50 Grads, 50 Years

In honour of Champlain College Saint-Lambert’s 50th anniversary, we followed up with 50 of our graduates to highlight their achievements.


In honour of the Champlain Saint-Lambert’s 50th anniversary, the college has followed up with 50 of its alumni to see where their paths have led after their time in Cegep. These 50 former students have gone on to accomplish amazing things and their paths show just how much is possible for a Champlain grad.

Nils Oliveto

Arts, science and sport: Nils Oliveto has done it all.

Nils Oliveto is living proof that you don’t have to pick just one career path in life.

An accomplished track and field athlete. A filmmaker, actor and poet. A sports broadcaster for CBC. Plus, he’s got a Master’s in Exercise Physiology and Human Performance.

Oliveto (Pure and Applied Science, 1995) has pursued his passions in a number of directions since graduating from Champlain College Saint-Lambert.

He came to study at Champlain because of his coach, former Czechoslovakian weight-lifting Olympic coach Emil Muller (for whom the weight room at Champlain is named).

“He’s a legend,” said Oliveto, who trained in the hammer throwing event.

In 1993, he earned a spot on the Canadian Jr. National Track and Field Team as a hammer thrower.

During his training, Oliveto recalls spending a lot of time at the College after hours: “All the security guards knew me,” he joked.

“Back then we used to go outside and I would carry my hammers from my locker outside and Emil would coach me. Emil was such an important person and I was his number one athlete.”

Oliveto was also very studious and didn’t have much time for anything besides studying and training: “I don’t have stories of me goofing off at Champlain. If I wasn’t in class, I was training with Emil in the fitness centre.”

After graduation, Oliveto was offered a track scholarship at the University of Oklahoma. From 1995 to 2000, he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees researching peak performance training methodology.

But his career took a sharp turn in 2000, when Oliveto moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film.

He had been toying the idea in the final years he spent in Oklahoma, after receiving encouragement from a high school teacher who had seen him perform in high school theatre productions and improv.

“I had no aspirations at all in becoming a professional actor, but that seed just grew inside me,” he said.

Oliveto started taking acting classes and studying screen writing on the side, joking that he led a “double life – Exercise scientist by day and actor/screenwriter by night.”

Oliveto honed his skills in L.A. and then returned to Montreal where he produced, wrote, directed his own films including “For the Love of Poe” (2014) and “Objects in Mirror are Closer than they Appear“ (2017).

His first documentary feature “Icelander” (2018) won second prize in the Documentary of the World competition at the Montreal World Film Festival (FFM) and won Best Screenplay / Best Autobiography at the 2020 Los Angeles Documentary (DOC LA) Film festival.

His latest film, “Confessionem’’ (2022) won ’Best International Feature at the Golden State Film Festival in Los Angeles. It was produced, written and directed by Oliveto who also stars in the film.

Oliveto also expanded into broadcasting when he joined CBC/Radio-Canada Sport in 2017 as an Olympic sports analyst in track & field and winter sliding events.

Most recently, he’s published a book of poetry in 2021 entitled “Winter HAIKU-lympics: capturing the poetic spirit of wintertime sports.”

Oliveto’s advice to current students and recent grads: “I get rejections every week. Because I work on so many projects, I’ve learned to shorten the frustration time. Don’t stay sour for weeks, give yourself 24 hours. The next day pick yourself up and move on. Turn the page quickly.”

Read more

Search all information

Skip to content