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RRC accepting award applications from inner-city scholars

July 21, 2021

Students entering business programs at Red River College have the opportunity for their education to be covered thanks to the generosity of community leader Gary Coleman.

The Gary Coleman Award for Inner-City Scholars helps students build successful careers on their own and removes barriers to post-secondary education, from enrollment to graduation.

The award is available to graduates of eight inner-city schools in Winnipeg who have been accepted into RRC’s Business Administration, Business Information Technology, or Business Technology Management programs. Recipients are free from the worry of financial barriers as the award covers the cost of tuition, program fees, books, and supplies.

With the help of this award, young students can hone their skills in three of RRC’s business-based programs, receiving the high-quality learning they need to become leaders in their careers.

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Haas Foundation Legacy Award sparks new future for CNC Machinist student

July 14, 2021

Intrigued by the prospect of using computers to do a job he was trained to do by hand, Brian Carmona enrolled in Red River College’s CNC Machinist program to learn the computer numeral code that instructs the high-precision welders, cutters and other tools used in advanced automated manufacturing.

Now, two years later, he’s the recipient of the 2021 Gene Haas Foundation Legacy Award, given each year to a student in the CNC Machinist or CNC Machining & Advanced Technology program.

The recognition, he says, “has changed my life.”

“I’ve always loved the process of turning materials into useful things,” says Carmona, who began his manufacturing career right out of high school, working as a plasma operator for a company that built trucks for agriculture.

Before long, it became clear to him that trading the cutter for code would open up new career prospects in an industry shifting rapidly towards automation.

However, when Carmona wasn’t learning CNC in class, he was working long hours to make ends meet. Receiving the Gene Haas Foundation Legacy Award, which covered the cost of his tuition, program fees, books and supplies, removed the financial burden and let him focus on his training.

Now he has his sights set on becoming a Red Seal Machinist or Red Seal Industrial Mechanic/Millwright after completing RRC’s CNC Machining & Advanced Technology program – an opportunity, he says, that would have been impossible without the award.

Carmona is one of 17 RRC students honoured this year by awards and bursaries funded by the Gene Haas Foundation and presented in partnership with Thomas Skinner & Son. The Gene Haas Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Haas Automation, the largest machine tool manufacturer in the western world. Thomas Skinner & Son is the Haas Automation distributor for Western Canada.

Awards like these are vital to drawing students to programs aimed at filling critical workforce gaps, says Mark Blackner, Chair of RRC’s Electrical, Mechanical and Manufacturing programs.

“As a manufacturing hub, Manitoba is home to big industry players hungry for employees trained in advanced skills and technology. We’re grateful for this partnership because it ensures our students, equipment and facilities stay at the cutting edge, so we can support the manufacturing industry as it continues to grow and change.”

The manufacturing industry spans a wide range of sectors, adds Blackner, including transportation, medical technology, and agriculture – continuously adding to the need for highly specialized skills in computer-aided drafting, design, manufacturing, 3D printing, and mechatronics.

RRC’s partnership with Haas and Thomas Skinner began in 2008, when the College approached the two companies about acquiring CNC machines to help students catch up to the technology.

Since then, the partnership has grown to include scholarship and bursary support, and a $500,000 investment in the Haas Innovation Lab at the College’s Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, where manufacturing industry partners work with RRC experts and students on applied research projects. Thanks in part to this investment, the College now has one of the largest and most advanced manufacturing training programs in the country.

Paul Krainer, president of Thomas Skinner & Son, says he and his father, who owned the company before him, both saw the value of investing in education after they began supplying machines to local high schools.

“By forging deep relationships with schools and polytechnics like Red River College, we have a direct hand in training the future of our business. Technological advancement and disruption mean that training programs can’t lag behind. They must always stay one step ahead – and that takes ongoing investment.”

That belief was shared by Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and the Gene Haas Foundation, whose generous financial support drives the partnership forward.

Krainer says the results of the partnership and others like it are already bearing fruit across the industry.

