Making Change with a Campfire
By Leanne Clare
Laura Timmermans wants every Canadian to hold a campfire in the palm of their hand in 2017.
To make it happen, Canadians simply need to vote for her campfire coin design in the Canadian Mint’s 150th anniversary coin contest.
When the 24-year-old freelance graphic designer decided to enter the competition, she had no idea what to put on the special coin. After hours of rummaging through the archives and researching past coins, she decided to go with her heart.
“I came back to what I love to do and that’s have campfires. I think most Canadians love them and they have been around since before there was even a country. What better way to celebrate a 150th anniversary than with a campfire?” says Timmermans.
Timmermans now lives in Nanaimo B.C., but she grew up in the tiny fishing village of Ucluelet on Vancouver Island’s west coast and often went to the beach for a campfire after school or for family celebrations. “It was really a part of the fabric of my life,” she says.
Laura’s Campfire Cred:
Favourite Campfire food:
Favourite Campfire song:
Favourite Campfire story:
We had a campfire building competition in high school
where we had to be the first to build a fire and boil off an entire cup of water. We won.
That interweaving of campfires as a part of our rituals and everyday life is something she decided to reflect in her coin. Timmermans believes our common history of sitting around a campfire crosses cultural boundaries and helps promote greater unity. “In the flame of the design, I wanted to suggest different ethnic groups in Canada. You can see a collage of different cultures,” says Timmermans.
In 1967, the Canadian mint commissioned Alex Colville to create five different designs to celebrate the country’s centennial. In a recent retrospective of the artist’s work at the National Gallery of Canada, images of Colville’s rabbit, mackerel, bobcat, wolf and Canada goose coins were featured at the beginning of the exhibition.
Timmermans says the prospect of joining Colville as a coin designer and having generations of Canadians enjoying her campfire would be an honour. “It’s pretty fantastic and an awesome feeling of acceptance. This is a big step up in my art career,” she says.
You won’t get to feel the warm glow of Timmermans’ campfire in your pocket unless you vote for her design. Go to mint.ca before October 9 to vote for the campfire coin.