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October 21, 2019 7:44 AM

Graphic Design and PR students support non-profits during creative blitz

During a 24-hour creative blitz, students and faculty from Conestoga’s Graphic Design advanced diploma program and Public Relations degree program volunteered to help non-profits across Canada promote their social causes through the development of pro bono marketing and public relations materials.

Conestoga College - Creative Day for Social Good 2019.jpg
Conestoga graphic design and public relations students developed pro bono marketing materials for 15 non-profits as part of Creative Day for Social Good. Student teams presented their work on October 18 at Google's Kitchener office.

Known as Creative Day for Social Good (CD4SG), the annual event is presented in partnership with Capacity Canada, Intertek Catalyst, Google, Manulife, Him & Her and the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation. 

This year, approximately 100 students collaborated in teams that were supported by art directors, writers and account managers who worked to finish projects that included website redesigns, brochures, videos and other assets. For the first time, the creative teams worked at the Kitchener offices of Google where they began developing materials on October 17; teams presented their work to clients the following morning.

“It’s been quite a journey. If you’ve never been through this event before and you saw these people heads-down getting so much work done throughout the night -- it’s amazing. It’s just amazing the amount of work that’s been done,” said Terry McGuire, vice president of Intertek Catalyst, who welcomed students, partners and representatives from the non-profits during the reveal on October 18. 

Together, teams typically produce more than $100,000 worth of pro bono work during CD4SG. This year, 72 organizations applied for 15 available spots and organizers hope the social impact of the event will continue to grow for Canada’s non-profit community. 

“The work done is nothing compared to the work that you do as charities and non-profits,” added McGuire. “It’s nothing compared to the work you’ve got to do now to get these materials that have been created for you out in the community to help you with your own initiatives.”

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with the students,” said Ruel Navia, marketing and communications manager for Engineers Without Borders -- one of this year's CD4SG clients. “We have a lot of students involved that are engineers, but we don’t have a lot of people who are creative so being able to tap into this event is fantastic for us. The students’ presentation was amazing.”

The organization turned to CD4SG to help expand its recruitment of volunteers; the student team delivered assets that Engineers Without Borders can use to increase awareness of the organization and its initiatives, including a video.

“For us, this is epitomy of finding a diamond in the rough,” added Navia. “This was a great opportunity.”

Other non-profits supported during CD4SG 2019:

  • Active Lives After School, Dufferin County
  • Bay Area Restoration Council, Hamilton
  • Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, Toronto
  • Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Toronto
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Fort McMurray
  • Lakeridge Health Foundation, Oshawa
  • Matthews House Hospice, Alliston
  • Pride Toronto, Toronto
  • Reaching Our Outdoor Friends, Kitchener
  • Reep Green Solutions, Kitchener
  • Renfrew and Area Senior’s Home Support Inc., Renfrew
  • Sensity Deafblind and Sensory Support Network of Canada, Paris
  • Skills for Change, Toronto
  • Vera Causa Opera, Cambridge

Conestoga’s three-year Graphic Design advanced diploma program is recognized as one of the top design programs in the province. It employs a project-based learning approach that addresses design, digital content creation, communication, inter-personal, mechanical, technical and enhanced employability skills.

Conestoga's Bachelor of Public Relations degree program was the first to be approved in Ontario and the fourth of its kind in Canada. Graduates are prepared with critical thinking skills and the practical experience required to manage reputations, responses and relationships on behalf of their organization.

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