Niagara College students shine at Ontario Technological Skills Competition

Students from Niagara College sweep the podium in the Postsecondary Baking category at the Ontario Technological Skills Competition. Pictured are (from left): Rebecca Schmitt (silver) Krystine Parent (gold) and Lisa Giura (bronze).

Niagara College students proved they have the recipe for success at Skills Canada’s Ontario Technological Skills Competition.

Students from NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute swept the podium in the Postsecondary Baking category with gold silver and bronze medal wins at the competition which was held May 5-7 at RIM Park in Waterloo.

Winners included Baker Patisserie Apprentice student Krystine Parent 23 (Windsor) who won gold; first-year Culinary Management Rebecca Schmitt 19 (St. Ann’s) who won silver; and Baker Patisserie Apprentice graduate Lisa Giura 22 (Niagara Falls) who won bronze.

“The fact that Niagara College swept the Ontario Technological Skills Competition’s Baking category speaks volumes of the programs available at the college” said Gail Smyth executive director for Skills Canada – Ontario. “Competitors are also tested on their professionalism as well as their baking skills and Niagara College clearly excels at both.”‘

NC students competed against students from Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning Fanshawe College Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute Durham College and St. Clair College in the Baking competition.

“With the entire podium dominated by our students at Skills history was made” said dean of NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute Craig Youdale. “The results show the level of excellence that our students strive for and give Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute a continued level of excellence in the culinary community.”

Silver medal winner Schmitt will advance to the Skills Canada National Competition in Toronto in June taking the place of gold medal winner Parent whose age would make her ineligible to advance to the World Skills Competition in Brazil next year if successful at nationals. Schmitt is also a member of Junior Culinary Team Canada comprised of current students and recent graduates of NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute who will represent Canada at the World Culinary Olympics in 2016.

In addition to the three Baking winners a 20-year-old student in NC’s Hairstylist Apprentice program Amelia Subhan (Niagara Falls) won silver in the Postsecondary Hairstyling category.

President Dan Patterson applauded the efforts of participating NC students as well as the faculty members who helped them succeed. 

“The students and apprentices of today are the highly skilled tradespeople of tomorrow” he said. “They will drive our key industries and help meet the growing demand for skilled labour in Niagara and beyond.”

The 25th annual Ontario Technological Skills Competition is Canada’s largest skilled trades competition. More than 1900 elementary secondary and post secondary students from across Ontario participated in the event.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences advanced technology media applied health and community safety supported by unique learning enterprises in food wine beer horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit


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