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Canada circulates equality dollar

On April 23 the Royal Canadian Mint placed into circulation a one-dollar coin commemorating 50 years of progress in recognizing the rights of LGBTQ2 Canadians. In 1969 the Canadian Parliament decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting people of 21 years or older. Fifty years-on the reverse of the coin bears both the 1969 and 2019 dates along with the words EQUALITY / ÉGALITÉ. The design is the work of Vancouver artist Joe Average.

Joe Average’s design for the reverse of Canada’s new Equality dollar that marks 50 years of recognizing the rights of LGBTQ2 Canadians. The image of two intertwined faces reflects gender fluidity and the spectrum of genders. They are left open to interpretation. They may belong to two individuals or they may represent different aspects of a single person’s identity. (Image courtesy Royal Canadian Mint.)

In launching the coin, Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, observed, “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. 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.”

Joe 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.

Mintage of the new coin is 3,000,000. A .9999 fine silver version is also available with a mintage of 15,000.


This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.

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