The Bank of Canada has released a new $10 bill featuring the work of one of Canada’s most renowned artists, Kenojuak Ashevak.
The bill’s design was revealed this month in Ottawa to mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation on July 1.
A two-sided, holographic version of Ashevak’s 2007 stonecut and stencil print Owl’s Bouquet is featured on the bill in a clear window.
Dorset Fine Arts, the marketing division of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative/Kinngait Studios, said the inclusion of Ashevak’s work was an important day for Inuit art.
“Kinngait Studios has been creative home to many significant Canadian artists, and one of its most beloved is Kenojuak Ashevak” West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative President Pingwartok Ottokie said in a statement on Monday.
“It is fitting that her work be a feature of this new commemorative bank note, both as a tribute to her artistic legacy and as a reminder of the ongoing cultural contribution of Inuit art from Cape Dorset.”
It’s the first time the work of an Inuit artist has appeared on a bank note and only the second time original visual art has been included, the statement said.
Bringing Arctic art to the world
Kenojuak Ashevak (1927-2013) was born in the southern part of Baffin Island in what is now Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut.
She was one of the most successful artists to come out of Cape Dorset’s Kinngait Studios.
Her 1960 image Enchanted Owl is recognized internationally.
Her work has been featured on Canadian stamps and she has also received important commissions like the stained glass window at Appleby College’s John Bell Chapel in Oakville, Ontario, a town west of Toronto.
Marking Canada’s birthday
Other images on the new bill, include four historically prominent politicians.
Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald; Sir George-Étienne Cartier, one of the fathers of Canadian confederation; Agnes Macphail, who in 1921 became the first woman elected to Canada’s House of Commons; and James Gladstone, also known by his blackfoot name, Akay-na-muka, a member of the Kainai (Blood) First Nation, who became a Canadian senator in 1958.
The new $10 dollar bill is only the fourth time the Bank of Canada has issued a commemorative note: the others were in 1935 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V; 1967 to mark the centennial of Confederation; and in 2015, to mark the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning sovereign in Canada’s modern era.
Forty million of the banknotes will be issued.
The bill goes into circulation on June 1, 2017.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: VIDEO: Arctic Art – In studio with Jimmy Kamimmalik, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: London gallery offers multimedia Sámi art, Yle News
Greenland: Canadian artist explores Greenland’s past, Eye on the Arctic
Russia: Karelian art on show in Russia, Yle News
Sweden: Swedish Sámi visual artist shaping climate changes, Radio Sweden
United States: ‘I Am Inuit’ goes from Instagram to museum in Anchorage, Alaska, Alaska Public Radio Network