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Alumni Engagement

News, Profiles and Events

RRC Polytech alum set to speak on design influences at CreativeMornings Winnipeg

October 18, 2021

RRC Grad Jordan Stranger
Jordan Stranger, RRC Polytech grad and artist behind TotemDoodem

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 all about design and how to design is to create, play, think, and influence every interaction we have with the world around us.

Jordan Stranger, RRC Polytech grad and the artist behind TotemDoodem, is CreativeMornings Winnipeg’s speaker on Friday, October 22 from 7:45 – 9:30 a.m. CT. He’ll be unpacking the past by discussing his relationship to design from an Oji-Cree perspective, cultural influences and symbolism in his work, and the processes from which he draws inspiration. Registration is open and the virtual event is completely free.

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IT grad “Karves” out niche as co-owner of agile tech startups

October 7, 2021

James Warren is a big believer in having the right tool for the right job.

“You use a drill to drive a screw,” he says. “But sometimes, a drill is too much — you need to be more delicate, so you use a screwdriver. You can have different tools for different applications.”

Warren does not work in carpentry or building construction. Rather, he is CEO and part-owner of Karve, an information technology (IT) start-up in Winnipeg. The company was born of his time as a budding entrepreneur in the ACE Project Space at Red River College Polytechnic.

Warren and his Karve business partner, Jared Kozak, also co-own another tech company, DueNorth Systems. The two met when they were both with the Royal Canadian Navy. Warren remembers being “fascinated” by Kozak, a self-taught programmer in high school at the time.

Today, with a small staff made up of RRC Polytech graduates, they build, sell and maintain enterprise resource planning (ERP) software systems, the architecture of which sounds complex to the untrained ear. These systems are used to manage the various flows for operations of medium to large-scale businesses. In other words, resource planning.

Karve IT CEO James Warren at the company’s Osborne Village office. Photo by Jason Halstead

Warren uses a multinational moving company called You Move Me as an example to illustrate how his company’s ERP software works. It enables movers to schedule a crew, who get a particular truck, which gets assigned to a particular job, which needs a set of materials and assets that need to be on that truck for that job. The crew needs to go to the client’s starting location, pack a house, go to an ending, unload, and finally return to the office.

“The perfect audience for our platform is in companies that understand there are technological ways to improve,” Warren explains, while seated in Karve’s new offices in Osborne Village. “They must also understand that technology isn’t always the answer.”

Warren graduated from RRC Polytech’s Business Information Technology program in January 2018. A clever and innovative student, he left school with the mindset that he wanted to start his own business in technology programming and developing software. He knew exactly where to turn.

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Bold Future Contest: Share Your Story to Win Exciting Prizes!

October 6, 2021

RRC is now RRC Polytech! With the launch of our new strategic plan for 2022-2026, In Front of What’s Ahead, Red River College has also embraced an identity that reflects our new direction, becoming Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech).

Learn more about our name change and plan for the future >

Win incredible prizes

We’re giving away three prize packages that celebrate RRC Polytech’s new chapter, as well as RRC Polytech alumni-owned and operated businesses. To win, tell us the bold direction you’ve taken in your life, and how RRC Polytech has helped you reach your goals.

From a helicopter tour along the shoreline of Lake Winnipeg to a DIY woodworking session with an expert RRC instructor, plus an exclusive Cake Class for two with Jenna Rae Cakes, these prize packages offer quintessential RRC Polytech experiences. You’ll also get the chance to rep the new brand with RRC Polytech swag, and enjoy a meal at Jane’s, RRC Polytech’s fine dining restaurant and training ground for Hospitality and Culinary Arts students. Check out the full prize listing here.

This contest is open to all RRC Polytech alumni. Simply fill out our contest entry form by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 5, 2021 to be entered to win one of three prize packages, each valued at approximately $1,500.

See contest rules and regulations >

*Contest is open to all RRC grads and alumni. The draw will be held on Monday, November 8, 2021 and the winners will be contacted via email.

Announcing a bold new path

October 5, 2021

Red River College has legacy of being employer-driven and future-focused. Since our early days responding to a post-depression and post-war world in the 1930s and 40s, to our new reality adapting to a pandemic, we’ve always been an institution where learning mirrors the market.

Today, we’re embracing a new model that fully represents who we’ve always been, who we are today, and who we’re growing into: Red River College Polytechnic.

The term polytechnic is used around the world to identify institutions focused on strategic workforce development. As Manitoba’s polytechnic, our top priority is preparing students to thrive in a rapidly changing world of work. We’re embracing a bold approach that shows our community and industry partners we’re not only ready to meet rapidly shifting demands, but also ready to lead the way forward.

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Support Local Contest: Update your contact information for a chance to win!

August 23, 2021

With a new season comes change. Even though we don’t know exactly what’s ahead for Manitoba, we do know that the RRC community is resilient and ready to help our province recover. Let’s show up for one another, support local businesses, and help our community thrive.

