The seal of the Order has a number of applications. It is impressed on the lower left corner of each Order of Canada appointment scroll, all instruments of appointment and all ordinances of the Order – including terminations. A black and white image of the seal of the order is also printed at the end of each Order of Canada list published in the Canada Gazette.
The impression of a seal onto documents is an ancient tradition, and one with deep legal roots. The Sovereign’s signature, known as the ‘Royal Sign Manual’ gives authority for the appropriate seal to be impressed. While signatures can be replicated with ease, wax or embossed seals are exceedingly difficult to reproduce. Thus the seal confirms the authenticity of the signature. Designed by Beatty, the Order’s seal is one of the few symbolic elements of the Order of Canada for which we have multiple designs. Three different seal designs were created: all three were circular in shape, circumscribed by the name of the Order in both official languages. The seal adopted displays the insignia of the Order, with each of the arms of the snowflake bearing one of the five heraldic elements taken from the Royal Arms of Canada and the uppermost arm displaying a Royal Crown.