Thompson Rivers University

TRU trades students capture bling at national competition

June 2, 2023

Hugo Heyes (centre) wins gold in the plumbing category at the 2023 Skills Canada National Competition.

KAMLOOPS – Five Thompson Rivers University (TRU) School of Trades and Technology students have won national awards, including two golds, for demonstrating the best talent in their skilled trade.

Pictured left to right: Bronze medal winner Cole Allan, TRU welding instructor Larry Franzen and gold medal winner Nolan Ilic – welding category.

Hugo Heyes (post-secondary level) took first-place gold in the plumbing category, while Nolan Ilic (secondary level) and Cole Allan (post-secondary level) won gold and bronze, respectively, for their welding expertise. Matthew Lavigne (post-secondary level) and Logan Jones (secondary level) each nabbed silver for their carpentry skills.

The awards were given out at the 2023 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) in Winnipeg, Man., in late May. The SCNC is the only multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in Canada. Each year, more than 500 competitors from across the country compete for the title of national champion in over 40 skill areas.

Pictured left to right: Silver medal winners Logan Jones and Matthew Lavigne – carpentry category.

“Hard work pays off,” said Larry Franzen, TRU welding instructor. “To get to the national level takes dedication and a drive to overcome obstacles.”

“Our plumber Hugo, and all the other TRU competitors did amazingly well,” said plumbing instructor Audrey Curran. “Anyone brave enough to put themselves out there for these competitions should be very proud of themselves.”

“Events like the Skills Canada National Competition encourage Canadian youth to discover skilled trade and technology careers through interactive activities and find their passion,” said Shaun Thorson, chief executive officer, Skills/Compétences Canada. “It also allows us to raise awareness of these important and lucrative careers to our future skilled workforce.”

*Some students and instructors are available for media interviews upon request.
**Photos available upon request.

Kim Van Haren, Communications Content Specialist
University Relations, Thompson Rivers University
778-471-8389 |



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