Bank of Canada gets nerdy to celebrate anniversary

FILE PHOTO: Joggers run past the Bank of Canada building in Ottawa July 17, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada may not be known for its humor but it marked the nation’s 150th anniversary with a bit of whimsy, embedding a computer code in its website that lets users unlock a digital celebration.

Though Governor Stephen Poloz unveiled a commemorative C$10 banknote at a live ceremony last week, the central bank’s Web team had a nerdier take on the event.

The team programmed the Konami code, a sequence of keystrokes used by gamers, onto a bank webpage announcing the banknote. Enter the code on the page and your screen is showered with tiny C$10 bills as a tinny rendition of Canada’s national anthem plays.

“The response so far has been exceptional,” the bank’s spokewoman Josianne Menard said in an email.

The webpage here allows users to inspect the purple banknote front and back, but it is the entry of Konami code keystrokes - up up down down left right left right b a - that brings the announcement to life.

The code was first used in early generation computer games to allow players to cheat and unlock special in-game features.

Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Jim Finkle and Andrew Hay