St. Catharines, Lincoln students medal at national skills competition


Published May 30, 2023 at 12:32 pm

Evan Sawatsky from St. Catharines won silver in the 3D Digital Game Art competition at the Skills Canada National Competition, marking his second consecutive silver at the nationals. (Photos: Niagara College)

At the beginning of the month, Niagara College sent five of their students to the Skills Canada National Competition in Winnipeg May 25 to 26 after cleaned up at the Ontario level.

Two of them came back with national medals. Game Design student Evan Sawatsky from St. Catharines won silver in the 3D Digital Game Art competition while Graphic Design student Erin Dobell from Lincoln won bronze in the Graphic Design competition.

The win for Sawatsky – who is in his third year of the joint Niagara College-Brock University Bachelor of Arts (Honours) program – marks back-to-back silver medals for him at nationals two years in a row.

Meanwhile, graduating student Dobell came into the nationals as an underdog – the first student from the College’s Graphic Design program to compete provincially, then advance to nationals, and then medal.

The competitions were designed to test the limits of their skillsets under the pressures of a time crunch. Over the course of two days – 12 total hours of competition – Sawatsky and Dobell were given six hours to complete advanced assignments.

In the 3D Digital Game Art competition, Sawatsky had to complete six modules inspired by the dark, medieval fantasy of popular game series’ Dark Souls and Elden Ring – a task Sawatsky described as “tough” and “daunting” given time constraints.

Afterwards, Sawatsky cited the “invaluable support” of his coaches and advisors “who made the entire experience possible and enjoyable.”

In the Graphic Design competition, Dobell was tasked with designing an annual report for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, including designing the book cover in just two hours on Day One and did such a solid job, the judges commended her for successfully representing the brand.

On Day Two, she had to create the branding for a flavoured water company called FR3SH by designing labels for three product flavours, and the packaging for a six-pack of cans.

“It was truly a challenge,” said Dobell. “Going to Winnipeg and competing at the national level was definitely a great experience and something that I will remember for the rest of my life. Team Ontario was great and I made lots of new friends. Everyone was so supportive.”

Niagara College graduating Graphic Design student
Erin Dobell holds up the bronze she won at the
Skills Canada National Competition.

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