Alumni Engagement

News, Profiles and Events

Enter to win a pair of tickets to a special Manitoba Moose game on January 29!

January 16, 2023

On Sunday, January 29 the Manitoba Moose are celebrating the 60th birthday of RRC Polytech Honorary Diploma recipient Gabriel “Dancing Gabe” Langlois and we’re giving away tickets for RRC Polytech alumni to attend the game!

A Manitoba icon, Gabe received a diploma in Community Development from the College in 2021 for his devotion to volunteerism and the positive impact he has on our community. We’re thrilled to sponsor this game with our friends at the Manitoba Moose and look forward to celebrating Gabe—while ‘Dancing Gabe’ may be Manitoba’s number one fan, there is certainly an entire community of us who are fans of the contributions he makes to our province every day. Join us for this fun afternoon game!

Enter now for your chance to win a pair of tickets to see the Manitoba Moose face off against the Toronto Marlies at Canada Life Centre in downtown Winnipeg on Sunday, January 29 at 2 p.m. CT. We’re giving away eight pairs of tickets to lucky RRC Polytech alumni to help cheer Gabe on.

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Summer project a ‘great experience’ for RRC Polytech alum and Game Development students

December 7, 2022

Ask RRC Polytech alum Dan Blair about his experience this past summer working with Game Development students, and he’s not shy about giving a glowing review.

“I love bringing on students because I was once one of them,” said Blair, the CEO of Winnipeg-based interactive digital media studio Bit Space Development (BSD) and a graduate of the Web Development steam in RRC Polytech’s Business Information Technology program.

“I talked about this at RRC Polytech’s Directions Conference this fall, because it’s weird to me to stop and reflect—I don’t get to do that often. I’m running a fast-paced tech company, but with this project I was able to slow down and reflect that it’s surreal to bring students in and inspire those who are going through the same or similar program that I went through.”

That project brought six Game Development students—two focusing in development and four in art—to BSD this past summer through the Level UP program.

Level UP, available to all Canadian post-secondary students, gives employers the opportunity to easily find and connect with talented students. It offers students the opportunity to gain paid work experience, build work-relevant skills, and make employer connections through project work, while allowing companies like Bit Space Development to do case studies, market research, software development, and other research-based projects they might not otherwise have the resources for.

“What Level UP allowed us to do was focus on an entirely new idea,” said Blair.

“We were able to have these six students and give them full creative capacity in how we executed on the unit direction, without the need to worry about a client in the mix.”

With careful collaboration between BSD employees, including Blair himself, the six students leveraged classroom learning on Unreal and Houdini modelling to learn the cross-platform game engine Unity. They then got to work on creating a gamified learning experience using similar constraints that a client would normally give.

The experience—a safety demonstration—approached virtual reality learning from a fresh angle. In the VR scenario, learners are put in a workshop surrounded by tools. In this demonstration, though, users are presented with a loss scenario—one they’re probably not likely to forget.

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RRC Polytech Culinary Arts grad makes big screen debut

December 2, 2022

For Anna Borys, cooking and baking had always been hobbies. She never envisioned turning these talents into a culinary career.

But, flash forward to now and a quick scan of Anna’s Instagram account reveals her culinary talent and creativity standing out—from scaling-down recipes and meals to miniscule “tiny” proportions and behind-the-scenes shots of Great Tastes of Manitoba.

How did Anna create these tiny eggs? Tiny chickens, of course!

Anna’s journey to where she is now was not linear, and like many other learners who choose RRC Polytech, she came to the College with previous post-secondary and career experience.

“After moving back home to Winnipeg from Toronto and working for my family’s glass business for 10 years, I recognized that it wasn’t a great fit,” explained Anna, when chatting about the crossroads in her career.

The sudden passing of a close friend—someone who always encouraged her to pursue her culinary passions—inspired Anna to make a career change and she enrolled in RRC Polytech’s Culinary Arts program.

“At 29, I switched gears and became a student again. I wanted to pursue my talent and passion for culinary arts, but I knew I didn’t want to work in a restaurant setting.”

A pivotal moment that helped guide Anna’s path occurred during her second year of Culinary Arts, when Kyle Andreasen, a Research Assistant from the Culinary Research Institute, now known as the Prairie Research Kitchen (PRK), came to speak to her and her classmates.

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Series Highlighting Careers in Climate Continues with Second Virtual Event

November 18, 2022

You’re invited! We’re excited to bring you a special series of virtual events called #CareersinClimate, in partnership with Ten Thousand Coffees. This free two-part series with leaders in environmental impact wraps up on November 24th at 12:30 p.m. CT.

