Commemorative $10 bill launched on P.E.I.

In Charlottetown Monday, the Bank of Canada launched its new $10 bill to commemorate Canada's 150th birthday.

Bank of Canada travelling country to launch new bills into circulation

Actors portraying fathers of Confederation John A. Macdonald and Georges Etienne Cartier animatedly discuss the new $10 bill commemorating Canada's 150th birthday. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

The Bank of Canada held an event to show off its new $10 bill to commemorate Canada's 150th birthday in Charlottetown Monday.

It was September 1864 the so-called fathers of Confederation met in Charlottetown and ended up discussing a union of provinces. They met again that fall in Quebec, and three years later, in 1867, signed the British North America (BNA) Act, creating the Dominion of Canada. The BNA Act became the core of Canada's 1982 constitution. 

"On July 1, Canada will officially celebrate 150 years of Confederation," said Monique LeBlanc, regional director with the Bank of Canada, at a ceremony Monday morning at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. 

"And it's a treat to be here in Charlottetown, where it all began." 

LeBlanc's visit is part of a series of events across Canada to promote the new $10 note. 

'Big deal'

The Bank of Canada has produced only three other commemorative bank notes in its 82-year history, LeBlanc noted, so "it's no exaggeration to say it's a big deal."

Developing this bank note was a "long and involved process," LeBlanc added. The bank began working on it in 2014, and more than 5,000 Canadians have fed into the process. 

The new $10 bills have been in circulation for less than a week. (Bank of Canada)

"The selection of visual elements for this note carefully incorporates many of the themes and subjects suggested," she said. 

"Themes of democracy, equality and human rights, land and landscapes, history and heritage." 

The result, the bank said, is a unique design that tells countless stories of Confederation. 

The note features fathers of Confederation Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George Etienne Cartier, Canada's first woman MP Agnes MacPhail, and James Gladstone, Canada's first senator from a treaty First Nation

The back of the note shows Canadian landscapes from all three coasts, and an eye-catching stencil by Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak called Owl's Bouquet.

The bill also has some new security features to prevent counterfeiting, including raised ink, colour-shifting art, a transparent window with metallic symbols, and maple leaves that appear to be three-dimensional.

The bank notes went into circulation June 1.