In 1992, the art of heraldry reached new heights when six copies of the Canadian Space Agency's newly granted coat of arms went into space. Dr. Roberta Bondar took them on her voyage on the space shuttle Discovery.
The Canadian Space Agency is one of many organizations that have an official coat of arms granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority. Coats of arms are a unique combination of symbols carefully chosen to represent particular characteristics of the recipient. The Governor General is the head of the Canadian Heraldic Authority, whose staff -- called heralds -- create coats of arms in Canada.
Coats of arms honour people and groups who have contributed to Canada. They reflect our country's rich history and geography, as well as the character and aspirations of Canadians.
The Governor General may personally present new coats of arms and sign the granting documents at a formal ceremony. Only documents the Governor General has personally presented bear her signature. Others are signed by officers of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.