Calgary next to host international WorldSkills competition

    NUMAZU CITY, Japan, Nov. 21 /CNW/ - The WorldSkills flag was officially
turned over to Canada today before 3,000 spectators at the closing ceremonies
of the 39th WorldSkills competition in Japan.
    The ceremony, which also saw the unfurling of a massive Canadian flag and
a performance by Canadian vocalist Andrea Marino, closed out four days of
competition at Shizuoka attended by more than 200,000 spectators. The Exchange
Ceremony program was produced by two Canadian companies, PRP. Inc and
Fireworks Marketing Group Inc.
    The Canadian delegation receiving the WorldSkills flag on behalf of
Canada and Calgary, the host city of the 40th international WorldSkills
competition included Guy Mallabone, Chair of WorldSkills Calgary 2009, Richard
Walker, President and CEO of WorldSkills Calgary 2009, Terry Cooke, President
of Skills/Compétences Canada and Shaun Thorson, Executive Director of
Skills/Compétences Canada.
    "This is a big win for Calgary and for Canada," says Mallabone. "We get
to watch tremendous competition among the best young talent in trades and
technology while Calgary is showcased to hundreds of thousands of visitors,
including policy makers, government representatives, employers, teachers,
trainers and experts from around the world."
    More than 900 competitors representing 49 countries are expected to
compete in 47 skills and technologies events during the competition in Calgary
from September 1 - 6, 2009.
    The competition will use all available space at Stampede Park, situated
on 193 acres with 800,000 square feet of competition space.
    "Hosting this competition will have significant economic impact on
Calgary," says Mallabone. "We anticipate that about 930 jobs will be created
and that the net economic impact will be in excess of $ 81 million."

    Over its 50 year history, the WorldSkills competition (formerly known as
the Skills Olympics) has come to symbolize the pinnacle of excellence in
skilled trades and technologies training. Every two years, hundreds of young
competitors from all over the world gather to compete in this international

    NOTE: Pictures taken at the Closing Ceremonies in Japan are available by
contacting Kerry Moynihan.


    About WorldSkills Calgary 2009

    -   WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Ltd. is a not-for-profit organization that
        was established to plan and host the 40th WorldSkills Competition in
        September 2009.
    -   The competition will take place from September 1 - 6, 2009, to be
        held at Calgary Stampede Park.
    -   900 competitors from 49 member countries (representing 20 languages)
        will be participating.
    -   The organization's mission is to engage the passion of Canada's young
        people to pursue the trades and technology as viable and rewarding
        career options.
    -   Nearly 150,000 spectators and 5,000 experts, delegates and judges
        from around the world will attend the competition.
    -   It will require 800,000 square feet of space at Stampede Park.
    -   The competitors will be housed and fed at the first ever WorldSkills
        Village located at SAIT Polytechnic.
    -   Operating budget is $67 million.

    About the WorldSkills Competition

    -   The WorldSkills Competition is the biggest skills competition in the
    -   The first competition was held in 1950 in Madrid, Spain. Canada last
        hosted the WorldSkills Competition in Montréal in 1999 at the Olympic
    -   Every two years, over 900 competitors from 49 member countries gather
        to compete in over 40 skill categories ranging from welding, cooking,
        autobody repair and landscape gardening to beauty care and web
    -   The competition attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors including
        public policy makers, government representatives, employers,
        teachers, trainers and experts from around the world.

    Canadian Competitors in Exchange Ceremony

              Name                    Home Town            Skill Category
    Carl Stretch             Calgary, AB                CNC Milling
    Jason Voll               Kitchener, ON              IT/Software
    Guillame Houde           Sherbrooke, QC             Industrial
    Brian Layer              Winnipeg, MB               Cabinetmaking
    Marie-Michèle Deschèsnes Québec, QC                 Ladies/Mens
    Sarah Peach              St-John's, NL              Beauty Therapy
    Claude Gagnon            Roberval, QC               Ladies Dressmaking
    Annie Beauregard         St-Jean Sur Richelieu, QC  Confectioner/Pastry
    Aglaé Durand             Ste-Anne-des plaines, QC   Restaurant Service
    Pier-Olivier Armstrong   Repentigny, QC             Refrigeration
    Véronique Labelle        Châteauguay, QC            Graphic Design
    Chris Rintema            Grimsby, ON                Robotics

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries, please contact: Mr. Kerry
Moynihan, Vice-President External, WorldSkills Calgary 2009, E-mail:, Japan Cell Phone: (81) 80-6613-8825

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