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Aspiring young artists can showcase drawings in Wildlife Federation's fish art contest

The deadline for entries is Tuesday, April 30.
The goal of the program is to get the younger generation thinking about Saskatchewan’s outdoor spaces, native wildlife, and to expand their knowledge of what the province has to offer.

Aspiring young artists and outdoor enthusiasts now have a chance to enter an art contest thanks to the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation’s (SWF) 2024 Fish Artwork Contest set to commence throughout the month of April.  

The contest is open to students from around Saskatchewan in Grades 4 – 6 and runs from April 1 – 30. Each work of art must contain a rendition of a game fish that’s native to the province.

The deadline for entries is Tuesday, April 30, and applicants will have some leeway for post-dated works that arrive up to a few days later to account for traditional mail delivery times.

The goal of the program is to get the younger generation thinking about Saskatchewan’s outdoor spaces, native wildlife, and to expand their knowledge of what the province has to offer.

“It’s good to see the artwork coming in and kids taking time to think about what we have in our waters in this province,” said Doug Gibson, the director of education at the SWF.

Once the drawings have been received, a panel of judges keeps narrowing down the entries until only the top 10 remain. When all entries have been submitted, judges pick the top three contest winners and make the announcement in May.

The judging process aims to be as fair as possible, so the 10 or so judges participate in a vote. These judges are comprised of long-serving staff members at the SWF, and Gibson said several of them have been working there and serving as judges for more than two decades.

“(The judges) have done it quite a few times (and) they’ve seen a little bit of everything,” Gibson said.

The top three contest winners are then awarded with a prize package offered by the SWF. This package includes a rod and reel, SWF swag, and the winning artists get their picture taken to be featured in the Outdoor Canada West magazine.

For an idea on where to begin, Gibson said many submissions reference someone fishing and the picture can contain a boat, fishing rod, and perhaps a stick figure fishing from the boat – as long as the fish species is clearly represented in the drawing.

Art submissions are accepted across a wide range of media, and Gibson said he’s accepted drawings that were done in black and white, pencil crayon, crayon, and he even received a few watercolour paintings.

There are only two types of media that will not be accepted: anything that has been traced and anything that has been generated electronically by using a computer.

When it comes to advice on creating an award-winning masterpiece, Gibson said the key is to be creative.

“(One of the previous pictures) that was submitted was a fish jumping out of water, and it was actually done really well. I don’t know, it was just different. It doesn’t have to be this absolutely picture perfect (drawing), like that one wasn’t perfect – it was just really cool,” Gibson explained.

“I would tell a kid, ‘Even if you don’t think it’s good, submit it, because you never know.’”

The preferred method of submission is through traditional mail and all artworks must be an original creation. Each drawing must be done on standard 8.5" (21.59 cm) by 11" (27.94 cm) paper.

Once completed, submissions can be mailed to the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation Central Office at 9 Lancaster Road, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, with postal code S6J 1M8. All letters should be to the attention of Doug Gibson, Director of Education.

Gibson is reminding all potential applicants not to forget the addition of their name, grade, teacher, and school on the back of the drawing.

For more information, visit the SWF in person at 9 Lancaster Road, online at, or call 306-692-8812.