Student to capture festival

For the past couple of years, Hazel Cheng has been volunteering her artistic talents to paint the faces of children attending the Richmond Maritime Festival.

This year her work will be on display in a very different way as the 20-year-old Emily Carr University student has been selected to create the poster image for the 11th annual festival at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site Aug. 8 to 10.

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Cheng, a third-year student in the illustration program, said she was surprised to learn her work had been selected.

"I saw an ad for the competition in the paper and thought that this might be a cool opportunity," she said.

"I didn't really expect to be chosen because there are so many people out there who...have more experience."

Cheng said her work taps into the history of the fishing village, especially its boardwalks.

"That's the thing which goes through the whole festival, connecting the whole waterfront area," she said.

"It's really amazing that my work can reach such a big audience. And I want them to say, 'Wow, this is what it means to be in Steveston and see all the history behind it," she added.

Cheng was one of 18 artists responding to the call to submit samples of their work for consideration. The final poster illustration will be published in June.

This is not the first time Cheng's work has earned her recognition. Last year, she won third place in the 2nd World Cup Live Painting Competition at the Richmond Olympic Oval, an event that gives artists just four hours to produce their work.

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