Twist and shout: Paterson GlobalFoods Institute celebrates fifth anniversary with pretzel party

September 22, 2017

Susanne Gessler, Paul Vogt and Brian Bowman, Paterson GlobalFoods Institute 5th anniversaryMayor Brian Bowman and Red River College President Paul Vogt joined students from RRC’s Professional Baking and Patisserie program this morning to mark the five-year anniversary of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute with a friendly pretzel-making bake-off.

The two were assisted by Suzanne Gessler, proud RRC graduate and owner of The Pennyloaf Bakery, a small-batch artisanal shop on Corydon. Gessler coached Bowman and Vogt while sharing her experiences as a baker and business owner — one who set aside her career as a civil servant to attend RRC’s Exchange District culinary school.

Gessler is one of more than 600 graduates who’ve passed through the doors of PGI since it became the new home to RRC’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in 2012.

“Today we celebrate not only the tremendous impact the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute has had on education in our city, but also the positive impact of the College’s expansion into the Exchange District,” says Vogt.

“Restoring heritage buildings and bringing thousands of students and staff to the area has sparked new economic activity and helped revitalize this iconic community.”

Before its restoration, PGI was home to the Union Bank Tower, Winnipeg’s first and oldest skyscraper — and at one time, the tallest building in Canada. Today, the LEED Gold-certified building houses RRC’s culinary, hospitality and baking programs, as well as the College’s first-ever student residence, which is running at full capacity this year.

PGI is a key component of RRC’s Exchange District Campus, which also includes the nearby Roblin Centre on Princess Street. The campus will soon undergo a massive expansion with the construction of a 100,000-square foot Innovation Centre. Fundraising efforts supporting the new state-of-the-art facility are now underway.

“Red River College continues to be a strong anchor and foundation supporting the growth and revitalization of our downtown and the Exchange District,” says Bowman. “It’s great to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, a building that continues to help foster round-the-clock activity, and it’s great to see people increasingly recognizing the Exchange as a place to visit, live and spend money.” Read More →

RRC celebrates 30-year partnership with China’s Shenyang Institute of Engineering

September 19, 2017

Delegation from Shenyang Institute, at Notre Dame CampusWhat began as an English language training partnership 30 years ago has grown into an opportunity for students in Northern China’s industrial centre to harness advanced skills in three top industries.

This week, delegates from the Shenyang Institute of Engineering (SIE) are visiting Red River College to continue growing that relationship, and to tour the Exchange District Campus and the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. The delegates were greeted at the Notre Dame Campus Monday morning by RRC President Paul Vogt.

The relationship between the two institutions began in 1987, when RRC and SIE exchanged staff and faculty to offer English language training in Northern China.

Since 2010, students in Shenyang have been able to enrol in joint degree programs for Electrical Engineering Technology, Power Engineering Technology, and Hospitality and Tourism Management. These students have the option of completing the three-year programs entirely in Shenyang — with curriculum provided by RRC — or they can complete their first two years of study in China and travel to Winnipeg for the final year.

The partnership has grown steadily since its early days, with more than 1,000 Chinese students now enrolled for the 2017/2018 academic year.

“It’s connections like this that put Red River College, and Winnipeg, on the map as a hub for the engineering and hospitality industries,” says Vogt. “The hands-on learning students receive is crucial to their success and we’re happy to be able share that with our partners in Shenyang.” Read More →

Rattling pans: RRC chefs doing culinary battle in support of CancerCare Manitoba

September 19, 2017

Claire Snowball, Red River College chefA pair of Red River College chefs will go head-to-head against some of the culinary community’s best this weekend, serving up on-the-fly creations while raising money for a worthy cause.

Representing RRC’s Food Services department, Claire Snowball and Jon Royal are among eight teams of competitors taking part in Kitchen Kumite: Clash of Pans, a culinary battle of innovation, passion and speed being held to benefit CancerCare Manitoba.

