Canada’s new banknotes unveiled on Earth and from orbit

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by Björn Schöpe

June 30, 2013 – Generally new coins and banknotes are unveiled in official places, headquarters of banks or mints. And so were Canada’s two new banknotes too – but not only. Their themes are frontiers and Canadian achievements.

The new $5 polymer banknote. © Bank of Canada.

And one border Canadians have crossed is space. Therefore Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Commander of the International Space Station unveiled the new $5 polymer banknote depicting Canadarm2 and Dextre – robotics innovations symbolizing Canada’s activity in orbit – from the ISS 350 km above Earth. He was connected via satellite and declared: ‘I try to inspire young Canadians to aim high. This new $5 bill should do the same. By giving prominence to Canadian achievements in space, this bank note reminds us that not even the sky is the limit.’

The new $10 polymer banknote. © Bank of Canada.

Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and Paul G. Smith, Chairman of the Board at VIA Rail Canada unveiled (on Earth) the $10 banknote featuring the Canadian train journeying through the Rocky Mountains and hence connecting the Canadian West and East by train. This pioneering work started in the 1870s and represented, indeed, a crossing of borders.
‘The transcontinental railway helped build modern Canada. On behalf of VIA Rail, I am delighted that this accomplishment, through the use of this iconic image, has been honoured on the new $10 bank note,’ Mr Smith stated. ‘Not only did the railway contribute to Canada’s economic prosperity by moving people and goods across this vast land, but it also gave Canadians the means to seek new frontiers of their own.’

These banknotes will be issued in November and are the last of the new polymer series with modern security features. ‘The Polymer series notes are at the frontier of bank note technology. The new $5 and $10 bank notes depict the frontiers of our country and our planet,’ Governor Carney said. ‘It is fitting that we are today crossing the final frontier for a world first – the unveiling of a bank note from space.’

You can find more information on the new polymer series on the website of the Bank of Canada.

And this is the website of VIA Rail Canada.

Col. Hadfield received much attention worldwide when he covered a David Bowie song in orbit. You can watch him on YouTube.

However, here you can see him unveil the new $5 polymer banknote.

And if you want to follow him on Twitter, this is his account.