Over 300 students across the territory recently participated in the Let's Be Aware 2020 calendar challenge.
The Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission (NULC) encouraged Nunavut youth to submit drawings illustrating responsible approaches to alcohol.
Haley Hachey, the grand prize winner, received a $250 gift card. Her drawing was featured on the cover of the 2020 calendar in addition to the month of December.
"I wanted to create this poster to show that you can have fun without alcohol while not losing touch with your culture," wrote Hachey.
According to Hachey, in Nunavut alcohol abuse is a "big problem" for a lot of people and it affects teenagers. "People our age only do it because they see older people do it and think it can help with their problems or that it will make them have more fun. What they don't realize is how much damage it can do," wrote the teenager referring to alcohol.
The other 11 winners received a $100 gift card and had their artwork showcased as one of the months. Winner Esther Tarraq also created a drawing to show how alcohol is not needed to have fun.
"It ruins so many peoples' lives. I wanted to make a piece of artwork that shows how good life can be without alcohol," explained Tarraq.
With their artwork, other students tried to illustrate the negative impacts of alcoholism on one's health, family and community.
"You should stop drinking alcohol, not just for your own health but for other people you are close to," wrote Grade 9 student Kassidy Klinger.
"I've seen people that I care about negatively affected by alcohol. A lot of the time they weren't around to watch their children grow up, so it had a big effect on their family," explained Klinger.
According to Dan Young, Director of NULC, the calendar challenge is a way
of trying to educate youth about the responsible use of alcohol.
"The campaign encourages those who choose to drink do so responsibly following Canada's low-risk use guidelines," said Young.
Hard copies of the calendars were sent to all schools and distributed to every community as well as 250 copies distributed at the NULC store in Iqaluit.
A digital copy of the calendar is available at https://www.responsiblenunavut.ca/sites/default/files/public/lba_calendar_2020.pdf.