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2017 QAHN Heritage Photo Contest Winners!

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--July 24, 2017.

This annual contest is open to all secondary-level students attending English-language high schools in the province of Quebec.

FIRST PRIZE

larger_c.grill_.1.jpgChloe Grill
Grade 8, West Island College, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Qc.
Title: "Shutter the Thought"

A shutter brace may not be much, but it means the world me. It represents my home and family. The brace hangs on a shutter in my country house. But it was not my generation which the house first belonged to. 1899 was the date it was built, and the first owner was my great-grandfather. The house was passed down to the next generation, my grandfather currently owns my playground.

Growing up in Montreal, late night drives on the highway would make me light up with excitement. On the road to the country house, I would plan my weekend in my head. During summer, tumbling down the green hills, swimming in the warm lake, playing in the playhouse, and even taking a nap would never make me feel empty handed. Winter break with my family is what I always look forward to during the year. Roasting marshmallows in the fire, skiing in the peaceful snow, making snow angels and just being around my family makes me feel safe and warm inside.

This country house holds so many memories that I will never forget. Holidays, birthday parties, family gatherings all happened in that house. Closing the window with this antique shutter brace reminds me of the times I laughed here.

I am proud to call that 1899 house, my second home.

*****

SECOND PRIZE

larger_kayla.3.jpgKayla Descoteaux Ellemberg
Grade 11, Rosemere High School, Rosemere, Qc.
Title: "The Colourful Male"

This picture is of a rooster: a confident, colourful rooster. I think this represents my Québec heritage because we have been farmers for ages. This bird represents early mornings on farms as the first alarm clock is known to be the sound of a rooster as the sun barely reaches the horizon. Quebecers were once Amerindians who farmed and worked hard everyday to survive and then they were colonized and seigneuries appeared and still to this day we can see these farm land divisions as some are still farms while others were urbanized. The beautiful feathers of the rooster represent our hardworking ancestors because the bird works hard to groom himself and they also represent the indigenous peoples’ traditional clothing and colourful garments. Also, this picture was taken at a sugar shack aka “cabane a sucre” which is a tradition in Quebecers. We go eat some ham with maple syrup, beans, beats, crispy pork rinds, and the famous taffy on snow as well as visit a little animal farm. It’s just tradition. I am a Quebecer and descendant of Amerindians and I think that farming, as well the typical sugar shack experience is exactly what Québec’s heritage is.

*****

THIRD PRIZE

larger_slow_shutter_speed_slb.jpgSara Leone-Bernabei
Grade 11, Rosemere High School, Rosemere, Qc.
Title: "Winter"

The one and only Canadian winter. Everyone talks about. Americans tend to think we live in igloos and ride to work on our caribous. Instead of a dog they think we walk around with beavers. And apparently we all own maple trees and have our own cabane a sucre right in our backyard. All these myths are quite funny to me, but the one thing they missed is how beautiful our majestic winters are. I always look forward to the first day of snow. It’s absolutely breath taking and a magnificent sight to see. With winter comes hockey and figure skating, two things that bring me joy. Since I was 4 years old I’ve been a skater. I still remember sipping hot chocolate in a nearby Tim Hortons after a long figure skating practice. Winter has always brought me joy and it reminds me of my childhood in snowpants and extra large mittens. As a Canadian, this season represents ournation and culture.

*****

HONOURABLE MENTION

larger_vered.jpgYoad Vered
Grade 11, West Island College, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Qc.
Title: "Pocket-Sized Stories"

It was nine years after my grandfather had passed away when I celebrated my tenth birthday. It was then that my grandmother gave me his old coin collection, which he had gotten from his grandfather. This ensemble of old metal coins and banknotes contained every denomination since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. My grandmother, Safta Eti, constantly reminded me of my grandfather’s philosophy that “every coin and every bill, especially the old ones, has a story to tell.” I didn’t understand what that meant at the time, but as time went on, I realized the importance of my grandfather’s words.

When my family and I moved to Canada in 2004, I made it my mission to add as many old Canadian coins and banknotes to my collection; to add onto my grandfather’s “story-filled” treasure. When one holds a 100-year-old coin in their hands, they can’t help, but think where it has been, and who held it before them. Trying to imagine the path that a denomination took from the time it was minted to the moment it reached my hands sparked great curiosity in me. If only the coins and the banknotes could talk, they would tell the tales of their journeys from one pocket to another. These artifacts are time capsules, exchanged from one owner to another, and when looking beyond their face value, one would notice that these coins are really physical pieces of history traveling from one pair of hands to another.

Until this day, when I hold a coin, or a banknote, in my hand, not only am I adding on to its story, but I can’t help, but imagine whose pockets it sat in, and its century-long story about how it got into mine.

*****

HONOURABLE MENTION

larger_kayla.jpgKayla Descoteaux Ellemberg
Grade 11, Rosemere High School, Rosemere, Qc.
Title: "The Spark of the Blade"

This is a picture capturing the movement of my father sharpening the blade on his skates, creating a beautiful array of lights. For many generations, Quebecers have played hockey and gathered around this famous Canadian sport. Our long, freezing winters enabled us to play almost all year long, so this sport became something we were accustomed to. The birthplace of hockey as we know it today was in Montréal and as a Montrealer myself I know that it has played a big role in our history. My father, and his father before that, and his father before that: watched and have been watching and playing hockey since they were just little boys. It goes generations back so I see it as a part of my own heritage: my legacy to pass on to my children someday. I feel like this picture represents my heritage particularly because I have been watching my father freak out about hockey games and play in them for so long, but that is also the case for most Quebecers. The sparks created by the sharpening of the blade represent, to me, the renewing of hockey as the blades of many have been polished before and as the love for this sport has been passed down through the years. Every generation of Quebecer has taken care of the image of hockey and as much as it is a part of Quebec, it is a part of me too.

*****

HONOURABLE MENTION

larger_s.cherlet.jpgSavannah Cherlet
Grade 7, West Island College, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Qc
Title: "The Story Behind the Structure"

This is the Pointe-Claire Windmill. The construction started in 1709 and finished one year later. There was a major renovation done in 1824. The owners of the windmill changed twice before it was sold to the Congregation of Notre-Dame of Montreal in 1866. It was classified as a monument of Quebec in 1983. It is the oldest windmill in Montreal and is one of the last 18 windmills left in Quebec. This windmill is part of cultural and architectural heritage of this area. Windmills were once very common in Quebec and represent a former way of life. The windmill is based on a design that was used in France and was brought here by the French settlers hundreds of years ago. When the mill was originally built, it contained elevated platforms beneath gun slits for defence. Fortunately, the mill and the land surrounding it near the shoreline were never attacked.