Culinary grads score a clean sweep at Gold Medal Plates gala

October 21, 2015

OjjX6sH-rthtoaXq15ZtXd_W3pzP1pm4I2dDjZecBqY,DUSgDqwexQ30i-sHeivDfCpyisYI_IqV7WA2d1llzhYRed River College’s culinary winning streak continues, thanks to a recent sweep by our graduates at the prestigious Gold Medal Plates competition in Winnipeg.

Norm Pastorin, a 2002 alum of RRC’s Culinary Arts program, took the podium’s top spot at the Oct. 16 event, where he was joined by fellow grads Jesse Friesen (2009) and Melissa Makarenko (2006) in second and third place, respectively.

Pastorin (shown above at centre) is chef at The Cornerstone Bar and Restaurant in Osborne Village; Friesen (left) is chef at 295 York downtown, and Makarenko at Resto Gare in St. Boniface.

Pastorin’s winning dish — confit salmon with bacon-quinoa-salmon roe, pickled shallots, tamagoyaki and soy-ginger-anise glaze — earned him a gold medal at this year’s gala, which doubles as a fundraiser for the Canadian Olympic Foundation’s Own the Podium program.

Each year, the event finds local chefs battling each other and the clock — with just 90 minutes to prepare and serve their creations to 500 assembled guests.

Each chef also faces scrutiny from a panel of judges, which this year included RRC’s Jeff Gill (Director of Food Services at the College) and former staffers Mike Green (Peg City Food blogger and one-time Master Chef Canada competitor) and Luc Jean (chef at Mon Ami Louis, and winner of last year’s Gold Medal Plates competition). Read More →

College receives research grant to continue partnership on solutions for dust control

September 24, 2015



Red River College has received a $65,000 research grant to continue product development work with a local company specializing in environmental solutions for dust control.

The Applied Research and Development (ARD) grant — awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) — will allow RRC’s faculty researchers, staff and students to collaborate with Cypher Environmental staff to continue development and testing of Dust Stop, their dust control and dust suppression product.

This project will significantly enhance R&D capacity at RRC by engaging staff in a challenging multi-disciplinary area of research. The knowledge and experience generated will enrich curricula and teaching in different departments at the College; student engagement will contribute to new applied learning and expose students to real life experiences.

Through the National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Cypher has been working with RRC researchers from Civil Technology (Neil Chandler) and Life Sciences (Aman Abrha, Said Hassan and Michael Judge) on different facets of product characterization and testing. Judge and Hassan will lead the next phase of the year-long NSERC ARD project, which commences this month. Read More →

App-building brothers nominated for MBiz Award

September 22, 2015


From “best startup” to “best medium-sized business” in less than a year? Apparently it pays to be bold.

Congratulations go out to Red River College grads (and brothers) Yvan and Eric Boisjoli, two of the founding partners of local software suppliers Bold Innovation Group.

Earlier this year, the company was named Startup of the Year at the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s annual Spirit of Winnipeg Awards. This year, they’ve been nominated for a Manitoba Chambers of Commerce MBiz Awards, in the Outstanding Medium Business category.

The Boisjoli brothers, both graduates of RRC’s Computer Analyst/Programmer program (now called Business Information Technology) launched Bold in March 2012, along with co-founders Stefan Maynard and Jason Myers.

They’ve quickly become one of the leading third-party suppliers of apps for e-commerce giant Shopify, with almost 50,000 clients served, including Wikipedia, Subway, Time-Life and Cirque du Solieil. They’ve also branched out with experimental new projects unrelated to e-commerce, including Kickbooster, Fishbowl Prizes and Inviid.

In addition to the above accolades, they also won in the Young Enterprise category of the St. Boniface Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur Prizes, and earned a national award for economic development and employability from Réseau de dévelopment économique et d’émployabilité (RDEE) Canada, the nation’s Francophone economic and employability network.

The MBiz Awards take place Wed., Oct. 28, at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Winnipeg.

Project Management grad takes top student award at PMI Manitoba’s annual conference

April 16, 2015

Faye Hartwick_0097_3

Congratulations to recent Continuing Education grad Fay Hartwick, this year’s winner of the Red River College and Project Management Institute (PMI) Top Student Award.

