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Former Business student slays Dragons, lands lucrative deal for eyebrow-bar boutiques

February 8, 2019

Giovanna MinenniGiovanna Minenna, a former Business Administration student at Red River College, certainly knows a thing or two about raising eyebrows in Manitoba.

And the local entrepreneur — owner of boutique chain Brows by G — caught the eye of millions more people this week, when she and her husband and business partner, Scott Russell, entered TV’s notorious Dragons’ Den to make a pitch to some of Canada’s toughest and best-known investors.

The duo flew to Toronto late last year, but only recently announced to local media that they’d faced the infamous Dragons, leaving friends and clients anxiously awaiting the air date of last night’s episode.

During Minenna’s on-air pitch, the brow queen shared stories of her success here in Winnipeg, and asked for $400,000 for 16 per cent of her company in order to continue expanding across the country.

Her solid business plan and pitch prompted three of six Dragons to shoot fiery deals her way.

Jim Treliving, chairman and owner of Boston Pizza International, offered $400,000 for 20 per cent of the company, with an eye on helping the duo franchise. Manjit Minhaus, co-founder of Minhas Breweries, Distillery and Wineries, offered the same amount to help grow their cosmetic product line across the globe. Finally, renowned venture capitalist Arlene Dickinson matched her fellow Dragons’ offers, but with an added promise to build more corporate stores.

In the end, Dickinson tweezed out a successful deal.

But long before she was making pitches on TV, Minenna was shaping her career path right here at Red River College.

She says she started her educational journey like many her age — unsure of what she wanted to study or do for a living. She enrolled in university classes, but it wasn’t long before she realized she needed a career that sparked her creativity. Read More →

College appoints new Truth and Reconciliation Manager to lead in commitments to Indigenous Education Blueprint

February 7, 2019

Carla Kematch, Red River CollegeAs part of its commitment to advancing Indigenous achievement while strengthening ties between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, Red River College has appointed its first Manager of Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement.

Carla Kematch will lead the College in its commitment to Manitoba’s Indigenous Education Blueprint, a pledge to advance Indigenous education in the province — and to make Manitoba a centre of excellence for Indigenous education, research, languages and culture.

As one of nine post-secondary signatories to the 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 people and to improving Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations across Canada,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

“Our role as a college is to ensure we create the programs, supports and opportunities that allow Indigenous people to demonstrate their leadership and innovation in all facets of our society. We are looking forward to the skills, experience and perspective that Carla will bring to the team as we address Truth and Reconciliation throughout the College.”

Kematch arrives at RRC with 30 years’ experience working within Indigenous communities in a variety of capacities, including the development of training programs for staffs, community clients, board members and other partners, in areas such as policy development, needs assessment, implementation plans, and evaluation and delivery of group training. Read More →

Culinary students serve up victories at national chefs challenge in Toronto

January 31, 2019

In the immortal words of Guy Fieri, Red River College students Argie Garcia and Anthony Carino took the judges to Flavourtown during the Young Chef’s Challenge in Toronto last weekend.

Garcia (shown above, at right), a Level Two Apprentice Chef, finished in first place at the event, while Carino (at left), a Term 6 Culinary Arts student, finished second.

They were two of six student chefs from across Canada selected to participate in the challenge, hosted annually by the World Association of Chefs and Cooks.

Each chef was given three hours to create a three-course meal that showcased creativity, taste and kitchen organization. They also had to incorporate a set list of ingredients, including chilled salmon (appetizer), beef striploin (principal plate) and dark chocolate and tea (dessert).

“These two talented young chefs had world-renowned judges scrutinizing all of the flavours they built and every move they made in the kitchen, so to have them both come out on top is an incredible feat,” says RRC Chef Instructor Gordon Bailey (shown above, at centre).

As the first-place chef, Garcia will now have the honor of representing Canada at the World Chefs Congress, taking place in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 2020. Carino’s talents also earned him an offer to join the Canadian Junior Olympic Chef Team in Prince Edward Island.

“Argie and Anthony demonstrated their technical skills and knowledge in the kitchen on the national stage, and they did so with such a high level of poise and professionalism. They represented the College and the province proudly,” says Bailey.

