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Nunavut students hone their skills, prepare for Saskatoon competition

“They’re really, really going to impress the judges

By THOMAS ROHNER

Taking the heat in the kitchen: Kyla Kent, a 15-year old grade 10 student, bends over a moulding pan at Inuksuk High School's kitchen April 28. Kent, along with over 50 other students from across Nunavut, is competing in the Territorial Skills Competition. Kent is vying for the top performance in the baking category at the tenth annual competition--one of fifteen disciplines students are competing in April 28. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)


Taking the heat in the kitchen: Kyla Kent, a 15-year old grade 10 student, bends over a moulding pan at Inuksuk High School’s kitchen April 28. Kent, along with over 50 other students from across Nunavut, is competing in the Territorial Skills Competition. Kent is vying for the top performance in the baking category at the tenth annual competition–one of fifteen disciplines students are competing in April 28. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)

Arviat tenth grader Destiny St. John concentrates as she competes in the aesthetic competition at the territorial skills competition at Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit April 28. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)


Arviat tenth grader Destiny St. John concentrates as she competes in the aesthetic competition at the territorial skills competition at Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit April 28. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)

With a gold medal in the territorial skills competition now under her belt, ninth-grade Iqalungmiut Sophie Dubeau has her eye on the national competition at the end of May in Saskatoon.

“I haven’t travelled a lot. It’s always been either Ottawa or places in Quebec, so it’s pretty exciting to maybe be going to Saskatoon,” Dubeau told Nunatsiaq News April 29.

Dubeau, 15, won the gold medal in the cooking category of the Skills Canada Nunavut trades competition, held at different locations in Iqaluit April 28.

Over 50 students from across Nunavut competed in 15 categories at the one-day event, which included hairdressing, jewellery-making, carpentry and robotics.

For the cooking competition, Dubeau had to cook meat loaf, potatoes, brown sauce and braised cabbage with cream puffs for dessert.

“I’ve helped my mom and grandma make Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner. I’ve always just thought cooking was fun,” Dubeau said.

Enjoyment and satisfaction is what Jamie Gauthier, president of Skills Canada Nunavut and a judge in the carpentry category, said he hopes students get out of the competition.

In judging the carpentry competition — won by Wayne Levi and David Akoak, both of Iqaluit— Gauthier told Nunatsiaq News he paid attention to detail: exact measurements and fitting all the parts of a house wall together.

“I hope students get the good sense of satisfaction that comes after building a project, whether it’s a house or anything,” Gauthier said April 28.

This year’s competition saw a big jump in competitors from around 40 last year to 56, said Janis Devereaux, executive director of Skills Canada Nunavut and lead organizer of the event.

“I’m so proud of the competitors, seeing what they accomplished yesterday. I’m quite confident that if they keep at it ‘til next year, they’re really, really going to impress the judges,” Devereaux said.

Last year, 12 gold-medal winners travelled to Toronto for the national competition, but this year up to 18 may attend the event in Saskatoon from May 27 to May 30, Devereaux said.

And Dubeau hopes she’s among that group.

Either way, though, Dubeau said she plans to continue improving and having fun cooking.

Especially with the timing — of having every dish ready at the right time —and the presentation of food, which, because she loves art, Dubeau said is one of her favourite parts of cooking.

“It’s just a fun thing to do. I don’t know what I want to do with my life yet, but I can always go back to cooking.”

The gold-medal winners in the different categories are:

• Ethan Tassiuk and Elena Akammak of Arviat, for TV/video;
• Sophie Dubeau of Iqaluit for cooking;
• Eva Muckpah of Arviat for aesthetics;
• James Takkiruq of Gjoa Haven for public speaking;
• Precious Maningas of Rankin Inlet for workplace safety;
• Tiffany Rose Nutarasungnik of Kugluktuk for cultural sewing;
• Damaris Nutarasungnik of Arviat for photography;
• Wayne Levi and David Akoak of Iqaluit, for carpentry;
• Jeanine Nowdluk of Iqaluit for jewellery making;
• Amiel Hernandez of Rankin Inlet for baking;
• Katie Devereaux of Iqaluit for job interview;
• Jessica Eccles from Rankin Inlet for hairstyling;
• Kyle Shaubroek of Arviat for small engine repair;
• Natalie Maerzeluft of Iqaluit for graphic design; and
• the Iqaluit robotics team of David Aglukark, Tsoi Yung Lau, Timmuti Idlout-Smith, Isaac Strickland, Lizabeth Deavivas and Hayden Ahle.

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