The Iron Chef-style event takes place at the Kitchen Sync on Donald Street, where chefs will attempt to create the best dish using different surprise ingredients from each competition. The quarter-finals take place this Sun., Sept. 24, while the semi-finals and finals will be held Sun., Oct. 1.

As is often the case in local competitions of these kind, Snowball (shown above) and Royal will be competing against a number of fellow RRC graduates, including Paul Eccles (Clementine), Mike Robins (Sous Sol), Jackie Hildebrand and Alex Poitras (Hy’s Steakhouse), Jeremy Senaris (MasterChef Canada runner-up), Mark Sobervinas (Fruit by the Slice), Matty Neufeld (Pine Ridge Hollow), and Stephen Strecker (ERA Bistro).

The event is the brainchild of local chef Allan Pineda (Baon Craft Lumpia, Baon Manila Nights), also a Culinary Arts grad from 2006.

Red River College pulls together for United Way Winnipeg

September 15, 2017

2017 United Way Winnipeg Plane PullRed River College’s Stevenson Campus was again the proud facility sponsor for the 14th United Way Winnipeg Plane Pull — providing the hangar and volunteers for the annual fundraiser, which doubled as the launch of this year’s United Way Annual Giving Campaign.

Nearly 2,000 people joined together Friday to pull 80,000 pounds of plane, while raising money to provide essential supports directly to kids and families in Winnipeg. But the heavy lifting for this event begins long before the first teams get their hands on the rope.

“In order for an event of this magnitude to take off smoothly, it’s all hands on deck,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “As the facility sponsors, our instructors and staff at the Stevenson Campus are involved in the planning nearly a year in advance — from scheduling classes and program training around the event date, to providing volunteers and working around the clock the day before to clear the hangar and have it set up and ready for participants.”

The 55,000-square foot training facility is home to RRC’s aviation and aerospace programs – making it the ideal location for the Plane Pull each year.

“We’re excited to be back on Stevenson Aviation’s tarmac, which is generously provided by Red River College, pulling together for a better Winnipeg,” says Colin Ryan, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director at BMO Nesbitt Burns, and United Way Winnipeg’s 2017 Campaign Chair.

“More and more, Winnipeggers are reaching out with kindness every single day, sharing our pride and shaping a Winnipeg we can all be proud to call home.” Read More →

City of Winnipeg partners with RRC on expanded asset management training for employees

September 12, 2017

The City of Winnipeg is expanding its asset management training with the launch of a new tailor-made internal course, developed and delivered with Red River College.

The training consists of a five-day series exploring the nature of managing projects using the City’s Project Management Manual, a framework that ensures investments in projects, resource allocation, monitoring and evaluation are optimized through project life cycles.

“This new training program will help the City of Winnipeg make important improvements to project management oversight by implementing leading best practise throughout civic departments in investment planning and project management processes,” says Coun. Mike Pagtakhan, Council Liaison for Project Management.

“Not only will it foster a culture of excellence by promoting best practices throughout civic departments, it will help standardize the way the City manages projects.”

The new training is a result of recommendations of the 2014 Winnipeg Police Headquarter Construction Project Audit, which included a mandate to develop and deliver training sessions for City personnel involved with capital projects, in order to improve understanding and consistent application of policy.

An added benefit of the new program is that it qualifies for professional development units for employees holding a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It also qualifies as project management educational training hours, a pre-requisite for employees wishing to attain their PMP designation.

The truck starts here: Inaugural Peterbilt training program scores 100% employment rate

September 8, 2017

2017 graduating class, Peterbilt Technician InstituteAll six students enrolled in the first class of a specialized mechanics and technology course will walk out the doors of Red River College and into new careers as certified technicians for Peterbilt Motors Company.

The students are graduates of the new Peterbilt Technician Institute (PTI), launched in partnership with the College earlier this year. The Institute is a manufacturer-paid training initiative offered to graduates of RRC’s Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic program, and to those interested in advancing their skills to become certified Peterbilt technicians.

