After months of training and practicing under the guidance of seasoned Vancouver Community College (VCC) instructors, students from the baking, cooking, car painting, hairstyling, and esthetics categories competed against the best from other provinces and claimed podium finishes at the Skills Canada National Competition held May 26 and 27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
This was the first time B.C. hosted the Canada-wide competition in almost a decade. Previously, Vancouver hosted the 19th Skills Canada National Competition in 2013.
VCC Automotive Collision and Refinishing student Theodore Abril (post-secondary) took the top spot in the Car Painting category. VCC Baking and Pastry Arts student Jireh Dunol also won first place with a chocolate sculpture around the theme "Roaring 20s," a set of 20 bonbons, and a pair of marzipan figurines reflecting a native wild animal from B.C. VCC Esthetics student Rosa Maria Donaire Champagne claimed gold in her category, which included a hot stone massage and makeup application.
Competing for a spot on Team Canada this year, nineteen-year-old VCC Culinary Arts student Sean Leviste just missed the cut by placing third, but took home a bronze medal for his the presentation of bouchées appetizer platters, a main course, and dessert. VCC Hairstyling student Brooke Martin also took bronze for her wedding up-do and men's cut.
Meanwhile, in the secondary category, VCC Youth Train in Trades baking student Leila Pourshahriary claimed a gold medal while Tyler Shine from the autobody repair categoery and Ali Al Abedi in car painting each won silver in their categories.
VCC Skills Canada post-secondary gold medallists (L to R) Jireh Dunol, Rosa Maria Donaire Champagne, Theodore Abril
Throughout the in-person event, stage demos included a liquid nitrogen sorbet bowl with Chef Hamid Salimian and a skin therapy and facial massage demonstration with VCC Esthetics instructor Jaclyn Fisette.
Middle and high school students from across Metro Vancouver experimented with different trades in the exhibition hall with various industry partners. Activities included a dip, dunk, and decorate your own cake pop at VCC Baking's interactive station, while VCC Culinary Arts handed out assorted frozen fruit pops to visitors. Young learners tried their hand at removing tires from an autobody frame under the supervision of VCC Transportation Trades staff, while others took to the VCC Hair and Esthetics booth to practice applying polish correctly to artificial nails or to use hot tools to create perfect curls on a mannequin.
Gold-winning competitors who have opted to participate on Team Canada will be advancing to the World Skills competition held in Shanghai, China on October 12 to 17, 2022. The next Skills Canada National Competition will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2024.