Hospice of Waterloo Region is thrilled to announce the launch of our first-ever short film competition in partnership with the Grand River Film Festival!


This short film contest calls on filmmakers and storytellers to focus on death as a part of living. You Only Die Once: #YODOContest is about living well until you die. This phrase reminds us that life matters right until the end and that how we live at the end does matter.

While death is a natural part of life, many people distance themselves from the topic of death and this has created a death-denying culture. This “death denial” causes us to avoid the subject leaving us unprepared to support our family, friends, neighbours and community to live well until the end of life. Hospice of Waterloo Region believes that living well until we die begins by challenging our ”death denial”and igniting the conversation about death, dying and bereavement. 

The winning films were screened at the Grand River Film Festival, May 3-8, 2021.

As a result of the success of our inaugural contest, HWR in collaboration with GRFF, will be launching the second annual #YODOContest in September 2021. Stay tuned!

Announcing the 2021 #YODOContest Winners!

HWR, in partnership with GRFF, is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 short film competition — You Only Die Once: #YODOContest! Congratulations to:

1st Prize

Brian Douglas

A Beautiful Death

#YODOcontest - a beautiful death

2nd Prize

Stephie Reimer

That’s Ok

Stephie Reimer That's Ok

Honourable Mention

Kay Brown

If There Were Only 7 Days

Kay Brown If There Were Only 7 Days

Meet the Judges

The judging panel includes:

  • Michael R. Clark, Chair of the Programming Committee for GRFF
  • Jennifer Cameron, Retired  school teacher, artist,  avid reader, enthusiastic gardener, passionate Hospice volunteer
  • Tony Smith, Turning passion into a career, Tony has been a part of the film and entertainment industry for almost 2 decades
  • Heather Steinmann, Client Services Support for HWR
  • Sheli O’Connor, Director of Community Partnerships and Engagement for HWR

Hospice of Waterloo Region – Vision/Philosophy of Care

  • Hospice of Waterloo Region strives to create and support a community where no one experiences an end of life journey alone.
  • Our goal is to engage the community to inspire, nurture, and comfort the human spirit in life, death, and bereavement
  • Our philosophy is to provide comfort and care, to neither hasten or prolong life and to allow a natural death.

Have Questions?

Check out our FAQs or contact Sheli O’Connor, the Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships at Hospice of Waterloo Region: sheli@hospicewaterloo.ca.

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