Alumni

Apprenticeship grad becomes Canada’s first deaf iron worker with Red Seal certificate

November 10, 2016

A Red River College apprenticeship grad has made history, becoming the first deaf iron worker in Canada to receive his Red Seal certification.

Jonathan Anderson, 26, earned his iron worker credentials from RRC in 2015, and last spring wrote and passed his Red Seal exam. Over the weekend, he gathered at the Union Centre in Winnipeg to celebrate the achievement with friends, family and mentors.

Diagnosed as deaf shortly after his first birthday, Anderson attended the Manitoba School for the Deaf and St. James Collegiate, where he played hockey and football with the help of an interpreter, finding unique ways to communicate with this teammates.

“He learned to adapt,” Anderson’s mother, Bertha, told CTV News. “He couldn’t hear, but he always had his way of communicating.”

Anderson’s Red Seal certificate allows him to practice his trade anywhere in Canada. Since he began his career at the age of 17, he’s already worked on a number of high-profile job sites — among them, the Keeyask Generating Station, the Winnipeg Convention Centre and True North Square.

But the project he’s proudest of is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, of which he told CTV, “My parents will say, ‘My son helped build that building,’ … I have children, and they’ll say, ‘Daddy worked there.’”

Anderson hopes his accomplishment will inspire others with hearing impairments to continue pursuing their dreams.

“I want to show that deaf people can work with people who are not deaf,” he explains. “You can succeed and prove them wrong. If they say you can’t, show them that you can.”

Culinary apprentice honoured at international competition in Manchester

October 3, 2016

Mackenzie FergusonA Red River College apprenticeship grad was recognized at a prestigious culinary competition in England last week.

Mackenzie Ferguson, who in 2011 completed RRC’s Apprenticeship Cook (Level II) course, won in the “best kitchen” category at the Concours International des Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs in Manchester. Ferguson’s award was based on his overall skills, appearance, presentation and cleanliness.

The black box-style contest — in which chefs must create and prepare a three-course menu using a mystery basket of seasonal ingredients — is open to competitors under the age of 27. This year’s event drew entrants from 22 countries and featured 12 international chefs as judges.

Now a Red Seal chef, Ferguson serves as the dining room chef at St. Charles Country Club, where he works under the guidance of world-renowned Chef Takashi Murakami, the inaugural recipient of RRC’s Top Chef Award.

Ferguson has racked up an impressive number of culinary awards over the years, including a bronze in the 2008 Skills Manitoba competition, gold medals at Skills Manitoba and the Culinary Arts Salon Competition in 2009, and a bronze at the Skills Canada contest the same year.

He earned the right to compete at the Canadian National Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs by winning the Manitoba competitions in 2014 and 2015, and took top honours at the national level last year.

Photo credit: chainecanada.org (La Chaine des Rotisseurs Bailliage du Canada)

CreComm grad to make Canadian broadcasting history this weekend

September 1, 2016

Danielle Doiron, CHS Field, St. PaulFor the second time this week, a Red River College grad is poised to make history.

On Saturday evening, Danielle Doiron (Creative Communications, 2016) will become the first woman to call the play-by-play for a Canadian professional baseball team, when she covers the third inning of the Winnipeg Goldeyes‘ game against the Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks.

The game will be broadcast on the Goldeyes’ flagship radio station (93.7 FM CJNU), as well as Kenora-based “The Lake” (89.5 FM).

Doiron is serving her second year as the Goldeyes’ media assistant, and also worked as a studio host and board operator during away broadcasts over the summer. Last winter, she received the Jack Matheson Award from the Manitoba Sports Writers and Sportscasters Association.

“Daniele has earned this [play-by-play] opportunity through her incredible work ethic and high-quality contributions to the Goldeyes’ organization,” says team broadcaster Steve Schuster.

“She has a bright future in the industry, and we are extremely proud to call her a part of our family. This is not only a monumental achievement for Danielle, but a significant milestone for Winnipeggers, Canadians and young women in general with career aspirations in sports media.”

Doiron is the second RRC alumna to make a foray into a male-dominated field this week. Last Saturday, Business Administration grad Amber Balcaen became the first Canadian woman to win a NASCAR-sanctioned stock car race.

