Métis artist leads design of 2015 medals
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am
Games gold medal.
Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen and visual artist Christi Belcourt played a key role in the development of the medals that will be awarded at the upcoming TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games (TO2015). The medals were unveiled at the Royal Ontario Museum in a ceremony on March 3, 2015.
The artwork on the medals tells the rich story of the “People’s Games” through a beautifully layered design that expresses the values of inclusion and diversity, and highlights Aboriginal traditions of welcoming guests and cherishing the beauty of the natural world. The collaborative creative process included Christi Belcourt, who combined artistry and storytelling with the Royal Canadian Mint’s innovative production process. Braille is used to identify TORONTO 2015—a reflection of TO2015’s commitment to accessibility, and the first time it has ever been applied on both Pan Am and Parapan Am Games medals.
Christi Belcourt’s work demonstrates a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people. The majority of her art explores and celebrates the beauty of the natural world and traditional Indigenous world-views on spirituality and natural medicines. Christi is a past recipient of awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Chalmers Family Fund and the Métis Nation of Ontario. In 2013, her stained glass piece, Giniigaaniimenaaning was installed in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. Currently, she is organizing the community based project Walking With Our Sisters to honour murdered or missing Indigenous women and girls.
The TO2015 competition medals will be on temporary exhibition at the Royal Ontario museum from Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, March 29. During the Games, they will be available for public viewing at the Royal Canadian Mint pavilion at CIBC Pan Am Park. The Pan Am Games will run from July 10–26 followed by the Parapan Am Games August 7–15.