The Canada Day Challenge – Information guide 2017

Presented by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Day Challenge is an arts, photography and creative writing competition for youth in Canada! The Challenge is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, along with Canada’s 150th anniversary! Over 350,000 participants from across Canada have taken up the Challenge since 1987, and this year young Canadians are encouraged to join in and share with us their vision of the future for themselves and for Canada!

Who can participate?

What you need to know

"Celebrate Your Future"

We are looking for entries that celebrate Canada’s culture and identity, illustrate young Canadians’ vision of the future, and reflects their exploration and participation in their community.

What will you contribute to the future? What part will you play to lead the world?

The 2017 Canada Day Challenge will start accepting entries on January 3, 2017 and will close on March 31, 2017.

Let’s get inspired! What do you see in Canada’s future?

Young Canadians are invited to draw a picture (Draw it!), take a photo (Snap it!), or write a short story, a poem or an essay (Write it!). They can also submit an entry in each of the three categories.

Need inspiration? Visit website for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Participants must ensure to read through the contest Official Rules before submitting an entry, as there are specific requirements for each category.

Requirements and tips for each category

Entries created by more than one participant will be disqualified.

Entries will be declared invalid if they are late, illegible, incomplete, irregular, forged, garbled or reproduced.

Entries will be declared invalid if any third party trademarks, brands and/or logos such as sports team logos, businesses, restaurants or coffee chains, etc. are used or displayed, either in a photograph, a drawing or in a piece of creative writing.

Entries will be declared invalid if they negatively depict another person, nation, country, ethnicity, race, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or disability.

Entries will not be returned once they are submitted; participants should make a copy of their entry if they wish to keep a copy. No correspondence will be made with or entered into between the Department of Canadian Heritage and participants except with the confirmed winners.

Tip! Entries that include the Canadian flag are encouraged to follow the National Flag etiquette rules.

Draw it!

Our home and creative land! From Cape Spear, NL, to Beaver Creek, YK, and from Ellesmere Island, NU, to Point Pelee, ON, vibrant colours abound in Canada. We encourage young Canadians to create an original, colourful drawing or painting using a variety of mediums. The goal is to create an entry that illustrates a young Canadian’s vision of the future for themselves and for Canada. Explore your future! Find inspiration from your community, from your parks, and from where you call home in the vast country that is Canada.

Artwork must be a single original illustration, in colour and in any of the following media: paint (oil, acrylic, watercolour, tempera, and gouache), pastels, inks, coloured pencils, markers and crayons, etc. Computer-generated drawings are acceptable.

Artwork must not contain full sentences, clip art or photographs, or display any third party trademarks, brands and/or logos such as sports team logos, restaurants or coffee chains.

Artwork must not be matted, framed, or attached to a separate surface. Artwork must not contain clip art.

Artwork should be a minimum of 8.5 in X 11 in (21.59 cm X 27.94 cm) and a maximum of 18 in x 24 in (45.72 cm X 60.96 cm).

Artwork must not have previously won an award in past editions of the Challenge.

Tip! Protect your artwork when shipping by mail – it will be evaluated in the condition it is received.

Tip! Make sure to use bright colours to stand out against a white background!

Snap it!

Explore your future! Participate in Canada 150 activities, explore your community, your parks and be inspired! Moving forward, what will your Canada look like?

We are looking for clean focus and high resolution! The goal is to capture an image that illustrates a young Canadian’s inspiration for the future.

Photographs must be original digital images taken within one (1) year before the date of entry. Digital files must be between one (1) and five (5) megabytes, and in JPEG / JPG or PNG format.

Photographs must be taken by the participant and must be a single image. Collages and mosaics using multiple photographs will be deemed ineligible. Photos that have been modified by applying filters, art filters and effects from photo applications will be declared invalid.

Photographs must not have previously won an award in past editions of the Challenge.

Photographs may contain images of people. Anyone appearing in a photograph must sign the Personal Information Consent Form. The Personal Information Consent Form must be signed by the parent or legal guardian for anyone who is under the age of majority in his/her province or territory of residence.

Participants must be prepared to provide the signed Personal Information Consent Form if Canadian Heritage asks them to do so. Failure to provide a signed copy may result in disqualification.

Photographs may not display any third party trademarks, brands and/or logos such as sports team logos, businesses, restaurants or coffee chains, either in photographs, drawing or in writing.

Photographs submitted by mail must be an original on photo paper – printed copies or a photocopies of a photo will be declared invalid.

Tip! Protect your photo from damage if submitting an original by mail – it will be evaluated in the condition it is received.

Participants submitting a photo of the Canadian flag are encouraged to follow the etiquette for displaying or flying the National Flag.

Write it!

Calling all aspiring writers, poets, and those who want to answer the question: What does the future hold for yourself and for Canada? Use your imagination and celebrate the possibilities!

