News

Community Outreach

Journalism students launch website exploring hot-button election issues

October 12, 2022

All 11 mayoral candidates in the upcoming civic election claim their plan will make Winnipeg better, but a quick Google search of the phrase reveals that journalism students in RRC Polytech’s Creative Communications (CreComm) program are already delivering on that promise.

Their project, winnipegbetter.ca, is impacting the city’s race for mayor by giving potential voters exactly what they’ve asked for — a comprehensive website to help them make an informed decision on Oct. 26.

Last spring, CreComm instructor James Turner challenged his small class of journalism majors to offer the community an alternative approach to typical election coverage.

“A frequent complaint from consumers of news is that during elections, the focus is placed on polling and personality conflicts, not the issues that real people are facing,” says Turner.

So, he and his student journalists launched winnipegbetter.ca to cultivate dialogue leading up to decision day and provide a go-to resource on civic issues that voters deem most important.

“Journalism is a public service,” he says. “What this project emphasizes to students is that you work for the readers, the voters and the audience. So instead of letting the politicians tell you what’s important, be the conduit that allows the public to determine what the candidates should be talking about.”

Current second year students spent months gathering people’s viewpoints through in-person interviews, online forms, and social media. They asked a simple direct question: “What do you want candidates to be talking about as they compete for your vote?”

The result is a Citizen’s Agenda of six key issues:

Read More →

College opens new Elgin Plaza, providing community greenspace for students downtown

September 1, 2022

Students returning to classes at RRC Polytech’s Exchange District Campus will have a new outdoor space to enjoy while studying and connecting with classmates.

Today, Red River College Polytechnic officially opened the Elgin Plaza, nestled between the new Manitou a bi Bii daziigae building and the existing Roblin Centre. The block of Elgin Avenue between Princess and Adelaide Streets was closed to vehicles, with support from the City of Winnipeg, to create a pedestrian plaza.

“We are proud to work with our partners to create a pedestrian connection between buildings, transforming learning spaces and making it feel like a community campus where genuine connections and shared experiences occur,” says RRC Polytech President Fred Meier (shown above, at centre). “Developments like this allow us to build on our partnerships and strengthen our shared vision to enhance the student experience.”

The space was designed by HTFC Planning and Design, and includes outdoor gardens, seating areas, recreational space, removable bollards that allow access for food trucks, a new projector to showcase student work and create community art, and ping pong tables and power outlets to help host outdoor events from students and community members.

When looking up, anyone standing in the Elgin Plaza will have a stunning view of local artist Jackie Traverse’s ceiling installation, which extends from Manitou a bi Bii daziigae’s fourth floor. The Elgin Plaza also features one of the College’s new rainbow walkways, which were unveiled earlier this week.

“The opening of Elgin Plaza is significant for Winnipeg’s downtown,” says Mayor Brian Bowman (shown above, at left). “The City of Winnipeg and RRC Polytech have a longstanding partnership and spaces like this help to bring people downtown and revitalize Winnipeg’s Exchange District. I’m pleased to see another space like this added in our downtown because spending time outdoors and in greenspaces has a positive impact on the well-being of residents in our community.” Read More →

Girls Exploring Trades and Technology camp returns 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.

RRC Polytech is rolling out its summer camp programming with hands-on day camps for the next generations of skilled trades experts. The camps take place at the College’s Notre Dame Campus over the next few weeks.

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

Each camp will see 16 campers aged 12 to 14 exploring plumbing, woodworking, cabinetmaking, welding, robotics, transportation trades and — for the first time in its 16-year history — masonry. At the end of the week-long program, 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 and 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 children 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. During 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

Visit rrc.ca/youth/camps for more information.

RRC Polytech adopts 2SLGBTQIA+ acronym and raises Progress Pride flag

June 15, 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.

Moving forward, the College 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., and 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.” Read More →

RRC Polytech hosts in-person Pow Wow for graduating Indigenous students

May 9, 2022

Last Friday, RRC Polytech welcomed back its in-person Pow Wow to celebrate graduating Indigenous students, with a day-long event that included a traditional pipe ceremony, drumming, dancing, singing, feasting and an Indigenous makers market.

