Prepare for the future of work with continuing education at Red River College Polytechnic

Part-time and Online Education


Online boutique owner gets boost from Side Hustle 101 course

January 6, 2022

Skirts that started as pillowcases. Tote bags with neckties for straps. Clutch purses made from placemats. If anyone understands the entrepreneurial spirit of thinking outside the box and using what you have to create something new, it’s Winkler-based maker Heidi Friesen.

A 2015 alum of RRC Polytech’s Apparel Design program, Friesen is the owner and operator of Heidi-and-Seek Boutique, an online store that exclusively features her own garment and accessory designs, which are created — as she puts it — with “real, everyday women in mind.”

“People started to notice my creations and say, ‘You know, you should sell those,’” she explains, when asked about the boutique’s origin.

“That’s kind of how it started, people saw what I was creating for myself and they said, ‘Hey, that would be something that’d be good for a gift,’ or ‘Hey, I’d love to buy that.’ So I started looking into how to start a shop.”

The passion that would lead Friesen (shown above, third from left) to one day launch her own fashion brand first took root when she was still young.

“As a child, I always enjoyed the dress-up box at friend’s houses — we called them play clothes at the time.”

“They were parents’ old clothes or grandma’s old clothes that someone had stuffed in a trunk, and I always loved picking out things to wear. It was just the feeling of putting something on that wasn’t your own — it was a way to tell a new story. I always loved that and I always wanted my clothing to be unique and different from everybody else.”

Those experiences led Friesen to consider garment design as a career path, an idea that really gained traction while she was visiting her sister in college, and the pair decided to create skirts from dorm-room pillowcases.

In 2009, Friesen started an Etsy shop and began selling her creations, but found herself seeking more knowledge to take her sales and skillset to the next level.

“I was self-taught in sewing, and I got to a point in my designing where I felt like I hit a wall in terms of how much I could teach myself,” she says.

“I don’t quite remember how I found it, but RRC Polytech was doing a one-day workshop for sewing details. I went to that thinking I would learn a few things and Jan Bones, who was the instructor, told me that Red River had an Apparel Design program. That was the perfect option for me. It was part-time, I could drive to the city once a week and do my two years to get the certificate.”

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Moving up: Project Management grad recognized for excellence as he takes skills into new role

July 7, 2021

Profile photo of Sibu Thomas

Unlocking new skills has a way of taking someone’s career to the next level. 

For Sibu Thomas, those leaps have come quickly since graduating from Red River College’s Project Management certificate program in 2019.

After getting his certificate, Thomas moved from a Project Coordinator role with Meridian Manufacturing Inc. into his current job as Industrial Regional Sales Manager, covering technical sales for clients in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota. 

A Manitoba-based company, Meridian builds storage and handling products for agriculture and industry — and endorsed Thomas’s enrolment in the RRC program back in 2018.

Having travelled a career path that started in chemical engineering technology and oilseed processing, Thomas credits that endorsement and the program itself for helping him take this next step.

“I wanted to enhance my skills, (but) I had no official background in project management training,” says Thomas. “So I signed up at RRC and it led to me implementing new project management tactics for Meridian. That really led me to being promoted to the position I’m in currently.”

The promotion isn’t the only recognition Thomas has earned in the last two years. He was also the 2019 choice for RRC’s joint award with the Project Management Institute (PMI), recognizing outstanding student work. The award is handed out each spring to the top student in the Project Management program and comes with a $1,000 cash prize courtesy of PMI Manitoba and RRC. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 award was presented in 2021.

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RRC launches micro-credential courses to enhance sought-after industry skills

September 11, 2020

Going back to school to upgrade your skills used to mean months or years of study and hard work — but micro-credential courses allow students, employees and entrepreneurs to “level up” on specific practical skills in just hours, days or weeks.

Red River College has partnered with Learning Resources Network (LERN), one of the world’s leading experts in continuing education and lifelong learning, to offer a series of online micro-credential courses that align with some of the most desired practical skills sought by industry, as well as by those looking to start a side gig.

The College now offers micro-credentials in data analysis, non-profit administration, productivity and time management, presentation media, and podcasting, with more under development.

“We see this as an important part of our future and the type of training we offer industry and people who are already employed, as well as new students,” says Bruce Bishop, Business Development Manager at RRC.

Students can use micro-credentials to enhance or round out a diploma or degree program, improve their marketability, and open up career options.

Micro-credentials benefit employees and organizations, too, by equipping them with flexible training tools to advance in a role or prepare for a new one, or to build workforce capacity.

“Red River College recognizes that many of the challenges and changes brought by COVID-19 are here to stay — not only for post-secondary education, but for all industries across the province. Micro-credentials will help us tackle disruption and adapt in real time,” says Bishop.

Students can pursue a micro-credential in their own time and at their own pace. RRC’s micro-credential courses are fully online, offered year-round, and will never be cancelled. All courses are taught online by experienced industry professionals, and result in a certificate or digital badge students can post to LinkedIn or other social media sites.

“Micro-credential courses are education at the leading edge,” says Bishop. “They help students, employees and employers tailor their skills and knowledge quickly to career goals, business opportunities, operational needs, and technological disruption.”