Participants can sharpen their skills and spark their imagination with this category by submitting an original piece of creative writing. Canada is a gathering of many cities, towns and communities, a vast country brimming with diversity from coast to coast to coast. Be inspired and share with us your vision!

Creative Writing Text must be original and 500 words or less. It can be a short story, a poem or an essay, and written in either in French or in English. Bilingual texts are accepted.

Creative Writing Text must not have been published previously, include inappropriate or offensive language or contain drawings or photographs. Plagiarism will not be accepted.

Creative Writing Text must not have previously won an award in past editions of the Challenge.

Anyone whose personal information is included in the text must sign the Personal Information Consent Form. The Personal Information Consent Form must be signed by the parent or legal guardian for anyone who is under the age of majority in his/her province or territory of residence. This does not apply to personal information that is publicly available (for example: facts about public or historical figures found on internet or in a book).

Participants must be prepared to provide the signed Personal Information Consent Form if Canadian Heritage asks them to do so. Failure to provide such form may result in disqualification.

Tip! Since you get points for creativity and originality, avoid submitting an entry that is in a list format (i.e. listing of items, people or places).

Tip! If submitting an original copy paper by mail, it is recommended to avoid using pencil, which may be faded, smudged, or too pale to read. Entries will be evaluated in the condition they are received.

Tip! Make sure to check your word count. If your entry has more than 500 words, it will be disqualified.

How to submit an entry

Submitting online

Entries in the Snap it! and Write it! categories may be submitted electronically using the online entry form. Fill in the entry form with the required information and submit ensuring your entry is attached.

A confirmation email will be sent to confirm your submission. You can submit a Snap it! entry and Write it! entry in a single submission; if submitting more than one Snap it! entry, multiple submissions will be required.

Submitting by mail or in person

Entries in the Draw it! category must be submitted in person or by mail to one of the Canadian Heritage Regional Offices across Canada by using the PDF entry form (PDF format, 179 KB). Snap it! and Write it! categories may also be submitted in person or by mail. Each entry must be accompanied by an entry form.

Entries must be submitted by March 31, 2017.

Personal Information Consent

Participants must be prepared to provide the signed Personal Information Consent Form if Canadian Heritage asks them to do so. Failure to provide a signed copy may result in disqualification.

Consent form

Privacy notice statement

Collection and use of personal information by Canadian Heritage is in accordance with the federal Privacy Act. Under the Privacy Act, participants have the right to access their personal information and request changes to incorrect information. Participants may contact the Privacy Coordinator to access their personal information or to notify PCH about incorrect information.

The collection and use of personal information for the Challenge is authorized by sub. 4(1) of the Department of Canadian Heritage Act, and is required for your participation.

Canadian Heritage will use your personal information for the purposes of determining contest eligibility and any follow-up regarding the Challenge. The personal information collected for all entries submitted under this Challenge will be retained for five (5) years in the personal information bank Canadian Heritage PCH PPU 027.

Statement and permission

By submitting your entry to this challenge, you state that:

  • the entry is your own original work;
  • you own all the rights in the entry including copyright; and
  • you have sought the consent to include the image or personal information of anyone who appears in your entry, or the consent of their parent/guardian if they are minors;

By entering this Challenge, you grant Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, a free of charge, non-exclusive permission to use, reproduce, adapt, perform, translate, modify, publish and make your entry public in any media (including the Internet and social media), throughout the world, for purposes of operating, advertising and promoting the current and future challenges.

Prize

There will be a national winner and two finalists from each category. The three selected as national winners to represent each category will be featured on the winning posters for Celebrate Canada.

Prize Disclaimer

Prizes are offered by Canadian Heritage and the official collaborators of the Challenge. Prizes must be accepted as awarded – no substitution, transfers or exchanges will be permitted. Any additional costs incurred in collecting and using a prize will be the finalists’ responsibility. Prizes will be awarded only on verification by Canadian Heritage that all requirements have been met by the potential finalists.

Get ready to pack your bags for an unforgettable adventure in the Canada’s Capital!

  • This year, we will award three all-expenses paid grand prize tripsFootnote 1 for two (for the three national winners and their parents or legal guardians) to travel to Ottawa to celebrate Canada Day 2017 and the 150th anniversary activities.
  • National winners and their parents or legal guardians will be provided VIP access to exciting places, and take part in the Canada Day activities and the 150th anniversary celebrations on Parliament Hill! They will tour museums, galleries and so much more!

See your work on exhibit at a national museum!

  • Winners will have their work displayed as part of a special summer exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History.

Plus, there’s even more to be excited about this year!

  • Each of our collaborators will provide our national winners with a souvenir to remember their experience as part of the Canada Day Challenge.

Bonus prize only for the winner of the Write it! category if between the ages of 14 and 17

  • One lucky winner in the Write It!Footnote 2 category will be invited to spend a week in Ottawa with our collaborator, Encounters with Canada, Canada’s largest youth forum, to learn about Canadian institutions, explore exciting career options, develop their civic leadership skills and live an extraordinary bilingual experience!

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