Alumni Engagement

News, Profiles and Events

Celebrating a distinguished alum: RRC Polytech to present Civil Engineering grad with top honour

April 12, 2023

RRC Polytech is proud to honour engineering expert Robert Okabe (Civil Engineering Technology, 1983) with a Distinguished Graduate Award.

This award recognizes the outstanding personal and professional achievements of RRC Polytech’s most accomplished alumni.

As CEO of the Certified Technicians and Technologists Association of Manitoba (CTTAM), Okabe leads an organization that certifies aspiring engineering and applied science technicians and technologists, while connecting them to important resources — and to each other.

It’s a role he’s been in since 2015, and one that keeps him close to his RRC Polytech roots.

“Most of our members are graduates of the College,” said Okabe. “So I find it a really good experience for me to interact with future graduates or current students and hopefully, in some way, be able to mentor them and make it easier for them post-graduation.”

Both Okabe and CTTAM have generously supported the College over the years. Okabe participates in all nine of the school’s Engineering Technology Advisory Committees — which provide direction and curriculum support from those working on the ground — and in 2008, established the Robert Okabe Achievement Award for Civil Engineering Technology.

His reasoning for the support is simple: he recognizes how important a helping hand can be in propelling students from the world of academia into a lifelong career. You can learn more about Okabe’s career journey here.

A well-deserved celebration

We’re thrilled to recognize Okabe’s leadership in the fields of engineering and education, as well as his support of RRC Polytech students, at the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Manitoba chapter’s annual Awards of Excellence, taking place on Thursday, April 20, 2023 at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada.

RRC Polytech alumni and supporters are welcome to attend. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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Reconnect | Rediscover | Reignite: Industry Night for Manitoba Communicators

March 17, 2023

Save the date! RRC Polytech’s Creative Communications class is hosting the official launch of WORKING_DRAFT Magazine at Manitou a bi Bii daziigae on April 4, 2023.

Over the past year, Creative Communications students have been hard at work planning, writing, and editing longform pieces for Working Draft, a student-produced web magazine. Each edition features fresh, thought-provoking ideas and perspectives to help readers reach new insights and think critically.

PR event team members fundraising for the Working Draft launch event.

Working Draft launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented the magazine from having an official launch. This year, second-year Public Relations and Communication Management students have planned an event to honour all four editions of the magazine and provide an opportunity for students and alumni to connect and mingle.

The event is an opportunity to explore the state of the communications industry in Manitoba and see what future communicators have been working on.

On April 4, 2023, please join us in celebrating the launch of Working Draft magazine at Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, the beautiful new expansion of RRC Polytech’s Exchange District Campus (319 Elgin Avenue). The event will run from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. and feature live entertainment, mocktails, appetizers by King Cole Catering, and a showcase of creative work from the past four years.

All Creative Communications alumni, past instructors, and industry supporters are warmly invited to attend. We hope to see you there!

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Enter to win tickets to this year’s sold-out Winnipeg Women’s Conference!

February 15, 2023

An exclusive offer for RRC Polytech alumni — enter now for your chance to win a ticket to this year’s sold-out Winnipeg Women’s Conference!

Taking place in-person at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Monday, March 13, the Winnipeg Women’s Conference promises a full day of networking and learning opportunities, including keynotes from inspiring leaders and a breakout session with powerhouse RRC Polytech alum Kiirsten May (Creative Communications, 2010), co-owner of award-winning marketing and public relations agency Uphouse. May, along with her colleague Erica Urias, will be speaking on the importance of representation in marketing.

RRC Polytech graduate Kiirsten May.

“We’re always working to bring more diverse perspectives to the table, and we’ll explain how this approach has impacted our business. We’ll share some tips for other communicators and some successes (and failures) from UpHouse’s past five years,” said May.

Whether you want to connect with like-minded business owners, grow your network, or take your career to the next level, you will find the resources and community you’re looking for – and get a chance to connect with fellow RRC Polytech grads while you’re there!

Enter now for your chance to win a ticket to this incredible full-day conference in downtown Winnipeg. We’re giving away three tickets to lucky RRC Polytech alumni.

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RRC Polytech Honorary Diploma recipient dances into a new decade

February 14, 2023

Manitoba Moose celebrate Gabriel “Dancing Gabe” Langlois’s 60th birthday with a special on-ice tribute

On Sunday, January 29 RRC Polytech Honorary Diploma recipient Gabriel “Dancing Gabe” Langlois was given star treatment at a Manitoba Moose game as he danced his way into a new decade.

From left: RRC Polytech President and CEO Fred Meier, Gabriel Langlois, Mayor Scott Gillingham. (Photo: Darcy Finley).

To mark Gabe’s 60th birthday, the Manitoba Moose invited RRC Polytech’s President and CEO, Fred Meier, Mayor Scott Gillingham, and mascots from several Winnipeg sports teams, to sing ‘happy birthday’ on the ice with fans in the stands joining in.

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. Gabe was presented with his honorary diploma during a virtual convocation ceremony in the height of the pandemic, so having the opportunity to celebrate Gabe and all his achievements publicly was nearly two years in the making.

Birthday cake supplied by Jenna Rae Cakes, co-owned by RRC Polytech grad Ashley Kosowan. (Photo: Darcy Finley)

Along with a rousing rendition of ‘happy birthday’, Gabe was honoured with a video tribute featuring fans, athletes, and dignitaries across the province, as well as a stellar cake designed by Jenna Rae Cakes, courtesy of RRC Polytech graduate Ashley Kosowan (Advanced Graphic Design, 2009), who is the co-owner and Creative Director of the beloved Winnipeg bakery. Eight lucky RRC Polytech alumni also won pairs of premium tickets to the game to help cheer Gabe on.

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Share your feedback! RRC Polytech’s alumni survey is live

February 7, 2023

RRC Polytech wants to better serve our alumni community and we’re asking for your help.

We have engaged Probe Research, an independent public opinion research company, to conduct a confidential survey of RRC Polytech alumni. You are invited to share about your experience while you attended RRC Polytech and how you want to stay connected to the College. All alumni are invited to participate.

In appreciation for completing the survey and providing your feedback, you’ll be entered into a draw to win one of three prizes:

  • Grand Prize (1): Dinner for Four at Jane’s (value $400)
  • Secondary Prizes (2): New RRC Polytech merchandise from the Campus Store (value $100)

The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Please share this survey with other RRC Polytech alumni in your network!

*Survey Closed Friday, February 17, 2023. Thank you for sharing your feedback with us!*

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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RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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