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REPORTING · 14th July 2014
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Museum and Archives held a writing contest earlier this year as a part of an upcoming exhibit, ‘Kitimat Questions Energy.’ Eight students entered short stories into this contest and the three winners and an honourable mention were awarded prizes at the Kitimat Museum on Thursday, July 3rd. The exhibit will start on August 29th and runs until October 18th.

“We asked grades 9 to 12, the students in those grades to participate in our ‘Kitimat Questions Energy’ Short Story Writing Competition,” said Museum Curator, Louise Avery. “We wanted to get the students interested in writing on energy theme. It had to have an energy theme and had to be between 500 and 1000 words.”

Jas Dhillon received honourable mention. He wrote about a regular guy who goes diving and gets trapped by an ocean current. He considers an invention to generate energy but the companies take the profit. In the end, he gets the recognition but the company gets the money.

His story was influenced by a picture he saw of underwater current and he thought an underwater windmill would be a good concept. When he finishes high school, he wants to get a job in pharmaceuticals.

Third place, Alysia Luethje’s story was about a slave which uses coal to power a city. It is a hard life. His left leg and right arm have been replaced by ‘bio ware’ appendages. He goes home to contemplate a better way. When the factory explodes, he goes on an adventure to find a better fuel source.

“I think there is a better way to have energy and use energy and not to pollute the environment. That was my inspiration,” said Luethje. She wants to be a theatre technician when she completes high school.

In second place was Brennan Bantle. He wrote a cautionary tale about a colony space ship which is breaking down. It was built around alien artifacts which no one really understands. The ship’s engineer opens the artifact to talk to it…

“Technology in general, if we don’t understand what we’re using, we don’t understand the implications,” said Bantle.

The inspiration for his story came from the idea of the black box, which is a trope. A device with an input or and an output but no one knows what is happening on the inside. He wants to go into the medical profession when he finishes high school.

The first place winner, Candace Abercrombie wrote about a world of poverty in her book, with the upper class segregated from the lower class. The lower class are trying to stop this because they do not think it’s fair. The influence from her story came from Suzanne Collins ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy. When she finishes high school, she wants to be an artist.

Her work has been republished on this site. Read it by clicking here.

Three local writers, Robin Rowland of North Coast Energy News who is co-curating the exhibit, Cameron Orr from the Northern Sentinel, and Haisla Author Eden Robinson who wrote Monkey Beach, were selected to judge the entries.

The coming exhibit will consist of 10 panels of questions which have been gathered from the people of Kitimat relating to the upswing in the oil and gas industry. Each panel will deal with a different topic.

“We are asking artists in the Northwest Region are interested in putting a piece in Kitimat questions energy. We are asking to hear from them. It has to have an energy theme, the painting,” said Avery. “We need to hear from people by August 1st, if they are interested in putting a piece in our exhibit.”

There will also be a speaking series on Canadian Energy Strategy and Policy on September 20th. The confirmed speakers are Dr. Andrew Leach from the University of Alberta and Dr. Kathryn Harrison, a professor at UBC. Both are experts on Energy Policy.

The museum is talking about doing a writing contest again next year, for a second phase of the exhibit in November 2015. The reason for this was because there was not enough time or room to publish the responses which were received from the respondents. The questions will be sent to governments, organization and companies in the private sector.