Celebration coins by Gary Taxali

Canadians have a certain irreverent humour going when it comes to their coinage. When the one dollar coin replaced notes in the 1980s, it was universally dubbed the loonie. Not only did it have a picture of a loon (a kind of waterfowl) on one side, but people thought it was 'loonie' to get rid of dollar bills. When the two dollar coin arrived, inevitably it became the toonie. So it seems fitting that the Toronto-based illustartor Gary Taxali was chosen to create imagery for six celebration coins by the Royal Canadian Mint. After all, his artwork is full of cheeky humour as well.

"That's what I love about my country," says Taxali. "Light-hearted nicknames for our coins is part of who we are. I would definitely agree with the cheeky fun part, but I think that comes from being a product of the monarchy. Maybe we're like the irreverent teenager that likes to poke a bit of fun at convention albeit absolutely respecting it."

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