For Alexandra Pratt, the experience means getting her foot in the door of a great career.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to get started in a career with such a well-known and reputable company,” says Pratt. “I learned so much through this program, and would recommend it to anyone looking to start a career with the Peterbilt family.”

The six students were the first to complete the comprehensive training program, earning 10 key certifications to earn their designation as Peterbilt Master Technicians.

This new program allowed the students to gain experience in all aspects of the work done at a Peterbilt dealership. Peterbilt Motors Company supplied the curriculum, laptops for the students, three trucks, two engines and specialized tools to help ensure the students’ success in becoming confident in their skills and career-ready by the end of the 12-week session. Peterbilt also trained RRC instructors to deliver the program at the College.

“Red River College is built on supporting the backbone of not only Manitoba’s economy, but many important sectors all across the country and throughout North America,” says Arnold Boldt, RRC’s executive director, Academic. “This new partnership with Peterbilt was a perfect fit when it came to accessing our expertise and state-of-the-art facilities.” Read More →

Be our guest: Jane’s serves up new fall menu starting Sept. 28

September 7, 2017

Culinary Arts student, Jane's restaurantJane’s — the flagship fine-dining restaurant run by Red River College’s Hospitality and Culinary Arts program — is now taking reservations, ready to impress new and returning guests with a seasonal showcase of urban-upscale cuisine.

With doors scheduled to open on Sept. 28, students in the program are already hard at work in the heritage-inspired dining room and ultramodern kitchen, putting the finishing touches on a fall menu that includes steelhead trout, bison shortribs and stuffed pheasant. (And that’s just for lunch!)

Housed in the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute in the heart of the Exchange District, Jane’s is marking its fifth year as a foodie-friendly downtown destination — one where every dish is prepared and served by RRC’s students and chefs.

“Jane’s is a unique concept in that it really serves a dual purpose to the culinary community in Manitoba,” says program chair Karen McDonald. “Not only is the food delicious, but this is a place where our customers have the opportunity to taste the very best in culinary excellence inside a state-of-the-art, interactive classroom.”

Since its debut in 2012, PGI has seen upwards of 600 Hospitality and Culinary Arts grads come through its doors, an increase of almost 30 per cent in as much time. According to recent surveys, more than 90% of those who complete the program find work within six months of graduating.

“The employment opportunities in these industries in Manitoba are endless, and when we talk to our students and grads we are proud the feedback is overwhelmingly positive,” says McDonald. “The next time you dine at a restaurant, or attend an event at a venue in Winnipeg, you will very likely cross paths with one of our grads — many of whom got their start working at Jane’s.”

Jane’s re-opens for lunch Sept. 28 – Dec. 13, and for dinner Oct. 13 – Dec. 7. Learn more or make a reservation.

Application status: RRC launches new web app for campus community

September 5, 2017

RRC Life (Red River College web app)Want to know what’s going on around campus? Need a tool to help promote your event to the College community? Starting this fall, there’s an app for that!

Red River College has launched a mobile-friendly, device agnostic web app called RRC Lifewith features unlike those of other college and university apps. Instead of focusing on schedules, grades, links to class sites and other commonly used tools (all of which are available to students through the rrc.ca login), RRC Life is designed to help members of the RRC community — including students, staff and alumni — better engage with College life.

Much of the RRC Life app was conceptualized and developed by our very own students. The College’s Marketing and Web Presence team started the initiative by partnering with Business Information Technology (BIT) students on a curriculum-based project to design and develop a fully functioning web app for the College community.

“We’re very proud of the relationship our faculty and students have developed with our colleagues in Marketing and Web Presence,” says Haider Al-Saidi, Chair, Applied Computer Education (ACE). “Students gain most when they work on real-world problems and solutions, and it’s extra special to be able to do that for your school and fellow students.”

