St. Albert to show skills at national competition
Students take gold at Skills Alberta in job skills, hair, safety
Saturday, May 24, 2014 06:00 am
Two local makeover mavens and a safety expert are off to nationals next month after taking first place in last week’s Skills Alberta competition.
Sturgeon Composite High student Jordyn Terrault and St. Albert Catholic High students Rosslyn Funston and Chelsy Dicristafaro took gold last week at the 2014 Alberta Skills Canada competition.
The event, held May 14 and 15 at the Edmonton Expo Centre, saw about 700 students test their skills in 45 trades to compete for fame, scholarships, and a shot at the national Skills tournament.
Funston, 16, took gold in the job skills category with her demonstration of 1960s-era makeup.
This was her first time at provincials, and she didn’t expect to win – in fact, she only put in two to three training sessions.
Funston says she was a bit bewildered when her teacher, Assunta Runco, started freaking out during the awards ceremony.
“She was screaming, and I was, ‘Oh, what’s happening? Who won gold?’ ‘You did.’ ‘What!?’”
Dicristafaro, 17, took first in hairstyling last year in the high school category. She wanted to challenge herself this year, so she decided to compete in the post-secondary category.
Her category was dead last in the awards ceremony, so she had to sit through about 50 other presentations before she learned her fate.
“I felt that my heart was going to jump out of my chest,” she recalls, laughing.
When she finally got her medal, she says she wanted to cry and scream with joy.
“It’s the best feeling in the entire world.”
Terrault, 17, lives in St. Albert and took first in the workplace safety event.
A Skills veteran, this is her second gold at provincials and her second time on Team Alberta, having previously taken bronze at nationals in 2012.
Terrault says she jumped up, yelled and ran for the stage when she heard she’d gotten gold.
“I heard the (name) ‘Jordyn,’ crossed my fingers, and then I heard my last name and it was like, ‘YEAH!’”
Hair, face paint, safety
As a dancer, Funston says she’s been doing makeup for herself and others for almost her whole life, and regularly spends about 30 minutes each morning applying foundation, eye-shadow and other cosmetics – 15, if she’s in a rush.
“I feel it’s a good way to express my creative side,” she explains.
“There are so many things you can play with.”
Dicristafaro says she discovered her knack for hair care through her high-school cosmetology class.
“It’s something that just comes naturally to me,” she says.
“I can look at something and just know where the hair needs to be.”
Terrault says she originally wanted to compete in small engine repair at Skills, but there weren’t any spots on the school team left. Workplace safety was her backup plan.
She’s since taken to the subject, and hopes to get a job in occupational health and safety.
“It’s something that’s in everyday life,” she notes, and that few people think about.
Funston’s event required her to demonstrate and explain a particular job skill. She says she went with makeup because it was both unique and her passion.
The 1960s were a transition between the bold colours and lips of the 1950s to the more natural “hippy” looks of the 1970s, she explains. Key traits (reports Glamordaze.com) included false eyelashes and pale lips popularized by famous models such as Lesley “Twiggy” Lawson.
Funston says she demonstrated the makeup on a friend while giving a 30-minute talk on the subject. She suspects her enthusiasm for the topic may have given her an edge over the competition.
Dicristafaro, meanwhile, had to complete four hairstyles in two days, including a women’s evening doo full of beads and butterflies and a wild men’s style that resembles a shiver of rainbow-coloured shark fins.
It was tough to stay focused with all the competitors, photographers and guests milling around, she says. She was also next to the baking competition.
“It was a little bit distracting, especially around lunchtime because it smelled so delicious!”
For her event Terrault says she had to spot and explain at least 10 safety issues in four workplace dioramas (complete with mannequins) – a welding shop, a kitchen, a garden and an auto shop – and research and present on a safety topic.
“Some of the hazards are blatantly there,” she says – a welder not wearing goggles, for example – but many are subtle, such as frayed wires. Others require detailed knowledge of safety codes and keen observation.
Onward to Toronto
The three students each received $500 scholarships and spots on Team Alberta for their wins. They are now in training for nationals in Toronto.
Funston says she feels honoured to be on the team. “It’s cool to represent your province.”
Dicristafaro said she placed sixth last year at nationals, and has her sights set higher this year. “This year, I’m going to be ready for it.”
Terrault says she’s aiming for a silver or gold.
Skills Canada gives you a chance to work with the best of the best in the industry and to make many connections, Dicristafaro says. She actually got her current job with St. Albert’s Raw Beauty salon while at nationals last year.
The Canada National Skills Competition runs from June 4 to 7. Winners there get a shot at the 2015 WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil.