RRC grad dominates at Manitoba men’s amateur golf championship

July 23, 2018

A Business Administration grad — and current Red River College staffer — made some serious waves on the fairway last week, maintaining a dominant lead to capture his first title in the Manitoba men’s amateur golf championship.

Justin McDonald — an accountant with RRC’s Finance department — quickly set himself apart from the pack during the first two rounds of play at Quarry Oaks last Monday and Tuesday, holding onto his lead for the final rounds at Glendale, and eventually finishing eight shots ahead of the field on Thursday afternoon.

The only golfer to finish the event under par, McDonald shot rounds of 68-70-73-74, for a four-round total of 285, or 3 under.

The Winnipeg Free Press described McDonald (who graduated from RRC’s Business Administration program in 2008) as arguably “the most impressive golfer of the summer,” noting he also took the provincial mid-amateur title at Falcon Lake on July 5 — with an equally dominant nine-stroke advantage.

Per the Free Press, McDonald hasn’t attended a driving range in years — and doesn’t hit balls before teeing off in tournaments, either — preferring to golf four to five times a week at Breezy Bend, instead.

McDonald’s clubmate Eric Johnson came second in the men’s amateur with a line of 69-73-73-78 to finish at 5 over, while Niakwa’s Todd Fanning finished third with a four-round total of 295.

Photo courtesy Golf Manitoba’s Twitter page.

Construction begins on new Innovation Centre downtown

July 20, 2018

With funding now in place, Red River College is moving forward this week with construction of its new $95-million Innovation Centre, plans for which had to be put on hold while financial arrangements were sorted out earlier this year.

College President Paul Vogt received confirmation from the government recently that the $40.6 million in funding required for the project is now secure, and the College can begin issuing tenders so that construction can get underway.

On Wednesday, stakeholders gathered at site of the new Centre — at 319 Elgin Ave., right across the street from RRC’s Roblin Centre — to learn more about how the College’s latest expansion plan will help transform the Exchange District.

“For those of you who have been following this project closely, and have been wondering if we are still moving forward, let me be the first to say ‘yes,’ we are very proud to be starting construction,” Vogt said Wednesday.

“Nothing gets built without a vision. And right now it excites me to visualize that in a few short years we’re going to be able to look across the street from here and see a hub for creative innovation.”

Construction of the new Centre is slated to be complete by the fall of 2020. Once open, it will serve as the home of RRC’s business and information technology programs, as well as its Language Training Centre, ACE (Applied Computer Education) Project Space, and Research Partnerships & Innovation office. Read More →

Marion Street Eatery chef to join RRC faculty this fall

July 18, 2018

The local foodie community’s loss is Red River College’s gain, following an announcement that a popular St. Boniface chef will join our instructing staff this fall.

Earlier this month, Melissa Hryb — the head chef and co-owner of Marion Street Eatery— announced she’d be leaving her post in the restaurant’s kitchen, having accepted a position with RRC’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts.

A 2005 graduate of the College’s Culinary Arts program, Hryb (shown above, at left) opened the Eatery in 2014 with fellow RRC grad Laneil Smith (Hospitality and Tourism Management, 2006), whose family owned the Marion Hotel and adjoining restaurant space.

The pair first met while working at Bergmann’s on Lombard, where Hryb was a sous-chef and Smith a front-of-house manager.

Though Eatery staff describe Hryb’s departure as bittersweet, they didn’t have to look far for a replacement.

Culinary Arts grad Camila Gamboa (also shown above) has been working for the Eatery for three years, having leveraged her RRC co-op placement into a full-time kitchen position in 2015. She was later tapped to fill in for Hryb while she was on maternity leave.

“Camila is excited to be taking the reins, and wants to bring you all those same favourite comfort foods you’ve always enjoyed,” Hryb said in a social media post.

“Taking on this big role at age 23 is no joke! [Camila] is brave, bold and courageous to put herself into the spotlight … I cannot wait for all our amazing customers to embrace these changes and welcome Camila into this position with open arms.”

Photo courtesy Marion Street Eatery.

Elder Mae Louise Campbell honoured with Folk Festival’s Glass Banjo Award

July 11, 2018

A well-respected member of Manitoba’s Indigenous community — and a longtime support to Red River College students — was honoured this weekend by the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

On Saturday evening in Birds Hill Park, Elder Mae Louise Campbell took to the Folk Fest main stage to accept the Glass Banjo Award, which recognizes those who’ve made extraordinary contributions to the festival, now in its 45th year.

An Ojibwe-Metis Elder who’s served as one of RRC’s Elders in Residence for the last 13 years, Campbell is known for helping people incorporate ancestral Indigenous knowledge into various aspects of their lives, and for the warm and generous spirit she employs while offering help, healing and growth.

