25 years of smiles

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of L’École catholique, Ontario’s eight French-language Catholic school boards organized a host of activities for their students and staff. The celebration included a highly original contest that showcased some 4,500 creative smiles in schools distributed across the province!

Our mission is to support students in their success while ensuring that they feel loved, valued and engaged in the community. We provide a learning environment imbued with the Catholic faith that fosters both personal growth and academic excellence. We focus first and foremost on the well-being and development of our students and staff. So, how can we do justice to the millions of smiles that have brightened the halls of our schools since the creation of French-language Catholic school boards in 1998? By encouraging students to display their boundless creativity, an essential skill for success! 

A challenge that makes you smile

The Smiles Challenge (Défi Sourires) was launched in late March and sought to engage students at L’École catholique. To participate, students had to create and submit a “smile” (eyes and a mouth, and at sometimes a nose) using visual elements representing a region, an interest, a passion, a school, a class, the Francophonie, cultural heritage, Catholicism, etc. The smile could be produced by hand (a drawing, a painting, a sculpture, a collage, a craft, etc.), by computer or taken by camera.

Students, school staff and the general public then had the chance to vote for their favourite smiles among the 96 finalists from the eight French-language Catholic boards during Catholic Education Week. Three winning classes per school board were rewarded with a prize of up to $300 for a health and wellness activity or a field trip.


Winning smiles

#DéfiSourires by the numbers

(as of May 10, 2023)

We are thrilled with the enthusiastic participation of our school community. Hats off to all who took part! We also wish to thank the staff members who supported their students throughout this challenge. The smiles accurately reflect L’École catholique, as well as our community’s passions, values, team spirit and the unwavering desire to surpass oneself. Some of the most popular themes were the environment, La Francophonie, Catholicism, careers, hobbies, food and sports.

Many smiles have not yet appeared online. You will see them when they are posted on our social media between now and the fall.

Since 1998, L’École catholique has been providing education renowned for its quality. Today, we have eight school boards, over 77,000 students, more than 11,200 employees, some 300 schools in which more than 180 daycare services operate, and countless community partners.

Follow us (@catholicschoolsontario) to see all of our students’ smiles!

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