Niagara, ON – From a field of 45 entries, nine-year-old Taylor Byford of Thorold has been selected as the artist of the 2008 Niagara Health System (NHS) holiday greeting card. As the winning entry, Taylor's artwork is now on the front cover of the NHS holiday greeting card, being distributed to community members and partner organizations throughout the region.
Complete with a building representing a hospital, Taylor's watercolour depicts angels watching over and a grouping of people around a Christmas tree. Taylor is the daughter of Lisa Byford, Dietary Aide at Welland Hospital Site. The family resides in Thorold, where Taylor is in Grade four at Richmond Street School.
Since Grade one, Taylor has shown promise in art, her mother says proudly. "Her teacher told Taylor then that she was good in art," Byford says. "Her artwork has been chosen before and it is certainly something she enjoys. She was disappointed to miss the NHS contest last year because she really enjoys the holidays."
In October, all children and grandchildren aged 12 or under of NHS staff, physicians and volunteers were invited to participate in an artwork contest giving them the chance of being selected as the acclaimed artist of the card. Judges were Board Chair Betty-Lou Souter, CEO Debbie Sevenpifer, and 2007 President's Award of Excellence recipient Monica Koepke.
"We were impressed by the quality and the detail in Taylor's work, as well as the variety of symbols she painted," said Debbie Sevenpifer, NHS President and CEO. "It was a pleasure to see all of the entries and Betty-Lou, Monica and I had a difficult time selecting the overall winner."
"There is a lot of skill and creativity put forth by all artists and we wished we could have used them all as the NHS holiday card," said Betty-Lou Souter. "Unfortunately, we could only choose one winner for the card itself."
Given the high calibre of the entries, the judging panel thought it only fair to also select runners-up across four age categories. The runners-up, who reside across Niagara, are:
- Ages 3-5 - Breanne Rochat, 5, Virgil, daughter of Lou-Ann Grimwood-Rochat, Manager of Inpatient Medicine at Welland Hospital Site
- Ages 6-8 - Sarah Pastore, 8, Fonthill, daughter of Kerry Pastore, Resource Centre Representative at Welland Hospital Site
- Ages 9-12 - Olivia Reynolds, 9, Niagara Falls, granddaughter of Sharon Reynolds, Registered Practical Nurse, Day Surgery at Ontario Street Street
This is the second year for the contest. Last year, the winner was 11-year-old Joanna Aiello of Welland.
The interior of the card was designed by Joe Comazzolo of ADF Design in Welland, who also generously donated the prize to be awarded to Taylor; an impressive kit of art supplies.
"It was a pleasure to be involved in such a heartwarming and inspirational project," said Sevenpifer. "We were very pleased that there was in increase in the number of entries this year and look forward to viewing the entries next year!"
Taylor will be presented with her prize and a framed copy of her artwork by Debbie Sevenpifer and Betty-Lou Souter on Tuesday, December 16, at the Welland Hospital Site Auditorium, at 5:30 p.m. Members of the media are welcome to attend this special photo opportunity.