Two Vancouver women in the running for Canada’s new bank note

The winner will be announced Dec. 8 by Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

Two Vancouver women are in the running to appear on a Canadian bank note in the next series due in 2018.

E. Pauline Johnson, a poet and daughter of a Mohawk chief and an English woman, shared her poems in rural areas that otherwise wouldn’t have seen much other entertainment.

She was buried in Vancouver in 1913 at the age of 52.

Elsie MacGill was born in Vancouver in 1905. She became the first woman in Canada to receive a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering.

MacGill was also the first female aircraft designer in the world, garnering the title “Queen of the Hurricanes” for her work on the Hawker Hurricane fighter planes, used during the Second World War. She died in 1980 at the age of 75.

Johnson and MacGill are two of five women who made the short list to appear on the bank note, according to the Bank of Canada, selected by an independent advisory committee.

The other three are Viola Desmond, who fought racial discrimination in Nova Scotia, track and field athlete Bobbie Rosenfeld, who won a silver and gold medal at the 1928 Olympics and went on to become a sports columnist, and Idola Saint-Jean, a feminist and pioneer in the fight for suffrage in Quebec.

The group was chosen from a list of 461 eligible nominees submitted by Canadians on National Women’s Day.

The advisory committee reduced that to a long list of 12 in April, which included artist Emily Carr and Anne of Green Gables author Lucy Maud Montgomery.

The winner will be chosen by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and announced on Dec. 8, as well as the denomination on which the winner’s photo will be printed.

 

With files from The Canadian Press and Canadian Encyclopedia.


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