Thousands of athletes, para-athletes, and their coaches, friends and family from 41 countries will converge on the in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) July 10 – August 15, for the 2015 Pan Am / Para Pan Am Games.
The Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games are considered the world's third largest international multi-sport games (behind the Summer Olympics and the Asian Games). The games will also highlight the many municipalities and communities that make up the GTA.
Included in the highlights is the work of design students from St. Elizabeth CHS in Thornhill. To help beautifying the Athletes' Village, Pan Am organizers invited all high school students in the province to design and paint on three, 7-foot Muskoka chairs. Each of the chairs was required to have its own theme, such as cottage life, the waterfront or the city skyline, with its particular colour scheme.
On behalf of St. Elizabeth CHS, Mr. Galang accepted this invitation and assigned his Grade 11 design students the task of designing and painting the chairs as their culminating project.
In all, five groups submitted a design and the team of Jessica Bartella, Natalie Grossi, Samantha Hansel and Monique Lopes won in the ‘Cottage Life’ category.
Using Aboriginal art as a point of inspiration, the group decided to include a powerful image of the Loon in its idyllic northern environment.
"Norval Morrisseau was an inspiration," Jessica explained. "Also, the number of colours he could put in and how well they worked together was a good frame of reference," Monica added.
When the Games conclude, the chairs will be donated to the winning schools as a reminder of the spirit of competition that embodies the Pan Am and Para Pan Am Games.
"It's special to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Natalie, an accomplished athlete herself.
"It is an absolute honour to have been one of the winners of the 2015 Pan Am / Para Pan Am Games Chair Design Contest," said Samantha. "We couldn't be more grateful for this extraordinary opportunity to share our Canadian pride and talent with the world!"