Communications and Marketing

News and Events

Grads and Faculty Represent at CPRS Manitoba Awards

April 19, 2024

At this year’s Manitoba Communicator of the Year (MCOY) awards by the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) there was a clear representation from Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech).

Of the five award categories this year to recognize individuals and organizations, four were won by RRC Polytech grads and teams they worked on, and one by a current program chair. They were presented during the annual MCOY event at the Qualico Family Centre on the evening of Thursday, April 4.

The awards have celebrated excellence in the communications industry in Manitoba each year since they were first introduced in 2008. The 2024 award winners demonstrate the impact that RRC Polytech grads and faculty have in the communications industry here in Manitoba.

Cleo Curtis, a 2015 Creative Communications graduate and Director of Communications at Brandish Agency, took home the Communicator of the Year award.

“I point to CreComm as the launching pad for my career. I’ve met and continue to meet so many wonderful, kind, smart and creative people through this program. It’s surreal to win this award,” said Cleo. “CreComm helped me discover that I really like people! And then the skills I learned in the media production major helped me tell people’s stories in multifaceted ways—photos, video, audio and more. This skill not only translated into filmmaking successes, it also translated very well into the evolving PR climate.”

Hannah Pratt, a 2012 grad and now instructor at RRC Polytech, nominated Melanie Lee Lockhart, Chair of Creative Communications, for the Mentor of the Year award and attributes her 12 years of career success to Melanie, saying there is no one more deserving of the award.

“She taught most of the students working in communications today who graduated from CreComm,” said Hannah. “The communications industry in Manitoba has been fundamentally shaped by her ability to teach and mentor students. Under her leadership, I was able to thrive and find the confidence to pursue leadership positions, create new projects, volunteer on boards, and win awards.”

Melanie and Hannah are smiling side by side. Melanie holds an award in her left hand in front of her.

The Emerging Communications Leader award presented by RRC Polytech’s Communication Management Program, was awarded to Stephanie Fung, Director of Public Relations at Uphouse. Stephanie took the Project Management certificate program in 2020.

“I was excited to be recognized by my peers for this year’s MCOY Emerging Communications Leader award. It’s gratifying knowing that everything I’ve learned in my academic and professional career, including the processes and tools I picked up in the RRC Polytech Project Management Certificate program, have helped get me to where I am today. And the cherry on top is the incredible people I’ve been able to work with in the marketing and communications industry, without them every project would fall flat. They make this industry a great one,” said Stephanie.

RRC Polytech’s goal is to prepare students to become leaders in their fields. These awards are a shining testament that RRC Polytech grads and their mentors make a large impact in their industries and communities. Success stories from grads are not hard to find. Many from programs across the college are also being shared in the Polytechnic Proud campaign too.

Learn more about the 2024 MCOY Awards: Manitoba Communicators of the Year Awards Nominations – Canadian Public Relations Society Manitoba (

(Photo credit: Prairie Digital Agency and Sonia Stevens)

Update to the Community on 2024 International Student Allocations for Provinces and Territories:

April 10, 2024

Last week, the Federal government shared an update on the 2024 international student allocations for provinces and territories. Since this initial decision was shared back in January, RRC Polytech has been working with all levels of government and various post-secondary stakeholders to understand the potential impact of these changes and advocate for provinces and institutions like ours who have always taken a balanced approach to prioritize international student recruitment and workforce needs.

Earlier this week, the Province of Manitoba released the allocations by institution, and we learned that RRC Polytech has been allocated approximately 2,700 study permit applications annually, which are subject to approval by IRCC. This number does not account for current students with existing permits who are already enrolled in programs and will continue their studies.

We thank the Province for their continued support for publicly-funded institutions, like RRC Polytech. 

We also applaud the Province in their quick response to the changes, including their creation of a system to issue new Letters of Attestation, which international students now require to apply for a study permit.  

While we continue our work to understand what these changes may mean for RRC Polytech, it’s important to remember that we have always taken an incremental and balanced approach to international student recruitment, and we continue to work diligently to attract and diversify our population of international learners.  

Our programs and credentials are tied directly into labour market needs here in Manitoba, and international students who graduate from RRC Polytech are helping contribute to the economic growth of Manitoba in a variety of sectors.  

