SJC shares #21WordsofHope

SJC shares #21WordsofHope

Our 2020 holiday campaign shared 21 custom graphics created by our associates and their children, inspired by words of hope from our healthcare heroes.

Our 2020 holiday campaign shared 21 custom graphics created by our associates and their children, inspired by words of hope from our healthcare heroes.

January 7, 2021

Voir la version française ici.


In fall 2020, we provided the hundreds of behind-the-scenes healthcare workers at Unity Health (St. Michael’s Hospital, Providence Healthcare and St. Joseph’s Health Centre) with a complimentary magazine subscription as a token of our appreciation. We also asked them: What is one word that, to you, represents hope in these difficult times?

We took the 21 most popular submissions to create a list: 21 words that give us all hope as we head into 2021.

We invited you to share in our #21WordsofHope to benefit St. Michael’s Hospital’s Life-Changing Gifts.

SJC staff, clients and community members were invited to browse the 21 words below, each with a custom artwork created by one of our SJC staff (or their children) and pick the one most meaningful to them. For every image on social media with the hashtag #21WordsofHope, we made a donation to St. Michael’s Hospital Life-Changing Gifts. The campaign provides much-needed items such as meals for front-line workers, recovery backpacks for vulnerable patients and Covid-19 virtual care kits. Collectively, we made a $2,500 contribution to this important, timely cause. From of all of us at SJC, wishing you the best for 2021, including health, happiness and hope.






By Rebecca Suen, SJC Content

This year has brought a lot of change and hardships for everyone. A global pandemic has swept our nation, and hate, violence and tragedies happen around the world. When I received the word optimism, the first thing I thought was hope. Hope and optimism go hand in hand and have shined through during the dark times of 2020.

For this typographical piece, I wanted it to embody the hope for the future that people have when they are optimistic. I incorporated the Raised Fist symbol to my design. This symbol is a universal symbol for unity and revolution. It is the symbol that means change and is used for organizations such as Black Lives Matter.

The colourful typography brings a cheery mood to the overall piece and represents how the youth of today are fighting for the change in the world (whether that be climate change, systemic racism, or stomping out stigmas around mental health). Additionally, I used a vaccine and tiny people in PPE to show that people are optimistic for the pandemic to end.



By Amanda Theyers, SJC Content

My assigned word is ‘gratitude,’ so I thought of what I was most grateful for. During this pandemic, I was most appreciative of how people reached out to support each other; my family, my friends, my colleagues supporting me in these tough times. Despite not being able to be physically by my side, they continued to support me at a distance, showing that while we are apart, we are most definitely not alone. Because this #21WordsofHope is for people to share with others, I wanted to create something that would allow people to show appreciation of the support they have received and continue to receive during this pandemic; a message of hope that no matter how difficult life gets, we can get through this together because we’ve got each other’s backs – something that time nor distance can interfere with.


“Community Patchwork Quilt” by Kathryn Boyd, SJC Content: 14″ x 10″ Acrylic on abandoned canvas. See Kathryn’s work on her website and Instagram.

“Despite our distance, we each hold a thread in which we sew a larger quilt that connects us all.”

My creative process is meditative. I start with a brush stroke, turn the canvas, and make another. I keep rotating until I see something. Sometimes this process goes on for a while. Even after I’ve started down one path of creating something, I’m known to retire it under a layer of paint to leave only the essence of what was. In a way my paintings contain ghosts of the past. It’s like life. Endings and beginnings, our constant learning and growing.

This particular painting took on many versions of itself, yet with every layer discarded it contained elements of what brings us all together. I purposely chose a canvas that was discarded by a neighbour. I felt having this connection to another artist and sharing this literal piece of material with another person connected me to a world outside my own. The end result is a woven tapestry made up of our individual fabric sewn together to make a whole. If you look closely you may recognize symbols. A boat to bring us all home, pieces of lace showing how fragile we all are, a balloon to lift our spirits, wheat and berries to nourish us and even humanity on a cellular level.



By Kayleen Dicuangco, SJC Media

Dedication and hope go hand in hand. During difficult times, they both keep us going. Dedication can involve so many aspects of one’s life, which is why I thought a short motion graphic would be fitting. With this minimal graphic I included a quote that can speak to all. It’s a hopeful reminder relevant to life in today’s world that, with dedication, together we can conquer anything.


By Bryan Raymond, SJC Content

I used the word to play on the Toronto ( T.O.) aspect and focus on our local area. I put the hearts in red to represent all of Canada. I think Toronto is a better place when there is togetherness; we need more of it.


By Natasha Budovitch, SJC Content

We are all in this situation together. I have illustrated all of the people who are working tirelessly around the clock to be heroes in this unprecedented time along with the affected. You have the nurses with their shields, the caregivers, the elderly, the grocer/food deliverer, the lost, people hugging and helping their neighbours, ordinary people, the laid off, the homeless, the sick. Everyone needs patience to get through the everyday. This is a hand-drawn sketch made into a graphic design element with yellow watercolour being the colour of hope.




