The work of Pangnirtung artist Andrew Qappik is featured on a new collectible coin minted from gold mined in Nunavut in advance of the territory’s 20th anniversary next year.
Qappik has previously designed four gold coins for the Royal Canadian Mint, including two 25 cent coins in 2017, but this is a first imprinted on Nunavut gold.
The coin is crafted from 99.99 per cent pure gold mined at TMAC Resources’ mine at Hope Bay and by Agnico Eagle Mines’ Meadowbank mine near Baker Lake, according to a news release.
“We are honoured that gold from our Meadowbank mine is part of the Royal Canadian Mint’s special Symbols of the North collectible gold coin,” stated vice-chair and chief executive officer for Agnico Sean Boyd.
“Our Inuit employees, suppliers and partners can all take great pride in knowing that they have participated in making this unique coin that celebrates their heritage and culture.”
Qappik says he submitted several renditions of animals because “they are strong symbols that represent the North.”
He chose the walrus, ptarmigan, polar bear, bowhead whale and narwhal, which are framed within the outline of a maple leaf.
“It’s been an honour,” said Qappik. “I feel privileged they want to see my work more than once now.”
Qappik is the artist who designed Nunavut’s coat of arms, for which he was made a member of the Order of Canada, and logos for the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
His print work is available through the Pangnirtung Print Shop at the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts in Pangnirtung.
The 2018 $20 coin has a limited mintage of 1,500 and retails for $359, according to the release.