Impact of Giving

Marilyn Kenny, RRC Alumnus and member of the Board of Governors, establishes student award

June 19, 2017 • Written by

Marilyn Kenny has a long history of supporting her community and her accomplishments are numerous.

A few of her many roles within the federal and provincial governments included the administration of social services in the Interlake and Northern Manitoba, participation in the establishment of the Women’s Employment Counselling Centre, Manager of the Employment Centre in Dauphin, Director of Apprenticeship and Director of Settlement and Adult Language Training. From 2001 until her retirement in 2010 Marilyn was the Director of Operations with the Manitoba Nurses’ Union.

Given her passion for people and their well-being, it is no surprise that Marilyn has received numerous accolades. She was:

  • nominated for the YWCA Woman of the Year,
  • awarded the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority’s Woman of the Year,
  • a recipient of the Going the Extra Mile Award from the Public Personnel Association and,
  • the recipient of the Teachers of English as an Additional Language Award for the creation of the Immigrant Nurse Language Training Centre at the Manitoba Nurses’ Union.

Recently Marilyn continued on her path of supporting the well-being of others by investing in an endowment fund to create the John and Marilyn Kenny Award at Red River College. She knows first-hand the struggles of pursuing an education while working and raising a family and wanted to ensure support for others in similar situations.

She was appointed to the Board of Governors in August of 2013 and amongst her many other educational accomplishments (A BA from U of W & MEd. from U of M), is an RRC alumnus with a Certificate in Social Welfare.

Marilyn established the award because, as she says, “Red River College gave me the knowledge, skills and confidence to pursue my goals and the motivation to become a lifelong learner.  For this I feel truly blessed”.

To apply for this award, valued at a minimum of $500, students must demonstrate financial need, have at least one dependent and have been out of high school for one or more years.

Learn more about the John and Marilyn Kenny Award and other available scholarships, bursaries or awards.

To set up and endowment fund or create an annual scholarship, bursary or award call 204-631-3324.

RRC donor Paul Charette named 2017 Honorary Degree recipient, 50 years after first graduating from College

June 9, 2017 • Written by

He’s a titan of industry, a paragon of philanthropy and a proud Red River College graduate.

So naturally, the College is just as proud to congratulate Paul Charette on receiving this year’s Honorary Degree — a distinction that comes exactly 50 years after he first graduated from RRC.

“We are thrilled to present Paul with an honorary degree and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Red River College,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above, at right, with Charette and wife Gerri).

“We are very fortunate to have graduates like Paul, who share their vision and support and are constant ambassadors for RRC across the country. Paul’s generosity and enthusiasm for our College, as well as his commitment to providing opportunities for our graduates, is essential to what we are building at RRC.”

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Gene Haas Foundation donates $500,000 to new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre

June 9, 2017 • Written by


The Gene Haas Foundation has made a $500,000 donation to Red River College’s new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC), scheduled to open next year at the Notre Dame Campus.

The announcement was made at the RBC Convention Centre during the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition, taking place in Winnipeg until June 3.

“We are humbled by the generosity of the Gene Haas Foundation and their continued support of our College,” said RRC president Paul Vogt. “Not only will our Skilled Trades and Technology Centre expand our applied learning environment, it will foster a collaborative approach within our program areas that will have a positive impact on our pre-employment training, applied research projects, and overall student success. This gift from HAAS allows us to provide new and improved opportunities for our students and for that we are extremely grateful.”

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Talking turkey: Culinary students help bring new Granny’s Poultry products to market

May 29, 2017 • Written by

Jason Wortzman and Tynisha Braun, Granny's Poultry

If your plans for summer include barbecuing turkey burgers, there’s a good chance students from Red River College’s Culinary Arts program had a hand in getting those patties on the grill.

That’s because the students played a role in helping Granny’s Poultry Farmers Cooperative develop the burgers as part of an ongoing partnership with RRC’s Paterson GlobalFood Institute to find new meal options for chicken and turkey.

Chef Jason Wortzman, Director of Marketing and Product Development for Granny’s, says the partnership played a key role in developing the burgers and several other new products, noting PGI is an ideal facility in which to produce small samples for larger product development projects.

“Granny’s is always looking to add value to its products – to make convenient options that are unique but also resonate with our consumers. I started working on turkey burgers because we had been discussing it for a long time. We believed it would be a great next step for us,” said Wortzman. “I had students help me produce samples and I received valuable feedback from instructors after doing some taste testing.”

A team from Granny’s scheduled a taste test at a grocery chain in Toronto in February 2015. In less than two months, a prototype was approved, the recipe was refined to extend shelf life, and production started shipping the burgers to stores across the country. Wortzman says executives with the grocery chain were very impressed with the taste and texture of the new Granny’s burgers.

“They loved the product,” he says. “It was really juicy and full of flavour, containing only natural ingredients such as turkey broth and cornmeal – making it naturally gluten-free.”

RRC students and grads also played a part in getting Granny’s turkey roast and turkey meatloaf to store shelves. Similar to the burgers, these products are now sold in grocery stores across Canada. Read More →

CTTAM supports Instrumentation Student Games

April 7, 2017 • Written by

Four students from Red River College took part in the 2017 Instrumentation Student Games at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary on March 16-17. They arrived with support from the Certified Technicians and Technologists of Manitoba (CTTAM), who sponsored airfare and transportation to make sure the students were in prime condition to face four multilayered challenges testing their instrumentation and control engineering skills.

“The event is structured to be non-competitive between the schools participating,” says David Bertin, the RRC instructor who accompanied the quartet. “We take the students and divide them into teams with peers from other institutions – no two students from the same school are on the same team.”

This year there were 16 teams with students from Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, Washington State, Oklahoma, Houston and even as far as Brazil.

