One Last Goodbye

By: Killa Burkinshaw

On Monday, we were given one last opportunity to offer thanks and appreciation to the volunteers, competitors, and participants of WorldSkills 2009. We treated them to something that we all enjoy as Canadians: Football on Labour Day

They were first ushered to a Tail-tagging party where they found our Stampede Royalty on hand to greet them. Others were there as well, including members of the RCMP, dressed in their traditional red serge, brown stetson, and their high brown boots. All were very happy to be included in the festivities.

I sat with a group of people from England, New Zealand, Netherlands, Japan and a few others and explained what and how the game was played. They were just happy to be there!

At Half-time, The Young Canadians of the Stampede, the winners of WorldSkills 2009, and a colour party all came on to the field to give one last salute to the crowds and to say goodbye. The Young Canadians did an excellent job of entertaining everyone and made sure that a great time was had by all. In the Winners Section, you could see the Norwegians running up and down with their flag celebrating. There was a great variety of music so everyone had at least one song that they could sing along to. And always a crowd pleaser:  Fireworks as a finale.

Some of my favourite parts of the day:  Sitting with the WorldSkills participants and teaching them the finer points of our style of football, hearing all the international ‘soccer’ chants that you would hear in other countries, hearing them sing “O’ Canada” at the top of their lungs like the rest of us, and having them cheer for the fighter jets that flew overhead. Hopefully everyone at the game had as much fun as I did!

One Last Dance

By: Reginald Tiangha

WorldSkills Calgary 2009 may be finished at Stampede Park, but there are a couple of opportunities left for participants to enjoy themselves and for Calgarians to recognize their accomplishments.

Here’s what’s on tap for today:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ultimate Tailgate Party

Hosted by Tourism Calgary, WorldSkills participants will be treated to a festive piece of Canadiana. They are invited to celebrate the successful completion of WorldSkills Calgary 2009 alongside the thousands who travelled to the Heart of the New West for this once in a lifetime event.

Where: Foothills Stadium, 2255 Crowchild Trail NW (beside McMahon Stadium) – 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

CFL Labour Day Classic Football Game

This football game is an annual highlight for Canadians and is completely sold out. At half-time, WorldSkills champions and experts will be recognized in a brief on-field salute. This is a ticketed event.

Where: McMahon Stadium, 1817 Crowchild Trail NW – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

If you’re lucky enough to be at today’s CFL football game, make sure you give all of the competitors a standing ovation during the half-time show. They’ve come from around the world and competed their best during the last week; let’s make sure we show them how much we appreciate that and give them one last taste of Western Spirit, Friendliness, and Hospitality!

The End of WorldSkills 2009 and the Beginning of the Next Chapter

By: Reginald Tiangha

I know that Closing Ceremonies are typically causes for celebration, and this one was no different. Before the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Closing Ceremonies started, all of the competitors and their fans were chanting and singing and celebrating in their own way.

The ceremony was supposed to start at 6 PM, but it was delayed for about 30 minutes while they waited for all of the delegates to arrive. So, as you’ll see in the video below (taken with my very amateurish digital camera from my vantage point in the stands), the competitors decided to take it into their own hands to amuse themselves until the ceremony started.

It’s important to note that at this point in time, the majority of the delegates had already taken their seats, and were waiting on the last few countries to arrive. They had already been seated for about 12 minutes or so. It’s important because of what happened next:

and before you knew it, it ultimately turned into this: Continue reading

WordSkills Calgary 2009 Final Results and Medals

By: Reginald Tiangha

I’m currently working on a recap piece for the WorldSkills 2009 Closing Ceremonies, but while I wait for the pictures and videos to upload and to finish it up, I wanted to post the results of the competition for those who were anxious to find out how everyone finished.

Finalists for Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in each of the skill categories can be found here:

http://worldskills.org/medals.html

and detailed results for each of the competitions can be found here (PDF format):

http://worldskills.org/results.html

The WorldSkills website is currently experiencing high loads due to the Closing Ceremonies, so I’m not sure if these links are permanent. If they change when the site returns to normal, I’ll update the links.

Congratulations to all the winners, and a big THANK YOU to all the competitors, volunteers, sponsors, and other participants! You put on a great show this year. Enjoy the rest of the night (it is YOUR night after all), and we’ll see you at the Tailgate Party at McMahon Stadium tomorrow!

