May 19, 2020

Bank of Canada Explains Changes to $100 Bank Note

Bank of Canada
Canadian Currency
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Bank of Canada Explains Changes to $100 Bank Note


It came to light late last week that the Bank of Canada was going to change its $100 polymer bank note design. The most significant change noted was the elimination of the previously depicted image of a South Asian woman looking through a microscope. This removal of imagery, some speculated last week, was due to of the race of the researcher, leading to many questioning the Bank of Canada on its policy on racism.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney released an apology statement for the removal of said image, explaining it was a part of the design process.

“The $100 bank note celebrates Canadian medical innovation. In the early stages of developing the themes of all the bank notes in the polymer series, focus groups were used to test what types of images best evoke the themes. One of these was a photoshopped image based on an original photograph of a South Asian woman looking through a microscope.

"As is always the case, in the subsequent design of the actual $100 note the designers created an original set of images from the ground up. On the actual bank note the researcher was drawn so as to not resemble an actual person. Therefore, the final image did not look the same as the photoshopped image shown to the focus groups,” said Governor Carney.

The new Canadian $100 bank note design was created to celebrate Canadian innovation in medical research, thus the woman looking through a microscope. Other suggested imagery on the bank note was themed around the discovery of insulin to treat diabetes and tributes to Canadian researchers.

“In the development of our $100 bank note, efforts by the bank note designers to avoid depicting a specific individual resulted in an image that appears to represent only one ethnic group.



Click here to see the latest issue of Business Review Canada


"That was not the Bank's intention and I apologize to those who were offended - the Bank's handling of this issue did not meet the standards Canadians justifiably expect of us. We will be reviewing our design process in light of these events. Our bank notes belong to all Canadians, and the work we do at the Bank is for all Canadians,” continued Governor Carney. 

Share article