The Bank of Canada today unveiled Canada's new $20 bank note, the theme of which is Arts and Culture. The new note was unveiled at a ceremony in Vancouver by the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of National Revenue (by videotape), and Paul Jenkins, Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada.

"Bank notes remain integral to our country's economic activity, and the use of cash actually keeps growing every year," Mr. Jenkins said at the national unveiling ceremony. "Thus, it is crucial that Canadians have complete trust in our bank notes. The new $20 bill is one that all Canadians can use with confidence and pride."

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

Mr. Jenkins reminded the audience that the enhanced security features are easy to verify and difficult to copy. "We want retailers and the public to know how quick and easy it is to tell the difference between a real bank note and a fake one," Mr. Jenkins said. "We want people to make a habit of checking their notes, just as they check their change, sales slips, or credit card receipts." It is as easy as touching the note, tilting it, looking at it, and looking through it.

To highlight the Arts and Culture theme of the new $20 bank note, and Canada's unique cultural diversity and artistic expression, masterpieces from internationally recognized Canadian artist Bill Reid are depicted on the back of the note. "This bank note celebrates the contribution of arts and culture both to individual Canadians, and to the country as a whole," said Minister McCallum. "Canadian cultural works, stories, and symbols not only reflect who we are, and where we have come from, but also help to define who we would like to become—our values and our aspirations as a nation."

The new note will be put into circulation beginning 29 September 2004, and will be available across the country within two weeks of that date. Bank notes from previous series remain legal tender. As the Bank prepares to issue the new note, it continues to work with law-enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and the retail and hospitality industries to familiarize them with the new security features.

Note to Editors:
  • A photo of the unveiling ceremony will be available on Canada NewsWire as of 2 p.m. (EDT).
  • A CD with images of the front and back of the new $20 bank note is available to the media upon request.
  • A beta tape with footage of the production of the new $20 bank note, its security features, and interview clips with Senior Deputy Governor Paul Jenkins is also available upon request.