The Student Success Blog will update you with useful resources, services and activities in our ESL Program and throughout the college. You will also find useful links for self study and study skills tips. Visit the blog often as information is updated weekly. Submissions, links or ideas for the blog are always welcome! Have a wonderful session at the School of ESL!

Photography Contest

2014 Photography Contest and Exhibit




“Summer in Canada” and “GBC Spirit” - themed photography contest where 6 prizes will be awarded for each category: 3 prizes for “Summer in Canada” and 3 prizes for “GBC Spirit”.  There will also be a People’s Choice Prize for each category held on our Facebook Page.  (online votes determined by Facebook likes).  This contest will culminate in a photography exhibit held at The School of ESL where all photographs entered into the Contest and Exhibition will be displayed for everyone to enjoy!  


ESL students currently enrolled in school are eligible to enter the Contest. Each contestant can submit up to 4 pictures:  2 for the each category. Photos for the Contest should be related to the theme “Summer in Canada” or “GBC Spirit” and must be the contestant’s original work. The photo should be taken in 2014, and of high quality resolution.


Photo entries in the Juried Contest will be judged on the basis of meeting the following criteria:

-Relation to the “Summer in Canada” and "GBC Spirit" theme


-Technical Quality



A Panel of George Brown College Staff and Faculty and community photography enthusiasts will judge these photos.

* There will also be a contest on Facebook and winners will be determined by 'LIKES'


-Submission: September 26th for the both categories


-Many awesome prizes including Chef House gift certificates!


PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST  2013:  Home Away from Home
1st Prize"Hart House" Photographer: Ahmed Alsaleh

2nd Prize
Photographer: Shuai Jerry Gou
3rd Prize
"Bell Towers"
Photographer: Aref Abuhaliqah
Honourable Mention
"Alone in a Dream"
Photographer: Mohammad Moein Najaf Abadiha
Honourable Mention
"My Shadow"
Photographer: Zahra Ghannadian
Honourable Mention
"The Way to Home Sweet Home"
Photographer: Jess Mo


Here are the winners:
Students' Choice Category  as chosen on Facebook:

"Hope", Reza Pesteh 
Canadian Paraplegic Association,  17th Annual Toronto Wheelchair Relay Challenge, 2012

"Time is an Illusion",  Lady Johanna Agaton
In this photo we can appreciate the most precious and valuable thing humanity has:  “Time”, reflected 
by a clock.  Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have enough time these days...
"Where is Freedom?", Nazanin Mirsharifi
Downtown Toronto:  People want to be free but they build cages

Here are the winners for the 3 categories chosen by our Panel of Judges.  As you can see by the calibre of photos in the contest, the decision for the judges was not an easy one and all of the photos received amazing feedback!

Landscape and Design Category
"Looks Different", Nazanin Mirsharifi
People tend to look at the CN Tower directly but here we can see the CN Tower from a different perspective.
"The Colours of St. Lawrence Market", Tiana Ferraz

At St. Lawrence Market there are colours that we can see, usually with our eyes, but we need to learn to see things with our soul to perceive things that we can’t usually see directly.

"Moon Witnessing Change", Lady Johanna Agaton
The portrait shows the contrast between old and new buildings in Toronto.  As a result, during construction and
habitat changes, we create new buildings.  But who is observing it?  Only one witness:  ‘the moon.’

Culture and Diversity Category
"Modern Mona Lisa", Sandor Huber
Taken on Toronto's Lakeshore area, summer 2012.
"Human Rights!" Aram Hassanlee
When i saw these LGBT flags in the middle of street, I said to myself : " It's such a strange world ! In some countries, people kill LGBT people in the middle of street but here people carry their flag in the street! What is here that is not over there?! I wish I could send this sentiment over there !!! :-(

"Beautiful Dancers", Dayana Sanchez Jaimes
Taken at Harbourfront Festival, Summer 2012.

Landscape Category

"Two Sides of a Coin" Maryam Mirzadeh
Taken in Downtown Toronto

"Toronto City Panorama", Alexander Ore Lopez
This photo was taken when I was returning from the Toronto Islands.

"Shadow", Yafei Sun
This photo was caught in the moment while the sun was just shining on the scene,  and the mood made me feel like stopping for awhile to appreciate the moment.

Honourable Mentions 

"Happy Little Man on the Beach", Yulia Tiniakova
Flowerpot Island, Fathom Five National Marine Park, Georgian Bay, ON

"Ferris Wheel", Julia Pochko
Taken in Niagara Falls, Ontario

"On the Pier", Karen Martinez
I was on the pier when suddenly I saw this special scene: the combinations of colours, the lampost’s shadow 
and the small family appreciating the sunny weather at the lake. It is an exquisite combination of elements.

