Alberta youth honour heroes in uniform through SPIRIT of Victory contest

High school students and cadets from across the province have gained a deeper understanding of the Canadians in uniform who played a role in bringing the Second World War in Europe to an end. The SPIRIT of Victory public speaking contest challenged Alberta youth to create original speeches demonstrating their own unique take on the significance of Victory in Europe 75 years ago, and what that historic milestone means to them today.

The contest winners were announced during a virtual VE 75 Celebration hosted by Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell and the History and Heroes Foundation. The top entries in the high school and cadet divisions received cash awards of $1,000 (first), $500 (second) and $250 (third). Awards were provided by the History and Heroes Foundation. The winners are:

Jolie Gan, Calgary – Gold Winner, High School Division

Julian Tan, Calgary –Gold Winner, Cadet Division 

Salma Zein, Calgary – Silver Winner, High School Division

Jerusalem Cooper, Medicine Hat – Silver Winner, Cadet Division

Zaki Lakhani, Calgary – Bronze Winner, High School Division

Arnav Patil, Calgary – Bronze Winner, Cadet Division

“I was deeply impressed by the skill and the appreciation for our men and women in uniform that the contest winners brought to their speeches. I know our heroes would be proud to see the understanding, gratitude and pride that they inspired in these future leaders.” Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

The VE 75 Celebration presenters included current Canadian military leaders and Second World War veteran 97 year-old George Morasch who took part in the Normandy Invasion and the Liberation of the Netherlands. The event also featured a special performance by Alberta country star Paul Brandt. The full program can be viewed online at: The site also includes details on the contest and the History and Heroes Foundation.

Media contact: Janet Resta, Communications Officer, Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, 780-919-5505;