Red River College will play host to an exhibition from Artbeat Studio this week, providing staff and students with opportunities to see and understand the realities of mental illness.
Running Tue., Oct. 3 at the Notre Dame Campus, and Thu., Oct. 5, at the Roblin Centre downtown, the exhibit is one of several events planned to mark Mental Illness Awareness Week, the aim of which is to raise awareness of — and reduce the stigma surrounding — mental health-related issues.
“As a post-secondary institution focused on the health and well-being of staff and students, the College believes Mental Illness Awareness Week is an important initiative to be engaged in,” says Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC.
“Our priority is to create opportunities for the entire College community to learn more about mental health through education, and to foster a safe, responsive and supportive environment in which to talk about mental illness and how it impacts those we study and work with.”
Other events taking place this week include a presentation on strategies for coping with anxiety (delivered by the Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba), and another on schizophrenia and psychosis, delivered by the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society.
This year’s programming expands on previous efforts to raise awareness of the many community supports available to staff and students, among them Artbeat Studio, a peer-directed, recovery-oriented program providing studio space and mentorship to artists living with mental illnesses. Read More →
One potato, two potato, three potato, four — that and a few hundred pounds more were dug up from Red River College’s community garden today and donated to Winnipeg Harvest in support of the corporate Grow-A-Row challenge.
Staff and students at the College have spent all summer tending to the spuds (and carrots and onions), which will now go to feed families in need.
“Once again, Red River College is proud to support Winnipeg Harvest, and this year we are pleased to donate nearly 3,000 pounds of vegetables from our garden to Winnipeg families,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“I want to thank the staff and students who volunteer their time to tend to the garden, and our grounds and Sustainability teams who champion this community initiative within the College. I’d also like to congratulate the Winnipeg Airports Authority and the corporate partners [including Pegasus Publications] who have taken part in this important project to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry.”
Dating back several years, RRC’s involvement with Grow-A-Row is currently championed by Gord McLeod, pavement and grounds supervisor, and Sara MacArthur, director of Sustainability. The College’s garden — a 30’ x 60’ plot of land — has become a community initiative encouraging involvement from both staff and students, who tend and harvest it on a volunteer basis.
The food grown in the garden supports not only the greater community, but also the College’s food bank, organized by the RRC Students’ Association.
The Grow-A-Row initiative, meanwhile, first blossomed back in 1986, when Winnipeg residents Ron and Eunice O’Donovan produced more potatoes in their backyard garden than they could consume. Their donations were so well received by Winnipeg Harvest that the couple encouraged friends and neighbours to also donate surplus produce.
Since then, Grow-A-Row has yielded more than 3.7 million of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Mayor Brian Bowman and Red River College President Paul Vogt joined students from RRC’s Professional Baking and Patisserie program this morning to mark the five-year anniversary of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute with a friendly pretzel-making bake-off.
The two were assisted by Suzanne Gessler, proud RRC graduate and owner of The Pennyloaf Bakery, a small-batch artisanal shop on Corydon. Gessler coached Bowman and Vogt while sharing her experiences as a baker and business owner — one who set aside her career as a civil servant to attend RRC’s Exchange District culinary school.
Gessler is one of more than 600 graduates who’ve passed through the doors of PGI since it became the new home to RRC’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in 2012.
“Today we celebrate not only the tremendous impact the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute has had on education in our city, but also the positive impact of the College’s expansion into the Exchange District,” says Vogt.
“Restoring heritage buildings and bringing thousands of students and staff to the area has sparked new economic activity and helped revitalize this iconic community.”
Before its restoration, PGI was home to the Union Bank Tower, Winnipeg’s first and oldest skyscraper — and at one time, the tallest building in Canada. Today, the LEED Gold-certified building houses RRC’s culinary, hospitality and baking programs, as well as the College’s first-ever student residence, which is running at full capacity this year.
PGI is a key component of RRC’s Exchange District Campus, which also includes the nearby Roblin Centre on Princess Street. The campus will soon undergo a massive expansion with the construction of a 100,000-square foot Innovation Centre. Fundraising efforts supporting the new state-of-the-art facility are now underway.
“Red River College continues to be a strong anchor and foundation supporting the growth and revitalization of our downtown and the Exchange District,” says Bowman. “It’s great to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, a building that continues to help foster round-the-clock activity, and it’s great to see people increasingly recognizing the Exchange as a place to visit, live and spend money.” Read More →
What began as an English language training partnership 30 years ago has grown into an opportunity for students in Northern China’s industrial centre to harness advanced skills in three top industries.
