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Officials set to unveil new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond

10 March 2018

The Bank of Canada has hidden a digital Easter egg in its website celebrating the new $10 bill featuring civil rights activist Viola Desmond, unveiled Thursday in Halifax.

"As I said, the ultimate goal of our communications campaign is to drive different communities of interest to the core Viola Desmond/rights and social justice story - a serious and important theme", wrote Harrison.

Last year, the Bank used the same trick to draw people into its messaging on the Canada 150 commemorative $10 bill.

"It was long past time for a bank note to feature an iconic Canadian woman", Poloz told the large crowd gathered at the Halifax Central Library on International Women's Day despite a blustery snowstorm and flickering power.

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"One woman's actions can really make a difference", Robson, 91, said in the video of her sneak preview, shared by the Bank of Canada.

Desmond is best known for protesting a segregated Nova Scotia movie theatre in 1946 by refusing to give up her seat in a whites-only section.

Desmond becomes the first black person - and the first non-royal woman - on a regularly circulating Canadian bank note.

Canada's Finance Minister Bill Moreau and Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz assisted Robson with the unveiling.

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The new bill also features a map of the Halifax North End community that supported Desmond, and the Canadian Museum For Human Rights building in Winnipeg. In addition, the law stresses the importance of its role in the civil rights movement in Canada.

The incident happened almost a decade before Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Alabama.

In 2010, more than six decades after she was arrested, Nova Scotia apologised to Desmond and pardoned her - a posthumous pardon signed into law by Mayann Francis, the province's first African Nova Scotian lieutenant-governor.

"Viola Desmond carried out a singular act of courage", said Isaac Saney, a senior instructor of black studies at Dalhousie University.

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"Thank you, thank you, thank you for that", she said on Thursday.

Officials set to unveil new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond