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Something Like A Genomenon: Genome360 Initiative Launches Today At Red River College

March 21, 2019

Winnipeg, MB – Today, Red River College (RRC) is showing off its good genes, with the launch of the Genome360 initiative and the unveiling of new, state-of-the-art equipment to support ongoing learning and research at the College.

Today’s unveiling will showcase the iSeq100, a small but mighty machine – not much bigger than a microwave – that will bring Red River College into the era of next-generation DNA sequencing. Designed for simplicity, the iSeq100 allows labs of all sizes to sequence DNA rapidly and with high accuracy. The equipment will provide students with the hands-on training needed to excel within laboratories and to thrive in the workforce of this growing field.

Also on display at today’s launch is a prototype Molecular Biology Interactive Learning Enterprise – or MOBILE Lab, for short. The electric vehicle, that’s bigger than a golf cart but smaller than a car, will be parked temporarily inside RRC’s A building today, and while it’s designed for mobility, its permanent home is with Genome Prairie. The MOBILE lab, developed in partnership with Westward Industries, provides storage, transport, and sufficient workspace to bring the lab into the field or classroom.

With a total investment of $2.3 million, the Genome360 initiative aims to propel Manitoba to prominence in the genomics sector. Included in the investment is Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) equipment such as the iSeq100, now located at Red River College.

Genome360 is an initiative started by Genome Prairie and its funding partners to build a hub for genomics and phenomics capabilities in Manitoba.

WHO: Representatives from Red River College, Genome Prairie, Illumina Canada, Pest Surveillance Initiative, and the Composites Innovation Centre will speak prior to a reception and tour of the lab where the iSeq100 equipment is housed.

WHEN: Today, Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 10:30a.m. (formal program to begin at 10:30a.m. with reception and tour to follow)

Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus – Building lobby (East entrance)
2055 Notre Dame Ave

Photo opportunities:

  • Announcement of funding from RRC President Paul Vogt, industry partners
  • iSeq100 sequencing machine in lab A205
  • MOBILE Lab – an electric-powered vehicle that provides storage, transport, and workspace to bring the lab into the field or classroom


Transportation Leader and Visionary Donates $1.5M to Red River College

March 20, 2019

A transportation pioneer will help Red River College train the next generation of industry achievers, and ensure the viability of Manitoba’s skilled workforce for decades to come.

Jan den Oudsten — founder and former president of New Flyer Industries, and inventor of leading-edge transit technology — along with his wife, Maria den Oudsten, is donating $1.5 million to RRC, one of the largest gifts the College has ever received from individual donors.

“I spent much of my life in an industry I am passionate about, and am incredibly humbled to be able to give back and inspire the next generation of learners,” says den Oudsten. “Working and living in Winnipeg was the best time of my life. Winnipeg has the best bus builders in the world, and it is my hope that with this gift that reputation of excellence can continue for many more years.”

RRC is celebrating the transformative gift by officially renaming its Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre. The 60,000-sq.-ft. training and research facility will now be proudly known as the Jan den Oudsten Vehicle Technology & Research Centre (VTRC).

The expansive complex was built in 2008, and was one of the first education centres in Manitoba to receive LEED® Silver certification from the Canada Green Building Council. Every day, close to 170 students at VTRC are trained in transportation technology programs such as Heavy Duty Mechanic, Truck Transport Mechanic (apprenticeship), Trailer Mechanic (apprenticeship), Outdoor Power Equipment (certificate and apprenticeship) and specialized training for General Motors.

VTRC also works with industry partners such as New Flyer to drive applied research in vehicle technology and development, and to support the transportation industry on energy conservation and alternatives (such as electrification), cold-weather testing and technology integration.

This work is expanding with the construction of MotiveLab™, a 7,000-sq.-ft. research facility that will support Manitoba’s heavy vehicle sector, including transit. MotiveLab™ contains a climatic chamber with the ability to test vehicles in extreme weather conditions — from -40C to +50C — while under full load conditions.

“On behalf of Red River College I am so grateful and honoured that the den Oudstens chose to support the College through this impactful gift. Their generosity will benefit thousands of students every year by enabling the College to build and upgrade its state-of-the-art facilities with cutting edge equipment,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Students today, and for decades to come, will be equipped with the confidence, training and skills necessary to become leaders in their chosen fields, all thanks to Jan and Maria den Oudsten.”

Den Oudsten’s contributions to the vehicle research sector have made a significant impact around the world over his 50 years of service. 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 using 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 transit bus design. Under his leadership, New Flyer expanded to over 2,000 employees. Today, the company has more than 44,000 buses in service, just over 7,300 of which are electric powered and 1,600 of which are zero-emission.

