Banknote Production

Bank of Canada Invited Public Opinion On New Banknote Design

As the Bank of Canada prepares to put new polymer $50 and $100 banknotes into circulation, more details are being released about the design on the new bills. Last month, we wrote about the years of work it took to develop the security features for the new notes. The design of the bills also went through a lengthy process.

Several years ago, the Bank of Canada held public consultations in 14 cities asking people to contribute ideas that reflected uniquely Canadian themes and items to incorporate in the new design.

“What was clear during these sessions was the fact that Canadians are passionate about their country,” wrote Exchange Magazine. “In the end, the notes speak to the country’s spirit of innovation.”

The $100 bill, which will enter into circulation this November, focuses on medical innovation and the country’s long-standing commitment to medical research.

The new $50 notes, which enter into circulation in March 2012, feature the Canadian Coast Guard ship “Amundsen” – a ship that “has been a major catalyst in the revitalization of Canadian Arctic science by providing Canadian researchers and their international collaborators with the platform and the tools to facilitate unprecedented access to the Arctic Ocean,” according to a website dedicated to the ship.

Though the other notes in the series – the $20, $10 and $5 bills – have not been unveiled as they only enter into circulation late in 2013, but the Bank of Canada has revealed that the $20 bill will feature the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, the $10 bill will feature the Canadian train and the $5 bill will feature the Canadarm2.

New designs for new banknotes obviously take into account aesthetics, but also consider the implementation of security features as well.

“While we recognize that it’s important for bank notes to be functional and secure, they are a form of art as well—art that we hope will instil pride in all Canadians,” says Martine Warren, Scientific Adviser with the Bank’s Currency Development Team.

Exchange Magazine: “Uniquely Canadian – Designing Canada’s Polymer Bank Notes”
Winnipeg Free Press: “Bank of Canada Unveils Plastic $100 and $50 Bills”
“CCGS Amundsen”


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