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Winners announced for new reconciliation art contest

​As part of Lethbridge's annual Reconciliation Week in September, the first ever #YQL Expressions of Reconciliation contest was launched and prizes have now been awarded to this year's winners. Participants were encourage to submit creative expressions around reconciliation such as paintings, drawings, videos, songs, pottery, photography etc. The contest was an initiative of the City of Lethbridge Reconciliation Advisory Committee (RLAC) in partnership with the United Way and the Lethbridge Indigenous Sharing Network (LISN). 

First place and a prize of $350 sponsored by RLAC was awarded to Gabby Hartgerink, a 15-year-old student from Chinook High School for the entry "Celebrating Our Differences". Second place and a $200 price, sponsored by United Way was awarded to Byron Anderson, a recent graduate from the University of Lethbridge for "Modern Day Warrior". Third place was a collaborative project from two students at Chinook High School. Katelyn Miller and Kenny Bresson-Adams were awarded $150 prize sponsored by the LISN for "Winds of Change".

Mayor Chris Spearman and Amanda Scout, Co-Chairs of RLAC, were on hand Friday morning to congratulate the winners. The winning submissions are currently on display at the downtown branch of the Lethbridge Public Library.

"This is another positive step towards reconciliation," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "I am pleased to see this type of collaboration and creativity between our community and the organizations leading the reconciliation work in Lethbridge. It's an engaging and meaningful way to open up the conversation about what reconciliation means in our community."

United Way managed the collection of the entries and coordination of the contest which was open to all City of Lethbridge residents during the month of October. The winners were determined through a voting committee made up of members of RLAC, LISN and United Way.

"The idea for an art and media contest came after a conversation with members of Reconciliation Lethbridge," said United Way's Janelle Marietta-Vasquez. "We wanted to find ways to encourage non-Indigenous organizations and community members to become active participants in reconciliation. Creative expression has a pretty broad definition, so we felt it would be accessible for most people.  Each of the six pieces we received speaks towards a positive, hopeful future for reconciliation in Lethbridge."

The RLAC is a Committee of Council tasked with being a champion of the Reconciliation Implementation Plan, through promoting mutual understanding and supporting urban indigenous populations and the municipality's relationship with the Blackfoot Confederacy.

"This initiative was a great way to further the work of our committee and put action to the implementation plan we have developed," says Amanda Scout, co-chair of RLAC.

For more information, on the RLAC visit www.lethbridge.ca/reconciliation.

Media Contact:

Andrew Malcolm
Urban Revitalization Manager
City of Lethbridge
E: andrew.malcolm@lethbridge.ca
P: 403-320-3926

Jenn Schmidt-Rempel
Lethbridge Public Library
E: Jenn.Schmidt-Rempel@lethlib.ca
P: 403- 360-5127

Janelle Marietta-Vasquez
United Way of Lethbridge & South Western Alberta
E: ED@lethbridgeunitedway.ca
P: 403-327-1700