17 Jul 2010 National Post
BY DANA LACEY Financial Post
When I was younger, I used to fear growing up
They are often part of an invisible group but chances are you know a kid
with a disability. One in five Canadian families is raising a child with
significant emotional, behavioural or developmental disability.
And sometimes, more challenging than their disability is the limits put on
them by society. Growing up is tough enough without people telling you what
you can - or cannot - do.
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto hopes to challenge
the myths of disability with a new online video contest. Budding filmmakers
can flex their skills for Filmpossible, a contest that encourages people of
all ages and abilities to pick up a camcorder - even their cellphones - to
create short films that bring visibility to disability and show the
possibilities for children living with disabilities.
"Filmpossible is a unique opportunity for filmmakers to dispel myths,
perhaps by showcasing achievements or showing changes we can make," said
Christa Haanstra, senior director, communications and public affairs. "By
entering this contest, you can help Holland Bloorview change the way the
world views childhood disability."
The deadline for uploading videos to filmpossible.ca is Aug. 31.
Entrants can increase their chances of becoming a finalist by entering early
and encouraging their friends and family to vote for them online.
Three of the six finalists will be chosen by online public voting, while
another three will be selected by a panel of celebrity judges.
After that, the public can vote for their favourite video. The first-place
winner will receive $5,000, second place is worth $500 and third is valued
Three honourable mentions will each get a flip video camcorder donated by
Cisco Canada, an international company that deals in consumer electronics
Cisco also will donate $1 for every online vote until October, up to $5,000.
"Holland Bloorview is the leading pediatric rehabilitation centre in Canada
and a true trailblazer, leveraging innovation to deliver worldclass support
and services to its patients and constituents," says Nitin Kawale,
president, Cisco Canada.
"Holland Bloorview's commitment to harnessing technology to create
opportunities for children with disabilities is inspirational and aligned
with Cisco's goals to drive technology to transform lives and communities."
The celebrity judges include MuchMusic personality Trevor Boris, writer and
journalist Ian Brown (who wrote the bestselling book The Boy in the Moon
about his disabled son), Allen Braude of The Toronto International Film
Festival, singer/songwriter Justin Hines (who has Larsen's Syndrome),
actress/comedian Nikki Payne, whose lisp and cleft lip align her with
Holland Bloorview's issues, Tania B. Reilly of the Canadian Film Centre
Worldwide Short Film Festival and Karen Shopsowitz, an independent filmmaker
whose documentary One Summer at Camp Winston explores a camp for children
with complex neurological disorders.
"When I was younger, I used to fear growing up. I thought my adulthood would
be spent struggling to do daily tasks of living and never experiencing
things that ablebodied people my age would," said Gabriella Carafa, 22, of
Toronto, a youth ambassador for Filmpossible.
She uses a wheelchair because of a neuro-muscular disorder that affects her
"Holland Bloorview helped me to see the possibilities for people with
disabilities. With this contest, we will be able to reach more people to
show them what can be achieved," she said.
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