POLL: Canadian women with B.C. roots who could be on the 2018 banknote

The Canadian Press Archives / National Archives of Canada Nellie McClung was a member of the Famous Five who fought for women's rights, but she also believed in forced sterilization. The Canadian Press Archives / National Archives of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked International Women’s Day by announcing that there will finally be a Canadian woman on a Canadian banknote.

People are being asked to submit suggestions for a Canadian woman they would like to see on the bill. The denomination has not yet been announced, but there are some criteria for the featured woman.

The woman must show outstanding leadership, achievement or distinction in any field and must have benefited Canada in some way. The woman also must have passed away before 1991 and cannot be a fictional character.

There are many outstanding women from Canadian history, many with a connection to British Columbia.

We are taking a look at a few of them.

Nellie McClung

Nellie McClung was an influential figure in Canadian politics in the early 1900s. She was born in Chatsworth, Ontario, in 1873 and died in Victoria, B.C. in 1951.

Story continues below advertisement

McClung was a member of ‘The Famous Five’, along with Emily Murphy, Irene Marryat Parlby, Louise Crummy McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards. In 1927, they put forward a petition to allow women the right to enter political office in Canada. The petition was successful, clearing the way for women to enter politics in Canada.

Emily Carr

Emily Carr was born in Victoria in 1871 and died in Victoria in 1945. Carr was one of the first painters in Canada to adopt a modernist and post-impressionist painting style.

She is described as a Canadian icon and in her writing was one of the earliest recorders of life in British Columbia. A number of schools in Canada are also named after her.

POLL: Canadian women with B.C. roots who could be on the 2018 banknote - image

Elizabeth Muriel Gregory ‘Elsie’ MacGill

Elizabeth Muriel Gregory ‘Elsie’ MacGill was born in March, 1905, in Vancouver. She was known as the ‘Queen of Hurricanes’ and was the world’s first female aircraft designer.

Story continues below advertisement

MacGill has been awarded the Centennial Medal, the Order of Canada and she was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall  of Fame in 1983.

Nell Shipman

Nell Shipman was born in 1892 in Victoria. She was an actress, screenwriter, producer, director and animal trainer.

She is considered a Canadian pioneer in early Hollywood.

In 1919, Nell and her husband Ernest made what was to become the most successful silent film in Canadian history. It’s called Back to God’s Country and Shipman actually did one of the first on-screen nude scene in the movie.




Story continues below advertisement






Who have we missed? Let us know in the comments.

To nominate your favourite, go to

Sponsored content