These Are the 12 Women Who Could Appear on Canadian Bills in 2018

It looks like it’s finally Canada’s turn to have a woman grace our banknotes, as the Bank of Canada has released its list of 12 iconic Canadian women who could be featured on the new series of bills expected in 2018.

Some of the finalists, who were selected by an advisory council from public submissions, include artist and writer Emily Carr, Inuit artist Pitseolak Ashoona, author Lucy Maud Montgomery, and pioneering feminists Nellie McClung, Idola Saint-Jean, and Therese Casgrain. The full list reflects the lasting legacies these courageous women left behind throughout Canadian history.

The independent advisory council took submissions from the public following Justin Trudeau’s announcement on International Women’s Day this past March, as well as the U.S. announcing that they too will have an iconic woman grace their banknotes.

The submission process ended April 15th and the advisory council received more than 26,000 submissions nominating more than 460 women.

What’s left is a shortlist that’s definitely Bank-Notable.

The full list reads:

1. Pitseolak Ashoona — An Inuit graphic artist who is recognized for establishing a modern Inuit art form that incorporated traditional knowledge.


2. Emily Carr  A famous artist and writer recognized for her landscapes of the Pacific coast.


3. Thérèse Casgrain She lead the campaign for women’s suffrage in Quebec and was the first Canadian woman to head a political party in Canada, the Quebec wing of what is today the New Democratic Party.

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4. Viola Desmond  A black businesswoman and mentor from Nova Scotia who is known for courageously challenged racial segregation at a film theatre in her home province.


5. Lotta Hitschmanova — She founded the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada, which is still active today, and helped those suffering in the aftermath of the Second World War, especially children.


6. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) — As the daughter of a Mohawk chief and an Englishwoman, Johnson is best known for the poetry she wrote reflecting both English and Mohawk traditions.

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7. Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill  The world’s first female aircraft designer. She worked as an aeronautical engineer and is best known as “Queen of the Hurricanes” for her work on fighter planes that were used during the Second World War.


8. Nellie McClung  She was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement and one of the famous five women who petitioned Britain to give Canadian women constitutional ruling that established the right of women to be appointed to the Senate.


9. Lucy Maud Montgomery  Canadian author best known as the author of Anne of Green Gables.


10. Fanny (Bobbie) Rosenfeld  An Olympian who won gold in the relay race and silver in the 100 metre dash at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.


11. Gabrielle Roy  A French-Canadian author who grew up in poverty. Roy translated her experiences and observations as a Montréal journalist.


12. Idola Saint-Jean  An actress, teacher and author, Saint-Jean is known for her work as a feminist and pioneer in the fight for women’s suffrage in Quebec.

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It’s now up to the public to see who will make it onto the shortlist. Then, the advisory council and experts will narrow it down to three to five finalists for a final selection determined by Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

If it were up to us, they’d all be featured.