Mint pays tribute to four of society’s greatest heroes

A total of $5 from every purchase of the “Firefighters” coin, the first of the National Heroes series, will be donated to the Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal (Fort McMurray)

Today in Winnipeg, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled its latest series, this a four-coin subscription commemorating society’s greatest heroes.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to thank our firefighters, paramedics, police and the military for their commitment to preserve and protect the lives of Canadians every single day,” said Finance Minister Bill Morneau. “The dedication and professionalism of these brave men and women, who ensure we continue to live in a safe society, are a true inspiration to all Canadians.”

The Mint unveiled the coins today in Winnipeg.

The Mint unveiled the coins today in Winnipeg alongside Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

Mint President and CEO Sandra Hanington added the series is “a wonderful addition to any collection, paying tribute to our everyday heroes who put themselves at risk every time they answer the call of duty to protect us. These coins are also a way for the Mint and all of our employees to say thank you for the unwavering selflessness and courage these heroes demonstrate in their communities.”

Humans distinguish themselves from other species by consciously putting themselves in danger to save the lives of others. For some people, these selfless acts of bravery do not happen by chance; they are part of their daily lives when they report to work as firefighters, paramedics, police officers and military personnel. The Mint’s new series pays tribute to these outstanding heroes: the individuals of uncommon courage who have made a personal commitment to serve others and face danger every day in the line of duty.

Each of the $15 pure silver coins weigh 23.17 grams and have a 30.07-mm diameter.

  • Coin 1: Firefighters (May 2016)
  • Coin 2: Paramedics (June 2016)
  • Coin 3: Police (August 2016)
  • Coin 4: Military (September 2016)
The first of the series' four coins pays tribute to firefighters.

The first of the series’ four coins pays tribute to firefighters.

Designed by Canadian artist Ken Ryan, the series’ first coin uses selective colour over engraving to create a timeless portrait of a firefighter in the line of duty. In the engraved background, flames and smoke pour out of a residential home as the firefighter emerges in the foreground; he is depicted in full turnout gear, including a red helmet with visor and a tan-coloured jacket with reflective yellow-green and silver trim. Beneath the visor, the firefighter’s self-contained breathing apparatus is visible—this protects him from the dangers of exposure and smoke inhalation in a fiery environment. In his right hand, the firefighter holds a pike pole, used to pull apart debris. His left hand cradles a dog that he has rescued from inside the home and is carrying to safety.


The series’ second coin uses selective colour over detailed engraving in this snapshot of paramedics in action. Engraved in the background is a rear view of an ambulance, its doors open wide just moments after arriving at a hospital’s ambulance bay. In the foreground, vibrant colour highlights the paramedics in their dark uniforms, complete with bright yellow and silver reflective bands just below the knees. Their faces are intent and convey the pressing nature of their important role; they are quick to unload the yellow-coloured stretcher from the ambulance before rushing toward the building, which will allow the patient to receive the continuum of medical care she desperately needs.


The series’ third coin uses selective colour over detailed engraving in this detailed rendition of a police officer in action. Engraved in the background is an iconic police car parked on the side of a paved roadway, at the edge of an open space where a few trees dot the rolling landscape. Selective colour brings to life the dark blue uniform of the police officer in the foreground, along with the red striping on the pants and the band around the peaked police cap. Responding to a crime in progress, the officer sprints into action with right hand stretched towards the equipment belt that is within easy reach, while the left hand brings a whistle to the officer’s lips.


The series’ final coin uses selective colour over engraving to create a portrait of bravery in action. In the engraved background, trees and branches hang overhead in this woodland setting, where military helicopters are taking part in rescue operations in an area of conflict. In the foreground, an infantry soldier in combat clothing extends his hand and reaches out to help the viewer, almost pulling us into the dynamic design, while the other gloved hand keeps a tight grip on the rappelling rope. The red-and-white colours of the Canadian flag patch on the upper left sleeve stand out against the green, brown and black camouflage pattern on the helmet and uniform, while the soldier keeps his expression intently focused on the dangerous situation at hand.

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