Laina, Category Data Assistant at Calgary’s Community Natural Foods, sends postcards around the world and receives many in return. So when Laina heard about a contest offered to employees of Community Natural Foods, focused on Vancouver Aquarium’s annual fundraising gala Night at the Aquarium, she knew she would design postcards for her entry. The contest, held last spring, invited projects that educated consumers on ocean conservation and the special initiatives that three like-minded organizations ‒ Community Natural Foods, New Chapter®, and Ocean WiseTM ‒ are taking in this arena.

Entries were judged by representatives from each of the three organizations. Community Natural Foods is a Calgary-based market that is passionately committed to encouraging healthy and sustainable choices. New Chapter, a natural health products company, has a similar mission that includes using organic and sustainable ingredients whenever possible. Both are proud partners in providing Ocean Wise recommended seafood products and share exciting firsts: Community Natural Foods is the first Ocean Wise certified grocery store in Alberta, and New Chapter’s Wholemega® Whole Fish Oil is the first and only fish oil product recommended by Ocean Wise, the Vancouver Aquarium’s national sustainable seafood program.

Laina's winning postcard entries consisted of a whale, a sea star, a salmon, and a jellyfish (see feature photo). All images courtesy of New Chapter Canada.

Laina’s winning postcard entries consisted of a whale, a sea star, a salmon, and a jellyfish (see feature photo). All images courtesy of New Chapter Canada.

Laina is proud to work for a grocer that provides ocean-friendly seafood and natural health products like Wholemega Whole Fish Oil. Judges found that Laina’s winning entry best captured a spirit of sustainability and the incredible richness of ocean life. In her winning piece of four postcards, Laina created delicate watercolours of aquatic creatures ‒ a whale, a jellyfish, a salmon, and a seastar. In addition to the artwork, she wanted to include a unique way to communicate the importance of ocean-friendly alternatives. Her tagline on the back of each postcard reminds the recipient to “Keep ocean life healthy and abundant for generations to come by choosing Ocean WiseTM certified products and retailers.” The combined impact of the imagery and the positive message highlights the importance of working together to preserve the health and life of our oceans.

She intends for the artwork to be shared – for the postcards to be advocates for the conservation of oceans. She hopes the handmade art will resonate strongly with each recipient and then be passed on to a friend or displayed at home for others to see. A distinctive card can invite contemplation and inspire individuals to make ocean-friendly choices. Laina knows the power of the medium well, as she is part of a postcard exchange project whose members send each other postcards from all around the world.

“Every week, I receive postcards from a variety of different people and places. It is exciting and rare to get something personal and interesting in the mail.” Judges admired this thoughtful attention to individual experience and noted that it is only person-by-person that we can make smart choices for the healthy future of our planet.

Laina’s prize was a trip for two to Vancouver, British Columbia to attend the Night at the Aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium’s signature gala that took place in June 2013.

For more information on Community Natural Foods, please visit communitynaturalfoods.com, and for more information on New Chapter, visit newchapter.ca.

Overfishing is the biggest issue facing our oceans today. Look for the Ocean Wise symbol wherever you enjoy seafood for the Aquarium’s assurance of ocean-friendly options. To learn more about Ocean Wise, visit oceanwise.ca.

Guest blog post written by New Chapter, Inc.

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