Canada's New Loonie Launches Next Week & You Can Get A Colourful Purple Version (PHOTO)
It honours a "national treasure."
On August 11, the Royal Canadian Mint confirmed that the new commemorative coin will begin circulating on Monday, August 15, to coincide with Peterson's birthday.
The coin's design shows Peterson at the piano, with his hands moving in full motion. A flowing musical scale details the two closing bars of his famous "Hymn to Freedom" — a song which became an anthem of the 1960s civil rights movement.
His name finishes off the design.
The mintage is limited to three million coins, two million of which feature a splash of purple — the musician's favourite colour.
Like with all new circulation coins, Canadian banks and businesses will begin introducing the piece gradually as they replenish their inventories of $1 circulation coins. This means you can expect to have one in your pocket very soon!
Collectable versions are also available to buy online.
The coin pays tribute to Oscar Peterson, who was born in Montreal in 1925. According to the Mint, he is widely regarded as one of the most iconic jazz pianists of his time.
"The Mint is passionate about celebrating stories of exceptional Canadians on its coins and I am delighted that Oscar Peterson, the first Canadian musician to appear on a circulation coin, is being celebrated as one of the world's most respected and influential jazz artists of all time," the Mint's CEO said on Monday.
During his 60-year career, Peterson won multiple Juno and Grammy awards.
The Canadian Music Hall of Fame says he was an "eminent jazz pianist with technical mastery and limitless creativity," and "a performer who could instantly inspire awe." His skills earned him the nickname "Maharaja of the Keyboard."
Peterson died of kidney failure in 2007. He was 82 years old.
\u201cA national treasure.\n\nToday, we honour Oscar Peterson with this commemorative circulation coin\u2014a quiet celebration for a Canadian change-maker who had a loud and echoing influence.\n\nDiscover more: https://t.co/jdqt3wqol1 | #CelebratingOscar\u201d— Royal Canadian Mint (@Royal Canadian Mint) 1660226679
The new loonie was unveiled in Toronto on Monday morning, where Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland joined the musician's widow, Kelly Peterson, and his daughter, Céline Peterson.
Speaking about the Mint's tribute to her father, Céline said, "My dad being given this recognition by the Royal Canadian Mint is something I never would have even thought to imagine because to me, he is and always will be, dad."
That's it for today! Come back for more tomorrow!
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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