Canada’s new currency bill will make its debut next week.
The vertical $10 bill, featuring Viola Desmond’s portrait will go into circulation on Monday, November 19th, 2018.
It’ll mark just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Her court case is one of the first known legal challenges against racial segregation brought forth by a Black woman in Canada.
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New Viola Desmond Bill
The new $10 note is the first vertically oriented bank note issued in Canada. This will allow for a more prominent image of Viola Desmond and differentiates this new $10 note from the current polymer notes.
The back of the $10 bank note features images and symbols that represent Canada’s ongoing pursuit of rights and freedoms. It features the Canadian Museum for Human Rights—the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights.
Also depicted on the note are an eagle feather—representing the ongoing journey toward recognizing rights and freedoms for Indigenous Peoples in Canada—and an excerpt from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The new $10 will be printed on polymer, which was introduced to Canadian bank notes in 2011. Polymer bank notes last longer than paper bank notes. This vertical bank note is the same size, has the same functionality as existing Canadian bank notes and should not change how people handle cash.
“Our bank notes are designed not only to be a secure and durable means of payment, but also to be works of art that tell the stories of Canada. This new $10 fits that bill,” said Governor Poloz.
To recognize more iconic Canadians, the Bank of Canada has announced that “the next $5 note will also feature a new portrait subject and supporting imagery”.