This week, delegates from the Shenyang Institute of Engineering (SIE) are visiting Red River College to continue growing that relationship, and to tour the Exchange District Campus and the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. The delegates were greeted at the Notre Dame Campus Monday morning by RRC President Paul Vogt.
The relationship between the two institutions began in 1987, when RRC and SIE exchanged staff and faculty to offer English language training in Northern China.
Since 2010, students in Shenyang have been able to enrol in joint degree programs for Electrical Engineering Technology, Power Engineering Technology, and Hospitality and Tourism Management. These students have the option of completing the three-year programs entirely in Shenyang — with curriculum provided by RRC — or they can complete their first two years of study in China and travel to Winnipeg for the final year.
The partnership has grown steadily since its early days, with more than 1,000 Chinese students now enrolled for the 2017/2018 academic year.
“It’s connections like this that put Red River College, and Winnipeg, on the map as a hub for the engineering and hospitality industries,” says Vogt. “The hands-on learning students receive is crucial to their success and we’re happy to be able share that with our partners in Shenyang.” Read More →
Red River College’s Stevenson Campus was again the proud facility sponsor for the 14th United Way Winnipeg Plane Pull — providing the hangar and volunteers for the annual fundraiser, which doubled as the launch of this year’s United Way Annual Giving Campaign.
Nearly 2,000 people joined together Friday to pull 80,000 pounds of plane, while raising money to provide essential supports directly to kids and families in Winnipeg. But the heavy lifting for this event begins long before the first teams get their hands on the rope.
“In order for an event of this magnitude to take off smoothly, it’s all hands on deck,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “As the facility sponsors, our instructors and staff at the Stevenson Campus are involved in the planning nearly a year in advance — from scheduling classes and program training around the event date, to providing volunteers and working around the clock the day before to clear the hangar and have it set up and ready for participants.”
The 55,000-square foot training facility is home to RRC’s aviation and aerospace programs – making it the ideal location for the Plane Pull each year.
“We’re excited to be back on Stevenson Aviation’s tarmac, which is generously provided by Red River College, pulling together for a better Winnipeg,” says Colin Ryan, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director at BMO Nesbitt Burns, and United Way Winnipeg’s 2017 Campaign Chair.
“More and more, Winnipeggers are reaching out with kindness every single day, sharing our pride and shaping a Winnipeg we can all be proud to call home.” Read More →
All six students enrolled in the first class of a specialized mechanics and technology course will walk out the doors of Red River College and into new careers as certified technicians for Peterbilt Motors Company.
The students are graduates of the new Peterbilt Technician Institute (PTI), launched in partnership with the College earlier this year. The Institute is a manufacturer-paid training initiative offered to graduates of RRC’s Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic program, and to those interested in advancing their skills to become certified Peterbilt technicians.
For Alexandra Pratt, the experience means getting her foot in the door of a great career.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to get started in a career with such a well-known and reputable company,” says Pratt. “I learned so much through this program, and would recommend it to anyone looking to start a career with the Peterbilt family.”
The six students were the first to complete the comprehensive training program, earning 10 key certifications to earn their designation as Peterbilt Master Technicians.
This new program allowed the students to gain experience in all aspects of the work done at a Peterbilt dealership. Peterbilt Motors Company supplied the curriculum, laptops for the students, three trucks, two engines and specialized tools to help ensure the students’ success in becoming confident in their skills and career-ready by the end of the 12-week session. Peterbilt also trained RRC instructors to deliver the program at the College.
“Red River College is built on supporting the backbone of not only Manitoba’s economy, but many important sectors all across the country and throughout North America,” says Arnold Boldt, RRC’s executive director, Academic. “This new partnership with Peterbilt was a perfect fit when it came to accessing our expertise and state-of-the-art facilities.” Read More →
As thousands of athletes and spectators descend on Winnipeg for the 2017 Canada Summer Games, a group of Red River College students will be on hand to show them some of our trademark hospitality.
The five students — all of whom are completing the final stages of RRC’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program — are volunteering as team leads overseeing the set-up and operations of the Athletes’ Village at the University of Manitoba.
Their work at the Village will help them fulfill the final co-op term required to complete the second year of their program, in which all five are majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
They first became involved with the Summer Games back in February, when instructor Krista Mask invited Jordon Lanthier, chair of accommodations for the event, to speak to her Rooms Management class about volunteer opportunities.
Mask says the students were immediately enthused, noting the Summer Games experience is perfect for those making their first forays into the industry.
“Many of my students have no work experience when they come to [RRC],” she explains. “And how do you build a resume without having had any paid positions?”
“This is a great opportunity, for them and their resumes — not only do they get to network with different people from all over, it’s also a huge boon in terms of tourism. And without volunteers, these types of events just don’t happen.” Read More →
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.