National winner – Write it! Emily Zbaraschuk

Original text

This is Emily’s written piece. The original version was submitted in English.

Where We Are From

Some ask where we’re going, some ask who we’ll be,
Some ask what’s the future for you and for me.
But if we’re to know how far we may come,
We must find the answer to where we are from.

We’re from landscapes that captivate, change, and delight,
From oceans and prairies and mountains of white,
Formed by the wind and shaped by the sun,
A country so vast, and yet we are one.

We’re from crisp winter mornings, warmed by a drink,
To late-evening poutine, served fresh at the rink.
From clambakes and barbeques; bannock and stew,
Spring rolls and cabbage rolls; old mixed with new.

We’re from “Thank you” and “Pardon” and “Oui, s’il vous plaît,”
In every language from zed to “eh?”
We’re from saying “we’re sorry” when it’s clear to see,
There never was need for an apology.

We’re from steel blades and laces on a ribbon of ice,
To a tongue stuck to metal when we didn’t think twice,
From the beam of a lighthouse to a speed-driven sled,
And leaves waving proudly in crimson and red.

We’re from toe tapping fiddlers; a powwow drum’s beat,
And fine feathered dancers taking flight through their feet.
We’re from a western stampede and a musical ride,
To fireworks bursting on the First of July.

We’re from painters whose brush strokes capture our souls,
And writers whose stories are ours to be told.
We’re from characters brought to life on the page,
And music and laughter encored on the stage.

We’re from sowers and keepers, collectors and reapers,
Inventors, creators, and leap of faith leapers,
Whose persistence and daring have helped us to soar,
To keep seeking answers, to dig and explore.

We’re from a man who made good as the great ninety-nine,
To one who brought hope, one step at a time,
From soldiers who fought to undo the wrong;
Our heroes, their legacies’, still living on.

We’re from conflict and courage; beginnings so bright.
We’ve reached for a vision just beyond sight:
An inkling of greatness, a future so bold,
Built by ambition and forged in the cold.

We’re from a mural of cultures in rich, vibrant hues,
Our strength’s drawn from tolerance of all different views.
From English and French; Cree and Metis;
Old Country immigrants and new refugees.

Working together, we’ve prospered and gained,
Sought grace for our errors, chased dreams unrestrained.
Through hardships, we’ve risen, determined that we
Might live without fear in a land, strong and free.

We’re from hope for the future and pride in the past,
Fostered through principles, firm and steadfast.
We’re from all that we’ve been and all that we’ll be,
Millions of hearts all glowing for thee,
O Canada!

The National Winner, Emily Zbaraschuk

Emily Zbaraschuk
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
14 years old

To know what inspired Emily, view the artist statement.

Artist statement

“My entry is a poem that celebrates the objects, places, people, and ideas that have made Canada great and will continue to make Canada great. I believe our future will be built on what we come from, which is shown in my poem.”
– Emily

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