(Photo credit: Edward Doiron)

Printed windows: RRC grads’ work featured in urban art installations

August 31, 2016

Isabelle Kilimnik

The eye-catching artwork of two recent Graphic Design grads earned a high-profile reveal last week as part of a new downtown beautification project.

Urban Wallpaper, launched recently by the Downtown Business Improvement Zone (BIZ), aims to transform and enliven vacant windows, storefronts and construction sites using jury-selected designs from local artists.

Jesse Warkentin's window, Urban WallpaperSo far, five downtown locations have been outfitted with urban art, including Donald and Kennedy Street sites featuring works by Isabelle Kilimnik (above) and Jesse Warkentin (work at left), both graduates of RRC’s Advanced Graphic Design program.

Downtown BIZ reps hope the new installations will not only improve the visual landscape downtown, but also combat impressions the district is uninviting or unsafe.

Kilimnik and Warkentin’s work was completed as part of their Visual Exploration class with RRC instructor Ken Stampnick.

Victory lane: Business Administration grad makes NASCAR history

August 29, 2016

Amber-BalcaenA Red River College grad burned rubber and blazed a new trail over the weekend, becoming the first Canadian woman to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race.

Amber Balcaen (Business Administration, 2013) drove her No. 10 Lee Pulliam Performance car straight into the history books Saturday night, pulling from the pack to capture the checkered flag at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia.

The 24-year-old had previously found success on the local dirt track circuit, becoming the first woman in Manitoba to win a championship and carrying on the family tradition established by her father and grandfather, both accomplished racers in their own right.

Saturday’s win came during the second-last race of Balcaen’s rookie season on U.S. pavement, and bumped her to a third-place seat in the overall point standings. She’s earned top-five rankings in 10 out of 13 races this season, including podium finishes in the Limited Sportsman class of NASCAR’s Whelen All-America Series.

In a 2014 interview for RRC’s Going Places blog, Balcaen said her college experience gives her an edge over some of her racing-world competitors, especially when it comes to marketing herself and securing sponsorships.

“Not only is racing a sport, but it’s almost like a business where you need to be that full package,” she said then. “You need to be able to speak to people, you need to be professional, and then on the driving side of things, you need to be physically fit so you’re a good driver.”

Read more about Balcaen’s road to NASCAR.

Urban Circle co-founder to receive honorary RRC diploma

May 13, 2016

ElanoreThompson_VerticalA longtime community leader will be recognized with the College’s highest academic honour for the lasting impact she’s had on the lives of children and families.

Eleanor Thompson, Director of Development at Urban Circle Training Centre, will receive RRC’s 2016 Honorary Diploma in Community Development/Community Economic Development.

As co-founder of Urban Circle, Eleanor has worked tirelessly for nearly 30 years to provide accessible, culturally appropriate education and training to Indigenous people in Winnipeg.

She’s a strong advocate for programs that are grounded in Indigenous culture, and that lead to employment in stable sectors with potential for growth. As such, Urban Circle partners with RRC on certificate programs in heath care, family support and early childhood education — many of which lead to advanced studies in social work and education.

In recent years, Eleanor served as one of the driving forces behind the development of the Makoonsag Intergenerational Centre on Selkirk Avenue, a 52-space early learning facility for the children of Urban Circle students. She’s also a member of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Education, Poverty and Citizenship.

Read More →

RRC billboard campaign scores national public relations award

April 13, 2016

digital_billboard_photo-7951_Jolene Ross

A recent marketing campaign that gave Red River College grads the VIP treatment has been recognized by the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS).

Last week, the CPRS announced RRC’s 2015 billboard campaign had won the 2016 Manitoba Communicator of the Year (Large Campaign) Award.

Launched last spring by RRC’s Marketing and Web Presence team, the campaign built on the success of previous alumni-focused promotions, by inviting industry partners to collaborate with RRC in showcasing the range of organizations where graduates find employment.

Employers were invited to nominate VIPs from within their organization, then shared a portion of the costs to promote their employees’ success on billboards, bus benches, transit ads and a range of other print and digital media.

With help from RRC’s Alumni Relations office, the pool of respondents was narrowed down to 40 VIPs from a variety of fields, whose images were featured on a series of highly visible ads. In addition to achieving its primary goals (raising the College’s profile, strengthening connections with industry, positioning RRC as a solution to Manitoba’s skilled labour shortage, etc.), the new campaign also generated nearly $40,000 in new revenue.

