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Montreal, Quebec, March 15, 2013 - The Royal Canadian Mint is pleased to honour the Hero of Châteauguay; Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry on its newest 25-cent circulation coin commemorating the heroes of the War of 1812, unveiled today by Mr. Guy Dancosse of the Royal Canadian Mint Board of Directors and Mr. Guy Vadeboncoeur, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Stewart Museum at the Stewart Museum in Montreal, Quebec. It is the third of four circulation coins which commemorate key historical figures which influenced the fight for Canada from 1812 to 1814.
“The Royal Canadian Mint is committed to preserving memories of the people, places and events which tell the story of the Canadian experience and the remembrance of the heroes of the War of 1812 is a wonderful way to celebrate our proud values,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “Lieutenant Colonel de Salaberry and his Voltigeurs militia loom large among the many heroes who valiantly defended Canada 200 years ago and the Mint is delighted to have issued a special 25-cent circulation coin which allows Canadians to learn more about their importance to our history as they discover and collect this new coin.”
The War of 1812 paved the way for Confederation. It was the fight for Canada and a defining moment in our country’s history that saw British regular forces, English and French-speaking militia, First Nations and Métis1 allies join together to defend our borders2. Without their courage and sacrifice, Canada as we know it would not exist.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry served as an officer of the British army in Lower Canada (now Quebec). As war loomed in the spring of 1812, he helped raise a unit of militia corps, known as the Canadian Voltigeurs, from among his primarily French Canadian compatriots. These new forces would help defend Lower Canada against the imminent attack.
He is best known for the Battle of Châteauguay in October of 1813, where about 1,700 Canadians helped repel around 3,000 American troops and Montreal was saved from a large-scale attack3. Please see attached backgrounder for further product information.
Limited to a mintage of 12.5 million coins, the Charles-Michel de Salaberry 25-cent commemorative circulation coin begins circulating on March 18, 2013. The public is encouraged to look for it in their change as of that date. Coin exchanges at Mint boutiques and special events will be announced locally.
The Mint has also released a number of exquisite precious metal collector coins to add to the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. On March 12, 2013, the Mint issued a $4 face value 99.99% pure silver coin featuring a portrait of Lieutenant Colonel de Salaberry, set against an intricately engraved background consisting of the bilingual text “The War of 1812/La guerre de 1812.” This coin is also emblazoned by the engraved and painted Government of Canada War of 1812 logo. Limited to a mintage of only 10,000 examples world-wide, it retails for $49.95 CDN. More details on this and other 1812 collectibles can be found at www.mint.ca/1812.
This product, and others, can also be purchased from www.mint.ca; the Mint’s boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver; and through our network of distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets. Phone orders can also be placed by directly contacting the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada and 1-800-268-6468 in the US.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit www.mint.ca
Images of the Mint’s newest War of 1812 commemorative circulation coin are available by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Senior Manager, Communications
Royal Canadian Mint
Telephone: (613) 949-5777
2012 25-Cent Circulation Coin: 200th Anniversary of The War of 1812 “Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry”
As the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 carries into 2013, the stories of heroic figures whose brave acts assured the defense of a future Canada continue to spark our national pride. One of the most celebrated was Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry. Dubbed “The Hero of Châteauguay”, he was a distinguished British Army commander whose leadership of the legendary Voltigeurs French Canadian Militia ensured the successful defense of Montreal and all of Lower Canada (now Quebec) from 1812 to 1814.
Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry was born in 1778 in Beauport, Lower Canada, to a prominent family of Royal Army officers. De Salaberry enlisted in the 44th Foot Regiment at age 14 and served primarily in the Caribbean, Ireland, and the Netherlands before returning to Lower Canada in 1810 as a brevet-major. With war between the United States and Britain close at hand, he formed a militia to help defend Lower Canada. His group of Colonial regulars, the Voltigeurs Canadiens, was a light infantry unit that would become one of the most successful and well-known units to fight in the War of 1812.
Lieutenant Colonel de Salaberry vaulted into history at the Battle of Châteauguay in October 1813, when he and his outnumbered Voltigeurs forced thousands of American forces attempting to capture the city of Montreal to retreat. This was the first of several victories that prevented American plans to take Montreal; including Crysler’s Farm in November 1813, and at Lacolle Mills in March 1814. After the end of hostilities, de Salaberry went on to serve in the Legislature of Lower Canada and he died in Chambly in 1829.
The reverse image of this new 25-cent circulation coin features a portrait of Lieutenant Colonel de Salaberry, designed by Nova Scotia artist Bonnie Ross, against an intricately engraved background comprised of the words “The War of 1812” in both English and French. Featured in the design is the stylized maple leaf from the Government of Canada War of 1812 logo, on which “1812” appears in antique script.
In all, 12.5 million of these commemorative circulation coins have been produced in two distinct finishes: half of them feature a coloured maple leaf from the War of 1812 logo, while the remaining coins have a frosted portrait of Lieutenant Colonel de Salaberry while the maple leaf remains unpainted.
The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
Canadians can find this new coin in general circulation as of March 18, 2013, or order limited quantities through an online coin exchange at www.mint.ca/1812, as of April 9, 2013.