Youth Opportunities - Sunday May 8th, 2011

Sunday May 8, 2011

[UPDATE: It may be useful to browse these old listings as many programs are annual, but for more current contests and competitions, head to the Youth Opportunities page.]

Every weekend I post about current youth opportunities that are open to submissions from Ontario residents, which includes many contests and competitions open to youth across Canada and the US. Please note I'm not attesting to the legitimacy or quality of anything listed here - read the fine print carefully and make your own judgement call, especially if a submission fee or creative rights are involved!

After a bit of a drought during the past few updates, this week I've got a solid bunch of opportunities for Canadian kids and teens. Several of them have deadlines this month (one's even next week!) so check dates carefully if something catches your eye.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, and happy Sunday to everyone else!

Write the Wrong 2011 - National High School Essay Contest
• Open to students enrolled in a Canadian secondary school
• Deadline Friday May 13th, 2011
The Toronto-based organization Journalists for Human Rights (jhr) invites Canadian youth to answer the question "What is the single largest problem that we face today and what do youth need to do to fix it?" in the Write the Wrong 2011 National High School Essay Contest. Essays must be 500-2000 words long; check the Submission Guidelines PDF on the contest page for details on judging criteria. Five finalists will be recognized on the jhr website and the winning writer will receive a Rogers Smartphone and have their essay published on
- Read the winning essay for Write the Wrong 2010, "Jus in Bello" by Annie Shi

2011 Ontario Youth Summit on Sustainable Transportation
• Open to young adults (19+) in Ontario
• Deadline to apply is Friday May 20th, 2011
"On behalf of the Ontario members of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, the Toronto Transit Commission and Metrolinx will host Transit: Past, Present, Future, a regional youth summit on sustainable transportation at Ryerson University in Toronto from August 12 to 14, 2011." Only 40 to 50 individuals will be selected to take part, based how well their application demonstrates "their interest and knowledge of public transit and sustainable transportation, as well as their past involvement in advocacy and other leadership roles".

Mississauga Library - Kathleen A. Hicks Historical Writing Award
• Open to youth 14-19
• Deadline August 15, 2011
The Mississauga Library's Kathleen A. Hicks Historical Writing Award invites youth to submit a fictional story or a non-fiction piece up to 1000 words long that focuses "on a real person, event, or place related to the history of Mississauga". There is no fee to submit, and the writers of the top three entries will win a gift certificate from Chapters/Indigo and be invited to read their submission at the library's 20th Anniversary Celebration on October 1st, 2011.

TDSB @ CNE - Elementary Art Show
• Open to Toronto District School Board students aged 11-14
• Deadline Friday June 3rd, 2011
TDSB students are invited to submit CNE-themed paintings to be considered for a Student Art Show at the 2011 CNE. Artwork must be in watercolor or acrylic paint and there's a limit of one per person. Top entries can win an All Day Rides Pass to the Ex and have their work displayed for the entire run of the CNE.

TDSB @ CNE - Busker for a Day/Stage Performers
• Open to Toronto District School Board students
• Deadline Friday May 27th, 2011
Video auditions are now being accepted from Toronto District School Board students who would like to participate in TDSB@CNE on August 30th as a street performer or as part of a band, dance troupe, choir or other group performance on the International Stage at the CNE.

My Parks Pass - Canada's Ultimate Family Adventure
• Open to Grade 8/Secondaire II students residing in Canada
• Deadline September 9th, 2011
All Grade 8 students in Canada should have already received a one year pass to Canada's National Parks through their school. But don't forget to go online at to enter your VIP code for a chance to win a family trip to Jasper National Park in Alberta or other prizes just for you.

Operation Unplugged
• Open to "plugged in" Canadians 18+ attending full-time higher education in the fall of 2011
• Deadline May 27th, 2011
Operation Unplugged is a six-episode "docu-adventure travel series" that is currently casting for 8 young Canadians who are technology obsessed. Selected participants will spend 5 weeks at the end of the summer getting back to nature, traveling coast-to-coast to face challenges in Canada’s National Parks and National Historic sites. All travel expenses are covered and participants will be paid.

Previously Highlighted Youth Opportunities (after the jump!)