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Remembering and Memorializing Viola Desmond: The first Black woman to be featured on a Canadian banknote

Remember Me. The Changing Face of Memorialisation

As our Conference Showcase Series continues, guest-blogger Channon Oyeniran, Vice President, Ontario Black History Society explores the civil rights legacy behind and significance of Canada’s new $10 note.

On December 8th, 2016, after receiving thousands of nominations from across Canada, it was announced that a woman would be the first in the country’s history, to be featured on a Canadian banknote in 2018! This was a historic moment in Canadian history, not only is a woman to be featured on the $10 bill, but Viola Desmond, a black woman and non-royal, would get this prestigious honour. Born on July 6th, 1914, into a family of ten siblings, Viola Irene Desmond was a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur who operated her own salon and beauty school in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Having received training in Montreal, Atlantic City and New York as a beautician, Viola Desmond returned to Halifax and started her…

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