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Bert Church alum Thoresen claims gold at Skills Canada Alberta competition

Thoresen competed against six other young electricians before ultimately claiming gold.
Bert Church High alumnus Erik Thoresen stands proudly on podium to claim his gold medal for electrical installation at the Skills Canada Alberta competition held in Edmonton earlier this month.

How many Bert Church High School alumni does it take to install a light bulb? 

It turns out just one, as 2021 grad Erik Thoresen won the Post-Secondary Skills Canada Alberta gold medal for electrical installation earlier this month.

Thoresen, who graduated this year from SAIT with his electrician’s certificate, said he is incredibly proud of his recent gold medal-winning achievement.

“I did a pre-employment program at SAIT, and my instructor thought I could do it,” he explained. “And he recommended that I take part (in Skills Canada Alberta). He thought I would be competitive, and I guess he was right.”

Thoresen admitted to being a little nervous in the days leading up to the competition, but found, once engaged, he settled in quickly by simply focusing on the tasks at hand.

“Of course, it is stressful coming up to the competition, but you don’t quite know what it all entails,” he said. “But as soon as I walked in there and got started, all the stress went away and turned right into focus. As soon as I got started, the confidence came.”

The two-day competition was held in Edmonton from May 3 to 4, and included both a residential installation project and a more complex industrial one. Thoresen competed against six other young electricians before ultimately claiming gold.

“On the residential side, it had stuff you would see in a house – different kinds of switching, receptacles, and lighting,” Thoresen explained. “The commercial side saw some EMT (electrical metallic tubing) bending – some pipe install[ation], and some programming of smart relays to control different devices.”

The Bert Church alumnus said winning the gold medal in the competition has reaffirmed his decision to work in the electrical installation industry.

“I am a big tinkerer,” he said. “I don’t like working on computers and stuff like that. I like building what I can see. That’s what led me to electrical, and becoming an electrician … Electrical is not just labour. It takes a lot of brain. And I wanted to do something that challenged both physically and mentally; so that’s why I chose electrical.”

But Thoresen’s competition days are far from over. Fresh on the heels of his recent success, he will be representing Alberta at the Skills Canada national competition in Winnipeg from May 24 to 27, and he plans to return to defend his gold medalist title at next year’s Skills Canada Alberta championship as well.

“I will be young enough to compete next year, and I am 100 per cent going to do it,” he stated. “It was a very good experience, and I think I learned a lot … It was a blast.”

Tim Kalinowski

About the Author: Tim Kalinowski

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