Canada celebrates suffrage centennial with circulating dollar coin

Five million coins being released into circulation
By , Coin World
Published : 03/11/16
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Canada’s newest circulating coin, to honor the centennial of woman’s suffrage in Canada, was unveiled March 8, International Woman’s Day.

Unveiling the coin were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau and Patty Hajdu, minister of Status of Women. The coin was unveiled at a ceremony held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Five million of the 2016 Women’s Right to Vote coins began entering circulation that day. 

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The coin features a design by Laurie McGaw of a woman casting a ballot while her young daughter looks on. The inscriptions WOMEN’S RIGHT TO VOTE / DROIT DE VOTE DES FEMMES / 1916-2016 also appear in the top portion of the coin.

The Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse of the new dollar coin.

In 1916, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan granted women the right to vote in provincial elections. Universal suffrage came later, but as the Royal Canadian Mint notes, the history-changing shift in the provinces paved the way for a larger societal shift. 

“As Canada joins the world today in celebrating International Women’s Day, the Government of Canada is delighted that the Mint has commemorated a milestone in the history of Canadian women with a special one-dollar coin recognizing the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote,” Morneau said. “Canadians from coast to coast to coast should look for this coin and collect it as a reminder that equality endures as a fundamental value of Canadian society.”

The coin may be found in change or can be obtained in exchange at the Mint’s Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver boutiques. Limited quantities are available in packs of five for face value ($5) through an online coin exchange at, but that option is available only to residents of Canada. 

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