Below are all of the fabulous entries:

 Architecture & Design

#1A A place for relaxing

#2A Downtown

#3A Dream Castle

#4A Ferris Wheel

#5A Flash light

#6A Hope

#7A Vintage Toronto

#8A Lighthouse from a boat

#9A Looks different

#10A Marilyn Monroe

#11A Moon witnessing change

#12A Old City Hall

#13A Old City Hall

#14A The students' tower

#15A The colours of St. Lawrence

#16A Toronto 2

#17A Traveler

Culture & Diversity

#1C Beautiful Dancers

#2C Going on a date with......

#3C Human rights!

#4C Modern Mona Lisa

#5C Thai Dance, Canada Day

#6C Watching the sunset on a roller coaster


#1L Beauty

#2L Beautiful sun rises as I arrive home,  full of fatigue

#3L Far but beautiful, near but crowded

#4L Happy little man on the beach

#5L On the pier

#6L Love in my beautiful city

#7L Niagara Falls
#8L Out of town

#9L Over the rainbow

#10L Toronto City  Panorama

#11L Peace

#12L Peeking through the darkness

#13L Rainy Toronto

#14L Salmon run for home
#15L Scarborough Bluffer's Park Beach

#16L Shadow

#17L Shadows

#18L Skyline

#19L  Sunset

#20L Sunset

#21L Sunset

#22L Sunshine, beach, sea

#23L Shadows of clouds on the lake

#24L The sunset

#25L Toronto1

#26L Two sides of a coin

#27L We are friends
#28L Friendship:  Let's Fly!

#29L State of Mind


Winners chosen on our Facebook Page:

Photography Contest Poster:
Enter our Photography Contest and show us 
Toronto through your lens!

All pictures should be current and snapped in the city of Toronto, or in any region in Ontario.

Deadline for Submissions:  Friday, October 5th 

Check out some of their amazing pictures here:


1st Place:   Mauricio Munoz, Level 7 Business
"Ready for Next Winter" 

2nd Place:  Valeria Maximov, 5B, 
"Snowy Country"

3rd Place:  Ibrahim Alghamdi, Level 3
"Moment in My Life"

Also, congratulations to our 3 student choice award winners:

Solmaz Taheri, Level 4D, "Waiting for Summer"

Shooka Sharif Vaghefi, Level 6
"Joys in Life are as Simple as Black and White"

Alexandra, Level 6, "Cold and Sun Make a Wonderful Day"

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to everyone who participated in the contest and shared their brilliant photographs.  You really brightened up the halls of GBC and this blog with your talented photography!
Thank you to our judges as well:  you had a very tough job!!

Other Entries to The School of ESL's 
Winter Photography Contest!

"Lifeguarding on the Beach." Photo taken by Andrea Rankin, level 5B teacher who also apparently moonlights as a lifeguard on weekends at Toronto's Ashbridges Bay.

"Staying Warm in the Canadian Winter"  
Photo by Andrea Rankin doing some more moonlighting as a hand model!
"Our Lady of Lourdes"  Photo taken by Frederico, an 8A student, from his apartment overlooking this church near Sherbourne and Bloor.
"GBC ASAP!"  Photo by Marcela, Level 7 Biz.  
Hope you made it to class on time, Marcela.
"Swimming Lessons for Free"  Marcela, Level 7 Biz.

"Why do they look so happy?!"  Marcela, Level 7 Biz.

"After xmas, everbody needs to go on a diet!"  Marcela, Level 7 Biz.
"Spike (the Brave Cat) against the snow!"  Photo by Stefano, class 7D, taken after the recent snowstorm that hit T.O.  His feline friend braves the winter elements.

"Winter Ashtray"  Taken by Galina Glatman, 5B, outside of 
 GBC Casa Loma Campus

"D-DSL (not to be confused with ESL) Private Lesson"  
Photo taken at High Park by Valeria Maximov, 5B

"Dog-Deer Second Language Conversation Class"  This class was also held at High Park and Valeria, 5B, managed to snap a pic of some in-depth conversation!

"Snowy Country"  Is that you hiding behind those snowy, maple leaf mittens, Valeria?  It looks like someone has just had a snowball fight!!

"The New Immigrants in Toronto"  Photo by Solmaz Taheri, 4D.

