The Bank of Canada today unveiled Canada's new $50 bank note, the theme of which is Nation Building: shaping the political, legal, and social structures for democracy and equality. The new note was unveiled at a ceremony in Calgary, Alberta by the Honourable Senator Joyce Fairbairn and David Dodge, Governor of the Bank of Canada.

The new $50 bank note is the last note of the Canadian Journey series, and incorporates anti-counterfeiting features similar to those found on the new $20 and $100 notes issued earlier this year. These include a metallic holographic stripe, a watermark portrait, a windowed colour-shifting thread woven into the paper, and a see-through number 50. The new note also incorporates some enhanced security features, such as raised ink (intaglio), fine-line printing, and red and yellow fluorescence under ultraviolet light.

These excellent security features were developed in co-operation with the Bank of Canada's partners both inside and outside Canada, the Governor said at the unveiling ceremony. "But," he added, "the best security features can only be effective if Canadians use them. And that's where you can make a difference in the fight to keep counterfeits out of circulation."

Consistent with the theme of nation building, the back of the $50 note features a quotation from Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. It states that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." The note also features four images that highlight the advancement, through history, of democracy and equal rights in Canada. These include the statue of the group of women known as the Famous Five, a depiction of a 1929 newspaper headline that reads "Women are Persons," the Thérèse Casgrain Volunteer Award, and the scales of justice.

Bank notes are "a national symbol and a source of pride," said Senator Fairbairn. "It is therefore fitting that the illustrations on our bank notes represent the elements of our society that help us to define ourselves. The new $50 note celebrates citizens who have throughout our history helped to make Canada one of the world's most democratic countries—a place where the rights and freedoms of individual Canadians are secure."

The new $50 note will be put into circulation beginning 17 November 2004, and will be available across the country within a few weeks of that date. As the Bank prepares to issue this new note, it continues to work with law-enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and the retail and hospitality industries across Canada to familiarize them with the note's security features.

Bank notes from previous series remain legal tender. For more information on Canadian bank notes and their security features, visit

Note to Editors:
  • A photo of the unveiling ceremony will be available on Canada NewsWire as of 3 p.m. (EDT).
  • A CD with images of the front and back of the new $50 bank note, as well as a beta tape of the production of the new note and its security features, are available to the media upon request.