Approximately 170 Indigenous students registered for the event, the largest number in RRC Polytech’s Pow Wow history. The event was also live streamed.

For the past two years, the College’s Pow Wow has been held virtually, with students signing up to be recognized in a live stream filled with Indigenous performances and messages of congratulations. Including the two virtual celebrations, this year’s event marked the College’s 22nd Pow Wow.

“Nothing can replace celebrating our students in-person and creating these memories that help mark a special moment in their lives and where their cultures are celebrated,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO of RRC Polytech. “Indigenous success is vital to all areas of our College and is just one of the ways we will contribute to the ongoing process of reconciliation. We’re seeing Indigenous students register for this year’s Pow Wow from across all programs areas: health, business, trades, and many in between.”

“This past fall, we launched our new strategic plan: In Front of What’s Ahead. Of the plan’s three commitments, the second is to commit to Truth and Reconciliation and pursue equity, diversity and inclusion in everything we do. Our work will begin with listening.

“Just this year, we have welcomed a Knowledge Keepers Council to help advise on our strategic initiatives, and we’ve welcomed Jamie Wilson as our Vice-President of Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development, which will increase our capacity for partnerships with Indigenous students, businesses and communities, and help further embed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and training.” Read More →

RRC Polytech unveils artwork by KC Adams at opening of Roundhouse Auditorium

April 29, 2022

Today, RRC Polytech unveiled Anishinaabe/Nêhiyaw/British artist KC Adams’ Morning Star design — which is embedded within the floor of the College’s new Roundhouse Auditorium — at the official opening of the space at Manitou a bi Bii daziigae.

“KC Adams really captured what our College and this building represent,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech. “Not only did she so thoughtfully include distinct histories and cultures that are part of these lands, but she also integrated what type of learning will happen here. It pays homage to history, but it’s here in the present and looks to the future.”

Located on the second floor of Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, RRC Polytech’s newest building at the Exchange District Campus, the Roundhouse Auditorium is a 210-seat space that will be used for events, ceremonies and collaborative learning. It is sound-proof, ventilated for the use of traditional medicines, and features a curved, panoramic projector to display videos and create an immersive experience.

“This space brings together so many aspects of RRC Polytech’s guiding principles: transforming to meet emerging needs, committing to reconciliation and diversity, and deepening our partnerships to maximize prosperity,” says Meier.

“The uniqueness of the Roundhouse will create more opportunities to gather, innovate, collaborate and invite the wider community in. It’s spaces like this that set RRC Polytech apart and show we can be really proud of how our College continues to contribute to the changing landscape of the Exchange District, Winnipeg and Manitoba.” Read More →

RRC Polytech staff, student, and alumni artisans offer local holiday goods

December 1, 2021

In past years, Red River College Polytechnic’s Sustainability team and Alumni Engagement have hosted a daylong Winter Market featuring products made by staff, student, and alumni artisans to celebrate the holiday season and encourage buying local.

Since campuses are not yet fully open to the public, RRC Polytech has once again created an online directory of makers in place of an in-person market experience. 

“The College’s alumni community is a diverse network of creators, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Following a challenging holiday season last year, we want to do our part to elevate these local businesses and encourage our community to shop local,” says Katrina Sklepowich, RRC Polytech’s Alumni Engagement Officer.

“We’ll be highlighting a number of makers each day for “12 Days of Holiday Shopping” – we encourage you to follow the RRC Polytech and Sustainability accounts on Instagram, where we’ll be sharing makers you can support between December 1-16.”

When you buy local from small businesses and artisan makers, you’re not only supporting creative makers in our community, but also the local economy. RRC Polytech has a strong commitment to sustainability and this is one way we’re able to encourage conscious shopping while promoting our talented staff, student, and alumni makers.

Read More →

RRC Polytech announces new name for Exchange District Campus expansion

November 10, 2021

Today, Red River College Polytechnic announced the new Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) name of its recently opened building at the Exchange District Campus.

Formerly known as the Innovation Centre project, the new building — now called Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, which translates to “Where Creator sits / Brings light” — officially opened its doors to the public.

