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The Royal Canadian Mint Joins Forces With Breakfast Club of Canada to Recognize Essential Workers and Everyday Heroes of the Covid-19 Pandemic on a Special Medal

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Ottawa, Ontario, June 29, 2020As we all know someone who deserves a medal for helping keep us safe, healthy and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, Royal Canadian Mint employees have rallied together to create a wearable recognition medal.

At a time when many Canadians cannot give a hug or say 'thanks' in person, these medals are a tangible way for people to express their gratitude, while also helping reduce hunger among children. The Mint will donate all net proceeds from the sale of each medal to Breakfast Club of Canada's emergency funding in support of children and families who are facing food insecurity now and in the months to come, due to the repercussions of COVID-19.

To be worn with pride by essential workers and everyone else who has worked so hard to keep Canadians healthy, safe, well-stocked and connected during the pandemic, this heartfelt token of appreciation may be purchased as of today.

"This project is a meaningful way for the Mint to contribute to a cause that is helping Canadians from coast to coast to coast and to say a sincere, tangible thank you to the people who keep making a difference for all of us during this pandemic," said Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "This is a true team effort led by countless Mint employees who donated their time, skills and expertise and I couldn't be more proud to join them in recognizing truly special Canadians while raising much-needed funds for Breakfast Club of Canada."

"Throughout this crisis, we have been very moved by all the shows of community spirit and hard work that have been vital in protecting some of the country's most vulnerable families," said Daniel Germain, President and Founder of Breakfast Club of Canada. "At Breakfast Club of Canada, we have been responsive to the needs of hundreds of thousands of children for the past 25 years, and we are proud to have upheld this tradition during these challenging times. But our work is far from done. It is an honour for us to be considered by the Royal Canadian Mint as a quiet force supporting children and families across the country."

The 2020 Recognition Medal started with a spark of an idea to leverage the Mint's unique coin-making skills to craft an artful and meaningful medal that could be given to those who make it possible to safely continue our everyday lives throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  The idea soon inspired scores of employees in Ottawa and Winnipeg, to band together for a once-in-a-lifetime project to show Canada's appreciation as only the Royal Canadian Mint can.

The result is a nickel-plated steel medal that includes a magnet, so that it can be proudly worn, on either meticulously engraved side, by its deserving recipient.

On one side is a heart and maple leaf icon representing the collective spirit of Canadians. The maple leaf and heart as one symbolize Canadians coming together in embrace as we help those in need. A complex array of micro-mirrors covering the heart creates a pulsating light effect that evokes Canada's strong heartbeat.

The second side represents our nation's grateful spirit. The heart in the centre of the group symbolizes Canadians coming together in appreciation for our essential workers.  We recognize their dedication and bravery, and the micro text represents the thankful voices of a nation.

By concentrating on the use of available resources to make the medal -from spare materials to employees volunteering to package the medal, the Mint has also helped maximize its fundraising for Breakfast Club of Canada.

Complete background on this project, including videos and still photography can be found here.

The recognition medal can be ordered directly from the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada,
1-800-268-6468 in the US, or on the Mint's web site at www.mint.ca. It is also available at participating Canada Post locations or through TD Canada Trust and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Mint employees also had this to say:

Yannick Cormier, R+D Project Engineer (Ottawa):
"My mom is a nurse who is working in an establishment that had declared Covid-19 cases and for me; it was an honour to be able to add my contribution on the recognition medal. It was a pleasure and nothing compared to what the front line workers have to do to work on a weekend to achieve this beautiful piece of recognition."

Thalia Bouris, Production Operations Training Coordinator (Ottawa) and one of hundreds of employee volunteers who packaged recognition medals with their families:
"It is an incredible and meaningful gesture that also teaches our kids the importance of caring for your community and lending a hand when needed.  It shows that even small gestures such as volunteering your time can make a huge difference in someone's life."

Susan Aubry, Marketing Services Manager (Ottawa) and member of the medal design team:
"Not since the Olympics 10 years ago have I felt like I am a part of something quite so important.  This is an historic moment and I'm proud to have had the opportunity to contribute.
I spent a lot of time thinking about the design and it was truly an emotional experience."

Alex Tirabasso, Engraver (Ottawa):
"The best part of this experience was seeing how our teams and colleagues rallied together for a cause that was bigger than ourselves; that is, in showing, in our own way, our respect and recognition to our health care front-line workers."

 

"The sweet sugar coating to this experience will be to hopefully see the smiles of our health care workers when they receive these medallions."

Jean-Paul Collette, Die Production Operator (Winnipeg):
"This is one of the most rewarding things I've worked on.  It connects directly with people that we know and I feel proud being able to say 'we made this for you' It's a special feeling to be able to have done that."

Chris Bruneau, Coining Operator (Winnipeg):
"It is definitely a special opportunity to take part in this. It is something we'll remember for the rest of our lives.  I thought the heart was fantastic in the way it really pops off the medal."

 

About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. 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.  Follow the Mint on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Breakfast Club of Canada
Accredited by Imagine Canada for its effective governance, the Club provides much more than breakfast: its approach is based on commitment, self-esteem and capacity development using an optimal formula adapted to local needs. Breakfast Club of Canada helps feed more than 243,500 children and youth in 1,809 schools across the country.

About the Breakfast Club of Canada's Emergency Fund
To help families struggling with food insecurity during the pandemic, Breakfast Club of Canada created an Emergency Fund, which has so far allowed for over $8 million to be given to 900 schools and community organizations across the country.  Through the grants that we are allocating to smaller community-based organizations, food is being distributed in many different ways – some are providing food hampers, other backpacks and premade meals, others it's a grab and go bag that is distributed at schools or even gift cards to grocery stores. There are so many different methods, tailored to each communities' needs and capacities.  To learn more, visit breakfastclubcanada.org.

 

For more information, please contact:

Alex Reeves                                                   Nathalie Rochette
Senior Manager, Public Affairs                      Communications Director, Breakfast Club of Canada
Tel: (613) 884-6370                                        Tel: (514) 404-5660
reeves@mint.ca                                             nathalie.rochette@breakfastclub.org