Set-Up and Kick-Off

Mon, 2015-05-11 21:30 -- Jessie MacAlpine

Today was a super busy day in Fredericton as the rest of our delegations arrived and the exhibit hall came to life with project set-up, safety checks and judging orientation. Students spent most of the day perfecting their project booths in the exhibit hall and then enjoyed their free time by continuing to explore campus and playing soccer and Frisbee in between the rain showers. Finalists got the chance to practice their presentations with our outstanding ambassador team and volunteers in preparation for the big day tomorrow. Over 40 students ended up attending the one-on-one practice sessions with the ambassadors!

In the late afternoon, judges began arriving and spent the evening in orientation sessions and beginning their first walk through of the projects. Finalists are reminded to be in the exhibit hall at around 8:00am tomorrow as the exhibit hall will close to the delegates and other non-participant personnel at 8:30am. As you spend the evening finishing up last minute preparations for tomorrow, here a few tips for a positive judging experience:

  1. Make a good first impression by dressing well and being polite.
  2. Keep your energy up by eating breakfast, staying hydrated and smiling lots!
  3. Be confident! Remember you are the expert on your project and use your backboard to illustrate your presentation.
  4. And don’t forget to be humble, its okay if you don’t know an answer to a question!
  5. Present your project in the best way possible by helping your judges to understand the material, why it matters and why they should be excited about the work you’ve done!
  6. Relax and have fun, the ultimate prize is being able to experience the incredible week ahead.

In contrast to the nerves from impending judging, the finalists, delegates, volunteers, committee members and entire CWSF community spent the evening kicking-off the week at the Welcome Event and Dinner in the Student Union Building. It was an exciting and fast-paced evening filled with everything from Art Battles to live fiddle music and square dancing. There were twelve fun and New Brunswick inspired food stations, with presentations from Chef Michael Smith himself! There was an ice cream and soda float bar, an ocean of seafood and boats filled with every type of beverage. Lighthouse lanterns covered the tables as finalists mingled, traded pins and played board games. The first floor has the most food, with highlights including a crepe bar, cranberry iced tea, local cheeses, and Michael Smith specialty seafood dishes. The main stage and live music played all evening next to the majority of the food, where just across the floor the Art Battle raged on with finalists and delegates painting everything from abstract landscapes, to Rubik’s cubes and smiley face polka-dots. The second floor was then home to the games, bubbles, and colouring and fondue stations. The excitement really picked up on the third floor where Michael Smith helped students make ice cream next to a live band, perogie station and henna tattoos and caricature drawings tables. The third floor balcony also lead to a beautiful New Brunswick sunset with picturesque view of the maritime skyline. The build-your-own stations were also extremely popular with potato bowls, sandwiches and entrees being customizable to fit every person’s taste. It’s safe to say there was something fun for everyone and it was a great evening to make new friends and have a little bit of relaxing fun before the long day of judging tomorrow.

I got the chance to photograph the event and get some feedback on just how much fun the students had at the event. “The best part was singing ‘Farewell to Nova Scotia’ on stage” said Ted Stuart from Simcoe County region and wearing his Ontario flag as a cape, team mate Elias Anderson added a hearty “Ontari-ari-ari-o!”

Sarah from Thames Valley region enjoyed “Watching Marie make butter fat with Michael Smith” during his demonstrations on the science of cooking and the visiting Australian, Jonty Fahey said “the best part was trading badges, no wait we’re in Canada, so the best part was actually trading ‘pins’ with all of the cool Canadians!”

Today’s fun fact about New Brunswick is that the world’ largest lobster can be found in Shediac. The sculpture is so large it weighs 90 tonnes! Very fitting for the lobster macaroni and cheese served at the Welcome Event.

Check out some photos from the day below and have a great night’s rest before judging tomorrow. Best of luck to all of the finalists and remember to have fun! The Fredericton Forecast is calling for more rain tomorrow and a high of 19 degrees so don’t forget to pack a rain coat to protect your clothes for judging!