On Thu., March 21, den Oudsten will also be recognized and honoured with the 2019 Pioneer Award from the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – Manitoba.

Better, Faster, Stronger: SpaRRCky prepares to compete at the 2019 Shell Eco-marathon

March 14, 2019

Today, Red River College’s Shell Eco-marathon competition team will be unveiling the updated SpaRRCky battery-electric vehicle.

The Shell Eco-marathon is a competition that challenges students around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient vehicle. With three major annual events in Asia, Americas and Europe, student teams take to the track to see who goes the farthest on the least amount of fuel.

SpaRRCky raced against 100 student teams in the 2018 competition and placed 14th in the battery-electric category after a successful run around the track – achieving 104km/kwh. The team is hoping that with experience under their belt, and improvements to SpaRRCky, they’ll place even higher in the 2019 competition.

WHERE:      Skilled Trades and Technology Centre – 2055 Notre Dame Avenue

WHEN:          TODAY March 14, 2019

TIME:            4p.m

WHAT:        Guests and media will have the opportunity to hear from team members and
faculty advisers about the improvements and changes made to SpaRRCky
over the last year. Opportunity to view and photograph the completed
SpaRRCky vehicle with members of the team.

Indigenous Culinary Skills students open first pop-up short order restaurant at Red River College

March 11, 2019

Winnipeg, MB – Red River College’s inaugural Indigenous Culinary Skills program is cooking up opportunities for students and re-opening the doors to the College’s Prairie Lights restaurant at the Notre Dame Campus.

The College’s first-ever pop-up short order restaurant will see this inaugural group of students cooking made-from-scratch breakfast and lunch starting March 12th to April 17th, with a menu featuring a new take on some delicious Indigenous dishes.

“A key priority for the College is to advance Indigenous achievement and elevate student success. Our role as a college is to ensure we create the programs, supports and opportunities that allow Indigenous peoples to demonstrate their leadership and innovation in all facets of our society,” said Rebecca Chartrand, Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

The students will operate the restaurant as a real short order kitchen, which won’t only give students practical experience that they can use when they enter the workforce but it will also touch on power skills like team work, communication, time management and problem solving. This initiative demonstrates the College’s commitment to support Indigenous learners on their journey towards education and successful employment as well as growing Indigenous peoples successfully into all industries.

“By offering traditional Indigenous dishes such as bannock tacos and 3-sisters soup, these students will be sharing their culture with the rest of the College and members of the public who come to dine at Prairie Lights. That really fits into the work we are doing with Truth and Reconciliation through celebrating Indigenous culture and advancing Indigenous achievement in our communities. You can really see the sense of pride students have by sharing the food they make that is part of their history.”

The restaurant will also give employment experience to students enrolled in College Transition, a one-year exploratory certificate program. The College has hired these students to run the “front-of-house” operation and as part of their new role also received First-Aid Training and their Food Handler’s certification.

“Red River College is dedicated to finding innovative opportunities to build a better future for students,” says Chartrand. “There is a compelling need for financial assistance for Indigenous students who want to pursue post-secondary education, so we will find solutions and remove barriers to education and employment wherever we can.”

The Prairie Lights restaurant will be open to the public from March 12th to April 17th and offers made-from-scratch breakfast, lunch and daily specials. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday; 9 am to 10:30 am for breakfast, and 11 am to 12:30 for lunch. Seating is limited and is first-come, first-served.

Get to the Chopper; Government of Canada invests in hands-on training at RRC’s Stevenson Campus

March 7, 2019

Winnipeg, MB – It’s all systems go today at Red River College’s (RRC) Stevenson Campus, where the Government of Canada will make an exciting announcement for Manitoba’s aviation sector – one of the largest in Canada.

Dr. Doug Eyolfson, Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia-Headingley and Paul Vogt, RRC President and CEO will share flight plans to ensure students training for careers aircraft maintenance training will be ready for takeoff generations to come.

For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Emily Doer, 204-990-1885 or

On behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, MP Doug Eyolfson will announce support that will help students reach new heights in aviation and aeronautics.


  • Dr. Doug Eyolfson, Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia-Headingley
  • Paul Vogt, RRC President and CEO
  • RRC Aviation and Aerospace students, instructors, and staff
  • Industry partners and supporters

DATE: Thursday, March 7, 2019

TIME: 11:00am

Red River College’s Stevenson Aviation Campus – Hubert Kleysen Hangar:
2280 Saskatchewan Avenue

Photo opportunities:

  • MP Doug Eyolfson and RRC President, Paul Vogt, will make the announcement in Red River College’s Stevenson Campus in the Hubert Kleysen Hangar.
  • Students working in the classrooms and in hangar area.

