The tradition of issuing beautifully designed symbolic table medals on important anniversaries of Confederation is continued this year to celebrate Canada 150 with a new limited edition 76 mm table medal officially approved by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. This stunning new medal features an ultra high relief allegorical design on the reverse and a new 2017 high relief effigy of Queen Elizabeth designed by Susanna Blunt on the obverse. Mintage in silver is limited to just 1,000 pieces.
As part of the Canada 150 celebration, a small number of collectors also now have the opportunity to own the original design 1867 and 1927 commemorative medals in silver. While the designs are identical to the originals issued in 1867 and in 1927, they can be distinguished by edge lettering indicating they are Canada 150 restrikes. Medals have been produced to the highest medallic art standards by the Canadian Heritage Mint.
2017 ‘Canada 150’ Allegorical Design
The reverse design by talented Canadian artist Rebecca Yanovskaya centers on an allegorical personification of Canada, and is intended to represent the newest chapter in the history of the country following the designs appearing on the classic commemorative medals issued in 1867 and 1927. The timeless imagery features numerous symbols of Canada, its history, values and spirit.
Symbolism in the Reverse Design:
► Central Figures:
“Canada” is personified as a youthful woman who is also strong and confident. She is flanked by a polar bear, symbolizing strength, power, natural beauty, and our reach to the northern most parts of the continent. Canada holds a shield with a maple leaf. The maple leaf is one of Canada’s oldest and most recognizable symbols, while the shield represents Canada as a place of safety where we enjoy law and order, freedom of expression, and the ability to practice our own beliefs and religion. In Canada’s right hand she proudly holds a familiar representation our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which helps to define us as a modern free nation. A fur is draped over ‘Canada’s’ right shoulder, recognizing the historic fur trade which brought many of the first Europeans to British North America, and to the relationships forged with the native peoples. The central figures stand proudly on a pedestal marked “Canada 150”, with the country’s history behind it and the future awaiting.
► From Old World to New World: RMS Empress of Britain
The ship seen at the bottom left of the reverse design is the RMS Empress of Britain. While this Canadian Pacific steamship made 190 round trip crossings bringing thousands of new immigrants to Canada between 1906 and 1922, the image represents the many ships which delivered the brave and hopeful immigrants who together formed the backbone of a great new country.
► Modern Flight
The image of an airplane represents the modern connection of the Canadian provinces and territories to each other, as well as the connection of Canada to the rest of the world. Canada continues to grow through the arrival of new immigrants arriving by air from nearly every part of the globe. The continuing arrival of new Canadians adds to the growth, strength, and cultural diversity of Canada.
► Spherical Lines of the Globe
The lines of the globe seen over the entire reverse design emphasize Canada’s historic connection to Great Britain, France and other countries of the ‘old world”, as well as the modern connection of new immigrants to nearly every country in the world.
► Canadian Pacific Railway Engine 371: Connecting a Nation
The train pictured at the bottom right of the design is Canadian Pacific Railway Engine 371. This famous CPR steam engine was the first to cross the country from east to west, completing the trip from Montreal, Quebec to arrive in Port Moody, BC on July 4, 1886. (Ten months later Engine 374 of the same design would pull the first passenger train to Vancouver). The arrival of this train represents the realization of Sir John A. Macdonald’s vision of a unified nation spanning “from sea to sea”, and set the stage for rapid growth of the economy and the settlement of the Canadian West.
► Waves and Motto: From Sea to Sea to Sea
An updated Latin motto surrounds the medal design in wave styled banners “A Mari, Ad Mare, Ad Mare”, or “From Sea, to Sea, to Sea”, expressing our expanded reach not only east to west from sea to sea, but also to the north.
Effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (2017)
Design by Susanna Blunt
This new effigy of Her Majesty has been created by highly respected Canadian artist and sculptor Susanna Blunt. Susanna Blunt is the same artist who designed the effigy of Queen Elizabeth that currently appears on both Canadian circulation and collector coins. In designing the new effigy, Ms. Blunt has expressed that she “sought to achieve a true to life image of Her Majesty as she appears today, while maintaining a stately appearance with poise and timeless dignity”. This effigy design has been approved by Her Majesty exclusively for this medal.
Incuse edge lettering shows the issue date of 2017, the silver fineness of .9999 and weight of 10 ounces.