New 25-cent coins mark Arctic exploration
DARRON KLOSTER / TIMES COLONIST
NOVEMBER 22, 2013 07:33 PM
A century after intrepid explorers set sail from Victoria to study Canada’s Western Arctic and deepen the world’s understanding of life in the Canadian North, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled two 25-cent commemorative circulation coins to celebrate both the 100th anniversary of this historic expedition, as well as the cultures and traditions which continue to thrive in our Arctic regions.
The coins were simultaneously unveiled Friday in Saanich at Nellie McClung Library and in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.
“The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to circulate coins which give Canadians a new way to appreciate the people, places and events which have shaped Canada as we know it today,” said Ian Bennett, president and chief executive of the Royal Canadian Mint. “As one of the greatest adventures of the early 20th century, the Canadian Arctic Expedition sparked many discoveries about life in the North and we are pleased that our new circulation coins help
The expedition in 1913 was led by ethnologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson and zoologist Rudolph Anderson, whose teams split into a northern party, headed by Stefansson to undertake the bulk of the mapping exercise, while Anderson's southern party explored the geology, flora and fauna, and native inhabitants of the Arctic Mainland.
After travelling thousands of kilometres by sea, the northern party studied new islands and charted land which even local inhabitants had never seen. The southern party compiled 14 volumes of scientific data and gathered thousands of natural specimens and cultural artifacts, which for the first time opened the eyes of the world to the culture and way of life linking the aboriginal peoples of the Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, Alaska and Siberia.
On Friday, 25 million of the coins started circulating — half featuring artist Bonnie Ross’s illustration of explorers preparing to take the first north-bound steps into uncharted territory and the other half celebrating “Life in the North” through the rich symbolism created by Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut artist Tim Pitsiulak.
Source: Times Colonist