Canada’s history and heritage are celebrated with this work of medallic art struck in five ounces of fine silver. The image takes us back to 1864 when the Fathers of Confederation met in Charlottetown, PEI and then in Quebec City to negotiate and set out a path towards creating a unified Canada. This blueprint for confederation was concluded at the London Conference of 1866-1867, and ultimately by the Proclamation of Queen Victoria on July 1, 1867.
The ellipse shaped design features an intricately engraved image of the Fathers of Confederation based on the painting created by Robert Harris in 1883-84. The original painting was commissioned by the government of Canada led by Prime Minister Macdonald, and proudly displayed in the Canadian parliament buildings until it was lost in the great fire of 1916. A new painting based on the Harris original was completed by Rex Woods in 1968, and it is now one of the most recognized works of art on display in Ottawa.
The design brings together the delegates of both the September 1864 Charlottetown Conference and the October 1864 Quebec Conference. Three additional delegates to the London Conference of 1866-67 were added in the 1968 Woods version of the painting and have also been included on this silver medal.
The scene appears dynamic with an active discussion led by Sir John A. Macdonald that will chart the path to creating the Dominion of Canada. The conference took place in a grand room in the old Quebec parliament buildings overlooking the St. Lawrence River (on the site where the Chateau Frontenac now stands), and the rich background detail seen through the tall windows includes a panoramic view of ships on the river, Île d'Orléans and the shore of Lévis.
The obverse design is based on the official July 1, 1867 Proclamation by Queen Victoria “For Uniting the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into One Dominion under the Name of CANADA”. It includes Queen Victoria’s Royal Coat of Arms of England together with micro-engraving of the text of the Proclamation which officially created the Dominion of Canada.
While Harris’ original painting was lost to fire, the original charcoal sketch with exceptional detail in each face was preserved and has been used as the primary reference for this new art piece in silver. Every face and other element of the composition has been micro engraved with unprecedented ultra-fine detail, creating a medallic masterwork to represent Canada’s historic prelude to confederation.