National Skills Competition for Landscaping  

The 2024 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) was held in Quebec City May 30-31, 2024, marking a significant milestone in showcasing exceptional talent, dedication, and progress within the training for our industry. This year’s competition saw remarkable achievements from British Columbia (BC) and notable updates to the Skills Committee, further enhancing the standards and goals for future events.  

  

BC’s Remarkable Performance  

The 2-person team from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), the gold medal-winning team at Skills BC’s Provincial Competition in April, made an impressive showing at the national level. They completed 12 hours of work over the 2-day competition, putting together the landscape plan provided. The team, comprised of students Dave Cragg and Kyle Kant under the guidance of their coach Russ Lyons, secured a bronze medal at the Skills Canada National Competition. Their success reflects the high level of skill and commitment present in BC’s landscaping community.  

  

Leadership and Contributions  

This spring brought a change in leadership within the Skills Canada organization. Until recently Steve Neumann, a prominent member of Landscape Ontario and coordinator of the landscape program at Algonquin College, chaired the National Technical Committee (NTC) until his passing earlier this year. At that time, our own Victor Kulla was elected to the temporary Chair position of the NTC for the national landscape competition and has just been re-elected for the upcoming full year term. He spent the week in Quebec City, not only representing BC landscaping but also playing a crucial role in setting up, running, and judging the competition. This hands-on involvement ensured smooth execution and high standards throughout the event. In addition to his work with Skills Canada, Victor is also the 1st Vice Chair on the BCLNA Board of Directors supporting our various endeavors. 

One of the most notable achievements of the Landscaping NTC was winning Gold for ‘Safety in the High-Risk’ category at the 2024 Skills National Competition. This accolade is a first for the landscape group, highlighting the committee’s dedication to maintaining and enhancing safety standards in the industry.  

  

Provincial Leadership and Goals  

On a provincial level, Victor Kulla continues to lead the Provincial Technical Committee, successfully recruiting esteemed members of the industry to support the Skills BC Provincial Competition. The committee now includes Iain Wilson, Mariah Kivari, and Cable Baker, all of whom bring valuable expertise and passion to the team.  

The Provincial Technical Committee has set several ambitious goals, reflecting their commitment to excellence and growth within the industry:  

World Skills Eligibility: Aiming to have a BC Landscaping team be eligible for the World Skills competition by the end of the decade. The committee is making significant strides towards this, having sent a BC team to Nationals for two consecutive years.  

Industry Representation: The committee is focused on hosting successful Provincial Competitions with substantial industry representation. They measure success through citing an increased enrollment in education programs and higher completion rates of horticulture red seal and diploma programs.  

Model Competition Standards: The Landscape Competition aspires to become the leading model for Provincial Trades competitions. The committee’s innovative structure and documentation have already been acknowledged, with Skills BC implementing many items across other parts of the organization.
   

Future Prospects  

The updates to the Skills Committee and the achievements at the SCNC 2024 underscore the dynamic and forward-thinking nature of the BC landscaping community. With strong leadership, dedicated industry support, and clear goals, the future of landscape competitions at both provincial and national levels looks promising. The ongoing efforts to enhance safety, education, and competition standards will undoubtedly pave the way for even greater accomplishments in the years to come.  

  

For more information on the Skills Canada National Competition and how they promote landscaping, visit the official SCNC 2024 page and the landscaping skill area. For more details about Skills BC, visit their page and the landscaping competition details 

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