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A vision towards conservation.
Having spent his childhood on the shores of Quebec's Richelieu River, it was not difficult for artist Luc Normandin to find inspiration for the 2011 Proof Silver Dollar celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Parks Canada.
"I love nature," Normandin says, "I also love living in the city but found myself longing for the countryside. I had to come back. I live on a sizable lot full of trees not far from where I grew up."
Normandin believes all of nature is under threat from pollution and over-development. He feels it's important that the coin's design highlights specific species that have been officially recognized as such, "I wanted to ensure a good cross-section of Canada's fauna and flora was represented."
The coin features a Whooping Crane, Southern Maidenhair Fern, Western Prairie-Fringed Orchid and Kentucky Coffee Tree nestled in the hands of a young Canadian.
"I considered how people demonstrate their affection for something they want to protect and preserve," he says. "The natural instinct is to touch; to scoop it up and to hold it – like a child who has found a vulnerable baby animal. The image of 'cradling' something in our hands is a powerful image; very loving and caring."
For reference, Normandin photographed his own daughter cradling some of her treasures in her hands. "Seeing her in this pose really hit home. Every one of us must be a good steward of the conservation effort Parks Canada began a century ago. Every day, our seemingly benign activities have an impact on the environment. It is up to us to ensure our national treasures survive—and flourish—for the pleasure and well-being of generations to come."