Chinook in the Community: Heavy Metal Rocks

Chinook Scaffold Systems Ltd has offices all over Western Canada. In each location, we make every effort to invest in the community. From supporting local hockey teams to sponsoring golf tournaments to participating in nature conservation (like contributing to the Pacific Salmon Foundation), we honestly believe that businesses run better when they’re positively impacting their neighbourhood.

One project we come back to year after year is Heavy Metal Rocks.


Heavy Metal Rocks at VIU

When students get into their final years of high school and consider a career in trades, they don’t always know which industry is the best fit. Heavy Metal Rocks partners with universities and technical institutes all over British Columbia to give students an opportunity to operate trade-specific machinery.

In November 2017, Chinook partnered with Vancouver Island University to put on Heavy Metal Rocks in Nanaimo. Grade 12 students from the surrounding district arrived at VIU and were immediately met with an assortment of industry stations including heavy construction, forestry, metalwork, and mining.

On top of sponsoring the event, Chinook was able to donate scaffold to many of the stations helping students see the critical role scaffold systems play in almost every line of trade work.

“Having Chinook here with the scaffolding,” said Paul Mottershead, Associate Dean of Trades & Applied Technology at VIU, “it’s really exposing them to … some of the safety aspects around fall protection and climbing up into heights.”

Chinook also had the chance to run a station where students could come and build their own scaffold structures.

“When they’re finished with Chinook,” said Wendy Gaskill, Chinook’s Corporate Safety Officer, “they can stand back and look and say, ‘I just built myself a scaffold.’ And take pride in actually putting something together with their hands.”

From a distance, scaffold doesn’t always look like the most thrilling industry, but when students put their hands on scaffolding and build a structure, they quickly see how rewarding it can be.

Fulfilling a Need for Trade Workers

On top of giving students a chance to try their hand in a variety of trades, a secondary goal of Heavy Metal Rocks is to fill the growing need for trade workers in British Columbia. “We’re hoping that ultimately at the end of the day,” said Paul, “the students want to come back…maybe take this program on and fulfil some of the needs out in the industry.”

Wendy added, “We need to get the young people coming into the trade recognizing it’s an excellent way to make a living.”


Chinook sponsors events like this because we believe in the power of educating students at a very practical level. We also see the growing need for trade workers in the province and want to encourage students to consider a technical career.

Wherever Chinook goes, building up the community is an integral part of our business. At Heavy Metal Rocks, we were able to educate students in the Nanaimo area about scaffold systems and spark an interest in the trade industry that could have a lasting impact.