On June 1, the Bank of Canada began circulating a $10 commemorative bank note celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Only 40 million of the notes are being issued, or roughly one for every Canadian.
Four Canadians who played significant roles in the country’s parliamentary history are portrayed on the face of the note: Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister; Sir George-Étienne Cartier, a principal architect of Canadian federalism; Agnes Macphail, the first woman elected to the Canadian House of Commons; and James Gladstone, or Akay-na-muka (his Blackfoot name), Canada’s first senator of First Nations origin.
The design also incorporates other cultural elements: a reproduction of the artwork “Owl’s Bouquet” by world-renowned Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak and the distinctive arrow sash pattern, an important symbol of the Métis nation that also pays homage to the French-Canadian voyageurs of the 18th century.
The back of the note features the rugged splendor of Canada’s lands and landscapes: the Lions/Twin Sisters (Western Canada), a wheat field (Prairie provinces), the Canadian Shield (Central Canada), Cape Bonavista (Eastern Canada) and the northern lights (Northern Canada).
Bank Gov. Stephen S. Poloz said, “This bank note reflects the pride we feel about our country’s accomplishments and hope we have for our future. But it also underpins the confidence Canadians can have in their bank notes. The new security features of this $10 note make it the most secure Canadian bank note to date.”
The new security features include a color-shifting image of an arch found in the Memorial Chamber on Parliament Hill, as well as three-dimensional maple leaves.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, said she hoped the bank note would inspire Canadians. “This year, Canadians will have the opportunity to reflect on our history and celebrate our heritage,” she said. “With this note to commemorate 150 years of Confederation, we are reminded of our strengths: our rich diversity and our enduring hope for a brighter tomorrow.”
The new note does not replace the current polymer series $10 note, which continues to circulate.
This marks only the fourth time that the Bank of Canada has issued a commemorative note. The first, issued in 1935, celebrated the Silver Jubilee of King George V; the second, issued in 1967, marked the centennial of Confederation; and the third, issued in 2015, honored the historic reign of Queen Elizabeth II, who became the longest-reigning sovereign in Canada’s modern era.
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