Cross-country Terry Fox exhibit explores numismatic legacy

A cross-country exhibit exploring the legacy of Canadian hero Terry Fox began its stop in Fox’s hometown of Port Coquitlam, B.C. earlier this month.

The national exhibit, “Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada,” will be at Port Coquitlam’s PoCo Heritage museum until Nov. 28. Curated by the Canadian Museum of History and the Terry Fox Centre, the exhibition begins by looking at Fox’s legacy through the coins, stamps and passports that bear his image. It’s running alongside a complementary exhibit created by PoCo Heritage called “Hometown Legacy,” which includes “more locally focused content.”

“The response to these exhibits has been very positive,” said museum co-ordinator Kelly Brown, who organized the exhibition with volunteer Steve Smith. “We have had many people comment on what an inspiration Terry is and how they are so happy to have an exhibit honouring him open in his hometown of Port Coquitlam.”


The exhibit poses a question – “Who was Terry Fox?” – before offering an inspiring answer using an array of contemporary photographs, newspaper images and maps. The exhibit also tells the story of Fox’s Marathon of Hope, including sections showing a day-in-the-life of the run; the iconic Marathon of Hope T-shirts; the cards and letters sent to Fox by Canadians; the marathon’s heartbreaking conclusion; and Fox’s ongoing legacy.

“I believe Terry’s continued presence in the lives of Canadians speaks to the continued importance of his legacy today,” said Brown. “For many, Terry is a hero who embodies many virtues – courage and bravery, determination, resilience in the face of adversity, hopefulness, and compassion. I think Terry’s legacy speaks to so many Canadians because I believe these are all qualities that we value and want to embody.”


On April 12, 1980, Fox – who had already lost his right leg to cancer – dipped his artificial limb in the Atlantic Ocean. This began his 5,373-kilometre Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research.

“I think that Terry Fox’s legacy has become a very valuable part of Canadian life. The extent of his legacy can be seen in the vast number of ways in which not only the people of Canada but the Government of Canada keep his name and his vision alive in Canada today,” said Brown.

“There are countless streets, buildings, parks and statues dedicated to Terry all over the country, and of course the annual Terry Fox Runs are still hosted everywhere. In addition, celebrations of Canada also seem to include Terry Fox such as the recently released Canada 150 commemorative stamps which include Terry Fox as an example of courage and compassion, and the Terry Fox Award given to athletes who embodied Terry’s values of determination and humility during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.”

Royal BC Museum in Victoria, B.C. April 12-Sept. 29
Art Gallery of Burlington in Burlington, Ont. June 24-Sept. 10
PoCo Heritage in Port Coquitlam, Ont. Sept. 1-Nov. 28
Sam Waller Museum in The Pas, Man. Oct. 2-Dec. 31, 2017
Peterborough Museum and Archives in Peterborough, Ont. Sept. 28, 2018-Dec. 16, 2018


In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a commemorative circulation coin honouring the 25th anniversary of Fox’s Marathon of Hope. Designed by Stan Witten, the coin has a weight of seven grams; a diameter of 26.50 mm; and a mintage of 20,000 pieces. It was the Mint’s first circulation coin to depict a Canadian.

For more information about the ongoing Fox exhibit, visit

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