Canadian coins will soon be getting a makeover and the general public will be the ones performing the surgery.
The Royal Canadian Mint is calling on all Canadians to submit designs for five new coins in 2017 as part of their My Canada, My Inspiration contest, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation.
The contest asks participants to create designs that match one of the mint’s five themes: Our Passions, Our Character, Our Future, Our Wonders and Our Achievements.
Alex Reeves, Royal Canadian Mint senior manager of communications, said the design contest is not only an excellent way to celebrate an important milestone in Canada’s history, but also a great way for the mint to involve all Canadians in the 2017 celebrations.
“We really see ourselves as having a responsibility to use our coins to maximum effect,” Reeves said. “Yes they are tools for trade and commerce, but they are also ways to convey messages of importance to Canadians.”
There will be one theme per coin, with a total of five winning designs. The winners of each design will see their designs go into circulation for one year and will receive $2,000 as well as a trip to the unveiling ceremony in 2017.
Once the Thursday (April 30) submission deadline passes, designs will go through three stages of screening, according to Reeves.
“You can look at three triage steps in the selection process,” Reeves said. “At first we are going to take all the submissions that we have and review them internally.”
After officials narrow down the selections to 30 designs per category, the designs will then be screened by a number of notable Canadians, such as Rich Hansen, Chris Hadfield, Olympic medalist Joannie Rochette and former governor-general Adrian Clarkson.
“They will essentially distil that down to five designs in each theme category that are the most appealing and most promising,” Reeves said.
The public will then be allowed to vote for the winning designs in September.
Reeves said that while the public will be able to vote for the winning designs per theme, the mint will determine which coins each design will go on.
“Once the winning design is chosen in each theme category then a determination will be made as to what best fits on a 10-cent coin as opposed to a toonie,” Reeves said. “We will make that determination design wise.”
This is the not the first time that the Royal Canadian Mint has turned to Canadians for designs. In 1992, the mint called on the public to redesign 12 quarters, one representing each province and territory at the time, as part of celebrations for the 125th anniversary of confederation.
In 1999 and 2000 the mint received more than 33,000 designs from Canadians for their Millennium Collection contest.
Reeves said it is not very often that Canadians have the opportunity to design something that is so long lasting.
“A coin is a permanent thing,” Reeves said. “You look at an ancient Greek or Roman coin, you’re looking at history that dates back thousands of years ago and it is still with us today. It’s pretty cool to have the opportunity to put your stamp on history.”
The contest ends on Thursday at 8 p.m.
For more information about the contest, including a full list of rules, submission requirements and eligibility, please visit the Royal Canadian Mint’s website at www.mint.ca/canada150.
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