FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Through a connection in Calgary, students from the northeast took off on a plane out of Fort St. John this morning to compete in the Skills Canada BC competition in Abbotsford.26 post-secondary and secondary students will be competing in the provincial competition — including students from Northern Lights College, School District 60, School District 59 and School District 81.Mark Heartt, the Dean of Trades and Apprenticeships with Northern Lights College, said a regional competition is held each year at the campus in Dawson Creek. From there, the gold-medalists head to the provincial competition.- Advertisement -“We’ve got some pretty strong hopes here for some medals coming out of this,” he said.Leah Gifford is a grade 12 student at North Peace Secondary School heading to the provincials to show her skills in culinary arts.“I was good. Now today has came, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s closer.’” she said in an interview — excited, but nervous, to head to the Fraser Valley and compete.Advertisement Gifford says she always wanted to go into baking, but was also curious to test her cooking skills as well. She plans to explore culinary arts further and attend Northern Lights College’s program specializing in the field.Other skills-testing competitions to take place include robotics, public speaking, and hair dressing, among many others.Jamie Maxwell with School District 59 said there are a number of students on the trip who have even made it to the national round before.“They’re kind of exciting to take place, because I think they have a hunger, you know? They know they can do this and go to nationals,” Maxwell said, calling the competition an ‘Olympic sport of trades.’Advertisement Skills Canada BC starts at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, at the Fraser Valley Trade and Exhibition Centre.