Assiniboine students strike gold at Skills Canada

L to R (Kathryn Nichol, Christopher Obsniuk, Nik Ross)
L to R (Kathryn Nichol, Christopher Obsniuk, Nik Ross)

Assiniboine College students came back to Brandon sporting some new hardware following this year’s Skills Canada competition.

Network Administration Technology student, Christopher Obsniuk, and Digital Art and Design student, Kathryn Nichol, received the gold medal prize in their respective Skills Canada competitions, while Nik Ross received a bronze in Electrical Installation.

“I was initially surprised that I had won gold. I felt I had done well but there were still some small things that I knew I could have done better. After the initial shock, I felt quite happy to know that the effort I put in and the skills I learned at Assiniboine College had paid off to excel on the national stage” said Christopher Obsniuk, gold medal winner in IT Network Administration. “Skills Canada in Quebec was an incredible experience. Getting to see the best people in trades in so many different competitions was a sight to behold. Outside of the competition, getting to meet and interact with the different members of Team Manitoba and group activities we did was a great time,” he added.

Nichol, a second-year Digital Art and Design student, is looking at a career in game design following graduation from Assiniboine.

“I went into [Skills Canada] without having an expectation of winning. The competition level there is so high, so I was basically in shock when I found out. It is a massive jump to go from Skills Manitoba to Skills Canada. The national competition is very intensive, and the pressure is different. It is a big experience, it is the big leagues,” said Kathryn Nichol, gold medal winner in 3D Game Art Design.

Nichol is currently completing their practicum at Complex Games in Winnipeg, the group behind the Warhammer online gaming platform.

“We’re so incredibly proud of all our students who competed at Skills Canada in Quebec City. It is a challenging two days of competition and you can see how students really push themselves to put their best foot forward” said Jana Sproule, Chairperson, Media & Office Tech, Assiniboine. “It’s an excellent display of the talent and skill in our country and embodies the future of our workforce. It’s a very special moment to see students, who you have witnessed work so hard over the last two years, reach this extra level of accomplishment. It speaks not only to the students’ dedication but the drive, passion, and skill of the instructors who guide them.”

Sproule attended the event alongside Assiniboine College instructors Dean Johnson, Mark Malyon, Tim Nickel, as well as National Technical Committee members (and Assiniboine instructors) Sean Taylor and Derek Ford.

More than 500 students competed in the Skills Canada competition, this year held in Quebec City.

According to an RBC report, “Powering Up: Preparing Canada’s skilled trades for a post-pandemic economy”, Canada will face a shortage of 10,000 skilled trade workers by 2026, so Assiniboine’s success on the national stage bodes well for students considering entering the skilled trades field.

For a full listing of the winners visit: