This past Remembrance Day, some colouring caught the eye of veterans who call Okotoks home.
Three students from Foothills Composite High School placed in the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual poster contest, with a fourth receiving an honourable mention, with the results announced in March.
“It was kind of a shock, but it felt very rewarding,” said Grade 11 student Duncan McKay, who placed first in the local black and white poster category, as well as third in the district competition. “It kind of pays off for all the work that you put into the artwork."
The four Grade 11 students were enrolled in art classes at the time of submission in November, and only recently received the news of their accomplishment.
“It felt kind of nice. I’ve entered so many contests, and I’ve never won anything before,” said Chance St. Amand, who placed first in the division colour poster contest.
The other placements include Taylor Schell with second place in local colour posters and Kianna Andersen, who received an honourable mention for her colour poster.
“It makes me happy to know that what I made, the Legion and the Veterans enjoyed, it made them happy,” said Andersen.
She said she is proud not only to make a piece that the members of the Legion enjoyed, but one for which she is personally proud.
While many students create posters as part of their classwork, submitting the finished product to the Legion is completely voluntary, said Michelle Smyth, art teacher at the Comp.
“The school has participated in this contest for a number of years, and we've been fortunate enough to have talented students place,” said Smyth, “it’s very rewarding when the students do win, and getting to share that with them.”
A total of 15 posters were submitted by Comp art students, which Smyth said is lower than their usual total of 20–30 posters.
She attributes this to the new semester switchover dates, which were right around Remembrance Day in 2020.
“To have them submit to the contest and to place unexpectedly, just going in with an open mind and knowing the reason why they're making these works to honour the veterans, but to share their excitement,” said Smyth. “All four of them are just beaming, they're so proud that they made something."
The students all expressed gratitude for the opportunity to create someone, and their respects for the Legion.
“I just want to thank the veterans in (the) Legion, for holding this and doing the whole thing, because it's important for people to be able to express their creativity and spread awareness for something so important that deserves so much respect,” said Schell.
These yearly contests help raise awareness among the kids as to the sacrifice that has happened and continues to happen in the military, said Marcelle Tremblay, youth co-ordinator for the Okotoks Legion.
“The veterans do appreciate these posters so much,” Tremblay said. “It's very empowering to know that the kids are so knowledgeable and have such a deep understanding of what of what's going on.”