Giveaway Now Closed

Thank you to everyone who entered to win one of five $25 gift cards to GoodLocal, an online shop featuring Manitoba makers and sellers, including RRC alumni makers!

We have more exciting contests planned – simply update your contact information so you can stay in the loop. We have an exciting fall ahead and RRC’s next chapter is going to be bold and unlike anything you’ve seen from us before – you won’t want to miss our announcements!

The draw for winners was held on Monday, September 13, 2021. Winners were contacted via email.

See contest rules and regulations >

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Join the Red River College Students’ Association Board of Directors

August 20, 2021

The Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) is seeking applications to fill one ex-officio board member position. All interested alumni members are encouraged to apply!

The alumni representative to the RRCSA board brings industry knowledge and experience to the student leadership on the board, providing insight, direction, and mentorship. The SA board oversees a $3 million budget for projects, initiatives, trust funds, and donation requests, and decisions made by the board impacts the RRC student body, the entire RRC ecosystem, and the wider community. The alumni representative also sits on the trust fund committee, which oversees capital projects.

The successful candidate will serve on the board as a volunteer for a one-year term from September 2021 to October 2022, with the opportunity to extend per interest and approval. Meetings are held monthly during the evening via video conferencing.

Deadline to apply is September 8, 2021. For more information, visit

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Free Virtual Event: Alumni Training – How to Make the Most of Ten Thousand Coffees

August 17, 2021

Join alumni across the country for tips on how to maximize Ten Thousand Coffees in a free Office Hour event on Tuesday, August 24 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. CT.

The Red River College Café, powered by Ten Thousand Coffees (10KC), is RRC’s free online networking and mentorship platform that connects Red River College students and alumni through virtual ‘coffee chats’ and exclusive nation-wide events with career development experts.

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Thanks for joining the Red River College Café on Ten Thousand Coffees!

July 7, 2021

The Red River College Café, powered by Ten Thousand Coffees, is RRC’s free online networking and mentorship platform that connects Red River College students and alumni through virtual ‘coffee chats’ and exclusive nation-wide events with career development experts.

More than 2,100 current students and alumni members have already joined the Café, and more than 12,200 connections have been made so far since launching in 2020!

Learn more about how Ten Thousand Coffees works >

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Free Virtual Event: Should I Start a Business or Get a Job?

June 30, 2021

You’re invited! Ten Thousand Coffees is hosting a panel discussion on July 15, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. CT to answer the age-old question so many of us have asked ourselves: should I get a job or start my own business?

Let the great debate begin! Join Ten Thousand Coffees for an exciting discussion to help you decide if you should go out on your own or accept that job offer. Whether you’re navigating your next steps as a fresh graduate, or you’ve always wondered if starting a business and being your own boss is the right move, you’ll get a chance to hear from a group of experts who will weigh in on the benefits and challenges of either option.

Ten Thousand Coffees CEO Dave Wilkin will chat with an entrepreneur, a venture capitalist, and an early career leader for their take on this debate. The event is free and open to all Red River College students and alumni. Whether you’re already a member of the Red River College Café or new to our mentoring and networking platform, you’re invited to listen in and ask questions!

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Life hacks for success in IT include essential skills learned at RRC for Computer Analyst/Programmer grad

May 25, 2021

Almost immediately after graduating from Red River College’s Computer Analyst/Programmer diploma program in 1998, Gillian Bresch-Giesbrecht accepted a job as a programmer with Richardson International.

Now, more than 20 years later, she’s still there.

It’s not a common career trajectory by today’s standards (only 30 per cent of people stay in any one job for over four years, according to a Workopolis report) but it is an impressive one. Today, Bresch-Giesbrecht works as a Senior Project Manager, where she is part of a fast-growing department of approximately 80 other IT professionals within the company.

And when it comes to the experience of working, growing, and succeeding with the same company throughout her entire career, she only has one thing to say: opportunity is aplenty.

“I have been from Vancouver, all the way to Sorel-Tracy. I’ve been almost all across Canada, and had an opportunity to visit many people across the country. It is a great industry to be in: there is demand, room to grow, and you can make some decent money compared to other industries,” she says.

“You’re able to choose the type of career path you want. It might be quite technical, with lots of coding or building, or maybe you’re somebody who doesn’t necessarily want to hang out at your desk. You can go out and talk to people and help them find solutions to improve their systems.”

When Bresch-Giesbrecht began studying at Red River College in 1996, the Internet was still a relatively new concept for most. She was halfway through her first year of an arts degree at the University of Manitoba when she says she decided to switch over to a more technical program with plenty of career prospects.

Her father, Geoff Bresch, was an instructor in the Computer Analyst/Programmer (CAP) diploma program in the 1980s at Red River College, and later in his career became an instructor in the Business Information Technology program. He suggested she apply to CAP at RRC.

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