orange iconOperational Response Level: Restricted ›

College and Public Relations

1M Donation Lands at Red River College

October 22, 2015

The keys to a twin- turboprop airliner with a pressurized fuselage were handed over to RRC President & CEO, Paul Vogt at a special ceremony held today to celebrate the history of Swanberg Air and their generous contribution to the staff and students at Red River College’s Stevenson Aviation.

The British Aerospace Model Jetstream 31, along with associated equipment, manuals and training aids, valued at $1M dollars was donated by the Swanberg family of Grande Prairie & Fort St. John, in memory of Sylvan and Dorothy Swanberg.

“There is an increasing demand in the aviation industry for highly skilled graduates and with Manitoba being home to the third largest aerospace sector in Canada, this working aircraft will enhance training opportunities,” said Paul Vogt, president & CEO, Red River College. “We are grateful to the Swanberg family for their impactful donation that allows students to train on state-of-the-art equipment and become leaders in their field.”

The founders of Swanberg Air’s daughter Ann Sawyer together with her son Konnor and former employees of Swanberg Air were on hand to announce the donation in support of the College’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) M-License program, which trains students in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

“Our family is very proud to be able to support the next generation of Aircraft Maintenance Engineers,” said Ann Sawyer (nee Swanberg). “Continuous education and hands-on training is so important in the aviation industry and we’re happy the donation of the Jetstream 31 to Red River College will have a positive impact to students and industry.”

Sylvan Swanberg’s career in the transport industry spanned more than 50 years. Following success in the trucking industry, he founded Swanberg Air in Grande Prairie, AB, in 2000. The company offered cargo, scheduled and charter passenger services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. A decision was made to cease operations after  Sylvan  passed away in April 2011; his wife Dorothy passed away in June 2012.

The family has previously donated aircraft to three other post-secondary institutions in Canada, including Jetstream 31s to Okanagan College in Vernon, and Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, and a 601 Challenger to SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary.

About Stevenson Aviation:

Red River College’s Stevenson Campus, located in Winnipeg and in Southport, is an active partner in Manitoba’s Aerospace Industry and plays a key role in training Manitoba’s workforce to participate in all aspects of the aviation and aerospace sector. Stevenson Aviation grads are found throughout industry – overhauling aircraft engines, maintaining aircraft, building components, or in management positions such as Directors of Maintenance and Quality Assurance.

Programs offered include: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Diploma Program, AME “M” Apprenticeship Program, Introduction to Aircraft Maintenance, Aerospace Manufacturing Technician, Gas Turbine Engine Repair and Overhaul, and Non-Destructive Testing.

Since the 1930s, Red River College  has become one of Manitoba’s largest institutes of applied learning; with nine campuses located throughout Manitoba the College has positioned itself as a leader and a compelling first choice for post-secondary education and a critical source of knowledge, training, research and innovation. RRC has more than 30,000 enrolments annually and more than 200 + full-and part-time programs.

Through award-winning instruction and training on state-of-the-art equipment, RRC prepares its students to become leaders in their fields, while collaborating with industry to conduct research and ensure curricula remain up-to-date.