Moscrop student coins winning design

Wendy Hu, a grade 12 student at Moscrop secondary, shows off a large-scale version of a coin she designed for a contest sponsored by the Royal Canadian Mint. - Mario Bartel/NewsLeader
Wendy Hu, a grade 12 student at Moscrop secondary, shows off a large-scale version of a coin she designed for a contest sponsored by the Royal Canadian Mint.
— image credit: Mario Bartel/NewsLeader

Art may just be a hobby for Wendy Hu, but the Grade 12 Moscrop secondary student showed recently she's got the right stuff.

Hu, 17, was the winner in the 13-17 age category, and one of only three nationwide, of a design-your-own-coin contest sponsored by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Her father told her about the contest, knowing she has an interest in art.

"Ever since I was young, really, just finding ways to doodle on little scraps of paper or on the walls or in my notebook. I've never taken art lessons. Just taken art in school, just a side hobby of mine."

The design won't be appearing on a Canadian coin any time soon, but Hu's prize includes a visit to her class from one of the Royal Canadian Mint's engravers to talk about their craft, a large model of the coin design, a silver $10 coin, a Canadian coin set and a coin collector toolkit.

The contest was part of the 2012 Culture Days celebrations and entrants were asked to design a coin along the theme of "community and culture."

Hu's winning design shows four arms from people of different cultures reaching out to form a peace sign.

"There's a little plant coming out of the earth and it's supposed to symbolize how, with teamwork and unity different cultures can come together to create something wonderful."

She designed it in her spare time over two weekends.

When she learned she'd won, "I was ecstatic and I was just really happy that someone appreciated the work I put into it. I actually had a lot of fun designing the coin so regardless of the outcome I was very happy."

The focus of the contest was to get kids interested in the mint, coin collecting and what goes into coin design, said Alex Reeves, spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mint. There are no plans to put the coin into production.

In any case, Hu continues to work towards her goal of becoming a pediatrician. She got a boost recently with news that she has won the Queen's Chancellor's Award, a $36,000 scholarship over four years to attend Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.

She's still waiting to hear from two other universities so hasn't decided where she'll be studying yet.

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