Commemorative $10 bill features beautiful photo of Northern Lights over Wood Buffalo
When John McKinnon, an ecological geomatic technician at Wood Buffalo Park, captured a stunning photo of the Northern Lights above the park in January 2012, he never thought he’d see his image one day becoming part of Canadian currency.
The image, which showed the greenish hue of the aurora borealis shimmering above the park, was selected by the Bank of Canada to be featured on the commemorative $10 bill to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. It will be one of 5 landscapes featured on the bill, which will see a print run of up to 40 million banknotes and are scheduled to enter circulation on June 1.
The photo, taken 26 kilometers south of the Alberta-Northwest Territories border 5 years ago, was not originally part of McKinnon’s plans. The amateur photographer had not planned on photographing the lights, but he eventually stayed to shoot them for the park’s website. That nighttime shoot merited this surprise, which he considers one of his proudest accomplishments.
The special $10 bill will feature other Canadian vistas, such as the Lions and Capilano Lake in British Columbia, Prairie wheat fields, the Canadian Shield in central Canada and a view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Portraits of notable Canadian personalities, such as Sir John A. Macdonald, are featured on the front of the bill.