World Coins

Canada’s 2019 circulation $1 for equality anniversary

Joe Average, a Vancouver artist, designed the reverse of Canada’s new dollar celebrating Equality.

Image courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint.

Canada has issued a circulation commemorative $1 coin to honor the recognition of rights for LGBTQ2 Canadians.

The Royal Canadian Mint on April 23 launched the new coin with a ceremony in Toronto.  

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The coin commemorates the 1969 Act of Parliament that marked the initial milestone on the journey to equality for LGBTQ2 communities by decriminalizing homosexual acts between two consenting people of 21 years or older. 

The reverse of the coin features the design of Vancouver artist Joe Average, 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. 

His design is a stylized celebration of equality viewed through an LGBTQ2 perspective. 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, as well as the double dates 1969 and 2019 to mark the anniversary. 

The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt, in use on Canadian coins since 2003.

Limited to a mintage of 3 million pieces, the Equality dollar is also available in a roll of 25 Uncirculated coins in a special wrapper, for $54.95, limited to a mintage of 15,000 rolls. 

For more details, visit the RCM’s website

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