I spent several hours on Canada Day participating in a brainstorm session hosted by my good friends at MASS LBP (they are a new company trying to re-shape the art of public consultation). The topic was the upcoming 150 year anniversary of Confederation, in 2017. By planning in advance, how could we help make the celebrations relevant, constructive and meaningful? We learned about the 1967 Centennial celebrations, which I knew little about. It sounds like much of the ’67 events were quite interesting. Decentralised, creative and progressive. I had no idea how much public investment was made in the name of the anniversary (like Centennial Park, Centennial Road, Centennial College, and even those sidewalks with the Centennial stamp).
We talked about a variety of topics including energy consumption, natural resources, immigration, and Canada’s First Nations (some of whom might not be feeling so celebratory about the ‘confederation’ of their land).
Somehow, the topic of the monarchy came up and it was surprising to see how much negativity their was in the room. Perhaps 2017 would be a good year to send a handwritten note to Buckingham Palace that says “Thanks for helping us set-up. We’re gonna go off on our own now. Cheerio.”
We talked about different reasons why the monarchy should stay or go, and one consistent concern was the fact that the Queen of England continues to appear on our currency. You know, a lot of people think this is just foolish. Instead of Elizabeth, we could celebrate home-grown celebrities, artists, leaders, or even random citizens (or their pets) on our currency.
But the greatest concern expressed wasn’t about the Queen, but about her son. What happens when he takes the throne? Will the face of Prince Charles adorn all of our currency?
Being a Photoshop nerd, I spent some time this week re-imagining our two dollar coin. For your viewing pleasure, I present to you our future currency which will no doubt be referred to as the Choonie.