Hardhats in the Ballpark: Sunshine, Baseball, Kelly Gruber, and a Big Win for the HarbourCats

On Sunday, June 10th, Vancouver Island Construction Association staff, members, and partners gathered at Royal Athletic Park to watch the Victoria HarbourCats take on the Coquitlam Angels for Hardhats in the Ballpark, an industry day at the ballpark celebrating women and youth in the skilled trades. 

The day started at 10:00 AM with a pancake breakfast — complete with local fruit, bacon, sausages, hashbrowns, and coffee — followed by batting practice, and a meet and greet with the players and Blue Jays legend Kelly Gruber ('92 World Series Champions).

At 12:00 PM, the line-up of fans waiting to receive a special construction-themed bobblehead were let into the park. At 1:05 PM, game time, VICA CEO Rory Kulmala threw the ceremonial first pitch, and after nine innings of baseball, the HarbourCats proved their athleticism and walked away triumphantly with a 7-4 win.

Claire Eccles bobblehead    Rory Kulmala and Claire Eccles

Claire Eccles, the first woman to pitch in the West Coast League and the star of the game by virtue of her bobblehead, recorded a video welcoming the ballpark full of fans to the game. Hardhats in the Ballpark was also her season debut.

Between innings, like at all baseball games, the park staff matched opponents for quick games on the field. If you are looking for a laugh, watch Amie Kilgour, VICA Construct Your Future, and Kelly Marion, VICA Marketing & Communications, go tête-à-tête, translated literally, in bubble balls after the sixth inning. Fortunately, they're still friends.

At the game, Rory also announced the recipients of the VICA Training Fund Scholarships, awarded in partnership with the Construction Foundation of BC, bringing those in attendance on to the field to be congratulated.

The Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA) Scholarship winners were Cooper Gee, Piping Trades, Duncan; Morgan Lamont, Carpentry, Duncan; Keenan Menzel, Welding Level C, Duncan (shown left); Bennett Humprey, Electrical, Victoria; and Morgan Morneau, Sheet Metal, Victoria (shown right).

The Women in Scholarship winner was Leontia Thomson, Electrical, and the Superstar Scholarship was awarded to Brian Wiltsie, also Electrical. Leontia and Brian are both from Cumberland.

VICA Scholarship at HHBP 2018  

For more photos of the event, check out our Facebook page or the Twitter feed (#HHBP2018), and stay tuned to our YouTube channel for industry videos featuring: 

  • Grand Slam Sponsors: Rob Tournour Masonry (Devon) and Flynn Canada (Dave Flint)
  • Line Drive Sponsors: Kerr Controls (Mike Kerr), Canem Systems (Namaste Leister), & Camosun Women in Trades
  • Jess Vedan-Rozon and Matty Kordyback, first-year sheet metal apprentices at Playsted Sheet Metal
  • Matthew Deveau of VICA's Construct Your Future program and an aspiring mason
  • Julie Wiseman, first-year carpentry apprentice at Knappett Projects
  • Cheryl Hartman, Red Seal Electrician and Project Estimator, Brewis Electric
  • Andrea Durdle, Journeyperson Plumber and Camosun Women in Trades Training Instructor 

^ screenshots of Jess' and Matthew's videos in post-production

Thanks again to our 2018 HHBP sponsors!

We could not have made this event happen without the support of our sponsors, partners and, of course, our members for buying tickets for their staff and families and attending the game in the VICA section on the third base line. We've received great feedback and are looking forward to next year!!  

The first 800 fans through the gates received a bobblehead; the only bobblehead giveaway of the year. Want one? Swing by one of our offices! We saved some for VICA members who couldn't make it.

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