“This is an event our students always look forward to and it gives them a chance to learn from other students in other programs. Our courses all have similarities, but there are differences between institutions so it’s a good chance to get a benchmark reading to see how we measure up.”

The RRC students who participated this year are Kyle Thiessen, Yantan Zhang, Dom Van den Bussche and Quentin Leroux. CTTAM’s support contributed to the students’ success and allowed them to take full-advantage of the event.

“The drive to Calgary is over 16 hours and it’s time students have to give up from their classes”, says Bertin. “Having CTTAM support us by providing airfare to and from the event makes a huge difference for our participants and we are very appreciative for their support.”

Investment in Steinbach students helps ease financial strain

February 16, 2017 • Written by


Marc Desrosiers, a Business Certificate instructor at Red River College’s Steinbach Campus, and his wife Doreene, a retired Registered Nurse, recently created awards for students at the Steinbach Campus. The Marc and Doreene Desrosiers Awards, based on academic excellence and community service, will support full time Business* students’ academic aspirations and relieve some of the financial burden of post-secondary expenses.

Marc first began teaching an occasional course at the Steinbach Campus seven years ago. “I loved the College environment and the students,” he says. “Having come from a poor family, I can also remember how difficult it was to pay for my education. I value education and now want to give a helping hand to students who demonstrate a generous community spirit and keen academic interest. My wife Doreene and I have been supportive of Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions and because the quality of instruction and student commitment at RRC is among the best, the establishment of these awards is a perfect fit”.

The Desrosierses know the importance of a post-secondary education. Both graduated in 1972, Marc with an Honours BA from the University of Manitoba, and Doreene from the Saint-Boniface Hospital School of Nursing as an RN. Marc went on to earn an MBA, a Professional Manager designation and studied post-graduate Institutional Educational Advancement at Harvard University. Doreene enjoyed a fulfilling career in nursing while raising a family of three children (there are now five grandchildren), and is now enjoying retirement.

Throughout his senior leadership career, Marc also found time to teach part time for Extended Education at U of M over a nine-year period, and last summer, with Extended Education at RRC.

“Seeing students of any age learn and grow into careers is a valuable gift, and we want to help that along. If these bursaries can dually play a role to recognize students’ educational passion and community spirit while also providing financial assistance in their quest for a career, then we are all being well served,” says Desrosiers.

Between two and four awards (valued at $500 each) will be available annually to full-time students in the eligible programs. Application deadline is March 31, 2017, and the first awards will be presented on June 22, 2017, at the Steinbach Campus graduation.

*Eligible business programs are listed in the award write-up on our student awards blog.

Donor support and hard work pays off

December 22, 2016 • Written by

It’s safe to say Silas Meeches has turned out to be a good investment.

With the help of several donor-supported awards and bursaries from Red River College, Meeches, 20, graduated with his Manufacturing Technician diploma in May 2016. Now, he’s busy prepping for the 2017 World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi, an event he describes as “the Olympics for trades and technology [students].”

Click here to read the full story.

RRC alum honours Metis family members with new bursary

December 15, 2016 • Written by

Red River College alum Cindy Petrowski and her partner are honouring their Metis family members by easing the burden of current and future students through the establishment of The Cindy Petrowski and Phillip Marsh Helping Hands Bursary.

The bursary will support First Nations or Metis students with their academic aspirations and help with financial burdens.

A 1982 graduate of RRC’s Stenography program, Petrowski chose RRC because of its reputation then — as now — as a post-secondary institution that offered instruction in current and high-demand skills recognized and required by employers.

“As I moved through my career, I remembered the fantastic instructors I had and their patience with each and every one of their students,” she says. “I would encourage alumni to remember the experience and the rewards that RRC has provided them in career opportunities, friends made, and knowledge gained. Donate to help others achieve greatness through education.”

Click here to learn more about Petrowski’s career path and the new bursary.

Birchwood Automotive Group and Red River College – A partnership for student success

December 6, 2016 • Written by


RRC Automotive Students tour Birchwood Automotive Group facilities

Sharing in Red River College’s mission to learn, teach, challenge, innovate and find solutions to build a better future, Birchwood Automotive Group has chosen to honour its retired technicians by investing in the future of students at RRC.

Through the establishment of the Birchwood Automotive Group Limited Award, and by providing industry relevant tours to Automotive students, Birchwood is helping to ensure RRC students are armed with the knowledge and experience they need to succeed.

An initial investment of $30,000, matched dollar for dollar though the Province of Manitoba’s Scholarship and Bursary Matching Dollar Program, means that students in the Automotive Technician Certificate Program will now have the opportunity to lighten their financial burden.

This $1,000 annual award will recognize a student graduating from the first-year Automotive Technician Certificate Program whose work experience is completed at a dealership, and who is committed to the program and possesses leadership qualities.

Red River College is grateful to the Birchwood Automotive Group for their commitment to student success.

Learn more about the Birchwood Automotive Group Limited Award and other available  awards, bursaries and scholarships.


National Philanthropy Day

November 16, 2016 • Written by


National Philanthropy Day is celebrated annually on November 15th and on this occasion the staff and students of Red River College wish to thank their wonderful donors. Enacted by the government, in collaboration with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, this day aims to honour all Canadians who demonstrate the spirit of giving. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity and commitment to student success at Red River College. We are extremely fortunate to have the support of so many individuals, industry partners, associations, foundations and government who assist us in achieving our goal of providing the highest quality education available, leading our learners straight to employment. We recognize the importance and magnitude of your gift and are deeply grateful for it. Philanthropy is above all marked by the spirit of giving without seeking anything in return. To us, you are the perfect embodiment of this definition. Thank you for your contribution to making Red River College the best it can be.

Warm regards,

The Development Team