International students bring a wealth of knowledge, new perspectives, and cultures to Manitoba’s communities, schools, and workplaces. They also meet critical labour market needs in Manitoba.  Our goal continues to be to provide a positive and high-quality academic learning experience for international students with the necessary services and supports in place.   

We remain committed to working with the provincial and federal government on these changes, and our focus will continue to be on supporting current students who have questions, and future students who choose to come to learn at RRC Polytech, and work and build a life here in Manitoba. 

We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more about what this new information may mean for our College community.

RRC Polytech’s Electric Vehicle research featured in Polytechnics Canada video

April 4, 2024

Polytechnics Canada’s “Ready for the Challenge” video series showcases how polytechnics are solving some of Canada’s pressing challenges.

The sixth video of the series spotlights how RRC Polytech is propelling the Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution and driving sustainability in Canada’s transportation sector.

The short video entitled RRC Polytech: Supporting a Green Transition in the Transportation Sector is now posted on the Polytechnics Canada YouTube channel. Click to view the video

Manitoba’s presence as a major transportation hub is growing, and RRC Polytech is fueling that growth by putting its researchers, staff, students and facilities like the Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC) and MotiveLab™ to work in collaboration with industry to:

  • Explore, evaluate and demonstrate emerging technologies such as EVs with an emphasis on extreme weather conditions.
  • study the use of renewable fuels.
  • improve the fuel efficiency of fleets.

RRC Polytech is driving transformative change in Canada’s transportation sector by accelerating the adoption of Electric Vehicle technology and training our workforce to manufacture, maintain and repair EVs.

RRC Polytech Grads Highlighted in New Campaign: Polytechnic Proud 

April 3, 2024

Winnipeg, MB on Treaty No. 1 Territory and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis – Starting today, 40 RRC Polytech grads are being highlighted in Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech)’s Polytechnic Proud campaign. The campaign aims to represent diversity across programs, industries, and generations and includes a series of billboards and feature stories. Each featured graduate was nominated by their workplace.  

“The partnerships we have with industry are so valuable to the work we do here at RRC Polytech, and we are thrilled that so many nominated their talented employees – our proud alumni – for this campaign,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech. “The diversity represented in Polytechnic Proud is a testament to the quality of work that our grads are doing and the wide variety of career paths that a polytechnic education prepares them for.” 

The recent and seasoned grads featured are CEOs, directors, entrepreneurs, engineers, account managers, nurses, horticulturists, teachers, chefs, and many more from a variety of industries. The first feature story being released tomorrow as part of the campaign is Amanda Buhse of Coal and Canary Candle Company who started her business in 2014 and has since had products sold across the world and featured at The Oscars and The Grammys. 

“RRC Polytech provided me with an environment where ideas weren’t just encouraged, they were also celebrated,” says Amanda Buhse, Founder of Coal and Canary Candle Company and a 2006 graduate of RRC Polytech’s Advanced Graphic Design Program (now the Communication Design program). “My experience at RRC Polytech really was a catalyst for my success today in so many ways. It was honestly one of the best times of my life – both fun and challenging and prepared me for where I am today.”  

Over the next eight weeks, dozens of billboards will be visible in Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie, and Selkirk, along with print and online versions across Manitoba. Profiles for more than half of these grads, including Amanda, will also be published on RRC Polytech’s Alumni News page and shared with the wider RRC Polytech community throughout the year – including over 80,000 RRC Polytech graduates in Manitoba and around the world.   

More about Polytechnic Proud: Polytechnic Proud Campaign : Red River College Polytechnic: Alumni Engagement ( 

Shaping Futures Through Co-operative Education – National Work-Integrated (WIL) Day

March 27, 2024

RRC Polytech is dedicated to preparing students for the future of work through constantly-evolving learning models. Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), where students have the opportunity to put their newly-acquired skills to the test in a working environment, is an indispensable tool to enrich students’ educational experiences. March 27th is observed as National Work-Integrated Learning Day, which is an opportunity to recognize the amazing work that students do while on WIL industry and community placements and the staff and faculty that provide guidance and support for students to achieve their goals.

