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Shaping the Future: Seneca’s Student Optician Trade Fair

Seneca Polytechnical College recently hosted its annual optician student trade fair, an event that has steadily grown into a cornerstone for student opticians at the Ontario College.

The fair began as a small classroom initiative by Shan Khan and Pat Salamat regional vice-president at Marchon as the only supplier in 2013 and has evolved into a large-scale gathering that plays a pivotal role in the educational and professional development of future opticians.

Shan Khan and Pat Salamat regional vice-president at Marchon
Shan Khan and Pat Salamat regional vice-president at Marchon

Industry and Education Merge  

This year’s fair saw an unprecedented assembly of over 50 industry suppliers, including Optik Magazine, showcasing the breadth and diversity of the opticianry industry. From cutting-edge lens technology to the latest in eyewear fashion, students were provided with a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the industry’s latest offerings, gaining insights that are crucial for their upcoming careers.


An integral component of the event is its contribution to the students’ academic journey. Tasked with the challenge of conceptualizing their own optical practices, students engaged with suppliers to gather the knowledge and insight needed for their major class project. This hands-on learning experience is invaluable, bridging theoretical knowledge with real-world industry practices.

Fashion Meets Functionality

Highlighting the event was a student-run eyewear fashion show, which added a dynamic layer to the educational experience. This segment allowed students to interact with the products on a personal level, merging the technical aspects of opticianry with the creative expressions of fashion. It served as a vibrant reminder of the industry’s evolving nature and the importance of staying abreast of current trends.

The fair was not just about learning; it was also a celebration of the community that the opticianry field fosters. With dozens of prizes raffled off, the event cultivated an atmosphere of excitement and camaraderie among the students, further enhancing their experience.

The Road Ahead


The Seneca optician student trade fair stands as a beacon for aspiring opticians, offering them a glimpse into their future careers. It underscores the importance of industry engagement and hands-on experience in preparing for the professional world. As this event continues to expand, its role in shaping the next generation of opticians remains invaluable.

The annual trade fair at Seneca Polytechnical College exemplifies the journey from education to profession, offering student opticians a comprehensive platform for growth and learning. It’s a testament to the collaborative spirit of the opticianry industry, highlighting the myriad of opticianry career opportunities available to those ready to learn and engage.

As we anticipate future events, the impact of the trade fair on students’ professional development is undeniable. It’s a vibrant intersection of education and industry, providing a foundational experience that not only educates but also inspires the opticians of tomorrow.

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