On October 19, students in Conestoga's Graphic Design advanced diploma and Public Relations degree programs participated in a day-long creative blitz in support of ten non-profits across Canada.
Known as Creative Day for Social Good (CD4SG), the event saw students team up with art directors, writers, account managers and other industry volunteers to create free marketing and communication tools for organizations that might not have access to these resources otherwise. The annual blitz was hosted this year by Capacity Canada in collaboration with the college, Intertek Catalyst, HIM&HER and Google.
"A lot of the professionals in this room are here as alumni from Conestoga," said Terry McGuire, vice-president at Intertek Catalyst, in opening remarks to students and volunteers on reveal day. "We are passionate about these programs: public relations and graphic design. The work that we do for the charities helps students fill their portfolios and get out there and start their careers."
Included as part of program curriculum, CD4SG provides students with hands-on learning and exposure to industry. In the weeks leading up to the blitz, students worked in teams to prepare a creative brief based on assigned organization's needs and goals. This year's focus included branding and campaign support. Work began at 10:00 a.m. on October 19 with support from industry volunteers at Google's offices in Kitchener. Teams had until 11:00 p.m. to finish projects and prepare to present work to clients and event partners at a reveal the next day.
Applications for CD4SG were open to non-profits nationwide. Organizers estimate the event has provided creative services for more than 150 charities over the years and totaled more than $100,000 of pro bono work during each blitz.
Non-profits supported through CD4SG 2023:
- Kids Help Phone, Toronto, Ontario
- Positive Living Niagara, St. Catherines, Ontario
- Parents for Community Living, Waterloo, Ontario
- Music at Port Milford, Milford, Ontario
- Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener + Area (CAFKA), Kitchener, Ontario
- Times Change Women's Employment Service, Toronto, Ontario
- Marillac Place, Kitchener, Ontario
- Ontario Nature, Toronto, Ontario
- Extend-a-Family Waterloo Region, Kitchener, Ontario
- Family and Children's Services Foundation, Waterloo, Ontario
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. Graduates are prepared with critical thinking skills and the practical experience required to manage reputations, responses and relationships on behalf of their organization.