RRC’s Louis Riel Bursary fund reaches $1.2 million

February 21, 2017

RRC Graduation Pow Wow

In celebration of Louis Riel Day, Red River College and the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) are pleased to announce the Louis Riel Bursary fund has reached $1.2 million.

Since 2014, the MMF and the province, through the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative, have each contributed $600,000 to the Louis Riel Bursary Fund for Métis students at Red River College. Bursaries are awarded to eligible Métis students enrolled in a certificate, diploma or degree programs.

“[The MMF] government has been privileged to help Métis students reach for and achieve their educational aspirations,” says MMF President David Chartrand. “This has been accomplished by the MMF government investing into bursaries and scholarships designed to help provide opportunities for our students. We know education is key to building capacity within the Métis nation and we are pleased to continue our work and partnership with Red River College.”

Three years ago, the College, the MMF and the Louis Riel Institute (LRI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to improve opportunities and outcomes for Métis people in Manitoba. The MOU resulted in a joint working group focused on education, business and growing industry partnerships to increase economic prospects for Métis people in Manitoba.

“The MMF and the LRI are important partners in helping us advance Indigenous achievement at Red River College,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “These new funds will continue to support many Métis students’ academic pursuits, and help remove ongoing barriers that may prevent access to post-secondary education. Education is the future and, as signatories to the Manitoba Indigenous Education Blueprint, we play an important role in supporting reconciliation efforts in our province. This ongoing and important partnership with the MMF and LRI will help many Métis students in Manitoba succeed.”

College announces plans to redevelop and expand ACCESS programs

February 14, 2017

ACCESS Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing class

Red River College has announced plans to redevelop and expand its ACCESS programs in order to better meet the needs of its Indigenous and other students, by providing them with an opportunity to enrol in a wider range of offerings.

At present, ACCESS students are restricted to four program areas: Nursing, Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing, Business Administration, and Civil Engineering Technology.

“It’s time for us to modernize how ACCESS programs are delivered at RRC to better meet student, community and industry needs,” says Christine Watson, Vice-President Academic at RRC. “Ultimately one of our main goals is to remove some of the existing program restrictions and provide Indigenous, immigrant and other students facing barriers to education with more training options and new and improved pathways to meaningful careers.”

The ACCESS expansion plan is the result of an internal review and extensive consultations. In order to accommodate the redesign, there will be no intake of students to ACCESS programs for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. This will allow existing ACCESS students to complete their current programs, while a new model is designed for the 2018-2019 academic year.

As part of the process, RRC will work with community and industry partners to ensure the redevelopment is also responsive to their needs.

“ACCESS programs are very important to our students and we want to ensure [they] are accessible, agile and responsive to students who may not have had the opportunity to access post-secondary education due to a variety of factors,” says Watson.

“We know students, given these new opportunities, will contribute great things to their communities and Manitoba’s labour market.” Read More →

Engineering students take top honours for steering design at concrete toboggan race

February 13, 2017

Things went downhill fast (but in the best possible sense!) for a team of Red River College students over the weekend, when their design and engineering expertise paid off handsomely at the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race.

Held Saturday at Adrenaline Adventures near Headingley, the annual showcase of ingenuity and innovation drew teams of post-secondary students from across Canada — and in the case of the RRC team, resulted in a first place win for Best Steering Design.

The largest student-run engineering competition in Canada, the race requires entrants to design and construct a five-person toboggan with a running surface made entirely of concrete, an undertaking that provides ample opportunity to apply and develop skills in design, technical writing and management.

Teams work for months on their toboggans, which must weigh in at less than 350 pounds. All entries must pass a safety inspection before racing, and are judged on the basis of their concrete, frame, steering and brake design, as well as race-day results and team spirit.

RRC’s 15-member team included students from the College’s Structural, Architectural, Environmental and Municipal Engineering Technology programs. In addition to the races on Saturday, the team also took part in a technical exhibition at RBC Convention Centre on Friday.

This year’s event was hosted by the University of Manitoba.

Hot-button issues: RRC staffer rallies support for local Muslim community

February 9, 2017

A Red River College employee is encouraging Winnipeggers to show support for the city’s Muslim community, by literally opening their arms during a time of political turmoil.

Events and Facility Rental Coordinator Krista Michie recently hired RRC grad Kristen Masters (of Lemon Buttons) to design and produce hundreds of buttons bearing the slogan “Free Hugs for Muslims.”

She says the campaign was inspired by the current political climate, which has been further polarized in recent weeks by the attempted U.S. travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, continued debate over the plight of Syrian refugees, and a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque that left six worshippers dead.

