College and Public Relations

News Release

GETT-ing back in the swing of things: RRC Polytech hosts Girls Exploring Trades and Technology camp for the first time since 2019

July 6, 2022

Summer school is about to take on a whole new meaning for dozens of Winnipeg tweens and teens. Red River College Polytechnic is rolling out its summer camp programming with hands-on day camps for the next generations of skilled trades experts, taking place at the College’s Notre Dame Campus over the next few weeks.

After a two-year hiatus, RRC Polytech’s Girls Exploring Trades and Technology (GETT) camps are back and, quite possibly, better than ever. More than 140 would-be campers applied to the program’s coveted 32 spots, which takes place this week and next at the College’s state-of-the-art Skilled Trades and Technology Centre.

Each camp sees 16 campers aged 12 to 14 exploring everything from plumbing, woodworking, cabinetmaking, welding, robotics, transportation trades, and for the first time in its 16-year history, masonry. At the end of their week-long stint, each camper will bring home a project of their own making: a steampunk-style desk lamp made of black iron pipe.

GETT camps are completely free of charge, providing a fun way to introduce girls to applied skills and technology skills while encouraging them to consider a variety of career choices, without a financial barrier.

“The GETT camps are a great way to introduce trades and technologies to girls, giving them the opportunity to develop new hobbies or interests that can turn into a career they may not have considered,” says Derek Kochenash, Dean, School of Skilled Trades & Technologies, RRC Polytech. “The popularity of this year’s camps shows that the stigma of women in trades is on its way out, and it’s more important than ever to continue to provide safe spaces for girls to explore careers that are rewarding, challenging, and creative.”

Starting next week, RRC Polytech is also hosting Technology Exploration Camps for all kids entering grades six and seven this fall. These camps give middle school students a real taste of various engineering technology-related disciplines, such as civil, electrical, and mechanical. Over their week-long experience, campers will learn the way things work by creating model bridges, building and programming their own robots, and even manufacturing a working model of a medieval catapult.

While the GETT and Technology Exploration Camps are at full capacity, RRC Polytech offers a variety of additional in-person and online summer camps for kids in Manitoba. Newly added camps include:

  • Jumpstart Digital Art | Ages 14 – 18
  • Quickstart Digital Art | Ages 12 – 18
  • Queer Coded (for 2SLGBTQIA+ teens) | Ages 13 – 18

For more information, please visit

RRC Polytech celebrates Pride by adopting 2SLGBTQIA+ acronym and raising Progress Pride flag

June 29, 2022

June 14, 2022

RRC Polytech has committed to embed equity, diversity, and inclusion into all work done at the College and is always looking for ways to advance meaningful change. This year’s Pride celebrations began with the raising of the Progress Pride flag at both the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses.

The new flag adds a five-stripe chevron, indicating forward momentum, and includes the light blue and pink colors of the Trans flag, brown and black stripes representing people of colour, and white to represent those who are transitioning, intersex, or identify outside of the gender binary, while honouring the meaning and tradition of the classic rainbow design.

Moving forward, RRC Polytech will use the acronym 2SLGTBQIA+ to respectfully acknowledge members of the Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and the countless affirmative ways in which people choose to self-identify community.

The College is placing Two Spirit People at the beginning of this evolving acronym, out of respect for their longevity, and their importance and status in Indigenous beliefs and traditions, after consultation and collaboration with our Elders in Residence and Knowledge Keepers Council.   

“I’ve always advocated to recognize Two Spirit first because if we are going to talk about truth and reconciliation within Canada and recognize and acknowledge Indigenous people, including Two Spirit people, we should put them at the beginning. I’ve never understood why we are at the end,” says Barbara Bruce, O.M., All My Relations Inc., RRC Polytech Knowledge Keepers Council. “Placing the 2S at the beginning of the acronym is recognizing the original peoples of Canada – First Nation, Métis Nation, and Inuit Two Spirit people – and it’s acknowledging who those people are. I think everybody should embrace this stance.”

