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Silver for a second time

Karen Mackenzie
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 5 2008

Iqaluit - Iqaluit's Lucy Idlout snagged a silver medal for hairstyling for the second year in a row at the Canadian Skills Competition. The Nunavut Arctic College grad competed in the post-secondary category at the national Skills Canada event in Calgary, Alta. last month.

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Iqaluit's Lucy Idlout won silver for the second year in a row in post-secondary hairstyling at the Canadian Skills Competition last month.

"Lucy is proof of a young woman with a family that also has a passion and a career path. She can do both, well," said Michelle Jacquard, executive director of Skills Canada Nunavut.

Nunavut sent nine young people to the event this year, competing in categories like cooking, prepared speech and website development.

The team, which was determined during the Territorial Skills Competition in April, consisted of Nadine Chislett, Aloka Wijesooriya, Courtney Cox and Seane d'Argencourt-Printup of Iqaluit, Jobie Meeko of Sanikiluaq, Karen Aglukark of Arviat, Bobby Tagoona from Rankin Inlet and Travis Mannik from Baker Lake.

Idlout's category was made up of four different categories over the two days, including colouring, cuts and styles for men and women.

"The judges were walking around saying, 'five minutes left, four minutes,' and everyone was just working madly," said Jacquard.

"You've really got to have the timing right. You don't want to have an unfinished mannequin," Idlout added.

The mother of a two-year-old son was also a silver medallist at the 2007 Canadian Skills Competition, and placed first in the territorial competition in April.

The atmosphere at these events is intense, but she said she has little problem concentrating.

"I guess if you like what you're doing and you want to do well, you tend to kind of put that aside," she said.

This was the second national skills competition for Jobie Meeko of Sanikiluaq as well. This year Meeko, who is working as a carpentry apprentice in his home hamlet, built a playhouse in his category.

"It's a real learning experience to do it all by myself. You read the blueprints and try to do as much as you can," he said.

Adding to the pressure for everyone was the knowledge that this was a qualifying year for the upcoming World Skills Competition.

"It was a whole higher standard of competition, because people wanted to make the world team. It's very intense," Jacquard said.

Although Idlout will not be heading to that competition, the trainer of the gold medallist winner has offered to work with her.

Idlout said she will also be pursuing a business course in the fall, in hopes of someday running her own business.

As a reward for Team Nunavut's hard work in Calgary, the group also spent a day exploring the nearby town of Banff before returning home.

"It was so beautiful," Idlout said.