Local Optimist Club calling on youth to submit art for benches at Kay Cee Gardens

April 29, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

The Optimist Club of Orangeville is revamping the park benches at Kay Cee Gardens and calling on youth in the community to utilize their artistic talents and submit fresh new ideas to adorn them.

The benches at Kay Cee Gardens were hand painted many years ago, but the paint has since faded, leading the Optimist Club to launch its 2021 Art Contest for Youth.

“It’s been a difficult time for many and we wanted to create an event that would involve our local youth, looking to our beloved Kay Cee Gardens, where Christmas in The Park has been held for the past 27 years, we realized the park benches were crying out for a facelift,” said Tina Clare of the local Optimist Club.

The contest is open now and accepting electronic submissions until July 1st from individuals in the Orangeville area age 8 to 18.  The panels are 6ft long by 11 inches in height. Those who enter the contest can make their artwork proportionately smaller in size. They should then scan or photograph for high resolution reproduction.  There is a template with dimensions on the Orangeville Optimist website and Facebook page. The artwork files will be enlarged for printing on an aluminum/composite panel that will then be permanently affixed to the benches.

To enter the contest, send a photo of your artwork to Tina Clare via email at cjclare0107@gmail, along with your name, age and school. The judges will select 13 winners. And there will be prizes awarded to those selected.

There is no particular theme for the art contest, but bold vibrant colours will work best.

Clare said she’s hoping to have the panels printed and installed by September or October at Kay Cee Gardens, just in time for the opening of Christmas in The Park.

She told the Citizen, the Optimist Club of Orangeville’s main focus is on uplifting local youth.

“Our club mandate has always been to bring out the best in kids, so we work towards that,” she noted. 

Clare said it’s been tricky lately as the Club would normally be holding its annual Bike Rodeo at local elementary schools.

Last year’s Virtual Bike Roadeo was well received but the Optimist Club are not planning that initiative at this time.

In terms of the art contest, Clare says she unsure of how many submissions to expect, but the local Optimist Club’s Facebook posts about the contest quickly gained momentum with people sharing it to their pages – the excitement is building.

The cost for each bench will be approximately $100. Installation will be done voluntarily by the dedicated members of the local Optimist Club, who take great pride in the beautiful Kay Cee Gardens.

The Club is seeking sponsors to help pay for the cost of the printed panels.

Through the Club’s affiliation with Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation (CCOF) – sponsors will be eligible for a tax receipt. 

Clare said she encourages all youth in the community to get creative and create a piece of art for the contest while everyone is once again stuck at home under the current lockdown.

Looking ahead to later in the year, the Optimist Club is hoping to run their regular events and club meetings, once the COVID-19 pandemic comes under control.

To learn more about the art contest and the Orangeville Optimist, visit their website at: or Facebook Page at

The CCOF website can also be found at

Pictured above are examples of the hand painted benches at Kay Cee Gardens that will be getting a facelift with new art from youth in the community.

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