Hundreds of students, staff and family members walked together representing RRC Polytech at the Pride Winnipeg parade on June 5. The Students Association held a vigil to honour lost members of the community, and the College also partnered with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the LGBT Purge Fund to host a film screening of “The Fruit Machine.” Pride themed activities on campus will continue throughout June, including an upcoming virtual speaker series discussion on the history of the movement from a local and post secondary perspective.

RRC Polytech is committed to making our campuses welcoming, respectful and inclusive spaces where all people can feel safe and confident to be their true selves.

RRC Polytech honours pioneering doctor who worked through AIDS crisis: Dr. Dick Smith to receive honorary diploma

June 29, 2022

June 14, 2022

With a career spanning multiple decades, Doctor John Richard Middleton (Dick) Smith has made an enduring mark on the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Winnipeg.

He was one of the first doctors in Winnipeg to support patients diagnosed with HIV and AIDS, saving countless lives through treatment and education. Now, RRC Polytech is honouring his efforts by presenting him with an honorary diploma in Community Development.

“Dr. Smith represents the embodiment of caring and giving back to your community – a value we work to instill into every one of our grads,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO of RRC Polytech. “We are proud to honour Dr. Smith for his tireless work advocating for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. His work teaches us if something doesn’t yet exist in the world but is necessary and positive, then be fearless and pursue it.”

He moved to Winnipeg from England in 1972 and was one of the first local doctors to support patients diagnosed with HIV and AIDS, saving countless lives through treatment and education. After seeing the need for specialized health care and safe spaces, he helped found the Winnipeg Gay Community Health Centre, the Village Clinic and Nine Circles Community Health Centre. He brought his activism and leadership to other roles as President of the Manitoba College of Family Physicians and President of Medical Staff for Misericordia Hospital.

“Receiving this recognition from RRC Polytech is a great honour,” says Dr. Smith. “Working with people has been the touchstone of my career and I’ve been so fortunate to forge many valuable connections here in Winnipeg while doing something I love. I hope that RRC Polytech graduates find something they love to do and find wonderful people to work alongside.”

In 2016, Dr. Smith came out of retirement to help open a multidisciplinary organization called Our Own Health Centre, which specializes in providing medical and well-being care to members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

A brave pioneer, a determined activist, an empathetic and nurturing caregiver, a committed leader, a philanthropist, and treasured member of the queer community, Dr. Smith serves as an incredible example to students, faculty, and alumni of RRC Polytech.

“Dr. Smith cannot be commended enough for the positive impact his inspirational journey has made. From healing the sick, to educating others about accepting all people and their chosen identities, to influencing systemic change – his passion for improving the lives of those around him has never wavered,” says Dr. Christine Watson, RRC Polytech Vice President, Academic and Tributes Committee Chair. “RRC Polytech has made a commitment in our new Strategic Plan to incorporate equity, diversity and inclusion into everything we do. Dr. Smith’s legacy reinforces why this commitment is so important and serves as a reminder that systemic change is not only necessary but achievable.”

Notre Dame Campus Power Outage

June 29, 2022

Due to a Manitoba Hydro power outage, RRC Polytech’s Notre Dame Campus is closing for the day and all on-campus classes and services are cancelled. We expect regular operation to resume tomorrow, Thursday, June 30.

This outage is affecting customers across in the area surrounding the campus and Manitoba Hydro will need an extended amount of time to resolve the issue.

Regular operations are expected to resume on Thursday, June 30, 2022. All other campuses remain open today.

Lights, Camera, Action: A Second Chance at Convocation

June 22, 2022

Today, after two years of virtual graduation ceremonies, alumni and their classmates, friends, family and loved ones, along with RRC Polytech staff are gathering for a second chance at convocation. Almost 1000 RRC Polytech alumni will be donning a cap and gown to cross the stage in person during ceremonies at the Centennial Concert Hall.

“We recognize that being surrounded by classmates and loved ones, and crossing the stage is a major milestone to help celebrate students’ hard work and achievements. We wanted to be able to provide this memorable in-person experience to alumni who had virtual convocation ceremonies over the last two years,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice President, Academic, who is emceeing the alumni graduation ceremonies.

Earlier this spring, after receiving positive survey responses from alumni who graduated between Spring 2020 and Winter 2022, the College announced that special return convocation ceremonies would be held for its alumni.

