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Celebration of trades and technologies on display at new RRC facility

November 15, 2018

With a little help from Baxter, its Robot-in-Residence, Red River College joined with the Province of Manitoba yesterday to officially open the new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC) at the 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.

“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,” 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.”

Spanning 104,000 square feet, the STTC will boost RRC’s training capacity by 30 per cent, providing training and education for up to 1,000 students a year in high-demand trades, including:

  • Electrical
  • Carpentry
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Manufacturing Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)
  • Manufacturing Technician
  • Precision Metal Machining
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • 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 RRC President Paul Vogt (shown, second from left).

“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 College.” Read More →

RRC ranked among Top 10 research colleges in Canada

November 2, 2018

Red River College has again been ranked one of Canada’s top 10 research colleges.

The designation comes courtesy of the annual Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges list, released yesterday by Re$earch Infosource Inc.

This is the second research-related distinction bestowed on RRC in less than a month. On Oct. 9, the College won the silver award in the Applied Research category at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Awards in Melbourne, Australia.

“These recent recognitions prove the ongoing research efforts of the College and our partners are working,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“We’ve worked on some outstanding projects in the past, such as battery-operated buses and energy-efficient office towers — projects that benefit our communities through their sustainable approach to engineering. We’re excited to see what we can achieve in the future.”

Recent expansions to RRC mean the College can continue supporting the needs of industry while establishing a base of highly skilled graduates to work in these fields once they finish school.

“We’ve accomplished great things with our existing capacities,” says Ray Hoemsen, executive director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC. “Our new additions mean we’ll be even better equipped to help our industry partners achieve their goals while we continue to enhance learning at the College.

“We’ll soon be opening our new MotiveLab (shown above), a unique vehicle testing facility where students and researchers will work side-by-side on equipment that will be used across North America.”

Also opening soon is the Smart Factory, an applied research space where students can work in a factory-like setting on emerging technologies such as robotics, automation and additive manufacturing.

In addition to these new facilities, the College is poised to bolster the future of research in Manitoba via its new $95-million Innovation Centre (now under construction,) as well as a Culinary Research Centre that’s slated to open at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute next year.

Police academy: Veteran cop to head new course after ‘writing the book’ on modern law enforcement

October 24, 2018

Staff Sgt. Bob Chrismas, a 30-year veteran of the Winnipeg Police Service, is the newly appointed instructor of RRC’s Justice and Public Safety program, available via part-time or online delivery.

“They (the College) reached out to me. They said they needed an instructor for a course called Policing in the 21stCentury,” says Chrismas, now 56.

“I called back and said ‘Are you kidding? I literally wrote the book.’”

He’s not joking. In 2013, McGill-Queen’s University Press published Chrismas’ book Canadian Policing in the 21st Century: A Frontline Officer on Challenges and Changes. It was the runner up for best non-fiction at the 2014 Manitoba Book Awards.

Like the book, RRC’s Policing in the 21st Century course will examine the history of policing and changes in policing philosophy, while also exploring what law enforcement may look like in the future.

“Some major issues are how we engage technology, centralizing versus decentralizing, and being proactive as opposed to reactive — community-oriented rather than just reacting to issues,” Chrismas explains.

“My passion that’s developed within the police service is trying to be more proactive and preventative. You get a much better bang for your buck out of crime prevention in the long run. With reacting, you’re often not addressing the root of the problem. You’re just reacting and arresting people.” Read More →

Starving for support: Donation drive to benefit student food bank this week

October 22, 2018

Community Development students at Red River College will host a donation drive this week in support of the Students’ Association Food Bank, an on-campus resource that provides help to those for whom healthy meals are too often a luxury.

In conjunction with Winnipeg Harvest, the RRCSA operates bi-weekly food banks at both the Exchange District and Notre Dame Campuses, providing hampers comprised of donated food and household items.

This Fri., Oct. 26, students from RRC’s Community Development/Community Economic Development program will host a fundraiser at the Notre Dame Campus, where they’ll accept both monetary donations and non-perishable food items.

