Wesley Klassen (St. Catharines, Ontario) – Wesley Klassen drew on the memories of his boyhood vacations when designing Connecting a Nation to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Travelling from coast to coast exposed Klassen to the iconic landmarks and monumental achievements that continue to define our nation — with the national railway chief among them. To capture that experience and distill it into a single coin design, Klassen drew on the creative talents his parents encouraged from a young age. Having designed a Canadian commemorative circulation coin, Klassen has followed in the footsteps of his father, who designed the town crest for Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1971.
Amy Choi (Calgary, Alberta) – Calgary’s Amy Choi is not a trained artist, but her pride in the Canadian ideals of peacekeeping and multiculturalism inspired her to take pencil to paper and create Wings of Peace for the My Canada, My Inspiration coin collection. Choi’s simple, elegant design captures Canada’s peaceful, inclusive character and speaks to her admiration for all the country has managed to achieve in its 150 years as a nation. In Choi’s view, Canada is a model of what being committed to peace and multiculturalism means, with its accomplishments representing “a major first step forward for the rest of the world and humankind”.
Timothy Hsia (Richmond, British Columbia) – Growing up, Timothy Hsia’s family home was adorned with prints of artworks by Canadian painters including Robert Bateman and Ted Harrison. Today as a family physician in British Columbia, Hsia continues to look on nature with a painter’s eye — as evident in his contribution to the My Canada, My Inspiration 150th anniversary coin collection, Dance of the Spirits. Challenging himself to render the ever-shifting movement of the Northern Lights in a single, still image, he blended hand-drawn elements and computer design to bring the aurora borealis to life for all Canadians to share.
Gerald Gloade (Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia) – A native Mi’kmaw artist from Nova Scotia, Gerald Gloade remembers the commemorative circulation coins issued on Canada’s 100th anniversary with designs by the famous Canadian artist Alex Colville. Five decades later, Gloade is proud to be part of the country’s 150th anniversary celebration with his winning entry, Living Traditions. Fusing the traditional and modern in a single design, Gloade’s beaver emblem was created entirely on a tablet using digital tools — while carrying forward the style of Gloade’s northeastern woodland Algonkian heritage.
Joelle Wong (Richmond Hill, Ontario) – When eight-year-old Joelle Wong learned of the My Canada, My Inspiration coin design contest, she immediately started thinking about images that would represent what the country means to her. Starting from a painting she had made for a school art project, and with a teacher’s help in researching Canadian wildlife and Indigenous art techniques, Joelle channelled her appreciation for animals and greenspaces into Hope for a Green Future, a design that shares her personal, heartwarming vision for a tomorrow in which all Canadians work together to preserve and protect nature and its creatures.