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Bank of Canada announces short list for next $5 bank note

The Bank of Canada today announced that the independent Advisory Council has selected a short list of eight iconic Canadians who could be featured on the next $5 bank note.

They are (in alphabetical order):

  • Pitseolak Ashoona: [c. 1904-1908]–1983
  • Robertine Barry (“Françoise”): 1863–1910
  • Binaaswi (Francis Pegahmagabow): 1888–1952
  • Won Alexander Cumyow: 1861–1955
  • Terry Fox: 1958–1981
  • Lotta Hitschmanova: 1909–1990
  • Isapo-muxika (Crowfoot): c. 1830–1890
  • Onondeyoh (Frederick Ogilvie Loft): 1861–1934

The Advisory Council shortlisted the candidates from more than 600 eligible nominees submitted by Canadians during the six-week public consultation that ended on March 11, 2020. Nearly 45,000 Canadians participated in the call for nominations.

“Canadians put forward the names of hundreds of people who have changed Canada for the better,” said Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem. “I thank the Advisory Council members for their thoughtful and thorough deliberations, and I look forward to seeing which of these eight remarkable individuals will be featured on our next $5 bank note.”

The list has been submitted for consideration to the Minister of Finance, who will announce in early 2021 the next portrait subject of the $5 bank note.

“Each of these people deserve recognition for their remarkable contributions to Canada. They all overcame barriers, fought for their ideals, and have inspired generations. I invite all Canadians to learn about the stories of these incredible people,” said Chrystia Freeland, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. “And to the tens of thousands of Canadians who took the time to nominate the many noteworthy people in our history, thank you.”

The seven members of the Advisory Council brought a wide range of perspectives and experiences to the deliberations, which were supported by historical and public opinion research. They agreed to a set of guiding principles in compiling their short list:

  • Positive change: The shortlisted nominees should have changed Canada and Canadians for the better.
  • National icon: Their impact is known nationally across Canada.
  • Universality: They have had an impact in Canada and this impact should reflect Canadian values.
  • Uniqueness: They are uniquely Canadian and known beyond their local/regional communities.
  • Relevancy: They had an impact that is relevant today.

“A list of eight names may seem like a very short list, but the selected nominees emerged from thoughtful considerations and deep deliberations, to ensure it is a list we would all be proud to present and stand by with determination, whatever the end decision is,” said the Advisory Council members in a statement. “We deeply believe this list emphasizes the diverse contributions of Canadians to our shared history.”

Additional information

  • Like the $10 note released in 2018, the new $5 note will have a vertical design.
  • It can take a few years to issue a new bank note, from the start of public consultations to design, production and release.
  • It was previously announced that Canada’s first francophone prime minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who is on the current $5 bank note, will be featured on one of Canada's higher-value notes ($50 or $100) when they are redesigned.
  • The current Frontiers series $5 note, which features images of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canadarm2 and Dextre, will continue to circulate for some time.
Content Type(s): Press, Press releases
Topic(s): Bank notes