Red River College and Indspire Announce $1 Million in Bursaries to Advance Indigenous Achievement

February 7, 2019

Winnipeg, MB – Today, Red River College (RRC) and Indspire announced a commitment to double the funding for the Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards. This renewed investment will support Red River College’s continued efforts to create more pathways to education for aspiring Indigenous students. Today’s announcement builds on RRC’s commitment to advance Indigenous achievement in Manitoba.

“This financial support we’ve created demonstrates our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. There is a compelling need for financial assistance for Indigenous students who want to pursue post-secondary education. The Building Brighter Futures bursary we’ve created at Red River College will help remove financial barriers for students to support their educational aspirations,” says Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy, Rebecca Chartrand.

“From an educational perspective, Red River College is already seeing the difference these funds are making for our students. We have a number of students in our School of Indigenous Education who wouldn’t be here had it not been for this meaningful and impactful partnership, and we’re excited to see the impact we will have as we continue to grow this bursary to support more students.”

In the pilot year, the Building Brighter Futures bursary provided support to 85 aspiring Indigenous students by matching dollar for dollar to cover the full cost of tuition, books and supplies for students enrolled in RRC’s Indigenous Education programs. Now in its second-year, the innovative partnership will provide $1 million in financial support and enable twice as many students to enroll in the following Indigenous Education programs:

  • ACCESS Pathway to Health Programs (10-month transitional program)
  • ACCESS Pathway to Engineering Technology Programs (10-month transitional program)
  • Culinary Skills Indigenous Certificate (10 months)
  • Social Enterprise Diploma (2 years)
  • Indigenous Language Certificate Program (10 months)
  • Introduction To Trades (5-month preparatory program)
  • College Transition (10 months)
  • Community Development/Community Economic Development (2 years)

A key pillar of RRC’s five-year strategic plan is to continue to support Indigenous student success and through this initiative, led by RRC’s School of Indigenous Education, the College believes these bursaries will help continue to remove the barriers to access post-secondary education for Indigenous learners in Manitoba.

“The College is focused on Indigenous Achievement, which means we are focused on creating opportunities for Indigenous students. We are working hard to build partnership with Industry, Indigenous organizations and other bodies that want to support our students,” said Chartrand.

“This partnership is another step in the direction of supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis to achieve their potential, so they can in turn transform their families, communities, and Canada,” said Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire. “We are grateful for the support of Red River College and for the work they are doing to advance Indigenous achievement and education.”

Indigenous students who are interested in learning more about Indigenous programs and bursaries available are invited to attend the Aspiring Indigenous Student Enrolment Fair on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 from 1:00pm – 7:00pm at the Notre Dame Campus in the Indigenous Support Centre.

The event will provide future students with an opportunity to meet Support Staff and Instructors who can answer questions and help with filling out application forms for any of the featured programs. Students are asked to bring their Social Insurance Number, official high school transcripts and proof of Indigenous Ancestry to help complete the applications.

Learn more at

Indspire is a national Indigenous charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. Indspire’s vision is to enrich Canada through Indigenous education and by inspiring achievement. In partnership with Indigenous, private and public sector stakeholders, Indspire educates, connects and invests in Indigenous people so they will achieve their highest potential.

Red River College hires first-ever Truth and Reconciliation Manager

February 5, 2019

Winnipeg, MB – Red River College is proud to announce that Carla Kematch has been hired as the new Manager, Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement. Kematch will lead the College in their commitment to Manitoba’s Indigenous Education Blueprint, an unprecedented commitment to advance Indigenous education in the province and to make Manitoba a global centre of excellence for Indigenous education, research, languages and culture.

As one of nine post-secondary signatories to the Manitoba Indigenous Education Blueprint, which takes action on recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the College recognizes it has an important, proactive role to play in supporting reconciliation efforts in the province.

“A key priority for the College is to strengthen our partnerships and continue to advance Indigenous achievement in our communities, and education is the key to improving the lives of Indigenous peoples and to improving Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations across Canada,” said Rebecca Chartrand, Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy. “Our role as a college is to ensure we create the programs, supports and opportunities that allow Indigenous peoples to demonstrate their leadership and innovation in all facets of our society. We are excited about the skills, experience and perspective that Carla brings to the College as we look at addressing the important role we play in supporting the calls to action towards Truth and Reconciliation.”

