Portrait of a Poppy – Making History Relevant Through Creativity
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row.
-Lieutenant Colonel John McRae
As the international community enters the start of the World War One centennial, we stand on the brink of a tremendous learning opportunity. Anniversaries are unique pockets in time when people are in prime position to reflect on what has passed and what is to come. The legacy from the First World War is the collective heritage of all countries affected by the cataclysmic violence of 1914-18.
For Canada, the symbol of the poppies blowing in Flanders Field is the quintessential image of remembrance. Every Autumn, we pin a poppy is pinned on us to recall the bravery of soldiers who fought to secure the peace and security we enjoy today. The poppy is not just a commemoration, but also a call to action. It represents the freedom we hold as a dear value.
To help honour and educate about the centennial of World War One, HOW is calling on students from across Canada to think creatively about what the Poppy means to Canada, 100 Years later. Portrait of a Poppy is a call to action to put those thoughts to paper in artistic competition, where drawing is used to commemorate and inspire.
Portrait of a Poppy is an exciting competition held in schools across Canada. Students are called on to draw creative versions of poppies and Flanders Field and represent what it means to be Canadian today. Some themes to explore are unity, independence, freedom, remembering, learning from history, war and peace to name a few. The contest runs throughout the four years of the World War One Centennial and the actual drawing takes place on each of the next four Remembrance Days, November 11th, culminating on November 11th 2018, the hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day and the end of World War One.
Each participating school will nominate twenty Art, History and English students (between the ages of 15 and 17) to compete. The students selected are those who are studying World War One in that current school year. The principal of each school will select one winner based on the merit of artistic ability, creativity, historical awareness, and understanding of the legacy of World War One. Anonymity of entries will ensure fairness in the choosing of the winner. Each of the winning pieces will then be evaluated by a panel of experts in the fields of creative writing, poetry, history and more in a national competition. One hundred winners from across Canada will be selected as national champions.
Winners will participate in commemorative events marking the World War One centennial and have their work published in print.
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"Harmony Over War succeeded in its goal of sharing a compelling and important story...Driven by the strength of its performers...The audience definitely enjoyed watching these two men moving towards something greater than they could have imagined... crowd-pleasing play with an important message for its audience" - Mooney on Theatre