This 2019 $3 fine silver coin offers an antidote to the winter blues during Canada’s coldest month: adventure! The colourful reverse invites you to step into the frozen landscape, where a team of sled dogs kicks up powdery snow while rushing by. Mintage of this coin is limited to only 4,000. GST/HST exempt.
Designed by Steve Hepburn, the reverse features a colourful depiction of a team of sled dogs slicing through the powdery snow under a clear blue sky, as they pull their driver across the snow-covered landscape. The image is framed by stylized icons that represent popular outdoor activities and sights: (clockwise from top) Niagara Falls; a Christmas tree; a rodeo; wine tasting; dogsledding; music festivals; cherry blossoms; maple syrup season; whale watching; tulips in bloom; coastal drives; and the aurora borealis. The obverse features the year “2019” and face value “3 DOLLARS”, and the framed effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt
Dog sledding was once a necessary means of transportation in the winter for the Indigenous peoples of Canada. Today, it is a recreational activity and a memorable winter experience to be had in our Great White North.
“Mush” comes from “Marche.” Early French Canadian drivers would call out “Marche!” (“Walk!”) as a command to move. This was misinterpreted as “Mush!” and drivers soon became known as mushers. A few more terms: “Gee” means “Turn right” while “Haw” means “Turn left.”
Sled dogs can move quickly! A well-trained team of sled dogs may reach speeds of up to 32 kilometres per hour, and can cover up to 130 kilometres in one day. Every dog plays a role. A lead dog’s role is to set the pace for the pack and follow the driver’s commands. Behind the leader, point dogs help steer the sled through turns. Those in the middle of the pack (swing) maintain the pace, while the wheel dogs at the back are the strong workhorses that get the sled moving and pull it around obstacles.