WorldSkills 2009 Schedule for Sunday, September 6

By: Reginald Tiangha

Today is the official Closing and Awards Ceremony for WorldSkills Calgary 2009 where Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals will be awarded to the top three ranking competitors in each skill category, and it will take place at the Stampede Corral on Stampede Park.  As such, unlike previous days in the competition, daily results were not released for Day 4.  Instead, full competition results will be released after the ceremonies tonight.  We’ll have a link to them here as soon as they’re made available.

In the meantime, here’s more information about what’s happening on Park today, courtesy of the Worldskills 2009 press release:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

WHAT: Official Closing and Awards Ceremony

In addition to official speeches and awards presentations, the WorldSkills flag will be passed from WorldSkills Calgary 2009 to the next Competition host, WorldSkills London 2011. The entertainment at the ceremony provides an opportunity for Canada to showcase local talent and to thank all visitors. Expect infectious enthusiasm tinged with a bit of sadness on the part of Calgarians that, after 4 years of planning, it’s all over.

  • Where: Stampede Corral, Stampede Park, 1410 Olympic Way S.E.
  • Time: Doors open at 5 p.m. Event runs 6 to 8 p.m.

Note that this is a ticketed event.

WorldSkills 2009 Day 3 Results and Day 4 Schedule

By:  Reginald Tiangha

The Daily Results for WorldSkills Calgary 2009 have now been posted.

Here’s what’s on tap for today, the final day of competition (Day 4):

Saturday, September 5th

Competition Day 4 (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.) – Stampede Park, Free Admission, Open to the Public

Viewing Hours (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) – Stampede Park, Free Admission, Open to the Public

  • Coca Cola Stage – Entertainment
  • Global Skills Village – Presented by UA Canadian Piping Trades
  • Canada House
  • Alberta House
  • Try-A-Skill @ Skill City – Presented by the Calgary Herald

And here’s who’ll be performing today on the Coca-Cola Stage as part of the WorldSkills Cultural Celebration:

September 5 – World Music/Dance Day

  • 9:30 – 10 a.m.  Loose Moose Improv
  • 10:15 – 11 a.m.  Frank Turning Robe Drummers and Dancers
  • 11:15 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Dara Dancers
  • 12:15 – 1 p.m.  Maximime
  • 1:15 – 2 p.m.  Calgary Samba School

Finally, to wrap the Cultural Celebration up, there’ll be a WorldSkills Celebration Spectacular held afterwards downtown at Olympic Plaza, with Small Stage performances being held between 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Main Stage performances being held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  For the complete schedule of performances, see here.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the WorldSkills Competition yet, today’s your last chance to do so!  If you’re looking for ideas on what to see when you come down, here are a bunch of suggestions.

Admission’s free, so come down to Stampede Park and see what the entire city’s been talking about.

Red Pill or Blue Pill?

By: Reginald Tiangha

OK, let’s say that for some reason, you can’t make it down to WorldSkills Calgary 2009 this year (like because you live in another country). Is there a way for you to still experience WorldSkills 2009 from the comfort of your own home? Well, now there is!

A new education initiative being undertaken this year is to simulate WorldSkills 2009 using Second Life.

They’ve managed to create a virtual Stampede Park complete with buildings, tents, and landmarks, featuring text, pictures, and video explaining the different skills inside the various venues.

Now, I’ve never used Second Life before, but I signed up just to check out this feature. Here’s a video I quickly made of my adventures:

All in all, pretty cool. I think they managed to keep an authentic feel in regards to the layout of the Park and the various venues, and many of the graphics and pictures used in the simulation are also used in the real-life displays. Plus, the moving C-Train and Skyline cars were a nice touch! I’ll probably re-visit the site later to explore some more.

If you want to learn more about how to access this innovative feature, check out the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 website.

Now, if only I could make Virtual Reggie sit down and write a Virtual Blog Post lamenting that he’s feeling that some unknown, unseen force seems to be dictating and directing every part of his life, then that would totally make my long weekend (because I’m weird like that).

WorldSkills – Why Volunteer?

By: Nicole Mosher

If you’ve been on the C-Trains at all this week, it was probably impossible to miss the large groups of similarly dressed folk, often speaking other languages. There’s no doubt you have noticed the many visitors WorldSkills 2009 has drawn to our city. But how did this international event all come together?

I took a ride on the C-Train and ran into one of the local volunteers for WorldSkills Calgary 2009. She shared her insight into how the event came to be and why Calgary embraced it.

NGC: “Where did all these volunteers come from?”

Volunteer: “Since Worldskills is its own event, there was no organization of volunteers in place before this event chose Calgary (Calgary was chosen over Edmonton by the way!). Organization started over a year and a half ago, building up to 3000 volunteers! Applications were sent in on-line. Most people are volunteering for 12 hours or more in areas from food services to marketing and everything in between.”

NGC: “How does hosting an event like this benefit Calgary?”

Volunteer: “It really raises the profile of Trades. In Canada, our education system is geared toward putting students into universities, we often forget, some may even say we look down on the decision to pursue a trade. But the Trades are important and this competition shows that. It also shows us that elsewhere in the world the Trades are very high profile. Did you hear Korea is awarding $50,000, a house and a job to their winners?”

NGC: “What is Calgary doing to host all of these visitors?”

Volunteer: “The SAIT Campus has been taken over as residences for the competitors. Obviously they are taking advantage of our great transit system and they are getting exposure to other “Calgarian” things like organized bus trips to Banff, experiencing the Stampede Grounds including NASHVILLE NORTH!”

NGC: “So if I want to go down to check it out, what do I do?”

Volunteer: “It’s free admission, you just show up on park and you’ll get one of these (holding up a lanyard and ID pouch) which has an RFID chip in it so they can record where you’ve gone on park, how long you’ve stayed there, etc (Ed note: the General Access passes that you get now currently no longer have them). It’s really high tech and it’s going to help them plan other events in the future.

Oh, and don’t miss the Coca-Cola stage performances and the Artisan Village at Olympic Plaza either!”

At this point I’d reached my C-Train stop so our interview ended, but I’m definitely heading down to check it out for myself tomorrow!

Hungry?

By: Reginald Tiangha

By popular demand, to further elaborate on my Spectator’s Guide to WorldSkills 2009, here is a more detailed list of the various food vendors available on Park this week, as well as where they’re located and a sample of what they offer:

Weadickville

Big Four Building (Interior)

Big Four Building (Exterior)

  • Pocket Dawg: Hot dogs with baguettes
  • Opa! Souvlaki: Greek food
  • Dippin’ Dots: Flash-frozen ice cream
  • Cafe Alegro: Coffee and related beverages

Grandstand Building (Exterior)

  • Twistz: 46 different flavours of soft serve ice cream
  • Taco-in-a-Bag, Hot Beef Sundae, Chicken Fingers, Burgers, other Stampede midway treats
  • Cold drinks stall

Stampede Store (Exterior)

  • Paradise mini-donuts
  • Cold drinks stall

Stampede Corral (Exterior)

  • Gourmet Hot Dogs
  • Lemon Heaven: Fresh squeezed lemonade
  • Philly Cheesesteak and other various sandwiches

BMO Centre (Interior)

  • The Cantina: Soup, sandwiches, beverages, and more
  • Various concessions stands: Pizza, burgers, chicken fingers, drinks

As you can see, there’s lots of choices on Park.

WorldSkills 2009 Day 2 Results and Day 3 Schedule

By: Reginald Tiangha

The Daily Results for WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Day 2 have now been posted.

Here’s what’s on tap for today (Day 3):

Friday, September 4th

WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Information Technology Forum (8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.) – Invitation Only, Boyce Theatre

Viewing Hours (9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.) – Stampede Park, Free Admission, Open to the Public

  • Coca Cola Stage – Entertainment
  • Global Skills Village – Presented by UA Canadian Piping Trades
  • Canada House
  • Alberta House
  • Try-A-Skill @ Skill City – Presented by the Calgary Herald

Competition Day 3 (9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.) – Stampede Park, Free Admission, Open to the Public

And here’s who’ll be performing on the Coca-Cola Stage today as part of the WorldSkills Cultural Celebration:

September 4 – Blues & Country Day

  • 9:30 – 10 a.m.  Loose Moose Improv
  • 10 – 10:30 a.m.  WorldSkillz Performance Troupe
  • 10:45 – 11:15 a.m.  Keister Family Fiddlers
  • 11:30 – 12:15 p.m.  Hurricane Felix & The Southern Twisters
  • 12:30 – 1:15 p.m.  Treeline
  • 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.  Eldon Weasechild

It’s raining…signage??

By: Reginald Tiangha

Here’s something cool I stumbled upon at WorldSkills 2009:

The device is called a “Graphic Waterfall” and is created by Pevnick Design out of Milwaukee. As you can see, it uses water to display various patterns and writing, the timing of which is all controlled by computer.

I’ve never encountered anything like it before, and it seemed to be a hit with all the various onlookers as well.

This thing has to been seen in person to be fully appreciated, so if you’re coming down to Stampede Park for WorldSkills, make sure you drop by and check it out! The Graphic Waterfall is located directly in front of the entrance to Alberta House, which is located just outside the Stampede Corral.

