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Lights! Cameras! Pink!

Guest post by Jason Small, Canadian Red Cross Communication Advisor in Manitoba

The 2015 Canadian Red Cross Day of Pink on April 8th reached across the entire province of Manitoba with more than 335 schools and workplaces joining in on the celebrations.

The main event was the inaugural Day of Pink Film Festival, which was held at The Park Theatre in Winnipeg. Students from across the province took part in the festival both in-person and via the Internet. Using web conferencing, students at two schools in different parts of Manitoba played a role in the festival, while students at other schools were able to watch the entire event live via web streaming.

In total, eight student-made films, made by six different schools, were submitted and all of them were nominated in the three age categories. All eight of the flicks were posted on YouTube two weeks before Day of Pink and everyone was given the opportunity to vote for their favourites by liking them on YouTube. The video with the most likes on YouTube won the fourth category, the RBC Believes in Kids Viewers’ Choice Award.

On Day of Pink itself, more than 150 people, including 120 students, were in attendance at the first-ever Film Festival. That included students from all but one of the schools that submitted films. The students came from Winnipeg but also from Gimli, MacGregor and Ashern, which are between one and two hours outside of Winnipeg.

Day of Pink Film Festival winntersIn the end, the students from Ashern Central School took home two awards, winning the Early Years category and the RBC award for the film “Together is Better.” Dr. George Johnson School in Gimli scored the top prize in the Middle Years category for “Stop!” The High School category award went to the film “No One is Born a Bully,” produced by Kildonan East Collegiate in Winnipeg.
The students were excited to be a part of the event and let everyone watching know with their loud cheers.  Thanks to web conferencing, everyone at the theatre could also see and hear the students from Springfield Middle School in Oakbank as they cheered from their gym and talked about why taking part in Day of Pink is important.

Students from 14 different schools in the Frontier School Division also were set to take part, as they were gathered at Gillam School in Gillam, more than 1,000 km northeast of Winnipeg. Unfortunately, the Internet in the community went down so the rest of the province could not see the more than 300 students in their pink shirts, as planned. However, the students were heard by everyone watching the festival as they were connected via telephone to cheer and talk about their Day of Pink.

At the main location in Winnipeg, the children were treated to guest appearances from top radio personality Ace Burpee of 103.1 Virgin Radio, former Blue Bomber greats Obby Khan and Milt Stegall (via a pre-recorded video) and bodybuilder Glenn Ferguson, with members of the RCMP opening the doors of the theatre dressed in their red serge uniforms.

While the Film Festival was the main event, there were many other Day of Pink events held throughout Manitoba, with more than 15,000 people wearing Canadian Red Cross Day of Pink shirts with their distinctive puzzle design.

You can watch all of the students’ movies, including the winning entries below:

To watch the festival in its entirety, including the awards presentations, click here: .
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