Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
Unveiling winners of the 2016 Power of Wind contest at Canada’s largest wind energy conference
Today, I have the pleasure of unveiling the winners of the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s (CanWEA) 2016 Power of Wind bursary contest!
Just a little over a year ago, I wrote a similar blog announcing the winners of last year’s bursary contest and talked about how inspiring it was to see the creative ways young people find to share their vision of a cleaner energy future for Canada.
This year, I’m especially excited because I think we’ve found a way to spread that inspiration further and wider than we ever have before.
In the past CanWEA has invited post-secondary students from across Canada to submit blogs, poetry, songs, artwork, videos – really any medium they chose – to show us why they think harnessing wind energy and promoting its continued growth is important.
This year we added a twist.
We asked for a photo or visual image that could be used in CanWEA’s annual Friends of Wind calendar, another favourite project of ours. And Canada’s youth delivered!
We made the change for a couple of reasons. First, showcasing the submissions in the calendar provides a larger platform for these students to share their opinions on an issue critical to Canada’s energy and environmental future. It won’t be just people visiting CanWEA’s website or attending its annual conference that will hear about the contest winners and see their work. The calendar will hang in homes and offices all year long, reminding us every time we glance its way or turn its pages that this generation of Canadians has a voice that deserves to be heard.
The second reason is that it gives us a chance to highlight more students and their extraordinary creativity. Every year it’s next to impossible to single out three winners, each of whom will receive a $1,000 bursary from CanWEA. We still had to pick three winners this year, and it was just as hard as it has always been, but we also chose 10 more entries to feature in the calendar. Every month tells a story of the student, who they are, and how sustainable practices and renewable energy fit into their world.
What’s interesting is that just as post-secondary students are affirming their support for wind energy through the Power of Wind contest, a new poll for Clean Energy Canada shows their views are shared by a majority of Canadians. It found three-quarters of Canadians believe investing in clean energy and technology should be a top priority. We are all moving together toward a renewable energy future, and finding ways to be more conscious about where our electricity comes from, how we use it, and what effect we have on the planet and ourselves.
That’s why it’s so encouraging that this year’s contest attracted about 100 entries, including photographs, sketches, paintings, photoshopped montages and digital creations. This morning, during today’s opening plenary session at CanWEA’s annual conference in Calgary, we took a few minutes to celebrate our 2016 winners. They are:
Diana Lawryshyn, who is entering the Arts and Science Concurrent Education program at Queen’s University. Her entry paints a picture of clean, green and healthy environment using a wind turbine as brush.
Renee Stokowski, a second-year science student at the University of Manitoba. Her sketch invites us to choose what kind of world we want to live in. On the one hand, a bright and renewable future. On the other, a darker reliance on emitting technologies of the past.
Taylor Morrison, a fourth-year engineering student at the University of Toronto. Her painting reminds us we have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s possible with wind energy.
I encourage you to visit windcalendar.ca to purchase the 2017 calendar. You’ll be supporting CanWEA’s Friends of Wind program, allowing us to continue to run the Power of Wind Contest and share important messages about Canada’s energy future. And just as importantly, you’ll be supporting a group of young people who have put their time and talents into letting us know what they think.