OTD: Mint unveils designs for first series of Millennium Collection

On today’s date in 1999, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled the designs for a dozen 25-cent coins—one for each month of the forthcoming year—as part of its Millennium Collection.

Danielle Wetherup, then president of the Mint, unveiled the 1999 25-cent coin series “depicting special people, places and moments in Canada’s past” on Jan. 5, 1999.

“Canadians will be able to hold a little bit of history in their hands when they collect the 1999 25-cent coins as souvenirs or use them in their everyday business,” said Wetherup, at the 1999 unveiling.

This coin was designed by Lonnie Springer, of Calgary, and issued in February.


More than 50,000 Canadians responded to the Mint’s invitation to submit designs for one of 24 25-cent circulation coins to be issued in 1999 and 2000. The designers of the 1999-dated coins, which were issued monthly, are listed below.

  • January: designed by Peter Ka-Kin Poon, of Aylmer, Que., and launched at St. John’s, Nfld., on New Year’s Eve, 1998
  • February: designed by Lonnie Springer, of Calgary, Alta., and launched at Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park near Lethbridge, Alta.
  • March: designed by Marjolaine Lavoie, of Sept-Iles, Que., and launched in Nova Scotia

    This coin was issued in March as part of the Mint’s Millennium Collection.

  • April: designed by Konojuak Ashevak, of Cape Dorset, N.W.T. (based on an idea submitted by Emmanouil Kats, of Toronto, Ont.), and launched as part of the special celebrations to mark the creation of Nunavut
  • May: designed by Sergiy Minenok, of Surrey, B.C., and launched in Manitoba
  • June: designed by Gordon Ho, Nepean, Ont., and launched in Moncton, N.B.
  • July: designed by Maria H. Sarkany, of Burlington, Ont., and launched in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal

This coin was launched in April as part of the celebrations marking Nunavut’s creation.

  • August: designed by Alzira Botelho, of Edmonton, Alta., and launched at an exhibit in the Western Development Pioneer Village in Saskatoon, Sask.
  • September: designed by Claudia Bertrand, of Beauport, Que., and launched in Beauport
  • October: designed by Jason Edward Read, of North Vancouver, B.C., and launched at the Museum of Anthropology Building at the University of British Columbia
  • November: designed by Brian R. Bacon, of Winnipeg, Man., and launched at the Yellowknife airport in the Northwest Territories
  • December: designed by J.L. Pierre Provencher, of Nicolet, Que., and launched in Charlottetown, P.E.I. in honour of the birthplace of Confederation

    In May, this coin was launched in Manitoba.

The winning designs were selected by a panel of 12 art and design post-secondary students from colleges and universities across Canada. To facilitate the judging process, Mint employees organized the designs in groups of popular themes including historical events, people, inventions, natural resources and Canadian symbols.

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