Community Outreach

Transforming Futures pilot program prepares students for new career paths

May 16, 2016

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Amanda Wallace, Claire Oswald and Baldeep Dillon (front row, from left to right) are three Red River College students who take their academic careers very seriously.

All three are punctual, motivated self-starters who know how to prioritize in order to meet the demands of their course loads. They’re also immersed in all aspects of student life, from student council and advisory committees to work experience programs.

Claire and Baldeep want to work in the provincial government, while Amanda has her eyes on a career at City Hall. Like many others in RRC’s Transforming Futures program — a pilot project launched in 2014 — all three have blossomed into exemplary students, thanks to the support of their instructors and peers.

A first of its kind program in Manitoba, Transforming Futures helps students with intellectual disabilities and other significant barriers prepare for and deal with the realities of post-secondary life. The first stage of the program allows students to explore career options based on their interests and strengths. Students are introduced to College-level studies, as well as personal management, job searching, interviewing and essential workplace skills.

“During high school your life was basically structured for you,” says Claire. “When you enter college, it’s a lot more independent, a lot more responsibility’s on your head. You’re responsible for you.” Read More →

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 students help to highlight election issues important to voters living with disabilities

April 12, 2016

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Red River College students helped shine a light on the challenges faced by those living with disabilities recently, by assisting at the first provincial election debate in decades to focus specifically on disability-related issues.

Students from RRC’s Disability and Community Support program served as volunteers at the Disability Matters Great Debate, helping to ensure as many people as possible were able to gain access to the event, held March 31 at the Norwood Hotel.

The debate was hosted by Disability Matters, a non-partisan public awareness campaign dedicated to ensuring Manitobans with disabilities can participate fully in election activities, promoting priority attention to disability issues in the election, and supporting Manitobans with disabilities in making informed voting decisions.

Candidates from throughout the province took part, including James Beddome (Green Party leader and candidate for Fort Garry-Riverview), Vanessa Hamilton (Liberal candidate for Brandon East), Kerri Irvin-Ross (NDP candidate for Fort Richmond) and Ian Wishart (Conservative candidate for Portage la Prairie).

The debate was moderated by CBC Radio One’s Marcy Markusa (herself an RRC grad), and addressed the five key priorities of the Disability Matters campaign: accessibility, fair wages, access to services, employment, and dignified income.

More than 650 people attended the debate at the Norwood, while another 350 took part at satellite sites throughout the province where the proceedings were streamed online. The debate was a cross-disability event attended by those with physical, intellectual and mental health disabilities, as well as their friends, families and supports. Read More →

Giving voice to the voiceless: Student launches website to support families of missing and murdered Indigenous women

April 5, 2016

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A Red River College student is providing support to those affected by an ongoing epidemic of violence in Canada, by creating an online community for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Brittany Hobson, a second-year Creative Communications student, recently launched the website Stolen Voices, which provides a platform for families of missing and murdered women and girls, allowing them to share their stories and connect with other families.

The website is comprised of a series of family profiles — which may include essays, poems, artwork or music — and other contributed work related to ending the cycle of violence against Indigenous women.

“There are more than 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women throughout Canada, and each of them have family and friends that care for them,” says Hobson. “Those families deserve to have their voices heard.”

A journalism major, Hobson was born and raised in Winnipeg, but has roots in Long Plain First Nation and Sandy Bay First Nation. She first started exploring the issue of missing and murdered women while in university a few years back.

“I’m an Indigenous woman myself, but I didn’t grow up in a traditional household,” she explains. “In university, I started looking into issues surrounding Indigenous people, to get a better sense of where I was coming from.” Read More →

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 →

May the furs be with you: CreComm students join with Star Wars fans to raise funds for Winnipeg Humane Society

March 11, 2016

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Here’s hoping The Force will be with our Creative Communications students next weekend, as they gear up for another fundraising telethon in support of the Winnipeg Humane Society.

On Sunday, March 20, students producing the annual 1001 Donations Telethon will have to harness the power of the Dark Side: guests from the 501st Legion — an imperial Star Wars costuming club — will be joining them to help raise funds for animals in the shelter’s care.

“The bad guys will do some good for the WHS,” says event manager Jill Voth. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for Star Wars fans to get up close and personal with characters from the series, and see how detailed their costumes are.”

In addition to the intergalactic villains (Darth Vader, his stormtroopers and a host of bounty-hunting baddies), the ninth annual telethon promises to attract some more down-to-earth guests, including members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Winnipeg Police Service K-9 Unit.

Every year, second-year CreComm students produce a series of pre-recorded pieces that air during the telethon, and also serve as technical crew and on-air talent while broadcasting live from the Humane Society (45 Hurst Way).

If you can’t drop by in person, the event will be streamed live online from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. To make a donation, tune in during the telethon and follow the call-in instructions, or visit winnipeghumanesociety.com.

