Impact of Giving

Westland Foundation provides opportunities for inner-Winnipeg students

February 6, 2018 • Written by

Congratulations to Red River College partner Westland Foundation for reaching the milestone of exceeding $2 million in its Education Fund.

Since 2009 the fund has awarded 625 scholarships, totaling over $374,000, to students living in Winnipeg’s inner city. The fund has provided high school students with the opportunity to access post-secondary education at Red River College, the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba.

This academic year, the fund awarded its largest combined scholarships of over $78,000 to 120 students.

One of the 2017 scholars, Alyssa Malabanan, is currently studying Tourism Management at RRC and was featured in Westland Foundation’s Fall 2017 newsletter:

Alyssa is a proud Westland Foundation Scholar and an RRC first year Hospitality and Tourism Management student. She is grateful to Westland Donors for supporting students who lack the resources to reach for their dreams.

As a Westland Scholar, Alyssa would like to become a role model to high school students by demonstrating academic excellence and hard work. She says to her fellow students, “The Scholarship proves that no matter how hard life can get, we still have someone, somewhere, who supports us to navigate life’s challenges.”

Alyssa further advises high school students to keep dreaming and do their best to live up to their dreams.

Scholarships are available to students who are entering full-time programs within 30 months of graduating from one of the high schools in the Westland Foundation’s catchment area; Argyle Alternative High School, Children of the Earth High School, Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, Gordon Bell High School, R.B. Russell Vocational School, St. John’s High School, Sisler High School and Tec Voc High School.  Please visit the Westland Foundation website for further information about the Foundation, as well as the application form.  Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  Application deadline for fall programs is September 1, and for winter programs is February 15.

To learn about awards, scholarships and bursaries at Red River College, click here.

A legacy of caring: New scholarship launched in memory of local activist

October 4, 2017 • Written by

During his lifetime, Richard (Asher) Webb exemplified the philosophy that it’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

A 1986 Computer Programming graduate who’d returned to Red River College to study Business Administration when he died at the age of 49 in 2009, Webb devoted his time, talent and irresistible enthusiasm to helping others, driving social and political change, promoting the arts and nurturing a universal sense of community.

In the early 1980s, he organized Vancouver’s first hospice for HIV/AIDS patients, and after graduating from RRC, he worked as an information systems manager for the Village Clinic (now Nine Circles Community Health Centre, while helping to organize the city’s first HIV/AIDS conference.

In 1987, he was a founder of Winnipeg’s first gay pride parade, and later worked on behalf of a number of arts and advocacy groups, including the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, the Osborne Village Cultural Centre (now the Gas Station Arts Centre), the Osborne Village BIZ, and B’Nai Brith. He also campaigned for former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray, and was a popular bartender and board member at Gio’s Club and Bar.

Recently, his family set up the Richard (Asher) Webb Social Justice Activist Memorial Award, recognizing RRC students who inspire others through efforts to further “equity, inclusion and social justice through community engagement.”

Learn more about Asher’s legacy, and the new award in his honour.


Remembering a loved one by helping others

August 22, 2017 • Written by

Frederick David Taylor IV surrounded by family

In March 2016, Fredrick Taylor, a 2014 graduate of RRC’s Greenspace Management program passed away from Glioblastoma Multiforma cancer at the age of 25. Fred had a passion for plants and nature and had recently started a company that uses an all natural approach to remove toxins from our soils while adding microbiology back in to create healthier soils and landscapes.

To memorialize Fred, and the unique qualities that defined him, Fred’s family and friends have established an endowment fund to support a lasting legacy in his honour. The Frederick David Taylor IV Memorial Award for Greenspace Horticulture Diploma Students recognizes students for their commitment to the environment and sustainable horticultural practices along with exemplary teamwork and leadership in the classroom. A fitting tribute to the memory of an exceptional young man.

Read about Fred’s legacy here.

Learn more about this award and other available scholarships, bursaries or awards.

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

Princess Auto Foundation continues to fuel student success

August 1, 2017 • Written by

David Shnider, Director Princess Auto Foundation (centre) with members of RRC staff and RRC Vice-President of Strategic Development, Mark Hoddenbagh (second from right).

The Princess Auto Foundation’s commitment to its mission to provide financial assistance to pre-employment skilled trades & technology students can be felt across Red River College and numerous other Colleges across Canada.

Since 2008, Princess Auto Foundation (PAF) has donated more than $650,000 to Red River College, alleviating the financial strain of countless students who might otherwise not have been able to pursue a post secondary education.

The majority of the funding for PAF comes from Princess Auto, whose owner, Bob Tallman, is RRC’s Distinguished Alum 2012.

We are grateful to the Princess Auto Foundation for their investment in the future of RRC’s students and applaud their commitment to providing opportunities and leadership for those pursuing a post-secondary education in trades and technology.

With twenty-three $2000 Tuition Assistance awards for those in financial need, PAF is partnering with the College to ensure we can meet industry needs and influence economic growth in Manitoba.

In the fall of 2017, Princess Auto Foundation’s Student Loyalty Program will be available for select trades and will further ease the financial burden faced by so many students.

RRC is grateful to Princess Auto Fountain and all our industry partners who ensure our students have the economic resources to achieve their educational dreams.

Learn more about the PAF awards 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.

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.”

Read full story

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.”

Read more

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.