The 2020 Hornby Island trade token

2020 Hornby Island trade tokens of sentimental value only

The Hornby Island Token Project is in its third and final year, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers have decided to use the entire issue to help fund food security on Hornby.

“Though they carry a face value of $20, this year they are worthless,” said Jim Bulmer, the creator of the token. “That is…. most trade venues are closed, and tourism is expected to be at a minimum, so they are really not spendable.”

2020’s Hornby trade token was designed by local artist Michele Papp. On the obverse side is a sea eagle at rest in a tree; the reverse shows an orca swimming with her calf, with the word “Pristine,” and herring swimming around the borders.

Conservation has been the overriding theme of all three issues of the Hornby token, specifically the southern resident orcas. Herring are also present on the 2019 and 2020 issues.

“They are called ‘Grant’s herrings’ because he’s where I got the idea,” said Bulmer. “This year’s motto is a six/seven couplet: ‘Hornby Island B.C., Jewel of The Salish Sea,’ which came from colleagues Carlyn and Karen in conversation.”

The accompanying one-inch pin is also brass and enamel, and features the obverse of the token.

Also available are the 2018 and 2019 token and pin issues:

• 2018: Obverse – map of Hornby resting on a maple leaf; reverse – a forester planting trees, and an orca breaching.

• 2019: Obverse – an orca swimming in front of Hornby Island; reverse – the K’omoks First Nation Pole at Helliwell Park, by Karver Everson, and a herring.

These serial-numbered tokens are two inches in diameter and are made of brass, inlaid with enamel. They are Canadian-made in Winnipeg by Awards Canada. This year’s issue consists of 300 tokens and 500 pins.

All issues are available for a $20 donation, or buy all three for $50. Pins are $3 each, and display boxes are available at $4 each. All proceeds from sales will be donated to where it is needed, on Hornby Island.

Help contribute to the food emergency and send a colourful souvenir of Hornby to friends who can’t visit this year. Pay by e-transfer, then Bulmer will mail the tokens, postage free. For more information, or to order any or all of the Hornby Island Token Project items, email Bulmer at

RELATED: Trade token unique currency to Hornby Island

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