The event will run from 11am to 3pm in the Library Hallway, and will feature games, a silent auction, a 50/50 draw, and an indoor market. (Learn more at the event’s official website.)

In Canada, it’s estimated that four out of 10 post-secondary students find themselves “food insecure” to some degree, while at RRC, more than half of all students are engaged in full-time studies, which can make it harder for them to offset their food costs through part-time work.

 

College to launch first post-secondary course on cannabis in Manitoba

October 15, 2018

Red River College is rolling out a new Cannabis 101 course — the first of its kind to be offered by a post-secondary institution in Manitoba, and one of few available across the prairies.

The new course will be officially announced at this week’s Cannabis Legalization conference, taking place Fri., Oct. 19, at the Roblin Centre, where industry experts, medical professionals, regulators, educators and investors will gather for a series of keynote sessions and discussion panels.

The conference will focus on the province’s budding cannabis industry, growing partnership opportunities with First Nations and the Métis Nation, and ways Red River College can assist with formal education and applied research.

“The federal and provincial governments have encouraged Indigenous partnerships and participation within this industry,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy. “We were approached by our community leaders to establish safe and regulated educational programming that supports entrepreneurship and growth in the cannabis and hemp industries.”

The conference will take place just days after the legalization of recreational cannabis in Manitoba, while the new course is slated to launch on Nov. 6. Both have been in development for months through a working group established between RRC’s School of Indigenous Education, Indigenous community leaders, and the province’s Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority.

The introductory course will explore the business behind cannabis — looking at everything from safety and regulations, to public policy and education, to the training and skills required to pursue a career in the industry.

It’ll focus on five key modules: legislation, regulations, licensing and bylaws; the anatomy and physiology of cannabis plants; cannabis production; the distribution and sale of cannabis; and responsible use of cannabis.

College honoured with global award for applied research

October 12, 2018

Red River College has again been recognized as a global leader in applied research and innovation by the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP).

At the organization’s Awards of Excellence in Melbourne, Australia on Oct. 9, the College was awarded silver in the Applied Research category for contributions led by its Research Partnerships & Innovation (RPI) department, which was formally established in 2004.

“We’re honoured to receive this award from WFCP. It’s a wonderful celebration of the outstanding work our staff and students do every day,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “As RPI enters its fifteenth year of operation, this award is a great way to both recognize the achievements we’ve made and to motivate us to continue reaching for greatness.”

The WFCP Awards honour excellence in addressing real-world challenges through applied research initiatives. WFCP last honoured RRC in 2014 with a bronze award at a ceremony in Beijing, China.

“This award is another significant achievement for applied research at Red River College,” says Ray Hoemsen, director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC.

“For nearly 15 years we’ve been dedicated to working with partners to meet the needs of our community and to support community-based economic development. Receiving global recognition for these partnerships speaks to the outstanding quality of the research initiatives that happen at the College.” Read More →

A family affair: RRC confirms ‘IT’ couple as Distinguished Graduate Award recipients

October 5, 2018

Red River College is proud to announce the latest recipients of its Distinguished Graduate Award: husband and wife Stu and Heather Charles, both graduates of RRC’s Computer Analyst/Programmer program, now known as Business Information Technology (BIT). 

The pair will be honoured by the College and their peers at the upcoming BIT 50thAnniversary Gala, a celebration of a half-century of information technology training at RRC taking place Sat., Nov. 3, at the Club Regent Event Centre.

“We are very proud to honour Stu and Heather, two successful and very deserving recipients who now join the ranks of such notable graduates as national news anchor Dawna Friesen, entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Tallman, and WWE superstar Chris Jericho,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Throughout the College’s 80-year history, fewer than 40 graduates have been nominated for this prestigious award. After walking through these doors, each has gone on to do great things — giving back to their communities, and celebrating the education that helped them get to where they are today. Stu and Heather are no exception.”

Stu and Heather met at RRC back in 1977, when both were enrolled in the CAP program. They shared an immediate interest in the then-burgeoning field of computer programming and communicating with computers.

