kills Canada BC’s North Island Regional event was held at G.P. Vanier Secondary School on Friday, 21 February 21.

There were 240 competitors from 17 different schools across the region that competed in 20 different skilled trades and technology categories ranging from automotive, carpentry, culinary, and welding to media including photography, animation, and web design. A junior event is also included in the annual regional event with competitions in gravity cars (design and performance), spaghetti-bridge design and VexIQ robotics.

Valley secondary students captured impressive finishes in many of the categories taking gold in 13 of the 20 events. Gold medal winners include:

Vanier Secondary

2D Computer Animation      Levi Weaver
Automotive                             Paul Herman
Cabinetmaking                      Christian Murray
Carpentry                               Gerrad Graham
Graphic Design                      Desi De Koninck
Welding                                   Brody Laderoute
Workplace Safety                   Jackson Roy-Penzer

Highland Secondary

Electronics                              Austin Harris
Sumo Robot                           Aedhan Vincent
VexIQ                                       Lukas Karas & Nicholas Horel

Mark R. Isfeld Senior Secondary

Culinary Arts                          Maisie Matthews
Photography                          Jenna Gill

Aspen Park Elementary

Wind Turbine Walker           Smits & Ben Vaillant

Competitors winning at the regional competition advance to the provincials 15 April at the
Abbotsford Tradex. Provincial winners will advance to the Skills Canada Nationals that will be
held at the Vancouver Convention Centre 28 and 29 May. Students can then compete at the
WorldSkills competition.

The competitions serve two main purposes. The first is to celebrate and reward students for
excellence in their mastery of skilled trade & technology skills in a manner that directly involves
industry in evaluating student performance and that keeps training relevant to employers’ needs.
The second is to create an interactive and engaging environment for the thousands of young
people who attend the competitions as spectators.

“I am always amazed to see the skill level of students at this competition and see these kids as
our future designers, coders, builders and troubleshooters,” says Steve Claassen, Comox Valley
Schools Career Coordinator for Trades and ADST who organized the event and has been
involved with Skills Canada for almost 20 years “Our valley is fortunate to have some very
skilled students in Trades and Technology and in most years some of our student reach the
nationals and comes back with medals”.

Skills Canada provides opportunities for thousands of students and parents to watch competitors
in action, participate in Try-a-Trade activities, visit the Pathways to Careers Showcase, or
participate in the Women in Trades and Technology Conference. Skills Canada’s goal is to
showcase the skilled trades & technologies as first choice careers to the thousands of young
people who attend the competitions annually.

Mary Lee

Manager of Communications, Comox Valley Schools (School District 71)