Doodle 4 Google winners show us their Canada

Over 12,000 young artists from across the country submitted entries based on the theme of "What I see for Canada's future is...", and we spoke to the winners!
The 2017 Doodle 4 Google winners and judges - 1 The winners of the 2017 Doodle 4 Google Canada contest are surrounded by presenters and judges of the competition. Left to right: AGO CEO Stephan Jost, Faizaan Buttar, professional Google doodler Sophie Diao, Amélie Fortier, Google Canada's Fab Dolan, Welsey Babin, ASAP Science's Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown, and Jana Sofia Panem. (Maria Cortellucci)

Do you know what the "Google Doodle" is? Even you don't know it by that exact name, you've probably see it many times before. But just to recap...

Normally when you visit the homepage for Google, you'll see something like this, right?

Google screenshot doodle

But often throughout the year, Google will feature an illustration that creatively spells out "Google" while speaking to a holiday, anniversary, or event. Here are some examples:

Canada Day 2016
canada day doodle 4 google

Last year's U.S. election day
us election doodle 4 google

The beginning of the Chinese Year of the Monkey (adorable!)
year of monkey doodle 4 google

As you can see, the results are playful and really open to whatever ideas strike the doodler.

Every year, Google holds the Doodle 4 Google contest, which encourages students to test their own skills and make a doodle for the search engine. The Canadian version of this contest announced its winners yesterday, June 13, at an event at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. And we were there!

Want to see the winners? You bet you do-dle!

The future of Canada

The theme given to the doodlers was "What I see for Canada's future is..." and the future of the country responded. Big time. Overall, Google received about 12,000 doodle entries to the contest. That's unbelievable!

The four Doodle 4 Google winners featured yesterday morning were selected from four age categories. They were:

A Beautiful World by Faizaan Buttar, British Columbia: Kindergarten — Grade 3
Doodle 4 Google K-3-A_BEAUTIFUL_WORLD(774X387)

A Mechanical Canada by Wesley Babin, New Brunswick: Grade 4 – 6
Doodle 4 Google 4-6-A_MECHANICAL_FUTURE(774X387).jpg

Mother Nature Prospers in Canada by Amélie Fortier, Quebec: Grade 7 – 9
Doodle 4 Google 7-9-MOTHER_NATURE(774X387)

A Bright Future by Jana Sofia Panem, Ontario: Grade 10 – 12
Doodle 4 Google 10-12-A_BRIGHT_FUTURE(774x387)

Go to Google now!

Doodle 4 Google national winner Jana Sofia Panem from Toronto, ON shows off her doodle

Jana is super excited to be chosen as the national winner! (Maria Cortellucci)

Each one of these winners received a new Google Chrome laptop and a $5,000 technology award for their school. But on top of all of this, there was a National Winner, too: Jana Sofia Panem! As the top prize winner, she also won a $10,000 technology award for her school, plus a $10,000 university scholarship for herself. And maybe best of all?

Her doodle is the featured Google Doodle on Google's homepage right now (June 14)! Not bad!

We got a chance to speak to both her and Wesley Babin about their "doodles" at the event in Toronto.

Jana Sofia Panem

Jana's piece looks painted. But this Grade 11 Toronto student's piece was actually first sketched on paper, then scanned into the computer and coloured.

OC: How long did it take for you to know what you were going to put in this image? Did you do a bunch of versions?

Jana: Actually, this only took one version. I already had the picture in my head and I just drew it out.

OC: How much art do you create in your own time?

Jana: Oh, a lot! There's a website where I posted all my artworks, and I often post there, like, every week. (laughs) I have a schedule!

OC: Now that you have this scholarship, what would you like to do?

Jana: I want to get into game design. Or animating. I find animating fun. I want to get to make things with my own stories and characters.

Wesley Babin

Doodle 4 Google Grade 4-6 Group winner Wesley Babin from Lower Cloverdale, NB

Wesley is all smiles after winning the Grade 4 – 6 category. (Maria Cortellucci)

Wesley's dad is a machinist. All those gadgets helped inspire this Moncton 9 year-old to build the only 3D entry of the contest.

OC: How did you arrive at using these shapes? How did you find stuff?

Wesley: The first time I found my stuff, it was little pieces of metal, like "Oh, that looks like an 'L', or whatever". Then I just put little pieces together, and I made the letter. Then I found the wood [that is the base], and I just put the letters on and that's what I made!

OC: What's this here exactly? [pointing to the top of the small "g"]

Wesley: A pocket watch.

OC: Where do you find these things?

Wesley: Daddy's basement.

OC: Does your father build a lot of stuff?

Wesley: Yes, he does.

OC: And he just lets you play around?

Wesley: He let's me pick around with it. A lot!

OC: Do you build anything else like this?

Wesley: Dogs, cats, cannons, people, robots...

OC: And how are you finding this event? Is it overwhelming?

Wesley: Uh, yeah. It's really overwhelming!


But super awesome! Congratulations to all of the winners. So... who's ready to enter Doodle 4 Google 2018?

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