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Connected by Community Challenge

Compassionate communities are gaining momentum across Ontario. Help us celebrate our communities by sharing your talents and stories with us.

We’ve been through a lot together over the past year. As a global community, we’ve learned to work together on a massive scale to fight the pandemic. In our local communities, we’ve learned how compassion and caring is needed more than ever to honour those we have lost, and to keep the rest of us safe. As our hopes for the future turn to recovery, let’s take a moment to recognize the importance of community, the resilience of our people, and the many ways we need to stay connected.

Communities are connected through creativity, recognizing that people of all ages and circumstances have talents to share. Telling stories is powerful means to connect and inspire – the best stories teach us about life, help us understand each other better and discover common ground and purpose. We are challenging you to share your creativity and life stories that relate to one or more of these important compassionate community themes:


  • Dying, Loss, Grief and Remembrance

  • Compassion, kindness and caring for others

  • Resiliency (surviving and thriving in the pandemic)

This challenge is open to any resident of Ontario of any age. Submissions are accepted until September 6, 2021. Winners will be selected for each age, creative and story category. Special recognition will be awarded to highest ranked submissions from members of Indigenous, black, or LGBTQ2+ communities, or people with disabilities. Winners will be determined by a volunteer panel of community judges and announced August 2021.

All submissions will be showcased in a virtual community exhibition and will be considered for inclusion in a Connected by Community Talent video and Community Stories Virtual program.

In a compassionate community, people can share their time and talent with others, and people are supported by their community to thrive






Important Dates


a. The Community Challenge opens June 28

b. Submissions will be accepted up to end of December 2021

c. Awards night and launch of Connected by Community Virtual Exhibit in January 2022




a. The top ranked submission in each topic and age category will receive a cash prize of $100. There are 5 topic categories for the Creative Communities Challenge and 4 categories for the Community Story Challenge. Age categories are youth (1-18) adults (19-64) and seniors (65+)

b. To promote inclusion, celebrate diversity, and recognize the many voices and faces that make up community, special recognition prizes will also be awarded to the highest ranked submissions in each category contributed by an individual who self-identifies as part of one of the following diverse communities:

i. Indigenous Communities

ii. LGBTQ+ Communities

iii. People with disabilities

iv. ABC (African, Black, Caribbean) Communities

c. Winners will be announced during our Virtual Awards Night and launch of our Connected by Community Virtual Exhibition. All participants and their families will be invited to view submissions, and interact with our sponsors, judges, and event coordinators.

Who Can Enter?


a. Any resident of Ontario

b. All ages are welcome to participate – we are encouraging young people, adults and seniors to all participate.


Creative Community Challenge – Details


a. Please submit an ORIGINAL piece of work that showcases your creativity in the categories of:

  • Art

  • Photography or Film or Video

  • Music

  • Poetry or Literature

  • Pick Your Talent (e.g., handiwork, crafts, culinary skills, dance, sport). This category is for any talent not represented above. Be creative!

b. Each submission must be accompanied by a written statement or video about why and how the work demonstrates one or more of these important compassionate community themes:

  • Dying, Loss, Grief and Remembrance

  • Compassion, kindness and caring for others

  • Resiliency (surviving and thriving in the pandemic)

c. Original work can be submitted in the form of videos, photos, audio files, or written documents, depending on your talent and piece of work.

d. You can enter more than once, but each piece of work must be original

e. It is expected that all creative submissions will be showcased as part of the Connected by Community Virtual Exhibition. A highlights video may also be prepared following the awards, to be aired at a special Virtual Community Centre event. The video may be offered to community cable TV stations, hospices, seniors’ homes to further connect isolated residents through special entertainment events

Community Story Challenge - Details


a. Please submit your best and most inspiring life story in the categories of:

  • Inspiring ELDERS

  • Inspiring YOUTH



b. Each story must include a reflection about why and how this person’s life story demonstrates one or more of these important compassionate community themes:

  • Dying, Loss, Grief and Remembrance

  • Compassion, kindness and caring for others

  • Resiliency (surviving and thriving in the pandemic)

c. The story must be true – it can be your own story, or the story of someone you know who deserves recognition and our collective appreciation

d. Stories can be written or videotaped.

e. Written stories should be no longer than 750 words – photographs may also be included to accompany the story.


f. It is expected that all story submissions will be showcased as part of the Connected by Community Virtual Exhibition and considered for future inclusion in a special Connected by Community Story Program that will be offered on the Virtual Community Centre.




a. Submission form and details can be found at

b. Upon submission, participants will receive a confirmation email, indicating that your submission has been received.


c. If needed, volunteers may contact you in order to verify submission details (confirmation of identity, age, residence, and originality of work)


d. Submissions that contain inappropriate material (nudity, language, illegal activities) are prohibited. All submissions deemed to be inappropriate will be destroyed. Submissions containing evidence of illegal activities will be reported to appropriate authorities.



a. Submissions will be judged following the submission deadline.

b. Submissions will be judged within their respective topic, age, and special recognition categories.

c. Judging of submissions will be based on a number of criteria including, but not limited to skill level, creativity, originality, and ability to represent the chosen theme.


d. Judges’ decisions are final.


Additional Rules


a. Written and video submissions will be accepted in either English or French languages. Submissions in other languages will also be accepted, however participants must understand that in these cases, we cannot guarantee that the submission will be judged in its original language, and we may need to use google translate in the judging process


b. It is our intention to provide an honest, fun, and energizing contest. Contestants are reminded that community spirit and goodwill will prevail in all judgements. Any contestants found to be cheating will be disqualified.


c. All questions or problems relating to the Connected by Community Challenge are to be sent to the challenge email


d. Participants must abide by all COVID-19 measure being implemented within their respective regions.


e. Promotors, organizers, or sponsors of the Community Challenge are not responsible for death, injury, illness, damage, liability, theft, fire, or any loss to any participants in the course of creating their submissions.


f. Practice safety at all times!

Rights of Use

This challenge is about sharing time, talents, and stories in order to build more connected communities.

a. All videos, images, audio, and documents submitted to the Connected by Community Challenge will remain the sole and exclusive property of the participant.

b. Upon submission, each participant grants HPCO/ WECCC permission a right to use their documents/files/ images for a 2021 Connected by Community Virtual Exhibit Gallery, Talent video and/or Community Story program in order to build more connected communities.

c. HPCO, WECCC and any of the organizations associations with the Connected by Community Challenge have NO rights to edit, revise or use your work for profit, to raise revenue or for any other commercial purpose (unless with your explicit knowledge and permission)

d. Participants may opt out of granting HPCO rights to use their materials for the purposes above by emailing us at


Thank you to our sponsors!

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario

Community Support Centre of Essex and the Windsor Essex Compassion Care Community Program

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