Co-operative education is a form of WIL where students alternate between periods of time in the classroom and the workforce to obtain a holistic, robust experience in their chosen industry. Every year, two RRC Polytech students are selected to be the Co-operative Education Manitoba (CEM) Co-op Students of the Year with the support of their employers and instructors. Rigo Mulato, Business Administration, was awarded the Co-op Student of the Year for 2023 and Misty Bourassa, Culinary Skills (Indigenous), was awarded runner-up. Mulato was also nominated for the national 2023 Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Award, for which he was given an honourable mention.

These awards recognize not only the outstanding work ethic that students demonstrate but also the trails they blaze as leaders in the workplace with the skills they obtained through their training at RRC Polytech.

As a co-op student at WorkerBee.TV, Mulato was tasked with a largely supportive role to ensure he could meet expectations – including assisting in preparation of agendas, preparing and delivering project reports to clients, and managing administrative details. By the end of his co-op term, Mulato was leading projects, managing client accounts, and actively contributing to the success and growth of WorkerBee.TV.

 Mulato’s top achievement during his co-op was helping to initiate a special project to organize and analyze project data; a project that was typically out of the scope of his duties. Mulato created a dashboard to move the organization’s data analysis forward using software WorkerBee.TV already had access to at the cost of a small fee to upgrade the software’s features. Before Mulato was assigned to the project, the team had been considering software solutions that would have cost thousands of dollars.

“Besides the education, the college also gave me the confidence to do more—as an international student, it’s a different challenge to join the workforce, outside the context of my home country. The College gave me the confidence to apply the competencies I knew I had in this workforce and I felt much more secure in my capability,” said Mulato.

Bourassa’s creative approach to her craft in the kitchen innovated Breezy Bend Country Club’s culinary environment. She streamlined the preparation and storage of cold food items, and the dessert specials Bourassa created during her co-op were highly requested by club members directly to the general manager and have since become regular menu items due to their popularity. Her original dessert items increased the company’s dessert sales by 75 per cent over the last year and consistently sold out over other menu items.

During both co-op placements with Breezy Bend Country Club, the general manager and the executive chef received many compliments from clients about Bourassa’s products and her professional and personable demeanor – both in person and in emails.

“When members pass by and mention how good their lunch was, it’s nice compliment – but when a member takes the time at home to send the GM an email about how amazing their meal was, it really resonates because you know their dining experience has been on their mind throughout the day,” said Klaus Leiendecker, Executive Chef at Breezy Bend Country Club.

Both students were hired as full-time permanent employees by their respective co-op employers once they finished their programs.

Work-Integrated Learning not only lets students experience the working environment first-hand, but also provides the opportunity to make real-world impacts in the workplace, positively impacting the organization, the people they work with, and the industries they work in.

“Feedback from employer partners is overwhelmingly positive, frequently emphasizing RRC Polytech students’ ability to integrate into the workplace, collaborating effectively within teams, and ultimately making significant and meaningful contributions to projects and initiatives,” said Dusty Ritchie, Director, Work-Integrated Learning & Career Services.

Co-operative education is integral to RRC Polytech’s mission of providing high-quality educational and training opportunities to students. Learn more about Work-Integrated Learning and cooperative education on the Career Bridge.

World Water Day 2024

March 22, 2024

Water is life; it makes up more than half of the human body.

Today, on World Water Day, March 22, we recognize the importance of freshwater and the need to protect and sustain freshwater resources.

During a College event or in a colleague’s email signature, you may have noticed an acknowledgment of where our water comes from:

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water.

RRC Polytech is committed to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, recognizing the past wrongs and harms done through the education system, and working to build a path forward that creates equitable opportunities for all learners. Through this shared commitment, we have partnered with Shoal Lake 40 First Nation to foster greater awareness of where our clean drinking water on campus comes from and encourage students, staff and visitors to embody truth and reconciliation in their personal and professional lives.

The College recently became a signatory of the SDG Accord joining hundreds of post-secondaries around the world in a pledge to work toward delivering the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes goal #6 – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

It would be remiss to not bring to attention that the community of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation – the source of our clean drinking water – had a 24-year-long boil water advisory that ended on September 25, 2021.

According to the United Nations, 2.2 billion people worldwide lack access to safely managed drinking water, and this includes people living within Canada.

RRC Polytech is pleased to support youth entrepreneurs from Harvey Redsky Memorial School who are launching a for-profit business that will generate revenue and bring attention to the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation’s legacy from tragedy to opportunity in their generation.

