Jasmine Keogak won gold in the hairstyling competition at the Regional Skills Competition held in Inuvik March 1.

“I’m extremely happy to know that the thing I like doing most, other people like it also,” Keogak said. “This is only my second skills competition, and I’m pretty happy to be going to territorials.”

Last year, Keogak won bronze in the hairstyling competition. The East Three Secondary School student said she practices doing her own hair and sometimes her friends’.

Jasmine Keogak works on her evening hairstyle for the hairstyling Regional Skills Competition.
Samantha McKay/NNSL photo

“I do my own hair, I cut it, I dye it, I style it. I dye my hair once, maybe twice a month because I like change,” Keogak said. ” Once I shaved one of my friend’s hair, and I did a design in it and they really liked it.”

She said she hopes to either pursue hairstyling and theatre makeup or film once she finishes high school.

This is the Inuvik’s 10th year hosting the Skills Canada Regional Skills Competition.

High school students from Inuvik, Ulukhaktok, Paulatuk, Tuktoyaktuk, Aklavik and the Sahtu region took part in cooking, baking, hairstyling, carpentry, sewing, photography, recreation equipment, and fashion technology skills competitions.

The gold medal winners will attend the territorial skills competition in Yellowknife April 27 and 28.

Skills Canada NWT executive director Allison Kincaid said the purpose of the competition is to give students an opportunity to develop their skills.

“It’s not all about winning. It’s about participating and developing your skill. Many of the students that compete will end up pursuing a career in the particular industry they competed in,” Kincaid said. “The idea is to say to kids that there are a lot of jobs in the trades. There are a lot of jobs that need people desperately and you can fill those jobs, and here’s how to do it.”

Kincaid said she thinks the competition was a success.

“I think it went great. We had 43 competitors from eight different communities and schools and I think everybody did really well,” Kincaid said. “We had some amazing skill demonstrated and some of our top performers will move on to the territorials in April.”

At the March 1 competition awards ceremony, Kincaid announced two new skills competitions that will be held this year at the territorial competitions.

One of the new skill competitions will be public speaking.

“There’s two components to it. There’s a speech that they prepare ahead of time. And then there’s an on-the-spot presentation, question-and-answer that they have to do,” Kincaid said.

The second new competition will be a job search competition.

“The students go through the job search process and build a resume, a portfolio, apply for a position, and go through an interview process,” Kincaid said. “It’s looking for students’ abilities to write and to respond based on what an application says, and confidently respond to questions based on their own skills.”

Kincaid said they added these skills to broaden the competition to suit more students’ interests.

“They’re important skills in terms of finding a career,” Kincaid said. “We’re really excited to be offering those, and we’re going to look to expand in other areas … to give students more opportunities to compete and potentially go to nationals.”

If a student is interested in participating in either of these competitions at territorials in April, they should contact their teacher or principal and fill out an online application.

Competitors who are successful at the territorial competitions will have the opportunity to compete at the National Skills Competition in Edmonton June 3 to 6.

Last year, Karis Dekwant of Inuvik won the gold medal in the baking competition at the national competition.

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