The Honourable Alfonso Gagliano, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint launched the newest 25-cent coin today called "Wisdom" paying tribute to generations of seniors and youth who have shared experiences, traditions and wisdom, building Canada in the process.
"Canada is strong today because of the cultures and traditions passed on from generations to generations. Like our young designer Cezar, I also arrived in this country that encouraged me to achieve my goals and to share the wealth of the culture my parents gave me with my new friends and family." Said Minister Gagliano. "As Canada's first intergenerational community centre, Santropol Rouland is an excellent site for this unveiling. It is proof that intergenerational learning continues to be an important part of our lives today and will continue to be in the future."
The unveiling took place in Montreal's Santropol Rouland, site of a two-year pilot project called Carrefour des Generations that is seeking to integrate elders and youth into healthy, dynamic and meaningful relationships. It is founded on the principle that seniors and youth form a single community with common interests and mutual needs.
Coin Designer, Cezar Serbanescu, said that he tried to capture Canada's mentoring tradition. "When my family brought me to Canada as a child, their hope was that I would prosper from its vast opportunities," said the 17-year old artist whose design depicts an older person sharing his Canadian heritage - in the form of a maple leaf - with a young person. "Today I am a web-site designer, a computer programmer and a student of business, thanks to my parents and to the many Canadians who have taken the time to share their experience and know-how with me." Cezar was born in Romania in January 1983, He and his family immigrated in Canada in 1990. Even as a child, he was passioniate about drawing and has won several design contests. He also has a passion for information technology. He has taught himself different programming languages and, by using his design talen has created several websites.
Also on hand for the unveiling was, Ms. Lara Evoy, President of the Board of Directors for Santropol Roulant, which is responsible for creating the Carrefour des Générations experiment. "It's exciting to see our efforts represented in this way," said Ms. Envoy, acknowledging the Centre's participants who were present for the unveiling. "It seems to celebrate our efforts to restore some old traditions, reinvent others and create new ways of looking at the relationship between seniors and the youth of today."
"The Royal Canadian Mint selected a design that represents the relationship between each generation and the passing on of values, culture and wisdom," said Jean Lapointe who was Master of Ceremonies at the event alongside Lara Evoy. "I learn a great deal from my children and grandchildren and I truly enjoy sharing my knowledge with them," he added.
Cezar Sebanescu's design is one of 12 designs chosen for the Millennium collection. It was chosen from among the 33,000 designs submitted during the "Create a Centsation!" by an independent panel made up of post-secondary students in graphic arts and design. The nationwide contest invited Canadians of all ages and all backgrounds to celebrate the millennium by "Drawing on our past and designing the future". Each new 25-cent coin released in 2000 highlights a value identified by Canadians as the foundation of our country's heritage and one of the building blocks for its future. The enourmously popular 1999 series of 25-cent coins reflected past Canadian Achievements, while the 2000 coins focus on the future.
As with all millennium coins, the Royal Canadian Mint is issuing a sterling silver version of this new circulation coin. A complete set of all 24 coins from 1999-2000 is also available in sterling silver or nickel.
The Mint's products can be purchased from Professional Dealers listed on The Canadian Coin Reference Site's Dealer Directory.