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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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Allan Fotheringham

Allan Fotheringham (born Murray Allan Scott), columnist, author, humourist (born 31 August 1932 in Hearne, SK; died 19 August 2020 in Toronto, ON). Allan Fotheringham was Canada's best-read political columnist. Combining a vivid comic sense with the instincts of a superb reporter, Fotheringham  produced some of the funniest, most penetrating political commentary of his generation.

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Bonnie Devine

Bonnie Devine, artist, writer, professor (born 12 April 1952 in Toronto, ON). A member of the Serpent River First Nation, Bonnie Devine is a prominent Ojibwe artist and writer. She has applied Ojibwe mythology and storytelling traditions to drawing, painting, sculpture, site-specific interventions, performance and video. She held a solo exhibition, The Tecumseh Papers, at the Art Gallery of Windsor in 2013. She was also featured with other Indigenous artists in Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is an Associate Professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University and is the founding chair of the school’s Indigenous Visual Culture Program. She received a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2021.

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Marie-Claire Blais

Marie-Claire Blais, CC, OC, MSRC, novelist, dramatist and poet (born 5 October 1939 in Quebec City, QC; died 30 November 2021 in Key West, Florida). Among the best known and most studied of Canadian authors, she has close to 50 works to her name. A proud activist in support of the francophonie, she explores violence, rebellion and hate, and other themes through her work.

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Erin Mouré

Erin Mouré (a.k.a. Erín Moure, Eirin Moure, and Elisa Sampedrín), poet, translator, essayist (born 17 April 1955 in Calgary, AB). Erin Mouré is one of Canada’s most prolific and influential experimental poets. She is also an active translator of Galician, French, Spanish, and Portuguese poetry into English. She has won two Governor General’s Literary Awards — one for poetry and one for translation — and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She has also been shortlisted three times for the Griffin Poetry Prize.

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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.  

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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.