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Canada’s new $10 bank note

Mar. 13, 2018 - Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz on March 8, 2018, unveiled Canada’s new $10 bank note featuring Viola Desmond. Held on International Women’s Day, to highlight the pioneering contributions of Desmond, the unveiling ceremony took place at the Halifax Public Library.

March 13, 2018  By PrintAction Staff

Finance Minister Bill Morneau (left to right)

Once issued into circulation in late-2018, the new bank note will mark the first time that a Canadian woman is portrayed on a regularly circulating Bank of Canada note.

The Bank of Canada explains Viola Desmond was selected for the new $10 bank note by Minister Morneau following an open call to Canadians to nominate an iconic Canadian woman for the next redesigned bank note.

A successful Black Nova Scotian businesswoman, Bank of Canada explains Desmond refused to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre in 1946 and was subsequently jailed, convicted and fined. Her court case, explains the Bank, is one of the first known legal challenges against racial segregation brought forth by a Black woman in Canada.


The new $10 note is the first vertically oriented bank note issued in Canada. This allows for a more prominent image of Viola Desmond, explains the Bank, and differentiates this new $10 note from the current polymer notes.

“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,” said Minister Morneau. “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,” continued Morneau. “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.”

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