Thompson Rivers University

Skills Canada banners applaud and inspire

  Posted on: March 10, 2017

Some of the Skills Canada banners found in the trades building. These are located in the main lobby by the stairs leading to the second floor.


Banners with names hang on various walls inside the trades building. For many, they are just that, banners with names. But for those aspiring to soar in the Skills Canada competition, they are reminders of how far hard work and commitment can take you.

Similar to the banners hanging in sports stadiums around the world—they inspire as well as applaud.

Ryland Davoren competes in high school cabinetry.

At TRU, each represents a trades student who competed in the national championships and won either gold, silver or bronze.

“They’re a symbol of the school’s success and my name is always going to be here in the school as part of that success. People like me are going to walk by and say, ‘I want to be like that guy up on the wall,’ ” said welding student Andrew Christensen, who is the latest TRU student to have his name added after winning gold at Skills Canada last June in Moncton, New Brunswick. He is now training for the world championships this October in Abu Dhabi and on a mission to become TRU’s first medalist at the worlds.

On March 3, dozens of high school students along with several TRU students started the journey that could one day see their names on a banner in the trades building. Here for the Cariboo regional championship, everyone worked against the clock to complete projects in a variety of categories, the likes of carpentry, cabinetry, welding, automotive, heavy duty mechanics, culinary arts and more.

Winners in each advanced to next month’s provincial championships in Abbotsford and the winners from there, go on to nationals in Winnipeg in June. National winners then qualify for the 2019 world finals in in Kazan, Russia, provided they meet the age cutoff.

Jen Musey competes in high school cabinetry. 

See below for TRU’s regional medalists.

Each step of the journey is not just a test of knowledge, technique and speed, but also composure, trouble shooting, planning, multi-tasking and time management.

Among the high schoolers was Ryland Davoren, a Grade 12 student at Westsyde Secondary and also enrolled in the ACE-IT program at TRU. He finished third this year in cabinetry after winning the category last year.

“I like the competitiveness and seeing where my skills are at,” Davoren said of the six hours allotted to complete the project. “I like putting myself under pressure to see what I can do. I’m usually nervous right away, but once I get going, I start thinking this is just another project that I’m making.”

Meanwhile it was the first year for Jen Musey, a Grade 12 student at South Kamloops Secondary. Glad to have participated, it was a good test of what order to do things in, along with staying calm and not losing focus.

“The time limit put a lot of pressure on me to do things in a certain order while I waited for the glue to dry,” she said. “The time was stressful, but it was all fun in the end.”

TRU’s 2017 regional medalists

Automotive technician
Austin Briand, gold
Cole Knopf, silver

Alicia Dunn, gold
Keegan Willey, silver
Avery Ellis, bronze

Electrical post
Quinn Pache, gold

Dustin Baker, gold
Emeril Macus, silver
Calvin Forbes, bronze

Heavy duty ET
Chris Livingstone, gold
Tanner Dawson, silver
Jason Barbour, bronze

Nathan Szucs, bronze

Welding PS
Benjamin Chenuz, gold