By Steve Rauh – Principal, West Vancouver Secondary School
Approximately one year ago, then Grade 10 West Vancouver Secondary School student Natasha Jones noticed a poster on the wall in her film class. The poster was from the Royal Canadian Legion inviting students from across Canada to submit various original art and literary work fostering the tradition of Remembrance amongst Canadians.
This annual Literary and Poster Contest enables the involvement of “Canadian school children in helping us (sic) to promote not only the National Remembrance Day Service, but also the act of honouring our military heritage.”
Natasha decided to design and submit a poster, as she had always enjoyed drawing. After brainstorming some ideas for the poster and considering the elements that she wanted to include, she began to create the original poster, which is approximately 50cm by 70cm in size. In all, she invested 12-15 hours of pencil crayon and design work. Natasha told me that she worked using the image of the letter to make the poster more personal, and to remind others that these were people who had lost their lives in combat.
As she began to colour and shade in the field of poppies, Natasha had the idea to blend the colours to form the image of the Canadian flag. She felt that the flag had a patriotic quality that made the poster more interesting and symbolic of the role Canada has played over the years.
After submitting her poster, Natasha did not hear back until April 2015, when she learned that her submission had been chosen for one of the top provincial honours in the contest. Shortly thereafter, she was informed that it was to be recognized nationally for winning the Legion’s 2014-2015 Senior Colour Poster award.
Natasha’s poster has been displayed at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa since July 1st. It was also on display in the foyer of the House of Commons during the annual Remembrance Day period in November. To view all of the winners from the 2015 Posters and Literary Contests please click HERE.
Linda Findlay, Secretary of the RCL Branch #114 in Lynn Valley, informed me in an email that:
“Natasha earned several bursaries from this endeavour, which have all been presented to her,” wrote Secretary of RCL Branch #114 in an email. “As well, the legion sponsors a trip to Ottawa for the senior winners in the four contests to attend the national Remembrance Day service, where they place a wreath and visit the Governor General.”
Natasha visited Ottawa from November 9-12. Congratulations on your accomplishment, Natasha. The fact that you took the initiative and time to create such a significant piece is a tremendous reflection upon you as a person, and we are very proud of you.