“I was feeling sad about what’s going on in North America,” says Michie (shown). “It was my way of trying to show love, solidarity and inclusiveness.”

So far, Michie has given out more than 200 buttons, including those shared with fellow marchers at last weekend’s walk for human rights (among them, RRC President Paul Vogt).

She’s also had requests from former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Obby Khan, who asked for a batch to be dropped off at his downtown eatery, and from friends and acquaintances in Brandon and Saskatchewan.

Michie currently has about 100 buttons left to distribute — either in person, or by mail — but is open to producing a second batch, if there’s demand.

So far, she hasn’t had any requests for hugs — though as the buttons point out, that’s a standing offer.

“Not too sure people will actually take me up on that,” she says. “It’s more about sending the message that Muslims are accepted here.”

To request a button, send Michie an email at kmichie@rrc.ca.

Warm up your winter with Meltdown Week activities

January 31, 2017

RRC students on skating rink

We’re still months away from the actual spring melt, but RRC’s Students’ Association is helping to heat things up a bit early with a full slate of Meltdown Week events running Feb. 8-17.

Starting next Wednesday, you can do your part to beat the winter blahs at a series of parties, events and activities aimed at reminding you spring is right around the corner!

This year’s Meltdown kicks off a bit early with the first-ever Rebels Winter Classic, an outdoor pond hockey tournament taking place Wed., Feb. 8, at Adrenaline Adventures (600 Caron Rd.). Sign up as a team of three to five, or as a free agent. Registration is $10 per person — sign up by Friday, Feb. 3 at The Ox or The Mercantile.

Other Meltdown Week activities include: Read More →

Recipients of Winter 2017 Lt.-Gov.’s Medals for Proficiency announced

January 31, 2017

Lieutenant Governor awarding medals

Congratulations to the most recent recipients of Red River College’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Medals for Proficiency, who’ll receive their awards as part of our 2017 Winter Convocation ceremonies on Feb. 6 and 8.

Each year, a maximum of four Lt.-Gov’s Medals are awarded to RRC students who best combine good character, academic and technical achievement, and involvement in College and/or community activities. This year’s winners are:

Joel StevensJoel Stevens — A proud graduate of RRC’s Electrical Engineering Technology program, Joel was drawn to this career path because he was determined to build a profession that was both challenging and exciting.

Joel demonstrated outstanding academic performance throughout his time at Red River College, earning a 4.5 GPA. He attributes this achievement to great time management skills and determination, as he was also renovating his home, planning a wedding, volunteering and working part-time while completing the program.

Joel is currently employed by ERLPhase Power Technologies as a Verification Specialist, a job he found less than a month after graduating. He’s responsible for testing relays and fault recorders, developing test procedures and providing technical support to customer service staff. He will now work towards acquiring his Certified Engineering Technologist designation.

When not at work or in school, Joel enjoys spending time with his wife and family – especially his five nephews. He loves to read books about history and theology and is very involved in his church community. He also loves sports and spends much of his free time playing soccer and long distance running.

Charlene TurcotteCharlene Turcotte — A graduate of RRC’s Technical Vocational Teacher Education program, Charlene entered the program as a passionate hairstylist and enrolled so that she could teach others to fall in love with her industry the way she did.

Making the decision to go back to school full-time was not an easy one, but after meeting her instructors and fellow students, she was encouraged to fulfill her goal.

Currently, Charlene is attending the University of Winnipeg to upgrade her Bachelor of Education. She also works as a part-time hairstylist and has started substitute teaching in the River East Trancosa School Division.

When not at work or in school, Charlene spends as much time with her family as she can. With three kids, she has a busy extra-curricular schedule and spends most of her time cheering on her kids at the local hockey rink.

Charlene takes pride in her community and volunteers on many boards, helping out at her local community club and volunteering at the high school where she performed her practicum. She is also the secretary of the Vocational Teachers Association of Manitoba.

CreComm students stage fashion show to benefit local homeless shelter

January 31, 2017

Madelaine Lapointe (left) and Ashley Tokaruk

Six clients from the Main Street Project — many of whom have gone long stretches without clean clothes or a roof over their heads — will walk the runway in their very own custom-made suits this week, as part of a fundraiser organized by a pair of Red River College students.

The Runway to Change project, organized by Creative Communications students Madelaine Lapointe (above, left) and Ashley Tokaruk (right), seeks to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people in Winnipeg, and to end the stigma associated with living in poverty.

The evening fashion show, which takes place at 6:30pm on Thu., Feb. 2, at the Fort Garry Hotel, is part of a self-led project undertaken by Lapointe and Tokaruk as part of their studies. Over 200 guests — including Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and RRC honorary diploma recipient Ace Burpee — are expected to attend, with all proceeds raised going directly to the Main Street Project.

