Young skills needed for logo competition

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Teens with an artistic flair have a chance to leave their mark on youth programs and activities in the community.

The Town is encouraging junior and senior high school students across the Foothills to design a logo that will help brand and promote youth-related initiatives in Okotoks.

Submissions of drawing and digital images are being accepted throughout January.

The winning design will be unveiled March 3, during the Pason Centennial Arena expansion grand opening ceremony.

“This is a chance for local youths, probably for the first time, to really have a lasting impact on the branding of youth initiatives in the town of Okotoks,” said Carey Gruber, youth social development specialist.

“Whether they’re interested in art or graphic design and computer design, any of those things, we are hoping that we’ll get all kinds of different formats of submissions.”

Gruber said the Town has been promoting the contest on the Town website and social media.

She describes Okotoks’ existing promotional material for youth as a variety of standard online graphics that don’t have a thread of continuity or real connection to Okotoks or the community’s youth.

“Part of this whole thing is to really personalize it,” she said. “We want to engage local youth and all of the things that the town is doing that is youth related, which is one of the reasons for my position, and hopefully really build interest and have the design associated with the Okotoks youth centre, with Friday teen night and with youth-friendly Okotoks.”

When the contest closes on Jan. 31, Gruber will visit Okotoks’ junior and senior high schools with a display of the submissions and have students vote for their favourite.

The winning logo will be showcased at the Okotoks Recreation Centre and in media and promotional platforms, she said.

Gruber was hired by the Town in February last year to build on what Okotoks offers youth and engage young people in a more concrete and purposeful way.

The Town is working to enhance the youth centre in the basement of the Okotoks Recreation Centre by updating furniture and equipment and making it a place youth want to hang out with supportive supervising staff, she said.

In addition, the Town is looking to roll out a number of initiatives involving youth and include youth in the decision-making process, Gruber said.

More than a third of Okotoks’ population is under the age of 20 and Gruber said the town is a young, growing community.

“The Town is well aware that in the coming years the population is going to increase with annexation,” she said. “We need to really look now at what can be done to further or better engage youth in the planning as we are getting into these growth years.

“There are many opportunities available in terms of recreational activities, but I’m finding a lot of the youth in the community don’t know about them so we’re looking at how we can increase the visibility and how we can promote things a little bit more deliberately so that more youth are involved.”

The criteria and submission information for the youth logo contest is available at the town website at www.okotoks.ca under Discover Okotoks.

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