Securing Skills: Skills Nova Scotia sees both repeat champions and over 700 students in attendance

Halifax, Nova Scotia — The Skills Nova Scotia olympic-style event recently saw veteran competitors vying for another year of success in the automotive medal categories.

Taking place across various campuses in the province from April 5th to the 23rd, the automotive-specific events took place on April 11th and 12th at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Pictou and Akerly campuses.

According to Cameron Miles, Marketing and Communications Manager with Skills Nova Scotia, this year’s competition season offered automobile technology competitions at the post-secondary and secondary levels, alongside car painting and heavy vehicle technology competitions.

The automobile technology competitions were offered at the NSCC Pictou campus and were closed to the public. The post-secondary winner of the event was Owen Hemeon, an apprentice technician with Thistle Hyundai in Daytona, Nova Scotia. For the high school-level competition, Colby LeBlanc from Sackville high school in Sackville, Nova Scotia took home the gold.

Miles told Collision Repair magazine that this year, Owen Hemeon became a returning champion, having also won provincial gold at last year’s competition. Similarly, Colby LeBlanc won a bronze medal in the Job Skill Demonstration event at Provincials.

In the other automotive categories, both the heavy vehicle technology and car painting events were offered at the NSCC Akerly campus. These events, alongside several others during the day, were offered as a flagship event for the provincials and were open to the public.

Here, according to Miles, over 700 students from across the province toured the event.

The winners of these competitions were Jesse Johnson, an apprentice from Fix Auto, Truro, for car painting, and Nick Sarion, a student from the NSCC Akerly campus for heavy vehicle technology.

As with the winners in the previous category, both Jesse Johnson and Nick Sarion are repeat champions for provincial gold and Johnson has also previously won a bronze medal at the 2023 Skills Canada National Competition.

Miles also told Collision Repair that three of the judges for the car painting event were Team Nova Scotia alumni. The judging panel included Nicole Hamilton, who won a gold medal in car painting at the national competition; Erik Reade, who won both a bronze and silver medal at the national competition; and Aaron Hebb, who won a gold medal at the national competition and also represented Canada at Worldskills London in 2011 where he received a bronze medal.

Moreover, in response to Jesse Johnson’s success at this year’s event, Fix Network Canada posted a congratulations on LinkedIn, saying, “congratulations to Jesse Johnson, painter at Fix Auto, Truro, for bringing home the gold at the Nova Scotia Skills competition for the second year in a row. Your hard work and dedication truly shine through, Jesse. We’re so proud to have you on our team. Keep painting your way to success.”

Check out some photos of the winners below provided by Cameron Miles.

Owen Hemeon
Jesse Johnson
Colby LeBlanc
Nick Sarion



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