(Bank of Canada)

Canada’s new vertical $10 banknote featuring civil rights activist and successful businesswoman Viola Desmond will go into circulation on Monday, November 19th.

First announced in March 2018, this will be the first time a Canadian woman has been featured on a regularly circulating banknote.

In 2017, Canada’s central bank unveiled a new $10 note to celebrate the country’s 150th year since Confederation, and it featured Agnes Macphail – the first woman to be elected to Parliament and the first Canadian woman to appear on a Canadian banknote. However this note was not in regular circulation.

Viola Desmond was a black Nova Scotian businesswoman who was forced out of the whites-only section of a movie theatre in 1946, and subsequently jailed and fined. She made history by bringing forth one of the first known court cases against racial segregation in Canada.

According to the Bank of Canada, the new $10 banknote is vertical so that her image may be more prominent, and to differentiate it from other current polymer notes.

The back of the note features symbols representing Canada’s pursuit of human rights, including an image of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the laurel leaf – an ancient symbol of justice.

The new $10 banknote will go into circulation on Monday, November 19th.

Here are the images featured on the new note:

Viola Desmond
Historic North end of Halifax where Desmond lived and worked
Library of Parliament’s dome ceiling
Canadian flag
Canada’s coat of arms
Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg MB
Ramps connecting 7 levels of Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Eagle feather representing recognition of rights and freedoms for Indigenous people
Section 15 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Laurel leaf pattern to represent justice


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