• Skills Canada NWT
  • Skills Canada NWT
  • Skills Canada NWT
  • Skills Canada NWT
  • Skills Canada NWT
  • Skills Canada NWT
  • Skills Canada NWT
History of Skills Canada

In 1989, a small group of individuals in Simcoe County, Ontario had a vision of a national organization that would encourage young people to consider careers in skilled trades and technology as first-choice career options. They were concerned about the economic development of Canada if young people were not aware of the tremendous career opportunities available in skilled trades and technology.

An organization named Skills Canada was formed in Simcoe County in 1989 and in 1990 the 1st Ontario Skills Competition was held in Hamilton, Ontario. Highlighting the skilled trades, the skills competition was designed to give young people from across Ontario an opportunity to compete for bronze, silver and gold in an Olympic-Style event.

Skills Canada grew into a national, not-for-profit organization with a national office in Ottawa and affiliates in twelve provinces and territories in just ten short years. By 2005, this number had grown to thirteen with the creation of a separate organization for Nunavut. Our common goal remains the same: to help young Canadians realize the enormous career opportunities available through developing their skills in the trade and technology fields.

The 2006 Canadian Skills Competition in Halifax, Nova Scotia, marked Skills Canada's 17th anniversary. As an organization, we have had much to celebrate. Since 1989, we have assisted over 100,000 young Canadians compete in and internationally and we have hosted many following successful events.

The founding members of Skills Canada are to be commended for their foresight. A dream came to fruition and their small organization became a national organization thanks to a partnership with business, industry, education and government. Human Resources & Social Development Canada has been a part of our dream since 1990 and Skills Canada recognizes the vital role HRSDC has played in our successful development.

History of Skills Canada NWT

1998: Skills Canada NWT began by selecting a team of six competitors to participate in the 4th Canadian Skills Competition held in Vancouver in May 1998. 

1999: A Board of Directors and society status was established in January of 1999. The first Territorial Skills Competition (TSC) was held in both Fort Smith and Yellowknife (May 23, 1999).  Team NWT traveled to the Canadian Skills Competition (CSC) in Kitchener (June 3-6, 1999) and returned with five top five finishes including one bronze and two silver medals. After the division of the territories, Skills Canada NWT became Skills Canada NWT/NU until such time as Nunavut could open its own office. 

2000: In 2000, the TSC was again held in Fort Smith (April 19-20) and in Yellowknife (May 11). 

2001: Saw the TSC being held in Yellowknife (April 25) and in Fort Smith (May 2-3). Our participation in the nationals brought two silvers and a bronze medal home again. 

2002: The 2002 territorial competition had over 1100 students visiting the competitions and almost 100 competitors.  At the 2002 Canadian Skills Competition, our organization won its first gold medal, as well as two bronze medals. 

2003: Was a year of continued growth.  139 competitors participated in the two territorial competitions with a team of 29 competitors making the trip to Waterloo, Ontario .    The NWT/NU team came home with seven medals, one gold, four silver and two bronze.  Team Nunavut won its first gold medal. Due to the lobbying of the Skills NWT/NU board, Heavy Equipment Mechanics was included in 2003 as a national competition event.  A diamond polishing demonstration was taken to the Canadian Skills Competition and received much positive publicity.

2004: In 2004, 138 participants competed at the Territorial Skills Competition. Team NWT/NU consisting of 23 competitors made the trip to Winnipeg for the Canadian Skills Competition. For the first time ever, our team won multiple gold medals. We returned with two gold, one silver, and three bronze medals. Another first was that Chris Fournier’s gold medal in Web Page Design made him eligible for a spot on Team Canada at the 2005 World Skills Competition in Helsinki, Finland. This is the first time that a NWT or Nunavut competitor has ever made Team Canada.

