A Guide to Women in Canadian History
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Where are Canadian women on the currency of our country? What heroines have been selected to show their faces on our coins and paper money, and remind us of their contributions to Canadian history? You will have to search a long time to find them.Bank Notes
On October 13, 2004, the Bank of Canada unveiled a new $50 bank note on the theme of national building. For the first time in Canadian history, Canadian women were featured on a note - on the back. The bill featured images of the Alberta women known as the Famous 5, as well as the renowned activist Thérèse Casgrain. The release of the bank note was celebrated in a ceremony held in Calgary, Alberta. Senator Joyce Fairbairn and David Dodge, Governor of the Bank of Canada, unveiled the $50 note. The Famous 5 Foundation played an important role in lobbying for the inclusion of the Famous 5 on a Canadian bank note.
In 2011, the Bank of Canada began releasing a new series of polymer bills. The popular $50 bill featuring women from Canadian history was replaced by a new polymer depicting an icebreaker. None of the other new polymers featured female Canadian historical figures. Why not?
Historian and author Merna Forster launched a national campaign calling for Canadian women to be celebrated on the face of our bank notes. Her campaign included a petition which was signed by more than 73,000 Canadians, and eventually resulted in a commitment by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Moreau to feature a Canadian women on a bank note in 2018. Civil rights activist Viola Desmond will be celebrated on the face of a new $10 bill, becoming the first Canadian woman to appear on the front of a regularly circulating bank note. Why did it take so long???Canadian Women on Bank Notes Campaign 2013-16
One June 1, 2017, the Bank of Canada issued a Canada 150 commemorative bank note. The face of the new note includes the image of Agnes Macphail, who became the first woman in Canadian history to be elected as a federal Member of Parliament. She was elected in 1921 and served until 1940. Be sure to check out the Bank of Canada feature on the Canada 150 note.
To celebrate FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada in 2015, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a series of special commemorative coins. The designs were unveiled in March 2015.
320 Sussex Drive
Royal Canadian Mint Website
Email Royal Canadian Mint: Info@rcmint.ca
And if you have recommendations for notable women to appear on Canadian bank notes, you should send them to:
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