“Groundhog Family Peeking Out of the Burrow,” by Sarah, age 15 (daughter of Bogdan Grigorescu, SJC Print), designed and created on ipad using ProCreate Art Program with Apple Pencil

The groundhog family is gathered at home – their burrow. They came in, given an alert by the father and waiting for “the coast to be clear.” The mother and an intrepid baby are peeking out of the burrow after a while.
Better wait a little bit more before venturing out…. the mother sits in the way.



By Lisa de Nikolits, SJC Media

Going for walks in a time of Covid-19 saved my sanity. I saw people leaving colourful painted stones, messages of hope and unity. I placed this pebble into the running brook of my favourite ravine to represent the hope, strength and courage employed by one and all in this time. Time, like the flowing brook, will pass and we, united, will get through this.



By Adriana Guizzetti, SJC Content

The year 2020. What a year it has been. For Courage, I chose an image of a lion as he symbolizes courage, strength and power. The lion is good at making decisions and is very goal-oriented. I highlighted AG initials, as my family members all share the same initials. Bright cheerful colours, personality, kind heart and compassion. Courage 2020.



By Miguel Cea, SJC Content

Covid-19 has tested us all by giving us obstacles to overcome, from changing our daily routine to how we live our lives. That being said, I was given the word “Resilience” and as a way to symbolize the difficulty put upon us, I chose to use a thorn bush and a blooming rose.

Just like a thorn bush, Covid-19 has put us in difficult situations that most of us would have never imagined, adapting to rapid changes and finding ourselves at a crossroads that at times have caused us to reflect upon ourselves and improve our situation, be it financially, emotionally, or spiritually.

But just like how a thorn bush can cause deep cuts into our very core, I believe that the outcome of any difficult situation can lead into something beautiful and elegant as a rose in full bloom. Even in the darkest of times we can still appreciate the small things in our daily lives, be it more time with our loved ones and cherishing each given day as a gift worthy of praise.


By Harout Yaacoubian, SJC



By Liz Duerksen, SJC Media

Wearing a mask shows compassion for others, and it shows that you care for people around you. I chose a photo of a young person who has the care, courage and compassion to wear a mask on a public ferry.

The photo is of my daughter, taken on the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria; both my daughters are going to university there.



“Cousin love” by Jack (age 10), Noah (age 7), Ella (age 5) and their cousins Isabelle (age 4), Beck (age 4), Max (age 2) and Ben (age 2)

We are all missing getting together with our family members, especially as the holidays approach. Jack, Noah and Ella are missing playtime with their cousins and look forward to the return of hugs. Each cousin did a drawing of hearts to represent their love for each other, even when they’re apart. Two-year-old Max put his own spin on the assignment and drew something he loves: fire trucks (bottom right).



By Judy Kirwin, SJC Media

The clay on the Potter’s wheel is molded into a beautiful piece of pottery after several weeks. As we wait for our lives to get back to the normal routine pre-Covid, we are unaware of how our characters are being formed. May we all grow in character by having more compassion, thoughtfulness and kindness towards others.

Photo taken: Sherbrooke Village Museum, Nova Scotia



By Michael & Gabriel (age 12)


“The word light is surrounded by different coloured lights, just as we all are different, yet together, to be bright.”



By Brian Futter, SJC Content

To me, teamwork has a supporting structure of grit and endurance. As well in our case, people.

Away from a typical view of people working together,  I chose to create a graphic piece that will hopefully encourage contemplation on what it is, that aids teamwork and the goal those (especially in Hospitals) working together.

With the pandemic, Frontline workers in emergency response, nurses and care givers seem to have two perspectives or methods when working together. Those two are what I have attempted to portray.

The stretcher and the ladder.



By Jack (age 10)

You can always have faith in God because he is our shepherd and he will guide us. You can always have faith in healthcare workers because they are putting their lives on the line, for you. You can have faith in people in your community because they will have your back. To me, faith and hope are the same thing.



By Julia Wallace, SJC Media

“Positivity reflects positively on all of us”



By Angie Zanon , sister of Susan Medeiros, SJC Print

I created this digitally…it’s a child throwing confetti into the air or shouting to spread kindness like confetti.  It’s colourful which feels kind and happy and fun.  Those things are hopeful feelings.



One of our magazine reader Healthcare Hero nominations for a nurse currently working in Yellowknife, NWT – and the embodiment of strength in these Covid times.




One of our magazine reader Healthcare Hero nominations for a respiratory therapist in Toronto – and the embodiment of selflessness in these Covid times.

Beyond Content newsletter

Beyond Content is SJC’s monthly newsletter sharing media & marketing insights and inspiration across print and digital. Plus, get hand-picked stories and invites to upcoming events shaping the Canadian conversation from the brands of SJC Media.