A proud and artistic Canadian

Jonathan Russell
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Education Forteau youth wins art competition

Forteau's Amy Park combined broad strokes with pencil-thin precision to illustrate Canada as a microcosm of the world.

On June 26, Cindy Gibbons, Red Bay National Historic Site supervisor, presented the 16-year-old Mountain Field Academy student with the framed drawing that won her top spot in the province for the Canada Day Poster Challenge 2009.

Each year, students aged five to 18 are invited by Canadian Heritage to design and submit a theme-based poster which illustrates their pride in Canada and being Canadian.

Forteaus Amy Park was the provincial winner of the Canada Day Poster Contest for 2009. She won a trip to Ottawa for Canada Day. Photo by Jonathan Russell/The Northern Pen

Forteau -

Forteau's Amy Park combined broad strokes with pencil-thin precision to illustrate Canada as a microcosm of the world.

On June 26, Cindy Gibbons, Red Bay National Historic Site supervisor, presented the 16-year-old Mountain Field Academy student with the framed drawing that won her top spot in the province for the Canada Day Poster Challenge 2009.

Each year, students aged five to 18 are invited by Canadian Heritage to design and submit a theme-based poster which illustrates their pride in Canada and being Canadian.

This year's theme was With Glowing Hearts!

Park said there was no better way to represent the image than by using as the centerpiece an actual glowing heart.

"I figured I couldn't just draw a glowing heart out of nowhere, so I drew a torch, and that sort of tied in the Olympics, and I knew I had to put in the Parliament building and a Canadian flag somewhere, so I drew a Canadian flag on the side, and a hockey stick - because I figure everybody loves hockey in Canada - and I wanted to incorporate the train the Newfie Bullet because I think that's a really cool part of our history."

The trick was to incorporate national, as well as provincial, symbols to best represent her province, she added.

As the winner of the provincial contest, Park earned the chance to celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa as one of 10 provincial winners - and received VIP seats for herself, her mother and her sister during the Canada Day ceremony.

Received encouragement

But without the help of a past teacher, she may not have entered the contest.

"It took me a while to get into it," Park said, "I was looking at the advertisement for it in school and one of my elementary teachers (Maisie Groves) approached me and said I should do it. I thought of some ideas and she loaned me some really good paper to draw on."

After having submitted the piece in February, Canadian Heritage informed her that she won at the end of April.

"I jumped. I was called out of gym class, actually," she said.

"I knew Heather Trimm submitted hers, and I knew she was really good at drawing, so I was a little bit nervous. And I figured that I'd have some pretty stiff competition. I wasn't expecting to win or anything."

National winner

Fifteen-year-old Allison Forseille of Saskatoon, Sask., won the national prize and will attend the opening ceremonies at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

"I was disappointed I didn't win, but I'm happy I got to go to Ottawa," Park said.

Not bad for an artist that draws only in her spare time.

"I've always had a flare for drawing, writing, all the artsy-fartsy stuff," she said.

"My mom told me I started drawing when I could hold a pencil - pictures everywhere, chaos."

Any interest in pursuing art?

"I'm not planning on (becoming an artist), I'm planning on becoming a doctor actually, hopefully, crossing my fingers for med school and everything, but if that doesn't work out I'm going to be going into design, fashion design or interior design."

Organizations: Canadian Heritage, Mountain Field Academy

Geographic location: Canada, Amy Park, Ottawa Saskatoon Sask. Vancouver

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