The College and the winner in the Small Campaign category (the Canadian Museum for Human Rights) will be honoured at an awards presentation and gala on May 4 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Tickets to the gala are available here.

Inaugural recipients of RRC’s Seven Generations Awards announced

March 23, 2016

Congratulations to the inaugural recipients of Red River College’s Seven Generations Award, which provides the means to create seamless educational pathways for the next seven generations of learners.

Launched last fall by RRC’s Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations team, the $500 awards are available to any Indigenous student who’s the descendant or dependent of an RRC alum. This year’s winners are:

Raven-BoulangerRaven Boulanger, a first-year Community Development/Community Economic Development student. Raven is the daughter of Marcel Boulanger, who graduated from the Aboriginal Language Specialist program in 2003, and Jacqueline Anderson, who graduated from the Criminology and Child and Youth Care programs in 1996.

Raven is an Anishinabe from Berens River First Nation, who graduated from Winnipeg Collegiate in 2011. She attended the University of Winnipeg, where she played on the women’s basketball team — her love for the game led her to play for Team Manitoba in the North American Indigenous Games, where she later returned as a volunteer youth basketball coach.

Raven remains highly involved in the community as a volunteer; her first job was a team leader at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre’s summer sports camps, where she developed a passion for coaching youth. She is now the coach for the Anishinabe Pride girls youth basketball team, and also plays for the RRC Rebels.

In addition, she’s a member of the Aboriginal Support Centre’s R-Crew, volunteering her time to take part in Aboriginal student-focused events and planning.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 3.14.47 PMTanya Vincent, a full-time student in RRC’s Applied Accounting program. Tanya s the daughter of Loraine Trudeau, who graduated from the College’s Library Technician program in 1992.

Tanya is a Métis Franco-Manitoban and the mother of three children; her efforts to continue her academic journey by returning to school are supported by her husband.

In her spare time, Tanya sews beadwork and creates beautiful mukluks, moccasins and gauntlets. She also volunteers at her community church, Paroisse des Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens, as an instructor for the catechism class.

Film and video instructor balances business savvy with artistic insight

March 21, 2016

JT imageJeremy Torrie is running a gauntlet every filmmaker knows. He’s pulling together the fine cut of Juliana & The Medicine Fish, his adaptation of Jake Macdonald’s beloved bestselling young adult novel.

There are thousands of takes from this past autumn’s work with stars Adam Beach and Emma Tremblay to comb through, and agonizing choices to face. Does he use the shot where Beach’s dialogue was note-perfect, or the one with the best lighting? When should he cut from one shot to the next? Is there a way to reclaim the out-of-focus footage?

“Those are the compromises you make,” Torrie says of the labour of love, which leans on his talents as writer, director and producer. “Films are not perfect – they’re a microcosm of anything and everything happening during prep, production, post-production… Most people don’t care about the behind-the-scenes stuff, but those are the things you have to deal with in the industry and hopefully come out on top of.”

It’s exactly the sort of industry insider insight — coupled with storytelling craft — that Torrie imparts to students taking Red River College’s AV Short Video Production course, and to those enrolled in the three-month Enhanced Filmmaking Skills & Techniques certificate course, offered in partnership with the Adam Beach Film Institute.

The fusion of art and business savvy is critical, Torrie says, for young filmmakers hoping to go on to full careers.

“Just because it’s artistic doesn’t mean it’s not a business,” he explains. “That’s what someone like me can bring to the table: to allow for the appreciation it’s not just a story – the story is absolutely important – but beyond that, there is an entire industry.”

“When you’re able to bring real business experience to a teaching setting, you’re going to set people up for success.” Read More →

Teacher Education grads earn Lt.-Gov.’s Medals for Proficiency

February 8, 2016

Congratulations to the latest recipients of Red River College’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Medals for Proficiency, which will be awarded tonight and tomorrow as part of our Winter Convocation ceremonies.

Each year, up to four medals are awarded to RRC students who best combine good character, academic and technical achievement, and involvement in College and community activities. This year’s winners are: Read More →

1 2 3 4 10