Browse "People"

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Women's Suffrage

Women in Canada obtained the right to vote in a sporadic fashion. Federal authorities granted them the franchise in 1918, more than two years after the women of Manitoba became the first to vote at the provincial level.


Won Alexander Cumyow

Won Alexander Cumyow (溫金有), activist and interpreter (born around 21 March 1861 in Port Douglas, BC; died 6 October 1955 in Vancouver). Won Cumyow was the first Chinese Canadian born in British North America, which became Canada. He knew several languages, which assisted his work as a Chinese community leader and court interpreter.


Wonny Song

Wonny Song, pianist and artistic and executive director (born 6 April 1978 in Seoul, South Korea). Originally from South Korea, this Canadian pianist has received several prestigious awards and has played with many symphony orchestras around the world. Thanks to his many recordings and media presence, particularly on the radio, classical music has become accessible to and appreciated by the general public.


Woodland Culture

 The Woodland culture comprises various cultural manifestations that took place mainly in southern Ontario and Québec between 3000 and 500 years Before Present (BP).


Wop May

Wilfrid Reid (Wop) May, OBE, DFC, aviator, First World War flying ace (born 20 March 1896, in Carberry, Manitoba; died 21 June 1952 near Provo, UT). Wop May was an aviator who served as a fighter pilot in the First World War. May finished the war as a flying ace, credited with 13 victories, and was part of the dogfight in which the infamous Red Baron was gunned down. After the war, May became a renowned barnstormer (or stunt pilot) and bush pilot, flying small aircraft into remote areas in Northern Canada, often on daring missions. May flew in several historic flights, carrying medicine and aide to northern locations and assisting law enforcement in manhunts, including the hunt for Albert Johnson, the “Mad Trapper of Rat River” in 1932.


Wray Downes

Rupert Arnold (Wray) Downes, jazz pianist, composer, arranger, conductor (born 14 January 1931 in Toronto, ON). Downes was the first Canadian to receive the British Empire (Overseas) Scholarship to the Trinity College of Music, London.


Wyatt Eaton

Wyatt Eaton, portrait, genre and landscape painter, illustrator (b at Philipsburg, Qué 6 May 1849; d at Newport, RI 7 June 1896). Eaton left Canada for New York around 1867 and studied at the National Academy of Design, and then for 5 years under Joseph Oriel Eaton.


Xavier Dolan

Xavier Dolan (born Xavier Dolan-Tadros), CM, actor, director, writer, producer, editor, costume designer (born 20 March 1989 in Montreal, QC). A precocious practitioner of auteurist art cinema, Xavier Dolan made a meteoric rise from child actor to acclaimed filmmaker. He garnered international acclaim at age 20 for his debut feature, J’ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother, 2009). His next four films — Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats, 2010), Laurence Anyways (2012), Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm, 2013) and Mommy (2014) — were all completed by the time he was 25. They won numerous awards and further established him as one of international cinema’s most promising and prolific young filmmakers. His sixth feature film, Juste la fin du monde (It’s Only the End of the World, 2016), won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, César Awards for best director and editing, and six Canadian Screen Awards including Best Motion Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Achievement in Direction. Dolan was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2019.


Yaëla Hertz

Yaëla Hertz, violinist, teacher (born April 1930 in Tel Aviv, Palestine [now Israel]; died 30 May 2014 in Montréal, QC).


Yann Martel

Best known for his award-winning The Life of Pi, Yann Martel has continued his meditations on memory, horror and the consequences of human error and human evil.


Yanna McIntosh

Yanna McIntosh (born 1970 in Jamaica). McIntosh is one of Canada's pre-eminent stage actors, known for her dramatic range and fiery intensity. She has also had an active career in television.


Yannick Bisson

Yannick Bisson, actor (b at Montréal 16 May 1969). Yannick Bisson began his acting career in television commercials as a child. His first substantive role came when he was 15 in the well-received made-for-television movie Hockey Night (1984), starring Megan FOLLOWS and Rick MORANIS.


Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Yannick Nicholas Nézet-Séguin, CC, OQ, conductor, pianist (born 6 March 1975 in Montréal, QC). Known for brilliance, energy and consummate skill from an uncommonly young age, Yannick Nézet-Séguin made a meteoric rise to prominence as a conductor, particularly of operas. His appointments as music director of Montréal’s Orchestre Métropolitain (2000–) the Philadelphia Orchestra (2012–) and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (2008–18) made him an international star. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada at age 37 and an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec at 40. In 2016, he was named music director of The Metropolitan Opera, a position he officially began in September 2018. His many honours include numerous Félix Awards, the National Arts Centre Award, the Virginia Parker Prize and the Prix Denise-Pelletier.


Yaron Ross

Yaron Ross. Pianist, teacher, b Tel-Aviv 28 Apr 1950, naturalized Canadian 1986; BA (Tel-Aviv) 1975, Artist Diploma (Tel-Aviv) 1977, D MUS (Montreal) 1994.


Yashin Cancels $1 Million NAC Gift

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on February 1, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

Hockey fans have long since become accustomed to the mercenary nature of modern professional sports: players whose seven-figure salaries are not enough to anchor them to a team or a town, and even teams themselves that abandon those towns for newer arenas and sweet tax concessions elsewhere.


Yasuko Nguyen Thanh

Yasuko Nguyen Thanh, writer (b 1972). The experiences Yasuko Thanh gained during her unorthodox life show in her writing. Dropping out of school at the age of 15, Thanh lived on the streets for a time, and lived in Mexico, Germany and Latin America. Thanh wrote extensively during her travels.