Chickadee Designs Wildlife Art by Paulett Sapergia

Saskatchewan Centennial 25 Cent Coin

INVITATION & SPECIFICATIONS FROM THE ROYAL CANADIAN MINT

I received the Briefing Document for the Coin Design, October 15, 2004. This document stated the Royal Canadian Mint will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Saskatchewan in Confederation by issuing a 25 cent circulation coin. This was a closed competition and ten Canadian artists (myself included) were invited to submit concepts of this Centennial theme to the Royal Canadian Mint. The concepts were to be designed on illustration board 8" in diameter. The design would then be reduced to 34 mm; and the artists work after this reduction should not be too busy or confusing. These designs were then purchased by the Royal Canadian Mint; and are the property of the Royal Canadian Mint.

SASKATCHEWAN'S THEME

My design fell together easily in my Grasswood Studio, as I, myself, thought what I would like to see on the coin as I am a person from the prairies and have made Saskatchewan my home. Born in Moose Jaw and raised on a ranch 7 miles north of Old Wives, I envisioned prairie scenes I had experienced growing up and chose from those memories what I thought would be appropriate for the design of the Centennial 25 Cent Coin, hoping others would enjoy these images, too. So the process began. The images came from experiences I have lived on the prairies. As well, with the use of a photo for reference that I took of the Western Meadowlark with my 35 mm camera and zoom lens last summer, the Design was drawn free-hand to represent Saskatchewan's Theme.

Saskatchewan is known for its wheat which I felt framed the coin very well. Also, I added the grain elevator, a Prairie Sentinel, in the background. I also incorporated the Railroad which played such a huge roll in the development of Saskatchewan, opening up the prairie linking small towns together and to the rest of the world. Not only grain movement, but, also, the Railroad was the life of the prairies, especially, in the winter when school children, myself included, rode the train to get supplies, see a doctor, or send mail consisting of correspondence school work that had to be sent to the Moose Jaw School Board to be graded and returned to the student snowed in for months at a time, unable to attend the one-room school in Old Wives, Saskatchewan. I was home schooled by my parents, Vi & Paul Sapergia, in the winter. My Dad would take a team and sleigh, or just go horseback to take my lessons to the train which was 7 miles away to be sent to the School Board and pick up the graded lessons from the train station and bring them back home.

And of course, I could not leave out the beautiful sunrise and sunset for which Saskatchewan is famous. I also, wanted to project the vast expanse of the prairies with the flat horizon line and wide open spaces. These images were things I have grown up with; and I referred to these life experiences on the prairies when composing this design.

The Western Meadowlark standing on a fencepost with the barbed wire draped around it, head directed to the sky, singing its melodic verses warms the Saskatchewan prairie air with the sound of spring. Most everyone who has grown up in Saskatchewan has been blessed to hear that first song of spring which relates warmer temperatures with the Meadowlark that beckons the arrival of spring.

The medium I used to render the Design was black ink on illustration board as the RCM specifications stated the drawing should be done in black & white.

I would like to thank the Royal Canadian Mint for this wonderful opportunity to be invited to participate in this very prestigious competition, the 2005 25-Cent Circulation Coin to Commemorate Saskatchewan's 100th Anniversary of Confederation.

VOTING ON THE COIN DESIGN

After submission of all the concepts, the Royal Canadian Mint chose three designs which would then be voted on by the Canadian public. On Jan. 17, 2005, I received an email from the Royal Canadian Mint announcing that my Western Meadowlark coin design had been chosen along with 2 other concepts which would be voted on by Canadians.

This was the first time in the history of the Royal Canadian Mint that a coin design was voted on by the public. From Jan. 17, 2005, to Feb. 17, 2005, Canadians could vote for their favorite coin design to commemorate Saskatchewan's 100th Birthday by either voting on the Mint's website at www.mint.ca or by phone. Out of 24,427 votes cast, the Western Meadowlark coin design received 14,381.

I was notified Feb. 18, 2005, that my coin design had been chosen by the people to commemorate Saskatchewan's Centennial. I was very proud. The hardest part of all of this was keeping it a secret until the coin launch in July, 2005. I was not able to boast at all about the award; but, of course, was very proud and honored to have been chosen.