For Tian Tian, since arriving in Canada in 2020, not only did she have to learn how to navigate a new country and way of life, but also navigate classes in a new online learning environment. Despite all challenges, Tian, seamlessly managed a demanding class schedule, found time to give back to the community, and began building a family.

Starting her education journey at the onset of the pandemic, and finishing during another wave of the pandemic, she now has the opportunity to attend the in-person convocation ceremony she had anticipated.

“I am grateful to be able to join my instructors and fellow classmates in person – they have been fundamental in helping me build brave relationships here at RRC Polytech and prepare for my future career,” says Tian, who is a 2021 Honours grad of the Manufacturing CAD program and recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for outstanding achievement.

“Today is also extremely special because my son, Alexis, who became our youngest classmate, will be with my family in the audience while I cross the stage.”

Tian will be bringing remarks at the 7:00 p.m. alumni convocation ceremony tonight – this ceremony along those at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. will be available via livestream at

Congratulations to the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022!

RRC Polytech celebrates 2,000 grads at in-person convocation

June 13, 2022

Today, RRC Polytech is celebrating its latest group of graduates with an in-person ceremony — the first held in-person since February 2020.

“Tonight’s ceremony marks a fresh start for our graduates. They have accomplished a great deal through challenging circumstances — they truly deserve a celebration,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President Academic.

“Our convocation ceremonies represent opportunity and new beginnings. We are excited to be gathering together again to celebrate our students’ achievements.”

More than 2,000 students — many of whom completed a significant portion of their learning in a virtual setting — will cross the stage over three ceremonies, the first of which takes place tonight at 7:00 p.m.

Among the honourees at this week’s ceremonies are Taryn Lucas and Trent Adams, the College’s 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal recipients. RRC Polytech awards up to four Lieutenant Governor’s Medal awards each year to graduating students who excel in academic and technical achievement, involvement in College and/or community activities, and good character.

Lucas graduates from the Community Development program, while Adams graduates from Environmental Engineering Technology.

“At RRC Polytech, I have been able to develop meaningful and impactful relationships with amazing students and communities, which has helped to further develop my portfolio of purpose. I now feel capable of tackling the real-life situations in front of me,” says Lucas.

“I hope to further my education towards law school and include advancements in my social finance and impact investing knowledge, which will in turn allow me to reach the point of becoming Mayor of Winnipeg, helping to decide our city council which helps to impact the Greater Winnipeg and Manitoba region.”

“The class of 2022 have proven they’re capable to adapt to great change, and thrive despite challenging circumstances,” says Dr. Watson. “I look forward to seeing what they bring to their careers and communities.”

RRC Polytech will continue to offer a virtual convocation experience for those who are unable to attend or are not yet ready for a large, in-person gathering.

For a full list of graduates and award winners, and to stream the ceremony, visit

April 13 Storm Update

April 13, 2022

There are no changes to the update issued yesterday.

RRC Polytech will operate on a limited capacity for Wednesday, April 13 and Thursday, April 14. All programs at all campuses will be delivered online. Programs and services are anticipated to resume as normal on Tuesday, April 19.

Winnipeg Campus access is limited to critical staff only. Campus access at NDC will be restricted to Security (C-tower) and card-only access at EDC.

RRC Polytech’s Regional Campuses, as well as Stevenson Winnipeg, are closed for April 13, with all staff working from home and classes taking place online.

RRC Polytech understands that many students, faculty, and staff will be impacted with K-12 school closures. Our goal is to accommodate, to the greatest extent possible, those who must care for their children. If staff and faculty are affected by today’s closures, please connect with your manager or program so we can best support you. Students will not be negatively impacted should the storm or K-12 school closures impact your ability to attend class, submit an assignment or write a test or exam – please reach out to your programs for further support.

The Incident Command Team will continue to monitor the storm. Should there be significant disruptions expected (power, water, internet service) or a state of emergency declared, RRC Polytech will reassess our operations and provide updates as required.

Continue to follow our social media, emails or visit for further updates.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact

Update from Environment Canada

Snow which pushed northward into Winnipeg in the early morning hours will continue to track northward this morning into the Interlake. Snow at times heavy and blowing snow is expected to continue throughout the day, accompanied by northeast winds gusting as high as 70 km/h at times.

