North Island students shine in regional Skills Canada competition

Campbell River, B.C. – The North Island Regional competition for Skills Canada B.C. was held this year at North Island College in Campbell River with many students from the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Parksville/Qualicum and Power River School Districts participating on Friday, February 24.

The event drew more than 200 competitors in Grades 6 to 12 from seven secondary and 12 elementary schools competing in 18 different events ranging from automotive, carpentry, culinary, and welding to 2D/3D animation, digital art and electronics. Junior events for students competing in grades 6 to 8 included gravity cars, spaghetti bridge design, wind turbine and Lego Mindstorm robotics.

“It is a privilege to collaborate with Comox Valley Schools to host this important event, which empowers students as they showcase their outstanding skills and passion for skilled trades and technical careers,” said Cheryl O’Connell, NIC Dean of Trades and Technical programs. “Congratulations to everyone who participated.”

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

“This event always inspires me as I see our communities next generation of designers, fabricators, technicians and trouble-shooters,” explained Claassen. “The North Island is fortunate to have skilled students in Trades and Technology coming out of very strong school programs and in most years some of our students reach the nationals and come back with medals.”

Skills Canada BC would like to thank North Island College for hosting the competition and the following sponsors for their contributions of supplies, materials and especially prizes for the winning students; Accu-Tech Torch, Adam’s Tarp and Tool, Andre’s Electronics Experts, Cameron Contracting Ltd, Canadian Tire, DV Auto Corp, Finning, Hitec-Brazen, Linde Canada, London Drugs, Messer Canada, Midland Tools, Napa Auto Parts, North Island College, ONO Work and Safety, Russell-Hendrix, Save On Foods, Staples, The Home Depot, Thrifty Foods, Western Equipment Ltd and Windsor Plywood.

Results follow.

Secondary Gold Medal Winners

2D Animation – Jordyn Wallace-Patterson, G.P Vanier Secondary

3D Animation – Elliot Sidlick and Logan Jones, Carihi Secondary

Automotive – Leland Strachan, G.P. Vanier Secondary

Cabinetmaking – Andrew Hyrbko, Timberline Secondary

Carpentry – Matt Simard, G.P. Vanier Secondary

Culinary – Ella Oldaker, Mark R Isfeld Secondary

Digital Art – Lee Robinson, G.P. Vanier Secondary

Electronics – Ryan White, Highland Secondary

Photography – Clara Ingram, G.P. Vanier Secondary

Welding – Markus Johnson, Carihi Secondary

Junior Event Winners

Gravity Car – Ari Roberts & Gavin Cooper, Qualicum Beach Elementary

Lego Mindstorm – Jonas Desaulniers and Pavel Petrov, École Puntledge Park Elementary

Potential Energy Vehicle – Flynn Hutton and Hudson Orcutt, Qualicum Beach Elementary

Wind Turbine – Jacob Williams, Aspen Park Elementary

Spaghetti Bridge – Maggie Keenoy and Tallulah Bathurst, Aspen Park Elementary


The gold medal regional winners now 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.

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.