Inspirations: Compassion in Action


12 prizes of 1 week (value of $ 675 each per winner)

Submission deadline

Friday October 13, 2017

Contest rules and regulations

Student Guide

If you’re a high school student between the ages of 14 and 17, "Inspirations: Compassion in Action" contest is for you! Tell us about an individual (or group of individuals) who, through their compassion and leadership, has inspired you personally and has helped to make their community a better place. To celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday and the 35th anniversary of Encounters with Canada, LEARN is proudly sending 12 student winners to this engaging youth program. Submit an original work and you’ll have a chance to win one of 12 amazing weeks at Encounters with Canada in Ottawa, compliments of LEARN. Winners will join students from across the country in the theme week of their choice (between November 2017 and June 2018), taking part in unforgettable citizenship, leadership and career-exploration activities in the nation’s capital.

Contest Period : From Tuesday May 23, 2017 at 9:00am EDT to Friday October 13, 2017 at 12:00pm (midnight) EDT



The contest is open to students between the ages of 14 and 17* attending English-language high schools in the province of Quebec. Quebec students who are home-schooled in English are also eligible. A student may enter individually or with a partner.

If you are one of the 12 winners, a parent or guardian consent will be necessary before the trip to Ottawa.

In order to win, you and/or your partner’s entry must conform to the rules and regulations outlined in this guide. Only one (1) entry per student or pair will be accepted.

*Note: Winners must be between the ages of 14 and 17 when they attend Encounters with Canada. (See below for dates.) Students who have already attended Encounters with Canada are not eligible.


In celebration of the 35 th anniversary, 12 winners will be selected to spend one week at Encounters with Canada in Ottawa, compliments of LEARN. The prize must be redeemed between November 2017 and June 2018. Winners may choose from among the following theme weeks:

Arts & Culture
Apr. 1-7, 2018

Canada Remembers
Nov. 5-11, 2017

Communications & Social Media
Mar. 11-17, 2018

Democracy & Youth
Mar. 18-24, 2018

Experience Canada
June 26 – July 2, 2018

First Responders
Mar. 4-10, 2018

Medicine & Health
Feb. 4-10, 2018; Feb. 25 – Mar. 3, 2018; Mar. 25-31, 2018

Science & Ecology
Apr. 22-28, 2018

Science & Technology
Nov. 12-18, 2017; Feb. 18-24, 2018

Sports & Fitness
Nov. 19-25, 2017; Jan. 28-Feb.3, 2018; Apr. 15-21, 2018

Tech & Food
Feb. 11-17, 2018

Vimy: Canada’s Coming of Age
Apr. 8-14, 2018

Note: The specific theme week to be attended by the winner will be confirmed by Encounters with Canada, and will be subject to availability.

During each of these theme weeks, students will make new discoveries, meet dynamic people, exchange ideas through workshops, presentations, excursions and hands-on activities and have the opportunity to explore potential career options – plus they’ll gain a greater appreciation of their country and become more informed and engaged citizens.

With a value of $675, each prize includes transportation to and from Ottawa, lodging (at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre in Ottawa), meals and activities for one week.

Notes: Students will be expected to bring their own spending money. Transportation costs are covered by Exchanges Canada for Canadian citizens and landed immigrants only.


No purchase required.

  • Choose a subject: Who do you wish to profile? Choose an individual (or group of individuals) who has inspired you because of their compassion and leadership, who has gone out of their way to help others or a person in need. It can be anyone from a classmate or coach to a famous person.
  • Research your subject: Find out as much about this person or group as you can. You may conduct interviews, do online or library research, etc. List the most important and interesting information to include in your submission. Think about how and why this person or group has inspired you and made a difference in their community.
  • Select a format: Find a creative way to describe the individual or group by creating one of the following:

OPTION 1: Write an essay or an article or poem

  • If you choose to write an essay, it must be no longer than 1,500 words. There is no minimum length.
  • Before you start, plan your written work. Examine your research to decide which information to include.
  • Here are some writing tips:
    • Start with an interesting fact or thought to grab your reader’s attention.
    • Make sure the body of the work follows a logical sequence.
    • If based on interviews, include one or more quotations from the individual(s) being profiled or those who know them.
  • At the end of your text, list all your sources (Internet sites, books, individuals, etc.)
  • Proofread your work for errors in spelling and grammar prior to submission. Avoid paragraphs that are too long.
  • You may include photos and artwork if desired, although this is optional.
  • Format: The content you upload should be in digital form. The accepted formats are: PDF, DOC or PPT and should be print quality resolution.
  • Size: The file size should be no larger than 5Mb.