Kematch comes to the college with 30 years’ experience working within the Indigenous community in a variety of capacities, including the development of training programs for staffs, community clients, board members and other partners which has also included: policy development, needs assessment, implementation plans, evaluation and delivery of group training. As part of her work in program development, she developed, launched and stabilized Art City. Her policy work at the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs for five years focused on promoting Indigenous hiring, recruitment and retention plans. From there, she worked at the Mental Health Commission of Canada as a Project Winnipeg Site Consultant and United Way as their Capacity Building Director.

In addition to these projects, Carla has extensive knowledge developing recruitment and retention plans for government department and projects, private sector and nonprofit organizations: such as the Red River Expansion Project and Valard Construction. In both these projects, Indigenous communities were engaged and processes were developed for the hiring and training of Indigenous community members.

“This position came up and it just seemed like a natural fit for me to move in and indigenize the different areas within Red River College. I know it’s a big project but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Kematch. “The 94 Calls to Action covers all aspects of everyone’s lives; health and wellness, government policy, and education institutes, so it’s all encompassing. It also recognizes the history of Indigenous people, their challenges as well as celebrating the culture. Ideally, we will embed, instill and recognize the Calls to Action within every area. I think everybody is doing it already, they just haven’t been able to identify what it is they are doing and how it correlates to the specific calls, so if staff and students recognize that they are already doing it then it will be easier to embed it and instill it in how they work every day.” 

Lifelong learning lands Red River College a spot on Top Employer list for ninth straight year

November 28, 2018

What we’re doing is working; for students, industry and 2,300 dedicated employees

Winnipeg, MB – Today, RRC celebrates its commitment to creating personal and professional learning opportunities for employees – almost half of which are alumni and graduates themselves – an accomplishment that once again lands the College a spot on Manitoba’s Top Employer list for nine years running.

“When it comes to educating students, providing training and research opportunities, and meeting the needs of industry – what we’re doing is working,” said Melanie Gudmundson, Chief Human Resource Officer. “And it’s the dedicated efforts of our staff and faculty members who make this statement a reality everyday with their commitment to the College and our students.

“This is why we are continually striving to build a work environment that has programs and supports, including training and professional development opportunities that ensure staff and faculty success.”

Learning is a core value of Red River College, which is committed to providing an exceptional learning environment for employees as well as students. The College focuses on staff learning and development activities and events, led by industry experts – most of whom are all members of the Red River College community.

“Every week you will hear of a different department hosting an event. From research lunch and learns, to traditional Sweat Lodge ceremonies, to mental health speaker series, to daily fitness classes – there are many opportunities for staff to engage in new professional and personal development activities. This is something we encourage all employees to take advantage of,” said Gudmundson.

The College has also continued to introduce more formalized internal training opportunities to encourage continuous lifelong learning and professional growth. These include major initiatives like RED Forum, a day-long professional development event for all RRC employees from all campuses, and a new online training program,, which provides unlimited access to 6,000+ videos and courses at the click of a button.

Those interested in learning outside of office hours also have access to RRC’s School of Continuing Education, which delivers over 100 personal and professional development programs, including full and part-time certificate programs.  All College employees are eligible to enroll and tuition fees are waived if there is space available in the course.

“As a College we are committed to educating the community and we are proud that this includes our very own dedicated staff and faculty members,” said Gudmundson.

“As educators, leaders, researchers, and innovators committed to education, meeting the changing needs of industry, and contributing to the province’s economic growth, we are proud of the work we are doing, and to once again be named one of Manitoba’s Top Employers.

For more information please visit:

A Celebration of Trades and Technologies on Display at New Red River College Facility

November 15, 2018

Award-Winning Skilled Trades and Technology Centre Officially Opened by Red River College and Province of Manitoba

With a little help from its Robot-in-Residence – Baxter – Red River College (RRC) and the Province of Manitoba officially opened the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC) at the College’s Notre Dame Campus.

Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen led the official ceremonies and assisted Baxter with his task of opening RRC’s newest addition to its Notre Dame Campus.

“Careers in the skilled trades are in high demand across the province and this building creates the opportunity for more Manitobans to receive top-level training that will keep our industries ahead of the curve and continue to grow our economy,” said Goertzen.

“We are pleased to have invested $61.6 million to help Red River College develop an inspired learning environment with state-of the-art equipment that takes post-secondary training to new heights.”

The new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre spanning 104,000 square-feet will boost RRC’s training capacity by 30 per cent, and provide training and education for up to 1,000 students a year in many high-demand trades, including:

  • Electrical
  • Carpentry
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Manufacturing Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)
  • Manufacturing Technician
  • Precision Metal Machining
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, and,
  • Technology Management

“For 80 years we’ve created programs and innovative learning spaces that equip our grads with the right skills and experience to meet the needs of our province’s economy and its workforce. The STTC is part of the ongoing growth we’ve been experiencing at Red River College – and today, we’re not just celebrating the trades, we’re putting them at the forefront of what we do,” said Paul Vogt, President and CEO of RRC.

