Event to support college alumni, sustainability

By: Autumn Fehr

RRC Polytech’s sustainability team and Alumni Engagement office are hosting a 12 Days of Holiday Shopping event from Dec. 1 to Dec. 16.

The event will take place virtually and is open to RRC Polytech staff and students. The goal is to elevate and support local entrepreneurs in the RRC Polytech community by promoting their small businesses via social media.

Whitney Crooks is RRC Polytech’s sustainability specialist and one of the event organizers.

“The last couple of years have been really hard, especially on small businesses, and we want to show our support for them in any way we can,” Crooks said.

Josee Cure hand makes wheat & honey bread in her kitchen at J’em Bistro on March 30. The bread is referred to as the restaurant’s bistro bread, as it’s the bread she uses on her menu since she opened her small business in 2019./ALICE GUIMOND

Josee Cure is an RRC Polytech Professional Baking and Patisserie graduate. She is the owner of J’em Bistro, a small restaurant located in St.-Pierre-Jolys Museum in Manitoba, and a participant in this year’s campaign.

Cure participated in RRC Polytech’s day-long Winter Market in 2020. Her business was open for less than a year before the pandemic hit. During this time, Cure said the event helped advertise her business and get her name out.

“It means a lot that they support student entrepreneurs, and I think it speaks volumes about the College,” Cure said.

The event has two goals: to support the RRC Polytech alumni community and to reduce environmental waste and pollution, as small businesses produce less waste.

Katrina Sklepowich is RRC Polytech’s alumni engagement officer and is another organizer of the event.

“The goal is to ensure we are highlighting as many of our alumni students and staff makers to our community as possible during the holiday season to encourage shopping local,” Sklepowich said.

Sustainability is one of RRC Polytech’s six key values.

The College defines sustainability as meeting current needs without compromising the future generation’s ability to meet their own, Crooks said.

“Sustainability isn’t something we just say, it is part of who we are and what we do. It is part of the decisions we make and the way that we conduct ourselves and our work and present ourselves to the community,” said Crooks.

The three pillars of sustainability are environmental, financial, and social, Crooks said.

“Sustainability is really when these three things come together, and we are trying to balance them all at the same time.”

The 12 Days of Holiday Shopping event falls under the social pillar of sustainability. This pillar focuses on how people’s choices impact the work they do and how it affects their community and the world.