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Bank of Canada launches public consultation for new $5 bank note

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Minister of Finance Bill Morneau and Governor Stephen S. Poloz today announced that the Bank of Canada is launching public consultations to select an iconic Canadian to appear on the next $5 bank note. Canadians can submit nominations by using the Bank of Canada’s submission form by March 11, 2020.

This call for nominations is similar to the Bank’s 2016 campaign that resulted in the selection of Viola Desmond, a defender of human rights and social justice, as the portrait subject of the vertical $10 bank note. The redesigned $10 bill won the Bank Note of the Year Award from the International Bank Note Society.

"When we launched the last round of consultations, we never could have anticipated the enthusiasm of Canadians, both for the process or for the historic bank note that featured a Canadian woman for the first time, civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond,” said Minister of Finance Bill Morneau. “We’re excited to see who the public will nominate for the $5 bank note and look forward to celebrating another incredible Canadian.”

Governor Poloz encouraged Canadians from all parts of the country to nominate people who have inspired them and to talk about their achievements.

“This open call for nominations is another great opportunity to highlight the many stories of heroes, sometimes unsung ones, who have helped shape the Canada we live in today,” he noted. “I hope this process sparks conversations and encourages us all to learn more about our great country and its remarkable people.”

An independent advisory council composed of eminent people from academia, the cultural sector and civil society will review all nominations who meet the criteria outlined below. With the support of historical and public opinion research, the advisory council will develop a short list of candidates for submission to the Minister of Finance. The Minister will announce his decision on the portrait subject of the new $5 bank note later this year. The Bank of Canada will then begin the design process for the new bank note.

Nominees must meet all the following criteria:

  • They are a Canadian by birth or naturalization who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement or distinction in any field, benefiting the people of Canada or in the service of Canada.
  • They have been deceased for at least 25 years (before March 11, 1995).
  • They are not a fictional character.

Additional information

  • Like the $10 note, the new $5 note will have a vertical design.
  • Up to five names can be submitted in one submission form. Participants can return to the Bank’s website to submit more names if they so choose.
  • Participants can suggest images and symbols they associate with their nominee(s).
  • From the start of the public consultation campaign, it takes three to four years to design, produce and issue a new bank note.
  • Read about our Principles of Bank Note Design.
Content Type(s): Press, Press releases