“To watch them grow over the last two years into the chefs they are today has been an incredible experience as a fellow chef, and as an educator. I look forward to seeing where their career paths take them – with this achievement, and as they build their craft in this business in the future.”

Business grad turned trucking magnate launches award for inner-city scholars

January 31, 2019

Students entering three business and I.T. programs at Red River College now have the opportunity for their educations to be covered, thanks to a new award for inner-city scholars launched by trucking magnate Gary Coleman.

The president and CEO of Big Freight Systems Inc., Coleman graduated from RRC in 1981 with a diploma in business. He recently established the Gary Coleman Award for Inner-City Scholars to help students build successful careers of their own.

“This scholarship program is a way of saying thank-you and giving back to the community, because the community has been very kind to me over the years,” says Coleman (shown above, at centre).

“I’ve been very fortunate throughout my life. I grew up in a family with a mom and dad who taught us that if you worked hard, you end up achieving over time. I was also fortunate enough to go to college, get an education and then go into the family business. I had some big dreams for the family business and we’ve been successful in accomplishing many of them.”

Coleman’s award is now available to graduates of eight inner-city schools in Winnipeg who have been accepted into RRC’s Business Administration, Business Information Technology or Business Technology Management programs. The award will cover the costs of tuition, textbooks and expenses for two students in the 2019-2020 academic year, and will expand to cover four students in subsequent years.

“Red River College is honored that Mr. Coleman has made this commitment for young students to hone their skills in three of our business-based programs — free from the worry of financial barriers,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above, at left).

“It’s truly wonderful to see that Mr. Coleman, a proud graduate of our Business Administration program, has decided to give back and provide the same opportunities and education he received. These students will be receiving the highest level of hands-on training, and will make connections to get their foot in the door and take the steps necessary to become leaders in their careers.” Read More →

Paramedicine, Electrical Engineering grads earn Lt.-Gov.’s Medals for Proficiency

January 29, 2019

Congratulations to the most recent recipients of Red River College’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Medals for Proficiency, who’ll receive their awards as part of our 2019 Winter Convocation ceremonies on Feb. 6 at the Centennial Concert Hall.

Each year, up to four Lt.-Gov.’s Medals are awarded to RRC students who best combine good character, academic and technical achievement, and involvement in College and/or community activities. This year’s winners are:

RRC graduate Grace HartGrace Hart — A graduate of RRC’s Paramedicine — Primary Care Paramedicine program, Grace Hart is a big proponent of paying it forward.

Now 24, Hart grew up in Winnipeg, graduating from Fort Richmond Collegiate in 2012. She spent her childhood living in poverty, finding support through the charitable services of such organizations as Winnipeg Harvest, the Christmas Cheer Board and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Winnipeg.

“I was 12 or 13 and my bed just broke in half, so I was on the floor with an air mattress for about two months. We found out about Hands of Hope and got a bed through them,” Hart says.

“As soon as I got into junior high, I got involved with a philanthropy group and did a lot of volunteering. When I finished high school and started university, I got into Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg, and because I had a car, I started delivering for the Christmas Cheer Board.”

With a strong desire to help people, Hart entered the Nursing program at the University of Manitoba. However, an extended hospital stay put her on a different path. Read More →

Mentorship exchanges allow students to ‘study abroad’ without leaving home

January 11, 2019

While attending Red River College, students will make friends, become exposed to new ideas, and learn the skills they’ll need to succeed in the workplace. The one thing they might not get to do is study abroad — unless they take time out of their academic schedule to do so.

But RRC’s Intercultural Mentorship Program allows students to broaden their horizons without having to incur the costs of plane tickets, living expenses or additional student fees. In fact, the only investment required is 10 hours of volunteer time, spread over the winter term.

Each year, RRC welcomes over 700 immigrant and international students who wish to further their education in Canada, just as the province regularly welcomes new immigrants who help to grow our economy and strengthen cultural diversity.

In the case of students, cross-cultural exchanges can have positive impacts on their careers, as well.

