On today’s date in 1995, a Starship FX6-1995-A monument overlooking Alberta’s Highway 23 was unveiled in the small town of Vulcan.
The Star Trek-themed monument is part of a fully functioning tourist station known as the Vulcan Tourism and Trek Station. In addition to providing tourist information, the station also displays Star Trek memorabilia, offers unique photo opportunities and invites visitors to play 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.
‘SPOCKING’ CANADA’S $5 BILLS
After Star Trek first hit the airwaves in the late 1960s, clever Canadians began defacing the country’s $5 banknotes by altering the note’s portrait of former prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier to look like the iconic Vulcan Spock, the Starship’s science officer
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.
Following the actor’s death on Feb. 27, the Canadian Design Resource encouraged Canadians to “Spock” their $5 bills in honour of Nimoy.
NEITHER RECOMMENDED NOR ILLEGAL
Although “Spocking” a $5 banknote isn’t illegal, the Bank of Canada doesn’t condone the practice’s popularity among Canadians.
“It is not illegal to write or make other markings on banknotes because neither the Bank of Canada Act nor the Criminal Code deals with mutilation or defacement of banknotes,” a Bank of Canada official told CCN. “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 “Spocked” portrait are still considered legal tender and can be used in commercial transactions.
LATEST MINT COINS
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.