The Bank of Canada has unveiled a commemorative $10 banknote to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation. It’s only the fourth time in Canada’s history that it has created a commemorative banknote.
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz and Ginette Petitpas Taylor, parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance, made the announcement and showed off the bill at the bank’s headquarters in Ottawa Friday.
There will be 40 million notes printed — “just more than enough for every Canadian to keep one,” according to Poloz. The bank says they will enter circulation on June 1.
The front of the bill features portraits of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and fellow Father of Confederation Sir George-Étienne Cartier, Canada’s first female member of Parliament, Agnes MacPhail, and James Gladstone, Canada’s first Indigenous senator and a member of the Kainai (Blood) Tribe.
Poloz said the reverse of the bill was designed to include a variety of Canadian vistas, based on public feedback on what Canadians wanted to see on the bill.
The landscapes include the Lions and Capilano Lake from British Columbia, fields of Prairie wheat, the Canadian Shield as seen in Quebec, a view of the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Bonavista in Newfoundland and Labrador and the northern lights as they would be seen in Wood Buffalo National Park.
The Bank of Canada said the new banknote will feature some security features that are being deployed in Canada for the first time.
Below the owl illustration are maple leaves that appear to be printed in 3D, but are in fact flat to the touch
The most eye-catching new feature is a magnetic ink that changes colour from blue to green when it’s tilted, used to illustrate stained glass in an arched window from the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. The chamber honours Canadian men and women who give their lives in military service.
The presence of Gladstone, whose Blackfoot name is Akay-na-muka, is not the only nod to Canada’s Indigenous peoples on the note.
In the photo above, you can see the Assomption sash pattern at the top and bottom edges of the banknote’s face. It’s an important symbol in Métis and French-Canadian culture.
In the note’s transparent window, there’s a holographic rendering of Owl’s Bouquet, a stonecut and stencil print originally made by the late Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak.
The Nunavut artist helped popularize Inuit art around the world. Ashevak’s family flew to Ottawa from Cape Dorset for the unveiling.
The ceremony included Inuit and Algonquin blessings before and after the note was presented to the public.
Previous commemorative notes include a $25 note for King George V’s Silver Jubilee in 1935, a centennial dollar bill in 1967 and a more recent $20 note commemorating Queen Elizabeth II becoming Canada’s longest-reigning monarch of the modern era.