OTTAWA, Nov. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - A century after intrepid explorers set
sail from Victoria, BC to study Canada's Western Arctic and deepen the
world's understanding of life in the Canadian North, the Royal Canadian
Mint has launched two 25-cent commemorative circulation coins to
celebrate both the 100th anniversary of this historic expedition, as well as the cultures and
traditions which continue to thrive in our Arctic regions. The coins
were unveiled today in Victoria, BC and in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.
"Canada's North is a fundamental part of our heritage and national
identity and is vital to our future," said the Honourable Leona
Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian
Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic
Council. "Our Government encourages Canadians to take this unique
opportunity to discover the North's history, culture and peoples by
collecting the Royal Canadian Mint's new circulation coins
commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition and celebrating the way
of life still thriving across Canada's northern regions."
"The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to circulate coins which give
Canadians a new way to appreciate the people, places and events which
have shaped Canada as we know it today," said Ian E. Bennett, President
and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "As one of the greatest adventures
of the early 20th century, the Canadian Arctic Expedition sparked many discoveries about
life in the North and we are pleased that our new circulation coins
help Canadians learn even more about the Arctic's past and present, as
well as its unique Aboriginal cultures."
As of today, a total of 25 million 25-cent commemorative circulations
coins will begin circulating via the Mint's national coin distribution
network. 12.5 million coins feature artist Bonnie Ross' illustration
of explorers preparing to take their first north-bound steps into
uncharted territory 100 years ago. Another 12.5 million coins
celebrate "Life in the North" through the rich symbolism created by
Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU artist Tim Pitsiulak.
Please see attached backgrounder for further information on these coins.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the
minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO
9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the
largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of
specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an
international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and
services, visit. www.mint.ca
Images of the Mint's new commemorative circulation coins are available
by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca.
2013 25-CENT CIRCULATION COINS:
"100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CANADIAN ARCTIC EXPEDITION"
AND "LIFE IN THE NORTH"
One hundred years after Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden
despatched explorers and researchers on an ambitious mission to map the
Canada's Western Arctic and study its peoples, wildlife and geology,
the Royal Canadian Mint is proud to celebrate the centennial of the
1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition as well as the cultures and traditions
which continue to thrive across the North today.
This historic expedition was led by ethnologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson
and zoologist Rudolph Anderson, whose teams split into a Northern
Party, headed by Stefansson to undertake the bulk of the mapping
exercise, while Anderson's Southern Party explored the geology, flora
and fauna, and native inhabitants of the Arctic Mainland. After
travelling thousands of kilometres by sea, the Northern Party studied
new islands and charted land which even local inhabitants had never
seen. The Southern Party compiled 14 volumes of scientific data and
gathered thousands of natural specimens and cultural artifacts, which
for the first time opened the eyes of the world to the culture and way
of life linking the aboriginal peoples of the Northwest Territories,
Yukon Territory, Alaska and Siberia.
The Expedition's artifacts, photos, and recordings have formed the basis
of numerous educational programs and museum exhibits and remain
important pillars of the permanent National collections of the Canadian
Museum of Nature and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
The 2013 25-cent circulation commemorating 100 year-old Canadian Arctic
Expedition was designed by artist Bonnie Ross. The reverse of this
1913-2013 dated coin shows three explorers posing before a fully-packed
dog sled as they prepare to take their first northward steps into
uncharted territory. The background of this scene is filled with the
details of a compass rose, pointing northwards to show their intended
A celebration of the traditions and cultures which still endure in
today's North are found in a 25-cent circulation coin designed by
Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU artist Tim Pitsiulak. His richly symbolic
vision is rendered in classic Inuit art style to represent "Life in the
North" as seen by its inhabitants. The central design feature of this
coin are a pair of Beluga whales and a Bowhead whale; common to Arctic
waters and vitally important to the Inuit way of life.
The Bowhead whale on this coin has been transformed into a canvas
displaying multiple facets of Inuit culture and history. A large Dorset
Culture ivory mask on the dorsal part of the bowhead whale and smaller
depictions on its lower jaw represent the Tuniit (paleo-Eskimos) which
migrated from Siberia across the Bering Straight into North America.
An amauti design on the tail represents hooded clothing worn by Inuit women,
while an igloo pattern adorns its mid-section and the Thule ivory comb on its head symbolizes Inuit expansion across Canada. This
scene is encircled by the silhouette of a breaching whale being pursued
by a traditional whaling boat and kayaks along the coin's rim.
12.5 million examples of each theme will enter general circulation as of
November 22, 2013. Each will be available in two combinations of
frosted accents in mintages of 6.25 million coins for each frosting
version. All 25 million coins in this commemorative program also
feature the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt
on their obverse.
Canadians can start looking for these new coins in their change, attend
coin exchanges at special events in select locations across Canada, as
well as at the Mint's Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver boutiques, or
obtain limited quantities through an online coin exchange at www.mint.ca/arctic (limited to Canada only). While supplies last, a free collector card
will shipped to each household participating in the online coin
Canadian Arctic Expedition collector coins also available
Tim Pitsiulak's "Life in the North" design can also be found on a $3
Fine Silver collector coin with contrasting frosted finishes. This
precious metal collectible is limited to a mintage of 10,000 coins
world-wide and retails for $34.95 CAD.
Bonnie Ross' Canadian Arctic Expedition design also appears throughout
the family of 2013 Silver Dollar products, which includes the Proof and
Brilliant Silver Dollars, as well as the 2013 Fine Silver Proof Set and
Specimen Proof Set. A different Bonnie Ross artwork honouring the 100th anniversary of the expedition is also found on the 2013 $100 gold
coin. Details on all these products are available at www.mint.ca.
SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mint
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