Tim Collins/News staff
A Sooke elementary school student has managed to beat out thousands of children across the country in a Historica Canada, Canada 150 contest that challenged children to answer the question, “What does Canada mean to you?”.
Ten-year-old Evy Miller of Sooke won a $2,000 gift card to Best Buy for her submission that was motivated by her teacher at Poirier Elementary School. The teacher was aware that Evy had made other videos in the past and urged her to try her hand at the challenge.
“Evy had put together other videos in the past with her friends, and her teacher thought this would be a really great opportunity for her,” explained Evy’s father, Seth Miller.
“She’s a very creative young lady, and she likes playing around with videos. The really great thing is that she did this all on her own, from coming up with the idea to actually putting it all together. We’re all very proud of her.”
Launched in the last few weeks of the last school year, the contest was an initiative of Historica Canada and was a Canada 150 Signature Project and was made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Bank of Montreal. The contest attracted more than 10,000 entries from across the country, each providing a personal glimpse of the meaning of Canda through the eyes of our youngest residents.
The contest invited students to share their view in a 30-second video that allowed them a chance to reflect on the country’s history and explore what being Canadian meant to them. Winners were selected by a jury panel of notable Canadians , including Olympian Joannie Rochette and Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod of Body Break.
“We came up with this concept because we realized that we are a country rooted in our diversity; a nation made up of all kinds of people from all over the world living in a country that’s geographically as diverse as the people who live here,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President and CEO of Historica Canada.
“The contest was a way to create a sort of time capsule of the traditions, beliefs and lifestyles in our 150th year as a country. In another fifty years it will give Canadians a glimpse of what Canada in 2017 was like and provide those people a way to compare their Canda with ours.”
When Evy Miller was told of her win, she was ecstatic, according to her father.
“She got on the phone right away, bragging to her friends and making plans for what to do with the $2,000 Best Buy gift card. She wants to buy a camera and computer set -up so she can continue to make more videos with her friends, said Seth Miller. “She has a great imagination and is very creative…really good at making videos and the equipment will help her get even better.”
The quality of the submissions is something that surprised Wilson-Smith, particularly those from the youngest contest contestants.
“When you consider that, in many cases, these videos were being made with simple phones and mobile devices and that these young people did the editing, layering, and sound effects with these devices, it’s really quite amazing,” he said.
While Wilson-Smith said Historica Canada has no immediate plans to repeat the contest in future years, the overwhelming response to the first contest leaves the door open to a similar challenge in the future. With more than 10,000 entries, he said with a chuckle, it wouldn’t take too much arm twisting to trying something similar in the future.
Evy’s video and others can be seen at heresmycanada.ca/videos/heres-my-canada-theres-so-much-2/ .