RCM issues 2022 dollar celebrating Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson
- Published: Aug 22, 2022, 12 PM
Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson has become the first Canadian musician to appear on a circulating Canadian coin.
The Royal Canadian Mint on Aug. 11 unveiled a 2022 circulating commemorative dollar honoring “the man with four hands” as Peterson was named by jazz great and admirer Louis Armstrong.
Peterson rose to the top of the music world through more than six decades of electrifying piano performances and unforgettable compositions such as Hymn to Freedom, Blues Etude and The Canadiana Suite.
The coin was unveiled to family and friends gathered in Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, a stage well known to Peterson.
The coin entered circulation Aug. 15, coinciding with his birthday.
The Oscar Peterson commemorative dollar was designed by Valentine De Landro, an accomplished comic book artist, illustrator, and designer from Ajax, Ontario.
His design features Peterson at the piano, with his hands in full motion, from which emerges a flowing musical scale showing two closing bars of his famous Hymn to Freedom. Peterson’s name completes the design.
The Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse.
The Oscar Peterson circulation coin has a mintage of 3 million coins, of which 2 million feature a purple accent, Peterson’s favorite color.
The coin will reach Canadians through their change as banks and businesses replenish their inventories of $1 circulating coins.
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