New $10 bill starring Nova Scotian will debut in Halifax next week

Canadians will get their first peek at the new $10 bill featuring civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond at an event in Halifax on Thursday.

Viola Desmond's banknote will be unveiled at Halifax Central Library on Thursday

Wanda Robson, the sister of Viola Desmond, smiles as it is announced during a ceremony in 2016 that her sister will be featured on Canadian currency. (Canadian Press)

Canadians will get their first peek at the new $10 bill featuring civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond at an event in Halifax next week.

The banknote will be unveiled Thursday at the Halifax Central Library by federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz.

Morneau announced in December 2016 that the businesswoman-turned-civil-libertarian will become one of the few Canadian women to be celebrated on the face of her country's currency.

Desmond built a business as a beautician and, through her beauty school, was a mentor to young black women in Nova Scotia.

In 1946, she rejected racial discrimination by sitting in a whites-only section of a New Glasgow, N.S., movie theatre. She was arrested and fined.

Desmond's story received little attention until recent years. Her legacy is being increasingly recognized. Her name now graces a Halifax Transit harbour ferry, and there are plans for streets named in her honour in Montreal and Halifax.

Desmond will replace Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, on the note. Macdonald's image will be moved to a higher denomination. (Canadian Press)