As part of the festivities, the College’s Elders-in-Residence — Elder Paul Guimond, Okonace (Little Eagle Bone) from Sagkeeng First Nation, and Miss Una Swan, Black Eagle Woman, from Fisher River Cree Nation — held a pipe ceremony in the agora of the new 100,000 square-foot space to introduce the name to the community, bring spirit and life to the name, and honour traditional sacred ceremony.  

“We’re in a time of beautiful change to bring that light, that hope, and I think if we can bring the spirit of that name into that building, maybe we’ll be able to take that step ahead and walk with it,” said Guimond. “The new building is so unique. It’s powered by nature. Much like how we live, powered by nature and the sun. The sun is such a beautiful spirit: it brings warmth, it brings growth, it brings light, it brings hope. Without that sun there is no life. And if you look at the new building, it’s all powered by the sun. 

“It’s just a matter of now respecting it and giving it the name that it needs to guide that spirit. It’s a building, but it has spirit. It’s going to bring that positive spirit in the minds and the realm of all people. I think there’s an opportunity to give a name to something that’s going to give us life, that’s going to give us hope. And I hope that that name will serve its purpose, and I’m glad that opportunity is there.” Read More →

RRC offers new micro-credentials to support reconciliation and relationship-building

September 8, 2021

A suite of new social innovation micro-credentials is the first offered by Red River College to help businesses and professionals build skills in embedding reconciliation efforts through effective and respectful consultation processes and relationship-building.

Micro-credentials are shareable endorsements of knowledge, skills or competencies that are awarded as digital badges. Under the umbrella of Social Innovation, RRC’s Indigenous Community Consultation and Engagement micro-credentials provide the knowledge and understanding to drive positive social change through strong, relationship-focused engagement with Indigenous nations and communities and a deeper understanding of the diversity of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous sovereignty, policies, principles and Treaty rights.

“When we look at reconciliation and Indigenous worldviews, it’s all about relationships,” says Carla Kematch, RRC’s Manager of Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement. “We can provide industry and professionals the foundation to build strong, reciprocal relationships with Indigenous peoples using guiding principles and processes, while simultaneously responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action in their work.”

The Indigenous Community Consultation and Engagement courses are open to both individuals — to start a rewarding career in community development and social innovation, or obtain necessary communications skills used in many professions — and to businesses, to help streamline processes, provide a competitive advantage, and guide work with Indigenous communities for mutual success.

Businesses and professionals will learn the historical and current colonial context — including the Indian Act, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples — and how this impacts Indigenous communities and projects within their communities. Read More →

RRC partners with Winnipeg and Indigenous Chambers of Commerce to provide free reconciliation training for businesses

August 3, 2021

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Treaty 1, Red River College, the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce have come together to make truth and reconciliation training more accessible for business owners by offering one free month of the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation Education e-modular training program to Chamber members.

This initiative is focused on helping businesses learn their role in Call to Action #92 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and will create a foundation of knowledge for businesses and their teams to build on. The 4 Seasons program has been offered to RRC staff and faculty for nearly a year, and is part of the College’s truth and reconciliation training, which is complemented by engagement and events.

“Red River College has long worked with industry to anticipate the training needed next to advance our province,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “As a leader in preparing Manitoba’s workforce and as a partner to the business community, we are committed to building and offering learning opportunities that will advance reconciliation and respectful working relationships in our communities, and we will have more to offer in the coming year.

“We are proud to play a part and contribute to educating our community on the history and truths of the past and present, and the landscape of reconciliation in Treaty 1, but we also acknowledge that reconciliation will not look like one action or initiative. It will be a fluid, ongoing process that will need to adapt as we learn, and it will take time to heal relationships and make the necessary changes.”

The initiative will start with a panel discussion, Reconciliation in Action: Understanding Call to Action 92, on Tue., Aug. 31, so members have an opportunity to learn more about the program and the responsibility of businesses in truth and reconciliation before gaining access to 4 Seasons in September.

Chamber members and RRC staff will also be invited to attend two debriefing sessions on Tue., Sept. 14 and 28, to discuss the training content, learning experiences and next steps in a safe, supportive environment. Read More →