Well, 2017 has been quite a year for Red River College! As the year comes to a close, it’s important to take time to reflect on and celebrate the exciting events that have taken place, the successful projects we’ve completed, and the dedicated people who make up our College community.
I would like to thank all the members of Red River College Heritage Group for your support, and to share with you some of my favourite College achievements and moments from 2017 – one for each month of the year:
- In January, we geared up for the five year anniversary of Paterson GlobalFoods Institute and the tremendous impact PGI has had on education in our city. RRC’s expansion into the Exchange District continues to play such an important role in growing this iconic community.
- In February, our Culinary Research & Innovation team started working on Piccola Cucina’s Hemp Macaroon, which won the silver medal for best new food product at the Great Manitoba Food Fight 2017.
- In March, we added three new took home the Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Award for the category “Innovation and Research for Sustainability” and we worked to bring new urban beehives to our Notre Dame Campus for the first time.
- In April, we unveiled the new $95-million Innovation Centre, which will bring together students, instructors, researchers, industry, and community members to work on commercialization projects for startups and SMEs. It will also enable social enterprise and Indigenous entrepreneurship.
- In May, we held our second annual full-day RED Forum professional development conference for all RRC employees, focused on relationships, education, and direction.
- In June, we celebrated employees who put our College’s core values, leadership in action and excellence in teaching, research and other areas at our BRAVO Awards luncheon, our highest level of recognition here at the College.
- In July, we continued to focus on advancing Indigenous achievements at the College through supporting Indigenous student success and strengthening partnerships with our Indigenous communities. This year we were pleased to welcome Rebecca Chartrand to our team as RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.
- In August, we broke ground on the new Smart Factory and expanding RRC’s Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT) with a major $10 million investment in 2017 by Western Economic Diversification.
- In September, We celebrated a 30-year partnership with China’s Shenyang Institute of Engineering – one that continues to strengthen and grow each year with more than 1,000 Chinese students now enrolled for the 2017/2018 academic year.
- In October, two of our students, Silas Meeches and Ashley Weber, travelled to Abu Dhabi this year to represent Canada at the World Skills Competition.
- In November, we were honoured to accept the Long-Term Achievement Award at the 34th Annual Manitoba Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Gala; and we were once again named one of Manitoba’s Top Employers, for the eighth year in a row.
- In December, RRC was named the top research College in Western Canada, according to Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges.
There is an energy and excitement in the air at Red River College as we look towards the New Year – with new students, programs, projects, and even the opening of new campuses in our future.
Programs like our new and first of their kind Indigenous language and culture courses being delivered to Manitoba’s educators. These courses will help support the growth of Indigenous language revitalization in Manitoba’s schools and advance reconciliation efforts in the province – a key priority for the College.
Research projects such as the tasty ideas being cooked up by our Culinary Research and Innovation team, who offers product development services to industry and researchers, along with testing and demonstration platforms, and continue to find new innovative use for locally grown foods.
Breaking ground and planning RRC’s Innovation Centre in the Exchange District, and the official opening of our new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC) in the spring – which will train up to 1,000 students each year for well-paying jobs, and provide industry with the highly-trained employees needed to expand and be competitive in a challenging international economy.
There is a lot to look forward to as we set our sights on another calendar year. These projects and initiatives will help us continue to build a stronger and better Red River College, and ultimately, a brighter future here in Manitoba.
I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season, and I look forward to joining you all in 2018 for an update and reflection on what’s sure to be another very successful year here at Red River College.
President and CEO