Canada’s $10 bill named world’s best banknote

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The International Bank Note Society has chosen Canada’s new $10 note as the best in the world for 2018. Beating out 150 others, the vertically oriented note is special for a few reasons.

First, it depicts Viola Desmond, who made headlines in 1946 when she refused to vacate a whites-only section of a theatre in Nova Scotia. Following her arrest, she was convicted of tax evasion for not paying the 1 cent difference between floor and balcony prices. She fought the case in court and lost due to the fact that no explicitly discriminatory wording was used by theatre management. Which is bunk, but that’s the forties for ya.

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During this time, Desmond came to symbolize the struggle against racial inequality in Canada. She also shone a light on the more passive ways in which it manifested. She was granted a posthumous pardon in 2010, becoming the first Canadian to receive one. She’s also the first Canadian woman to be depicted on a banknote, so that’s fun too.

The back of the bill fittingly shows the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. Together, the images invite us to reflect on our past and where we’d like to go in the future.

So yeah, it makes sense that we would win banknote of the year over pictures of soccer (Russia) or hands (Switzerland).

Want to read more about the International Banknote Society? Why not, it’s a Tuesday after all. Check out the website here.

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