“We’re seeing more and better-trained people pursuing careers in precision manufacturing – and a stronger workforce making our country’s industry more globally competitive.”

Exchange District Expansion Update

July 9, 2021

As of today, a majority of the more than 400 Kromatix BIPV panels have been installed along the exterior of Red River College’s new building on Elgin Avenue.

The building, a hub for creative arts, technology and social innovation, includes specialized spaces and technology that will help students stay ahead of the curve today’s rapidly changing industries. A few of the new programs slated to launch this fall include:

Strong roots, mutual growth

June 30, 2021

With strong roots in Manitoba soil, a commitment to community, and a workforce brimming with Red River College talent, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance has grown over the past 125 years into one of Canada’s largest mutual insurance companies – and a generous RRC partner and supporter.

Since 2009, the company has made significant donations to a number of College programs, awards and capital projects aimed at helping RRC students excel in business, management, and information technology.

That includes a recent $50,000 gift in support of the College’s 100,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Innovation Centre in downtown Winnipeg.

“Looking after one another is the essence of who we are at Wawanesa,” says Selena Hinds, Vice President of Culture, Community and Communications at Wawanesa Insurance. “That’s why Wawanesa is proud to support Red River College, its students, and the new Innovation Centre. Together with RRC, we share a commitment to making our community a better place to live and learn, and we know students and all of Winnipeg’s downtown will benefit from the new Centre and surrounding greenspace.”

Eighteen per cent of Wawanesa employees say they attended RRC, and more than 240 indicate an RRC connection on their education profile.

“We’re proud to have a partner and supporter who understands first-hand the value of supporting our students and grads,” says Kirk Johnson, Dean, School of Business & Applied Arts and Dean, School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts, Red River College. “Wawanesa has hired many talented RRC graduates over the years. I’m excited to continue working with Wawanesa as our Innovation Centre opens up new opportunities for our students in Information Technology, Business, the Creative Arts, and more.”

Support for the Innovation Centre Project is directed to the Elgin Avenue Plaza (shown above), a greenspace and pedestrian plaza located between Princess Street and Adelaide Street. The new outdoor space will include seating areas, recreational space, and power outlets for food trucks, entertainment and vendors. Students and community members can use the space to study, eat lunch, or host events such as concerts or maker markets. The greenspace is located across from the new Market Lands, a creative hub, housing and market space that will attract more people to live, work and play in the growing neighbourhood.

In addition, the company has provided a $10,000 annual donation to support RRC students since 2009. This year, eight Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Awards will be distributed to individuals in the Business Administration, Business Information Technology, and Business Technology Management programs, providing opportunities for students to achieve success in their education and into their careers.

Wawanesa is also a sponsor of RRC’s Girls Exploring IT technology camp program and previous capital campaigns at the College. “As a member of the community, we know how important it is to ensure accessible education,” says Hinds. “As an employer, we see great value in the education and training RRC provides.”

That passion for community support extends far and wide. Last year, Wawanesa increased its community giving by $1.8 million in response to COVID-19 – bringing the company’s total community giving in 2020 to $5.3 million.

Wawanesa takes its name from the small Manitoba town where it was founded 125 years ago by a group of farmers determined to keep insurance premiums down. Since then, the original “Wawanesa Insurance” has grown into one of the largest mutual insurance company in Canada, with growing operations in the United States. Its North American corporate headquarters remain here in Winnipeg, at True North Square – where, in the years ahead, its Manitoba roots will grow even stronger.


Thank you to our donors for a record-breaking year of Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries!

June 11, 2021

Because of your support, Red River College (RRC) has been able to provide $5,104,509.45 directly to students in need during the 2020/2021 fiscal year – that’s more than any year in the College’s history. These funds were provided to more than 1,700 deserving students in the form of Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries.

Thank you to the many alumni, staff, donors and community members who generously donated to help students in what has been a challenging and uncertain year. Your kindness has helped students overcome financial barriers so they can be successful in their studies, and carry a sense of pride as they enter their careers.

