April 24th, 2024

Student builders showcasing talents at home and garden show

By Lethbridge Herald on March 13, 2024.

Kristy Vassell of CAREERS and Bridget Mearns, executive officer of BILD Lethbridge, are looking forward to the Who BILDs it Best? high school student building challenge that will run today and Friday during the Home, Garden & Leisure Show at the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre. The show runs through Saturday. Herald photo by Al Beeber

Al Beeber – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – abeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Doors open today at the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre for the first day of the Home, Garden and Leisure Show which runs through Saturday.

Show hours are 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. today and Friday and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday.

The show is hosted by BILD Lethbridge Region and is returning to the city after a hiatus.

With a new venue comes an added focus on leisure and the event promises to be a spectacular one.

All exhibition space is being used for the show and on Wednesday, vendors were busy setting up in the expansive area.

Among the highlights will be Anna Olson from the Food Network who will be doing baking demonstrations and a competition called ‘Who BILDs it Best?’

This competition is for high school students, most of whom are in dual credit programs which will run today and Friday at 1:30 p.m. In the competition, students with various carpentry skills will build a project in 75 minutes in a live-action event. 

BILD is partnering with CAREERS and the Southern Alberta Collegiate Institute on the competition which has 12 students on six teams from eight different schools in the area demonstrating their talents. There are three young women competing, including two on their own team, said Kristy Vassell of CAREERS on Wednesday.

CAREERS is a not-for-profit, industry-led foundation that works with Alberta schools to connect students to employers for paid internships with students learning and earning as they try different career streams to see what kind of work they find appealing.

CAREERS has a dedicated program called Young Women in Trades and Technologies and the organization is always promoting young women to get into the field “and try something new,” said Vassell.

“The purpose of this event is to have high school students be able to compete in a live building competition to gain some career exploration through this activity,”   Vassell added.

“It’s a nice opportunity for them to meet like-minded peers but also to explore possibly getting into the construction trades. Skilled trades is a big part of what we do at CAREERS – we promote getting students into a variety of industries and one of the ways is through career exploration events like this,” she said.

This competition will be the second with the first staged two years ago.

“This one’s a little more challenging because the majority of these students are coming from that dual credit program – these are kids that already determined they want to go into the apprenticeship stream so they’re working toward that in high school,” said Bridget Mearns, executive officer of BILD Lethbridge Region.

Vassell said holding the competition at the show gives students a chance to network and connect with experts in industry.

The show has a wide range of vendors from landscapers and contractors to hot tub sales and bathfitters.

Mearns said response has been strong from vendors.

“Especially because it has been a few years. The vendors I’ve spoken to are enthusiastic to be here,” noted Mearns.

For the first time the show features a charity – HALO Air Ambulance, southern Alberta’s only dedicated Helicopter Emergency Services and Public Safety program, which was founded in 2007.

HALO will have a helicopter on the floor and it will be surrounded by all the lottery prizes. People can buy additional lottery tickets with all proceeds going to HALO.

There is also a special lottery being staged this year which will give attendees a chance to win an impressive prize package.

Along with Olson, the event’s main stage will feature Kim Smith, New York Times bestselling illustrator of several picture books as well as Calgary-based cookbook author Julie Van Rosendaal, who is also a food columnist for CBC Radio and writes about food for various publications.

Olson will be doing a meet and greet today from 2 until 3 p.m. and will be on stage tonight and Friday from 6 until 7 p.m. after which she’ll be doing a book signing both nights.

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