Prime Minister Harper to speak at WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Opening Ceremony Joins other prominent officials in welcoming young global Competitors to Calgary

    CALGARY, Sept. 1 /CNW/ - Prime Minister Stephen Harper joins First
Nations Treaty 7 Grand Chief Charles Weaselhead, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach,
Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier, WorldSkills International Chairman Tjerk
(Jack) Dusseldorp, and WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Chairman Guy Mallabone for the
Opening Ceremony of WorldSkills Calgary 2009.
    "To host the 40th WorldSkills Competition is a tremendous honour for
Canada," said Prime Minister Harper. "This marks the second time the event has
been held in Canada and only the third time in North America in its 59-year
history. The Government of Canada is proud to support WorldSkills Calgary
2009, as part of our efforts to encourage young Canadians to consider
rewarding careers in the skills, trades and technologies sectors, where we
have a great need for talented people." The Opening Ceremony will be held at
the Stampede Grandstand on September 1 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and will also
feature entertainment and a parade of nations as 900 international Competitors
are officially welcomed. The ceremonies will also pump up Competitors and
their supporters, offering a glimpse of the exciting week ahead. The
ceremonies will end with a fireworks display.
    "We are delighted that Grand Chief Weaselhead, Prime Minister Harper,
Premier Stelmach, and Mayor Bronconnier are all able to join us for the
Opening Ceremony," says Richard Walker. "Their participation exemplifies the
importance of the skills movement and of this Competition. This event could
not happen without the generous support of the Government of Alberta, the
Government of Canada and the City of Calgary. We are confident that the return
on that investment will come over the next several years, as young Canadians
are inspired to pursue career paths that they learn about over the next six
days. Grand Chief Weaselhead's participation marks the first time an
Aboriginal leader has officially welcomed WorldSkills Competitors." Funding
from the Government of Alberta will enable 50,000 Grade 9 and 10 students from
all over the province to attend WorldSkills Calgary 2009. Free admission to
Stampede Park will encourage thousands more to take in the Competition.

    WorldSkills Calgary 2009

    WorldSkills Calgary 2009 marks the second time Canada hosts this
international event in its 59-year history. In May 2004, at the WorldSkills
General Assembly in Hong Kong, Calgary officially won the right to host the
WorldSkills Competition. The successful bid was made possible through
collaboration with WorldSkills International's Canadian Member organization
Skills/Compétences Canada and industry, educational institutions, government
and the City of Calgary. WorldSkills Calgary 2009, a not-for-profit
corporation is responsible for the planning, execution and legacy for the 40th
WorldSkills Competition.
    For the past five years, WorldSkills Calgary 2009 has been working
closely with legacy, government, and industry partners to make the 40th
WorldSkills Competition the most successful to date. Although the event is
held from September 1 - 7, 2009, WorldSkills Calgary 2009 has been working
with legacy partners to support the global skills movement that addresses
labour shortage, competency standards, and education programs designed to
motivate and encourage young adults to explore successful career options in
skills, trades and technologies.

    WorldSkills International

    WorldSkills International's (WSI) mission is to promote, through the
cooperative action of 51 Members countries/regions, a worldwide awareness of
the essential contribution that skills and high standards of competence make
to the achievement of economic success and personal fulfillment. WSI provides
a unique means of exchange and comparison of world-class competency standards
in the industrial trades, information technologies and service sectors of the
global economy. WSI works at all levels from grassroots to senior policy
makers to affect change in training procedures, policy development and
international standards. Through advocacy, education and Competitions,
WorldSkills International is raising the level of competences throughout the
world and bringing new awareness to these crucial sectors in the global
economy. Without skills there is no economy.

    Skills/Compétences Canada

    Skills/Compétences Canada (S/CC) was founded in 1989 as a national,
not-for-profit organization to actively promote careers in skilled trades and
technologies to Canadian youth. S/CC works with private and public sector
partners to help secure Canada's future skilled labour needs while helping
Canadian youth discover rewarding careers. S/CC offers experiential learning
opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians including skills,
trades, and technologies competitions through regional,
provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skills,
trades, and technologies awareness programs. Headquartered in Canada's
National Capital Region Skills/Compétences Canada is the Canadian Member
organization of WorldSkills International and in partnership with other
stakeholders created the 40th WorldSkills Competition event organizing
committee WorldSkills Calgary 2009.

For further information:

For further information: Laurie Stretch, NATIONAL Public Relations,
(403) 617-4798,; Karissa Boley, NATIONAL Public
Relations, (403) 988-2888,

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