Bank of Canada Unveils a Vertical Viola Desmond $10 Bank Note

Today (March 8, 2018) as part of International Women’s Day, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen S. Poloz unveiled Canada’s new $10 bank note. The note, which will be placed into circulation later this year, features culturally impactful Canadian, Viola Desmond.

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

Desmond was selected after Minister Morneau asked Canadians to nominate an important Canadian woman for the next redesigned bank note.

Viola Desmond - $10 Note

“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,” commented Morneau. “Since then, thanks in large part [to] 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.”

Apart from Desmond, what is also initially striking about this note is that it is the first vertically oriented bank note to be issued in Canada.

Viola Desmond

This $10 note will also feature a number of significant “images and symbols that represent Canada’s ongoing pursuit of rights and freedoms.” These will include the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, an excerpt from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, plus an eagle feather “representing the ongoing journey toward recognizing the rights and freedoms for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.”

While there’s a whole lot of important new imagery featured on this note, it still has the classic purple colour scheme that Canadians have come to expect from their $10 bills.

-Adam Grant

On a recent episode of “theZoomer,” host Libby Znaimer and a collective of financial specialists gathered to discuss investment trends, taxes, retirement planning and how to protect your hard-earned money. You can watch this episode below.