Immigrant and International Students Celebrated at Annual Welcome Party

October 16, 2012

Staff, students and their family members are invited to attend Red River College's annual Welcome Party for Immigrant and International Students.

This year's celebration takes place Friday, Nov. 23, from 6 to 9 p.m., in the Voyageur Dining Room at the Notre Dame Campus. As always, the Welcome event is hosted by RRC's Diversity and Immigrant Student Support Department, with support from International Education and the RRC Students' Association.

The College-wide event will feature live music and entertainment, including performances by Punjab Dancers, Paradize Band, Evan Coffie and Yoslai. There will also be fun activities for kids, lots of dancing, and sample foods from around the world.

Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP by Nov. 16, 2012. To register online, visit this link. To sign up in person, visit the Diversity and Immigrant Student Support offices: Room D206 on the Notre Dame Campus, or Room 103 at the Exchange District Campus.

For more information, contact Lauren Konrad, Student Integration Coordinator, at 204-631-3345 or

Winkler Campus Instructor Advocates for Increased Cultural Awareness

October 9, 2012

As an instructor at Red River College’s Winkler Campus, she advocates for balanced health in heart, spirit, mind and body.

And as a counselor in the community of Roseau River First Nation, Violet Caibaiosai prescribes an increased awareness of culture and history as the treatment for deficiencies in both mental and physical health.

“One of the most important things would be recognizing what our history is, and then taking an honest look at that history,” says Caibaiosai, who’s taught Applied Counselling courses at Winkler Campus since 2009.

“It’s not always a pretty one, but it’s a difficult one, and it’s important that it be looked at. There’s always an understanding that comes from knowledge and that’s what my goal is, whether it’s in larger society or our own communities. Because people have become so fearful — not only of society, but of themselves.”

A former Ontario native who grew up on the north shore of Lake Huron, Caibaiosai was raised by her parents and grandparents — the latter having imparted the importance of spiritual strength by teaching her about the holistic, healing qualities of traditional medicine.

She incorporates a similar respect for tradition among her students at RRC, noting many who go on to be counsellors may need to draw on that cultural knowledge while working with — and alongside — First Nation residents throughout Manitoba and Canada.

“It’s important for others to understand that history that we have together as a nation,” says Caibaiosai. “There’s a bridge that has to be built, and part of what I do in the classroom is to build those bridges of understanding.” Read More →

Paramedicine Coordinator Picks Up Prestigious QEII Medal

October 5, 2012

Congratulations to Dwayne Forsman, Coordinator of Red River College's Paramedicine - Primary Care Paramedic program, on being awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Forsman will receive the honour in Ottawa on Nov. 19, at a special ceremony arranged by the Paramedic Association of Canada. He's the second member of RRC's extended family to have received the prestigious honour — former RRC Dean Dave Williamson also picked up a medal at last month's Thin Air Winnipeg International Writers Festival.

Click here to read a profile of Forsman that ran earlier this year on the Canadian Paramedicine website. Click here to learn more about RRC's Paramedicine - Primary Care Paramedic program.

Former RRC Dean Honoured with Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

October 2, 2012

Former Red River College Dean Dave Williamson got a surprise out of thin air last week — when he was honoured with a prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

The medal was presented to Williamson by Winnipeg South Centre MP Joyce Bateman, at last week's Thin Air Winnipeg International Festival.

The letter that Williamson received along with the medal reads: "You were nominated for this award for your outstanding contributions to the cultural and arts community of Winnipeg. Your passion and dedication to your craft is truly inspiring. In addition to your literary contributions as author and teacher, your work as the founder of the Creative Communications program and the Dean of Business & Applied Arts at Red River College must be recognized and commended."

Williamson, who recently released a book detailing the history of RRC, was one of the featured writers on the Festival mainstage. He says Bateman had arranged with the Festival's executive director to surprise him with the presentation.

"I was sitting there on the Festival stage after giving my reading and, as they announced the award presentation, I was wondering who was going to be the recipient," says Williamson. "I was in total shock when they called my name. Once it more or less sank in, I was grateful that they presented the medal on that particular night, with many members of the writing community in attendance."

Click here for more information on Changing People's Lives: An Illustrated History of Red River College.

RRC Earns Best Overall Honours for NAOSH Week Activities

September 25, 2012

Red River College's winning streak continued at the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Awards this month, where its safety and prevention efforts won Best Overall honours at both the national and provincial level.

The national award was handed out on Sept. 11, 2012, at the annual Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) Conference in Niagara Falls, Ont. The provincial award was received on Sept. 17, at the Workers Compensation Board in Winnipeg.

"NAOSH Week provides us with a valuable opportunity to celebrate our ongoing commitment to maintaining and improving a safe and healthy workplace," said Daryl Nielsen (above, right), Manager, Environmental Health and Safety Services at RRC. "Our safety culture is promoted through senior management commitment, strong safety leadership and effective engagement with our employees, with a goal to instill the same commitment in our students to carry high standards and values into other workplaces."

This marks the second year in a row RRC has won a double-dose of honours, having picked up a national award in 2011 for "Best Representation of a Theme," and a provincial nod in the "Most Innovative" category.

Plans are already underway for next year's NAOSH Week, which will be celebrated across Canada May 5-11, 2013. Next year's theme is "Safety & Health: A Commitment for Life! Are You As Safe As You Think?"

