Participating in the annual Skills Canada Nunavut competition remains popular among students at John Arnalukjuak High School (JAHS) in Arviat. This year saw seven female students travel to Iqaluit to compete in six categories on April 27 and 28.
Making the trip from JAHS were Chasity St. John and Katy Suluk (video production), Meagan Tassiuk (prepared speech), Mallory Okatsiak (hairstyling), Annie Kritaqliluk (job demonstration), Abbey-Rose Katsuak (traditional sewing) and Natalie Baker (aesthetics (cosmetology)).
Gord Billard chaperoned the Arviat students with support from two female teachers at Inuglak School in Whale Cove, who had a number of their students cancel out at the last minute.
Billard said he only managed to work a little with the video-production team of St. John and Suluk before the competition.
“It’s different for me this year because I’m a learning coach and not teaching regularly in the classroom anymore, so I haven’t been teaching my normal audio/video (AV) class,” said Billard.
“I put a lot of faith in the natural abilities of two very bright Grade 9 students who are smart, creative, articulate, and not afraid to speak in front of the camera or ask questions.”
Billard said he was fortunate to be able to stay in contact with St. John and Suluk after a teacher left Arviat on very short notice.
He said that led to him having to take over the Grade 9A English class, which the two video-production students attend.
“When Chasity and Katy answered my call for the video-production category we started training right away, and they got their first video done in time to submit to the judges in Iqaluit two weeks before the competition actually started.
“They shot a video of Chasity in conversation with her mother that encourages parents to encourage their kids to look for a career in the skill trades.
“We researched five of the top reasons why parents should do that, and we worked them into the chat between Chasity and her mother to make up the bulk of a video that I found pretty good.”
Video-production participants have no idea what type of video they’ll be asked to create in Iqaluit.
So, they have to be familiar with a number of genres, such as promotional, instructional and commercial videos, as well as short films.