July 15, 2008
Three students in the Fanshawe Horticulture Technician program earned a silver medal in the Canadian Skills Competition (CSC) held May 25-28 in Calgary. Erin Van Dooren, Brian Bailey and student coach Mike Melo took second, just behind the gold medal-winning team from Manitoba.

The CSC is a national, multi-trade and technology competition that attracts over 500 students and apprentices from across the country. The event provides competitors with hands-on experience in 40 trade and technology fields. Landscaping is just one of them. The program raises awareness of the skilled trades industry, as students vie to be crowned the best in their chosen discipline.

The Fanshawe team participated in the Landscape Garden Construction competition. They worked together to create a garden over two days alongside six other teams, all working with the same design and amount of time to complete the project. The event was judged on safety, technical knowledge, teamwork, initiative and accuracy of work.

Students participate every second year, since fundraising initiatives are important to cover costs. Students must compete at local, regional and provincial competitions to represent the province. The CSC then selects Canadian representatives for the World Skills Competition.

“Every second year the worlds are held,” says Michael Pascoe, Fanshawe horticultural faculty member, who accompanied the students to Calgary. “The competition is then much more challenging, as we are competing with the best from each province. Patrick Callon, field construction teacher, coached the students in preparation over several weeks and we are all very proud of the team.”

Caption: Erin Van Dooren and Brian Bailey won silver in Calgary.