Viola Desmond on Latest $10 Canadian Banknote

10 Mar 2018  Sat

The inaugural ceremony for Canada’s new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond took place at the Halifax Central Library. These notes will be circulated in late 2018. For the first time ever, Canadian Banknotes would be featuring a woman. Also, this would be Canada’s first vertically oriented banknote. It features Viola Desmond’s image prominently and is very different from the current polymer $10 notes. Citizens were asked to nominate a Canadian woman for the banknote's design.

Viola Desmond was a successful dark-skinned Nova Scotian businesswoman who was jailed and fined because she refused to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre in 1946. She fought against racial segregation in Canada fearlessly. Viola Desmond’s story inspired several generations and reflects on the idea that a person’s actions can bring about a radical change. Going with Canada’s ideology about equality, senior officials stated that the new note’s design will remind everyone to fight for what they stand for and also work for the betterment of the country.

The reverse of the new note features the Canadian Museum for Human Rights which is the first of its kind in the world dedicated to evolution and future of human rights. Other symbols include an eagle feather which stands for the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The note also depicts an excerpt from Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It has improved security features and is printed on polymer. These notes are more durable than paper banknotes. Size remains unchanged. Canada will issue a new note every few years to include latest security features. The next in line for a change is the $5 note.

Image Courtesy: Bank of Canada

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