A special thank you to the donors who participated in the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI) matching program this past March. During that month, MSBI matched scholarship and bursary gifts on a 1:1 ratio – doubling the amount of funds we could provide to students. Because of this one-time matching incentive, RRC received an incredible $2,447,950 from the provincial government.

Thank you again to our incredible community of donors – your support truly makes a difference in the lives of students at Red River College.

“I would like to thank you for this award. I’ve been struggling to find a way to pay for my schooling. It’s been a very stressful situation for me, especially the thought that I may have to ask family members to borrow large sums in order to pay for my next tuition. That’s why it was such an amazing surprise to see the email that I received this award. I teared up immediately as it has taken a huge load off my shoulders. I am very passionate about Nursing and am so thankful for the opportunity to continue in my program without worry of being unable to pay for tuition and textbooks.

I want to sincerely thank you for this opportunity and assure you that this bursary will not be wasted. Thank you for all you do in allowing us students to continue in our education.”

-2020/21 award recipient

We’d like to recognize the following donors for their contributions to the MSBI 2020/21 Matching program:

A. Cowell

Advertising Association of Winnipeg


Aileen Najduch

Alexis Reeves

Alisa Ramrattan and Christine Watson

Allison Peterson

Alyssa Malenchak

Anne MacVicar

Arden Mills ULC

Arlene Joanne Sawicz

Arnold Bros. Transport Ltd.

Arnold Kolaski

ASM International Manitoba Chapter

Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors

BakeMark Canada

Barbara Forsyth

Barbara McCandless

Barbara Parsons

Beach Rocke Engineering Ltd.

Bell Media Radio Winnipeg

Bernice Fanning

Beverley Emes-Macklin

Bill Kerwin

Bird Construction Company

Boeing Canada Operations Ltd

Brayden Robb

Broadcasters Association of Manitoba

Bruno Carvalho Rivas

Bryan C Collier

C. Dudley Hill

C.K. Machine Tool & Industrial Supply

C.P. Loewen Foundation

Canadian Council of Independent Laboratories

Canadian Culinary Federation – Winnipeg Branch

Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society – Manitoba Chapter

Canadian Institute of Steel Construction

Canadian Public Relations Society – Manitoba Chapter

Carolyn Schmidt

Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba Inc.

Certified Technicians and Technologists Association of Manitoba Inc.

Cheryl Ryczkowski

Christiane & Charles LaFleche

Christine Watson

Clinton E. Wilmot

Community Foundation of Portage and District

Concord Projects Foundation

Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs

Conor Lloyd

Craig Rowbotham

Cynthia Boughen

Cynthia Hacking

Dale H. Kendel

Damien Goodridge

Dan Moroz

Darlene Funk

Dave Kemp

David and Joan Rew

David Brand

David Pinchuk

De Jonckheere Family

Dean Gagne

Deanna Muller

Deanne Spiegel

Debbie Reeves

Denis and Gwen Sutton

Dennis Curle

Derek Kochenash

Diane Ramrattan

Dilla Narfason

Dilly Brodovsky

Donald Carlson

Dorothy Davidson

Dorothy Ford

Dynamic Machine Corporation

Edward Payne

Electrical Association of Manitoba

Elena Grinshteyn

Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba

Erik Von Der Behrens

Ernst Hansch Construction Ltd.

Flávio Raphael dos Santos

Flynn Canada Ltd.

Francesca and Tony Creta

Frank Patterson Foundation

Fred and Elaine Meier

Garland Commercial Ranges

Gary Coleman

Gene Haas Foundation

Geoffrey Chambers

George and Adele Rohulych

Germiphene Corporation

Gerry & Barb Price

Glenn and Norma Baldwin

Gordon Mackie

Greg Burch

Guy Dugas

Guy Prokopetz

Halee Fayerman

Heather Mauthe

Helen Miller

Hesam Aminian

Hope Montess

Horatio Alger Association of Canada

Howard R. Engel

Hubert Bonin


Hydro-X Club – Winnipeg Chapter

IATSE Local 856 Film Technicians Union


Industrial Truck Service Ltd.

