TRENTON – Twelve-year-old Amber Butler’s artistic talents have earned her two grand prize trips and a whole lot of cash.
The Trenton Middle School student was recently awarded first place in two poster contests that have awarded her trips to Ottawa and Montreal in addition to $5,000 for both herself and her school.
“I just really love to draw and my mom is an artist so we have a lot of different art stuff in our house, but this was the first time I ever entered a poster contest,” she said.
Butler entered the Fight for Canada: The War of 1812 poster contest and won first place in Nova Scotia. She will be spending a week in the Montreal and Niagara regions, beginning July 8, visiting some of the most important national historic sites connected with the War of 1812. The first, second and third place national winners are expected to be announced in a week and Butler is hoping her name is on the list so she can win a laptop computer.
Around the same time, she entered the Here in Canada contest with a different poster and was awarded the grand prize in the 10- to 12-year-old category. This prize includes a trip to Ottawa during the Canada Day celebrations as well as $5,000 for herself and $5,000 for her school to be used for art supplies and the professional development of art teachers. Her artwork will also be showcased online and in a gallery for three years and it will become part of a national video montage.
Butler, the daughter of Kelly and Glen Butler of Egypt Road, said she plans on putting some of her $5,000 away, but might take a bit for shopping when she travels this summer.
She said she looked at entries from past winners and didn’t know if she had a chance on winning the contest, but it didn’t stop her from putting her best work forward.
“I did a lot of research on the War of 1812,” she said. “It took me the entire day to research it and I watched a PBS documentary on the war. I had some different ideas about what I wanted it to look like.”
She said she worked on this poster for an entire weekend and was pleased with the finished product. Butler added that the Here in Canada poster was a bit easier because she knows more about Canada than the War of 1812, but it also took her a few days to complete.
Butler said she will continue to draw in the future, but she isn’t completely sure it will one day be her career choice.
“It would be fun to be an artist, but it’s hard to make a living,” she said. “I will probably do it as a pastime.”