They provide care. They serve food. They report the news. Meet the Super Essential Workers

Frontline workers have been rightly hailed as heroes all throughout the global pandemic, but that idea has literally been sketched out in a new initiative from Toronto-based production company Makers.

Working with illustrators in Canada and around the world, Makers has developed “Super Essential Workers” colouring kits—27 (and counting) downloadable images of frontline workers, all presented in superhero form, that kids and their parents can colour.

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The images, available at SuperWorkers.ca, range from obvious choices like doctors and nurses, to trash collectors and chefs. There’s even a pair of superhero journalists.

“A bunch of us are loving mothers and fathers, or aunts and uncles, and this idea just came out of wanting to spark joy while finding a way to support kids and frontline workers,” says Andrea Wong, a producer with Makers.

“We were just seeing the world change very quickly, and a lot of brave people putting their lives at risk to keep society running and keep us safe at home.

“All of the emotion we saw at that time came together and sparked the idea, and led to us saying ‘What can we do?’ As producers we can’t help but want to act and do something.”

Makers team members personally reached out to illustrators they either personally admired or had worked with in the past, and received overwhelmingly positive response.

“We really realized we had something, because there were a lot of illustrators who said yes without hesitation,” says Wong, a former account person with agencies including Taxi, Ogilvy and The Hive who’s been with Makers since 2016. “We got a lot of easy yeses.”

Makers also worked with several local companies to develop the initiative: Linda & Linda on creative direction and branding; Plus K on web design and development and motion designer/artist Josh Ingleby on a video showcasing the program that’s an obvious homage to the famed Marvel intro.

While all of the pictures are free to download, visitors to the SuperWorkers.ca page are being invited to make a donation to Kids Help Phone. “We wanted to make some tangible good come out of this, aside from just giving kids a nice activity they could do,” says Wong.

Chris Powell