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Emily Carr among 12 women who could be on new Canadian bank note

Emily Carr water colour
A water colour by Emily Carr is hung in the Nisga'a Museum in Laxgalts'ap in the Nisga'a Nation May 8, 2014. Carr is one of the prominent Canadian women in the running to be on a new bank note. John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

12 women are in the running to be featured on a new Canadian bank note in 2018, the Bank of Canada announced Friday.

An independent advisory council received over 460 eligible nominations from the public and narrowed the list to 12 prominent Canadian women, including artists, writers, political activists, an engineer and an athlete. The nominees are:

  • Pitseolak Ashoona (c. 1904–1983)
  • Emily Carr (1871–1945)
  • Thérèse Casgrain (1896–1981)
  • Viola Desmond (1914–1965)
  • Lotta Hitschmanova (1909–1990)
  • E. Pauline Johnson (1861–1913)
  • Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill (1905–1980)
  • Nellie McClung (1873–1951)
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874–1942)
  • Fanny (Bobbie) Rosenfeld (1905–1969)
  • Gabrielle Roy (1909–1983)
  • Idola Saint-Jean (1880–1945)

You can read short biographies of each woman on the Bank of Canada website. In order to be eligible for nomination, the woman had to be Canadian by birth or naturalization, have demonstrated outstanding leadership or achievement in any field, and to have been deceased for at least 25 years. And they had to be real people: the Bank’s website says “submissions of fictional characters were not considered.”

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The next step is to consult Canadians through a formal public opinion survey. The independent advisory council will then use that survey and expert opinion to choose three to five finalists. They will then submit this final list to the Minister of Finance, who will ultimately choose the winner.

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