Senators David Wells, Serge Joyal and Betty Unger hold up the first test Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medal at the Royal Canadian Mint on June 7, 2017.

What started as an idea is now cast in bronze.

On Wednesday, June 7, 2017 the Royal Canadian Mint struck the first of the Senate’s new 150th anniversary medals, which will be distributed to Canadians whose generosity, dedication, volunteerism and hard work make their communities a better place to live.

Senators Serge Joyal, P.C., David Wells and Betty Unger — who, along with Senator Patricia Bovey, worked to create the Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medal — attended the mint to watch the creation of the first medal.

“Senators want to take this opportunity to reflect on the exceptional contributions made by Canadians from all walks of life,” Senator Wells said.

“We want to give some much-deserved recognition to Canadians who share the Senate’s goal of giving voice to people or issues that sometimes fly under the radar or don’t grab headlines.”

The medals — which commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Senate of Canada’s first sitting on November 6, 1867 — feature the Senate’s emblem on one side and the Senate Chamber, along with the recipient’s name, on the other.

The medals are 7.6 cm in diameter and 0.7 cm thick, the same size as the 1867 Confederation Medal, which was created for the 100th anniversary of Confederation.

“As the Senate approaches a historic anniversary of its own, this is an appropriate time to celebrate the generous volunteer work of Canadians,” Senator Joyal said.


The medals will be awarded in November 2017, based on nominations by senators. Nominations will be open from June 30 to August 31, 2017.

Medal recipients must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are deeply involved in their communities and who — through generosity, dedication, volunteerism and hard work — make their home town, community, region, province or territory a better place.

The front side of the medal will feature the Senate’s emblem.

The Senate Chamber and the medal recipient’s name will appear on the other side of the medal.


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