"Learning cabinetmaking has taught me all the steps necessary to build something. I could build a house with what I know. "

In Canada, hardwoods, used in furniture and cabinets, are found primarily in Ontario and Quebec.

Catherine Bélanger is a junior cabinetmaker for a company making high-end display cases. Catherine hadn't set her heart on a career as a cabinetmaker. All she knew coming out of high school is that she wanted to work with her hands and to see concrete results at the end of the day.

She was accepted in three different training programs and chose cabinetmaking because it seemed like a challenge – she'd never worked with wood before. It was love a first sight.

Did you know? In North America, there are 82% more hardwoods today than 40 years ago.

All of Catherine's co-workers are older than she is and they're all men. She doesn't mind it at all. They give her a lot of support and helpful advice. Where some places start their junior cabinetmakers at $8 per hour, Catherine's starting salary was $10 per hour for a 41-hour week.

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It is said that, to be a good carpenter, you first have to measure, and then you measure again and, only then do you cut. It's even more important in cabinetmaking to have perfectly measured and cut pieces.

To go through all the steps necessary to become a cabinetmaker has really helped Catherine her self esteem and her artistic talents. Her dream is to one day be able to create her own line of furniture pieces.


Education: Fine Arts College Diploma (Quebec DEC) and another DEC
in cabinetmaking and architectural carpentry

Hobbies: Stained glass windows and handcrafted leather accessories