Search for "New France"

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Alannah Myles

Alannah Myles (born Byles), singer, songwriter (born 25 December 1958 in Toronto, Ontario). Alannah Myles cut an aggressive and confident, leather-clad figure in Canadian pop.


Avril Lavigne (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on January 13, 2003. Partner content is not updated.

"TO UNDERSTAND ME you have to meet me and be around me. And then, only if I'm in a good mood - don't meet me in a bad mood." Avril Lavigne, the 18-year-old pop sensation from Napanee, Ont., says this the first time I meet her.


Alanis Obomsawin

Alanis Obomsawin, CC, GOQ, filmmaker, singer, artist, storyteller (born 31 August 1932 near Lebanon, New Hampshire). Alanis Obomsawin is one of Canada’s most distinguished documentary filmmakers. She began her career as a professional singer and storyteller before joining the National Film Board (NFB) in 1967. Her award-winning films address the struggles of Indigenous peoples in Canada from their perspective, giving prominence to voices that have long been ignored or dismissed. A Companion of the Order of Canada and a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, she has received the Prix Albert-Tessier and the Canadian Screen Awards’ Humanitarian Award, as well as multiple Governor General’s Awards, lifetime achievement awards and honorary degrees.


Anne Carson

Anne Carson, CM, poet, essayist, classical scholar and professor (born 21 June 1950 in Toronto, ON).


Avis Phillips

Avis (Ruth) Phillips. Soprano, teacher, b Winnipeg 16 Nov 1900, d Vancouver 7 Mar 1986; ATCM 1918, ARCM voice 1925, ARCM piano 1925. After piano studies in Mount Forest, Ont, with Alice Roger Collins, she attended the RCM 1921-5 under Aubyn Raymar (piano) and Edith Grepe (voice).


Anne Szumigalski

Anne Szumigalski, poet (b at London, Eng 3 Jan 1922; d at Saskatoon 22 Apr 1999). Raised in rural Hampshire, she served as an interpreter with the Red Cross during World War II, and in 1951 immigrated with her husband and family to Canada.


Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart, writer (born 27 December 1913 in Ottawa, ON; died 4 March 1986 in London, England). In 1945, a slim work with a long title — By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept — was published in England by Elizabeth Smart, an unknown Canadian writer living in London. The book was based on Smart’s love affair with the poet George Barker, and Smart’s mother used her influence with Prime Minister Mackenzie King to have the book banned from Canada. However, it was hailed as a masterpiece of poetic prose when it was later republished in paperback. In 2021, Marie Frankland’s French translation of Smart’s The Collected Poems won a Governor General’s Literary Award.  


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.


Hannah Moscovitch

Hannah Moscovitch, playwright (born 5 June 1978 in Ottawa, ON). Hannah Moscovitch is one of Canada’s most produced and prominent contemporary playwrights. Her plays tackle complex and often politically charged issues and have won multiple Dora Awards. Moscovitch has also been nominated for the Carol Bolt Award, the Toronto Arts Council Foundation Emerging Artist Award, the K.M. Hunter Award, and the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is the first playwright to win a Trillium Book Award and the first Canadian woman to win a Windham–Campbell Literature Prize, a $150,000 award from Yale University. She also won a 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for her drama Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes.


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.”


Anna Malenfant

Anna Malenfant. Contralto, teacher, composer (under the name of Marie Lebrun), b Shediac, near Moncton, NB, 16 Oct 1905, d Montreal 15 Jun 1988; honorary D MUS (Moncton) 1975. She began her singing career in Moncton in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado.


Barbara Cass-Beggs

Barbara Cass-Beggs (b Cass, m Beggs). Teacher, folksong collector, singer, b Nottingham, England, 10 Nov 1904, d Ottawa 13 Sep 1990; ARCM 1927, LRAM 1928. She studied voice, piano, pedagogy, and composition at the RCM, where her teachers were Basil Allchin, Percy Buck, C.C.


Anita Sleeman

Anita Sleeman (b Andrès). Composer, conductor, b San Jose, Cal, 12 Dec 1930, immigrated to Canada 1963; Diploma (Placer College) 1952?, B MUS (UBC) 1971, M MUS (UBC) 1974, DMA (USC) 1982. Anita Sleeman began piano lessons at age three, later taking up trumpet and French horn at school.


April Verch

April (Dawn) Verch. Fiddler, composer, b Pembroke, Ont, 7 Apr 1978. Growing up in the Ottawa Valley, where there is a strong tradition of fiddle playing, Verch studied step-dancing at age three, and fiddle (with Rob Dagenais) from age six. Her family were amateur musicians.


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.


Amy Sky

​Amy Sky, singer-songwriter, record producer, actress, television host (born 24 Sep 1960 in Toronto, ON), B MUS (Toronto) 1982.


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.