Pioneering journalist on new Canadian coin


19 January 2023
The Royal Canadian Mint has dedicated its 2023 Proof Silver Dollar to celebrating the life of Canada’s first woman journalist, Kathleen ‘Kit’ Coleman.

Born in County Galway, Ireland and emigrating to Canada in 1884, Kit Coleman first joined the Toronto Daily Mail as a Women’ Editor and later became North America’s first accredited woman war correspondent, gaining international fame for her coverage of the aftermath of the Spanish-American War.

She also helped establish the Canadian Women’s Press Club, and served as its first President.  Her journey is told through the artistry of Pandora Young, who used Kit’s silhouette as the canvas upon which the main chapters of her life are richly illustrated on the reverse of the coin. 

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Key moments in the journalist’s life and career represented on the coin include: The Mail and Empire building in Toronto, Ont.; SS Circassian, the passenger ship that brought the Irish-born writer to Canada in 1884; a partial map of the Atlantic Ocean, to represent her travels and dispatches; a view of Kit writing at her desk; and a vintage typewriter that symbolises her legacy and impact on Canadian journalism.

Dr. Barbara Freeman, Author of Kit’s Kingdom: The Journalism of Kathleen Blake Coleman and Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University said: ‘Her appointment as war correspondent to Cuba during the Spanish-American War was definitely inspiring, but it’s equally important that for 25 years or more she excelled at everyday journalism with her weekly women’s page, as well as with her colourful accounts of her travels, despite being a single mother most of that time.’

The Mint is also introducing an updated obverse design that will appear on 2023 collector and bullion coins until a new permanent obverse is adopted on Canadian coins.  The Susanna Blunt-designed effigy of Queen Elizabeth II is accompanied by a special marking consisting of a vertical inscription of the dates ‘1952’ and ‘2022’, separated by four pearls symbolizing the four effigies that have graced Canadian coins throughout the reign. 

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