The new Bank of Canada $10 note will be the first vertical note in Canada, and feature Viola Desmond, a successful business woman of colour who refused to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre in 1946. (Bank of Canada)

The new Bank of Canada $10 note will be the first vertical note in Canada, and feature Viola Desmond, a successful business woman of colour who refused to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre in 1946. (Bank of Canada)

New vertical $10 bill coming into circulation November 19

Viola Desmond is the first Canadian woman to be featured on a bill

The next time you pull cash from an ATM you may see a new face looking up at you.

The Bank of Canada will put the new $10 bill into circulation on Monday, Nov. 19, and the purple bill will feature several Canadian firsts.

Primarily, the bill will be the first in circulation to feature a Canadian woman. Viola Desmond was chosen amongst hundreds of candidates. She was a successful Black Nova Scotian businesswoman who garnered international attention after she refused to leave a whites-only section of a movie theatre in 1946. Desmond was the first Black woman in Canada to bring forth a legal challenge against racial segregation to the courts.

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“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,” said Finance Minister Bill Morneau in a statement.

The bill will also be the first vertically-designed note, and feature several art pieces including a map of part of Halifax where Desmond’s business was, a portion of the Library of Parliament’s vaulted dome, a Canadian flag and maple leaves, the Canadian coat of arms, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, an eagle feather, section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and laurel leaves.

“I’m immensely proud of all the innovation that went into this note—from the public consultation process that encouraged a national conversation on the important contributions of women in Canadian history, to the note’s beautiful vertical design, to its cutting-edge security features,” said Bank of Canada governor Stephen S. Poloz in a statement. “Canadians can use this note with both confidence and pride.”

The five dollar bill will be the next to see a makeover. The previous faces of the bills, Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier will be added to higher bank notes when they’re redesigned. The $20 bill will continue to feature the reigning monarch.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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