The Bank of Canada today put into circulation Canada's new $20 bank notes. The new notes will be distributed and become available across the country over the next few weeks.

"The $20 bank note is the most widely used note," said Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge. "It accounts for almost half of all bank notes in circulation, which is why we encourage Canadians to become familiar with its design and security features. The security features of this new note enable Canadians to use it with confidence."

The Bank is issuing the new note to help fight counterfeiting and is reminding consumers and retailers to make a habit of verifying their notes before placing them in their wallets or cash drawers. The note incorporates several new anti-counterfeiting features that are easy to identify and quick to use. These include a metallic holographic stripe, a watermark portrait, a windowed colour-shifting thread woven into the paper, and a see-through number. These features are similar to those on the recently issued $100 note.

The theme of this new note is Arts and Culture. Images of four artworks by internationally recognized Canadian artist, Bill Reid, as well as an excerpt from Gabrielle Roy's novel, The Hidden Mountain, appear on the back of the note.

Since the unveiling of the new $20 bank note on 25 August, the Bank of Canada has been working with law-enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and the retail and hospitality industries to familiarize their employees with the note's security features.

"With the Bank of Canada incorporating more advanced security features in Canadian bank notes, and with retailers and the public regularly checking notes during cash transactions, we can dramatically reduce the number of counterfeit bills," said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada. "That is why we continue to work with the Bank of Canada to help train retailers and their staff on how to quickly identify a genuine bank note."

"Everyone has a role to play in deterring counterfeiting," said Raymond J. Protti, President and CEO of the Canadian Bankers Association. "The banking industry handles large volumes of cash and takes steps to detect counterfeit notes and remove them from circulation. The enhanced security features of this new note demonstrate how the Bank of Canada seeks to reduce counterfeiting by making currency more difficult to duplicate, and the banking industry applauds its efforts to do so."

Bank notes from previous series remain legal tender. For more information on Canadian bank notes and their security features, visit www.bankofcanada.ca/en/banknotes/.

Note to Editors:
  • A photo of Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge spending a new $20 bank note will be available on Canada NewsWire as of 11 a.m. (EDT).
  • A CD with images of the front and back of the new $20 bank note, as well as a beta tape with footage of the production of the new $20 bank note and its security features, are available to the media upon request.