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The Royal Canadian Mint Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Official Languages Act with a Silver Collector Coin

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Ottawa, Ontario, June 12, 2019 – On the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act, the Royal Canadian Mint has proudly struck a new silver collector coin celebrating the equal status of English and French in Canada.  With centuries of shared Canadian history, these two languages are represented through one of the most recognizable symbols of our linguistic duality: the bilingual  lyrics to O Canada.  This new coin was celebrated at a special striking ceremony at the Mint's Ottawa facility attended by the Secretary-General of La Francophonie Louise Mushikiwabo, the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Mélanie Joly, Official Languages Commissioner Raymond Théberge and Mint President and CEO Marie Lemay.

"Whether at school, important events or before cheering on a sports team, Canadians stand with pride to sing O Canada in English and French," said Marie Lemay. "The Mint is delighted to have captured that emotion on a coin that recognizes the strength of our bilingual heritage, half a century after the passage of the Official Languages Act."

Designed by artist Joel Kimmel, the reverse of this coin dated 1969-2019 is accented by maple leaves and the familiar words "WITH GLOWING HEARTS", "DES PLUS BRILLIANTS EXPLOITS", all coloured in bright red. The background is laser-engraved with concentric maple leaves, gradually diminishing in size as they near the centre of the coin. 

"Fifty years ago, the bill on official languages was developed to fulfill our dream of a strong, united society in which Anglophones and Francophones coexist and build a country that reflects and respects Canadian values," said Minister Joly. "This new collector coin, marking the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act, celebrates the linguistic duality that defines us as Canadians."

Bilingual inscriptions highlighting 50 years of the Official Languages Act complete the central design.  The progressive nature of this theme is further highlighted by the addition of innovative micro-engraving of the complete lyrics of our national anthem along the coin's rim. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

The Official Languages Act, adopted half a century ago, was, and still is, part of a broader movement to recognize the language rights of Canadians," said Raymond Théberge, Commissioner of Official Languages. "Canada's linguistic duality is a powerful symbol of openness, empathy and respect."

Limited to mintage of 15,000, the coin will retail for $49.95 CAD when it launches in September 2019.  Images of this coin are available here.

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  Follow the Mint on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For more information, media are asked to contact:

Alex Reeves
Senior Manager, Public Affairs
Telephone: 613-884-6370