A new series of bank notes is being released in Canada later this year. The first images to circulate so far are of the $10 bill, in which architecture and geography shine as key subjects. While monuments have been featured on Canadian bank notes before, this will mark the first time that a building will be the primary image on one of the bills faces. The bill will be the first vertical facing note in Canada’s history, and feature a landscape image of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, designed by architect Antoine Predock. Building motifs can be found throughout the note as well, including the museum’s criss-crossing ramps, which symbolize the setbacks and contradictions associated with the history of human rights.
On the other side of the bill, human rights activist Viola Desmond is the key figure, depicting Canada’s pursuit for equity and racial equality. As an homage to her background, the banknote designers lined her portrait with a colourful grid system, mapping the Halifax community in which Viola lived and worked.
Both sides of the bill feature an iridescent illustration of the Library of Parliaments vaulted dome ceiling, showcasing its beautiful Gothic Revival arched windows. Detail-hunters will also find a laurel leaf pattern in the bills corner, which takes inspiration from the marbled logo in the entrance hall of the Canadian Supreme Court.
As the $10 bill is the first to be released, it’s too soon to say if the Bank of Canada plans to feature architecture throughout the series, or simply on this bill alone. Regardless, it’s nice to see Canadian architecture valued in this way as a prideful depiction of national values.
Images via Bank of Canada