YMCA Youth Cannabis Awareness Program

Youth 4 Youth
Digital Media Contest

Youth 4 Youth was a digital media contest organized through the YMCA of Greater Toronto across Canada. In the contest, young people between the ages of 18 to 24 were invited to develop a short educational video or poster to raise awareness about the impact of cannabis use on the developing brain.

To view previous winners, click  here.


Contest Topics

All of the Contest’s topics were constructed around the impact recreational cannabis consumption can have on the youth brain and its development. Contestants were expected to answer one of the following questions in their video or poster submission:

  1. What is cannabis’ effect on youth brain development? How does the use of cannabis during teenage years affect brain function? In what ways does cannabis use affect the brain function of someone under the age of 25?
  2. What does pruning and myelination mean? What role does myelination play in youth brain development? How does a youth's cannabis use effect myelination? How does cannabis use impact the process of pruning and myelination in a teenage brain?
  3. What is dopamine’s role in youth brain development? What are some examples of activities that naturally release dopamine? How does cannabis effect how the youth brain releases dopamine?
  4. What is a coping mechanism? In what ways could using cannabis as a coping mechanism effect youth? How does relying on cannabis as a coping mechanism change brain function? In what ways could using cannabis as a coping mechanism keep someone from learning the skills they need to deal with stress in their life?

To learn more about the facts and guiding principles that youth consider when creating their entries, visit our Contest Fact Sheet.

Rules & Requirements

Contestants are asked to create either a video or poster (or both!) in French or English to participate in the Contest. The poster and video submissions will be evaluated separately and have different requirements. All submissions must use a balanced, neutral and harm reduction focused approach towards cannabis.

To review all of the Contest rules, please review the Rules Documents:

Poster Rules  Video Rules

Contestant Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the Contest, contestants must:

  • Be between the ages of 18 – 24 at the time of entry submission.
  • Be a Canadian resident at the time of registration.
  • Complete all components of the program evaluation process (including a phone call interview and exit survey).
Video Requirements
  • The video must answer one of the above topics, include a harm reduction strategy and a relevant resource for support or more information.
  • The maximum length for a video is 60 seconds.
  • All audio and visual materials must be copyright-free or the necessary authorizations must be acquired before using copyrighted materials.
  • All actors in the video must have provided consent to participating in the video prior to submission of your video and be over the age of 18.
  • The format of the video must be .MP4 or .MOV and have a resolution of 720p or 1080p.
  • The video must include Closed Captioning.
Poster Requirements
  • The poster must answer one of the above topics, include a harm reduction strategy and a relevant resource for support or more information.
  • All images or graphics used on the poster must be copyright-free.
  • The poster requires 300 DPI and must be in CMYK colour format.
  • The format of the poster must be vertical and have the dimensions of 27” width and 39” length.
  • The original file used to create the poster must be submitted (i.e. Photoshop PSD file, InDesign INDD, etc.)
Terms & Conditions

The Contest Organizer reserves the right, in its absolute discretion, to disqualify a poster or video it believes does not respect or potentially not respect one or several of the Contest’s official rules.

The Contest Organizer reserves the right to modify, suspend or cancel the Contest for any reason, without any prior notice.

The Contest Organizer reserves the right to refuse, modify or delete a submission that is deemed inappropriate or that does not comply with these rules. All posters and videos submitted for the Contest will become the property of the YMCA of Greater Toronto. However, the creator of the submission will always be credited.

These rules may be changed without notice or reason including, if necessary, to comply with any applicable law. By entering this Contest, participants agree to abide by these rules and acknowledge that the Contest Organizer shall not be responsible for any damages, costs, demands, claims or losses of any kind, incurred by any contestant as a result of participation in this Contest.

Submission Originality

All content included in the poster or video submission must be original. The submission must not infringe upon or violate any laws or any third-party rights. This includes but is not limited to: copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights. Submissions must not lead to any cause of action including libel, defamation, privacy violation, contract breach or tort. The participant must obtain all necessary permissions, licenses, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and other approvals from third parties necessary to use the submission, in whole or in part (including but not limited to: all copyright holders and all individuals appearing in the video or poster submission), without limitation, to reproduce, make derivatives, edit, modify, translate, distribute, transmit, publish, license and broadcast the video submission worldwide, by any means. Any and all such permissions, licenses, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and approvals must be attached to the submission.

Submissions from contestants who have previously participated in YMCA Youth for Youth Gambling Education Program’s Digital Media Contest from August 2017 to July 2020 are permitted.

Content Restrictions

Submissions must not contain, illustrate, comment or target, without exception, any of the following:

  • Images of minors (below 18);
  • Any individual who is identifiable in any way, other than the participant or the people who agreed to be included, in accordance with the official rules;
  • Any reference to personal information concerning other people, including their names or information that could be used to identify or locate another person or otherwise considered as an infringement of privacy of another person;
  • Language or content that is malicious, threatening, offensive, degrading, sexually explicit or containing nudity, racist, insulting, hateful, violent or obscene, or has acts of explicit violence or discriminatory language or content;
  • Content that encourages prejudices, hatred or prejudices towards a group or a person, or encouraging discrimination or exploitation based on race, gender, religion, disability or age;
  • Any illegal claims or content;
  • Defamation, libel or slander;
  • Dangerous stunts;
  • The use of any type of real weapons;
  • Illicit drugs;
  • Any content that does not abide by The Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations – Promotion (a detailed breakdown of these guidelines can be found here;
  • Any other content deemed offensive or impermissible by Contest Organizer or the jury, at their sole discretion; and
  • Contest Organizer reserves the right to determine, at its sole discretion, if the content of a submission contravenes the video-related requirements.
Our philosophy

Youth Cannabis Awareness Program, YCAP, takes a harm reduction approach towards recreational cannabis use. We don’t make value judgements regarding recreational cannabis use, rather we seek to minimize risks associated with Cannabis use by providing youth with the most accurate and unbiased information.

