Dignitaries and fans of the monarchy gathered in Ottawa on Saturday to mark the coronation of King Charles III with music and poetry, as the Commonwealth nation unveiled new coins and stamps in his honor.

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in London attending the coronation itself, back in Ottawa almost three hundred officials, military leaders and others took part in the hour-long ceremony in a hall across from Parliament that was capped off with a 21-gun salute.

Across the rest of Canada -- some enthusiasts held viewing parties, but for the most part interest appeared muted.

A lone street protestor in Ottawa held a sign calling for Canada to abolish the monarchy, echoing the views of two out of three Canadians surveyed in a recent Abacus Data poll.

At the ceremony, Algonquin storyteller Albert Dumont kicked off the proceedings by recalling how "the power of the British sword destroyed the tranquility of gentle Turtle Island," an Indigenous term for North America before colonization.

"A new dawn," he said, has brought with it a new king "who promises to strengthen the human bond between the monarchy and all peoples of the Commonwealth."

Dumont was followed by the thumping beats of a traditional Indigenous drum circle, a lively Canadian folk music performance that had the audience clapping along and tapping their feet, and the unveiling of Canadian coins and stamps featuring the king's likeness and royal symbols.

Featured guests included aerospace engineer Farah Alibay, who has worked on Mars rover missions and poet Sabrina Benaim, who spoke of a "coronation of possibility" as she cast a light on social issues including the global transition away from fossil fuels.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told AFP the king's values align with those of most Canadians.

The king "was talking about nature conservancy, endangered species, and protecting the climate, historical architecture and global heritage decades ago," he said.

LeBlanc also told AFP the new king was expected in the coming months to make his 19th visit to Canada.

This will be an opportunity, he said, for the king to continue conversations about reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, which Charles had described as "vital" during his last trip to Canada in May 2022.

Indigenous peoples represent five percent of Canada's population of 38 million.

As for the future of the monarchy in Canada, LeBlanc said it "has been an integral part of our institutions and our identity" and there were no plans to dump it.

Canadians expect their government to focus on issues impacting their daily lives, not engaging in a "divisive discussions" about the monarchy, he said.

Protestor Alexandria Xavier Phillips wasn't swayed by arguments that the monarchy provides constitutional stability.

"I want the monarchy to be abolished," he said. "I loved Queen Elizabeth. I believe King Charles is a nice man, but I think the monarchy is outdated and incompatible with democracy."