International Scholarship and Tuition Services Inc.

Irene and Gerry Varnes

Isabel Bright

Jaime Manness

James and Brenda Nykoluk

Janice and Bob McWilliams

Janis Thiessen

Jason Miller

Jean J. Burrows

Jean Lynas

Jean-Marc Joseph Blanc

Jeannine Paradis

Jeff Doneza

Jeff Frank

Jillian Schofield

Jing Jing

John and Geraldine Coyne

John Graeb

John Lu

Judy McGuirk

Julie Rachuk

Karen Thorlakson

Katrina Sklepowich

Keith Houndle

Keith Walker

Ken Burns

Kerri Korabelnikov

Kevin Dearing

Kevin Hines and Shelly Smith-Hines

Keystone Projects Ltd.

Krista Giesbrecht

Kristen Guy

L Dreger

Lauren Parsons

Leon Fainstein

Les Marmitons Winnipeg

Leslie Tsai

Leslie Walsh

Lewis Instruments Ltd.

Library Technicians Division of the Manitoba Library Association

Lois Edwards

Lori Lobchuk

Lorrie Kratzer

Louis Rodkin

Lucien Lussier

Lynne Squair

Macdonald Youth Services

Magellan Aerospace


Manitoba Association for Resource Recovery Corp.

Manitoba Dental Assistants Association

Manitoba Dental Association

Manitoba Good Roads Association

Manitoba Home Builders’ Association

Manitoba Metis Federation Inc.

Manitoba Pork Council

Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Manitoba School Improvement Program Inc.

Manitoba Society of Artists

Manitoba Teachers’ Society

Manitoba Trucking Association

Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association

Manitoba Veterinary Technologist Association

Marc Da Silva

Marilyn and John Kenny

Mark Brzuskiewicz

Marymound Inc.

Mavis McRae

Melanie Gudmundson

Melody and Rod Penner

Michael Morawski

Mid-Canada Marine and Powersports Dealers Association

Mike Kolo

Mike Van Dam

Morden Area Foundation Inc.

Nadine Ogborn

Naomi Cohen

Nathan Koop

Nicole Coulson

OnWard Investments Ltd.

Paraskevi Ginakes

Pat and Bill Reid

Patricia Fraser

Peerless Garments

Pepsi Cola Beverages Ltd.

Peter Wut

Petline Insurance

Powerland Computers

Project Management Institute – Manitoba Chapter

Raj Kulathungam

Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada

Rick Pelletier

Riva Harrison

Robert & Beverley Barr

Robert and Janet Okabe

Roberta Anderson

Ron Blicq

Rose Marie Hess

Rotary Club of Portage la Prairie

Royal Canadian Legion District No. 6

RRC Students’ Association

Russell Hendrix Food Equipment Ltd.

Ryan McBride


Sandvik Coromant Canada


Scotiabank Group

Seven Oaks General Hospital

Sharon Brodovsky

Shelley Tallin

Shellon P. Williams

Sheryl Stern

Shirley and Tom Strutt

Shirley Muir

Shirley Shaley

Sid Brodovsky and Cary Shafir

Sinclair Dental Co. Ltd.


Stephanie Cyr, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Consulting Inc.

Stephen Franklin

Steve Blayney and Associates LTD

Steven Blayney and Roberta Lowry

Steven Lipischak

Steven Onyschak

Stu and Heather Charles

Sunstar Americas, Inc.

Susan Harrison

T. Kent Morgan

Teresa Fox

Teresa Menzies

Tess Newton Financial Services Inc.

The Fairmont Winnipeg

The Farquharson Foundation

The Glenboro Area Foundation Inc.

