The Betz family shone brightly in Vancouver.
The Lorette-based Murdoch MacKay Collegiate students won medals at the Skills Canada competition, with sister Kerstin winning bronze in fashion technology and brother Jonathan winning silver in precision machining. This year’s competition was held at Vancouver’s BC Place from June 5 to 8.
Kerstin won the provincial event in April for the second consecutive year. She learned a lot from her initial experience at nationals, as she made it to Edmonton as a Grade 10 student and without taking the fashion technology class.
This year, she knew what to expect. Betz was required to make a jacket with pockets, a yoke in the back, and a notch collar at this year’s event. After that, she had free rein with the 12 hours she was allotted to design and create the garment.
"It just depends how I design it — there are different levels of difficulty I could put on there," she said. "Some give me more points, others give me less points."
The 17-year-old Betz, who is in Grade 11, noted she incorporated double welt pockets in her design in order to increase her score.
Betz’s teacher, Denise Miller, has worked with her the last two years, and has seen her blossom in that span.
"Her drive has grown immensely," said Miller. "She’s a pleat master. She’s a technical kid. She’s definitely highly technically-based and loves to work with details and add a little bit of pretty."
The two will work together once again in Betz’s Grade 12 year, and will also enlist Karen Luchak to help develop Betz’s creative flair.
Betz hopes to pursue a medical career upon graduation.
Jonathan declined to be interviewed.
Meanwhile, the 2D animation duo of Alex Smith and Stephanie Hunt got over the hump in their third visit to nationals, winning gold in their Grade 12 year.
The team had to work with an 11-second sound clip and was not permitted to use any other sounds. They decided to make the most of those few seconds, packing plenty into the time frame against what Hunt said was their toughest competition yet.
"We were a little more creative, I suppose," said Hunt. "We were trying to tell a story. Everyone else had a girl doing something crazy, but we had a girl morphing."
Smith said Hunt came up with the idea of seeing a fish become a woman after listening to the sound provided.
"It sounded like something out of a movie," said Smith. "It was a girl talking and going ‘la la la la la’. Then there was a little more talking and it ended."
To view the winning entry, visit YouTube.