Hartwick, who graduated from RRC’s Project Management program in Fall 2014, picked up her award — and associated $1,000 cash prize — at PMI Manitoba’s annual Professional Development Days Spring Conference on April 15.

Each year, program instructors nominate one deserving graduate for the award, basing their decision on a mix of criteria that includes academic achievement, attitude, drive, determination, initiative and teamwork skills.

Hartwick currently works for the Life Science Association of Manitoba (LSAM), where she’s been the office manager since March — working closely with a program manager on event planning and general operations. Before that, she was the Program Director responsible for large conferences at NDG Financial Corporation, parent company to E-Care Contact Centers.

Hartwick, who also has her Management Development credentials from RRC, says she chose the College because of the convenience and comprehensiveness of Continuing Education’s delivery model. Read More →

VIP treatment: College partners with industry to celebrate grads and employers in new campaign

April 1, 2015

Unknown-1Red River College is extending the VIP treatment to its graduates this spring, through a newly-launched promotional campaign that celebrates the achievements of not just our alumni, but also the diverse organizations where they find employment after graduating.

As part of the new campaign, RRC invited employer organizations to partner with them on a creative, co-operative advertising blitz. The cost-sharing model provided an opportunity for industry partners to promote their brands, while also showcasing a VIP (and RRC grad) within their ranks.

“RRC alumni are known throughout Manitoba and the world for possessing the necessary skills to be VIPs in their chosen fields,” says David Rew, interim president at RRC.

“It’s just one of the many reasons RRC Grads Get Hired. This spring, we’re celebrating the role our alumni play in driving Manitoba’s economy, and how they are leaders in their careers and their workplaces.”

Appearing this spring throughout Winnipeg and rural Manitoba, the new billboards, bus benches and digital ads feature more then 40 members of RRC’s accomplished alumni community.

“This is an excellent opportunity to partner with RRC and recognize a valued member of our executive team,” says Paul Soubry, president and CEO of New Flyer Industries, whose vice-president of human resources, Janice Harper, is featured on one of this year’s billboards. (See above.)

“Red River College develops skilled grads who are driving Manitoba’s economy, and New Flyer is pleased to provide meaningful employment in our community.”

Visit RRC’s Marketing and Web Presence site for a sneak peek of the full campaign.

Diego Mendoza and Pablo Steinberg awarded Lt.-Gov.’s Medals for Proficiency

February 9, 2015

Congratulations to the most recent recipients of Red River College’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Medals for Proficiency, awarded as part of our 2015 Winter Convocation ceremonies on Feb. 9 and 10.

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:

DIEGO FERNANDO MENDOZA, Chemical and Biosciences Technology

Diego MendozaA May 2014 graduate of the College’s Chemical and Biosciences Technology program, Diego Mendoza was born in El Salvador, and moved with his family to Canada in 1993, following years of civil unrest.

He graduated with an International Baccalaureate diploma from Miles MacDonnell Collegiate in 2003, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Sciences degree with a major in Microbiology from the University of Manitoba.

After working in quality assurance for a local food company, he enrolled at RRC, where he hoped to gain further experience in analytical and laboratory work. As part of his program’s co-op education component, he landed his current job as a laboratory technician with the City of Winnipeg’s Water and Waste Department, where he monitors local industries to ensure proper waste treatment processes and environmental protections are in place. Read More →

Take me to the river: Culinary grad serves high-end winter fare at acclaimed outdoor restaurant

January 22, 2015

Don LaFrenais 2Don LaFrenais’ meals will soon be warming up Winnipeggers in the coolest of locations.

The 2007 Culinary Arts grad is one of 31 chefs taking part in this year’s RAW: almond, a pop-up restaurant situated on the frozen junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.

Now in its third year, RAW: almond has earned praise from architects and food critics alike for its nature-inspired design — complete with tree-stump seating — and gourmet dishes. The recognition has begun to spread internationally, even recently catching the attention of the New York Times.

“It’s all just been incredible reception,” says LaFrenais, the 30-year-old sous chef at the Exchange District’s Deer + Almond. “I definitely have met a lot of chefs from some crazy places — chefs that have been really interested in what we’re doing. It’s been an incredible journey.”

