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Editorial: The Wit and Wisdom of Sam Slick

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

Thomas Chandler Haliburton was born on 17 December 1796 in Windsor, Nova Scotia, the son of a judge and grandson of a lawyer. An upper crust Tory, he was also a successful lawyer and businessman and was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. He held office in England after his retirement from the bench. He was wealthy, respected and influential. But, despite his accomplishments, he was deeply frustrated.


Malak Karsh

Armenian-Canadian photographer Malak Karsh was best known for his photographs of Canada, and of the Ottawa region in particular. His 1963 photograph of a tugboat bringing logs up the Ottawa River, with the Library of Parliament in the background, was featured on the reverse of the $1 banknote first issued in 1974. Karsh amassed perhaps the most comprehensive visual record of Canada in existence. He also founded the Ottawa Tulip Festival and was the younger brother of famed photographer Yousuf Karsh.


Alma Brock-Smith

(Mary) Alma Brock-Smith, (b Sheasgreen). Pianist, teacher, born Concord, Mass, 21 Feb 1908, died 18 Oct 2009, naturalized Canadian 1971; ATCM 1927. As a young woman she lived in Saskatoon. She taught there privately 1924-34 and studied 1927-38 with Lyell Gustin.


Christina Petrowska Quilico

Christina Elena Petrowska Quilico (nee Petrowska), CM, O.Ont, FRSC, pianist, teacher, author, graphic artist (born 30 December 1948 in Ottawa, ON). Christina Petrowska Quilico is one of Canada’s most celebrated pianists. Equally adept at Classical, Romantic and contemporary repertoires (though best known for the latter), she is also a noted champion of Canadian composers, particularly Ann Southam. Petrowska Quilico taught piano and musicology at York University from 1987 until 2022, when she was named Professor Emerita, Senior Scholar. She has been appointed to the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario and the Royal Society of Canada.


Canadian War Art Programs

Since the First World War, there have been four major initiatives to allow Canadian artists to document Canadian Armed Forces at war. Canada’s first official war art program, the Canadian War Memorials Fund (1916–19), was one of the first government-sponsored programs of its kind. It was followed by the Canadian War Art Program (1943–46) during the Second World War. The Canadian Armed Forces Civilian Artists Program (1968–95) and the Canadian Forces Artists Program (2001–present) were established to send civilian artists to combat and peacekeeping zones. Notable Canadian war artists have included A.Y. Jackson, F.H. Varley, Lawren Harris, Alex Colville and Molly Lamb Bobak.


Editorial: Black Women in the Arts

The following article is part of an exhibit. Past exhibits are not updated.

Driven to overcome histories of prejudice and marginalization, as women and as people of African descent, Black women are among Canada’s most innovative artists. With their fingers on the pulse of this multi-tasking, multi-disciplinary, 21st-century culture, the 15 dynamic artists featured in this exhibit — a mix of poets, playwrights, filmmakers, musicians and visual artists — refuse to be limited to one medium or style.

Award-winning poet Dionne Brand is also a novelist, filmmaker and influential professor, while Lillian Allen thrives as a dub poet, declaiming her verses to reggae accompaniment. trey anthony is a comedian as well as a ground-breaking playwright and screenwriter. All of these women and the many others below are also, in one way or another, passionate activists and committed advocates who are deeply involved in their communities.


David C. Onley

David C. Onley, 28th lieutenant-governor of Ontario (2007–14), broadcaster, writer (born 12 June 1950 in Midland, ON; died 14 January 2023). Before his appointment as Ontario's lieutenant-governor, Onley was a successful media personality and advocate for the disabled. Having contracted polio at age three, Onley was partially paralyzed from the neck down. David C. Onley was appointed Ontario's 28th lieutenant-governor on 5 September 2007, succeeding James Bartleman. On 23 September 2014, he was succeeded as lieutenant-governor by Elizabeth Dowdeswell.


William Baerg

William Baerg, conductor, educator, administrator (born 24 February 1938 in Bassano, AB). William Baerg was chair of the music department at the Mennonite Brethren Bible College and College of Arts from 1972 until 1999. From 1966 till 2012, he conducted biannual oratorio concerts with the 250-voice Mennonite Oratorio Choir and the Mennonite Festival Singers, in collaboration with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He also founded the CBC Winnipeg Singers in 1972 and was their conductor and artistic director until 1983. Baerg and his wife, pianist Irmgard Baerg, received the Golden Baton Award for distinguished service to music in Canada from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 2012.


Ian Tyson

Ian Dawson Tyson, CM, AOE, singer, songwriter, guitarist, rancher (born 25 September 1933 in Victoria, BC; died 29 December 2022 in Longview, AB). Ian Tyson was one of Canada’s most acclaimed folk and country music artists. A former rodeo rider, he enjoyed great success as part of the duo Ian and Sylvia with his then-wife, Sylvia Tyson. They are best known for “Four Strong Winds,” a 1963 folk anthem written by Ian. It is considered one of the best and most influential Canadian songs of all time. Tyson received many awards, including a Governor General's Performing Arts Award. He was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.


Peter Cardew

Peter Cardew, architect (born 8 June 1939 in Guildford, England; died 26 October 2020 in Vancouver, BC). Cardew immigrated to Canada in 1966 and established his own architectural firm in Vancouver in 1980. Cardew’s architectural projects received critical acclaim and he was the recipient of numerous awards during his career, including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Gold Medal in 2012. (See also Architecture.)


Leon Bibb

Charles Leon Aurthello Bibb (a.k.a. Lee Charles), OBC, singer, actor, civil rights activist, guitarist (born 7 February 1922 in Louisville, Kentucky; died 23 October 2015 in Vancouver, BC). Leon Bibb was a Tony Award-nominated actor, popular folk singer and trailblazing civil rights activist. After moving to Vancouver in the early 1970s, he made pioneering contributions to professional theatre and Black culture in Canada. He was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and the Order of British Columbia.


King Biscuit Boy

Richard Alfred Newell (King Biscuit Boy or Son Richard), harmonica player, blues singer, guitarist, songwriter (born 9 March 1944 in Hamilton, ON; died 5 January 2003 in Hamilton, ON). The blues musician Richard Newell, known as King Biscuit Boy, was revered internationally as a blues harmonica player, singer and slide guitarist. He performed with the legendary Ronnie Hawkins, the successful band Crowbar, and such top blues figures as Muddy Waters, Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker. He earned a Great Canadian Blues Award and posthumously received lifetime achievement awards from the Maple Blues Awards and the Hamilton Music Awards. The HamiltonSpectator called Newell “one of the top blues harmonica players in the business.”


Buffalo Child Long Lance

Buffalo Child Long Lance, writer, actor, impostor (born Sylvester Long at Winston-Salem, North Carolina on 1 December 1890; died in Arcadia, California on 20 March 1932). Of mixed Indigenous and white (and possibly black) ancestry, he was able to escape the segregated southern US because he looked "Indian."


David Rimmer

David Rimmer, filmmaker, photographer (born 20 January 1942 in Vancouver, BC; died 27 January 2023). David Rimmer was an exemplary craftsperson and one of the finest technicians in experimental filmmaking. His work is consistently subtle and intricate, and often rather sly. Rimmer worked extensively with contact and optical printing and with videographics (in, for example, Divine Mannequin, 1989). He was one of the most consistent, most painstaking film artists in Canada.