Ballenas Secondary School student Katarina Wawrykow was presented with a certificate and a monetary award over the weekend for creating a touching remembrance day poster for The Royal Canadian Legion (RCL).
For many years, the RCL has sponsored the annual Literary and Poster Contest, which is open to all Canadian school children and this year there were more than 100,000 entries in the contests. The youth, who participate in the contest, assist the Legion in one of it’s primary goals — fostering the tradition of Remembrance amongst Canadians.
Wawrykow, who lives in Nanoose Bay, was honoured on Saturday, April 14 at Legion Branch 49 in Parksville for winning second place in the Senior Black and White Poster category of the contest. Initial judging took place at the community level by volunteers at the local Legion branch and the winning entries then progressed to judging at the provincial level.
Wawrykow’s illustration of a soldier surrounded by poppies came in first place for the B.C./Yukon division. Her winning entry was forwarded to Ottawa where it was judged and she was one of the national winners coming in second.
The Poster Contest has two divisions — Colour and Black and White.
The winning entries for the four categories (school grades) are displayed at the Canadian War Museum from July 1 to May 1 of the following year.
As a second place winner Wawrykow’s poster will be displayed in the foyer of the House of Commons during the annual Remembrance period in November.
Wawrykow who received a plaque and two cheques during a ceremony at the Parksville Legion thanked the legion members for continuing to support arts in the community.
“This contest has helped me with my dream of being an illustrator. This branch has supported me and the arts,” she declared.
The grade 12 student who graduates this year will be putting her $325 towards her education. She will be pursuing a degree in illustration and in the fall will be saying goodbye to her family and heading to Oakville Ontario where she has been accepted into Sheridan University for Art Fundamentals.
Wawrykow’s family was on hand for the presentation including her grandmother Sylvia Bovaird.
Wawrykow’s mother Colleen said her daughter inherited her artistic abilities from her grandmother who has always been an artist.
It is also safe to say Wawrykow also inherited her compassion for war veterans from her family who has deep ties to the RCL.
“I feel a strong connection to the people who fought in the war and I sympathize with the people who suffered…the jewish people in WWII and it is important to remember what they were fighting for so it doesn’t happen again,” stated the articulate student.
Bovaird said her father was a veteran and in the first World War he suffered a mustard gas attack.
“He was in a coma for almost two years but he came out of it,” stated Bovaird who added, “As an artist I didn’t have the same chances my granddaughter did. It is wonderful she has an opportunity to pursue her dreams. We are proud of her and my dad would have been proud of her.”