A group of Red River College Hospitality students got a head start on their summer this year, travelling to Belize in May for two weeks of culinary exploration.
The six second-year students — from RRC’s Culinary Arts and Professional Baking and Patisserie programs — made the trip alongside 14 students from Vancouver Island University.
While in Belize, the group spent time in five different cities and town, exploring everything from bakeries to banana plantations, marketplaces to Mayan ruins, and spice farms to sustainable nature preserves.
They also got a first-hand look at the region’s version of the farm-to-table movement, learning how the raw ingredients in coffee, chocolate, and corn tortillas (among other products) make their way from farmers’ fields to your plate.
“It was incredibly enlightening,” says RRC instructor Cameron Tait, who accompanied the students on the trip.
“There are very few people in the world who get to go from picking fruit in the jungle to making their own chocolate — pouring their own bars and wrapping the finished product themselves. You may get to see bits and pieces of that process if you’re lucky, so to see the whole thing unfold was fascinating.”
In addition to the cultural component of the trip — which also included visits to animal habitats, organic gardens, jungle tours and rum distilleries — the students were able to incorporate a charitable element, as well.
As part of their fundraising efforts, they collected several suitcases worth of school supplies, which they donated to an elementary school in the village of Blue Creek.
He’s a titan of industry, a paragon of philanthropy and a proud Red River College graduate.
So naturally, the College is just as proud to congratulate Paul Charette on receiving this year’s Honorary Degree — a distinction that comes exactly 50 years after he first graduated from RRC.
“We are thrilled to present Paul with an honorary degree and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Red River College,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above, at right, with Charette and wife Gerri).
“We are very fortunate to have graduates like Paul, who share their vision and support and are constant ambassadors for RRC across the country. Paul’s generosity and enthusiasm for our College, as well as his commitment to providing opportunities for our graduates, is essential to what we are building at RRC.”
The former CEO of Bird Construction, Charette graduated from RRC’s Civil Technology program back in 1967 (after receiving a $200 bursary from the Women’s Auxiliary of West Kildonan).
He added to his credentials with a Computer Programming degree in 1968, then worked for nine years with Manitoba Hydro on the development of the Nelson River and Manitoba Rolling Mills expansion projects.
In 1976, Charette began working for Bird Construction — first as a project coordinator, then as chief operating officer (1988), chief executive office (1991), and chair of the board (2001). During that time, he led the company through a period of substantial growth, increasing revenues from $90 million in 1988 to more than $1 billion in 2008, when he stepped down as CEO.
The Charettes are RRC’s most prominent individual donors, having over the years established two award endowments — which fund 12 student awards each year — and the Paul and Gerri Charette Manitoba Applied Research Chair in Sustainable Construction. Read More →
The Gene Haas Foundation has made a $500,000 donation to Red River College’s new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC), scheduled to open next year at the Notre Dame Campus.
The announcement was made at the RBC Convention Centre during the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition, taking place in Winnipeg until June 3.
“We are humbled by the generosity of the Gene Haas Foundation and their continued support of our College,” said RRC president Paul Vogt. “Not only will our Skilled Trades and Technology Centre expand our applied learning environment, it will foster a collaborative approach within our program areas that will have a positive impact on our pre-employment training, applied research projects, and overall student success. This gift from HAAS allows us to provide new and improved opportunities for our students and for that we are extremely grateful.”
With a footprint of approximately 100,000 square feet, the STTC will house new laboratory and shop space and classrooms for up to 1,000 students each year in high-demand trades and technologies. The building will be home to leading applied research, technology and innovation in the fields of robotics, automation, advanced manufacturing and more.
When operational, the STTC will boost RRC’s skilled trades training capacity by more than 30 per cent.
“Red River College has a reputation for producing high-quality and high-skilled students who turn into respected members of the workforce,” said Kathy Looman, Foundation Administrator for the Gene Haas Foundation. “We are thrilled to be a part of this state-of-the-art facility and to watch as it continues to provide RRC with the momentum it needs to continue to develop and grow to ensure student success.”