“It’s been amazing to have had the opportunity to do a project like [this],” says Lapointe. “Coming into the Creative Communications program, I never thought I’d be doing a project of this scale, but the hard work has — and is — paying off. Seeing the smiles on the clients’ faces at Main Street Project is a direct result of our helping to make a difference in the community.”

As for the first-time models taking part in the event, Lapointe says they’re equally proud, knowing the funds raised will benefit not only themselves, but also their friends at the shelter.

A number of local designers and stores have made or donated suits for clients to wear during the show (and to keep afterwards), including EPH Apparel, Lennard Taylor, Bellabalas, Topshop, Topman, Danali, Hush Collection, Margot + Maude, and Stylebar.

ConEd student teams with local chefs (and RRC grads) in support of Winnipeg Harvest

January 27, 2017

Leane Funk is using her good taste to fight hunger.

Funk, a professional server and Red River College Continuing Education student, is one of the foodies behind the Winnipeg Supper Club, a regularly occurring secret dinner event.

On Sat., Feb. 25, the Winnipeg Supper Club is teaming up with Winnipeg Harvest to present Harvest Homegrown, a not-so secret, collaborative dinner event. Harvest Homegrown will take place at Winnipeg Harvest (1085 Winnipeg Ave.) and will feature local food prepared by Deseo chef Jordan Carlson and MasterChef Canada runner-up Jeremy Senaris, both of whom are Red River College graduates.

Harvest Homegrown will raise money for Winnipeg Harvest and its hunger-fighting initiatives.

“It just so happened that six months ago, David Northcott (Winnipeg Harvest executive director) ended up at a table I was serving and we just started chatting,” says Funk. “I mentioned who I was and he had heard of (Winnipeg Supper Club). One thing led to another and we discussed starting something together. Then I went and met with Colleen McVarish (Harvest development manager) and now we’re doing a dinner.”

Funk is excited for dinner guests to see Carlson and Senaris in action.

“I thought with their contrasting cooking styles they would be a good collaboration,” she says. “It’s a pretty open kitchen and we have a chef’s table that is available for purchase for a group of 10. It’s available at a bit of a premium but they’ll be front row, watching the chefs and being served by Jeremy and Jordan.” Read More →

Graphic Design student lends talents to former police chief’s first book

January 24, 2017

Emily Campbell, at Red River College

A Graphic Design student’s work is helping tell the story of a local trailblazer — tracing his rise from humble roots in Jamaica to his post as Canada’s first black police chief.

Third-year Red River College student Emily Campbell, currently completing the Graphic Design – Advanced program, is the illustrator of a new children’s book written by former Winnipeg police chief Devon Clunis and his wife, Pearlene.

Campbell got involved with the project via a request to RRC from Clunis himself, who wanted to team with a local student-artist on the illustrations for his semi-autobiographical tale.

The Little Boy from Jamaica: A Canadian History Story explores Clunis’ early days, during which he grew up without electricity and running water before moving to Winnipeg’s North End with his family at age 11.

Campbell, 22, says the book was already written by the time she signed on, allowing her to work from a comprehensive outline. And though she’s never been to Jamaica, she said the Clunises were able to provide photographic inspiration for her ink and watercolour illustrations.

“They only had one photo from his childhood, when he was very, very young,” she says. “That’s what I based his character on. And then when he’s older, I obviously based it off what he looks like today.” Read More →

Back to school: Former teacher skips retirement in favour of new career

January 20, 2017

After a successful career as a teacher, Willa Klyne decided it was time to go back to school.

Last June, Klyne, 55, wrapped up 29 years of teaching in Frontier School Division. Not really the retiring type, she enrolled in Red River College’s Administrative Assistant program, completing the 17-week certificate program in December.

“I want to work for a very long time. My mom worked part-time until she was 75 years old and I see myself doing the same thing,” Klyne says.

“I’d like to have two or three careers in my lifetime. My plan is to work full-time until I’m 65 and then I’ll decide if I want to continue … or go down to part-time. But I don’t want my working career to be one thing. I can’t imagine sticking with one type of job for my entire lifetime. There are new things to learn and new experiences to have.”

Klyne admits she was a bit nervous about attending college at 55, but she’s not the first in her family to go back to school later in life. In the 1970s, Klyne’s grandmother, Violet McKillop, took a commercial cake decorating course at RRC while in her 70s.

“I would never let it stop me (being an older student), but I wondered how it would be. It turned out to be great. There were way more older students there than I thought there would be,” Klyne says. Read More →