The journey has indeed been a long one from LaFrenais’ first kitchen job — washing dishes and flipping pancakes at Perkins. After working in several restaurants around Winnipeg, he decided to turn a lifelong passion into a career and apply to the Culinary Arts program at Red River College. Read More →

College celebrates partnership with TransX Group of Companies

November 26, 2014

TransX_Announcement_20141126_0061_smIn recognition of a generous gift and ongoing support from TransX Group of Companies, Red River College unveiled a plaque today naming a classroom in the organization’s honour at the Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre (HETC).

The newly-named space symbolizes the long-standing partnership between TransX and RRC, which includes support of alumni and student success, and a $100,000 pledge.

TransX joins a host of other industry partners that have supported HETC by providing opportunities for students who graduate from a variety of RRC programs.

“Support from industry partners like TransX assists Red River College in creating opportunities for students that align with industry needs,” says RRC President David Rew. “TransX’s financial and advisory support allows the College to create a state-of-the-art learning facility designed with industry in mind. Our students are the ultimate beneficiaries of their support, and we are grateful for this ongoing partnership.”

Located at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus, HETC boasts 60,000 square feet of classroom and lab space in which students can work on large vehicles representing a variety of industry sectors. Offering modern transportation technology, the facility meets the LEED silver standard in energy efficiency, and is home to four RRC programs: Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic, Outdoor Power Equipment Technician, Transport Trailer Mechanic Apprenticeship and Transport Truck/Bus Apprenticeship.

“We are proud to support a first-class training centre at Red River College that helps promote, attract and train heavy duty technicians for the transportation industry,” says Mike Jones, Vice-President of Operations at TransX. “Our industry relies on highly skilled graduates and we’re proud to partner with RRC to continue to provide these types of opportunities.” Read More →

Teaching the teachers: Teacher Education students help integrate technology in Manitoba classrooms

November 18, 2014

Eva Brown2Teacher Education students at Red River College are flipping the professional development experience by teaching teachers how to integrate technology into their classrooms.

It’s all part of Flipping PD, a program developed by RRC’s Eva Brown, an instructor with the Business/Technology Teacher Education program offered jointly through the College and the University of Winnipeg.

Brown knows it’s impossible to anticipate the future of technology. Instead, she focuses on developing the skills teachers need to effectively utilize technology in lessons.

“My student teachers need to learn how to use tools, but more than that [they need to know] which tool to go where and how to help their students figure things out, because things are changing so rapidly.”

Future teachers need the ability to constantly learn and adapt; Flipping PD facilitates this by putting them in situations where they’re forced to think on their toes.

“I take my student teachers out into the world. I take them to conferences and different schools and they deliver professional development to reach teachers that want to use these technologies to teach in their classrooms.”

For example, Brown’s students might demonstrate ways classrooms can use Google Drive or Skype to facilitate global learning. Rather than demonstrate how to use a specific tool for a specific lesson, however, they show the learning opportunities that can be facilitated through technology.

“It’s categories of tools that we try to teach, and the ones that will be the most bang for your buck.” Read More →

RRC chef heading to national culinary championships, after serving up winning entry at Gold Medal Plates event

October 3, 2014

141002_GOLD_MEDAL_PLATES08_Congratulations to Red River College’s Chef Luc Jean, who took top honours at this week’s Gold Medal Plates competition, an exclusive culinary contest in which the city’s best chefs go head to head in support of Olympic athletes.

An instructor with RRC’s Culinary Arts program, Jean represented Jane’s — the College’s exclusive restaurant and training kitchen — at the event, which also drew competitors from some of Winnipeg’s most popular kitchens.

Held last night at the RBC Convention Centre, the event celebrated the best in local cuisine, pitting the city’s premiere chefs against each other in a bid for a spot at the championships, which take place next February in Kelowna.

Jean won the top spot on the podium thanks to his mouthwatering entry — a sous-vide of Manitoba pork tenderloin served with butternut squash, carrot and ginger puree, candied oranges, pork crackling and lime honey sauce.

He was joined at the event by 25 students from RRC’s Hospitality and Culinary Arts programs — seven of whom helped him prepare and serve his dish (plus 570 appetizers), and 13 of whom assisted the other competing chefs. Read More →

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