OPTION 2: Create a video

  • Format: Films from digital cameras, camcorders and phones are all eligible if they are in QuickTime (MOV), or MP4 file format.
  • Length: The maximum length for your video is 3 minutes. There is no minimum length.
  • Plan your video: Before you begin, decide how to illustrate your research findings creatively (i.e. as a short documentary, an interview, a news report, role play or performance of an original dance, slam poem or skit). Write down your plan for the video, including the overall focus, a brief description of the video’s storyline and a breakdown of the timing. If time allows, you may wish to create a storyboard as well.
  • Practice: Rehearse the video a couple of times, and revise the draft if needed.
  • Get filming!
  • List sources: At the end of your video, list your information sources and acknowledge all individuals who have contributed to the video.
  • Edit: Free editing software is available online to help you produce a high quality final product.

OPTION 3: Draw or paint a picture or create poster

  • You can express your research creatively in a work of art (i.e. a drawing, a collage, a painting or a poster illustrating the person or group that has inspired you)
  • Format: The content you upload should be a digital image of your drawing, painting or collage or other artwork. The accepted formats are: jpeg, png, gif or PDF and should be print quality resolution.
  • Size: The file size should be no larger than 5Mb.
  • Write an artist’s statement to accompany your work: Fill out the accompanying Artist’s Statement template to describe: 1.the Materials and Techniques you used for your work; 2.the Personal Connection – what has inspired you about the person or group you have chosen; and 3. the Connection to the World – how they have contributed to their community.


  1. Download and print this entry form
  2. Complete with all your information and attach your artwork. In the case of video submissions, please post your entry to an online service such as YouTube or Vimeo and include the URL of your work with your entry.
  3. Send to:"Inspirations: Compassion in action", Care of LEARN, 2030 Dagenais O. Laval, Quebec, H7L 5W2
  4. You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your entry


Entries must be received no later than midnight on Friday, October 13, 2017.


  • The submission must be your own original work.
  • Your submission must not infringe on the copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other personal or proprietary rights of any person or entity.
  • If using music in your video, it must be original and/or not copyrighted.
  • An entry including content that is deemed offensive or inappropriate will be disqualified at the sole discretion of LEARN and Encounters with Canada
  • All entries become the joint property of LEARN and Encounters with Canada. Winners may have their entries presented on the LEARN and/or Encounters with Canada web sites, blogs or social media and/or presented at student events.
  • All personal information, such as name and contact information, is collected by LEARN solely for the purpose of administering this Contest and will not be used for any other purposes without your consent.


When evaluating your entry (essay, article, poem, drawing, painting, poster, or video) the judges will take the following into consideration:

  • Is the entry the correct length or format (i.e. not more than 1,500 words for the essay or 3 minutes for the video.
  • Is the artist’s statement provided if Option 3?
  • Does the entry describe a person or group who, through compassion and leadership, has inspired you and others and made a difference in their community?
  • Does the entry include enough information to provide a clear picture of the individual or group and what they have accomplished?
  • Are sources included?
Style / Presentation:
  • Are the ideas presented in a clear and logical way?
  • For written submission: Is the writing style clear and easy to read? Are the grammar, spelling and punctuation correct?
  • Videos: Are lighting, focus, sound and graphics used effectively and appropriately?
  • Artwork: Are digital images clear, free of shadows and lit appropriately?
Creativity / Affect:
  • Is the information presented in a creative way?
  • Is it interesting and innovative?
  • Does the student’s inspiration / admiration for this person or group shine through? Does it move the reader / viewer?


  • Twelve winners will be selected from all eligible entries.
  • Winners will be announced no later than October 23, 2017.
  • Winning students will be notified by a representative of LEARN and/or Encounters with Canada, and details will be provided about how to register for the theme week of their choice.
  • Parent or guardian consent will be required for every winner.
  • Once winner has been notified that they have won, it will be also be announced via social media and web site.
  • Upon their return from Encounters with Canada, winners will be required to share some of their photos and/or videos and experiences in a letter of appreciation to LEARN. The photos and letter, or parts of it may be posted on the LEARN website or blog and/or social media.