2011-2013: The Frontiers Series

The Australians have been doing it since 1988 and now there are 2 dozen countries who print their money on a substrate called polypropylene. One of those countries is Canada. The substrate of money has always been a security feature like any other: if you use highly unusual or extremely expensive material, the counterfeiters can’t easily copy it. Often it was paper of a highly customized content but Canada’s new polymer material is also such a product.

Polymer offers a whole new range of security and design opportunities. Transparency allows for the micro-printing of numbers and shapes only visible in certain lighting conditions and the holographic foils blend elegantly with the shiny surfaces of ‘windows’ of un-printed polymer. To a counterfeiter, the new notes are a mine field of security features that build upon all of the previous series’ innovations. Another of polymer’s advantages is its durability. It will last two and a half times longer than a paper note, withstand enormous instances of folding and resists the soiling of daily handling.

But what of the image content? This series is concerned with technical innovation and achievement. Our trans-continental railroad, the Canadarm, arctic research, medical science and military sacrifice are aspects of Canadian identity only partially explored on notes in the past. There are no fixed themes apart from colour and the portraits, so next time it will be a whole new take on Canada.



Frontiers Series $20 Commemorative Note

This note was issued on 9 September 2015 to honour Queen Elizabeth II as the longest-reigning sovereign in Canada’s modern era.

Frontiers Series $5 Note

The design of the note focuses on the theme of space exploration, including Canada’s ongoing contribution to the International Space Station program through innovations in robotics.

Frontiers Series $10 Note

The central vignette on the back of the note depicts the Canadian, the VIA Rail passenger train that runs from Toronto to Vancouver.

Frontiers Series $20 Note

The Frontiers series $20 bill features a new portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The vignette on the back is the Canadian National Vimy Memorial located on the site of the 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge in northern France.

Frontiers Series $50 Note

The theme of the Frontiers series $50 note is Arctic research and Canada’s northern frontier.

Frontiers Series $100 Note

This was the first note issued in the Frontiers series. The theme is innovation in medical research, and the vignette on the back is anchored by the image of a researcher looking into a microscope.

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