Two Olds College students won Gold medals at the prestigious Skills Canada competition held at the Edmonton EXPO Center Northlands, May 14 & 15, 2012.
Jack Vanden-Broek and Justin Schipper, both forth-year Landscape Gardener Apprenticeship students, were pitted against teams from four other provinces, building and landscaping an area to the exact specifications of a plan developed by national landscape experts.
Over the two-day timed competition the landscape gardener teams had to build a project that included a brick patio, pathway, arbor, stacked-stone bar and plant material. Each team had identical design plans, construction material and tools with which to construct their project.
A team of judges and technical experts, drawn from the landscape industry across Canada, scrutinized every aspect of the construction process from start to finish. It proved to be a close competition with Québec coming second to take the Silver and Bronze going to Manitoba.
The team of Vanden-Broek and Schipper add this year’s win to their 2011 Provincial and National gold medals. However, the most exciting aspect for this young team is that they will represent Canada at the World Skills competition in Leipzig, Germany in 2013.
Schipper is currently employed with BOS Scapes Inc. in Coaldale, AB. Vanden-Broek works for Solterra Landscape in the Lethbridge area; his employer, Gerrit VanGiessen, is an Olds College Landscape Gardner alumnus and former Silver medal-winning Skills Canada competitor.
The purpose of Skills Canada is to encourage Canada’s next generation in skilled trades and technology. It is the only national, Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country. Every year, the event brings together over 500 young people from all regions of Canada.
Landscape Alberta offers its congratulations to Jack and Justin and is pleased to have provided financial assistance to help support the winning team. We’d also like to thank Manderley Turf Products Inc. for their financial support.
Landscape Alberta member companies that contributed project material and equipment include: Land Tec Landscape Contractors Ltd., Kiwi Nurseries Ltd., Finning (Canada) and Expocrete Concrete Products.
The Olds College Landscape Gardener Apprenticeship Program (LGAP) offers hands-on learning in the hard landscape skills of pavers, water gardens, wood construction, irrigation and surveying – along with the soft landscape skills of plant identification, tree planting, soil analysis, plant production and landscape design. LGAP students go through a four-year apprenticeship period.
CHECK OUT OUR STUDENTS IN ACTION – (time-lapse video of the gold medal team): http://youtu.be/nWOBEUNG6Xk