“I Love Barrie” contest heads upping the ante this year

Winning entry could be featured on waterfront flags

A popular essay-writing contest is upping the stakes this year, promising winners a high-profile spotlight.

“We had this contest start three years ago,” says contest creator Councillor Mike McCann, “and it was such a success, and some of the stories these kids were telling were so heartwarming… So I asked council to make this a city-wide contest. We did last year, and it was an amazing success.” McCann’s I Love Barrie essay writing contest has seen hundreds of submissions in the past. This year, the contest is open to a wider audience, with bigger prizes.

“This year, we’re doing it again, and city staff have juiced up some of the prizes and some of the fun, and made the competition a little longer,” McCann added. This year, essays are being accepted along with works of art or photographs. Winners could see their art or picture featured on the flags that line Barrie’s waterfront, in addition to having their winning essay read aloud during a council meeting. “If they could have their art published on lakeshore flags, that would just be life-changing for them,” said McCann.

Primary (Kindergarten to Grade 3) students are invited to submit art. Junior (Grades 4 to 6) students can submit a short story (up to 350 words). Intermediate (Grade 7 and 8) students can submit a short story (up to 500 words). High school students (Grades 9 to 12) can submit a photo with a 200 character post/caption to show why they love Barrie. One winner will be chosen from each level, and will also receive an I Love Barrie prize pack and a one-month City of Barrie family recreation pass.

This contest is open to all elementary and secondary students who attend an English or French public or private school in Barrie, or who live in Barrie and are homeschooled. Entries must be submitted by an individual, not a class.

Contest artwork and essays can be submitted online at barrie.ca/MyBarrie. Entries can also be submitted in person to Service Barrie (located on the first floor of Barrie City Hall, 70 Collier St.) during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). All entries must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 28.