In keeping with our principles of bank note design, we held an open call for nominations inviting Canadians to suggest which iconic Canadian they would like to see on the next $5 bank note.
The call for nominations was held over six weeks, from January 29 to March 11, 2020. Nearly 45,000 people answered the call, resulting in more than 600 eligible nominees.
These nominees met the following basic 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.
What happens next
Now that all the nominations are in, the selection process will unfold much like the one in 2016 that led to the selection of Viola Desmond as the portrait subject of the vertical $10 note.
1. Advisory Council
All eligible nominees will be reviewed by an independent Advisory Council. They will develop a short list of candidates.
2. Public opinion and historical research
- Once the short list has been identified, the Bank will conduct a survey of a representative sample of Canadians and hold focus groups.
- The Advisory Council will review historical biographies on each of the short-listed candidates.
3. Short list
- Informed by the public opinion and historical research, the Advisory Council will confirm their short list and inform the Bank.
- The Bank will submit the short list to the Minister of Finance.
4. Final decision
- The Minister will make the final decision, in accordance with the Bank of Canada Act.
- The name of the individual selected will be announced following the Minister’s decision.
- Once the new portrait subject has been selected, the bank note design process will begin. All we know right now is that it will be a polymer note with a vertical design.
- We expect the new $5 note to begin circulating in a few years.