Very exciting news today! Viola Irene Desmond (1914-1965), an iconic civil rights activist, will be the first Canadian woman to be featured on a banknote. A black businesswoman and beautician from Nova Scotia, Viola Desmond was jailed after refusing to leave the “whites only” section at the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, in 1946. Viola Desmond’s image will be replacing Sir John A. Macdonald’s on Canada’s new $10 bill in 2018.
Sources and Further Reading
- Heritage Minutes: Viola Desmond – Heritage Canada
- Court Case Documents – Nova Scotia Archives
- Historical Newspaper Coverage – Nova Scotia Archives
- “Black rights activist Viola Desmond to be 1st Canadian woman on $10 bill” – CBC News