The North Island Regional competition for Skills Canada B.C.’s was held remotely with many Valley students participating March 8 to 12.

The event drew more than 450 competitors in Grades 6 to 12 from more than a dozen schools competing
in 12 different events ranging from carpentry, culinary, electronics, and welding to media animation and
TV/video production. Junior events for student competing in grades 6 to 8 included Gravity Cars,
Spaghetti Bridge Design, Wind Turbine and VexIQ Robotics.

District students captured impressive finishes in many of the categories taking gold medal placement in
10 of the 12 events.

Steve Claassen, Comox Valley Schools Career Coordinator for Trades and ADST has been involved with
Skills Canada for more than 20 years acknowledged that the calibre of skills among Valley students
continues to be strong from year to year.

“I am always amazed to see the skill level of students at this competition and see these kids as our future
designers, coders, fabricators and trouble-shooters,” explained Claassen. “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.”

Results are as follows:

Georges P Vanier Secondary –                 Gold Medal winners
Carpentry                                                    Charlie Guile
Welding                                                        Sheridan Osterman

Mark R. Isfeld Senior Secondary –            Gold Medal winners
Culinary Arts                                                Ella Oldaker

Highland Secondary –                                 Gold Medal winners
Electronics                                                    Austin Harris
2D Animation                                               Jubiel Halasz & Owen Valmorbida
VexIQ Robotics                                             Benoit Vaillant
Sumo Robotics                                             Nicholas Horel

Aspen Park Elementary  –                           Gold Medal winners
Gravity Car                                                    Isaac Gibson

Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary –           Gold Medal winners
Spaghetti Bridge                                           Declan Sestak, Nate Boan & Shay Devineold

Brooklynn Elementary –                             Gold Medal winners
Wind Turbine                                               Owen Duncan, Cole Dekker & Zia Morishi

In a non COVID year, the gold medal regional winners advance to the provincials held at the Abbotsford
Tradex in April. Provincial winners then have the opportunity to advance to the national Skills Canada
competition. To ensure a safely run provincial event, most competitions will take place remotely at the
competitors’ respective school.

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

Mary Lee

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