The Spectator’s Guide to WorldSkills 2009

By:  Reginald Tiangha

So imagine this:  You’ve been hearing about it for months.  Your friends/colleagues/co-workers/whatevers have been talking about it for a while now.  You’ve seen the posters around town.  Your interest is piqued: Just what is WorldSkills?

You want to know more, so you decide that the only way to do that is to come down to Stampede Park and see the WorldSkills Competition for yourself (the fact that it’s free to attend doesn’t hurt either!).  So you’ve checked out the schedule on-line, familiarized yourself with the venue map, picked out a date and time to visit and are ready to go!

At this point, you may be asking yourself questions like:  What can I expect when I get down there?  I could be spending an hour or two on site; will there be any place to eat?  If so, what’s available?  Just what exactly is there to see and do?

Take it from a guy who didn’t know what to expect the first time he visited:  I know exactly how you feel.

Well, don’t fret, because I’ll share with you what I’ve learned.  This is my handy-dandy Spectator’s Guide to WorldSkills 2009 and I’ll walk you through what happens when you arrive, what’s available to be seen and done, and what’s available in terms of food and beverage choices.  In fact, you might be surprised at what you can find!  I know I was…

Do I have your attention?  Great! Then read on!

Continue reading

WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Daily Events Results

By:  Reginald Tiangha

The results for Day 1 of the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Competition have now been posted.

At the end of each day, the five competitors with the highest scores for that day are listed in alphabetical order per skill.

You can see those results by visiting the WorldSkills International web site.

Final results will also be posted at the end of the competition this weekend.

From what I can tell, Team Canada seems to be doing quite well!

WorldSkills Quick Facts

By:  Reginald Tiangha

If you’re someone like me who isn’t really involved in the trades, then perhaps (like me) you’re simply not aware about what makes the WorldSkills Competition so special.

If so, here are some quick facts that highlight some things about the competition that you may not have been aware of, and show why Calgary is so lucky to be hosting it this year.

First, for those who like numbers:

  • 900 competitors from 51 different regions/countries
  • 100,000 public spectators
  • 50,000 students registered to attend
  • 3,000 volunteers
  • 30 languages
  • 5,000 international experts, delegates and visitors
  • $16 million in new tools and equipment purchases for the event will be donated to Alberta schools
  • Only 8 Albertans are competing (7 from Calgary and surrounding area)
  • Host countries tend to experience a 15%-20% increase to technical/polytech institute programs
  • This is only the second time that Canada has hosted this event
  • The competition is only held once every two years (next one is in 2011 in London, England)

Some background information about the competition itself:

  • Competitors must be under the age of 23 during the year of the WorldSkills Competition, with the exception of two skill categories: the Manufacturing Team Challenge and Aircraft Maintenance, in which Competitors can be up to 25.
  • Targeted to youth in school, young adults aged 17- 25 and parents, industry leaders, educators and youth influencers
  • Free admission to the four days of Competition, September 2-5 at Stampede Park

And some reasons why WorldSkills is so cool and why the people behind the scenes are heroes:

  • The largest independent event ever hosted at Stampede Park
  • Largest international competition in Calgary since the 1988 Winter Olympics
  • Hosting the world for one week has taken more than four years to plan

For more information on WorldSkills Calgary 2009, visit www.worldskills2009.com.

Let the Games Begin!

By:  Reginald Tiangha

If you haven’t heard by now, today is the start of the 40th WorldSkills Competition being held at Stampede Park.

Every couple of years, hundreds of young people from around the globe skilled in various disciplines of trades and technology gather along with their teachers and trainers to compete and participate in tests of skill involving 45 different skill categories and against demanding international standards.

900 competitors drawn from 51 countries/regions will be represented at this year’s competition, with eight of those competitors coming from Alberta (and seven of which are from Calgary and the surrounding area!).

The main competition will be held from now until September 5, and all of the events being held during this time are free for the public to attend!

In addition to the competition itself, there will be many exhibits and pavilions open to the public that visitors can check out.  These include:

  • Skill City, where visitors can participate in events ranging from carpentry to computer animation.
  • The Global Skills Village, where visitors can consider new career paths and interact with over 120 exhibitors from various industries and institutions.
  • Canada House, containing fun and interactive displays offering information about various fields for both potential students/workers and other influencers.
  • Alberta House, a showcase displaying Alberta’s key strengths in skills, trades, technologies, and more.

There should be plenty to see and do at Stampede Park this week, so why not drop by and see what the entire city has been talking about?

If you’re trying to plan your week, a schedule can be found here and a venue map here.  Hope to see you there!