A commemorative $3 coin produced to mark Canada's 150th anniversary features the artwork of Guelph artist Laurie McGaw.

The coin shows a "fun and inspiring collage of unmistakably Canadian symbols on a 99.99% pure silver coin," said the Royal Canadian Mint in a news release.

"Those [symbols] include our beloved Canadian flag, a birch-bark canoe, old fashioned lobster traps, an Inukshuk, wheat, the majestic Rockies, hockey sticks and many other icons that are Canadian to the core."

Laurie McGaw Canada 150

The $3 coin features a collage of Canadiana symbols produced by Guelph artist Laurie McGaw, including a toboggan, cowboy boot, Inuksuk and lobster traps (Royal Canadian Mint)

Oodles of doodles

"I thought it would be interesting to get as much as possible on a coin that you could still see and recognize... and simple enough that you can still see it down at the small size," McGaw told CBC News. 

She said the first step in designing a commemorative coin like this is a simple doodle. 

"I doodle and doodle and doodle, just out of my head. And then I spend hours and hours and hours doing research for images."

All art on Canadian Mint coins must be 100 per cent original, said McGaw. Even with portraits, the images "can't be just a reproduction of an existing photograph, it has to be an original interpretation of the pose or the images."


Artist Laurie McGaw shows her rendition of collector coins commemorating the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

This is not the first time McGaw's work has been featured on collector currency.

She also designed collector coins commemorating the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the women's suffrage centennial in 2016 and Alice Munro's Nobel Prize in Literature in 2014.

With files from the CBC's Melanie Ferrier