It’s Canada’s 150th birthday this year and the Bank of Canada is celebrating by releasing a brand new $10.00 bill.
The commemorative banknote will begin circulation starting June 1 and is not replacing the other new $10.00 bill featuring Viola Desmond that will begin circulation in 2018. Instead, the commemorative note will be a limited-run item and there will only be 40 million of them issued -- one available for every Canadian.
It's only the fourth time that the Bank of Canada has issued a commemorative banknote and they've made a very impressive website to showcase the new bill (while you're there, enter the Konami Code -- up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A -- for a fun Easter egg), with detailed descriptions of design elements and security features integrated into the bill.
The new note features portraits of four important figures in Canadian history and marks first time that four portraits have been printed on a Canadian banknote. The portraits include Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister; Sir George-Étienne Cartier, an architect of Canadian federalism; Agnes Macphail, the first woman elected to the House of Commons and James Gladstone (Akay-na-muka), Canada’s first senator of First Nations origin.
Other design cues that commemorate Canadian history include dates when provinces and territories entered Confederation, an arch from inside the Memorial Chamber and the Hall of Honour inside Parliament Hill. For security, raised ink is used for each portrait, metallic ink is used for Confederation dates and the Memorial Arch shifts from blue to green depending on how you tilt the bill.
Canada has the second largest land mass in the world, so it’s no surprise that the back of new bill is devoted to our diverse landscape, featuring the Coast Mountains in British Columbia, the Prairies in Saskatchewan, the Kipawa River in Parc national d’Opémican in Quebec, Cape Bonavista in Newfoundland and Labrador and the northern lights above Wood Buffalo National Park.
Each landscape, except for the northern lights, is printed with raised ink.
Cultural diversity is a hallmark of Canadian history and the new note includes several design elements to recognize the importance of Canadian culture, including an Assomption sash pattern to recognize the cultural symbol of the Métis people, Owl's Bouquet artwork by acclaimed Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak, 13 maple leaves linked by their stems to represent each province and territory, the Canadian flag and the Coat of Arms.
The Owl’s Bouquet, national flag and Coat of Arms are printed metallically on the transparent window and change colour depending on how you tilt the bill, while some of the maple leaves along the bottom of the window create a 3D illusion.
Visit your financial institution on or after June 1 if you want to get your hands on this new banknote. Plus, be on the lookout for a complete refresh of all of Canada's banknotes in the coming years -- following the new $10.00 bill releasing in 2018, the Bank of Canada plans to release a new $5.00 note, followed by new $20.00, $50.00 and $100.00 notes every two-to-three years after that.