19-year-old Nfld. student wins 35 Million Directors project
Published Monday, November 19, 2012 10:11AM EST
From flag-waving at sporting events to decorating knapsacks with maple leafs, Canadians have always found ways to showcase their national pride to the world. Now Cecil Johnson, a 19-year-old business student from Newfoundland, has captured the public’s imagination -- and a contest win -- with his video ode to Canada’s greatness.
In August 2012, Johnson, along with 8,000 other Canadians, took part in the 35 Million Directors project.
The project, launched by the Canadian Tourism Commission, asked Canadians to forward personal videos that captured Canada’s beauty from coast to coast. The top entries would later be used to create the CTC’s next international tourism campaign, and, hopefully, entice more visitors to Canada.
Johnson’s compelling video clip of icebergs moving off the coast of Newfoundland took the top honours in this contest.
“Iceberg flows are unique to Newfoundland and Labrador,” Johnson told CTV’s Canada AM on Monday from St. John’s, Nfld. “People in lots of other provinces just don’t get to see this.”
After learning about the call for submissions from an office co-worker, Johnson set out one day and spent 90 minutes shooting the icy and distinctive natural formations. He later sped up that footage so people could see how these mysterious icebergs moved and flipped in the water.
The win earned Johnson a $10,000 prize, which included $7,000 in travel vouchers and a $3,000 Best Buy gift card.
“That didn’t take long to spend,” Johnson said, with a grin. Within a week, Johnson used his gift card to buy a new lens and other goodies from the tech retailer.
Yet more meaningful still for Johnson was having the chance to share his heartfelt regard for his home province with other Canadians and the rest of the world.
“Canada is just so untouched,” said Johnson. “There’s lots of nature that is unexplored, and every province is so unique in its landscape and culture.
“You just can’t visit one province. You have to see them all.”