“Red River College is where it all started for us,” says Heather. “It was a place that gave us our first opportunity to enter into a new and emerging field and meet 75 like-minded people who were interested in learning more about computers.

“From meeting each other in school, to supporting each other’s careers and aspirations, to receiving this award, we’ve lived and breathed this experience together and it’s really shaped us into who we are today. I believe it’s one of many reasons that we both continue to support the College.” Read More →

Ramping up momentum for College’s new Innovation Centre

September 27, 2018

You’re about to start hearing a lot more about Red River College’s new Innovation Centre, construction of which is already underway in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

The conversation started this week with a keynote speech from RRC President Paul Vogt to the members of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, and with a feature article in the Winnipeg Free Press by Business writer Martin Cash.

Slated for completion in the fall of 2020, the $95-million, 100,000-sq. ft. facility will be a hub for innovation and collaboration — one that will continue to grow Winnipeg’s technology and business sectors, with a focus on applied research, entrepreneurship and social innovation.

It will feature adaptable classrooms, collaboration spaces, an array of student services and supports, and — at its heart — a roundhouse auditorium with seating for 210 people.

With more than 21,000 students enrolled annually, the College is currently operating at capacity, and needs to expand to continue meeting the ever-changing industry requirements of the businesses and organizations where graduates find employment.

This new facility will help RRC students remain ahead of the curve, armed with the knowledge and skills required to start their new careers as leaders.

Learn more about how you can get involved with the Innovation Centre project.


(Video and rendering courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects and Number TEN Architectural Group)

Robot army: 3D Computer Graphics grads contribute to new animated Netflix feature

September 27, 2018

A flashy new Netflix feature released by partners in North America and China has a rather prominent link to Red River College — namely, the small army of grads working for the local animation company that carried out the bulk of the production work.

The recently released Next Gen — a frenetic blend of kids-flick, buddy movie and sci-fi satire — features almost two and a half years’ worth of work by Tangent Animation, a firm with studios in both Winnipeg and Toronto.

While Tangent’s Toronto team handled most of the actual animation for Next Gen — and the concept, script and directors came from L.A. — the Winnipeg crew collaborated on many of the other elements, from asset builds to surfacing, visual effects and lighting.

They also doubled and even tripled up on some of their efforts, creating 2D and 3D versions in both English and Mandarin.

“They wanted to make a movie that was going to work in China and in North America,” says Tangent CEO Ken Zorniak of the project’s backers.

“So not only was it a neat project to work on aesthetically and content-wise, it was also a real sociological experiment in how to create a property that’s going to work in China and the rest of the world — when you have very different cultures and values that you’re trying to bridge.” Read More →

RRC grad Sheila North to lead UCN’s new Centre for Indigenous Community Development

September 19, 2018

A Red River College grad with a distinguished career in media and governance has been tasked with leading University College of the North’s new Centre for Indigenous Community Development.

Sheila North, former Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), has been engaged to oversee the establishment of the new Centre, which will help Indigenous and northern communities with economic, social and cultural development.

A 2006 graduate of RRC’s Creative Communications program, North will spend the next six months consulting with northern residents and agencies to create a vision for the new Centre.

Once established, the Centre will be a cornerstone of UCN’s mandate to provide relevant, responsive education and training, by nurturing new ideas and conversations relating to Northern communities’ development, and fostering activity and programming relating to governance, treaties, health and reconciliation.

“I am excited to be leading this great initiative,” North says. “As a Grand Chief, I led the development of MKO’s economic action plan, as well as the organization’s Health Transformation framework, along with many other initiatives to assist communities in growing and prospering.”

A member of Bunibonibee Cree Nation, North served as MKO’s Grand Chief from 2015 to 2018. Prior to that, she worked as a journalist for CBC and CTV News, as well as an entrepreneur, an economic development officer, and the chief communication officer for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.

She’s currently completing a degree in Political Science at the University of Winnipeg.