The Bank of Canada has unveiled the new $10 banknote featuring the iconic Canadian woman Viola Desmond on International Women’s Day.
The launch of the new $10 banknote, expected to begin circulating in late 2018, marks the first time that an iconic Canadian woman has been included in a circulating Bank of Canada banknote.
An icon of the human rights and freedoms movement in Canada, Viola Desmond was selected from a short list of 5 iconic Canadian women by Minister of Finance Bill Morneau in 2016.
Desmond is known for defiantly refusing to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre in 1946, after which she was subsequently jailed, convicted and fined.
Her court case was the first known legal challenge against racial segregation brought forth by a Black woman in Canada.
The design of the new polymer $10 banknote is vertically oriented, the first vertical banknote to be issued in Canada.
Speaking at the unveiling, Minister Morneau said,
“Two years ago today—on International Women’s Day—Prime Minister Trudeau and I announced that the time had come for a Canadian woman to be represented on Canada’s bank notes. Since then, thanks in large part through her sister Wanda, more and more Canadians have come to know Viola Desmond’s remarkable personal story of courage and dignity. Her story serves as inspiration to all Canadians and acts as a powerful reminder of how one person’s actions can help trigger change across generations. As we strive for equality across our economy and in every facet of our country, we hope this constant reminder of Viola’s story will help inspire a new generation of women, men, girls and boys to fight for what they believe, take their place and create a better future for themselves and all Canadians.”
Find out more about the new $10 banknote at the Bank of Canada website.