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Violence Prevention Grey Bruce has announced the winners of the Art For Change contest. Launched in October of 2019, the contest invited youth in grades 7-12 and adults with intellectual and cognitive disabilities to create art about healthy and unhealthy relationships. The winning submissions can now be seen at

“Teens and people living with cognitive or intellectual disabilities are among the most vulnerable to relationships violence”, said Jon Farmer, Violence Prevention Grey Bruce coordinator. “We launched this project to encourage conversations and amplify the messages that participants created. Youth especially are more likely to listen to each other and we figured that this art would be more engaging than messages created by adults”.

The contest included visual art categories for all ages and demographics as well as a video category for students in grades 9-12. The original deadline for submissions was pushed back to June by the pandemic lock down but the committee eventually received submissions from across Grey and Bruce counties.

Farmer said that the original plan for a public gathering to support and celebrate the artists had to be adjusted. The winners will still receive cash prizes but the awards event will now take place online this fall. The event details have yet to be confirmed but will be announced through Violence Prevention Grey Bruce’s website and social media channels.

“We received a grant from the Community Foundation Grey Bruce to help us amplify the messages and raise awareness about the submissions,” Farmer said. “Instead of creating a pop-up art gallery, we’re going to boost the art through our social media channels and hopefully in local media”.

Farmer added that the start of another school year is an ideal time to start these conversations because young people are reconnecting after a period of increased stress and isolation.

“Healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics need to be part of our everyday conversations with young people to help them develop the perspectives and skills they need to keep themselves and each other safe. Love shouldn’t hurt. Friendship shouldn’t hurt. Starting these conversations early and keeping them going throughout our lives is the best way to keep people safe”.
Visit for more information and to see all of the finalists.

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Visual Art: Grades 7-8 1st Prize – Kyra Bryja and Aleida Nelson

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Visual Art: Grades 9-12 1st Prize – Pankti Shah

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Visual Art: Adults with Intellectual and Cognitive Disabilities  1st Prize – Michael Dantas



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