Current and former employees of the Royal Canadian Mint gathered at the Mint’s Winnipeg facility today [November 3] to celebrate one hundred years of reliably producing Canada’s circulation coinage, a legacy born in Ottawa in 1908 when Governor General Earl Grey struck a fifty-cent piece, Canada’s first domestically produced coin.
Since 1976, the Mint’s Winnipeg facility has held the distinction of producing all of Canada’s circulation coins, in addition to those of over 60 foreign countries. Today, the Winnipeg facility is marking a centennial of accomplishment with the commissioning of a new high-speed coining press and an employee and alumni open house.
"I am pleased to come to the Winnipeg Mint to honour employees who, both past and present, have contributed to the remarkable success of the Royal Canadian Mint," said Mr. Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.
"Canadian circulation coins have been at the heart of the Mint’s business since 1908 and the effort and innovation of our Winnipeg employees in this field have made the Mint one of the most innovative and respected in the world."
The Winnipeg Mint is a high-tech, high-volume manufacturing facility where Canada’s circulation coinage, as well as coins for countries around the world, has been produced since 1976.
It boasts numerous innovative accomplishments, including:
- the 2004 25-cent Poppy coin, the world’s first coloured circulation coin;
- the production of award-winning circulation coins such as the 2006 coloured 25-cent Pink Ribbon coin, which raised awareness for the fight against breast cancer; the development of the Mint’s patented multi-ply plating technology; and, most recently,
- the engineering of a high-speed, robotic coin painting line.
Up to 20 million circulation coins can be produced in Winnipeg each day, totaling more than 4 billion annually.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2008, is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2000 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’s history, its products and services, please visit www.mint.ca.
Over the last century, the Royal Canadian Mint has emerged as a global leader in minting. Some memorable events in its dynamic history include:
- 1908 – On January 2nd, Governor General Earl Grey activated the press to strike a fifty-cent piece, Canada’s first domestically produced coin at the Mint’s Sussex Drive facility, which is the site of the present-day Mint.
- 1911 – The Mint opened its gold refinery and by year’s end, a record number of gold sovereigns were produced.
- 1931 – The Mint transformed from a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint to the Royal Canadian Mint, a wholly Canadian institution.
- 1953 – The first effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II appeared on Canada’s coins. Over the past five decades, the Queen’s effigy has been updated three times, most recently in 2003.
- 1969 – The Mint became a Crown Corporation with a mandate to operate as a profitable business, rather than simply a supplier for Canada’s coins.
- 1976 – The Mint’s ultra-modern production facility opened in Winnipeg. All of Canada’s circulation coins as well as coins for countries around the world are produced in this facility. Over the past 25 years, the Mint has produced coins for over 60 countries around the world.
- 1987 – The one-dollar circulation coin, affectionately known as the "Loonie", rolled off the assembly line in Winnipeg and into the pockets of Canadians. The bi-metallic two-dollar circulation coin followed in 1996.
- 1999 – The Mint’s patented multi-ply plating technology made its debut and quickly revolutionized the industry. It delivers tremendous cost efficiencies and produces coins of increased durability and brilliance.
- 2004 – The Mint became the first in the world to issue a coloured circulation coin with the introduction of the "red poppy" 25-cent circulation coin, which was issued to pay homage to the brave Canadian men and women who have died while in the service of the nation.
- 2005 – Terry Fox became the first Canadian-born individual featured on a Canadian circulation coin when the Mint issued a one-dollar coin to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his Marathon of Hope.
- 2006 – The Mint became an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Over the next four years, it will produce the most extensive Olympic circulation coin program ever conceived by any Mint worldwide and offer 36 numismatic products. The Mint will also strike the athlete medals for the Games, as it did for the XXI Olympic Games in Montreal.
- 2007 – The Mint unveiled a 100-kg, 99999 pure gold bullion coin with a $1 million face value as a flagship of its new line of one-ounce, 99.999% pure Gold Maple Leaf coins – the purest gold bullion coins in the world.
# # #