Cambridge Bay arts studio plans welding certification program for young people

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The Red Fish Arts Studio in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut wants to help young people get the certification they need to become welder apprentices.

The studio, which opened last year in a renovated fish processing plant, plans to offer Canadian Welding Bureau certification to its young welders, ages 16 to 21, who are referred to the Red Fish studio by the ministry. of Territorial Justice.

Red Fish instructor Mark Slatter explains that the plan is to have studio attendees first prove they can do the soldering.

“Then we’ll help them through the learning process,” he said.

Instructor Mark Slatter says his young welders are already excellent at their craft. (Jane George/CBC)

Slatter said the youngsters – Daryl Taptoona-Haynes, Andrew Kitigon, Dylan Zukiwsky, Robert Taptoona-Haynes and Brandon Kavanna – are already “excellent welders” and employable.

However, they do not have certification, which is offered through programs in the South.

The plan now is for them to get certified by continuing to work with Slatter in Cambridge Bay and take a remote exam.

Slatter joined the studio, which won a 2018 Arctic Inspiration Award for its work with young people, about a year and a half ago.

Red Fish welders make these fish from recycled metal. (Jane George/CBC)

Slatter said he involved the five young welders in jobs, including helping fix a tank truck for the municipality, which operates the studio.

They have also contributed to the studio’s ongoing production of artwork from recycled iron.

The Premier of Nunavut presented his goldfish to the Premier and other officials in Ottawa.

Red Fish welders also designed a huge welcome sign for Cambridge Bay and handed out two prizes to the winners of the 2021 Arctic Inspiration Awards: a musk ox and a kayak.

They are now working on a large metal sign for the RCMP in Cambridge Bay.

Sculpture heading towards the grounds of Rideau Hall

Dylan Zukiwsky describes how he and the other young welders at Red Fish Studio attached the various parts of Sedna. (Jane George/CBC)

Their giant statue of Sedna, still visible in a corner of the studio, will eventually be installed on the grounds near the Governor General’s Rideau Hall residence in Ottawa.

Like their other works, Sedna, or Nuliajuk, the Inuit guardian of sea animals, is made from recycled metal. The locks of her hair came from a 20-foot-long mooring cable that needed to be untwisted.

Attaching the individual metal bristles took time, said Dylan Zukiwsky, because each had to be soldered and bent separately.

Sedna’s scales came from a discarded oil drum.

The sculpture is not finished: the welders are still planning to make a belt with sea creatures.

For the shipping process to Ottawa, Sedna’s delicate head will be removed.

Slatter said he wanted all the young builders to be present when the sculpture was installed.

Red Fish welders designed this musk ox and kayak for the 2021 Arctic Inspiration Prize winners. (Jane George/CBC)


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