Volume VII, page 128 My love affair with handwriting started in grade two but my professional career in the art of beautiful writing only began in 1979 and in 1981 I started teaching calligraphy. My clients have included Air Canada, Concordia Alumni Association, the Jewish General Hospital, the City of Westmount, State of Israel Bonds,…
My love affair with handwriting started in grade two but my professional career in the art of beautiful writing only began in 1979 and in 1981 I started teaching calligraphy. My clients have included Air Canada, Concordia Alumni Association, the Jewish General Hospital, the City of Westmount, State of Israel Bonds, the Quebec Ministry of Tourism and Seagrams.
In the early 2000s, when calligraphy services became less required due to the advent of computer technology, I kept working for loyal clients and private individuals wanting poetry written in calligraphy and kept teaching and exhibiting my creative side.
In 2017, I was both honoured and grateful that my dream of writing formal documents came true when the Fraser Herald asked me if I was interested in inscribing Letters Patent for the Canadian Heraldic Authority, part of the Governor General’s office. I accepted the assignment with joy.
Heraldry is deeply rooted in calligraphic art from the beginning of the twelfth century when European knights adopted the practice of decorating their shields in order to be recognized when clad in armour. The primitive coats of arms, often simplistic, were useful in clearly identifying the individual sporting them. Over time, monarchs assumed control of the granting and official use of coat of arms. This allowed them to pay tribute to individuals and groups. Since a coat of arms came to be perceived as a mark of honour awarded by a sovereign. Heralds of Arms were charged with the task of recording the various coat of arms held by the sovereign’s subjects.
All Heraldry in the Commonwealth was designed in Great Britain until 1988. That is when the Canadian Heraldic Authority opened at Rideau Hall in the city of Ottawa. Six Heralds together with the Chief Herald have worked full-time in creating and recording heraldic emblems ever since.
The already painted Coat of Arms come with indications on where and what to write. My contribution consists in executing the calligraphic work patiently and precisely in the designated areas. All the while making sure that French and English text adjust into an equivalent space.
Although Heraldry is a medieval tradition, any individual today can request a Coat of Arms from the Authority. For more info, visit gg.ca/en/heraldry/public-register-arms-flags-and-badges-canada.