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Media Article Series for Canada 150 Note

Four public figures featured on the Canada 150 commemorative bank note.

For the first time, four portrait subjects are featured on a single Bank of Canada note.

Agnes Macphail—Champion of Equality and Human Rights: One of the Faces on the Canada 150 $10 Bill

On 1 June, the Bank of Canada will mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation by issuing a commemorative $10 bank note.

What makes the Canada 150 note unique is that it features four portraits rather than the usual one. Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier, Agnes Macphail and James Gladstone are four parliamentarians who’ve each played a significant role in Canada’s history.

Let’s turn our attention to Agnes Macphail, the iconic Canadian woman in the group.

Macphail was a champion of equality and human rights who, in 1921, became the first woman elected to the House of Commons in Canada. Macphail entered politics to represent the interests of farmers in her riding of Grey South East (Ontario), and she became an advocate of the working class and defender of marginalized groups such as women, miners, immigrants and prisoners.

In 1929, she was the first woman to represent Canada at the League of Nations (the forerunner of the United Nations) and the first woman appointed to the Disarmament Committee of the League of Nations.

Her support of prison reform culminated in the 1939 Penitentiary Bill that recommended 88 changes to the penal system, including more outdoor time and exercise for inmates and mandatory education for inmates who were illiterate.

Macphail was an outspoken advocate of gender equity and worked toward ending legal discrimination against women. In addition to her support for female workers, she founded the Elizabeth Fry Society of Canada, which supported women in conflict with the law.

Macphail spent about 19 years as Member of the Parliament of Canada before serving as Member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario. There she advocated for Ontario’s first equal pay for equal work legislation in 1951.

In 1955, a bronze bust of Macphail was unveiled in the antechamber of the House of Commons in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill.

Beginning 1 June 2017, 40 million commemorative bank notes will be distributed through Canada’s financial institutions.

It should be noted that this commemorative note is separate from a new regularly circulating $10 note, featuring the portrait of Viola Desmond, that was recently announced and is expected in late 2018. As such, two iconic Canadian women will appear on two different $10 bank notes in the next two years.

Visit www.bankofcanada.ca/banknote150 to learn more about the design and security features of the Canada 150 commemorative note. Follow the Bank on Twitter (@bankofcanada) for the latest news as we prepare to issue this special note marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Key Dates

 

Sir John A. Macdonald—the Enduring Face of Canada’s $10 Bank Note

On a bench at the corner of Queen Street and Victoria Row in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, sits a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald. Relaxed, with legs crossed and arm extended, Macdonald leans over as if ready to chat with whoever sits down next to him. Whether it is this statue or the school or pub named for him in your neck of the woods, Macdonald is unquestionably a noted figure in Canadian history.

Throughout 2017, Canada will celebrate 150 years of Confederation. The Bank of Canada will mark this milestone by issuing a commemorative $10 bank note in the lead up to the Canada Day celebrations. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Canada 150 note will feature Macdonald’s portrait.

But this commemorative $10 note is unique in that it marks the first time that four portraits are featured on a single Bank of Canada note. Macdonald is joined by three other parliamentarians—Sir George-Étienne Cartier, Agnes Macphail and James Gladstone—who have each played significant roles in Canada’s history.

For his part, Macdonald was Canada’s first prime minister and one of the Fathers of Confederation. Under his leadership and vision, the Dominion of Canada was founded and expanded until it stretched from sea to sea to sea.

 

To physically unite the new and sprawling country, Macdonald supported the building of a transcontinental railway that stretched thousands of kilometres.

Always controversial, he was at the forefront of Canadian politics for close to half a century and, in doing so, left a lasting impression on the history of Canada.

Macdonald was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in January 1815. He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of United Canada in 1844 and became Canada’s first prime minister in 1867. He served as prime minister from 1867 to 1873 and from 1878 to 1891, totalling close to 19 years, making him the second-longest-serving prime minister in the history of Canada (after William Lyon Mackenzie King).

Macdonald also has an enduring place in the heritage of Canada’s currency. He has appeared on the front of Canada’s $10 note since the Scenes of Canada series was issued in the early 1970s.

Beginning 1 June, 40 million commemorative bank notes will be distributed through Canada’s financial institutions.