“We’ve had a reputation for being ‘just’ a trades college – yes, we are a trades college, and we’re proud of that. We’re also so much more than a trades college, and you can see that in the way the STTC was built. Every component was designed for the student experience, for applied-learning. The building itself displays the leading-edge construction techniques students will be putting into practice after they graduate from Red River.”

Students walked through its doors for the first time this August, experiencing what is designed to be a celebration of the trades and technologies. Each program’s unique laboratories and workshops are on display through floor-to-ceiling windows and are linked together by the sky lit Galleria, allowing for industry professionals, staff, and prospective students to see skills at work. Sensors in the walls, windows and ceilings will allow students to monitor how the building is interacting with the external environment. And the crawlspaces below the building are tall enough to allow students to study all aspects of the heating, electrical and water systems.

Faculty, staff and students had a large hand in the STTC’s design and building process. Number TEN Architectural Group designed the building after holding hundreds of consultations with the College community to determine needs for today and for the next 80 years.

Some examples of student and staff involvement include: student-built workbenches, tool cabinets, PLC and Motor Control instructional stations. The interior and exterior brickwork was designed in the College’s Masonry program and full-size curtainwall mock-ups were built and tested in the College’s BETAC (Building Envelope Technology Access Centre) program.

Akman Construction broke ground on the project in 2016 and are currently working to complete an addition to the building, the Smart Factory, which is scheduled to be complete in 2019. The building has already earned the Green Building Excellence in New Construction award from the Manitoba chapter of the Canada Green Building Council for its efforts in sustainability and LEED Gold target. Some key highlights of the building’s green efforts include a geothermal heating system, tubular skylights, a rainwater retention system and a green roof garden.

This project was made possible through the generous support of the Province of Manitoba, Bockstael Construction Ltd. and the Gene Haas Foundation.

Update: Off campus incident – EDC

October 19, 2018

It has been a very difficult few days for members of the Red River College community as we heard the frightening news that one of our instructors was assaulted off campus in the Exchange District while walking to catch a bus on Tuesday evening.

Many of you have been asking for an update on our instructor’s condition and I’m thankful to report that he has been discharged from the hospital and is now recovering at home. We are continuing to stay in touch with him and will provide any support he and his family need. He gave us permission to provide this update about his condition. Thanks for all of your expressions of concern and well wishes, which I was able to pass along to our instructor during our visit yesterday afternoon.

A counsellor from LifeWorks, the College’s Employee and Family Assistance provider (EFAP) will be on site at Roblin Centre tomorrow, Friday, October 19, 2018 to meet with any staff who require support. The counsellor will be in W306 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Please don’t hesitate to drop in and talk with our counsellor.

I also had the opportunity to talk with many of you yesterday about your security concerns – thank you for taking the time to share your views and also your ideas on how we can improve safety for our staff and students. The safety of our RRC community is our top priority and it is why we took several immediate measures to increase security including adding a dedicated mobile street patrol unit from 4 p.m. to midnight daily for our facilities in the Exchange District. We have also extended the hours of security coverage until 11 p.m. at ACE Space on McDermot (in addition to the 24/7 coverage provided at the Roblin Centre and PGI).

During our conversations yesterday at EDC, a number of people expressed concern about the specific area where the assault occurred – under the covered walkway next to the former Public Safety Building. We know this vacant block is of concern and will continue to push for measures, such as improved lighting, that could help enhance pedestrian safety. We will also ensure that our mobile street patrol unit prioritizes this particular area during their daily security duties.

RRC Security and the College’s Safety and Health Services (SHS) units have also begun an in-depth review of the incident and our security procedures to determine if additional measures are needed. We welcome your suggestions so please don’t hesitate to reach out to members of our Security and SHS teams with your ideas.

I also understand that we have seen an increase in the use of our Safe Walk Program since the incident and I’m pleased that staff and students are using this service. I know that people are sometimes reluctant to ask for help when they are leaving campus and walking to their car or the bus, but our security folks are anxious to be of service. As you know, there are Safe Walk phones available for use on campus, or you can call the following security numbers:

  • EDC – 204-949-8305
  • PGI – 204-631-3381
  • NDC – 204-632-2323

The Winnipeg Police Service is continuing to investigate the incident and we will provide updates as they are available. The police are also asking for the public’s help and if you or anyone you know have information that may assist them, please contact them at 204.986.6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204.786.TIPS (8477).


Paul Vogt  | President & CEO

Red River College of Applied Arts, Science and Technology