By Brenda Kossowan
A local graphic artist trained in Calgary has put her own stamp on the country star who impressed her so much as a youth.
A few years ago, when Sabrina McAllister was still a pre-teen and living on the family farm east of Penhold, her parents, David and Susan Kaun, took her to Calgary for a Shania Twain concert.
They had seats in the floor area and McAllister had bought a rose that she hoped to lay on the stage. Security staff were not allowing anyone to approach the stage, but the Kauns were able to talk one of them into taking the rose up for her.
McAllister says seeing how she had done her best to look like Shania may have helped convince the security people of her sincerity.
The highlight for her that night came during the show, when Shania stopped the concert, picked up the rose, and had her stage crew put a spot likht on the Kaun family as she read for her audience the note that accompanied the flower.
Years later, McAllister has been given another shot at getting close, if not personal, to her childhood idol.
Last fall, a former colleague contacted McAllister about an opportunity at Canada Post. The corporation was seeking designs for a series of collectors' stamps and booklets featuring five of Canada's favourite country music stars - including Shania Twain.
McAllister was later contacted by Canada Post, announcing that the winning designs had been chosen for the release in July.
Her designs would be used for Renee Martel stamp and had also been selected for the Hank Snow stamp. Then came the big news. She was informed she was the successful designer of the stamp commemorating her favourite star, Shania Twain.
The other two stamp, featuring k.d. land and Tommy Hunter, were awarded to designer Roy White.
In the most recent edition of its periodical, Details. Canada Post includes a few phrases from McAllister's reaction upon learning that her designs had been chosen.
"I was giddy with excitement." she says. "Shania was a childhood idol for me."
The reward is far greater in terms of the honour it brings and the exposure it provides for her new enterprise, Quarter Section Creative Inc.
McAllister studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design and started her career wtih an advertising and marketing firm based in Calgary.
Purchase the stamps at CanadaPost.ca