OTD: Edmonton chosen as host of 1978 Commonwealth Games

On today’s date in 1972, the city of Edmonton was chosen as the host of the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

That year’s 11-sport, 128-event Commonwealth Games – the first to use a computerized system for ticket sales – was held Aug. 3-12, only two years after the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal, Qué.

On Aug. 3, 1978, Queen Elizabeth II became the first reigning monarch to open the Commonwealth Games in its 50-year history.

Canada eventually ranked No. 1 that year, winning 109 medals, including 45 gold, 31 silver and 33 bronze.

More recently, Edmonton also bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games before withdrawing its bid in February 2015.

The 2022 host city is Birmingham, England.


In 1978, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a commemorative silver dollar in celebration of that year’s Commonwealth Games.

The reverse design features 10 sections, each of which has depictions of different sports. In the centre is an inscription reading “XI GAMES XI JEUX / COMMONWEALTH / EDMONTON 1978.”

The obverse features the Arnold Machin effigy of Queen Elizabeth alongside the inscription “DOLLAR 1978 CANADA / ELIZABETH II.” With a weight of 23.3 grams and a 36-millimetre diameter, the coin was struck in .5000 silver.

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