2009 Canada Games unveils medal design
Charlottetown, PE, August 18, 2008 – With one year left to go before the 2009 Canada Games takes place on Prince Edward Island, the Host Society today unveiled the design for the medals that will be presented to the top athletes at next summer’s multi-sport event. The Games’ organizers also announced the Delta Prince Edward Hotel as a Bronze Sponsor.
The Hon. Carolyn Bertram, Minister responsible for sport, Host Society president Joseph Spriet, vice president Wayne Carew, and Medals and Flags Committee member Vicki Allen Cook were on hand at an event in Charlottetown today, along with Delta Prince Edward General Manager Michael Bird, to announce that Laura O’Brien, of Charlottetown, created the winning design.
The Medals and Flags Committee of the Ceremonies, Protocol & Hospitality Division ran a contest earlier this spring to find the design and picked O’Brien’s entry over more than 50 others. O’Brien, a graphic designer and graduate of Holland College, works for a local marketing agency. She said, “I’m really honoured to have my design selected as it will form part of the legacy of this event on Prince Edward Island.”
A special publicity campaign targeting students took place as part of the contest, encouraging children of all ages to enter. Minister Bertram acknowledged and thanked Minister Gerard Greenan and several Department of Education and Early Childhood Development staff who helped promote the contest amongst Island schools.
Brandon Bernard, a student from Kensington, took top honours for “best school design”.
The Host Society will need to produce approximately 1700 medals in order to present the coveted 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes to winning athletes during the event. Who will produce the medals, based on O’Brien’s design, has not been determined yet.
Mr. Bird also assisted Allen Cook in presenting O’Brien, 2nd place design winner Raylyn Yu of Charlottetown, and Stephen Farquharson of Dieppe, New Brunswick with their prizes.
“The Delta Prince Edward is proud to be associated with an event like the 2009 Canada Games that helps to inspire dreams and build champions in our Canadian youth,” he said. “We, at the Delta Prince Edward, look forward to welcoming the many visitors to Prince Edward Island, some of whom, the athletes, will have the opportunity to win beautifully designed medals as we’ve seen today.”
Carew, vice president of the Friends of the Games division, charged with raising $7 million in the private sector to help stage the games added, “We are thrilled that one of the premier properties in the province, the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, is the latest company to ‘come play’ on our team as Bronze Sponsor of the 2009 Canada Games.”
The award-winning Delta Prince Edward will contribute both cash and in-kind value in terms of guest and meeting rooms during both the pre-Games period and during Games-time, and will be the VIP hotel for the both weeks of the 2009 Canada Games.
Artist leaves her mark on Games with winning medal design
Laura O’Brien of Charlottetown stands in front of her winning design that will adorn the 2009 Canada Games medals. Guardian photo by Jim Day
Laura O’Brien will make her mark on the 2009 Canada Games through art, rather than athleticism.
O’Brien, 34, of Charlottetown has created the winning design that will adorn the 1,668 medals that will be awarded to the bronze, silver and gold medallists when the Summer Games are staged next year on Prince Edward Island.
“What I find funny, I’m really a non-athlete — no co-ordination whatsoever,’’ she said.
“So it’s great that me, as an artist, can now play a part in the Games.’’
A graduate of Holland College’s visual communications program, O’Brien has been working at Graphic Communications in Charlottetown for a number of years.
Often her work, which includes considerable print media efforts, focuses on creating marketing images that are seen in a flash.
Her winning design for the medals, though, will be hanging around (quite literally) for a long time.
“It’s just something that’s really great for a designer to do,’’ she said. “It’s such a lasting memento of their (athletes’) achievement and the event here on P.E.I.’’
In creating her design, O’Brien said she tried to imagine what would appeal to the athletes who will be winning the Summer Games medals in one year. She tried to make the design have depth, look professional, convey a sense of movement all while using elements to represent the Island and the spirit of the Games.
Her successful design, chosen over more than 50 entries, has a golden maple leaf on the horizon meant to symbolize the sun rising, as the athletes from across Canada dedicate each day, rain or shine, to train to achieve gold, she explained.
“It is also meant to resemble a flame of desire,’’ she said. “Each day is a new day for the competitors to reach their ultimate goal.’’
Three sweeping lines near the bottom of the medal serve several purposes, including showing movement and speed of an athlete while also reflecting the Island’s rolling farmlands.
The trio of lines also represents what O’Brien calls the three must- haves for all athletes: dedication, training and sportsmanship.
Leaves running up the side are the laurel leaves of victory. Oak trees, seen in both the provincial flag and coat of arms, symbolize the Island’s three counties as well as strength and growth.
On the top of the medal, O’Brien created the image of a flag of pride for the top athletes in Canada, each representing their own province. It is also meant to show the ribbon at the end of a race or the completion of a goal, she explained.
On the back of the medal, a far more simple design illustrates an athlete victoriously crossing the finish line.
“Oh, it’s fantastic,’’ O’Brien said of being able to create the winning design.
“The other entries were just outstanding. I’m in good company with those guys. It’s an honour.’’
Raylyn Yu of Charlottetown and Stephen Farquharson of Dieppe, N.B., were recognized for placing second and third respectively for their design entries.
Brandon Bernard, a student from Kensington, took top honours for “best school design.’’
A company still needs to be selected to produce the medals.