For the Red River Valley including Winnipeg and southeastern Manitoba the majority of the snow expected with this system will fall today. Snow and blowing snow will continue tonight through Thursday, although with lesser amounts expected. The southern Red River Valley and southeastern Manitoba may also see some drizzle or freezing drizzle as warmer air wraps into the system. Snow will continue Thursday evening, but accumulations should be limited, before tapering to flurries on Friday.

Further north the Interlake and areas east of Lake Winnipeg will see the majority of the snow tonight through Thursday.

Total snowfall accumulations by the time the time the storm tapers off range from 30-40 cm for Winnipeg, 40-60 cm for the western Red River Valley including Portage La Prairie and Morden, and 20-40 cm for the eastern Red River Valley and southeastern Manitoba.

Travel will become increasingly difficult as the day progresses.

April 13 and 14 Storm Update

April 12, 2022

There is no significant change to the update that was issued earlier today.

RRC Polytech will operate on a limited capacity for Wednesday, April 13 and Thursday, April 14. All programs at all campuses will be delivered online. Students will not be negatively impacted should the storm impact their ability to attend class, submit an assignment or write a test or exam.

During this period only Staff, critical to the operations of our campuses will be permitted on-campus during. Campus entry at NDC will be limited to the Security entrance (C-tower) and card-only access at EDC. Please reach out directly to Regional Campuses if you require access. All programs and services are anticipated to resume as normal on Tuesday, April 19.

Campus services available remotely

In-person services will not be available at this time and Student Service Centre representatives will be available remotely from 8:00am-3:45pm by phone at 204-632-2327 or email at  The offices of Student Support Services will remain closed until Tuesday, April 19, but will continue to offer services remotely, please contact 204-632-3966 or 204-949-8375. Campus Well-Being will continue offering some activities remotely.

The NDC Loft and the EDC Fitness Centre will be closed and re-open on April 19.

The Incident Command Team will continue to monitor the storm. Should conditions worsen and there are significant disruptions expected (power, water, internet service) or the City of Winnipeg or Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization declares a state of emergency, RRC Polytech will reassess our operations and provide updates as required.

Please continue to follow our social media channels, emails and visit online at for further updates.

Update from Environment Canada

Major spring storm poised to wallop southern Manitoba beginning overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning and lasting until Friday morning. Widespread snowfall accumulations of 30-50 cm accompanied by northerly winds gusting 60-70 km/h giving zero visibility at times in snow and blowing snow.

By Friday morning, widespread snowfall accumulations of 30 to 40 cm are likely.

Travel will become increasingly difficult as the day progresses Wednesday, with widespread highway closures a near-certainty. By Wednesday evening even travel within communities may become impossible as the heavy snow and strong winds continue… and more of the same is expected on Thursday.

Do not plan to travel – this storm has the potential to be the worst blizzard in decades. Stock up on needed supplies and medications now. Power outages are likely, rural areas in particular should be prepared for extended outages.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact

College Update: Major Snow Event 13-14 April

April 12, 2022

Due to the incoming winter storm, RRC Polytech plans to operate our campuses on a limited capacity for Wednesday, April 13, 2022, and Thursday, April 14, 2022. Only staff, critical to the operations of our campuses will be permitted on-campus during this time. We do not anticipate a return to normal operations until Tuesday April 19.

All remaining staff and faculty will work from home during this period. Classes will be delivered remotely where possible or rescheduled as needed. Students will not be negatively impacted should the storm impact their ability to attend class, submit an assignment or write a test or exam. Program areas will connect with students by the end of the day to advise of any scheduled changes in advance of the storm.

Employees whose work that cannot be conducted remotely will be supported on a case-by-case basis through their immediate supervisor. Forms of leave will be made available in the event employees are disrupted by power outages, childcare issues, or other emergency situations, because of the storm.  

The College’s Incident Command Team has been activated. We will continue to monitor the storm and guidance from the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization, Environment Canada, and the City of Winnipeg.

This is our current approach in advance of the storm, but it is subject to change. The Incident Command Team will continue to assess the situation to ensure that we are taking the best course of action to keep our community safe and keep you informed.