Visit www.bankofcanada.ca/banknote150 to learn more about the design and security features of the commemorative note. Follow the Bank on Twitter (@bankofcanada) for the latest news as we prepare to issue this special note marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Key Dates

 

James Gladstone—A New Face on Canadian Currency

James Gladstone may not be a household name, but that could soon change.

On 1 July, Canada will celebrate 150 years of Confederation. The Bank of Canada will mark this milestone year by issuing a commemorative $10 bank note. This is only the fourth time in its 82-year history that the Bank has issued a commemorative bank note. And this note is unique in that it marks the first time that four portraits are represented on the front of a single Bank of Canada note. Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier, Agnes Macphail and James Gladstone are four parliamentarians who have each played significant roles in Canada’s history.

The Canada 150 bank note also marks the first time that an Indigenous Canadian appears as a portrait subject on a Bank of Canada note. Gladstone, whose Blackfoot name is Akay-na-muka, meaning “Many guns,” committed himself to the betterment of Indigenous peoples in Canada and, on 1 February 1958, became Canada’s first senator of First Nations origin. In fact, when he spoke Blackfoot as part of his inaugural address, Gladstone was the first person to address either the House of Commons or the Senate in a language other than English or French.

When he was appointed to the Senate, Gladstone, like all Status Indians, did not yet have the right to vote. He advocated for this right, which came into effect on 31 March 1960 when the vote was extended to all Indigenous Canadians. He also advocated for improved education, economic opportunities, equality and greater self-determination for Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

James Gladstone was born in May 1887 at Mountain Hill, Northwest Territories. A member of the Kainai (Blood) First Nation of Alberta, Gladstone served in the Senate until the year of his death in 1971.  In acknowledgement of his significant contribution to the Senate and to Canada, a bronze bust of Senator Gladstone wearing a feathered headdress is displayed in the antechamber to the Senate in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill.

Beginning 1 June, 40 million commemorative bank notes will be distributed through Canada’s financial institutions.

Visit www.bankofcanada.ca/banknote150 to learn more about the design and security features of the commemorative note.  Follow the Bank on Twitter (@bankofcanada) for the latest news as we prepare to issue this special note marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Key Dates

 

Ô Canada! Mon pays! Mes amours!

Sir George-Étienne Cartier’s patriotic song “Ô Canada! Mon pays! Mes amours!” conveys that nothing is more beautiful than one’s country.

In 2017, Canada celebrates 150 years of Confederation and the Bank of Canada will mark this milestone by issuing a commemorative $10 bank note depicting our history, land and culture.

Four portraits are featured on this special note, and among them is a portrait of Sir George-Étienne Cartier. He is joined by Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, as well as parliamentarians Agnes Macphail and James Gladstone. These four individuals have each played a significant role in Canada’s history.

Like Macdonald, Cartier was one of the Fathers of Confederation. He was a principal architect of Canadian federalism and a proponent of Confederation as a means of safeguarding French Canada and other minorities.

Cartier was born in 1814 in Saint-Antoine, Lower Canada. He was a prominent Montréal politician and lawyer who led Quebec into the Dominion and later participated in the expansion of Canada west to the Pacific and north to the Arctic Ocean.

He helped create the provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia and oversaw the negotiations between the Canadian and British governments and the Hudson’s Bay Company in the purchase of Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory.

Cartier and Macdonald shared a long political relationship and a loyal friendship. Shortly after Cartier’s death in 1873, Macdonald unveiled a statue on Parliament Hill to commemorate his friend and to honour Cartier’s commitment and dedication to the united Dominion of Canada.

Now, 150 years later, these two Fathers of Confederation take their place on the Canada 150 commemorative note. Together with Macphail and Gladstone, they remind us that the Canada of today was shaped by people of different backgrounds who, through their vision, courage and effort, helped create a better country.

Beginning 1 June, 40 million commemorative bank notes will be distributed through Canada’s financial institutions.

Visit www.bankofcanada.ca/banknote150 to learn more about the design and security features of the Canada 150 commemorative note. Follow the Bank on Twitter (@bankofcanada) for the latest news as we prepare to issue this special note marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Key Dates

Principal Canada East representative in Charlottetown (1–9 September) and Quebec (10–27 October) conferences, 1864