Announcing the winners of OL’s “Get on Board with Rail Safety” art contest

Operation Lifesaver called on young Canadians to show off their artistic talents—and their rail safety knowledge—and boy, did they deliver!

In April, we launched our “Get on Board with Rail Safety” art contest. The contest ran for three weeks and was open to children aged 12 and younger. We asked young artists to submit a drawing, painting, collage, advertisement, comic strip, or any other visual piece—as long as it demonstrated one of five important rail safety messages:

  • Train or track? Just keep back! 
  • Never use tracks as a path or a shortcut 
  • Don’t play near tracks or on train equipment
  • Always obey railway warning signs and signals 
  • Leave one ear out when wearing headphones near tracks

More than 122 children—from Williams Lake, B.C. to Anse-Bleue, N.B.—submitted original works of art. Operation Lifesaver’s selection committee then had the difficult task of narrowing it down to a short list, before the public was given the final say by voting for their favourites.

“I was really amazed to see so many artists from various age groups living all across Canada. Many of them really showed great creativity in producing their art projects,” says Jean-Guy DuSablon, OL’s Eastern Regional Coordinator and a member of the contest’s selection committee.

“I loved the creativity of all the submissions,” adds selection committee member Charlene Dishaw, OL’s Western Regional Coordinator. “It was so great that we have so many young Rail Safety Ambassadors in the community!

And the winners are …

In total, 1,851 votes were cast to determine the big prize winners. In the 4 to 6-year-old age category the winners were:

  • 1st prize: Sukraat, Edmonton, Alta.
  • 2nd prize: Trent, London, Ont.

In the 7 to 8-year-old age category the two winners were:

  • 1st prize: Jeremy, Ottawa, Ont.
  • 2nd prize: Ivy from Williams Lake, B.C.

And in the 9 to 12-year-old age category the winners were:

  • 1st prize: Gabrielle, Stony Plain, Alta.
  • 2nd prize: Megan, Calgary, Alta.
  • 3rd prize: Maïka, Trois-Pistoles, Que.

Teaching young Canadians the rail safety rules

OL’s “Get on Board with Rail Safety” art contest was a great way to keep kids busy and engaged during self-isolation. But more importantly, it exposed kids to rail safety basics such as understanding railway warning signs and signals, and just how dangerous trespassing on railway property and tracks can be.

“To stay safe around railway tracks, young Canadians need to know the rail safety basics. We hope this contest was a fun and accessible way to teach kids those important rail safety messages—and tap into their creativity at the same time,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.

Although not all of the children who entered the contest took home one of our great prize packages, we hope they gained something much more valuable—rail safety information that could save their lives.

We want to send out a big “thank you” to all of the young people who took the time to enter the contest. Check out all their amazing artwork on our contest webpage.