Ten Thousand Coffees founder and CEO Dave Wilkin will chat with Canadian tech leader and environmental activist Dax Dasilva, founder of Age of Union, about his career journey from running Lightspeed Commerce Inc., a billion-dollar tech company, to starting an environmental alliance that works to conserve and restore some of the most endangered biodiverse ecosystems on our planet. You’ll also hear from Madeline Oliver (Talent Acquisition Specialist, Golder) who will share types of jobs that exist in environmental impact and how to navigate a career in this space.

Why you should register:
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, presenting both a challenge and incredible opportunity to make positive change for future generations. Change can happen at any level – from the choices that individuals make on a daily basis to the commitments that large organizations make towards a more sustainable future.

Learn how you can make an impact with your career – click here to register for #CareersinClimate Part 2 on Thursday, November 24 at 12:30 p.m. CT.

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Join RRC Polytech for CreativeMornings Winnipeg’s free November event

November 14, 2022

On Friday, November 18, RRC Polytech is thrilled to host inspirational speaker Jessica Dumas at our beautiful Manitou a bi Bii daziigae Roundhouse at the Exchange District Campus (319 Elgin Avenue). All RRC Polytech alumni and community members are warmly invited to attend.

More than a decade ago, CreativeMornings was launched out of a desire for ongoing, accessible events for creative communities to connect. Today, these communities gather in 223 cities across 67 countries — including right here in Winnipeg.

The Winnipeg chapter of CreativeMornings not only celebrates our city’s creative talent, but also promotes an open space to connect with like-minded individuals. From marketing legends to hometown heroes, speakers are selected by each chapter based on a global theme. This month’s theme is TRUTH: where does the truth live for you and how do you verify what is true? Together, let’s sort through the messy, contradicting facts all around us and try to make sense of the world.

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Join RRC Polytech’s Animal Care Committee

November 9, 2022

Red River College Polytechnic’s Animal Care Committee (ACC) is seeking applications to fill the role of community representative – all interested RRC Polytech alumni members are encouraged to apply!

The ACC is dedicated to setting and maintaining high standards for animal use and care at RRC Polytech. The ACC community representative brings an outside perspective to the committee, providing insight, direction, and unbiased feedback.

Who should apply?

  • You’re an RRC Polytech alumni member who has a love for animals and care for their wellbeing.
  • You want to provide feedback and assist in the approval of Animal Use Protocols that we follow at the College.
  • You care about the Veterinary Technology program and want to make sure the program continues to receive accreditation by the Canadian Council on Animal Care.
  • You are passionate about volunteering for a good cause.

By joining the ACC as the community representative, you’ll gain valuable experience on a committee that is essential for the operations of our Veterinary Technology program. The community representative will sit as a volunteer on the committee and attend two to three meetings per year. Community representatives on the committee cannot be employees of RRC Polytech or employed in the Veterinary field.

The ACC seeks to fill this role before the next committee meeting, scheduled for early December. To apply, send a short biography and describe your interest in the role to Curtis Aab, Chair, RRC Polytech Life Sciences.

Deadline to apply is November 21, 2022. For more information, please contact Curtis Aab at caab@rrc.ca.

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Creative Communications a full circle journey for Convocation alumni speaker

October 25, 2022

The opportunity to speak at your alma mater’s Convocation is an honour coveted by many. For Sara Calnek, a graduate of the College’s Creative Communications program, that opportunity came about in an atypical way – it came from wanting to win an RRC Polytech sweater.

“I’ve always wanted one,” she says with a laugh. “You know, you’ll see alumni sweaters around all the time – but when I was just out of school, it was expensive, and I didn’t have permanent job at the time.”

The contest in question, run last fall, asked alumni entrants to say what they love about the College. Calnek’s submission was a heartfelt one – talking about how the program allowed her to diversify her now-15-year career in newsrooms and corporate settings, her gratitude for the education, and the “wide breadth of knowledge” that came with her diploma, which she earned in 2007.

Months after Calnek hit “Submit,” alumni engagement staff at the College reached out to her about an opportunity to speak at the Spring 2022 convocation – the first one planned to be in-person since the onset of the pandemic.

“So, I didn’t win the sweater, but I got one of the best experiences of my life, which was speaking to grads.”

In her speech, the Senior Multimedia Specialist at Canada Life encouraged students to be life-long learners.

“Since graduating, I’ve presented to students about how the program got me to where I am. That included all of what I talked about – making contacts, being fearless, learning to push myself and learning from those in my industry.”