The Happy Cooker

The Leonard Foundation

The Princess Auto Foundation

The Walter and Maria Schroeder Foundation

The Winnipeg Foundation 

Tony Hajzler

Toromont Industries

Tracy Cappello

Travis Paul

UFCW Local 832

Universities Canada

University Women’s Club of Winnipeg–Scholarship Trust

Veryl Tipliski

Wawanesa Insurance

Western Corporate Solutions Ltd.

Wilhelm C. Miller

WOW Hospitality Inc.

Yvette and Dave Slobodian

For more information about Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries at Red River College, click here.


Help build a better future today

March 29, 2021

When I walked across the stage to accept my high school diploma years ago it was a surprise to everyone in attendance, including me.

Like many students, I struggled in school with marginal grades – supports for my style of learning were not easily accessible back then.  After graduation my beloved mother passed away and I found it increasingly hard to find focus and stay motivated.  I moved around a lot, had meaningless minimum wage jobs and lacked security or direction in my life. My gap year turned into a gap decade. When I was finally ready to go back to school, I didn’t have the necessary credits for admission to many post-secondary programs. But I found a supportive path at Red River College and was offered stepping stones towards a meaningful career –  I had found a home!

I was accepted into the Health Care Aide program and started to gain confidence in myself.  I had discovered that I could succeed at school and knew I wanted to go further. I took College Prep for Nursing to get my pre-requisites up to date, and finally I became a student in the Bachelor of Nursing program, proudly earning my degree in 2009. I could not have done this without the help of many people along the way.

I got my second chance – when you give to Red River College, you give people like me their second chance.

Attaining my degree set the foundation for my career in the ER, ICU and as a LifeFlight Flight Nurse – giving me the opportunity to impact people, save lives and grow into who I am today. Those experiences helped me become a Nursing Instructor at RRC – where I help students the way my instructors helped me – and land my first leadership role as a Clinical Resource Nurse at Health Sciences Centre ER.

Because of Red River College, I am in a role where I can empower students and nurses to change the lives of those we serve, even under the most difficult of circumstances. Looking back to where I started and where I am now brings tears of joy and pride knowing that my accomplishments have changed peoples lives.

Red River College set me on a path for a career I love.  The skills I gained and critical thinking through my schooling taught me that there is a lot of life to live.  As a nurse, you look after others, but you can easily forget to look after yourself.   It is important to take steps to nurture your soul. Hiking was my first step. It was likely the first time I did something just for me. It went from a hobby to launching the Hike Manitoba Project and writing and publishing TWO books – which has allowed me to share some of my favourite hikes with thousands of Manitobans and help build a stronger community.

My life is full because of the opportunities that opened up for me here at Red River College.  By investing in one person our community benefits and grows. Imagine the impact you would have by investing in many? I recently became a monthly donor to the College and launched a scholarship for nursing students. My decision to give back is an investment into our future.  Red River College is an institution that provides the support, guidance and inspiration students need to grow into the best versions of themselves.

I ask you to join me and support the lives of our students.

Red River College responds to urgent industry and community needs – as a nurse and nursing instructor during COVID-19, I’m proud to work alongside my peers on the frontlines. I’m proud to teach the next generation of students, because when they graduate they become the frontline workers of tomorrow.

Please give to Red River College today to make a difference in the lives of our students. Your gift helps to provide students with the technology, support, on-the-job training and mentorship they need to graduate with confidence. Students like me!

Together we can build a better future.


Jaime Manness
Bachelor of Nursing 2009


Innovation Centre Update – February 2021

March 1, 2021

Red River College’s new Innovation Centre in the heart of Winnipeg’s Exchange District is now more than 70% complete. We’re excited to share how the new 100,000 square-foot space in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District is coming together.

The Innovation Centre, currently under construction at 319 Elgin Avenue in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District.


Language Training Centre on the second floor of the historic Scott Fruit Building,


The ACE Project Space, on the first floor of the historic Scott Fruit Building.


A bridge connects the Innovation Centre to the Roblin Centre.


A bridge connects the Innovation Centre to the Roblin Centre.