She was one of the first Indigenous artisans in the Folk Fest’s Handmade Village, and helped build early connections between the festival and other Indigenous artists. Each year, she greets artists and audiences alike at the festival’s welcoming ceremony and opening blessing — and says one of her most memorable Folk Fest moments was when seven eagles flew overheard while she was performing those duties in 2016.

In recent years, Campbell has served on the City of Winnipeg’s Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle, and received a 2016 Indspire Award for her contributions to Culture, Heritage and Spirituality.

(Photo courtesy of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.)

Culinary Arts grad to honour Anthony Bourdain at fundraising tribute dinner

June 25, 2018

A Red River College Culinary Arts grad will join forces with a fellow Winnipeg chef next week to pay tribute to industry icon Anthony Bourdain, while raising money to support those struggling with mental illness.

Adam Donnelly, co-owner of Osborne Village hotspot Segovia, announced last week that he and Deer + Almond owner Mandel Hitzer will host a culinary fundraiser to honour Bourdain, the globe-trotting gourmand who died by suicide earlier this month at the age of 61.

The six-course dinner — dubbed Remembering Anthony Bourdain — will take place at The Forks on Tue., July 3, and will feature a menu inspired by the best-selling author of Kitchen Confidential and host of CNN’s Parts Unknown. Proceeds raised will go to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The event will also feature a presentation by Michael Redhead Champagne, founder of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities, as well as other discussions and perspectives relating to mental health.

“[Bourdain’s] death was so sudden and unexpected — it still doesn’t feel real,” Donnelly, a 2005 grad, told the Winnipeg Free Press last week.

“It shows that anybody can be suffering. We’re just trying to show awareness — that if you’re feeling like that, you might not reach out all the time. So look around you, with the people that you care about or who work for you, to see the signs and ask if they’re OK.”

Tickets for the dinner are sold out, but organizers are looking for volunteers to staff the event. Visit raw-almond.com for more information.

Shown above: Adam Donnelly (left) and Mandel Hitzer. (Via Hitzer’s Instagram.)

The Force is strong with this one: Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo to receive Distinguished Graduate Award

June 14, 2018

As a wise man named Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, “In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.”

And it certainly wasn’t luck, but hard work and passion, that earned Pablo Hidalgo — a Winnipeg-raised Star Wars fan, now working for Lucasfilm in California — a Distinguished Graduate Award from Red River College.

A 1996 alum of RRC’s Creative Communications program, Hidalgo proved to be more than a simple man trying to make his way in the universe. The skills he acquired at College put him on the path to where he is today.

While working at McKim Communications Group, he used networking skills to land a role with one of his clients, Frantic Films.

That leap took him to California, where he was quickly presented with an opportunity from Lucasfilm — to work as a writer and content developer for StarWars.com.

Since then, Hidalgo has become a creative executive as part of Lucasfilm’s story development team, earning the unofficial title of Lucasfilm’s ‘resident Star Wars geek,’ who’s most often consulted about the timelines and mythology within the ever-expanding Star Wars universe.

He’ll be presented with the award on Sat., June 23, at the second annual FanQuestconvention taking place at RRC’s Roblin Centre. He’s also scheduled to speak twice at the event: presenting Inside Solo: The Official Guide (noon, Sat.) and From Winnipeg to a Galaxy Far, Far Away (1:00 p.m., Sun.).

“It feels great to be recognized by Red River College as a Distinguished Graduate,” says Hidalgo. “If anything, my journey has taught me to always take the opportunities that are presented to you and stay true to who you are. Growing up in Winnipeg was integral to growing my Star Wars hobby obsession, and it’s great to receive this award surrounded by people who understand the creative energy you can harness when you live somewhere that’s covered in snow half the year.” Read More →

College hits home run with new beer-flavoured pretzel seasoning

June 13, 2018

Forget about peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Tonight, Red River College will partner with local snack mainstay The Pretzel Place, to launch a new beer-flavoured pretzel seasoning at the Winnipeg Goldeyes’ game at Shaw Park.

The seasoning is the edible innovation of RRC’s Culinary Research & Innovation(CR&I) program, which in recent years has seen substantial growth in the areas of new product development and ingredient applications.

“The demand for culinary research and innovation in our province is increasing, and our CR&I program continues to ‘step up to the plate,’ to develop new and advanced uses for locally grown food while supporting Manitoba’s agricultural and food industry through applied research,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above, with The Pretzel Place owner Sue Leclair).

“This partnership with The Pretzel Place is just one of many delicious examples of new product creation and culinary creativity at work in our community.”

The CR&I program is housed within RRC’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, allowing researchers to tap into the knowledge of accomplished chef instructors, and to recruit students to work on applied research projects with industry.

