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The Royal Canadian Mint Launches 3-Year Coin Program to Commemorate the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO - January 26, 2007 - With pride and excitement, the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) today unveiled its three year program of circulation and collector coins in honour of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Canadian coin program is the most extensive circulation program in relation to the Olympic and Paralympic Games ever conceived by any mint worldwide. As an Official Supporter of the 2010 Winter Games the RCM will also produce the athlete medals for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Over the next three years, the Royal Canadian Mint will put into circulation 17 coins featuring designs related to the 2010 Winter Games. Canadians from coast to coast can share in the pride and touch the Games by collecting and saving these special Canadian coins. Up to 350 million coins will go into circulation over the next three years.

Twelve 25-cent coins will depict ten Olympic winter sports and two Paralympic winter sports. The RCM is proud to be the first Mint to commemorate the Paralympic Games through the issuing of two circulation coins.

Three additional 25-cent coins will feature designs of Canadian athlete medallists with the participation of Canadians, a unique feature of the Mint's program. Starting in 2008, every Canadian will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite Canadian medallists. Each coin will have a bronze, silver or gold finish. The RCM is the first mint to seek broad public participation in the design for Olympic and Paralympic Games' coins.

Two one-dollar Lucky Loonie coins will also be struck. The first will be released prior to the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams heading to the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the second prior to the 2010 Winter Games. RBC will be the exclusive distributor of the Lucky Loonie coins.

"The Mint's goal is to touch every Canadian with the spirit of the 2010 Winter Games," said the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint. "The coins unveiled today will be permanent reminders of the enduring Olympic ideal and of Canada's contribution to that vision in 2010."

The RCM is joining forces with RBC and Petro-Canada to provide quick and easy access to the coins as they are released. 1,200 RBC participating locations and participating Petro-Canada outlets will distribute and promote the circulation coins over the next three years. Canadians can also look for these special coins in their change. Coins will be released into circulation at selected intervals. In 2007, the RCM will release five 25-cent circulation coins: Curling (February ), Ice Hockey (April), Paralympic Winter Games - Wheelchair Curling (July), Biathlon (September) and Alpine Skiing (October). The first coin will begin circulating on February 23, 2007.

Additionally, for enthusiasts and serious collectors in Canada and abroad, the RCM will introduce a series of 36 unique and superbly crafted collector coins ranging from multi-coloured sterling silver Lucky Loonies to premium gold coins. Starting on February 23, 2007, Canadians can purchase coins through the RCM's website at www.mint.ca by calling 1-800-267-1871 or through authorized dealers.

The program includes a series of 15 $25 Sterling silver coins featuring winter sports and thematic designs. Each will have a limited world-wide mintage of 45,000.

A series of nine $75 14 Karat gold coins highlighting distinctly Canadian culture and wildlife and Olympic Games themes are also included in the collection. Each will have a limited world-wide mintage of 8,000.

Two $2500 Kilo Gold Coins will be available. Marking the first time the RCM has issued a pure gold coin with a guaranteed weight of one kilogram, these coins are spectacularly engraved in ultra high relief. Only 20 of each will be produced. Also an RCM first, two $250 Kilo Silver coins will be offered with a limited worldwide mintage of 2,500 per coin.

Also offered will be three $300 Premium Gold coins (one released in each of 2007, 2008 and 2009) with a limited mintage of 2,500 per coin as well as three special edition uncirculated coin sets, each with a mintage of 30,000 containing all denominations, including the 2010 Winter Games-related 25-cent coins of that year. And, two Sterling silver Lucky Loonie painted coins will be issued in 2008 and 2010, with mintages of 30,000 and 40,000 respectively.

For gift givers, the RCM will offer a unique collector card containing all 14 circulation coins. And, a total of 12 Olympic Coin Sport Cards will be launched over the next three years with the 2007 circulation coins bearing a painted maple leaf. The sports cards will sell for $7.95 and will be released at the same time as the circulation coins they feature. Consumers will be able to purchase these cards at participating Petro Canada outlets. Three additional Sport Coin Cards are planned to coincide with the selection and launch of the 25-cent Canadian Medallist coins. To build on the tradition, the RCM will be launching a Lucky Loonie embedded in a hockey puck to be launched in 2009.

Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the RCM noted the importance of supporting and complementing the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. "The RCM shares VANOC's mission: ‘To touch the soul of the nation and inspire the world by creating and delivering an extraordinary Olympic and Paralympic experience with lasting legacies.' Collecting, saving and giving individual coins and gifts is a wonderful way for Canadians to connect with the Games and to hold onto a lasting reminder of what is sure to be a very special time in our history," Bennett said.

"These Olympic and Paralympic coins are a fun way to get all Canadians excited about the Games. As we get closer to 2010, Canadians can take pride in our athletes and winter sports just by purchasing these collector coins," said James Moore, Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam and Parliamentary Secretary for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. "Thanks to the Royal Canadian Mint, every Canadian will have a chance to collect a part of the Games." 

Background
In June, 2006, the Royal Canadian Mint became an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games with the signing of an agreement with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

The seven-year agreement provides the RCM with rights for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in the Minting of Circulation, Precious Metal and Base Metal Numismatic and Bullion Coins product and service category, and includes rights for the Canadian Olympic Team for the Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Games. RCM's commitment is valued at $15 million, which includes $2 million towards goods and services and is expected to generate $100 M in revenues as well as provide all Canadians access to the Winter Olympic Games through this extensive program.

Images and product details of the RCM's newest collection are available by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca.

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For further information, please contact:
Christine Aquino
Directrice, Communications
Tél. : (613) 993-9999
Tél. : (613) 991-5342
aquino@monnaie.ca

Jennifer Field
Account Director
Hill & Knowlton Ottawa
Tel: 613-786-9956
jennifer.field@hillandknowlton.ca