Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut June 10, 2013 - 7:31 am

Skills Nunavut wins “team spirit” award at Skills Canada competition in BC

"Best of Region" award in hairdressing goes to Shelly Nichol of Rankin Inlet

SAMANTHA DAWSON
Here’s the pink robot a team of 10 students from Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit worked on over the past year, which was entered into the 19th annual Skills Canada national competition in Vancouver. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SKILLS NUNAVUT)
Here’s the pink robot a team of 10 students from Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit worked on over the past year, which was entered into the 19th annual Skills Canada national competition in Vancouver. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SKILLS NUNAVUT)
Anthony Abbott of Iqaluit competes during the Post-Secondary Carpentry event during the national competition. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SKILLS NUNAVUT)
Anthony Abbott of Iqaluit competes during the Post-Secondary Carpentry event during the national competition. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SKILLS NUNAVUT)
Shelton Nipisar and Jonathan Kigusiutnak  of Arviat represented Nunavut during the competition in Vancouver in the television/video category. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SKILLS NUNAVUT)
Shelton Nipisar and Jonathan Kigusiutnak of Arviat represented Nunavut during the competition in Vancouver in the television/video category. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SKILLS NUNAVUT)

They were great, says Nunavut spokesperson and Skills Nunavut cooking instructor Aaron Watson of Iqaluit of the 17-member Nunavut delegation at this past week’s 19th annual Skills National Competition in Vancouver. 

And best of all: for the third year in a row, the Skills Nunavut team won the “Most Team Spirit” award.

Shelly Nichol of Rankin Inlet, who competed in hairstyling, also won a “Best of Region” award.

After competing in territorial competitions this past April, 17 students in workplace safety, television and video production, hairdressing, post-secondary carpentry, cooking, baking, and robotics travelled to B.C. Place in Vancouver to display their skills or support the team at the national event, which started June 5.

“Things [went] really well… we have kids from all three regions competing in seven trades,” Watson said shortly before the three-day event’s closing ceremonies, which took place June 8. 

The 2013 national competition for Skills Canada, a non-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies, kicked off June 5 with a speech at the opening ceremonies from Mike Holmes, the Canadian fix-it star of Home and Garden Television network programs.

Holmes spoke to more than 500 students from across Canada in competition for a top spot in more than 40 trade competitions ranging from carpentry and mobile robotics to welding, aircraft maintenance and graphic design.

Potential employers and recruiters, industry experts, labour groups, training institutes and government partners also attended the event.

“Of course, tthere is some stress associated with competing,” Watson admitted about the nationals.

That’s because of strict rules and requirements during the event.

But people were impressed with Nunavut — especially with its pink robot, the only pink robot in the competition — which the robotics team from Inuksuk High School worked on over the past year.

Team member Jospeh Melanson, 16, called the robot “fantastic and pink.”

“The competition has been going well. We’ve had a few problems with the robot but we’re coming through now,” Melanson told Nunatsiaq News during the competition.

The pink robot, which was required to be under two cubic feet, had to go through an obstacle course, pick up pallets, slightly larger than an average person’s hand, and put them on a shelf.

Melanson, who helped design the robot, and cut the metal and wood for it, said “I’m quite nervous for people who are competing” before the June 7 finals — but everything went well.

During the nationals, Team Nunavut continued to promote its team spirit award by using social media and circulating Youtube videos.

“We’d like to thank Skills Canada for bringing the youth of Canada together and giving us a chance to show the world just how awesome Nunavut is,” a video said.

Winners of the national competition go on to compete at the World Skills Competition, representing Canada.

The full list of results from the competition can be found here.

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