Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Kyla Henry to represent Canada at global competition

Kyla Henry winning gold at the 2016 Skills Canada National Competition in New Brunswick. Saskatchewan Polytechnic / Supplied

Saskatchewan Polytechnic student Kyla Henry used to think she wasn’t good enough at graphic design, but the 20-year-old has now earned a spot to compete on a world stage.

Henry soon discovered she had a flare for the trade and won gold at the 2016 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC).

With a score of 88 per cent during national trials in February, Henry qualified to represent Team Canada. She noted fellow student Daniel Nelson also made the national team, as did three others with Saskatchewan connections.

“Team Canada is basically comprised of different trades, and so I represent graphic design. There’s people like Daniel, who is in electrical, and then there’s people in robotics,” Henry explained. “We all won in our respective trades, so we now represent Canada at the world level.”

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The last competitor for Team Canada in the field of graphic design was also from Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Roxanne Kanak qualified to travel to Brazil for the international championship in 2015.

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The 44th WorldSkills Competition will take place in Abu Dhabi this coming October.

In the meantime, Henry is finishing up the second year of her graphic communications program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic while honing her skills at Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop in preparation for the competition.

“A lot of people have finished their programs that are on the [team] so … they do it at their jobs, but… I’m in school still so basically every day is like training,” Henry said.

“I really like editorial and typography. I like dealing with a lot of text and trying to make it all fit and look good on a page. I try to be good in that area and that’s what sets my work apart — I try super hard and I’m never satisfied with it.”

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Henry, originally from Winnipeg, credits her mother for encouraging her to pursue a career in graphic design and hopes to one day freelance in the profession, being her own boss.

“I love what I do. I would have so many regrets if I had never gone and tried to do it, because I never thought that I could do it,” Henry said.

“I didn’t think I was good enough for it, and now I’m here. So go for something that you think you can’t do, because that’s what I did — and it worked out better than I could have ever expected.”

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The SCNC competition provides a forum for students and apprentices to compete in skill-based trades such as computer animation, carpentry, machining, welding, masonry and hairstyling.

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