Government of Canada Celebrates the Unveiling of the New $10 Bank Note Featuring Viola Desmond

News release

March 8, 2018 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Department of Finance Canada

Canada is a diverse country where everyone is deserving of equality and respect, and where Canadians recognize and celebrate those who stand up to injustice. Breaking down barriers to gender equality, so that women and girls can participate in, and contribute to, Canada's success can only make our country and our economy stronger.

Today, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance Joël Lightbound was in Winnipeg at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to mark the unveiling of the new $10 bank note. This new bank note showcases the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on its back and features civil rights icon Viola Desmond, a pillar of the freedoms movement and human rights in Canada, on its front.

Ms. Desmond was selected by Minister of Finance Bill Morneau from a shortlist of five notable Canadian women following a rigorous process in which an independent Advisory Council reviewed 26,300 submissions from across Canada. Ms. Desmond was a successful Nova Scotia businesswoman who in 1946 was jailed, convicted and fined for refusing to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Her court case was the first known legal challenge against racial segregation brought forward by a Black woman in Canada.

The back of the $10 bank note features images and symbols that represent Canada's ongoing pursuit of rights and freedoms, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights—the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. Also included are powerful symbols of truth, power and freedom, to remind us that Canada must continue to advance reconciliation with all Indigenous Peoples—First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation—and an excerpt from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


"Viola Desmond's remarkable personal story of courage and dignity serves as an inspiration to all Canadians and acts as a powerful reminder of how one person's actions can help trigger change across generations. The new $10 note not only is a durable and secure method of payment, but also works as an artistic storytelling vehicle of women in Canada's history."

Joël Lightbound, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Associated links


Media may contact:

Chloé Luciani-Girouard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance 

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General Enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230

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