Winnipegger's sand sculpture to be sent to Prince Charles

A Winnipeg artist who creates unique sand sculptures will have one of her works sent to Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
Lesia Anna's sand sculpture of a polar bear with twins, huddling against a storm, will be presented to Prince Charles during his visit to Winnipeg in May. (Lesia Anna)

A Winnipeg artist who creates unique sand sculptures will have one of her works sent to Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Lesia Anna had hoped to present the piece to the couple when they visit the city in May but the Protocol Office in Winnipeg advised her to pass the piece along and they would forward it to the palace.

Dwight MacAulay, the chief of protocol for Manitoba, said those kinds of items are rarely presented in person to royalty when they visit.

CBC Information Radio host Marcy Markusa (left) interviewed Lesia Anna on Thursday. (CBC)
Sometimes there are small trinkets given at particular events from the events themselves, but citizens are not able to present things to royals.

Anna, who works out of her studio in the Johnston Terminal at The Forks, decided to make something representing Manitoba to give to the prince — something she believed would connect with him.

"It's a mother polar bear with twins, they're huddling against a storm," she said. "It represents innocence and hope for the future and organic and natural. The prince is very well known for his organic farming."

In her process for creating the sculptures, Anna builds up layers of special feldspar sand from Grindstone Provincial Park in northern Manitoba to make three dimensional pictures.

​She shapes the design with toothpicks, colours it with a chalk-based watercolour, uses industrial epoxy to keep it in place, then coats it with environmentally-friendly varnish to protect it.

The Prince of Wales will join a long list of people who have Anna's work, including actors Samuel L. Jackson, Sir Ian McKellen, and singer Olivia Newton John.