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Indigenous Suffrage

From the colonial era to the present, the Canadian electoral system has evolved in ways that have affected Indigenous suffrage (the right to vote in public elections). Voting is a hallmark of Canadian citizenship, but not all Indigenous groups (particularly status Indians) have been given this historic right due to political, socio-economic and ethnic restrictions. Today, Canada’s Indigenous peoples — defined in Section 35 (2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 as Indians (First Nations), Métis and Inuit — can vote in federal, provincial, territorial and local elections.

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Jane Jacobs

Jane Isabel Jacobs, née Butzner, author, urban advocate, economist, ecologist and philosopher (born 4 May 1916 in Scranton, PA; died 25 April 2006 in Toronto). Jacobs earned renown for her books, beginning with The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961). In her writings Jacobs employed innovative expository techniques, including dialogues, to explain how economies and cities function and to analyse the conditions that permit them to thrive.

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Corinne Kernan Sévigny (Primary Source)

At only 16 years old, Corinne Sévigny enlisted with the Canadian Women’s Army Corps during the Second World War. Sévigny served as a driver and was one of millions of women who helped with the war effort either overseas or at home. Read and listen to Sévigny’s story in which she details the extraordinary accomplishments of her fellow women-at-arms.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

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Annie L. Jack

Annie Linda Jack, née Hayr, writer, horticulturist (born 1 January 1839 in Northamptonshire, England; died 15 February 1912 in Châteauguay, Quebec). Canada’s first professional woman garden writer, Annie Jack authored the popular manual The Canadian Garden: A Pocket Help for the Amateur. She was also a widely published poet, gardening columnist and social commentator.

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Jules Hone

Hone, Jules (b Gilles-Joseph). Violinist, teacher, composer, conductor, b Liège, Belgium, 7 Apr 1833, d Montreal 15 Sep 1913; shared deuxième prix violin (Liège Cons) 1851.

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Robert Klymasz

Robert (Bogdan) Klymasz. Folklorist, b Toronto 14 May 1936; BA Russian (Toronto) 1957, MA Slavic Studies (Manitoba) 1960, PH D (Indiana) 1971.

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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.

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Matthew Coon Come

Matthew Coon Come, OC, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (1987–99, 2009–17), National Chief of AFN (2000–03); activist, environmentalist (born in 1956 near Mistissini, Quebec). Matthew Coon Come was Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees for 20 years and served one term as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. He achieved national and international fame through his successful opposition to the James Bay hydroelectric project in the 1990s, his assertion of Cree self-determination, and his advocacy for Indigenous self-determination across the world.

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k.d. lang

k.d. (Kathryn Dawn) lang. Singer, songwriter, born Edmonton 2 Nov 1961; hon LLD (Alberta) 2008.

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Joseph Rouleau

Joseph Alfred Pierre Rouleau, CC, GOQ, bass, teacher (born 28 February 1929 in Matane, QC; died 12 July 2019 in Montreal, QC). Opera singer Joseph Rouleau was renowned worldwide for his unerring theatrical sense and impressive vocal flexibility. He performed for 20 years with Covent Garden in London, where he played leading roles in more than 40 productions. In Canada, Rouleau appeared often with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Quebec Symphony Orchestra. He premiered the role of Monseigneur Taché in Harry Somers’s Louis Riel with the Canadian Opera Company (COC) in 1967. He also commissioned and premiered Jacques Hétu’s Les Abîmes du rêve with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra in 1984, and issued a recording of songs by Félix Leclerc in 1990. Rouleau received the Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée, the Prix Denise-Pelletier and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. He was made an Officer and then Companion of the Order of Canada, and an Officer and then Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec. He was inducted into the Canadian Opera Hall of Fame in 1992.

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Black Cross Nurses in Canada

The Black Cross Nurses (BCN) is an auxiliary group intended for female members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). The BCN was modeled on the nurses of the Red Cross. Its first chapter was launched in Philadelphia in May 1920. Under the leadership of Henrietta Vinton Davis, the BCN quickly became one of the UNIA’s most popular and iconic auxiliary groups. Offering a safe and inviting place for the Black community, UNIA halls became important cultural hubs in many cities and towns across Canada, where BCN divisions were also established. Although they were not professionally trained nurses, members of the BCN were expected to provide care and advice on matters of health and hygiene.

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John Geddie

John Geddie, Presbyterian missionary (b at Banff, Scot 19 Apr 1815; d at Geelong, Australia 14 Dec 1872). Geddie came with his family to Pictou, NS, in 1816 and after studying theology with Thomas MCCULLOCH became a minister in PEI.

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Standish O'Grady

Standish O'Grady, clergyman, farmer, poet (fl 1793-1841). Born in Ireland, he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and was ordained into the Church of Ireland ministry. Poverty forced him to immigrate to Lower Canada in 1836 where he settled on a farm near Sorel.

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Norman McLeod

Norman McLeod, Presbyterian minister (b at Point of Stoer, Scot 29 Sept 1780; d at Waipu, NZ 14 Mar 1866). McLeod, a teacher and lay preacher, moved to Pictou, Nova Scotia, in 1817.

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Lennie Gallant

Lennie Gallant, CM, folk musician (born 1955 in Rustico, PEI). Lennie Gallant is an Acadian singer-songwriter who has released 13 albums, ten in English and three in French. He has toured extensively in North America and has won numerous awards and prizes. He has won 18 East Coast Music Awards (ECMA) and was named the Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year in 2017. His 1994 song “Peter’s Dream” was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019. Gallant was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2003.

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Colored Hockey League

The Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes (CHL) was an all-Black men’s hockey league. It was organized by Black Baptists and Black intellectuals and was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1895. It was defunct during and after the First World War, reformed in 1921 and then fell apart during the Depression in the 1930s. Play was known to be fast, physical and innovative. The league was designed to attract young Black men to Sunday worship with the promise of a hockey game between rival churches after the services. Later, with the influence of the Black Nationalism Movement — and with rising interest in the sport of hockey — the league came to be seen as a potential driving force for the equality of Black Canadians. Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in honour of the league in January 2020.

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Robert Machray

Robert Machray, Church of England priest, bishop (b at Aberdeen, Scot 17 May 1831; d at Winnipeg 9 Mar 1904). Educated at King's College, Aberdeen, and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, he received prizes in mathematics, philosophy and divinity.