2005: Was our busiest, most successful year since the inception of the organization. We reached more youth from throughout the NWT and Nunavut than ever before and put the north on the Skills map of Canada and the world. In May of 2005, Yellowknife ’s Chris Fournier became the first northerner to claim a Gold medal at the World Skills Competition. A week later, Team NWT/Nunavut claimed more medals than it ever had before at the Canadian Skills Competition: 2 Gold, 3 Silver, and 3 Bronze. Skills Canada Nunavut was born and our organization reverted to its legal name: Skills Canada NWT.


2006: Our Territorial Skills Competition saw 94 competitors compete in 13 different trade areas.  The Canadian Skills Competition saw eighteen talented youth represented the Northwest Territories at the 12th Canadian Skills Competition in Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 23-26. Three of these competitors returned home with medals in hand: Peter Boggis brought home a gold in Workplace Safety; Royce Schaff won silver in aircraft maintenance; and Geoff Wiseman won silver in Heavy Equipment Service.


2007: Eighteen talented youth represented the Northwest Territories at the 13th Canadian Skills Competition in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, June 6-9. One third of these competitors returned home with medals in hand: Cody Peterson, Graphic Design (post secondary level): winning GOLD, Tyler Heal, Graphic Design (secondary level): winning SILVER, Kyle Wright, Heavy Equipment Service (post secondary level): winning SILVER, Royce Schaff, Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (post secondary level): winning BRONZE, Megan Welsh, Prepared Speech (secondary level): winning BRONZE, and Tyler Janz, Plumbing (post secondary level): winning BRONZE.


2008: Eighteen talented youth represented the Northwest Territories at the 14th Canadian Skills Competition in Calgary, Alberta, May 25-28. Three of these competitors returned home with medals in hand: Peter Boggis, Workplace Safety (secondary level): winning GOLD, Chris Aitken & Ian MacDougall, TV/Video Production (secondary level): winning SILVER, and Tyler Heal, Graphic Design (secondary level): winning BRONZE.


2009: March 7th 2009 was the first Annual Beaufort Delta Regional Skills Competiton, held in Inuvik. We had 38 competitors competing in 12 different trades. The winners from each trade went on to compete in the Territorial Skills Competition. Seventeen talented youth represented the Northwest Territories at the 15thCanadian Skills Competition in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, May 20-23. Three of these competitors returned home with medals in hand: Keegan Lower, Workplace Safety (secondary level): winning GOLD, Katrina Heimbach, Cooking (secondary level): winning SILVER, and Tyler Heal, Graphic Design (secondary level):winning SILVER.


2010: February 12th 2010 was the second Annual Beaufort Delta Regional Skills Competiton, which we saw an increase in participation.  We had 47 competitors competing in 10 different trades.


2011: March 7th 2011, was the first Annual South Slave & Deh Cho Regional Skills Competition in Fort Smith. We had 20 competitors competing in 5 different trades.  The winners from each trade went on to compete in the Territorial Skills Competition. Those Territorial winners went on to compete at the Skills Canada National Competition. We did very well this year with Dylan Crawley, Electrical Wiring (post-secondary level): winning GOLD and Antonio Lewis, Welding (secondary level): winning SILVER finally, Sébastien Rémillard, Cooking (secondary level): winning BRONZE. This was the year the name changed from the Canadian Skills Competition to the Skills Canada National Competition.

 2012:  This was the first year that thanks to the NWT-North Regional Skills Competition and the NWT-South Regional Skills Competition, all the smaller communities in the NWT were able to participate in the Regional Competitions.  Those winners from the Regional Competitions moved onto the Territorial Skills Competition. 

We had a staff change for the 2011-2012 school year for the Skills Canada NWT office.  Jessica Schmidt replaced Sylvie LeFort as Event Coordinator, while Sylvie was on maternity leave.  Sylvie is due to come back November 1st 2012. 

We brought home 3 medals from the Skills Canada National Competition which took place in Edmonton.  Here's our winners:  Antonio Lewis, Welding (Secondary Level): GOLD, John Spoelder, Auto Service (Post-Secondary Level): SILVER, Sébastien Rémillard, Cooking (Secondary Level): SILVER  Way to go NWT!


2013:  Lets see what happens...



Copyright 2009 by Skills Canada NWT