Ardell Bourgeois designed these three figures from the war of 1812 which are now on the silver dollar coin.

Ardell Bourgeois designed these three figures from the war of 1812 which are now on the silver dollar coin.

Coin by Chilliwack artist for War of 1812 bicentennial

A new silver dollar commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 was designed by Ardell Bourgeois of Chilliwack.

When your art is stamped onto a Canadian coin, it tends to last a lot longer than with other artistic mediums.

A new 2012 silver dollar commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 was designed by artist Ardell Bourgeois of Chilliwack.

It’s a little hard to describe what that honour feels like.

“It’s obviously gratifying,” Bourgeois said. “It’s certainly going to be around a lot longer than my other works.”

Bourgeois won a design competition for the new commemorative coin.

Officials with Department of National Defence had been seeking people with an art background and an interest in military history to submit designs into the competition, and Bourgeois’ design was chosen by officials at the Canadian Mint last summer.

His design commemorates the War of 1812 with examples of three combatants: an English sergeant, an Iroquois warrior and a Voltigeur Canadien.

“The concept was to bring in the three main groups involved in the founding of Canada.”

The pre-confederation conflict is considered significant in Canadian history, uniting English, French-Canadian and First Nations forces in defending the borders and values of a future Canada in what would become Windsor, Ontario, according to the details from Mint officials.

“The Mint is proud to commemorate this turning point in Canadian history with its annual Silver Dollar,” reads the announcement.

The end of the 1812 skirmish also kicked off 200 years of peace between Canada and the United States, and as such there are 200 tiny beads of silver around the rim of the silver dollar.

Bourgeois, an Emily Carr grad, was inexorably drawn to the world of military aviation from the time he was a very young boy.

“It’s something about the wings,” he said. “I have been interested in aviation and military history for as long as I can remember.”

He started drawing planes at four, and still has a copy of the first book he read at six, about the war in the air over the Pacific, Outraged Skies, which might have been the catalyst for his passion.

Born in Alberta, the Bourgeois family moved to B.C. after his dad retired from the Canadian Armed Forces.

Over the years, the freelance artist has earned 14 awards at aviation art shows, and has seen his work displayed in museums, from the Canadian War Museum and Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa to features in magazines.

Coin collectors from all over the world have been talking about Bourgeois’ keepsake coin online.

He said he hopes it will be as popular as the Year of the Dragon coins released at the same time, which are “selling out like crazy.”

The coin is made of 99.99 per cent pure silver and is available in both “proof” frosted highlights against a mirror-like background and “brilliant” or shiny finish. With a run of 40,000, the 1812-2012 proof coin is going for $59.95 and its brilliant version, with a mintage of 25,000, is retailing for $54.95.

Just Posted

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack is going to be renamed

Street name will have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack removes recognition of racist

Chilliwack Fire Department on scene at a house fire on Boundary Road and No. 4 Road on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (David Seltenrich/ Facebook)
Fire crews respond to house fire on border of Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Flames, dark smoke reported coming from front of house when crews arrived

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

Pig races at the 147th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 10, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Fair plans in-person event for 149th annual exhibition

Will be first large-scale, in-person event in over a year, provided regulations continue as planned

Vivian Le is one of two local recipients of a Beedie Luminaries scholarship.
Chilliwack students overcome adversity to win Beedie Luminaries scholarships

Sardis secondary’s Vivian Le and G.W. Graham’s Alisa Gusakova are among 112 students receiving money

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read