The app — which has a mobile-first design but works on all devices — can be used to access an RRC social media aggregator, an interactive campus maps utility, and a campus-specific user-generated events stream. Staying true to RRC’s brand, the app also allows user to access a real-time stream of job postings for students and grads.

“The goal of the app is simply to increase the quality of life at RRC by informing and engaging our audiences on whatever connected device they happen to have at their fingertips,” says Christian Robin, RRC’s Director of Marketing and Web Presence. “The version that’s out now was completed with help from one of our alumni, Paul Everton (BIT, 2007). The app has an API that will allow us to continue to work with students to test and build out additional functionality, and eventually launch native apps for iOS and Android devices.”

Use the free app today at rrclife.ca.

College welcomes third arrival under Student Refugee Program sponsorship

August 25, 2017

Yves Ngendahimna, Tariq Ajam and Wasim Alkabani, August 2017For the third year in a row, members of RRC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP) Local Committee were on hand to welcome their latest sponsored arrival — former Syrian resident Tariq Ajam — as he touched down in Winnipeg.

Ajam is the third student to arrive in Canada under a sponsorship with the SRP, an initiative of World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

He studied engineering in Syria until 2012, when continued instability in the region prompted him to move to Jordan. There, he completed his course credit hours and started work on his thesis, before applying for an SRP sponsorship so he could enrol in RRC’s Applied Accounting program.

“As an engineer, I always think something related to business might help me to find a good opportunity in life, such as administration or management,” says Ajam, who’ll stay at RRC’s student residence while attending classes downtown. “I really do not want to lose another chance in my life to achieve what I am dreaming of.”

Ajam was greeted at the airport yesterday by a lively delegation from RRC, including Yves Ngendahimna and Wasim Alkabani (shown above, with Ajam in centre), the first and second students to be sponsored under the SRP.

All three students made their way to Canada with help from not only committee members and the larger WUSC network, but also donors such as Albert El Tassi, Scotiabank, and the RRC Students’ Association, whose support and financial contributions make the program possible.

Recently, Scotiabank made a five-year, $100,000 pledge to support the program at RRC, and also established three individual awards worth $1,000 each to support domestic students pursuing careers in the financial services industry.

To join the SRP Local Committee, contact Lauren Konrad, Student Integration Coordinator, at 204.631.3345.

College’s honey yield to double thanks to additional rooftop hives

August 23, 2017

Rooftop beehives, Notre Dame CampusDouble the hives, and double the expected yield: That’s the buzz on the first day of honey extraction from Red River College’s newest rooftop beehives.

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural urban beekeeping project, the College has expanded its partnership with Beeproject Apiaries by adding three new hives to its roster this summer.

As they did last year, bees have been hard at work producing honey atop the fourth floor of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, as well as at the newly installed hives on the roof of Building A at the Notre Dame Campus. Combined, the six hives will produce an estimated yield of 150 kilograms.

Having the hives on campus gives students and staff to see the College’s sustainability mandate in action. Not only are bees vital to food production in North America, they also promote biodiversity within cities and provide opportunities for people to learn about nature and our food systems.

“A lot of our staff have been interested in visiting the bees and learning about the work they do,” says Sara MacArthur, RRC’s Manager of Sustainability. “Having the hives on our rooftops downtown and at the Notre Dame Campus encourages that kind of accessible learning about what bees do for the environment and the benefits to creating a natural product on campus.”

This year, RRC students and staff were invited to vote on a new name for the Notre Dame Campus honey. The winning name, Creekside Honey, was inspired by Omand’s Creek, which runs along the edge of the campus grounds and through Brookside Cemetery. The creek’s banks are home to a variety of wild plants, flowers and wildlife, and are likely a popular place for the RRC bees to collect pollen.

The resulting honey is bottled to Canadian Federal Inspection Agency standards and will be returned in a few weeks to RRC, where it’ll be used by students in the Culinary Arts program and sold at the second annual Farmers’ Market on Sept. 15. Read More →