OTD: Alberta town unveils Starship monument

On today’s date in 1995, the town of Vulcan, Alta. unveiled a Starship FX6-1995-A monument overlooking the province’s Highway 23.

The Star Trek-themed monument is part of a fully functioning tourist station known as the Vulcan Tourism and Trek Station, which provides tourist information; displays Star Trek memorabilia; offers unique photo opportunities; and allows visitors to participate in a virtual reality game called The Vulcan Space Adventure. Nearby, a replica of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek V—built by the Vulcan Association of Science and Trek—is mounted on a pedestal alongside writing from iconic Trek languages, including Klingon.

In addition to maintaining space-themed murals and signs, the town hosts an annual community-wide Star Trek convention known as Spock Days, which attracts hundreds of Trekkies from all over the world.

Calgary and nearby Vulcan (marked at bottom right) in southern Alberta.

‘SPOCKING’ CANADA’S $5 BILLS

After Star Trek first hit the airwaves in the late 1960s, some clever Canadians started defacing their $5 banknotes by altering the note’s portrait to look like the character Spock.

The trend re-emerged in February 2015, following the death of U.S. actor Leonard Nimoy, who rose to worldwide fame during his role as Spock, the Starship’s science officer.

Following the actor’s death on Feb. 27, the Canadian Design Resource encouraged Canadians to “Spock” their $5 bills for Leonard Nimoy.

NEITHER RECOMMENDED NOR ILLEGAL

Although “Spocking” a $5 banknote isn’t illegal, the Bank of Canada doesn’t condone of the practice’s popularity among Canadians.

According a Bank of Canada representative: “It is not illegal to write or make other markings on bank notes because neither the Bank of Canada Act nor the Criminal Code deals with mutilation or defacement of bank notes. However, there are important reasons why it should not be done.

“Markings on a note may also prevent it from being accepted in a transaction. Furthermore, the Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride.”

Any $5 bills featuring the half-Vulcan are still considered legal tender and can be used in commercial transactions.

This $200 gold coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2016 was the world’s first delta-shaped coin.

LATEST MINT COINS

Last year, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a Star Trek-themed series that includes the world’s first delta-shaped gold coin.

Made from 99.99 per cent pure gold, this coin—shaped like the Starfleet insignia worn by those serving the USS Enterprise—has a face value of $200, a weight of 16.2 grams and a mintage of 1,500 pieces.

The series also included a range of other Star Trek coinage, including a $20 for a $20 silver coin featuring the USS Enterprise.

For more information, visit mint.ca.

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