Find out more at

College to host ABCs of E-Commerce workshop and webinars

September 11, 2020

Red River College is launching a new e-commerce webinar series aimed at helping brick-and-mortar decision-makers in Manitoba make the leap to online sales.

The ABCs of E-Commerce webinar series kicks off with a free online workshop on Tue., Sept. 15 and Wed., Sept. 30, from 6:30–8:30 p.m.

The workshop introduces key elements such as setting up a website, design do’s and don’ts, content creation and marketing, inventory management, online security, transactions, and more.

RRC Program Manager Angela Chotka says the ABCs of E-Commerce webinars are a tool designed to help small businesses recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“When COVID first struck, huge numbers of consumers stopped shopping in stores and started shopping online. Even after public health restrictions began to ease up, that trend hasn’t fully reversed. If you couldn’t sell your product online, you were left high and dry — which is why so many brick and mortar businesses are struggling right now. We can help. Learning the fundamentals of e-commerce can prepare a business to pivot quickly, expand revenues and remain competitive.”

The ABCs of E-Commerce webinars are also useful for entrepreneurs looking to start their own online venture. Future webinars will be offered at affordable prices and willcover the following topics in depth:

  • Understanding Your Customers’ Needs
  • Building Your E-Commerce Framework
  • Managing Inventory, Delivery and Service
  • Accepting Online Payments and Taxes
  • Launching and Growing Your Online Store

RRC is also developing a free guide, 6 Actionable Steps to Selling Online.

Find out more and register at

Residential Decorating students unveil Co-Create Spaces at IKEA

May 21, 2019

Walking through an IKEA can’t simply be described as shopping for something — it’s more like navigating through a maze of thoughtfully designed rooms.

The in-store displays are an iconic part of the IKEA experience and are different in every location, based on localized market research. They’re designed to address the needs of a specific person, place and price-point.

Customers see a room, but Josephine Pulver — an interior designer and Residential Decorating instructor at Red River College — saw a chance to connect with the industry and turn IKEA’s design process into a final project for her students.

“Last year I placed two of my students at IKEA for their practicums and got to meet some of their staff, and saw the opportunity to set up a project with them,” says Pulver. “The mission is to get students involved, and show the industry what our students are doing at RRC.”

Five displays designed and built by Pulver’s students are now on display at IKEA’s Winnipeg location. The five rooms — called Co-Create Spaces — were unveiled over the weekend, and will remain in-store for the next three years.

Through the Co-Create project, students were able to work off-campus and immerse themselves in the process from start to finish. IKEA provided the research, room dimensions, budget and list of products, then the students broke into groups and began sketching solutions for better everyday living.

“We start from inspiration and develop a concept, which we present to our client, then we get our client’s feedback and get them involved in the progress of the plan development,” says Pulver. “We then carry that through to the completion of the project.” Read More →

Red River College develops a customized training program for Conviron

November 7, 2018

When employees are given the tools to grow their skill sets and become experts in their industries, not only do they benefit — their organization benefits, as well.

Conviron, a global leader in the design, manufacture and installation of controlled environment systems, was looking for a way to further train employees. Not surprisingly, they turned to Red River College’s (RRC) Corporate Solutions department to develop a customized training program.

Conviron was in need of a training curriculum for onboarding new or transfer employees into the refrigeration section of their manufacturing department.

Corporate Solutions developed a comprehensive training workshop where existing employees could be trained on new programs and new employees could get up to speed on the practices within Conviron’s refrigeration department. Employees received hands-on training in areas such as tools and equipment, refrigerants and oils, leak testing, evacuation and charging.

“We approached Corporate Solutions because we were looking for a professional level of training and education for our employees,” says Melissa Hartzenberg, Conviron’s Training and Development Specialist. “We do very custom work, and wanted to provide training that was specific to the needs of the company, instead of just providing generalized training.”

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Information Session: Property and Casualty Insurance

November 7, 2018

Be career-ready in six months.

You could be starting a career in a challenging field that is crucial to every industry – insurance.

Why choose a career in insurance?

Because insurance touches every aspect of life and business, it is a vital and stable industry. As one of Canada’s largest contributors to the financial services sector,  there’s a constant need for talented, creative and motivated employees.

Learn more about the program and careers at a free information session:

Date: December 4, 2018
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: A104 – 160 Princess Street, Exchange District Campus, Winnipeg, MB

For more program information:
Have questions? | 204-694-1789 or 1-866-242-7073

Information Session: Administrative Assistant

November 6, 2018

In just 18 weeks, you could be work-ready for any professional business environment.

Join us at a free information sessions to learn about the Administrative Assistant program and the careers that await.

Meet instructors, get your questions answered, and learn about the entrance requirements.


  • November 29, 2018

Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Location: Green Lecture Theatre (F Building), 2055 Notre Dame Avenue


For more information:

204.694.1789 | |


Veteran cop to teach new course after ‘writing the book’ on modern law enforcement

October 25, 2018

Staff Sgt. Bob Chrismas, a 30-year veteran of the Winnipeg Police Service, is the newly hired instructor of Red River College’s Justice and Public Safety program, available by part-time delivery, with select courses available online.

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

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

He’s not kidding. 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.

“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.”

Learn more about Bob Chrismas here.