Winnipeg to host hundreds of tradespersons-in-training during 2017 national Skills Canada competition

November 4, 2015


Winnipeg will play host to the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition, Jobs and the Economy Minister Kevin Chief announced today.

The event — for which Red River College will serve as one of several partners — is scheduled to take place from May 31 to June 3, 2017, at the RBC Convention Centre in downtown Winnipeg.

The competition is expected to attract more than 18,000 visitors and 500 youth participants — the latter group comprised of students and apprentices enrolled in trades training programs in colleges and high schools across Canada.

“Hosting the Skills Canada competition will mean thousands of Canadians will travel to the city to share their talents and see what Manitoba has to offer,” said Chief (kneeling in above photo), who stopped by RRC today to take part in the College’s annual Engineering Technology Student Pep Rally.

“We’re proud that our government has supported youth in the trades by offering them educational opportunities, financial support and a strong economy that offers people entering the trades a world of options.”

As always, the goal of the event is to promote the skilled trades and reinforce their importance in building a strong provincial economy — a mission RRC has for years shared with Skills Canada’s provincial arm.

“[The College] has been the host site for the annual Skills Canada Manitoba competition and we are very excited to be part of the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition coming to Winnipeg,” said RRC President Paul Vogt.

“We applaud the government of Manitoba on making skilled trades and technology a priority, and on their investment in our new state-of-the-art Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC), currently under construction at the Notre Dame campus.”

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 →

NAOSH Week at RRC recognized with provincial award

September 23, 2015

17426533419_bd9d481a08_zFor the second year in a row, Red River College has been recognized for its efforts to mark North American Occupational Health and Safety (NAOSH) Week on campus.

On Sept. 15, RRC accepted a provincial NAOSH award for Best Representation of a Theme from SAFE Work Manitoba, the Workers Compensation Board, and various occupational safety and health professionals from across the province.

Held each spring, NAOSH Week finds employers, staff and partners throughout the continent promoting injury and illness prevention in the workplace. The theme of this year’s NAOSH Week, which ran May 3–9, was “Make Safety a Habit for Your Career.”

As always, the College planned a full slate of activities, including library and hallway displays, a lockdown awareness session, SAFE Work on Wheels demos, contests and a staff barbecue.

“While we are excited to have won this award, our main focus is building and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for our staff, students and visitors,” the College’s Environmental Health and Safety Services team said this week. “Meeting this goal is the true award.”

Last year, the College won a NAOSH Award for “Most Innovative” event programming from the Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering. In 2011 and 2012, RRC’s NAOSH Week activities earned awards at both the provincial and national levels.

Police chief ‘brings the heat’ to jerk chicken cook-off against RRC chef

September 10, 2015


“The Chief” faced off against “The Chef” at Red River College yesterday, as Winnipeg Police Chief Devon Clunis and RRC instructor Tim Appleton put their culinary skills to the test for a worthy cause.

Two worthy causes, actually: the College’s first-ever Jerk Chicken Cook-off — held over the lunch hour at Bijou Park outside the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute — raised nearly $3,600, to be split evenly between the Winnipeg Police Service Endowment Fund and RRC’s Youth in Care Bursary.

The event drew close to 500 people, whose contributions earned them a chance to sample the jerk chicken dishes cooked up by both contestants – then vote on the winning recipe.

“Time to fire up the jerk pit and fan the flames of fundraising in the name of the Winnipeg Police Service Endowment Fund,” Clunis (shown above, at right) said prior to the competition.

“I know Chef Appleton can bring the heat, and I’m ready for the challenge. Between the two of us, we’ll add a little extra spice to September, and our efforts to make life a little brighter for organizations that share our vision for a stronger community.” Read More →

Outgoing RRC president David Rew reflects on his 12 months in office, and on his 36-year career

September 2, 2015


This week, as students at Red River College settled into their first week of classes, staff and faculty gathered to pay tribute to David Rew (shown above, at right), who capped off an already impressive 36-year career by serving as the College’s interim president and CEO for the last 12 months. As Rew prepares for his retirement, we thought it only fitting to sit down for a follow-up Q&A session — much as we did when he took over the role one year ago.

At this time last year, you’d just taken over as Interim President — at what can only be described as a low point in the College’s history. The province had launched an audit of our operations, our former president had departed somewhat suddenly, and employee morale was suffering. What did you consider to be your top priority?

Our Executive had identified about 10 priorities, all of which were really important at the time. One of the top ones was internal communications … how we communicated with staff in a variety of ways. Probably the most important piece in all of that was to make sure that staff were informed of events that had occurred before anyone else, so they weren’t going home and watching the news or reading the newspaper and getting their news there.

And how do you think you did?

We made a lot of progress on that one. I think the most telling example was when the provincial review came out. We had an arrangement with the [Minister of Education’s] office where we could tell our staff about the release of the review first, which the province agreed to. So our staff were made aware of that before anyone else. A lot of people commented on that, as they did the Town Hall sessions — the “On the Road with Rew” tours — those also worked really well.

With respect to the last 12 months, what would you say you’re the most proud of?

I’m very proud of the Executive team and how they came together as a group. They’re an incredibly courageous lot, taking on their roles and really going for it — and working to turn the College around. Read More →

Community leaders to receive honorary diplomas at RRC’s Spring Convocation

June 9, 2015

Burpee AngusRed River College will pay tribute to a pair of community leaders and passionate Manitobans at tomorrow’s spring convocation ceremony at the Centennial Concert Hall.