The College has purchased decals designed by the student entrepreneurs through a Future Business Leaders Project. The decals provide information about Shoal Lake 40 and the clean drinking water provided to City of Winnipeg residents, promoting our shared sacred responsibility to protect the environment. Soon you will see the decals on campus as you fill up your water bottle and take a sip of clean drinking water. 

Join Shoal Lake 40 First Nation Kekekoziibii Development Corporation, students from Harvey Redsky Memorial School, and representatives from RRC Polytech today at 11:00 a.m. at the Canadian Human Rights Museum to celebrate the launch of the Future Business Leaders Project.

High School Students Showcase Their Skills in RRC Polytech’s Second Annual Applied Commerce Competition 

March 19, 2024

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 19, 2024 

Winnipeg, MB on Treaty No. 1 Territory and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis – Manitoba high school students will demonstrate their skills today in innovative industry-related challenges at Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech)’s Applied Commerce Education (ACE) Commerce Competition. The event runs today, March 19, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Notre Dame Campus. 

210 high school students from 18 schools will be taking part in the competition. A portion of the event will also be led by RRC Polytech students in the Teacher Education program. 

“The purpose of this event is two-fold: it engages the students in our Teacher Education program to have real-world experience in an active environment while allowing high school students enrolled in elective courses to showcase their talent and ambition,” says Daryl McRae, Chair of Teacher Education, RRC Polytech. “The College is thrilled to bring these two elements together in a concrete example of bringing skills learned in the classroom and applying them in real-world experiences.” 

The four competitions, starting between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m., focus on skills in accounting, retail design and operation, social responsibility and leadership strategy in business. The competition includes awards and allows participating students to network with industry professionals throughout the day and hear from industry leaders. 

“Both the Teacher Education students and high school students are becoming stewards of local and global economies,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice President, Academic, RRC Polytech. “Seeing the culmination of their hard work in their respective programs today is a testament RRC Polytech’s support of Manitoba’s economic growth through business education.” 

Practical learning opportunities in the Teacher Education program help students to develop technical knowledge and teaching skills aligning with Manitoba’s high school curriculum and become certified as a K-12 teacher with the Province of Manitoba. The program offers five-year and three-year options to complete a degree, or a one-year accelerated option to receive a diploma.  

More information about the event: Second Annual Applied Commerce Education High School Competition 

More information about the Teacher Education Program: Applied Commerce Education  

Civil Engineering Technology (CET) Chairs at RRC Polytech shatter the glass ceiling in gender representation

March 8, 2024

March 8 is International Women’s Day and our campus looks forward to celebrating women who continue to enhance the learning and working experiences at RRC Polytech.

RRC Polytech is a proud leader in economic and social innovation, as well as equity, diversity, and inclusion.

And the Civil Engineering Technology department (CET) within the School of Skilled Trades and Technologies is a prime example of how the culture at RRC Polytech focuses on elevating people with rich experiences and insights into leadership roles. Engineering and other trades are, historically, largely populated and influenced by men. Positioning women in leadership roles in these industries based on their qualifications and experience creates space for other women and gender-diverse people to also pursue careers in these industries.

Three women currently chair CET: Shari Bielert, Tammy Harper, and Jayne Geisel. The Leadership for Academic Schools Renewal (LASR) project positioned the academic organizational framework to better support and mentor faculty members; and each chair earned their position through a competitive process.

Gender representation in engineering has slowly but surely changed over the years. Engineers Canada’s annual National Membership Report published data in 2021 showing an upward trend in the percentage of newly licensed female engineers from 17 per cent in 2014 to 19.8 per cent in 2021. At RRC Polytech, 35 per cent of staff within CET are women in addition to the leadership positions chaired by three women.

Shari Bielert, Chair, Construction Management, Architectural Technology, says this level of representation within an engineering setting is new to her, describing the growth trend at the college during the past few decades as “definitive.”

“I’m proud of the fact that I did not seek out women to build the gender balance in our department – women applied, demonstrated their knowledge and abilities, and succeeded in earning a place in our faculty,” said Bielert.

She adds that having women in leadership and classroom roles helps normalize their presence in construction environments, demonstrating the strength, confidence, and abilities they bring to the workplace and projects.