Student work rooms are located throughout the building

MSBI Matching Until March 31, 2021

March 1, 2021

Many young learners in Manitoba have aspirations of graduating College but are unable to due to financial hardships. This is especially true over the last year – because of COVID-19 our Student Awards and Financial Aid office has seen an increase in students who need support to graduate. These are students who have lost their jobs, had a partner lose their job and have to choose between paying their tuition or paying their rent.

With this new opportunity from the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI), you can help more students succeed in their educational goals. Any new or additional student award donations made before March 31, 2021 will receive an equal match by MSBI.

You have three options on how to designate your new/additional donation:

  • Both the new/additional donation and the matching funds will be directed to the general Red River College bursary fund – preference will be given to students who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. (All donation levels)
  • Your new/additional donation and the matching funds will be directed to your award fund to provide assistance to a student (or students) who is experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, and studying in the program area supported by your award fund. (Donations of $1,000 or more)
  • Your new/additional donation and the matching funds will be directed to your award fund to increase the award value for existing recipients of your award; divided amongst the 2020/21 recipient(s) of your award. (Donations of $1,000 or more)

All new and additional donations must also be distributed for students who qualify for financial assistance in the 2020/21 academic year – meaning your gift will make an impact right now.

Please call 204.619.0139 at your earliest convenience to discuss which option would work best for you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you to everyone who has already made the commitment in supporting more students!

“I would like to express my gratitude upon receiving this bursary. Being a full time nursing student and a mom of three young children is very challenging, but thanks to your generosity, it makes my pathway much easier and allows me to concentrate on the program. On behalf of my children and my spouse I want to thank you again!”

-Ana, award recipient 2020

Last Snowman Contest on Campus

March 1, 2021

Students, staff and Route 90 Passerbys may notice some new snowy faces on campus as they pass the Jan Den Oudsten Vehicle Research and Technology Centre at the Notre Dame Campus.

A team of environmentally minded staff and students participated in the Last Snowman Contest, currently hosted by donor Maria Den Oudesten and a team of local supporters.

For more than 15 years, Maria has held the contest annually to help build awareness of climate change and the importance of preserving one of our globe’s most cherished winter wonderland activities– building snowman. After immigrating to Canada from the Netherlands, Maria is proud to have called Winnipeg her home. She feels that the ability to promote snowmen building is symbolic in preserving some of the globe’s coldest temperatures in one of Canada’s most renowned winter city of the North.

We hope Winnipeggers will feel inspired and visit our “Forever Frozen Red” snowman team as they drive by. We would like you to join Maria and her team of climate change advocates by inviting you to build your own snowman at home or at work before the snow runs out – a great teambuilding activity!

For more information about the contest and how you and your team can enter to win up to $4500 in prizes visit The Last Snowman Winnipeg Facebook Page or send your submission with an attached photo to

Jan den Oudsten appointed to Order of Canada

March 1, 2021

Congratulations to Red River College donor Jan den Oudsten for his recent appointment to the Order of Canada, an incredible honour. Jan was appointed for his inventive designs in bus manufacturing and for his contributions to the professional development of the next generation of transportation innovators.

Jan den Oudsten’s contributions to the vehicle research sector have made a significant impact around the world over his 50 years in the industry. He purchased New Flyer in 1986 and introduced his vision for European-style accessible low-floor technology to the North American transit market, ensuring all passengers – including those with significant mobility challenges – are able to travel on regular transit services in cities across the continent.

Den Oudsten was also involved in pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology applications, and was the first to introduce a 60-foot articulated diesel-electric hybrid bus. In 1999, he unveiled the Invero, New Flyer’s state-of-the-art new transit bus design. Under his leadership, New Flyer expanded to over 2000 employees. Today, New Flyer has more than 44,000 buses in service, just over 7,300 of which are electric powered and 1,600 are zero emission.

In 2019, Jan and his wife Maria provided a transformative gift to RRC and officially renamed the College’s Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre. The 60,000 square-foot training and research facility is now proudly named the Jan den Oudsten Vehicle Technology & Research Centre (VTRC).