Kamloops handyman finds fame thanks to foosball table
The second time was a charm for Mark Ulinder.
In 2011, the Kamloops handyman — an employee at Molycop Canada — tried out for the HGTV reality show Canada’s Handyman Challenge.
It didn’t go so well.
“The wife actually put my name in for it,” Ulinder, 41, told KTW.
“It was really stressful. I didn’t know what to expect and I kind of choked.”
Fast forward one year and Ulinder was prepared.
“I stewed on it for a year and I went back,” he said.
“It went a lot better.”
Ulinder travelled to Vancouver to try out for the show, taking with him a foosball table he’d created following the strict entry guidelines.
“You’re allowed to build something out of one piece of three-quarter-inch plywood and you can use as much hardware as you want — bolts and rods and that kind of thing,” he said.
“I said, ‘Well, I enjoy foosball, so let’s do that.’”
A few weeks after the Vancouver audition, Ulinder was in Toronto with 14 other finalists for two weeks of filming the second season of Canada’s Handyman Challenge.
Ulinder said he’s always been handy, thanks largely to a varied vocational history.
“I’ve done an awful lot of things over the years,” he said, mentioning everything from welding to general labour and lots in between.
Three Canada’s Handyman Challenge episodes — showing try-outs in Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax — have already aired, but the meat of the competition will begin for viewers today (Feb. 12) at 7 p.m. on HGTV.
The show will be on each Tuesday at 7 p.m. until the finale on March 19.
Hosted by Jenn Robertson, Canada’s Handyman Challenge competitors will have their work judged by HGTV personalities Scott McGillivray (Income Property), Bryan Baeumler (Leave it to Bryan, House of Bryan) and Paul Lafrance (Decked Out, Deck Wars).
On the finale episode, the trio will be joined by Mike Holmes (Holmes Makes it Right, Holmes Inspection) to make sure they’re doing their judging right.
Ulinder can’t say how he did, but he can talk about how much he enjoyed the experience.
“It was a really great experience,” he said.
“I can’t tell you anything about the challenges or anything like that, but it was really awesome.
“All in all, I’m really glad I did it.”
VOTE FOR MARK
Ulinder is contractually
obligated to refrain from
discussing the specifics of what happened when Canada’s Handyman Challenge was filmed last fall, but he’s happy to ask Tournament Capital residents for their help in an online poll looking to name a fan favourite from among this season’s contestants.
To vote, go online to hgtv.ca and follow the links to Canada’s Handyman Challenge. There, viewers can vote as many times as they want for a fan favourite.
WHERE TO WATCH
New episodes of Canada’s Handyman Challenge are on HGTV (Shaw 14/244; Telus 142/680; Bell 600/1703) every Tuesday at 7 p.m.