The college regularly provides opportunities, like its Jill of All Trades event, for women and girls to explore engineering before considering post-secondary options. In the past, it has sponsored a team in the Make Your Move competition, a collaboration with Manitoba middle schools that pairs design-build-test teams of Grade 8 students with a practicing engineer as their mentor. Bielert says she’s looking forward to sponsoring a team again in the future.

Female staff also participate outside of work in the engineering environment. Instructor Ellowyn Nadeau is Immediate Past Chair of the Winnipeg Construction Association and fellow instructor, Shannon Nordal, is President-Elect of the Certified Technicians & Technologists Association of Manitoba (CTTAM).

The level of support for women pursuing leadership roles in engineering continues to grow at the college, according to Tammy Harper, Chair, Civil Engineering Technology – Infrastructure.

“I remember a male colleague said: ‘I knew it would be you, and I knew it would be the three of you – because you were the right ones to pick.’ That support from our male colleagues – there was never any question in their minds that we were qualified – and there was a time when that wouldn’t have been the case,” said Harper.

The diversity of experience and perspective women bring to the classroom enhances the overall learning experience. Jayne Geisel, Chair, Civil Engineering Technology – Building, says her background in social science and women’s studies was indispensable to her experience in the classroom as an instructor at RRC Polytech. She later obtained training in landscape architecture, which she then brought to the classroom as a horticulture instructor at RRC Polytech. Even though her background and what she taught weren’t necessarily related, the insight she had from her women’s studies informed the way she taught her classes so that her impact on students was not only academic, but behavioral.

“I was very conscious of the language we’d use, because there’s still biased notions about what girls and women are able to do or want to do,” says Geisel. “I always spoke frankly with my students about these notions. I wanted newer generations of students going into industry with open minds.”

RRC Polytech is proud to recognize the women that make our institution stronger and, in turn, make industry stronger. Their example helps lay the groundwork for a workforce where women leaders are the norm – not the exception.

Campus Update: March 7 Winter Storm

March 7, 2024

A winter storm is having impacts on road conditions in some areas of the province. 

Winnipeg campuses remain open and will operate as usual and please use caution while commuting.

RRC Polytech’s regional campuses will be operating as follows:

  • Peguis Campus will close this afternoon as a result in deteriorating weather conditions.
  • Selkirk Campus is closed, classes will be delivered online. 
  • Arborg Language Training Centre is closed and classes are cancelled.
  • Stevenson Southport is open and operating normally. Students unable to travel to Southport from Winnipeg will be contacted and advised to participate in their classes at Stevenson Winnipeg.
  • Stevenson Winnipeg campuses are open and operating normally.
  • Portage Campus is open and operating normally.
  • Winkler Campus is open and operating normally.
  • Steinbach Campus is open and operating normally.
  • Steinbach Language Training Centre classes will be delivered online.

Exams affected by any of today’s closures will be re-scheduled. Students will be contacted with new exam details this week.

For those driving inside and outside of Winnipeg, please drive with caution and adjust to weather conditions.

If you cannot make it to classes or work safely due to unsafe road conditions, please work with your instructor or supervisor directly.

Campus Update: March winter storm

March 4, 2024

Update: March 4, 5:00p.m

A weather system is having impacts on road conditions in some areas of the province affecting the delivery of programs at services at some of RRC Polytech’s Regional Campuses. 

Winnipeg campuses remain open and will operate as usual and please use caution while commuting.

RRC Polytech’s regional campuses will be operating as follows:

  • Portage campus is closed, classes will be delivered online.
  • Stevenson Southport and Stevenson Winnipeg campuses are open with classes in-person.
  • Winkler campus is closed with classes delivered online.
  • Selkirk campus is closed classes, will be delivered online. 
  • Steinbach Campus is open with classes in-person. Evening classes will be delivered online.
  • Steinbach Language Training Centre classes will be delivered online.
  • Arborg is open and operating normally. Evening classes will not be delivered.

Exams scheduled at the Selkirk Campus today will be re-scheduled. Students will be contacted with new exam details this week.

For those driving both inside and outside of Winnipeg, please drive with caution and adjust to weather conditions.

If you cannot make it to classes or work safely due to unsafe road conditions, please work with your instructor or supervisor directly.

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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