"Waiting for Summer"  Solmaz, 4D.   We're all waiting anxiously with you, Solmaz!
"My Grandma's First Canadian Winter"  Taken by Yamplier Garcia Fuentes, a level 4 student.  Yamplier's grandmother has been visiting from Cuba for almost 8 months and this is her first snowy winter!  
It's cold outside but looking at this pic will make you feel warm!  

As you can see below, Yamplier's Basset Hound, Bella, is "crazy about snow!!"and embracing the winter wonderland!

"Super-sized Snowman" taken by Chunxiao Yi, Level 8A Business
Chunxiao took these photos outside of an apartment building near Finch and Warden.  The snowmen are apparently on steroids in Scarborough!
"Canadian Touch."  Photo by Huda Felimban, Level 7.
"Is it time to go home yet?"  Photo by Huda Felimban, Level 7.
"Would anyone help me get my Crocs?!"  
Photo by Huda Felimban, Level 7.
Perfect Picture for Valentine's Day:
"The Warmest Canada" by Orake Chang, 5B

"Confused" Photo by Costanza Procaccio, level 2.

"Cold and Sun Make a Wonderful Day" by Alexandra, Level 6

"Flowers in the Winter are a Miracle" by Alexandra, Level 6
"From My Window" by Mauricio Munoz, Level 7 Biz
and taken by Mauricio at the Distillery District:
"Ready for Next Winter" by Mauricio Munoz, Level 7 Biz
"Blue Snow" by Mauricio Munoz, Level 7 Biz
"Where are the Palm Trees?" by Eleazar
"Three Strikes and You're Out!" by Eleazar

"Fresh Snow" by Volodymyr Shapoval, Level 4

"A lot of Snow" by Volodymyr Shapoval, Level 4

"Julia" by Volodymyr Shapoval, Level 4
As you can see, Volodymyr, his daughter Tania and his grandchildren Julia and Vitaliy, really embrace the beauty of winter!

"Just You and Me" by Chen ChaoYue (Savanna), Level 7

"The Time Spent Waiting for Spring"
 by Chen ChaoYue (Savanna), Level 7
"What a Cute Table!"  by Chen ChaoYue (Savanna), Level 7
"Can't Block out the Sunshine" by Chen ChaoYue (Savanna), Level 7

"Life Choices...How Steep Should I go?!" by Chen ChaoYue (Savanna), Level 7 Business

"I am the Protagonist" by Chen ChaoYue (Savanna), Level 7 Business 

"Chasing Dreams" by Chen ChaoYue (Savanna), Level 7 Business

"Elk in the Snow" by Joanna Long, 5B

"Everywhere Seems Beautiful in Winter, Even the Park without Children" by Faezeh Ghazanfari, 6A

"A Romantic Surprise in Winter!" by Faezeh Ghazanfari, 6A

"Fantastic Town on Ice" by Julian Restrepo, 8A

"Frozen Empire" by Ibrahim Alghamdi, Level 3

"Moment in My Life" by Ibrahim Alghamdi, Level 3
"My Frozen City" by Ibrahim Alghamdi, Level 3

"We made an ice wall in -30 and we didn't feel the cold weather" by Sanaz Adeli, Level 7
"LCBO Branch, Muskoka"by Sanaz Adeli, Level 7
"Joys in Life are as Simple as Black and White" by Kasra Sultan,   Level 6

"Winter Purity" by Cathy Yan, 2B
"Love as Pure As Snow and Beautiful as Winter" by Shooka Sharif Vaghefi, Level 6

by Nadya Yakovleva, 8A
by Nadya Yakovleva, 8A
by Nadya Yakovleva, 8A
by Nadya Yakovleva, 8A

by Nadya Yakovleva, 8A

"Swimming in the Winter...Are We Crazy??!! by Zhou Qi, 4F

"Big Smile in the Winter" by Cricket Wang, Level 4
Photo by Sharifa, Level 5B

The following pictures were submitted by 
Ladan Foroozan, level 4:

"A Natural Sculpture Carved by Niagara Falls"
  by Nadya Yakovleva, 8A

"Niagara Falls' Allure Not Only in the Summertime"  
by Nadya Yakovleva, 8A

"The Halloween Winter!" by Nadya Yakovleva, 8A

"Canadian Winter Can Be Quiet As Well!" by Nadya Yakovleva, 8A

The following series of pictures are entitled,  
"Mohammed's Canadian Winter."

 The final 3 pictures were taken by Ishaq Alhassan, level 8.  The series in entitled,     
"Life Goes On..."
Ishaq, Level 8
Ishaq, Level 8

Ishaq, Level 8
Thanks to all of the amazing photographers who shared their creative take on Winter in Toronto!  

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