From left: Leo Omega member Nisalyna Bontiff, Lion Alvin Prescod (Peace poster competition committee Chairperson), Lion President Oralie Boirard, Lion Betty Ellis (Youth and Education Committee Chairperson), and Lion Maxime Larmonie.

PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Lions Club launched its annual peace poster competition at the Lions Civic Center in Sucker Garden on Tuesday. The theme for this year’s competition is “Journey of Peace.”

“This [theme – Ed.] fits exactly into the perspective in St. Maarten at this day, because schools started last month, in the month of August, and already you can see and hear of the various fights here and there. So, we believe if students focus on peace and really accept that peace, the situation at school will be a lot better and there will be less fights,” said Lions Club President Oralie Boirard.

The competition targets pupils in groups seven and eight of the primary schools and form one students of the high schools. All participants must be ages 11-13, with birthdates falling between November 16, 2005, and November 15, 2008.

Art workshops will be hosted by Tess Verheij of ArtCraftCafé Gallery and are scheduled to be held every Saturday from September 14 until October 19. The starting times of the workshops will be announced later, the Lions Club said on Tuesday.

“The idea behind the workshops is that if you have an idea, or struggling to get your idea out on paper, you can come to the workshop,” said Lions Peace Poster committee Chairperson Alvin Prescod.

The deadline for submission is October 25, with winners being announced on October 28. The local competition is part of Lions Club International’s worldwide peace poster competition and St. Maarten’s first-place winner will go on to be judged at the district level. Lions Club International has been hosting the peace poster competition for approximately 30 years, said Prescod.

One international grand prize winner will receive US $5,000 and an award. The grand prize winner, two family members (one being a parent or legal guardian) and the sponsoring club’s president will be invited to attend an awards ceremony. Additionally, 23 merit award winners will each receive $500 and a certificate of achievement.

Besides the age requirements, all submissions must be no smaller than 13 inches by 20 inches (33 centimetres by 50 centimetres) and no larger than 20 inches by 24 inches (50 centimetres by 60 centimetres). Entries must also not be matted, framed or laminated.

Only one entry per child is allowed and must be the work of a single individual. All artwork must be the child’s original creation and duplications will be disqualified. Additionally, three-dimensional entries will not be accepting, as nothing may be glued, stapled or otherwise attached to the artwork in any way.

The use of letters or numbers on the front of the poster is not allowed and the artist’s signatures or initials should be written on the back of the poster.

All forms of media are allowed. However, chalk, charcoal, and pastel entries should be sealed with a fixative spray to prevent smearing. Artwork should be done on a flexible material so it can be rolled in a mailing tube for shipping. Persons should not fold their posters.

“What we [St. Maarten Lions Club] are trying to do with the competition is not only to bring awareness, but also to make it more interesting for students to showcase their talent,” said Prescod.

“We have a lot of raw talent in St. Maarten and we believe that by providing this opportunity for the students [we would] give them a chance to develop art,” concluded Boirard.

For more information about the competition, persons can send an e-mail to

peaceposter@sxmlionsclub.org.