“Having an understanding of diversity and cross-cultural communication are key power skills to have in our global economy,” says Vera Godavari, RRC’s Mentorship Program Coordinator.

“In Michelle Obama’s talk on The Importance of Studying Abroad, she emphasizes building intercultural bridges as a key to success in the global economy. As she points out, good grades are important, but it’s also about having ‘real experiences with the world beyond your borders — experiences with languages and cultures and society that are very different from your own.’” Read More →

College establishes academic partnership with top-tier university in India

January 7, 2019

Red River College will partner with Chitkara University — one of India’s leading teaching and research institutions — to deliver innovative programming and continue efforts to internationalize the College and compete on the global stage.

“Red River College is a global operation, and growing in stature in the area of international education,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Over the past few years, we have significantly increased our efforts to internationalize the College, and the signing of this agreement with Chitkara University will allow us to continue to encourage academic collaboration, educational exchanges and innovative joint research projects with a leading institution in India.”

The College is exploring pathways to establish a satellite campus at Chitkara that will enable RRC to deliver the two-year Business Information Technology (BIT) program to students studying in India, beginning in the fall of 2019.

The proposed one-plus-one delivery model will also create new opportunities for students to complete their final year of studies here in Manitoba, and for RRC students to study overseas — part of the College’s student mobility strategy. Read More →

College to host public forum on safety in the Exchange District

December 5, 2018

In partnership with the Exchange District BIZ, Red River College will host a public forum on Safety in the Exchange on Tue., Dec. 11, at 7:00 p.m. in the Roblin Centre (160 Princess St.)

Members of City Council, the Winnipeg Police Service, and the Exchange District community will join to discuss ideas, solutions and opportunities for enhancing safety in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. All are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Red River College continues to be proactive in maintaining a safe and secure environment for staff and students. Recently, the College enhanced its security services at the Exchange District Campus and implemented a mobile street patrol unit that runs every day from 4:00 p.m. to midnight.

The College has also added onsite security and Safe Walk services at the Language Training Centre (in the VIA Rail Station on Main Street) and has extended the hours of security coverage until 11:00 p.m. at the ACE Project Space on McDermot Ave. (In addition to the 24/7 coverage already provided at the Roblin Centre and Paterson GlobalFoods Institute.)

Staff and students are encouraged to access the Safe Walk program, and to download RRC’s Mobile Safety App, which provides quick access to RRC Security and Safe Walk, and sends important campus safety alerts directly to users’ smartphones. The app is available for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices and can be downloaded here.

RRC looks forward to working alongside community leaders to establish even more ways to ensure Winnipeg’s downtown remains a vibrant place to learn, live and work.

Learn more about RRC’s Safe Walk program, and Security Services at the College.

RRC to welcome Bear Clan Patrol founder for presentation on personal safety

November 21, 2018

James Favel, founder and executive director of Bear Clan Patrol Inc., will host a presentation on personal-safety best practices this Fri., Nov. 23, at Red River College’s Exchange District Campus.

The presentation will also explore the role and function of the Bear Clan Patrol, and how students and staff can get involved in their communities. It’ll be hosted by RRC’s Indigenous Education department, and will provide a safe, inclusive environment in which attendees can learn from Favel’s growing — and widely celebrated — volunteer-based organization.

The College is committed to the safety of all its staff and students; engaging community experts like Favel is just one of the ways RRC is working to enhance and maintain personal safety.

The initiative also falls under one of the College’s strategic goals: to strengthen partnerships with Indigenous communities and advance Indigenous achievement.

Operating out the Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre in the city’s North End, the Bear Clan Patrol is comprised of volunteers who work with the community to increase security in the inner city in a non-threatening, non-violent and supportive manner. The Patrol is a community-based solution to crime prevention, one that provides a sense of safety, solidarity and belonging to both its members and the communities they serve.

Favel’s presentation takes place at noon in Room P107 at the Roblin Centre.

Photo credit: Nardella Photography

Celebration of trades and technologies on display at new RRC facility

November 15, 2018

With a little help from its Robot-in-ResidenceBaxter, 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). Read More →