Is she #bankNOTEable?

Product owner: Bank of Canada

On August 3, 2016, the Bank of Canada launched a public consultation to select a Canadian woman who would appear on a bank note in 2018: the bankNOTE-able campaign. The 6-week campaign would prove to be the Bank’s most comprehensive and successful public engagement campaign, receiving positive attention across Canada and worldwide.

This campaign connected the Bank to tens of thousands of people across Canada and around the world through numerous process and communications innovations:


  • First time a non-royal woman will be featured on a Canadian bank note
  • A new process that allowed Canadians to suggest portrait subjects that would later be found on the short list given to the Minister of Finance
  • An Advisory Council of Canadians who made decisions independent from the Bank


  • First ever hashtag #banknoteable/#surunbillet, was used about 16K times; close to 99K tweets, including from the Prime Minister; the topic trended on Twitter; 95% of tweets were positive/neutral;
  • 284K bank NOTE-able webpage views;
  • Frequent updates via the Bank website, including weekly updates as nominations were received, the posting of long and short list biographies, and a designated page on Ms. Desmond
  • Created consultation that reflected population distribution across Canada, to ensure pan-Canadian participation in the call for nominations
  • No print products created an effective and economical campaign

Positive response from the public:

  • 26,300 submissions
  • Positive national and global media coverage, e.g. Globe and Mail, CTV News, Wall Street Journal, London Free Press, Fox News World
  • Triggered a national conversation about women in Canadian history – and the importance of recognizing those women.
  • The Abacus Report “Reaction to Events” showed that the selection of Ms. Desmond for the bank note made 37% of those polled feel better about Government

For the first time since 1935 a non-Royal, non-political figure will grace the front of Canada’s currency. Canadians had a say and, thanks to the Bank of Canada’s open and transparent process, their 2018 bank note will be more than just a piece of polymer: It will be a piece of art that the country built together.

Awards | Currency Awards 2017


Best Communications Program


Finalist | Winner