Toyota Dream Car Art Contest – National Awards Ceremony
The National Award Ceremony of the Toyota Dream Car Contest, the first ever international art competition held in Sri Lanka organised by Toyota Lanka (Private) Limited concluded, followed by a colourful ceremony held on 27 February under the patronage of Toyota Lanka (Pvt) Ltd Managing Director Yoshiaki Kato and Secretary to the Ministry of National Heritage Kanthi Wijethunga at the Oak Room of Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo 3.
The competition was launched on 15 September 2011 and concluded on 31 January 2012. Dream Car Art Contest was organised with the assistance and the support of the Ministry of Education. Toyota Dream Car Art contest was held worldwide for the sixth consecutive year and this year over 80 countries had participated including Sri Lanka for the very first time.
This contest was opened to children aged between five years to 15 years. The main objective of this contest is to uplift the artistic talents of our future generation and give them an opportunity to present their talent in a global forum and at the same time to unearth the hidden creativity within them. The theme of this contest is to draw a car of their dreams that would one day owned by them and drive on the roads of the world.
The contest is divided into three age categories which are age below 10 years, 10 to 12 years and 13 to 15 years. Five artworks from each category were selected from all nine provinces and out of those 135 drawings five winners from each category were selected as all national contest winners. These artworks will be sent to the global contest which is to be held in Japan in March 2012. All these winners were rewarded with certificates and plaques including cash awards whilst their respective schools will also get considerable amount as donations. The winner from the global contest will be flown to Japan with a guardian on all expenses tour.
The panel of judges for this contest were selected from professionals and activists from the field of arts which consist of Visiting lecturer – Aesthetic University Indranatha Thenuwara, Kato, Toyota Lanka Chief Operating Officer Manohara Athukorala, Chartered Architect Thisara Thanapathi, Dr. Shanaka Kulathunga, popular children’s books author Janaki Sooriarachchi, popular vocalist Kithsiri Jayasekara and school and social activist Bernadine Anderson. Since its launch, the contest gained tremendous enthusiasm and popularity among the children and within a short span of four months, 124,000 drawings were received from every corner of the country. To coincide with the contest, Toyota Lanka has conducted workshops, art campaigns and school presentations as a part of creating the awareness across the island.
Speaking on the occasion Kato stated, “Whilst thanking each and every one for their tireless efforts made towards the phenomenal success, I fervently hope to present to the world as many of your ‘Dream Cars’ as possible, because it is our children’s ideas and creativity that will help us create the automobiles of the future. I hope you will continue to share and inspire the same dream with us in ensuing years and draw the cars today for future.” Delivering the vote of thanks, Atukorala said, “In line with our CSR framework, plenty of similar societal responsibility activities have been lined up focusing on our children in order to invest on growing local talents with the idea of opening up a door-way to international competition,” and make Sri Lanka a creative base.