and we look forward to having them return next season.”

Chef Roger Sleiman | Culinary Director and Winery Chef
Old Vines – The Restaurant at Quail’s Gate, West Kelowna, BC


“VIU have helped us find some fantastic students in the past with immense talent and passion for their careers. It’s been a pleasure to work with them.”

Emma McCrudden | Performance Nutritionist
Canadian Sport Institute, Vancouver, BC


“We are immensely grateful to you for referring students from your department and program. To work alongside our brigade during high demand periods that occurs at various times of the year. We must commend you for producing outstanding cooks and thank you for giving them a great advantage in their respective fields.”

Executive Chef Liam Callanan
Coast Bastion Hotel, Nanaimo, BC


“Nanaimo Golf Club is very pleased to be partnered with Vancouver Island University’s Culinary Arts Co-op program. They always send us professional, enthusiastic students who have been a welcome addition to our team.”

Charles Steven | Food and Beverage Manager
Nanaimo Golf Club, BC


“Being an Alumnus, I always go back to my roots and VIU always seem to pump out quality students who have great potential in our industry.We have always looked to VIU for Culinary Arts students, and they never disappoint providing students with passion, skills and desire. The VIU Co-op program has been a valuable asset and recruiting platform for us and they have always been focused and dedicated people who have tremendous potential in our profession.”

Executive Chef Rick Davidson
Beach Club, Parksville, BC


“As an Alumni of VIU’s culinary certification program, I am well aware of the world class chefs/instructors on staff and the excellent quality of their respective teachings. I would never hesitate to consider a graduate of the VIU program for any position that may open in our organization.”

Chef Clay M. Sanders | Food Services Manager
Bridges Dining, Edgewood Treatment Centre, Nanaimo, BC


"I know having VIU students in my kitchen has benefited our restaurant and I always encourage anyone to do the same. It shows students what other chefs and restaurants are doing as this industry is always changing. I also encourage the students to get involved in any project like this as you should always be learning!"

Executive Chef Brock Bowes
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Oliver, BC


"Working with the staff at VIU and their coop program has always been a pleasure. The culinary students we have mentored come with a solid knowledge of culinary basics and have been hard working, passionate and dedicated to learning their craft. It has always been a joy to have them as part of our kitchen and they become valuable members of our team."

Executive Chef Louise Pickles
Black Rock Oceanfront Resort, Ucluelet, BC