A century ago, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta granted most women the right to vote in provincial elections, beginning the journey that would one day lead to securing voting rights for women across Canada. This hard-won victory in the Prairie Provinces was the result of years of campaigning by women’s groups, beginning as early as 1890. As a result, women in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta could not only vote, but they could also run for and hold political office–granting them a far greater ability to drive social and political change. This breakthrough was a critical turning point in the evolution of women’s rights and equality in Canada, though far from the end.
The Royal Canadian Mint commemorates this historical moment with the 2016 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote $1 coin.
Susanna Blunt designed the obverse portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which appears on all Canadian coins. This particular rendition of the Queen’s likeness has appeared on Canada’s coins since 2003, when the monarch’s effigy was updated for the third time, with previous updates in 1965 and 1990.
Her Majesty has appeared on Canadian coinage since 1953.
The right-facing profile of the Queen is surrounded by the words ELIZABETH II behind her head on the left side of the coin and “D.G. REGINA” on the right side of the coin; D.G. REGINA, the abbreviated form of DEI GRATIA REGNA, is a Latin phrase that means “Queen by the grace of God”. Susanna Blunt’s initials “SB” are on the Queen’s right shoulder.
The 2003-present Queen Elizabeth II profile is the first since the 1953-64 type to show the Queen without a tiara or crown, recalling the effigy of George VI, who also chose to be portrayed absent a crown.
Designed by Canadian artist Laurie McGaw, the reverse of this 11-sided circulation coin depicts a woman casting a ballot while her young daughter looks on. The mother-daughter duo are dressed in clothing appropriate to the year 1916. McGaw’s initials appear to the right of the wooden ballot box.
The inscriptions “WOMEN’S RIGHT TO VOTE”, “DROIT DE VOTE DES FEMMES” and “1916-2016” also appear in the top portion of the coin.
Designer(s): Susana Blunt is a Canadian artist and coin designer. Her portrait of Queen Elizabeth has appeared on Canadian coin designs since 2003 (View Designer’s Profile). Laurie McGaw is a renowned portrait artist and college-level art instructor based out of Guelph, Ontario. Her work has appeared on a number of coins from the Royal Canadian Mint.
|Year Of Issue:||2016|
|Alloy:||Three-Ply Brass Plated Steel|
|OBV Designer||Susanna Blunt|
|REV Designer||Laurie McGaw|
|Quality:||Business Strike, Uncirculated|