I then worked with the Mint and made a couple of revisions to the original coin design. Now, the design was ready to be reproduced. I believe the Mint made 20 million coins for distribution.

COIN LAUNCH, JULY 13, 2005

At the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts in Regina, on July 13, 2005, I was presented with a plaque by Mr. John McCallum, Minister of Revenue and Minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint, which displayed the 25 cent Centennial coin, the Western Meadowlark which is on the backside of the coin and the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the front side which was done by another artist some time ago. The plaque also congratulates me by the Royal Canadian Mint for designing the Saskatchewan Centennial 25 Cent Coin and gives the date as well.

I will be written in the history books, as this is the first time ever in the Mint's history they have allowed a coin design to be chosen by the public; as well, the 25 Cent Coin commemorates Saskatchewan Centennial.

When looking at the screen from left to right:
Chuck French, Paulett's Spouse ; Vi Sapergia, Paulett's Mother ; Paulett Sapergia, Saskatchewan Wildlife Artist; John McCallum, Minister of Revenue & Minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint; David Dingwall, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint


When looking at the screen from left to right:
Chuck French, Paulett's Spouse ; Vi Sapergia, Paulett's Mother ; Paulett Sapergia, Saskatchewan Wildlife Artist; Honorable Lorne Calvert, Premier of Saskatchewan

There were several Dignitaries as well as the general public in attendance for the coin launch. Here are a few of the photos taken that day.

Glen Hagel, Chair of the Saskatchewan Centennial Committee; Darcia Schirr, Board Member of the Royal Canadian Mint; Emmanuel Triassi - Chairperson of the Mint's Board of Directors; Premier Lorne Calvert - Premier of Saskatchewan; Paulett Sapergia - Saskatchewan Wildlife Artist, Designer of the Saskatchewan Centennial 25 Cent Coin; David Dingwall - President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint


Glen Hagel, Chair of the Saskatchewan Centennial Committee; Honorable John McCallum, Minister of Revenue & Minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint; Paulett Sapergia, Designer of the Saskatchewan Centennial 25 Cent Coin; Premier Lorne Calvert, Premier of Saskatchewan; David Dingwall, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint

After the Dignitaries speeches, the coin was unveiled. There was cake and lemonade, face painting for the children, balloons, ice cream and much more.

My family was in attendance to help celebrate this very special occasion. Unfortunately, my father, Paul Sapergia was unable to attend due to health reasons.




I was approached by several reporters and had several interviews; after which, I then signed Collector's Cards for people which contained the Saskatchewan Centennial 25 Cent Coin.

ACCOLADES

Since that day I have had several more interviews. Also, several phone calls, emails, cards, & letters of congratulations and compliments. It has been very overwhelming; but, I am very proud and honored to have my coin design chosen to commemorate Saskatchewan's Centennial. This award has a double meaning for me as it was 100 years ago this year that my Grandparents, who were Romanians, came from Yugoslavia as children, and settled in Saskatchewan. They met on the boat coming to Canada and were married 5 years later. They lived in Regina, Avonlea, then homesteaded in the Old Wives district where they raised their 5 children and later retired to Moose Jaw where they have their final resting place.

Here are some of the accolades I have had the fortune of receiving:

Newspaper Articles regarding the Saskatchewan Centennial 25 Cent Coin by: Moose Jaw Times Herald, Regina Leader Post, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Herbert Herald, Saskatoon Rural Country Press.

CBC Radio Talk Show - Sounds Like Canada with Kelly Ryan

TV Interview - with Simon Hiatt with Shaw TV Cable 10

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Centurion Grandparents who worked so hard to make Saskatchewan a great place of which we are so proud. Thank You!

Also, I would like to thank all the people of Canada and especially, the people of Saskatchewan who voted for the Western Meadowlark coin design to commemorate Saskatchewan's Centennial. I was very proud to have been able to design a coin that so many people could relate to and appreciate as their Saskatchewan