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The cooperative held an awards ceremony at Northern Lights College’s Energy House for its “Nature’s Energy Art Contest.” The 63 submissions received ranged from photographs to paintings to digital illustrations and more.

With the wind towers on Bear Mountain visible from almost anywhere in Dawson Creek, it’s perhaps not surprising that wind energy was a common theme among the submissions. Eight-year-old Malana Loxam, for example, was the winner in the junior youth category for her watercolour painting called “Rainbow Mill,” which depicted a wind tower on a multi-coloured background. Her efforts earned her a small-scale wind turbine set. Her younger brother, Austin, 6, was the honourable mention in that category for his watercolour painting called “Point of Power,” which earned him a copy of local photographer Don Pettit’s book, “Power Shift,” that documents the construction of the Bear Mountain Wind Park.

Nina Zhang, 14, was also inspired by the wind energy, but she used Sumo Paint, an online image editor and drawing application, to create the silhouette of a wind tower on a background featuring waves of colour and “Cascading Bubbles,” an effect that inspired the name of the piece.

“I thought about waves, energy, and wind turbines and I thought it would be a great idea,” said Zhang. “At first, I thought about doing solar energy, but after I did the clouds and such, I noticed it looked really like water, and if I added some things it would look really beautiful, so I just changed it.”

The digital illustration won her top prize in the senior youth category, earning her a fuel cell kit.

Zhang also won the honourable mention in that category for “Go With the Flow,” another digital illustration depicting the Bear Mountain Wind Park with a background of trees with leaves in autumn colours. She said she took a photograph of the Bear Mountain Wind Park in October and was inspired by the autumn colours and the connection between the wind towers and the season. She earned a copy of Power Shift for that piece.

The wind park inspired two winners in the adult category. Lorraine Beggs won first place and $500 for her photograph entitled, “Windmills in the Midst 2,” depicting a windmill barely visible amidst a deep fog on the mountain. The membership of Peace Energy also selected Begg’s photo as their “member’s choice,” which earned her a framed, giclée (high quality ink-jet print) copy of her photo.

The honourable mention in the adult category was a photograph called “Gold at the End of the Rainbow” by Michelle Greenwood, which shows the wind park highlighted by a rainbow streaking through the background. The photo earned Greenwood a copy of Power Shift.

The second-place winner in that category, Alice Langlois, took home $250 for her piece entitled, “In Our Grasp,” which used digital software to create the likeness of a canvass oil painting.

Finally, the only video entry submitted in the contest earned Sarah Ashwell, 17, an overall honourable mention. Ashwell has been a dancer of tap, jazz and lyrical styles for about 14 years, and she used her talent to come up with an interpretive dance to the timeless Beatles tune, “Here Comes the Sun.”

“It’s hard to find music about energy, but it really worked well!” she said of the song selection.

Ashwell said she used some common dance techniques, combined with her own interpretation of how windmills move, to come up with the dance. She said she practiced for about two weeks and had help from instructor Emily Parsons.

“It was so much fun, and it really felt like a unique thing to do, because that’s how I interpret art – I’m not really much of a drawer or anything!” she said.

She won a copy of Power Shift for her efforts.

Valerie Gilson, interim executive director for the Peace Energy Cooperative, said the membership of the cooperative was very pleased with the entries, and they hope to make the art contest an annual event.


Nina Zhang, 14, won first place in the senior youth category of the “Nature’s Energy Art Contest” with this digital illustration. Zhang also won an honourable mention in that category for another digital illustration she submitted.


This watercolour painting entitled “Rainbow Mill” earned Malana Loxam, 8, first prize in the junior youth category of the “Nature’s Energy Art Contest.” Her brother, Austin, 6, was the honourable mention in that category for his watercolour painting, “Point of Power.” The siblings were presented with their prizes by Valerie Gilson, interim executive director for the Peace Energy Cooperative.



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