The Royal Canadian Mint partnered with Vancouver-based artist Joe Average to design the new gay loonie…
On April 23, the Royal Canadian Mint marked 50 years of progress in the journey to equal rights for LGBTQ2 Canadians with the release of the $1 “Equality” circulation coin. The new coin has been met with celebration from some and protest from some historians and community advocates who have pointed out that the 50-year “milestone” is a myth and that Canada still enacts barriers for many members of the community.
“For the past 50 years and beyond, Canadians have fought for their right to love, marry, start a family and live openly as their most authentic selves,” said Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre as the coin officially went into circulation. “The Equality coin recognizes their triumphs and encourages all of us to build a better, more inclusive Canada – because like the coin itself, the more equality we have in Canada, the richer we all are.”
“Today is an important day for the LGBTQ2 community, and for all Canadians, as this commemorative coin enters circulation,” said Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues. “It is an opportunity to reflect on a landmark event in our country’s history, and a reminder of the progress still to be made as we work toward inclusion and equality for all LGBTQ2 Canadians.”
The Royal Canadian Mint partnered with renowned Canadian artist Joe Average to design the new gay loonie. Average is a Vancouver-based artist whose early interest in drawing and photography led him to dedicate his life to his art when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1984.
The design he created for the reverse of this coin is a stylized celebration of equality viewed through an LGBTQ2 perspective. Average says the image of two intertwined faces reflects gender fluidity and the spectrum of genders and is left open to interpretation: they may belong to two individuals or they may represent different aspects of one’s identity.
The reverse includes the words “EQUALITY” and “ÉGALITÉ” on two curved bands, as well as the double dates “1969” and “2019” to mark 50 years since the process of decriminalizing homosexual acts was initiated in Canada. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt, in use on Canadian coins since 2003.
A limited mintage of three million one-dollar “Equality” coins will now enter general circulation and will be available through public coin exchanges in Canada. This coin can also be collected in a special wrap roll of 25 uncirculated coins, retailing for $54.95.
A special collector’s edition version of Joe Average’s artwork, made with pure silver and featuring the design in full colour, is also being released in a limited mintage of 15,000 coins. The silver commemorative “Equality” coin retails for $49.95.
You can find Canada’s new loonie celebrating LGBTQ2 Canadians in your change now! These collectibles can also be found at the Royal Canadian Mint’s boutiques, select Canada Post outlets across the country and online at www.mint.ca/equality.
– The New Loonie Honouring LGBTQ2 Canadians Is In Circulation!