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1-min read

Canadian $10 Note Featuring Civil Rights Activist Viola Desmond Named World’s Best

The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) announced that the bill, which features civil rights activist Viola Desmond, won the award for the best design, beating 15 other banknotes from countries like Switzerland, Norway and Russia.

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Updated:May 1, 2019, 3:14 PM IST
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Canadian $10 Note Featuring Civil Rights Activist Viola Desmond Named World’s Best
The award winning bank note | Image credit: Facebook/International Bank Note Society
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A Canadian $10 bill has won the "Bank Note of the Year Award" for 2018. The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) announced that the bill, which features civil rights activist Viola Desmond, won the award for the best design, beating 15 other banknotes from countries like Switzerland, Norway and Russia. The back of the note depicts the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In 1946, Viola Desmond, a Nova Scotia businesswoman, became a symbol of resistance in Canada's early civil rights movement when she refused to leave the whites-only area of a movie theatre.

"Her court case was an inspiration for the pursuit of racial equality across Canada," says the Bank of Canada.



The face of the note features the portrait of social justice icon Viola Desmond while the back depicts the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba, according to the International Bank Note Society.

“Desmond fought for racial equality across Canada and is the first Canadian woman to appear on a bank note (other women have all been British royals). Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company in the same distinct purple color as the previous horizontal format $10 polymer note, this note is just fractionally larger than neighboring United States currency bills,” it says.

Bank of Canada had announced the release of this note on November 19, 2018, saying they were going in “a new direction.”

Although Polymer replaced paper on Canadian banknotes several years ago, the $10 bill is the country’s first vertical format note.

Incorporating the latest in technological standards, the bold security features are “easy to check and difficult to counterfeit.”

Canada won the inaugural IBNS Bank Note of the Year Award in 2004, and finished second three years in a row (2011, 2012 & 2013) and in third place just last year
The runner-up bills at the Bank Note of Year Award were Switzerland (200 Franc human hands), Norway (500 Kroner sailing ship), Russia (100 Ruble soccer) and the Solomon Islands (40 Dollar man blowing conch shell).
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