Royal Canadian Mint joins fellow Canadians in Baddeck, Nova Scotia to celebrate Canada's centennial of flight



    BADDECK, NS, Feb. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to
honour National Aviation Day in Baddeck, Nova Scotia as it joins thousands of
Canadians celebrating the 100th anniversary of the maiden flight of the Silver
Dart, which marked the foundation of Canadian aviation. The Mint has dedicated
its 2009 Silver Dollar to the centennial of flight in Canada and today
presented this coin in personalized souvenir frames to the dignitaries
attending this historic celebration: Lieutenant-General Angus Watt, Chief of
the Air Staff, Dr. Roberta Bondar, Honorary Chairman of the Silver Dart Legacy
Committee, as well as family and official representatives of the founders of
the Aerial Experiment Association.
    "The Royal Canadian Mint is passionate about celebrating defining moments
in Canadian history and the centennial of the first powered flight in Canada
is an event which deserves permanent recognition on a beautiful new silver
dollar," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.
"The Mint's 2009 Silver Dollar also salutes the efforts of the tireless
organizers and volunteers celebrating our nation's centennial of flight in
Baddeck, and across Canada."
    "I am very pleased that the Royal Canadian Mint has honoured the
centennial of the first powered flight in Canada by choosing this important
event in Canadian history as the theme of its new 2009 Silver Dollar", said
the Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State for Transport. "Canadians
feel great pride in the many aviation milestones which have followed the first
flight of the Silver Dart and it is greatly rewarding to see its legacy
immortalized on a precious silver keepsake from the Royal Canadian Mint."
    Canadian history was made 100 years ago on the frozen surface of Bras
d'Or Lake as the Silver Dart, Canada's first successful flying machine, lifted
off on its maiden flight with engineer and Baddeck native John McCurdy at the
controls. From its Baddeck, Nova Scotia proving grounds, Alexander Graham
Bell's Aerial Experiment Association laid the groundwork for a century of
Canadian aeronautic triumphs. The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to showcase
Canada's many flying icons, from the Silver Dart to Canada's Snowbirds, on a
beautifully contrasting proof silver coin.
    Designed by Ontario artist Jason Bouwman, this sterling silver dollar
features an image of a young person running with arms spread like an
airplane's wings, symbolizing humanity's timeless dream of flight. In the
background, the silhouettes of the Silver Dart, the Avro Arrow and a
"Snowbird" Tutor Jet, illustrate Canada's pioneering achievements in aviation.
A close look at the overall design also reveals the ingeniously composed image
of our beloved maple leaf. Limited to a mintage of 50,000, the 2009 Proof
Silver Dollar is available for $47.95 CDN. The brilliant uncirculated version
of this coin also retails for $39.95 CDN and is also limited to a mintage of
50,000.
    The same design is reproduced on a selectively gold-plated proof dollar
coin, which is exclusive to the Mint's 2009 Proof Set. Only 55,000 sets, with
a suggested retail price of $99.95 CDN, are available world-wide.
    These Royal Canadian Mint products are available at Baddeck's Alexander
Graham Bell National Historic Site as of February 23, 2009. They can also be
directly purchased from the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468
in the US, or on the Internet at www.mint.ca. The coins are also available at
the Royal Canadian Mint's global network of dealers and distributors.

    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 9001-2000
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. The
Mint is an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic
Winter Games and has undertaken to produce the most extensive circulation coin
program in relation to the Olympic Games ever conceived by any mint worldwide,
while also offering limited mintage collector coins and sets. Visit
www.mint.ca/2010 for Vancouver 2010 keepsakes and gifts.

    Images and product details of the Mint's Centennial of Flight collector
products are available by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Alex Reeves, Manager, Communications, (613)
949-5777, Mobile: (613) 884-6370, reeves@mint.ca


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