Update on CWB Welding Foundation Programs

Woman of Steel participant welding a T joint in the horizontal position using the Shielded Metal Arc welding process.

Dear partners in education:
Greetings from the team at the CWB Welding Foundation. We hope you and those dear to you are staying safe and healthy.
I would like to provide an update on the status of our spring and summer programs, and how some of those programs are being affected by the COVID-19 situation.


The CWB Welding Foundation team spends most of the spring busily planning for our flagship Mind over Metal welding camps for youth, along with other camp programs. Last year, we held 36 camps at secondary and post-secondary institutions across the country, introducing welding to more than 525 participants.

Things are looking very different this year. Schools across Canada have been closed for weeks now, and we don’t know which schools, if any, will be open for in-person instruction again before the summer. It may turn out that schools will not re-open until the fall.

It takes a small army of people to plan and deliver these camps, including instructors, school support staff, CWB Welding Foundation team members—not to mention the donors and community partners who make the camps possible! The camps also require safety equipment, materials and supplies for a full learning experience.

Right now, everybody’s lives are upended due to COVID-19. We know things will eventually get better, but we don’t know when. With so much uncertainty, we are suspending the welding camp programs that were planned for the summer of 2020, and we are putting the application process on hold. This includes our flagship Mind Over Metal camps for youth, the Arx & Sparx camps for youth in BC (in partnership with LNG Canada), and the Women of Steel/Introduction to Welding Program.

As the summer progresses, we will monitor the situation and make a determination about when we will be able to deliver safe, high-quality camps.

If we have already committed to a camp with you in the spring or summer, we will work with you and industry partners directly to postpone those camps to later this year or in 2021, when the timing is right.

If you have submitted an application for a camp but we haven’t committed to the date with you, your application will automatically be put on hold. When we know more about how things are looking for the 2020-2021 camp season, we will advise you to re-submit for a later date, and to consider other options—for example, you may be able to run a camp in the evenings or over weekends in the 2020-21 school year.

Thank you for your patience as we work with camp hosts and applicants over the coming weeks. Learn more about welding camps.


The Capital Equipment and Consumables fund supports the advancement of welding programs by ensuring safe, high-quality equipment and learning environments are available to students.

Ordinarily, schools might be thinking about upgrading their welding facilities during the summer months while school is out of session. While this is still a potential option, timing will depend on a number of factors—from physical/social distancing directives, to the cost and availability of materials and labour.

Applications for grants are currently being accepted until June 1, 2020, and our team is reviewing the applications as they come in. We will announce funding recipients and work with successful applicants over the coming months.

As the situation unfolds and our schools reopen, we will consider a second application period. As a charity dependent on fundraising support, we will assess market factors and potentially reopen this program for new applications in the Fall. Learn more.


The CWB Welding Foundation is proud to provide professional development sessions to metalwork and welding teachers in secondary schools across Canada. These workshops deliver great value to educators and schools and are hugely popular. Last year, 156 welding educators took part in our programs, and we have more than 250 educators waiting for the next available session in their area.

This year, our ability to hold these workshops is challenged because of school closures. Our team is working with school boards who are already committed to or exploring these workshops to discuss timing and other options. We hope to hold sessions as soon as it is safe to do so.

If you are interested in Train the Trainer workshops for your welding team, please consider submitting an expression of interest. Learn more here.


We are honoured to support students across Canada with their post-secondary welding education through a number of awards, including the Hugh A. Krentz Student Award, the Joseph G. Doria Exemplary Student Award, and the Nicole LeClair Welding Bursary Award.

Many students might be feeling anxious about what will happen with the next school year, but I can assure you that these awards will be available to support them when they continue to their welding education.

If you know of a student who might be eligible, please encourage them to fill out an application by the deadline: May 29 for the Nicole LeClair bursary, and July 30 for the Krentz and Doria awards.


We’d also like to remind you that the Annual Welding Educators Conference (planned for May 25-27 in Vancouver) has been postponed, and CanWeld (planned for June in Toronto) has been cancelled. For more information about these conferences and how plans are coming together for alternatives or future events, please visit the CWB Group website.


With high schools, colleges and polytechnics across the country moving classes to distance education there has been an increased demand for online learning resources related to skilled trades. Our CWB Education colleagues have announced that CWBi Acorn has made available a package of online learning resources to all high schools and post-secondary schools that teach welding and metal fabrication. This package includes 18 foundational courses and will be provided at no cost to support the growth and sustainability of our industry in these challenging times. Check out these free online resources on the CWB Group website.


We at the CWB Welding Foundation have been blown away by the generosity, kindness and sacrifice of people across the welding industry over the past few weeks. So many businesses and individuals have been affected by COVID-19, and it can feel overwhelming. But I hear incredible stories of innovation and hope—from companies stepping up to produce much-needed medical gear, to school boards fast-tracking online study modules, to youth demonstrating their skills know-how with fun projects at home. I am heartened by all that everyone is doing to stay home, stay safe and stay connected. We are all in this together for the future and ongoing prosperity of our industry and of our country.

We are encouraging our friends to share their stories and photos about welding projects, new equipment and new skills on social media, or by emailing us at We encourage you to stay connected with us. You can find us here:

Thank you, and best wishes.

Susan Crowley