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Red Deer Polytechnic wins two national awards for alumni initiatives

Date posted:
Thursday, May 25, 2023

CCAA Prix d'Excellence

Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) received two awards from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE). In the annual Prix d’Excellence, Palate: A Taste of Local received silver in the Best Alumni Event category and the RDP Athletics Brand Reveal video received bronze in the Best Video – Announcements category. 

The CCAE is a national network of post-secondary professionals in advancement disciplines including advancement services, alumni relations, communications and marketing, fundraising (development), external relations and public relations. Members include representatives from universities, colleges, polytechnics and other schools from across Canada. The Prix d’Excellence awards are selected by volunteer panels that are comprised of CCAE members. 

“Palate: A Taste of Local is the RDP Alumni Association’s annual signature event. The event is driven by alumni and student volunteers to plan and deliver, so this award is especially meaningful for us,” says Courtney Avram, Chair of the RDP Alumni Association Board of Directors. “Palate builds on the rich history of the Fine Wine and Food Tasting event, which ran for 16 years. It was reinvented in 2022 to further enhance our community and alumni connections, and celebrate our region. To achieve this recognition in our first year is validating and reaffirms our commitment to the vision of celebrating and strengthening our alumni and community connections.”

The redesign of Palate: A Taste of Local was also an opportunity to evolve the event to incorporate attendee and volunteer feedback from past years, reflect the bold new vision for Red Deer Polytechnic and enhance alumni ownership of the event. The RDP Alumni Association Board of Directors comprised the event committee this year. They booked vendors, entertainment and service providers. They managed alumni and student volunteers to deliver the event. Many members of the Board helped with set-up and all members were in attendance that evening. They took the opportunity to share information with alumni attendees and speak about their rewarding RDP alumni and student experiences. 

While all were welcome at the event, it was clear that to be an RDP alum meant something special. Through this event, the RDP Alumni Association raised $16,000, which supports scholarships, student and alumni engagement activities, and honorariums to event-day volunteers.

Palate attracted just over 260 attendees, kicking off the institution’s first annual Homecoming Weekend, which drew more than 2,600 people to campus. Homecoming Weekend featured a number of events including an Open House and Athletics events. RDP Kings and Queens celebrated their first season wearing the new RDP Athletics brand, which acknowledges the history and legacy of the Kings and Queens franchise. 

The bronze-award-winning video, “Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics | History and Brand Reveal” was created to help Red Deer Polytechnic reveal the new logo and branding of their Kings and Queens teams. The video was shown during the reveal event and shared on social media in Spring 2022. To create this memorable video, decades of old Athletics footage and photos were reviewed and integrated. 

The video tells the decades-long story of the RDP Athletics brand and demonstrates how alumni, student-athlete and community feedback informed the new brand. This energetic video excites Kings and Queens fans, alumni, staff and student-athletes around the continuing legacy of the RDP Athletics program.

The Kings and Queens teams were established in Fall 1964. Given the age of the footage, elements were of varying quality, so they had to be treated to incorporate into the overall video in a purposeful way. No video was available for earlier years, so RDP’s videographer, Scott Malo, created an innovative slideshow of photos and utilized a filmstrip sound effect at the beginning of the video to imply the video element. 

The video vision and project plan drew from feedback gathered during a few years, including stakeholder sessions that were specific to the rebranding project, as well as previous Athletics engagement activities. RDP Athletics fans expressed a strong affinity for the Crown logo as well as the Kings and Queens team names. These legacy pieces were modernized and brought into alignment with the new Red Deer Polytechnic logo and brand colours. The video is recognized for its ability to draw this connection in an exciting and inspiring way. 

“Receiving these two awards in the CCAE Prix d’Excellence is a significant honour. These national awards are very competitive, and both categories included submissions from colleges, universities and polytechnics across Canada, including very large institutions,” says Richard Longtin, Red Deer Polytechnic’s Associate Vice President of External Relations. “We’re proud to have been chosen for these two projects, which are extremely meaningful to our faculty, staff, alumni, students and community. This national recognition demonstrates that our Homecoming Weekend is an exciting opportunity for alumni and community to engage with Red Deer Polytechnic.”

The RDP Alumni Association has already been planning for next year’s event. Palate: A Taste of Local will be held on October 19, 2023, and tickets are available now.

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For media inquiries, contact:      


brent [dot] forster [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (Brent Forster)      

Communications Strategist – Corporate      

Red Deer Polytechnic     


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