The Gene Haas Foundation also presented RRC with a $30,000 (USD) gift for the Gene Haas Awards at RRC and a $60,000 (USD) gift to Skills Canada for the Skills Canada Financial Sponsorship that awards medalists in CNC Machining and Precision Metal and Manufacturing.
Shown above, from left: Kathy Looman, Foundation Administrator, Gene Haas Foundation; Joanne Haas, representative, Gene Haas Foundation; Paul Krainer, President, Thomas Skinner & Son Ltd.; Paul Vogt, President and CEO, Red River College.
A Red River College instructor’s commitment to classroom innovation has earned her a prestigious honour from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).
Tatjana Brkic (shown above, second from left), an instructor for RRC’s Business programs, received a silver CICan Award of Excellence last night in the category of Leadership Excellence for Faculty. Held in Ottawa, the CICan ceremony recognizes best practices from post-secondary institutions across the country.
“The recipients of our awards of excellence embody the best that colleges and institutes have to offer in a variety of sectors and disciplines,” says CiCan President Denis Amyot. “They are examples of innovation and dedication that make our institutions proud and contribute to the vibrant and welcoming culture found on campuses across Canada.”
In a news release showcasing all 24 recipients, CICan described Brkic as “a leading force in the design of innovative, experience-based learning methods, [who draws] on applied research, business research and social innovation, as well as curriculum development.”
In recent years, Brkic has helped raise the profile of RRC’s Business Administration and International Business programs, through an annual showcase of social innovation-related research work conducted in partnership with local businesses and organizations.
She’ll be sharing details of the ongoing initiative — and other ideas for implementing social innovation in business — at this year’s TEDxWinnipeg conference, taking place Tue., June 6, at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg.
Red River College will help create jobs, expand research and foster innovation downtown, having announced plans for the construction of a new $95-million Innovation Centre in the heart of Winnipeg Exchange’s District.
The College will use government and private-sector funding to develop the new facility, the first of its kind in Western Canada. The new Innovation Centre will attract an additional 1,200 students to the Exchange, stimulating economic development and further growth of the historic district.
The Centre will bring together students, instructors, researchers, industry and community members to work on commercialization projects for startups and SMEs. It will also enable social enterprise and Indigenous entrepreneurship, and help ensure students are job-ready and able to thrive in the economy.
“This is a major step forward for the future of Red River College,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown, below). “It represents a modernization and a new approach to teaching and partnerships while still doing what RRC does best — providing job-ready grads to industry and helping to drive economic growth.”
“This historic investment … is a down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation,” says Jim Carr, federal Minister of Natural Resources. “That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and startup companies into global successes.” Read More →
Congratulations to the 52 Red River College students who scored medals in this month’s Skills Manitoba provincial competition.
Hosted by Skills Canada Manitoba on April 13, the Olympic-style competition drew more than 500 high school and post-secondary students to RRC’s Notre Dame Campus for an impressive display of hands-on expertise, talent and determination.
The event also showcased the diversity of skilled trades and technology in Manitoba, as well as the many promising futures to be found in these fields.
Students competed in over 40 different categories; the gold medal winners from each will make up Team Manitoba, and will go on to compete at this year’s Skills Canada National Competition, taking place May 31 to June 3 at the RBC Convention Centre.
A full list of RRC’s winners is below: Read More →
Elders, leaders and students from Red River College came together today in a special ceremony to mark the official opening of the College’s first sweat lodge.
Led by Elders Jules Lavallee and Mae Louise Campbell, the event involved more than 20 participants, many of whom had never taken part in this type of sacred ceremony before.
“Today is a very important day as we continue our work to infuse Indigenous culture, knowledge and teachings across our College,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “Indigenous student success is a priority at Red River College, and that means providing culturally relevant student supports to help remove barriers and create more pathways to success for our Indigenous learners.”
