The new Canadian $20 is too cool to spend!

So I got this thing out of a bank machine last night, and I’m still in awe.

The first thing I noticed was the shiny silvery laser-strip along the left hand side that turns lots of neat rainbow colours when you tilt it towards the light (you can never have a high enough “small shiny object” factor on currency, IMHO).

The queen no longer looks like she’s on drugs, they have the centre block of parliament in the background, and the #20 in raised braille written three times. The big #20 in the bottom right looks like it’s made of snake scales, but when you look closely you can see that the scales are all little maple leaves.

The back is even cooler. You have Bill Reid’s sculpture of Raven releasing the first men, the Haida creation story, as well as the The Black Canoe taken from another Haida story, also sculpted by Reid. These two images are in charcoal black, making a nice contrast with the green.

And on top of it all, there’s a quote by one of our greatest authors – Gabrielle Roy – in both English and French: “Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?”

I don’t know if I can bring myself to spend it :cool:

I haven’t seen one yet, now I’m looking forward to it. I doubt I’ll have trouble spending it, though. It’s the old bills that are replaced by new designs that I tend to hold on to. I have a stack of ruddy-coloured twos squirrelled away someplace, and some ones as well.

I like our money. I like that it changes over time, but not so radically that we don’t recognise a five, ten or twenty. Thanks to the price of everything, I recognise 50s and 100s just fine, too, although they’re seldom mine.

What will be a very big change for me is to see Charles (or Wills?) on the currency. That will be odd.

A friend of mine once told me that whether he’s a republican or a monarchist depends on whether it’s Charles or William on our currency next :smiley:

I was looking over the Bank of Canada’s banknotes page, to see what we’ve put on our money before.

Now it’s aspects of the Canadian identity (winter/hockey, peacekeeping, the arts, progressive politics, communication).

Last time – 1986 – it was Birds of Canada.

Before that (1969-1979), it seemed to be random aspects of Canada – nature, Mounties, industry, sailing.

In 1954, it was all landscapes.

In the 1930’s, our first set of banknotes all had scantily-clad Greek-god-like allegorical figures (electric power, agriculture, fertility, security, etc…).

And this appears to be the first set of banknotes where the monarch looks neither stoned nor possessed.

I got two last night, there was much merriment in the bar as we passed them around. The best is the “20” that you can only see when you hold the bill up to the light, because half of it is printed on the front and half on the back. It’s an anti-counterfeit measure because both sides have to line up perfectly.

The funniest thing I heard was that a friend of a friend said it was cool “except for that boat of weird-looking immigrants.” :smiley:

Canadian $20 bill…so that’s what, $0.32 'Merkin? :smiley:

The first thing I noticed was the shiny silvery laser-strip along the left hand side that turns lots of neat rainbow colours when you tilt it towards the light (you can never have a high enough “small shiny object” factor on currency, IMHO).

If it’s shiny stuff on your currency you want, have a gander at the wonderful(?) euros.
(sorry, I can’t figure out how to do anything fancy with the link jobbie).

Holograms and everything.

Scoff if you will, but as soon as people discover how much cooler our twenties are, we’ll see how fast your currency plummets :cool:

Besides, at the rate our $20 bill is evolving, it’ll eventually have a button to set its exchange rate versus the American higher or lower, whatever’s most convenient :smiley:

I like the cultural and literary aspect of that $20. Wich they’d do something nice like that to our money.

I’m not entirely sure that the French quotation is accurately translated, though.

The French says, “Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes sans les arts ?” In English, it’s “Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?”

“Nous connaîtrions-nous” is ambiguous; it could mean “Could we know ourselves” or “Could we know each other”. But I think the addition of “nous-mêmes” (ourselves) bumps it over into “Could we know ourselves.” I’m not entirely certain of the nuance, but it seems odd to me.

Feh. I’m pissed they got rid of the birds :mad:

Watch the news and start looking as of Tuesday.

I work in the cash office of a grocery store so we had a shitload of them the day the came out. The overwhelming response from both cashiers and customers was negative.

“It looks a bit like star trek money. I was waiting to be beamed up at the atm”
-amusing middle aged lady

The hologram junk is great for counterfiet proofing I’m sure but it looks way too flashy. We had the same response with the new $100 too.


A bit of a hijack here matt, but I’m doing the conditional tenses at the moment in my French class, and I’d like to understand the usage.

*Nous nous connaîtrions * is the first person plural conditional of the reflexive verb se connaître? I thought this would be translated as “we **would ** know ourselves”. For “we **could ** know ourselves”, I thought the French would need to make use of pouvoir, along the lines of nous pourrions nous connaître. Or am I just looking at this too academically?

Now she looks doughy and huggable.


I was working at the cash today, and it was all I could do not to nab the whole pile of crisp new 20s in my till… :eek: :smiley:

Yeah, a literal gloss would be “Would we know [whoever] even a little bit…” The “could” translation, though not a faux sens, is slightly stronger than the original.

Gosh, that’s funny.

I’ve seen that sculpture close-up. It’s in a reflecting pond outside of the Canadian Embassy, in the courtyard where they hold picnics and Canadian holiday events. It’s massive, and very impressive.

Really? I always saw it at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver (free admission Tuesdays)

Don’t know which is the original, but damn is it impressive!