Efforts to empower women earn Indspire award for Elder Mae Louise Campbell

February 16, 2016

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Elder Mae Louise Campbell carries the gift of women’s medicine. All her life, she has shared her knowledge of Indigenous culture and traditional teachings to help empower the women around her.

And while Campbell (shown above, at left) is a familiar face at Red River College — where she’s served as a mentor for more than a decade — it’s her work with women in the larger community that led to her being honoured over the weekend with an Indspire Award in the category of Culture, Heritage and Spirituality.

“The thing that I look forward to the most is for our women to be able to see it and say, ‘Well, this Grandmother got this award, and the reason she received it is because of all the work she’s doing to heal women,’” says Campbell. “That message to me is more important than anything else.”

Campbell’s desire to see Indigenous women empowered was born out of her own personal journey of self-awareness, healing and spiritual awakening. Like many Indigenous people, Campbell says she struggled to find her identity. Her refusal to accept the difficulties of being a young wife and mother in a controlling relationship set her on the path of discovery.

“I knew that I had to find my voice and believe in the fact that I have the strength and the wisdom to be well in my mind, body and spirit, and to continue to grow,” says Campbell. “And I knew I would have to do that by discovering our traditional ways of women’s knowing, and understanding women’s roles in the community.”

Read More →

A world of difference: new exhibit showcases local ties to global citizenship efforts

February 1, 2016

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Just in time for International Development Week in Canada, Red River College is proud to host a self-guided exhibit showcasing how Manitobans are working to improve the world through their actions at home and abroad.

Global Citizens: Manitobans Working Together for a Better World is on display from Mon. to Fri., Feb. 1-5, in the Roblin Centre Atrium at the Exchange District Campus.

Presented by RRC’s Diversity and Intercultural Services department (in partnership with the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation), the exhibit features photographs, stories and videos showcasing international projects with Manitoba connections.

On Tue., Feb. 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., members of RRC’s local Student Refugee Program (SRP) committee will be on hand at the display to discuss their involvement in global citizenships efforts.

Two members of the committee — students Yves Ngendahimana and Emily Regehr (shown above) — recently returned from Ottawa, where they took part in the weekend-long World University Service of Canada (WUSC) International Forum.

“It’s an opportunity for students to come together and talk about international development issues, and how they can promote global citizenship on campus,” says Lauren Konrad, RRC’s Student Integration Coordinator, noting this year’s event featured presentations on such topics as Women’s Economic Empowerment, Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship and Enabling Inclusive Markets. Read More →

Province’s post-secondary institutions sign historic agreement advancing Indigenous education

December 21, 2015

image1Red River College helped make history last week, joining with every post-secondary institution in Manitoba — as well as the Manitoba School Boards Association — in signing the Indigenous Education Blueprint, an unprecedented commitment to advance Indigenous education in the province.

The transformational framework is the result of a new partnership between Manitoba’s public school boards and the post-secondary education sector, now united in their efforts to enhance Indigenous education and reconciliation, and to make Manitoba a global centre of excellence for Indigenous education, research, languages and culture.

The Blueprint takes action on recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and will translate into success for Indigenous students and their families, thereby enriching the lives of all Manitobans.

“Indigenous youth are one of the fastest growing populations in Canada,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “They are our future — our future leaders, entrepreneurs and builders — and the next generation of our country. As colleges, we have a responsibility to work with other partners to continue to build upon our diverse range of post-secondary programs that support Indigenous learners on their educational journey.”

Next steps include such action items as establishing a steering committee with all signatories, creating a collaborative website and social media platform, and hosting a conference on Indigenous education.

The partners who met Friday to sign the historic Blueprint include RRC, the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, Université de Saint-Boniface, Canadian Mennonite University, University College of the North, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Assiniboine Community College and the Manitoba School Boards Association. Read More →

A season of ‘firsts’ for inaugural arrival under RRC Student Refugee Program

December 16, 2015

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Temperatures outside may be dropping, but Yves Ngendahimana — the first Red River College student to enrol as part of the newly-launched Student Refugee Program — is still enjoying the warmth of a Winnipeg welcome.

Ngendahimana, who arrived in Canada from the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, joined RRC’s student body through a sponsorship agreement and partnership with World University Services of Canada (WUSC).

After becoming a permanent Canadian resident in Toronto on Aug. 26, he made his way to Winnipeg, where he was greeted at the airport by RRC staff and members of the College’s local Student Refugee Program Committee.

Since then, he’s experienced a number of “firsts” — chief among them, a winter with actual snow — but says he’s feeling comfortably connected to the College community thanks to the efforts of the local SRP Committee, the RRC Students’ Association, and the College’s Campus Living office.

“My experience has been really awesome — there is a good family here,” says Ngendahimana, who’s currently studying Applied Accounting at RRC’s Exchange District Campus. “The College is a really good environment for studying and learning.” Read More →

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