“We have a significant Indigenous student population at Red River College and this important addition to our ceremonial grounds will have an amazing impact for many years to come.”
The dome-shaped structure represents the womb of Mother Earth, and was made out of willow trees that were collected and prepared last November. Once the branches were in position, they were tied together and the frame was covered with canvas.
Each sweat lodge ceremony has a different purpose, and is led by an Elder or spiritual leader who provides teachings and songs. Through this profoundly personal experience, the body is cleansed, which aids in removing stress and improves participants’ mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Sweat lodge ceremonies are used to give thanks, to heal, to seek wisdom, and to purify the mind, body, and soul. Read More →
More than 500 students and apprentices will show off their trades- and technology-related talents at Red River College today, as they compete in hands-on, Olympic-style contests as part of the twentieth annual Skills Manitoba Competition.
Many of the individual competition winners will advance to the Skills Canada National Competition, being hosted this year in Winnipeg from May 31 to June 3.
Today’s provincial event is held by Skills Manitoba Canada to raise awareness of the country’s skilled workforce shortage, and of the merits of post-secondary training in trades and technology.
“The skilled trades offer opportunities for positions with great pay, job security and flexibility,” says Maria Pacella, executive director of Skills Canada Manitoba.
“Manitoba’s economy needs thousands of skilled workers going forward, and colleges will play a huge role in filling this demand,” adds RRC President Paul Vogt.
“Competitions like Skills Manitoba and Skills Canada are extremely important, as they showcase the opportunities that exist for meaningful and rewarding careers in the trades. We are pleased to be supporting Skills Manitoba, and are particularly thrilled to be putting Winnipeg on the national stage when [the Skills Canada competition] comes to Manitoba in June.” Read More →
Today, Red River College welcomed more than 600 visitors to the first-ever Applied Research & Innovation Day, which celebrated our students’ achievements in applied research and innovation, while also recognizing RRC’s innovative research partnerships.
As part of the event, the College hosted a Student Quick-Pitch Competition where the top four student research projects — as selected by a group of 26 judges at a showcase held earlier in the day — had an opportunity to present their projects to some 200 guests from the College and industry.
“The work demonstrated by our students this year is remarkable, and highlights just how relevant applied learning and research is to preparing our graduates for careers here in Manitoba,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “Leveraging our in-house expertise not only exposes our students to leading-edge research, but it also helps businesses innovate to create new jobs and career opportunities for our students.”
The students were judged by a panel of experts: Martin Cash (business reporter, Winnipeg Free Press), Jeff Ryzner (president, North Forge), Freyja Arnason (manager of funding programs, Research Manitoba) and Tracey Maconachie (president, Life Sciences Association of Manitoba).
This year’s winners are:
Read More →
Red River College partnered with two local microbreweries today to unveil a new culinary invention — miso made from spent grain — at an event showcasing the College’s growing Culinary Research and Innovation program, and its impact on food creation in Manitoba.
Partners from the province, federal government and industry were among the special guests at today’s miso soup tasting at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, the hub of RRC’s culinary research and education activities.
“This miso project is a really innovative partnership that links Manitoba’s dynamic microbrewery industry with local culinary arts and research,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
RRC teamed up with Farmery Estate Brewery and Torque Brewing to test methods for using spent grains from the beer-brewing process to produce miso, putting a new twist on an ancient culinary tradition. Other partners included the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network (MAHRN) and the University of Manitoba’s Food Science department.
“The Government of Canada is proud to support scientific research and innovation that creates opportunities for the agri-food industry,” says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “Finding alternative ways to use agricultural products and increase their value helps create good jobs and grow the middle class in Canada.”
Since 2014, RRC has been ramping up its culinary research through new partnerships with industry and support from federal and provincial governments. That growth has led to many new innovations with local producers.
“Partnerships help identify new and sometimes unexpected opportunities,” says Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Our government is proud to help support this project, which has the potential to create new value-added opportunities while creating new, delicious foods. This project reflects the innovative spirit shared by so many Manitobans.” Read More →