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Alberta Contestant Wins Skills Canada National Car Painting Competition

Dorien Lozeau is passionate about the collision repair trade, especially the refinishing aspect.

Originally published in Collision Quarterly, Fall 2021

by Pat Rediger

As Dorien Lozeau brings home the national Skills Canada award for his car painting skills, he could not be prouder.

“It was pretty awesome news to hear that I had won,” said Lozeau. “Having people that are young, like me, get recognized for their skills is amazing and it made me want to work that much harder.”

Skills Canada is a national organization that promotes careers in the skilled trade and technology sectors through an annual national competition. It also has provincial and territorial competitions, hosted by member organizations. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full force this past year, the competition was held virtually, which Lozeau said helped to decrease the pressure. The St. Paul, Alberta resident added that being able to work in the industry every day helped him to better train for the virtual event.

Growing up, my dad was a painter”

“It was actually really nice to have my own space in St. Paul,” said Lozeau. “I felt less nervous than I would have if I had been in a space with the other competitors beside me. It felt like another day at work.”

Having won the nationals this year means he will receive an automatic spot to compete at the national level next year and bypass the provincial competition. Next year also happens to be the qualifying year for the world competition in Shanghai, China.

Lozeau painted this F-150

Every two years, top medalists of the national competition take part as Team Canada at the WorldSkills Competition for a chance to compete against top competitors from around the world. 

Lozeau said if you are not specifically working in the trade, but have a chance to attend the competition, it is definitely worth checking out. 

“Growing up, my dad was a painter,” said Lozeau. “He was always working on cars and painting projects in our garage. I would always be helping him.”

Having the experience with his dad inspired him to do a work experience in the trade while attending high school. From there, he attended the course at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and it was there that he learned about Skills Canada.

He is a very focused and driven young individual”

“My instructor mentioned that it would be a great experience for me,” said Lozeau. “I went for it two years ago and ended up getting second place. This year, when I signed up, I definitely went into it more confident and prouder of the skills I had.”

For the past five years, Lozeau has been working at Black Ace Collision, where he helps paint car bodies after they have been repaired. For owner, Corwin Robinson, having Lozeau as part of his team is a real asset.

“He is a very focused and driven young individual,” said Robinson. “I think that’s what his key to success is because he wants to do well.”

Another of Lozeau’s projects

Robinson said that since Lozeau won the national competition, it has been fantastic not only for his business but also for the new apprentices coming into the shop wanting to learn from Lozeau.

“He’s been very influential for the new apprentices coming into the shop.  The other staff look up to him now and want to do what he does. It’s very encouraging on his part to do so well because now it has inspired others to be like him,” said Robinson.

A motorcycle custom-painted by Lozeau

For anyone interested in learning how to paint car bodies or get into the trade itself, Lozeau has some advice. “The biggest thing is always to work with the idea that quality will always come before quantity. Make sure to dial in that work of yours and do the best you can. Speed will come with time.”

All photos courtesy of Dorien Lozeau