On 1 July 2017, Canada will proudly celebrate its 150th birthday. To mark this event, the Bank of Canada will issue a new and unique commemorative bank note.

For the first time, the Bank has produced a note featuring four portraits on the front. Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier, Agnes Macphail and James Gladstone—all parliamentarians—were chosen for their significant roles in shaping our country. Their vision and courage helped to make Canada what it is today: a nation of many voices and cultures.

Above and below the portraits is a pattern evoking the Assomption (or arrow) sash. It is the brightly coloured sash, historically worn by the habitants of Quebec, that has become a cultural symbol of the Métis people. The front of the note has numerous other design elements that celebrate our country’s history and culture. These include the Hall of Honour and the Memorial Chamber Screen Arch from Canada’s Parliament Buildings, the Coat of Arms of Canada and a delicate rendering of Owl’s Bouquet, by renowned Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak.

The five images spanning the back of the note celebrate both the beauty and diversity of our land from the coastal mountains in the West, through the rich wheat fields of the Prairies, to Canadian Shield country and the rockbound Atlantic Coast. These landscapes are laid over a backdrop of the dancing aurora borealis, a powerful icon of the North.

All of the provinces and territories plus their dates of entry into Confederation are printed at the top and bottom of the clear window. This is one of a number of security features that are part of this note. The raised ink of traditional intaglio printing can be found on both the front and back, while cutting-edge, colour shifting metallic ink is used on the arch feature. There are also several holograms to be seen from top to bottom in the clear window.

There are many more nuances to be discovered on this richly illustrated bank note. To explore further, and to learn more about the note’s imagery and security, visit the Bank of Canada’s website.