Toronto's Pan Am Games unveils mascot shortlist
4,000 designs submitted from teams of youngsters across Canada
Organizers of Toronto's 2015 Pan/ParaPan Am Games are asking for the public's artistic eye in helping to choose one young lucky designer's vision for a mascot.
The TO2015 organizing committee received roughly 4,000 submissions from design teams made up of children and teenagers 16 and under.
The designs were then narrowed down to a shortlist of colourful furry friends: a moose in running shoes, a Maple Leaf-headed beaver, a punk porcupine, a rainbow-hued owl and a rascally raccoon, among others.
The TO2015 committee said each submission was judged on its originality, kid appeal, how well it represented the games region and Canada, and whether it embodied the spirit and values of the games.
"This is an important decision: the mascot will serve as our ambassador in the community and throughout the Americas and Caribbean— it will reflect the spirit, energy and joy of who we are when the world comes to visit," said Ian Troop, CEO of TO215.
While the six finalists were far from lacking artistic ability, a professional illustrator recreated the six sketches to ensure fairness when voting opens to Canadians on Monday.
Over the games next two years, the chosen games mascot will travel to communities and schools throughout Canada, and appear on signage as well as merchandise.
The names of the design teams and their vision for a the mascot will be revealed after voting has closed.
Votes can be cast on either the games' mascot competition website, or on Facebook, until May 5 at midnight.
But why wait? Take the CBC poll and let us know which mascot should be the face of the games.