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Deepa Mehta

Deepa Mehta, OCOOnt, director, producer, screenwriter (born 1 January 1950 in Amritsar, India). Deepa Mehta has received international acclaim for her moving and provocative films, which often explore issues of human rights and social injustice. She is perhaps best known for her epic “Elements trilogy” — Fire (1996), Earth (1998) and Water (2005). The latter was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Mehta has received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Order of Ontario and Queen’s Jubilee Medal. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for “challenging cultural traditions and bringing stories of oppression, injustice and violence to the fore.”

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Priscila Uppal

Priscila Uppal, FRSC, poet, novelist, playwright, professor (born 30 October 1974 in Ottawa, ON; died 5 September 2018 in Toronto, ON). Dubbed “Canada’s coolest poet,” Priscila Uppal was a politically pointed voice in contemporary Canadian poetry. Her writing addressed issues surrounding women, violence, sexuality, culture, religion, illness and loss. Her works were shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and a Governor General’s Literary Award. She was named the Canadian Athletes Now Fund poet-in-residence for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in London, England. She also taught creative writing and English literature at York University.

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Ann Mortifee

Mortifee, Ann. Composer, singer, actress, b Durban, South Africa, 30 Nov 1947, naturalized Canadian 1961; BA (British Columbia) 1968. While studying English 1964-8 at the University of British Columbia, she began her career as a folk and blues singer-guitarist at the Bunkhouse.

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Zoe Whittall

Zoe Whittall, novelist, poet, journalist (b at South Durham, Que 16 Feb 1976). After growing up on a sheep farm in the rural Eastern Townships of Québec, Zoe Whittall moved to Montréal at age 18 to attend Dawson College and begin her writing career.

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Anisia Campos

Anisia Campos. Pianist, teacher, b Rio de Janeiro 1940, naturalized Canadian 1971. Anisia Campos graduated from l'École normale de musique in Paris (where she studied with Alfred Cortot and Reine Gianoli) and from the Salzbourg Mozarteum, where she worked with the well-known pedagogue Karl Leimer.

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Olive Dickason

Olive Patricia Dickason (née Williamson), CM, Métis journalist, historian, university professor, author (born 6 March 1920 in Winnipeg, MB; died 12 March 2011 in Ottawa, ON). Dickason was the first scholar in Canada to receive a PhD in Indigenous history. Her ground-breaking research and books about Indigenous and Métis history and culture transformed how Canadians perceive the origin of their country and Indigenous peoples. Dickason’s work inspired a new generation of scholars, helping to launch Indigenous studies as an area of scholarly research. She received an Order of Canada in recognition of her achievements.

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Saidye Rosner Bronfman

Saidye Rosner Bronfman, OBE, community leader, philanthropist (born 9 December 1896 in Plum Coulee, MB; died 6 July 1995 in Montreal, QC). Saidye Bronfman was a leader in the Jewish community who generously supported the arts and various charities. She received the Order of the British Empire for her work with the Red Cross during the Second World War. Saidye and her husband, Samuel Bronfman, drew from their fortune in the liquor business to create a foundation that continues to fund community groups today.

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Arla Saare

Arla Agnes Isabella Axelsdotter Saarukka, film editor (born 28 November 1915 in Finland; died 9 May 2013 in Vancouver, BC). Arla Saare was one of Canada’s first women film editors. After working as a cutter at the National Film Board, Saare worked for CBC TV in Toronto and Vancouver. She edited acclaimed films by Allan King, Harry Rasky and Don Owen and won two Canadian Film Awards.

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Andrea Nann

Andrea Nann, dancer, choreographer, dance educator, artistic director (b at Vancouver 20 Sep 1966). Andrea Nann's interest in using dance to explore and express human experience stems from her youth, growing up as the youngest child of social workers.

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Chantal Kreviazuk

Chantal Kreviazuk. Singer, pianist, songwriter, actor, b Winnipeg 18 May 1974. Chantal Kreviazuk trained in classical piano (beginning at age five) and singing.

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Anne Michaels

​Anne Michaels, poet, novelist (born 15 April 1958 in Toronto, ON). Winner of the Commonwealth Prize as well as the Trillium Book Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction.

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Ariane Moffatt

Ariane Moffatt, singer, songwriter and producer (born 26 April 1979 in Saint Romuald, today Lévis, QC). Ariane Moffatt sets herself apart with her urban pop style songs, whose alternately acoustic and electronic sounds lend them an airy, dreamlike quality. The recipient of numerous Félix Awards, including Revelation of the Year in 2003, she also won a Juno Award in 2009 for her album Tous les sens. That album was well received in France, where the singer has built valuable friendships in the artistic community; it also earned her the Grand Prix of the Académie Charles Cros.

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Maria Campbell

Maria Campbell, O.C., Cree-Métis writer, playwright, filmmaker, scholar, teacher and elder (born 26 April 1940 in Park Valley, SK). Campbell’s memoir Halfbreed (1973) is regarded as a foundational piece of Indigenous literature in Canada for its attention to the discrimination, oppression and poverty that some Métis women (and Indigenous people, in general) experience in Canada. Campbell has authored several other books and plays, and has directed and written scripts for a number of films. As an artist, Campbell has worked with Indigenous youth in community theatre and advocated for the hiring and recognition of Indigenous people in the arts. She has mentored many Indigenous artists during her career.

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Mary Riter Hamilton

Mary Matilda Hamilton (née Riter), artist (born 7 September c. 1867 in Teeswater, ON; died 5 April 1954 in Coquitlam, BC). Mary Riter Hamilton was a painter who exhibited her works in Europe and across Canada. Shortly after the fighting stopped, Hamilton travelled to Europe to paint First World War battlefield landscapes before they were cleared (see War Artists). She produced over 350 works in three years, which are a document of the destruction and devastation caused by the war.