Statement by the Royal Canadian Mint on the passing of Robert-Ralph Carmichael, renowned artist behind Canada's Loonie

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO – July 18, 2016 – The Royal Canadian Mint was saddened to learn of the passing of Robert-Ralph Carmichael ‎on Saturday, July 16 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Mr. Carmichael was the artist who designed Canada's celebrated one-dollar coin.

In 1987, one-dollar banknotes in Canada were replaced by the new one-dollar coin. The coin was instantly dubbed the Loonie after the solitary loon that graces the coin's reverse side; the nickname caught on and Canadians have embraced it ever since.  Mr. Carmichael’s Loonie design has stood the test of time due to its simplicity in depicting an icon of Canadian wildlife.

The introduction of the one-dollar coin in 1987 was the most significant change to Canada’s coinage system in over 50 years.   Since that time, Mr. Carmichael’s design has appeared on over 1 billion one-dollar coins. We thank him for his remarkable contribution in creating what has become a true Canadian symbol.

We express our sincere condolences to Mr. Carmichael's wife Gwen Keatley, and to his family and friends. ‎


For more information, please contact:
Christine Aquino
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Royal Canadian Mint
Tel: (613) 993-9999