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Calgary… The 40th WorldSkills competition opened September 1 at Calgary’s Stampede Park with a display of fireworks, eclectic entertainment and a parade of more than 900 international competitors. More than 15,000 spectators gathered for the opening ceremony, kicking off a competition in which the world’s top young talent vie for gold in 45 skills, trades and technology categories over four days.Prior to the opening ceremony, Premier Ed Stelmach welcomed more than 500 international dignitaries and delegates, “Alberta believes that skilled trades people and technologists will shape our future in countless ways. By working together, we can propel the skills movement forward across the globe and develop the skills knowledge and expertise we need for today and tomorrow.”
From September 2 to 5, competitors aged 17 to 22 will work alone or in teams to complete challenging projects in 45 categories such as auto body repair, carpentry, IT network support, mobile robotics and landscape gardening. Admission is free, and about 150,000 spectators including students, parents, educators and career counselors are expected to attend this event.
Competitors from up to 51 WorldSkills International member countries/regions from across six of the world’s continents are participating. The largest teams come from Japan, Korea and Finland each with 45 competitors while the smallest group comes from India with two competitors. Team Canada comprises 38 competitors, including eight Alberta competitors and others from Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Yukon. All competitors have qualified through Skills Canada provincial/territorial and national competitions.
As the lead funding partner, the Government of Alberta committed more than $24 million to help organize and stage the competition including the purchase of equipment that will later be distributed to high schools and post-secondary institutions across Alberta. Other funders include the Government of Canada, City of Calgary and numerous public and private sponsors and suppliers.
The WorldSkills Calgary 2009 competition is Calgary’s largest international competitive event since the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. London, United Kingdom will host WorldSkills London 2011. Visit media.worldskills.org for more information about the competitors, worldskills2009.com for details on the event, and worldskills.tv to view daily video updates and vignettes.
Backgrounder: Skills movement in Alberta
Media inquiries may be directed to:
Marie Cusack, Public Affairs Officer,
Alberta Advanced Education and Technology,
780-427-0038 (office), 780-499-3381 (b/b)
To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.
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