Bank of Canada unveils short list of women considered for new note

Five iconic Canadian women in running for first note in new series

The Bank of Canada has announced a short list of women in the running to grace the first bank note in its next series. A total of 461 women met the qualifying criteria, with the list whittled down to five to be considered for the note.

The Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Canada will reveal which woman will be featured on the note on December 8, 2016.

Here’s a look at the five women in the running.

Viola Desmond (1914-1965)

Viola Desmond was a black businesswoman from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia who famously challenged racial segregation at a local theatre by refusing to sit in the establishment’s “black section.”


E. Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)

A poet and writer who adopted her Aboriginal grandfather’s name, Tekahionwake. She is best known for her work focusing on both English and Mohawk traditions.


Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill (1905-1980)

Elizabeth(Elsie) MacGill worked as an aeronautical engineer during World War II and is celebrated as the first woman in Canada to receive a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. MacGill earned the nickname the “Queen of the Hurricanes” for her role in the development of Hawker Hurricane fighter planes.


Fanny (Bobbie) Rosenfeld (1904-1969)

At the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Bobbie Rosenfeld captured the silver medal in the 100-metre dash, and helped the Canadian women’s relay team win gold.


Idola Saint-Jean (1880-1945)

Idola Saint-Jean was an actress, author, and teacher who fought for women’s right to vote in Quebec. She’s also the first woman from Quebec to run as a candidate in a federal election.

Image via the Bank of Canada