Ways to Participate

Ages 15-18

  • Take an active role and join the youth jury to help shortlist 5 submissions! Youth jury participants will receive compensation for their participation as a jury member. If interested, please email the Contest Organizer at: ycap@ymcagta.org.
  • Vote for your favourite video during the public voting period!

Ages 18-24

  • Register with your intent to participate in the Contest and showcase your digital skills by creating a poster or 60 second video on one of the Contest’s topics.
  • Participate in the public voting process by voting for your favourite video.

Community Partners

  • Help us promote the Contest to those you might think are interested.
  • Join the Contest Organizer’s jury and help us shortlist the top 8 videos and provide valuable feedback to participants!
Registration and Submission Process

Instructions for Registration Process

Registration for the contest will begin on June 14, 2022. All contestants must register online prior to submitting their video or poster. If you are registering as a team, ALL TEAM MEMBERS must complete a registration form. After registering, contestants will be sent educational material and resources to help them create their submission! The Contest Organizer will also reach out to each contestant after registration to provide support and answer any questions.

Instructions for Submission Process

Contestants will submit their final project via Google Forms. Only one submission is required per team. After submission, contestants will be required to complete an evaluation survey and an exit phone call. The evaluation process of the posters and videos will begin immediately after the submission deadline.

Surveys and Interviews

Upon final submission, contestants will be required to complete an exit survey. The questions of this survey are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Contest. The evaluation components are led by a third party and participants’ responses will not impact their submission evaluation in any way. The third-party firm will only share information with regard to whether contestants have completed the evaluation component with Contest Organizer.

f you have questions, please contact the Contest Organizer at ycap@ymcagta.org.


The Contest’s evaluation process consists of five distinct stages.

In the first stage, the Contest Organizer reviews all poster and video submissions to ensure they meet the Contest’s requirements. All submissions that meet these requirements will then be evaluated by the Contest Organizer jury.

The Contest Organizer Jury is made up of digital media experts and prevention specialists, and is responsible for evaluating the submissions that were deemed eligible by the Contest Organizer. Based on their evaluations the Top 8 poster and video submissions will be shortlisted and move onto the second stage.

Upon entering the second stage, the top 8 submissions will be evaluated by a jury made up of youth (age 15-18) representing Canada’s Provinces and Territories. Based on the youth jury’s evaluations, the top 5 submissions will be shortlisted and posted online for the public vote.

The public vote will occur over a week-long period, during which the public is invited to view the top 5 video and posters and vote for their favorite. The posters and videos that will move onto the top 3 will be those that receive the most support from the public. The top 3 submissions will then move onto the final evaluation stage: The Youth Impact Survey.

During the Youth Impact Survey, the top 3 poster and video submission will be shown to high school aged youth across Canada. Based on the students’ evaluations, the top 3 poster and video submissions will be placed in first, second and third place. The prizes will then be presented at the Award Ceremony in March 2021.

View the Poster Rubric

View the Video Rubric

Indemnity and limitations of liability

Your personal safety and that of your actors, camera crew and other individuals involved in the making of the video or poster must be maintained. Do not put anyone at risk during the making of the video or poster. If you show dangerous tasks in your video or video, you must follow all safety regulations and take all necessary precautions to prevent any injuries. Each participant agrees to defend, indemnify and save harmless the YMCA of Greater Toronto, its employees, officers, directors and agents as well as the jurors from any and all lawsuits, claims, losses, injuries, death, damages and expenses (including where permitted, any reasonable legal costs) arising out of the participant’s video or poster, or in connection with the latter in any way, and to release the YMCA of Greater Toronto, its employees, officers, directors and agents as well as the jurors from any liability in connection with the Contest (including the awarding of a prize).

Grant of rights

By participating in the Contest and by submitting a video or poster, each participant:

  • Grants the Contest Organizer all right, title and interest, including intellectual property and publicity rights, in the submission. Without limiting the previous sentence, Contest Organizer may copy, modify, reproduce, broadcast, display, publish, show in public, expose, encode, stock, adapt, transmit and use or present, in whole or in part, the submissions through any current or future means of communication (including any future promotional or educational project and school presentations), and including, but not limited to, the perpetual distribution over the Internet starting on the date of participation, including, but not limited to, in connection with the administration and promotion of the Contest;
  • Waives, in favour of the Contest Organizer, all public image and privacy rights, moral rights or any other right recognized by the law that he/she may have acquired for the video or poster, or its features, if applicable, which may prohibit the Contest Organizer from using the video or poster;
  • Waives and releases the Contest Organizer, its employees, officers, directors and agents as well as the jury of any claim based on public image rights, defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright, trademark infringement or any other legal action concerning the video intellectual property rights;
  • Grants these rights, free of charge, to the Contest Organizer and accepts that no other permission or further copyright payment to the participant or other party be required.
Award Ceremony

Participants of the YCAP-Y4Y Digital Media Contest will be recognized at an Award Ceremony. The Award Ceremony not only celebrates the accomplishments and hard work of contestants, but also acknowledges the efforts made by community partners, contest organizer jury members and youth jury members. It is an opportunity to bring together and celebrate youth from across Canada.