Officials set to unveil new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond

Viola Desmond $10 bill

New $10 bill unveiled featuring civil rights icon Viola Desmond Staff Vancouver Is Awesome

For the first time ever, a black civil rights icon is on a regularly circulating Canadian bank note - a new $10 bill featuring civil rights icon Viola Desmond has been unveiled.

Morneau said the deck was "doubly stacked" against Desmond because of her gender and the colour of her skin. She was required to receive cosmetology training in Montreal, Atlantic City, and one of Madam C.J. Walker's schools in NY due to discrimination.

After being forced to travel to Montreal, Atlantic City and NY for training, she returned to Halifax and opened a beauty school aimed at offering black people a local option for training. "There was no movement behind her, she was ahead of the times".

Because she could not see well from the balcony where black patrons were relegated to sit, she sat on the floor level reserved for whites.

The civil rights activist was convicted of defrauding the province of a one-penny tax, the difference in tax between a downstairs and upstairs ticket, even though Desmond had asked to pay the difference.

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Desmond, 32, was dragged out of the theatre by police and jailed for defiantly sitting in the "whites only" section of a film house.

She was released after paying a $20 fine and $6 in court costs. Desmond, a beautician and entrepreneur, selling her own line of cosmetics, heading to Sydney, Nova Scotia when her auto broke down. Nova Scotia issued a posthumous pardon to her in 2009, decades after her protest and 1965 death.

Speaking at a ceremony in Halifax, Desmond's sister Wanda Robson told the crowd she was delighted to see her sister on Canadian currency. "It's handsome", she told an audience in Halifax.

Another something to note about the bill is that it has a vertical design, which is another first, yet not quite as noteworthy.

"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", said Minister Morneau. "This is wonderful, unique. our family will go down in history".

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