This year’s Honorary Diploma recipients are Dave Angus (Business Administration), President and CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (shown above at right) and Ace Burpee (Creative Communications), local radio host and community advocate (shown at left).

“Both recipients are leaders in their community; their contributions are widely known and well respected,” says Interim RRC President David Rew. “On behalf of the Board of Governors and the Awards Committee, I congratulate both individuals for their outstanding contributions to our community and for their work as advocates for Red River College.”

Angus has been a long-standing fixture in Winnipeg’s business community, having served as the Chamber of Commerce’s chair and as its president and CEO since 1999. Under his leadership the Chamber has increased its membership to the highest level in its history, and has been recognized by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as an Accredited Chamber with Distinction.

Angus also played an instrumental role in bringing a World Trade Centre to Winnipeg, and in establishing Leadership Winnipeg, Yes! Winnipeg and the BOLD initiative — a grassroots public policy campaign designed to mobilize community support for forward-thinking ideas that will increase prosperity in the city.

Host of The Ace Burpee Show on 103.1 Virgin Radio, Burpee has been a leader in Winnipeg’s broadcast industry for more than a decade, and is well known for the hundreds of charitable events and causes — both local and international — that he donates his time to every year.

Through his tireless efforts, he has helped to raise millions of dollars for countless charities, while raising awareness of many important social and community issues. Read More →

RRC students score medals at national Skills Canada competition

June 5, 2015

#137 - Brick Masonry_editSix Red River College students were among the Team Manitoba members who picked up medals at last weekend’s Skills Canada National Competition in Saskatchewan.

The students were part of a team of 60 high school, college and apprentice-level participants in the annual Olympic-style competition, which took place May 27-30 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon.

All told, Team Manitoba brought home 27 medals — 10 gold, 11 silver and six bronze — from the event, which saw 550 young students and apprentices from across Canada competing in 46 different trades areas.

“I wish to congratulate Team Manitoba on their medals … and also to recognize our staff’s support,” says David Rew, interim president of RRC, which hosted Team Manitoba’s provincial qualifying rounds on April 9 of this year.

“Our College is committed to supporting skilled trades, as not only the host site for the annual Skills Canada Manitoba Competition, but also on a national level, with a large contingent of staff attending and supporting by judging, volunteering and contributing through the National Technical Committee.” Read More →

Leaders, hidden heroes and safety champions honoured at 2015 Bravo Awards reception

June 2, 2015

Recycling NDCThe College paid tribute to its largest group ever of Bravo Award recipients last month, during a reception that brought together staff and instructors from a wide swath of departments and program areas.

At the seventh annual Bravo lunch, held in the Jane’s dining room at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, RRC paid its highest level of recognition to employees who put the College’s core values into action by modelling leadership, professionalism and innovation in their work practices.

“Many of your co-workers, in the nominations they submitted about you, talked about how they aspire to conduct themselves with the care and compassion you demonstrate to others,” interim president David Rew told recipients.

“They see how you lead through your actions, and they want to learn from you in the way that you motivate others. They are inspired to perform with the same work ethic and skills that you bring to your roles.”

This year’s recipients include: Read More →

RRC earns national award for innovation in applied research

May 27, 2015

IMG_4120Red River College earned a bronze award for Innovation in Applied Research this week, during the closing gala of College and Institute Canada’s (CICan) annual conference in Winnipeg.

The award celebrates the College’s dynamic applied research partnership with Manitoba Hydro.

“We are pleased to be recognized for the work we have done with Manitoba Hydro, one of our most important research partners and graduate employers,” said David Rew, interim president and CEO of RRC. “What an excellent opportunity to celebrate our research achievements in sustainable technology and design.”

The College’s research collaboration with Manitoba Hydro has focused primarily on green building design and technology, and on the electrification of vehicles. Two of its most notable projects include Manitoba Hydro’s award-winning energy efficient downtown office tower and more recently, the all-electric transit bus.

“Our partnership with RRC has fostered an environment for creative integration on leading-edge technology that contributes to a more sustainable future,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. “We view our relationship with the College as an important driver for long-term change that will promote continued innovation and advancement of energy efficiency in Manitoba.” Read More →

Province proclaims Aerospace Week in Manitoba at RRC’s Stevenson Campus

May 22, 2015

MB Aerospace 2015A group of 700 middle school students joined Hon. Kevin Chief, Minister of Jobs and the Economy, at Red River College’s Stevenson Campus today, as he officially proclaimed May 25–29 Aerospace in Manitoba Week.

Chief made the announcement while attending Aviation and Aerospace in Manitoba (AAiM) Day, an annual event that draws Grade 6 students to RRC to learn more about the province’s thriving aerospace and aviation industries.

While at Stevenson, students were given a first-hand look at some of the concepts they’re learning about in the “Flight” module of their Grade 6 curriculum, including aircraft inspection, fundamentals of flight, manufacturing, rocketry and craters.

Additional Aerospace Week activities include a special supplement in the Winnipeg Free Press on May 25, an industry networking breakfast meeting on May 27, and a community-building volunteer event at Siloam Mission on May 29.

Learn more about AAiM Day, made possible each year by RRC, the Manitoba Aerospace Human Resources Council and a dedicated group of 150 volunteers.

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