Red River College Student Association keeps tradition alive

By Kent Noel

RRCSA’s Paint Night is an inclusive event for all RRC students—no matter the skill level. 

The latest Paint Night was held through Zoom on Nov. 19. The SA and the Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative (HMHC) which is how the college uses HMHC to support students’ mental health.

“Paint Night is a free way to relieve stress and encourage self-care,” said Jemma Ignacio, SA program director and Paint Night instructor. “The students love it so we figured we’d keep it going.”

Ignacio said one Paint Night from last year had 30 participants, including a woman who was partially deaf. The woman’s friends signed instructions while doing their own paintings.

RRC students participate in RRCSA’s Virtual Paint Night. Photo courtesy of RRCSA

“We welcome everyone with open arms to our events,” said Ignacio.

She said there’s usually loud chatter once everyone becomes comfortable, but the room falls silent in concentration when the next step is being taught.

“I attended paint night last year and I had so much fun,” said Michelle Kay, a former RRC Business Administration student. “I miss going to campus events with my friends.” 

Ignacio said she often hears friends laughing and enjoying themselves. “One student asked how to make his tree look less like broccoli,” said Ignacio.

The SA usually chooses painting subjects based on seasonal landscapes or an upcoming holiday. On Nov. 19, participants painted northern lights.

“Last winter, we painted a penguin wearing a scarf and toque with snow falling in the background,” said Ignacio.

Ignacio said students can pick up free Paint Night packages created by the SA. They try to keep the event as accessible and inclusive as possible. 

Visit the RRCSA website for more information on Paint Night and other RRCSA events.