On June 1, the new Canada 150 $10 bill will be hitting banks across the country, one month before it’s national holiday.
Numerous focus groups were conducted in rural and urban settings to figure out what the public wished to see on the new bill.
Bank of Canada Senior Analyst Michelle Marselle allowed the Mail a sneak peek of all its specific features and design aspects that the public wished to see in such a commemorative gesture.
The currency is still made of polymer with a clear, see-through window that has metallic images as well as raised text to allow for touch authenticity.
“It’s a good feel security feature,” said Marselle.
One of the new designs put in place was an arch on the left side that colour changes from blue to green.
“So that’s just state of the art colour shifting so it’s a new feature there,” said Marselle.
“So when you see it, it looks like it’s moving.”
There happen to be 13 maple leafs, 10 for each province and 3 for the territory’s with three at the bottom of the clear window that appear to be raised but when felt, is actually flat.
“They look like their 3-D, like their going to pop out at you but they're actually flat so again that is another security feature,” said Marselle.
The four figures on the front also pay homage to the diversity of the Canadian people by displaying two confederate father’s: Sir John A. MacDonald and Sir George-Etienne Cartier. Alongside them is the first woman to be elected to the house of commons, Agnes Macphail, and the first First Nations senator James Gladstone from the Kainai blood tribe of Lethbridge, Alta.
“These are four very important Canadians that kind of shaped Canada,” said Marselle.
First Prime Minister Sir John A MacDonald has been on the 10 dollar bill for roughly 40 years already.
“We felt for continuity we would keep him on the bill,” said Marselle.
The coat of arms is clearly displayed in the window as well as indigenous art weaved throughout. Within the window, below the coat of arms is the ‘owls bouquet’ which was designed by renowned Nunavut artist Kenojuak Ashevak.
“An owl is a very strong cultural symbol for the nunavut people so we’ve added that onto the bill,” said Marselle.
As another strong, adorning feature, the Metis sash design is seen on the top and bottom.
The people in the focus group sessions wanted to see two things: Aboriginal work and the mighty landscape the country has to offer from coast to coast to coast.
The twin sisters mountain range can be see on the left side of the window to represent the Vancouver area. On the right side of the clear window, three rectangle images showcase more of the diverse landscape.
First is the wheat for the breadbasket, second the Canadian shield in Ontario and Quebec, and last is Cape Bonavista for the Atlantic region, and the free northern lights at the Wood Buffalo National Park to represent the north.
40 million copies are going to be printed with distribution to happen on June 1. Marselle noted that it may take some time to get to the more remote places
“Basically by July 1, Canada’s birthday, everybody who want’s to have one would have one – that’s the goal,” said Marselle.
At 9 parts per million, counterfeit has been the lowest it’s ever been in the last 25 years thanks to the polymer plastic.
“We’ve seen a remarkable decline in counterfeit so that [polymer] certainly has helped the fight,” said Marselle.
The Bank of Canada wishes citizens to check their bills before spending as it may not be real. By visiting the Bank of Canada website, a wealth of information is readily available. It can be for personal use or employers can train their staff to recognize and distinguish the fake from the real currency.
“If you take a bill and it’s a bad one, you’re going to be out the money,”
The whole process from public consultation to design to print has taken more than a year and a half to plan and produce.
The bill can be spent as it is legal tender but citizens are encouraged to have it as a keepsake.
“So if you want to spend it for your double double, you are certainly welcome as of June 1st,” said Marselle.
“This is our contribution to the festivities of Canada’s 150.”