The oldest French-Canadian regiment awarded earlier this month the first Dollar des Voltigeurs, embossed in the copper from their burnt building, categorized historical monument in 1987, as part of their Remembrance Day ceremony.
The first of 50 coins was awarded to Voltigeurs of the Year, Corporal Pier-Luk Ferland, who was chosen by his superiors back in May. He was gifted the first historical coin at the very building from which it originated, created in collaboration with local business Artisans du Passage, located in Lévis (Quebec).
Major Martin Lépine explains, “We found the container in which the copper from the burnt building had been stored (back in 2008) at our new temporary residence, Complexe Pierre-Bertrand. We knew of Charles-Olivier Roy’s work at Artisans du Passage, so the idea of a unit coin made out of our roof quickly emerged.”
From a unit coin to an actual collective piece offered to the general public, the project evolved greatly. The coin necessitated many hours of work from Roy and his team to ensure it would best represent the rich heritage of the reserve regiment.
“We worked really hard to digitalize not only members of the unit to be portrayed on the coin, but also a monument on site and some archived documents from the original building. We wanted the final result to be historically accurate and something the unit members would be proud to either be awarded or purchase for their own collection,” he explained.
Though the unit will award only one numbered coin to its most deserving member each year for the next 50 years, Artisans du Passage expects to be able to get 50,000 coins out of the very complex process of melting and polishing the burnt copper saved from the fire.
For more information on the coin and the work behind it, visit www.dollardesvoltigeurs.ca