Advertisement

Music legend Oscar Peterson becomes first Black Canadian featured on a circulation coin

Click to play video: 'Honouring a Montreal musical legend' Honouring a Montreal musical legend
WATCH: Honouring a Montreal musical legend – Oct 7, 2020

Canadians will soon be able to carry a piece of national music history in their wallets with the launch of a coin commemorating legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.

The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a one-dollar circulation coin Thursday honouring the late Montreal artist.

Mint president and CEO Marie Lemay says Peterson is both the first Black Canadian and the first musician to be featured on a circulation coin.

The Mint is issuing three million coins depicting Peterson, know as “the man with four hands,” playing the piano.

Read more: There is something very, very wrong with today’s music. It just may not be very good.

His widow, Kelly Peterson, says the illustration also includes the final notes of his 1962 composition, “Hymn to Freedom,” which was embraced as an anthem of the civil rights movement.

Story continues below advertisement

The coin will start circulating on Aug. 15 to coincide with Peterson’s birthday.

Pianist and composer Thompson Egbo-Egbo paid tribute to Peterson with a special performance at the unveiling in Toronto.

Born in Montreal in 1925, Peterson is widely regarded as one of the foremost jazz pianists of his generation, winning numerous Juno and Grammy Awards over his 60-year career.

He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame before dying of kidney failure in 2007 at the age of 82.

Click to play video: 'Fun facts about Canadian coins at the Royal Canadian Mint' Fun facts about Canadian coins at the Royal Canadian Mint
Fun facts about Canadian coins at the Royal Canadian Mint – Jan 17, 2020

Sponsored content