SUDBURY -- With so many people at home during the pandemic, the demand for sidewalk chalk has been high as children seek activities close to home.

That’s why the Garson-Falconbridge Community Action Network (CAN) has partnered with a local business for its latest contest.

“Book an appointment with the Dollar Store With More and get some free chalk,” said CAN chair Eddie Astgen. "Go home, go to your favourite spot, draw something, write something. You don’t have to be an artist."

Astgen said the CAN wanted to do something to engage the community.

“We wanted to get them outside enjoying the weather, having a little bit of fun, putting smiles on people's faces -- that’s the main goal of it,” he said.

Maintain momentum

The group started doing contests in December when it encouraged residents to share photos of their Christmas light displays. The chalk contest aims to keep the momentum of that going, Astgen said. He's only been with the CAN for a little while, but said the work the group does is important

“It helps bring people together," he said. "It also gives people a voice outside of going through the city channels to get things that they want done, whether it be parks, trail heads, signs anything like that.”

Johanna Westby, an artist who has created several murals in the city, has lived in Garson for a decade. So when Westby heard about the contest, she immediately jumped on board.

But she wasn’t just going to doodle in her driveway

“I hope this inspires other people to do the same," Westby said. "I think it’s wonderful to be able to share this. It doesn’t matter whether you think you’re good at it or not, it’s always just nice to have something to communicate with your neighbours and share a little bit of that sunshine.”

As for the CAN's next contest, next month they will be looking for the dirtiest vehicle and the winner will receive a detailing package from a local business.