RRC's Joint Workplace Safety and Health Committee, NAOSH Planning Committee and Environmental Health and Safety Services department wish to thank everyone who participated in NAOSH Week events, and who continue to demonstrate their commitment to safety in the workplace and at home.

Click here for more information about this year's awards, and here for more information about NAOSH Week.

RRC Dean to Take Part in CEO Sleepout for City's Homeless

September 24, 2012

Red River College Dean Graham Thomson will be among the 50-plus business leaders, celebs and community-minded decision makers taking part in this week's CEO Sleepout, in support of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ's Change for the Better campaign.

Thomson, Dean of the School of Business & Applied Arts at RRC, will spend this Thursday night camped out at the corner of Portage and Main, as a means of raising funds for homeless employment programs and raising awareness of issues related to homelessness and poverty in Winnipeg.

"Obviously this is just a gesture — since it's entirely unlike what people face out in the streets every night," says Thomson. "But any little thing we can do to help draw awareness to the issue is good."

Last year's inaugural CEO Sleepout raised over $100,000 for the Change for the Better initiative, which helps to support homeless people as they transition from the streets to positions of paid employment.

Proceeds from this year's event will also support Siloam Mission's Mission Off the Streets (MOST) team, which employs individuals in keeping the downtown clean while building the life skills, work experience and confidence to help them in finding a full-time job. Read More →

RRC Hosts United Way Plane Pull 2012

September 20, 2012

Members of RRC's Plane Pull 2011 team.

Red River College is proud to play host to United Way Winnipeg's ninth annual Plane Pull.

The event, taking place Friday, Sept. 21, at RRC's Stevenson Campus, will draw more than 40 workplace teams, whose members will attempt to pull either a 191,000-lb Boeing 727 or a 90,000-lb DC-10. Red River College will have teams competing in the Plane Pull, so feel free to show your support!

The competition gets underway at 11a.m., following the announcement of this year's fundraising goal by United Way Campaign Chair Doug Finkbeiner.

Click here for more information on Plane Pull 2012.

Deadline for Mentorship Program Extended

September 20, 2012

Red River College's Cultural and Language Mentor Program has extended the deadline for student, staff and faculty volunteers interested in mentoring an immigrant or international student.

The Mentor Program is a local/global partnership that pairs immigrant and international students with Canadian-raised students and staff for friendship, English language practice and cross-cultural exchanges.

The program helps immigrant and international students adjust to life in Canada, make friends with other Canadians, improve their English and cross-cultural communication skills, and develop the skills required for success in their studies and in the workplace.

Participating mentors, meanwhile, get the chance to make new friends while gaining valuable experience working with culturally diverse individuals and preparing them for success in a global work environment.

Applications are being accepted until Friday, Sept. 28. Click here to fill out an online application.

The program requires a 10-hour commitment over the Fall semester, which includes a one-hour orientation meeting, plus seven hours of meeting time with their partner. Mentors receive support, guidance, and — best of all — tickets to local events and activities.

Click here to see a video about the program. For more information, contact Jacqueline Wood, Mentor Program Coordinator, at 204-632-3847.

RRC Students Support Trades/Technology Training in Manitoba

September 17, 2012

A classic car built by Red River College students has helped to raise over $60,000 in support of young Manitoba residents pursuing training and accreditation in the area of skilled trades and technology.

The car, a replica 1933 Modified Ford, will be raffled off this week as part of a fundraiser launched through a partnership between Skills Canada Manitoba and the College. It was built from a kit purchased by Skills Manitoba, and assembled by more than 100 RRC students and apprentices in a number of trades and technology programs, including Automotive Pre-Employment, Automotive and Motorvehicle Apprenticeship, and Collision Repair and Refinishing.

Students and apprentices worked under the supervision of instructors from the College, putting their theoretical skills into practice by taking the car from its bare bones early stage to road-worthy completion

"The significance of this car is huge for us," says Neil Cooke, chair of Transportation, Math and Sciences at RRC. "Students can apply the skills they have mastered, but more importantly they take pride and ownership in the vehicle."

The car's new owner will be drawn at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, Sept. 18, during a reception at RRC's Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre. Read More →

RRC Radio Students Return to the Airwaves

August 30, 2012

Creative Communications instructor Dan Vadeboncoeur
(Photo: Bernice Pontanilla/Metro Winnipeg)

Creative Communications students from Red River College took to the airwaves this week, to debut an online radio station that allows them to embrace new broadcasting technology.

The newly-launched Red River Radio provides CreComm (and other current RRC) students with production, programming and on-air training opportunities, while filling the void left when former campus station KICK-FM folded earlier this year.

The new streaming station will adhere to a similar format as KICK-FM — offering both news/talk and musical programming — and will continue to serve as a valuable showcase for local folk and indie-rock acts.

"We want to offer our students the chance to have everything they had at KICK-FM," CreComm instructor Dan Vadeboncoeur (shown above) told Metro Winnipeg this week. "We've gone from over the airwaves to the biggest medium in the world."

Vadeboncoeur and other CreComm instructors are currently fielding pitches from students before settling on a programming schedule. Any current RRC student — regardless of program of study — can pitch an idea for a show.

To listen online, visit Students interested in hosting a show on Red River Radio can contact Vadeboncoeur at

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