The program was first launched in 2014, and has increased its activities with help from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). To date, the program has been involved in over 40 industry projects with organizations such as the Manitoba Pulse and Soy Growers, Granny’s Poultry, Piccola Cucina, and MS Prebiotic Inc. Read More →

Pressure cooker: RRC instructor and former student to face the heat together at national culinary contest

June 7, 2018

Next week, Culinary Arts instructor Chef Gordon Bailey will return to his old stomping grounds in P.E.I., to represent Manitoba at the senior level of the Canadian Culinary Federation’s national competition.

And while the contest is sure to be the usual high-pressure affair, Bailey says the most exciting part so far has been coaching his junior representative — former Red River College student Argie Garcia.

An RRC instructor since 2013, Bailey describes Garcia as a gifted person who cares about his cooking, has a solid work ethic, and performs well under pressure.

“Cooking is about listening to the environment and the food,” says Bailey (shown above), who in 1999 moved from Winnipeg to Charlottetown, where he opened Lot 30, one of P.E.I.’s most celebrated restaurants.

“Food is something where your passion can be distinctly read through the taste and presentation of your plate. A good cook can put their personal story in it, and [Garcia] does that.”

This year’s competition also takes place in Charlottetown, as part of the Culinary Federation’s 55th annual national conference. The contest consists of a Black Box Challenge — similar to the Mystery Box Challenge on TV’s MasterChef — in which competitors from each province will be given 15 minutes to create a menu using a batch of secret ingredients and pantry staples, and an hour to prepare and plate their servings. Read More →

Manitoba music icon Ray St. Germain to receive Honorary Diploma from RRC

June 5, 2018

A household name across the Prairies, Ray St. Germain will be recognized this week with an Honorary Diploma from Red River College.

An award-winning producer, host and entertainer on more than 600 TV and radio programs — including Big Sky Country, Rhythms of the Métis, and the 1969 variety series Time for Living — St. Germain’s engaging, creative and passionate storytelling style shines a spotlight on the history of Manitoba, while helping to build an understanding and appreciation of Métis culture across Canada.

Currently the host of NCI-FM Radio’s Métis Hour X2, St. Germain will attend this week’s Spring Convocation ceremony to accept an Honorary Diploma from RRC’s Creative Communication program.

“Ray is someone who embodies the values of Red River College and serves as an inspiration to many of the creative young people who are receiving their diplomas alongside him today,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“This is the highest honour given by Red River College, and is reserved for individuals who have achieved considerable success in their lives. We have tremendous respect for Ray, who has dedicated his life to sharing the stories of Métis people, and opened the door for others to do the same.” Read More →

Recipients of Spring 2018 Lt.-Gov.’s Medals for Proficiency announced

June 4, 2018

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 2018 Spring Convocation ceremonies on June 5 and 6.

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:

Cheryl Janz — A May 2018 graduate of Red River College’s Disability and Community Support program, Cheryl Janz finds happiness in helping people.

Having worked in the disabilities services field for 20 years, Janz says being able to go back to school and improve her knowledge was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity she didn’t want to miss out on.

“I’m someone who believes in lifelong learning,” says Janz. “And what I’m taking away from completing the course is more knowledge and understanding. That’s something I can share with others and will make a positive change for the people I support.”

The structure of the program — theory, practical work experience, and self-reflection — is something that resonated with Janz.

“Because there’s people in the program coming from different organizations and experiences, you get to hear a variety of perspectives and ways of doing things,” she explains. “Each course had a self-reflection component where I could take what I learned and ask myself, ‘What I can change, why I do things the way I do, and how I can do better to inspire equality?’”

A mother of three, Janz says the decision to go back to school was one that was fully supported and encouraged by her family, and by her manager at enVision Community Living, an organization that provides services to persons with disabilities in Southeastern Manitoba.

“It’s been an adjustment for everybody but it’s worth it,” she says.

Outside the classroom, Janz spends time with her family as much as possible. When she’s not cheering on her kids at soccer matches, curling games or school events, you can find them volunteering together for Faith and Light, Variety Children’s Charity and the Circle of Hearts Family Support Network.

Felipe Tadeu Matoso Gomes — Felipe Gomes always dreamed of moving to Canada to pursue his passion for business and creative marketing. Two years ago, that dream became a reality, when he packed his bags and moved to Winnipeg to enrol in the Business Administration program at Red River College.

Born and raised in Recife, a city in Northeast Brazil, the 27-year old was working as an engineer when he deciding to switch countries and careers.

“I spent a lot of time researching different schools and various business programs,” says Gomes. “I’ve always had a passion for marketing, but I wanted to find a program where I could learn the basics and have an opportunity to explore the various fields of business. RRC’s Business Administration program stood out to me as a program where I could test my general knowledge and get a sense of what I really liked before majoring.”

Gomes recalls being overwhelmed with the support he received from instructors, classmates and the larger College community.

“My dream has always been to work in a creative industry, but I had doubts this would be possible because English is not my first language,” he says. “My reservations quickly went away once I began my studies. The program provided me with the knowledge, experience, support and confidence that I needed to succeed.” Read More →