Calnek also talked about the career path that brought her to her current role with Canada Life, which began somewhere familiar for Creative Communications grads – starting a job with your work placement employer. For Calnek, who graduated from what was then known as Broadcast Production, that employer was CTV Winnipeg, and her first role was videographer and editor.

In what started as weekend work “mostly chasing ambulances around,” Calnek moved up the ranks and earned a permanent role at CTV in 2007.

“I had my own gear, my own truck, and was able to do some travelling, too.”

Out-of-city gigs included covering the World Women’s Curling Championships, the Canadian Hockey League Memorial Cup, and even a 24-hour trip to Disneyworld along with Make-a-Wish Foundation kids.

Calnek continued her newsroom career at CTV, then at CBC Manitoba, for eight years before government cuts left her at a career crossroads. She started to look at crossing over into corporate work and found a landing spot at Canada Life (then Great-West Life).

“Luckily, I had this great education. The thing about a Creative Communications education is it gives you so many skills, so you can make that pivot easily with the training you have.”

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Free Virtual Event Highlighting Careers in Climate

October 20, 2022

You’re invited! We’re excited to bring you a special series of virtual events called #CareersinClimate, in partnership with Ten Thousand Coffees. This two-part series kicks off on October 27th at 2:00 p.m. CT with a discussion on how Canada’s largest organizations are building a more sustainable future.

Join Ten Thousand Coffees founder and CEO Dave Wilkin and guest speakers Tewfik Atia (Senior Vice-President, WSP) and Madeline Oliver (Talent Acquisition Specialist, Golder) as they discuss how companies are adapting the ways they operate and measure success in light of climate change, as well as job opportunities in environmental impact and how to make your application stand out.

Why you should register:
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, presenting both a challenge and incredible opportunity to make positive change for future generations. Change can happen at any level – from the choices that individuals make on a daily basis to the commitments that large organizations make towards a more sustainable future.

Learn how you can make an impact with your career – click here to register for #CareersinClimate on Thursday, October 27 at 2 p.m. CT.

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“Emerging Leader” credits Creative Communications experience for kick-starting a career in law

September 28, 2022

For many people, career changes can be drastic – a sharp turn into the unknown. For Red River College Polytechnic alum Michael Badejo, though, moving from a career in communications to one in law has felt less like a swerve, and more like a straight line of experience.

“In the world of law, especially if you’re going to be a litigator, how you marshal the facts and create a narrative is central to your arguments and finding effective answers,” says Badejo, a graduate of the Creative Communications joint degree/diploma program who earned his J.D. from the University of Manitoba (UM) this past spring.

“Doing that effectively is based on getting the message across.”

Communicating a message is a central lesson of the Creative Communications program, but it’s not the only through line for Badejo’s change in career. The other is his personal commitment to the communities in which he’s learning and working.

In June, Badejo was named a recipient of the UM’s Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes “students who support the university’s educational mission by contributing to the social, cultural or economic well-being of communities on or off campus; encourage cross-cultural understanding, and demonstrate sustained leadership and initiative worthy of recognition.”

One of three recipients in the Faculty of Law, the award came after Badejo served as President of the Manitoba Law Students’ Association (MLSA) through a pandemic, working to rebuild student connections that were frayed due to distance learning and the lack of in-person camaraderie so central to the university experience.

Badejo was nominated for the Emerging Leader Award by a past president of MLSA, as well as a senior faculty member.

As MLSA President, highlights for Badejo included reinventing professional development events for the new normal, as well as signing a memorandum with the Faculty of Law to renovate student spaces. This included a first-of-its-kind agreement to build a gender-inclusive washroom in Robson Hall.

“I’ve always been a big believer in giving back,” says Badejo. “Even while I was studying at the College, our year-end project in my second year was based around working with and supporting [the Red River College Polytechnic Students’ Association].”

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Enter to win tickets to Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

August 18, 2022

An exclusive opportunity for RRC Polytech alumni: enter now for your chance to win a pair of tickets to Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience at the RBC Convention Centre in downtown Winnipeg. We’re giving away three pairs of tickets to lucky RRC Polytech alumni to be redeemed by September 4, 2022.

Immerse yourself in the world of Vincent Van Gogh like you’ve never experienced before. Beyond Van Gogh is a rich and unique multimedia experience that takes the viewer on a journey through Vincent Van Gogh’s life and more than 300 iconic works of art, including instantly-recognizable classics “The Starry Night”, “Sunflowers”, and “Café Terrace at Night”, now freed from their frames.

Don’t miss your chance to see this incredible exhibit in person!

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