There will be no provincial skills competition for secondary school students this year. Skills Canada Alberta Communications Coordinator Victoria Anderson says with the Edmonton EXPO Centre being used as a Fort McMurray evacuation spot, they weren’t able to find another space big enough to replace it.
“Our event space takes up 150,000 square feet of space, plus our hospitality needs, because we have 12,000 to 14,000 people who attend the event. There just really wasn’t enough time to come up with another venue that would be able to accommodate all of that.”
Instead, all of the gold medal winners from the regional events will be put into a lottery on May 12th to decide who goes to nationals. For those students taking part in non-regionalized events, a lottery will be made up of registered competitors.
A few secondary events were also cancelled. Anderson thanks the skills community for their understanding and support.
“We know that this is a really difficult situation for the students who have been working for hours, days, weeks, months towards this competition and we know that the lottery in no way reflects all of the hard work that they have put into it, but we just hope that they still take all the hard work that they’ve put in to an area that they’re passionate about.”
The post-secondary competitions will happen May 11th at NAIT and other Edmonton schools as they are smaller and have fewer competitors.