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Vancouver Island artist’s work featured on new Canadian coin

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A design by a B.C. artist is the face of a new silver collector coin by the Royal Canadian Mint. It’s the first of a four-part series called This is Canada—and this year’s theme is Wondrous Waters, celebrating our country’s diverse coastal environments.


The 99.99 per cent silver coin, representing the Pacific coast, features a pod of orcas swimming in front of a rocky island with forested mountains in the background.


“British Columbia is considered the most biologically diverse of the 10 Canadian provinces, and much of that diversity is focused along a coastline punctuated by islands and fjords,” the Royal Canadian Mint writes on its website. “It’s easy to lose yourself in this spectacular setting where mountains and forests meet the sea, which is home to the long-revered cultural icon of the Pacific coast: the orca.”


Campbell River-based artist Glen Green says the design was inspired by his surroundings.


“As soon as I was granted the opportunity to create a design representing the West Coast, my mind immediately went to the majestic orca,” Green explained in a statement on the website. “I live on Vancouver Island and occasionally get to see pods of killer whales on my travels.”


The other side of the coin features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt. Its face value is $20, and is selling for $104.95 on the mint’s website.


The other three coins in the series—commemorating the Arctic coast, Great Lakes and Atlantic coast—will be released over the course of the year.


Green’s work has appeared on Canadian coins previously, including on special Vancouver 2010 Olympics quarters.


“The background of this design, with the rocky islands and the heavily forested mountains cascading down to the rugged shoreline, is typical of the West Coast,” Green’s statement on the new coin continues. “To many who witness these whales patrolling the coast, especially with a calf in tow, it is one of the most spectacular experiences one can have in their lifetime!”


There are 7,500 Pacific coast coins available for purchase, according to the mint.

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