The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) announces that its voting membership has selected the Bank of Canada to receive its prestigious “Bank Note of the Year Award” for 2018. With over 150 new banknotes released worldwide during 2018, only 10% were of sufficiently new design to be nominated. Almost from the start, Canada’s new vertically oriented $10 bill dominated the voting, followed by Switzerland (200 Franc human hands), Norway (500 Kroner sailing ship), Russia (100 Ruble soccer) and the Solomon Islands (40 Dollar man blowing conch shell) banknotes. This is the fifth consecutive polymer containing note to win the coveted IBNS Bank Note of the Year Award.
When the Bank of Canada announced the release of this note on November 19, 2018, they said they were going in “a new direction.” Polymer replaced paper on Canadian banknotes several years ago but this is the first vertical format note for them. The face of the note features the portrait of social justice icon Viola Desmond while the back depicts the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Desmond fought for racial equality across Canada and is the first Canadian woman to appear on a bank note (other women have all been British royals). Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company in the same distinct purple color as the previous horizontal format $10 polymer note, this note is just fractionally larger than neighboring United States currency bills. Incorporating the latest in technological standards, the bold security features are easy to check and difficult to counterfeit. Canada plans “to issue a new denomination every few years” and the Bank of Canada has confirmed the next four notes in this series will also use the vertical format.
No stranger to the IBNS annual bank note contest, Canada won the inaugural IBNS Bank Note of the Year Award in 2004, placed second three years in a row (2011, 2012 & 2013) and finished in third place just last year. Significantly the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which opened in 2014, was not only the first new national museum since 1967 but the first to be located outside the capital region. It is also the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. It aims to inspire and promote respect for others while encouraging reflection and dialogue about human rights.
The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) was founded in 1961. It operates as a non-profit educational organization and in furtherance of such purpose, its objectives are to promote, stimulate, and advance the study and knowledge of worldwide banknotes and paper currencies and all matters related thereto along educational, scientific and historical lines. Currently the IBNS has over 2,000 members in more than 90 countries.