Our next update will be at 4:00 pm.

Current Storm Situation from Environment Canada

A winter storm watch is currently in effect for southern Manitoba, including the City of Winnipeg. The storm is expected to begin Tuesday evening and could persist into Friday.

Environment Canada is predicting accumulations of 30-50 cm of snow accompanied by northerly winds gusting 70-90 km/h, resulting in zero visibility at times. Travel is not recommended on Wednesday and Thursday as widespread highway closures are anticipated, and travel within communities may become difficult.

The College will share further updates through email, social media, and online at

Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and prepare an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight.

For information on emergency plans and kits, go to

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact

Thank you

Research, Partnerships & Innovation Enterprise at RRC Polytech Re-Aligning to Support Manitoba Businesses on a Global Stage Through Applied Research

March 24, 2022

For immediate release: March 24, 2022

Winnipeg, Manitoba on Treaty No. 1 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation –For more than 15 years, RRC Polytech’s Research Partnerships & Innovation enterprise has collaborated with local industry and community partners to find solutions to real-world challenges. And, over the course of the last five months, work has been underway on RRC Polytech’s new Academic Plan and Research Plan, focusing on alignment with the key commitments of the Strategic Plan, In Front of What’s Ahead.
Both plans will support how RRC Polytech will live its bold new direction over the next five years, and play significant roles in how the College achieves a renewed commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, deepens relationships with employers, industry and community partners, and supports growth and prosperity within Manitoba.

As of April 1, 2022, the Research, Partnerships & Innovation (RPI) department will be re-aligned to join the Indigenous Strategy and Business Development portfolio, a newly re-imagined area at RRC Polytech, led by Vice President, James (Jamie) Wilson. This re-alignment was largely guided through the process of developing the new Research Plan.
“This change in structure was a natural fit, as several goals in the Research Plan align extremely well with the mandate of RRC Polytech’s newly created Indigenous Strategy and Business Development portfolio,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech.
“This re-alignment is one of the ways we are positioning RRC Polytech to achieve our strategic goals and elevate our role in strengthening Manitoba’s economic, social, environmental and cultural prosperity.”
The College’s newly re-imagined area led by Vice President, Jamie Wilson, will now be Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development. Through the recent introduction of this role, Jamie Wilson, has already identified many opportunities to provide a suite of services including the continued service model that positions RRC Polytech as a responsive and client-centred partner for industry and employers. This service model is one that RPI continues to successfully leverage, providing solutions for industry challenges and delivering in-demand training to meet labour market needs.
“The overlap between business development, applied research and Indigenous growth is what differentiates Manitoba on a global scale. This is an empowerment of Manitoba’s value proposition,” says Jamie Wilson, Vice President, Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development.
“The re-alignment of the Research, Partnerships & Innovation department will ensure research at the College is approached through an Indigenous lens, and open up new opportunities for collaboration on shared goals and initiatives between academic programs, applied research, and business development.”
As Manitoba’s Polytechnic, applied research will continue to play a key role in academic programs, providing high quality work-integrated learning opportunities for RRC Polytech students, including the integration of capstone projects into curricula.

RPI will continue to engage in the important work that it has set out to accomplish and re-alignment in this new portfolio will truly enable RRC Polytech’s work to expands its reach, creating the right connections within the College, and in the community to support the Research Plan’s ambitious goals and strategic direction over the next five years.  

The re-envisioned area of Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development presents an exciting new opportunity to create and deepen partnerships between the business community, College, and Indigenous community. And this opportunity will make a major impact as RRC Polytech embeds Truth and Reconciliation and pursues equity, diversity, and inclusion in everything we do.


Research, Partnerships & Innovation (RPI) at RRC Polytech involves applied research spanning sectors from aerospace to early childhood education and can include innovations in products, processes and the diffusion of information and technology. RPI is home to three Technology Access Centres (TACs) – Building Efficiency Technology Access Centre (BETAC), Prairie Research Kitchen (PRK), and Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing (TACAM) – and dynamic research facilities, including the Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC) and the Science of Early Childhood Education (SECD) initiative. To learn more about RPI, visit