By:  Reginald Tiangha

If you’re someone like me who isn’t really involved in the trades, then perhaps (like me) you’re simply not aware about what makes the WorldSkills Competition so special.

If so, here are some quick facts that highlight some things about the competition that you may not have been aware of, and show why Calgary is so lucky to be hosting it this year.

First, for those who like numbers:

  • 900 competitors from 51 different regions/countries
  • 100,000 public spectators
  • 50,000 students registered to attend
  • 3,000 volunteers
  • 30 languages
  • 5,000 international experts, delegates and visitors
  • $16 million in new tools and equipment purchases for the event will be donated to Alberta schools
  • Only 8 Albertans are competing (7 from Calgary and surrounding area)
  • Host countries tend to experience a 15%-20% increase to technical/polytech institute programs
  • This is only the second time that Canada has hosted this event
  • The competition is only held once every two years (next one is in 2011 in London, England)

Some background information about the competition itself:

  • Competitors must be under the age of 23 during the year of the WorldSkills Competition, with the exception of two skill categories: the Manufacturing Team Challenge and Aircraft Maintenance, in which Competitors can be up to 25.
  • Targeted to youth in school, young adults aged 17- 25 and parents, industry leaders, educators and youth influencers
  • Free admission to the four days of Competition, September 2-5 at Stampede Park

And some reasons why WorldSkills is so cool and why the people behind the scenes are heroes:

  • The largest independent event ever hosted at Stampede Park
  • Largest international competition in Calgary since the 1988 Winter Olympics
  • Hosting the world for one week has taken more than four years to plan

For more information on WorldSkills Calgary 2009, visit