Sustainable Orillia’s Student Art Contest

Press Release

Biodiversity: It’s All Around Us!  is the theme of the 2023 Sustainable Orillia student art contest. Building on the success of last year’s art competition, Sustainable Orillia is continuing what promises to become an annual event. This year students from local schools, elementary and secondary, are invited to share their vision of biodiversity surrounding us in Orillia.

Last year’s student entrants shared their vision of a Sustainable Orillia in 2050. Their submissions confirmed the depth of talent, imagination, and importance young people bring to this important subject. Their work was lively and full of hope for a sustainable future.

Joni Mitchell’s iconic song Big Yellow Taxi underscored the point you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Mitchell also sang, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Mitchell was far ahead of her time with respect to drawing attention to human activity disrupting the natural world.

Expert estimates of our current extinction rate vary widely. As lay folk, all we can truly discern is that the loss of biodiversity is happening. Our actions we are putting the balance and the beauty of nature at risk. Joni Mitchell’s words elegantly echo what could happen if we don’t focus on preserving what we’ve got before it’s too late. Sustainable Orillia believes this contest will help bring that challenge to the fore.  

We invite students to explore—directly in nature or virtually—the many amazing species sharing this south central part of Ontario with us. After students have done some exploration and decide on one or more species to represent local biodiversity, it’s on to the fun part – celebrating their selected species in a drawing or painting. The contest ends May 31, 2023 see entry details here. Submissions should include a short (50 – 100 words) note explaining why a particular species was chosen.

Winning submissions will be determined by a jury, and all submissions will be considered for publication in Sustainable Orillia’s 2024 Biodiversity Calendar, as well as in the Biodiversity Art Show planned for Sustainable Orillia Month this September. There are prizes for the first ($300), second ($200) and third place ($100) selections for secondary school students. The nine additional submissions chosen for the calendar from among all submissions will receive $50 each.

Thanks to our sponsors, Scott’s Garden Centre and Manticore Books, for their generous support and to local art teachers who are supporting and collaborating to make this event a success for their students.

(Image Supplied) Main: Dani Magder’s Sustainable Orillia Art Contest Entry 2022


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