The return of the Winnipeg Jets is the feel-good story of the year. But here at Red River College, we’ve got a different reason to be proud.
The Jets’ entire communications team — responsible for coordinating the May 2011 announcement that turned much of the city’s downtown into a giant victory party — is comprised entirely of graduates of our industry-renowned Creative Communications program.
Even better, the head of the department has for years enjoyed a close working relationship with the program, which he feels provides grads with relevant, real-world training.
“I’ve relied heavily on CreComm, not only for staffing resources in terms of graduating students, but also production resources from the College’s communications and multimedia programs,” says 1998 graduate Scott Brown, now the Senior Director of Corporate Communications for the Jets, the MTS Centre, and True North Sports & Entertainment.
“What the College is doing right now in terms of training is really in tune with what’s going on in the media industry … No amount of training can ever prepare you for what actually happens in the day-to-day of your job, particularly in the sports and entertainment industry. But I know the (CreComm) grads coming in are prepared to learn, and prepared to apply the tools they’ve been taught in a very flexible manner.”
Brown, who upon graduating spent six years as the late-night and weekend sports anchor for CTV Winnipeg, is supported in his current duties by Communications Coordinators Kalen Qually and Christina Caligiuri — both fellow CreComm grads. Together, they’re responsible for all communications on behalf of True North, MTS Centre, and the Jets, including printed publications, media relations, press releases and press conferences.
With regards to the latter responsibilities, Brown and his team played a crucial role in this year’s high-profile announcement regarding the Jets’ triumphant return to the city following a 15-year absence. But while one would assume they’d have been right in the thick of the ensuing celebrations, Brown says they actually haven’t had a lot of time to process the significance of the team’s return.
“Rather than the big celebration so many people in Winnipeg had, for me and Kalen and Christina, it’s just become our job,” says Brown. “We get up every morning and we go to work for the Winnipeg Jets.”
“Honestly, one of the biggest regrets in this whole process is that I didn’t have time to notice what was going on outside the building that day … But I’ve got all the videotapes and newscasts and DVDs — hopefully one day I’ll get the time to see what was going on out there!”
Shown above, from left: Kalen Qually and Christina Caligiuri, Communications Coordinators; and Scott Brown, Director of Corporate Communications, True North Sports & Entertainment.