At the end of March,1778, Captain James Cook (1728-1779) and his northbound expedition sailed into Nootka Sound, where the legendary navigator’s visit left an indelible imprint in our history. Exclusive to this seven-coin set, a selectively coloured proof dollar commemorates Cook’s stay near the ancient Mowachhat village of Yuquot, where the coastal landscape provides a breathtaking setting for this historic meeting of cultures.
On the reverse, artist Maskull Lasserre combines elements of cartography, portraiture and maritime history to craft a poignant historical representation of Captain Cook at Nootka Sound. Framed by nautical rope, the imposing beauty of the tree-lined coast edges the scene and suggests Cook’s presence at Nootka Sound as viewed from the perspective of Chief Maquina. The chief, wearing a distinctive hat associated with Mowachaht expertise in hunting whales, faces Cook and HMS Resolution, which was anchored in a cove on today’s Bligh Island. Selective colour highlights the Chief, the vessel commanded by Cook, and a profile portrait of the legendary navigator. In the background, the topographic map of Vancouver Island is a nod to Cook’s legacy as a cartographer, while a circular location marker provides geographic context to this historic event. The reverse includes the engraved word “CANADA”, the year “2018” and the face value, “DOLLAR”. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
Through a striking mix of symbolic imagery and selective colour, this special edition proof dollar commemorates the 240th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s arrival and stay at Nootka Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.