Conestoga news

September 11, 2017 7:49 AM

Bricklayer 500 inspires next generation of skilled masons

On September 6, the region’s best stone masons attended Conestoga’s Roofing Skills and Training Centre at the Waterloo campus to compete in the Bricklayer 500 Ontario regional championship. The competition tests speed, skill and stamina, and members of the Conestoga community, joined by industry donors and partners, cheered on 18 teams as they raced to complete a 26 ft. wall in just one hour. 

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The Region's best stone masons competed at the Bricklayer 500 competition at Conestoga's Waterloo campus on September 6.

“We enjoy hosting this event as a way to show off the skills of local masons as well as  promote our trade to prospective students,” said faculty member Rene Letoile. Students from the Brick and Stone Fundamentals program volunteered their time at the event to mix mortar and supply materials to the competitors. Students also had the opportunity to connect with industry partners.

The Bricklayer 500 was established by SPEC MIX, Inc. to showcase the skill and craftsmanship of professional masons and to develop the next generation of skilled masons. Winners from each of the 24 regional competitions, held at locations throughout Canada and U.S., advance to the World Championship in Las Vegas on January 24. Conestoga is one of four Canadian locations to host the event and has supported the competiton for ten years.

Each team of two includes a bricklayer and mason tender and the win goes to the team able to lay the most bricks in one hour; brick counts are deducted for poor workmanship. This year’s winner was Filipe Orfao with a total brick count of 687; he also won top craftsman with the best wall over 500 bricks. Mario Alves finished in second place with a brick count of 668.

In celebration of Conestoga’s tenth anniversary hosting the Bricklayer 500, Letoile said a tender competition was added to the event to test speed and accuracy. The winner was Owen Engal, a Conestoga Brick and Stone Fundamentals graduate.

Conestoga is a provincial leader in the delivery of trades and apprenticeship training to serve industry needs and our growing community. Comprehensive programming includes a wide range of post-secondary trades programs that provide pathways to employment in skilled trades careers as well as pre-apprenticeship training and in-school training for apprentices.

Visit the School of Trades and Apprenticeship for more information.